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Restore, Empower, Win, Improve, Nourish and Develop Marriage
REDEEMED INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE Where Great Learners Become Great Laborers
ISSUE 6: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tamara Hundley email@example.com GENERAL MANAGER Terrance Hundley ASSISTANT EDITORS LaTonya Gibson MARKETING TEAM Rosalyn Hall, Derryck Fletcher
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS LaTonya Gibson, Zelma Allen, Leah Lakins, Terrance Hundley, Tamara Hundley and Derryck Fletcher GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tamara Hundley ILLUSTRATOR Dominic Jordon, Jr. SALES Anjenette Criner and Rhonda McKinney FOUNDERS Terrance and Tamara Hundley
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Editorial Inquiries: Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org (no phone calls please). The magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. REWIND does not necessarily share the opinions of its authors. Editorials are solely the opinion of the contributor and not necessarily the shared opinions of REWIND. To subscribe visit www.rewindmarriage.com. Subscription Price: $18 per year. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission by REWIND is prohibited. Copyright 2013. Uniqdesign, LLC. All Rights Reserved. REWIND Magazine is a Uniqdesign Publication. REWIND (ISSN 2169-3102) is a free online publication. Subscription and fee required for printed copies.
Derryck Fletcher is a radio host for Morgan State University’s (WEAA 88.9 FM) Sunday Gospel Music Show. He is a loving husband and father of three.
LaTonya Gibson is the Dean of the Redeemed International Christian College. She is an author, editor and freelance writer. Read LaTonya’s blog at latonyasreturn. blogspot.com Rosalyn Hall is the Owner and CEO of RMH Marketing, a Maryland-based Marketing Company.
Zelma Allen Financial Advisor, Columnist, and Realtor. Happily Married with three children.
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Restore, Empower, Win, Improve, Nourish and Develop Marriage
Editor’s Corner Rewind is celebrating its one year anniversary and the journey has been quite rewarding. From its inception the goal of Rewind has been to encourage and support marriages as well as enlighten those who are contemplating the thought of marriage. Over these twelve months Rewind has published life-changing testimonies and produced motivating articles to enhance marital relationships. As a result, the publication’s staff has received many testimonies. Marriages that were on the verge of breaking were restored. Additionally, those marriages that were doing well are doing even better. We are so excited about the future of Rewind. Our readership is steadily growing and we anticipate experiencing many years of success. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We cannot do this work without you. So please continue to subscribe and share the blessing of this publication. - by Terrance & Tamara
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contents SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2013
Restore, Empower, Win, Improve, Nourish and Develop Marriage
in this issue... marriage matters
BLENDED FAMILIES Overcoming the challenges of second marriages and blended families. BY TAMARA HUNDLEY
ASK MINISTER BELL Licensed Therapist, Pamela Bell, answers questions submitted by readers in our new “Ask Min. Bell” column. BY PAMELA BELL
14 4 6
in every issue
EDITOR’S CORNER email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to post your reaction to this issue.
REWIND / September - October 2013
LIFE LESSONS A Single’s Perspective Strengthening relationships through every day life lessons. BY LEAH LAKINS
NON-TRADITIONAL VOW RENEWALS Trending Now - Couples Celebrating Marriage In Unconventional Ways BY TAMARA HUNDLEY
31 hot spots
WOODBERRY KITCHEN Baltimore, MD
CREDIT RELIEF Tips on how to repair your credit and increase your buying and bargaining power. BY ZELMA ALLEN
MARRIED IN MINISTRY Bishop J. Charles & Lady Althea Carrington BY LATONYA GIBSON
“THE DANGERS” An infographic on the dangers of pornography. Protect your marriage. BY TAMARA HUNDLEY
A TALL ORDER Husbands, Love Your Wives, just as Christ also loved the church. Do You Have What It Takes? BY WILLIE G. MILLER
BY LATONYA GIBSON
“I Do” Toons & Puzzle Relax and enjoy our cartoon and a quick puzzle. Relax, Relate, Release!
REWIND / September - October 2013
Bible-based Professional Therapy
For couples who are serious about taking their relationship to the next level.
Minister Pamela Bell, Licensed Professional Counselor
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BLENDED BLENDED families Putting the pieces together in 2nd marriages and blended families. by Tamara Hundley
children of blended families lose their identity or connection to their biological parents. It simply means that everyone in the blended family is made to feel like they are whole and complete in the family unit – not a part-time family member.
Likewise, blended families result from many different mixtures; only instead of ingredients it’s a mixture of different individuals from different families and backgrounds. Whether it’s the result of remarriage after divorce or death, or adopting and caring for someone else’s children, the same principle that worked for the cake can be applied to blended families. If the end result is going to be a family that not only looks whole and complete, but also is truly whole and complete, the mixing must be proper. This does not mean that
The family unit must also realize and constantly be reminded that in order for the best result, the family has to be able to withstand the necessary heat. When thinking about blended families, one might remember a very popular TV show, The Brady Bunch (ABC, 19691974). The show focused on three boys and three girls from two different families, who were merged into one family unit because of their parents’ decision to marry. In this fictional show, the family struggled through the internal challenges that most blended families face. Some of those challenges included sibling rivalry between stepbrothers and stepsisters, parenting issues between the parents and the stepchildren, and the critical challenge of maintaining a strong marital relationship while trying to make the entire family unit blend. However, the show failed to focus on the heat – the reality of the external challenges most blended families will encounter – especially
lending is defined as combining or associating so that the separate constituents or the line of demarcation cannot be distinguished. For example, baking a good cake requires proper mixing of different ingredients and the application of the precise amount of heat for a specific period of time. If prepared correctly, the end result produces a beautiful, delectable delight. Note that the right amount of heat for the right amount of time plays a crucial role in the mixture becoming blended into something whole and complete. After baking the cake, although all the ingredients are still there, it is impossible to see the ingredients separately.
10 REWIND / September - October 2013
those that are products of past divorces and an ex-spouse or biological parent is involved. This type of heat does not have to be negative. As a matter of fact, the husband and wife of the blended family could take proper steps to ensure that the heat stays at the right temperature; thereby creating an environment in which the family learns and grows together as opposed to being constantly burned or even consumed.
week a special day for just the two of you. Never stop dating each other and always cherish your special time together.
MAKING BLENDED FAMILIES WORK
• 66% of all remarriages eventually end in legal divorce. Untold others will experience emotional divorce and unsatisfying relationships. • About 75% of divorced persons eventually remarry. • About 43% of all marriages are remarriages for at least one of the adults. • About 65% of remarriages involve children from the prior marriage and form blended families. • Society fails to acknowledge the extent and impact of these issues and as a result, families remain under- resourced.
Here are suggestions on how to work at making your blended family whole and how to maintain a strong marriage in the process:
1.) Build on a strong foundation. Couples should not try to build their blended families on their own abilities and knowledge. Research shows that second marriages have a higher divorce rate (60%) than first time marriages. With so many additional variables added to second marriages and blended families, it is imperative that couples agree to build their relationship and their new families on the Word of God. Psalms 127:1 says, “Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Take time to pray together and talk about what God’s word says about family. Spend time studying the word of God as a family.
CURRENT ESTIMATES SUGGEST:
Sources: Examiner.com, http://www.smartstepfamilies.com/view/statistics, whatchristianswanttoknow.com, winningstepfamilies.com
2.) Agree on discipline styles before entering into the new marriage. Couples should agree on the way they want to
discipline each other’s children. It would not be wise to wait until after the blended family is created, only to find out the couple is at odds and divided on this issue – especially in front of the newly blended family. Failing to do this will result in a house that is divided. According to Mark 3:25, a house divided against itself cannot stand. Blended families need unity, which brings strength.
3.) Love each member of the family unconditionally.
Colossians 3:14 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Be patient and allow your love towards each member of the family to grow. With patience and love, the relationships in the blended family will develop and become stronger and stronger with time. The key is patience and love.
4.) Deliberately spend time with the children in the newly blended family. The parents in the relationship should
make a concerted effort to spend time with all the children in the family. It would also be advantageous for the non-biological parent(s) to spend extra time with their spouse’s biological children – this will help develop loving, lasting bonds between the children with their new parents.
5.) Respect the children’s biological parents. Many children spend time with their biological parents and their blended family. Often times this is accomplished through weekend and seasonal visits. In these cases, it is healthy that the blended family avoids speaking negatively of the children’s biological parents. Children of divorce and newly formed blended families are often stressed. Don’t add to that stress by forcing them to choose between their biological parents and their new blended family. Instead, show them and teach them that there can be peace, respect and love in both homes. Allow them to embrace and enjoy all members of their family. 6.) Couples – Don’t get so consumed with making the blended family work that you loose each other. While it
The Church and Blended Families
ccording to The Step Family Foundation, 66 percent of all remarriages end in divorce and about 75 percent of divorced persons eventually remarry. These are devastating statistics for the family unit. Yet, for so many churches the topic of blended families seems taboo. It’s the white elephant in the room. Whether a ministry agrees with divorce and remarriage or not, the fact is a large percentage of all parishioners are in second marriages. These blended families are intricate members of churches all over the world. However, very seldom do you hear of workshops, teachings, or courses offered in ministries dealing with this issue. Consider these very real statistics and think about how you can help fight to keep blended families together. Ask your marriage ministry leaders to consider making the availability of courses and information about blended families a priority. Pray for marriages.
is important to work at making the family blend, remember, if you lose each other, there may be no family. Make at least one-day of the
11 REWIND / September-October 2013
911 e g a i r r a M
Y C N E G R E EM
Minister Pamela Bell is a Licensed Therapist and owner of Serenity Counseling in Randallstown, MD. She has Counseled couples for more than10 years - Married 26 years
Ask Minister Bell
Q: I’ve been married for seven years. It started wonderful and used to be fun. However, lately I find myself seriously bored...workchurch-home...that’s it. Please help! - Bored Senseless
(3)Read 1 Corinthians 13:4 to learn about Godly love (4) and practice the principles every day.
A: Dear Bored Senseless, There is a time for everything. If you spend your time longing for the way your marriage used to be, you will miss opportunities to make your marriage what you want it to be. It is important that you understand that there are various stages of marriage. Each stage brings opportunities to grow as a couple.
After you have followed these recommendations, let us know if you are still loveless.
During the Honeymoon Stage most couples experience intense bonding and excitement. This is a lighter more carefree time of marriage. As you and your spouse establish routines for your household, your marriage will move into the Reality Stage. In the Reality Stage couples gain a more realistic view of their life together. They become more aware of their differences and they have disagreements. Unfortunately, many couples are stuck in the Reality Stage for years and never move on to more rewarding stages of marriage. They become resentful because their marriage is not as spontaneous as it once was. They fail to realize that their marriage has matured into a stage where they can establish the foundation. If you want an exciting marriage, include a date night into the foundation. Identify activities that you both can enjoy and make them part of your routine. Your marriage does not have to be boring... but, it will only be as fun as the two of you make it. Q: I just don’t love my wife anymore. Now what? - Loveless A: Dear Loveless, Many people mistakenly believe that love is a feeling. They fall out of love because they don’t feel good about being with their spouse. This type of love is self-centered. A marriage built on self-centered love is standing on very shaky ground. Marriages that practice Godly love will stand the test of time. It sounds like your next step is to learn the principles of love. I recommend that you, (1) watch two inspirational movies on marriage: Fireproof and Still Standing (2) Pray for strength and understanding.
12 REWIND / September - October 2013
Q: I’ve been married 4 months and I’m having issues with jealousy because of my husband’s female friends from college? How do I handle this? I don’t want to seem petty, but I can’t control my jealousy. - Jealous A: Dear Jealous, It sounds like it is time for you and your husband to set boundaries for your marriage regarding friends. If you don’t talk about how you are feeling, you will probably begin to “act out” your feelings and cause unnecessary confusion in your marriage. It is not petty to ask your husband for what you need. But first, you must understand exactly why you are feeling jealous. Secondly, you must know what you need. Do you need your husband to reduce the amount of time that he spends with his friends? Do you need to be included in their gatherings? Do you need him to stop interacting with them altogether? Once you are clear about what you need ask your husband to sit down with you to figure out the best way for you two to handle friends. Tell him what you are feeling and ask for what you need. Be willing to hear his point of view without becoming defensive. Healthy marriages require healthy boundaries. Boundaries work best when you set them together!
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Lessons from the Armor The first in a series of work books designed to aid in the practical appilcation of lessons from scripture By LaTonya Gibson
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by Leah L. Lakins
A Single’s Perspective
good buddy and I challenged ourselves in mid-July to get out there and to have five solid dates before Labor Day. We both admitted that we were becoming a little jaded about dating and this challenge would be our boost to get us back in action. But after moving to my temporary nest in Annapolis, recovering from my Amazing Asian Adventure to Singapore and Bali, and still adjusting to a fairly new job, dating with a purpose was the LAST thing on my mind. My buddy e-mailed me in early August to let me know that she already had two dates and was in the process of setting up a third. I was definitely happy for her, but I was beginning to think that this challenge just wasn’t going to work for me. During Leah Lakins the last two weeks of August, I decided to kick things into high gear and revamp my profile and increase my activity on one of my favorite dating sites. Even with all my extra effort NOTHING was happening. Then on August 26, I was doing some volunteering and during a break an older gentleman asked me what goals I was planning for the fall. I said that I really wanted to have a breakthrough in romance. Then he looked at me with a very straight face and said, “Do you think you are lovable?” I took a beat and said, “No, sometimes I really don’t.” Then he said, “Why don’t you try BEING lovable and see what happens.” I decided to take on that challenge and was quite surprised by what happened two days later. I was still 0-5 right up until August 28 when I got a message from a really sweet Ghanaian man on the dating site I was using. We e-mailed and texted over the next day and we decided to meet up the following night. We had a wonderful six-hour date, and we have had four follow-up dates since then. And for the first time EVER, I’m just letting it FLOW. I didn’t follow the exact rules of our dating challenge, but the end result was worth the effort. Just wanted to share that because sometimes as African American women, our conversations around dating can be so caustic and damaging. And even as positive and optimistic as I can be, my internal conversations about dating are down right wicked at times. But what could happen if we challenged ourselves to really see ourselves as BEAUTIFUL, LOVABLE, and AMAZING women? What would happen if we challenged ourselves to date outside of our comfort zone? I’m convinced that we would all truly experience more love than we can stand.
Leah L. Lakins is the communications manager for the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI). She is a proud member of Alfred Street Baptist Church and the Royal Priesthood Choir. She is also the creator and chief blogger of the inspirational blog, SoulFlakes.
13 REWIND / September - October 2013
Carlos & Donna LEVINE
Renewed their vows with a ceremony & dinner - September 7, 2013 at Martin’s East, Baltimore, MD. Celebrating 16 years of marraige.
re you a traditionalist? Are you stuck in a vain where you can’t break a “so called” “rule”? Are you open to doing something different? If so, consider breaking tradition with what’s trending now – a non-traditional wedding vow renewal. If you’re up for adding a little fun and excitement to your marriage, be open to renewing your vows even if you haven’t reached the 25 or 50-year mark. Traditionally, couples renew their wedding vows every 25 or 50 years – and what a great tradition - one that should be continued. However, in today’s society with many marriages failing before they reach a year, couples that stay together should feel liberated to proclaim their love for each other with vow renewals at any anniversary. Why not make a big deal about your marriage and celebrate it as often as you’d like. Perhaps, your willingness to break tradition and celebrate the love between you and your spouse “just because” will be
14 REWIND / September-October 2013
an encouragement to others. It also sends a very strong statement to couples that, in the midst of a marital downfall, there are couples who have not thrown in the towel and called it quits. Instead, they are upholding their vows and enjoying marriage to the point that they want to celebrate it. Husband and wife, Nick Cannon (actor) and Mariah Carey (singer), have chosen to celebrate their marriage with a vow renewal ceremony every year. That’s their choice and they have the money to do it, so good for them. The point is they understand the importance of celebrating their union and they do just that. Take this principal, whether you choose to do a formal vow renewal or a casual gathering for an anniversary celebration – whatever the case, make a big deal of your union with your spouse and don’t let anyone cause you to downplay it.
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Vow Renewals on
h c a e ht e b
What’s the purpose of a vow renewal?
• A celebration of the commitment you made to one another on your wedding day. • It’s not a legal ceremony, but sentimental. • It’s a time when couples commemorate their wedding anniversary, recognizing it as an important milestone.
Vow Renewal Ideas (Traditional and Non-Traditional)
• Church ceremony with wedding party and guests and a formal reception • Destination wedding to an island with a few guests and participants • Formal dinner/vow renewal with guests • Weekend in Vegas – Chapel renewal • Backyard Bar-be-cue, dressed down with guests • Bon fire renewal – Western/Cowboy Style • Hawaiian Luau or other themed style wedding
in Vegas Things to Consider When Planning a Vow Renewal
• What is your budget for ceremony? • Who will officiate? • Should rings be exchanged (new or re-use wedding rings)? • What size wedding party do you want (if there is a wedding party)? • What is the attire (based on the type of renewal)? • Will there be toasts or roasts (toasts – the couple’s two closest friends. Roasts – memories from several friends, children, etc…)? • Is a photographer, videographer, limo service, etc…needed? • Will your children be participating in the ceremony? • Will there be a bridal shower or bachelor party? Traditionally, etiquette says not to have showers or bachelor parties for vow renewals, but remember it’s okay to break tradition. It’s all about having fun and celebrating your marriage. You may not buy the traditional shower or bachelor party gifts, but it’s okay to give themed gifts or get together with friends as part of the celebration.
Your marriage deserves continued celebrations!
15 REWIND / September-October
for a consultation contact Anjenette Criner 443.413.9252
YOUR EXCELLENT RATING IS IN ARMS REACH Learn How To Repair Your Own Credit by Zelma Allen
t is possible to live in America with bad credit, but it is tough. Having bad credit makes acquiring specific goods impossible, difficult, or very expensive. Banks check credit scores before they give mortgage loans, lines of credit or credit cards. Utility companies will order a credit report when new accounts are opened. If the credit score is bad, those companies will charge a security deposit. Insurance companies also charge higher rates for drivers who have bad credit. Years of having high credit card balances, overdue student loans and late payments will cause low credit scores, and can cost the consumer a bundle when attempting to acquire new credit. Having good income helps when creditors make decisions about extending credit on secured debt such as mortgages and auto loans. Consequently, the product may be acquired, but at a very high interest rate. For example: If you have poor credit with a high interest rate, you could pay $50,000.00 more in interest on a mortgage loan. There are a plethora of reasons why repairing your credit should be a major priority. First, it is very critical to saving money on loans, credit cards and on insurance. Next,
having a better credit score will open up new employment opportunities, including raises and promotions with your current employer. You may want to start your own business or want the security of knowing that you can borrow money when you want. These are just a few reasons repairing your credit report should happen sooner than later. The good news is that you can repair your credit yourself. Do not let anyone fool you into believing you need to hire a professional or a lawyer to repair your credit. There is nothing a lawyer or a credit repair company can do to improve your credit. What they are certain to do is charge you a bundle to take a few simple steps you can do yourself. Save your money and the hassle of finding a legitimate company and repair your credit yourself. Just remember no company or lawyer can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. If they tell you they can and they charge you, they are not telling you the truth - report them to the State Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission.
19 REWIND / September-October 2013
Finance cont. from pg. 19
Listed below are steps to repair your credit report
1. Before you can start repairing your
credit, you have to know what you need to repair. Your credit report will contain all the mistakes you have made that have led to your bad credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to request a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus for free once every 12 months. You can get your annual free credit report from AnnualCreditReport. com. You can also order by phone or mail if you don’t have access to the internet. You should order all three credit reports, because some of your creditors and lenders may only report to one of the credit bureaus. Further, credit bureaus do not share information; therefore, you may have different information on each of your reports. Having all three credit reports will give you a complete view of your credit history and let you repair your credit at all three credit agencies instead of just one.
2. Examine all three of your credit
reports very carefully. Nearly all of us have an error on at least one of the credit reports from one of the major credit agencies. The credit agencies get your information from your creditors and they do not verify the information. The first step in repairing your credit report is to dispute incorrect information on your credit report. Always check your identity information for errors (Social Security number, spelling of your name and address). Carefully look for everything from typing errors, outdated and incomplete information and inaccurate credit history (credit cards, outstanding debts, and major purchases). If you see any mistakes or questionable items, make copies of your credit reports and highlight the errors. Gather all the documentation you have to back up your dispute, such as bank account statements and payoff letters. Be sure to make copies of all the documentation. Next, write a letter to the specific credit reporting agency (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) that shows the error(s). In the letter explain the mistake and include a copy of the highlighted report along with your documentation. Send your letter by certified mail. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself and be careful to note the date the letter was mailed. Federal law requires the credit reporting agency to investigate any relevant dispute within 30 days of receiving your letter.
20 REWIND / September - October 2013
If the credit reporting agency makes any changes to your credit file, it will send you the results and a free, updated copy of your credit report. Once a negative item is removed from your credit report the credit reporting agency cannot put it back on unless a creditor verifies its accuracy and completeness and sends you written notice. Listed below are the contact numbers and web sites for the three credit reporting agencies:
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 www.transunion.com
3. Once you deal with any errors on your credit report there are three additional steps you should take to truly repair your credit: a. Pay all of your bills on time b. Pay down all your debt (especially credit card debt) c. Avoid applying for additional credit until you clean up your credit report
These three steps can be accomplished with a budget. Budgets ensure that you are not spending more than you earn. To create a budget start by looking at your pay stubs to see how much you actually bring home each month. First, subtract your regular monthly expenses (rent or mortgage, car payments, car and home insurance) from your actual monthly income. Secondly, estimate your monthly spending habits for other expenses such as gas, groceries, personal items and entertainment. Finally, create a certain amount, based on your income, of what you can spend in each of the different categories of your day to day expenses. For example, if you tend to spend $200 a month on groceries, take it down to $100 a month by making changes like buying store brand products, using coupons and resisting unnecessary purchases.
Pay all your monthly bills on time, period! Now is the time to create a spending plan that reduces your debt. This will help you pay your bills on time, every time. Credit repair begins with making timely payments to all your outstanding
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Finance cont. from pg. 20
debtors. If you have delinquent accounts, credit responsibly. It is important to only devote more money to your monthly use each credit card to purchase what payments to bring those delinquent you would otherwise be able to afford accounts up to date. Creating a budget with cash. By doing this, you can pay the helps you to visualize your spending balance off each month and avoid the high habits. A budget will help you determine balances that got you in credit trouble in how to distribute your finances to meet the first place. your credit repair goals. This will require some sacrifices: fewer trips to the movies, 7. Remember these tid-bits: If the less expensive vacations, or limiting the negative information on your credit number of times you dine out. If you report is true, only time and improved do all of this, but habits can change still have difficulty that. Be patient. DO NOT FALL FOR making your monthly Late payments SCAMS PROMISING EASY, such as credit payments, call your creditors and cards, and charge OVERNIGHT CREDIT negotiate with them off accounts will to keep your accounts stay on your REPAIR. IF YOU WANT from being reported credit report for TO FIX YOUR BAD CREDIT, seven years, and as delinquent or bad debt. You can ask bankruptcies for YOU CAN (AND YOU them to reduce your 10 years. Most SHOULD) DO monthly payments, creditors will look or even change your for a pattern of IT YOURSELF. due date to balance payments rather out your monthly than focusing bills and keep your on one-time or accounts current. rare occurrences, consistent on-time bill payments will improve those blemishes. 5. Take charge of your cards. High Do not allow a bad credit status to remain revolving credit balances can impair your that way. The faster you begin to clean up ability to secure new credit. Paying your your credit by paying your credit on time, credit card balances down is a key element every time, the faster it will improve your in repairing your credit and credit score. credit scores. It may take months or even Target one card at a time by making a couple years for your credit score to payments designed to pay the cardâ€™s improve, but if you plan on buying a new balance to zero over a period of time. Start home, it will be well worth it. with the card with the highest interest rate because it is costing you the most money each month. Once the balance reaches zero, roll that payment over into the card with the next highest interest rate and continue the process until all your credit cards are paid off. Know your credit limits and make every effort to stay well under the maximum when charging items. Debt is analyzed by ratios. If you charge $500 on a card which has a $1,500 limit, you will use 33%, which is better for your credit score than charging the same amount on a card which has a $1,000 limit (50%). However, both of these scenarios are better than being maxed out (100%). Pay these credit cards down, but do not cancel them because the total amount of available credit affects your score, even when you owe nothing.
6. When you have paid off all your credit cards, keep the cards open and continue to use the accounts every few months. This will keep your credit scores high and will show creditors that you can use
22 REWIND / September - October 2013
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter Date Complaint Department Name of Company Address, City, State, Zip Code Dear Sir or Madam: I recently obtained a copy of my credit report from your agency and found the following item to be in error. The item I am disputing is circled on the attached copy of the report I received: Item 1: I dispute (ABC credit card, tax court or judgment, etc) account number (5555112) is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be (removed, updated or other suggested change) to correct the information. Enclosed are copies of (use this statement if you have bank statements, cancelled checks, or other documentation) supporting my position. Please investigate this (these) matter (s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item (s) as soon as possible. Sincerely, Your name Enclosures: (List the documents you are enclosing. If none, do not include this section)
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Bishop Charles & Lady Althea Carrington share their story of commitment and love to their marriage and their ministry. 24 REWIND / September - October 2013
Marriage comes with many challenges. The success or failure of marriage is largely related to how couples maneuver through those challenges and the decisions they make as individuals committed to a union.
In Ministry by LaTonya Gibson
However, when the commitment to the union also includes committing to the call on the life of one or both individuals, the challenges can appear to be magnified. In January of 2014, Bishop J. Charles Carrington and Pastor Althea Carrington will celebrate 30 years of marriage... and 28 years in ministry. The Carrington’s met when she was 17 and he was 15. On fire for the Lord, they often crossed paths as he traveled from church to church either preaching the gospel or playing the saxophone. She, an awesome psalmist, seemed to travel in the same circles and sing at the same services. Eventually, they were introduced by mutual friends. Though they often talked on the phone, they didn’t date for the first five years of their friendship. In fact, three years into their friendship he took her to lunch to clarify his relationship with her. He asked her if she was seeing anyone and if she was interested in him. When she replied “No” to both questions he told her he was seeing someone else. Thankfully, that revelation did not seem to deter their friendship. Two years later he finally asked her
to accompany him to a concert. After that she started traveling with him as a guest psalmist when he went out to preach. They were eventually married in 1984 and became the proud parents of two sons, Jonathan and Evan. Pastor Althea says she knew she was in love when she happened to run into him standing on a corner preaching through a bullhorn. She knew what she was getting into. She knew the call that was on his life. “He became an Elder before we were married,” she says. “I knew Pastoring was down the line. Growing up, a woman once told me to never marry a minister because your time is not your own.” Pastor Althea had some idea of what marriage to a pastor would include, but she was not fully prepared for all she would encounter. “There’s nothing like actually walking in this.” She adds. Bishop Carrington also had some idea as to the demands it would place on his new wife and says, “At first I was trying to protect her from ministry. My family was full of deacons
25 REWIND / September - October 2013
Bishop Carrington points out that he had to let go of his mistress - the church. “Jesus died for the church, It wasn’t my job to die for the church.” and preachers so I tried to protect her because I felt like I needed an oasis. I didn’t want to come home and talk about church and church people. I wanted to come home to my wife. I didn’t know then what I know now about help meets.” Eventually, Bishop Carrington came to realize that his wife was just as much a part of ministry as his call was and the two became partners in ministry. She is now the Pastor of Life Builders Church and he the presiding Bishop. Bishop Carrington is careful to point out that the position of Pastor was not deeded to his wife. Pastor Althea went through every step along the way. She responded to her own call to ministry, endured intensive training, and worked side by side with her husband. He likens their roles in Life Builders Church to that of a Mother and Father; both having separate but essential roles and responsibilities. He will be the first to admit that he resisted the now successful partnership. “The more I tried to fight her coming into the ministry, the more it was apparent that we were partners. It became more evident that she should stand with me for there is something in her that’s not in me.” This transition did not come without its challenges, but Bishop Carrington says, “Challenges are like seasons, they pass.”
26 REWIND / September - October
The key is learning from each season. As a young pastor Bishop Carrington knew he was a good preacher. However, being a good preacher is not the same as being a good pastor. From that season he learned to overcome people’s expectations and his own fears and lack of confidence. Early on Pastor Althea struggled with the time demand that was placed on her and her husband. “Congregants need you and you’re spread thin,” she says. However, from that season she learned to put her faith in and release her husband to God. This release helped her to relax in the knowledge that whatever the demands, she was not going to lose her husband. After all, her faith was in God to keep him. As ministry progressed, building stability in ministry became difficult. Some of the issues they faced even became public and newsworthy. Dealing with the embarrassment associated with being laughed at and ridiculed placed pressure on every aspect of their lives. However, in that season, they both agree that a habit of watching out for each other and having each other’s back was established. “People come and go, but Althea is still here,” Bishop Carrington points out. “She is my ride or die. Where there was bitterness, she has healed me. Where there was concern, she affirmed me. She knows me better than anyone else. She is
not perfect, but she knows me perfectly. Her ability to help heal me has made the blows of ministry easier. Every day with Althea in my life, I appreciate the Lord more and more for giving her to me.” Finally, Bishop Carrington points out that he had to let go of his mistress – the church. Initially, it seems ironic that a pastor might refer to church as his mistress. However, it is his primary vocation and when one considers how often people find themselves more married to their careers than to their spouses, it doesn’t seem that farfetched. Bishop Carrington shifted his devotion with the realization that, “Jesus died for the church. It wasn’t my job to die for the church. The Bible admonishes husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. The church is not my wife. Althea is my wife. God caused me to remember that the church is His. Althea is my wife. I have to be a good steward over her life.” That is not to say that he has abandoned his call, but he has placed it in its proper perspective.
Rewind Feature The couple provides practical tips for maintaining a healthy relationship while in full-time ministry. 1. Set boundaries at the benediction
The Carrington’s have regular date nights. In fact, they have made Mondays sacred. It is set apart for family and fun. They are quick to admit that this practice takes effort because “there’s always some crisis that breaks out on Monday,” says Bishop Carrington. However, it is not something they willingly abandon. Pastor Althea points out, that she has had her time, therefore, when he has to pull away to prepare or to provide for the needs of the congregants she is not left feeling abandoned or neglected.
I.V. and Bridget Hilliard, Lady Alberta Saunders (Apostles Monroe Saunders – deceased), and Dr. Deborah Claxton.
4. Stay true to who you are in God
Bishop Carrington says, “Don’t try to be anyone else, but yourself. Your wife didn’t marry TD Jakes.” Having Mentors is great. They help you grow, but know who you are in God and be that. Pastor Althea agrees and points out that “the struggle with me just being me and people thinking I should be someone else was a problem. I had to find my place in the Lord not a role. I learned that by watching how Lady Saunders and Dr. Claxton pushed their husbands and loved the people of God.”
2. Seek wisdom from God
God gives balance. He established family and in no way desires for families to perish at the hands of his church. He has given the model and when we do things His way and according to His model, balance is always achieved. Further, He is love and love His way is the key to a happy and successful marriage.
3. Study the habits of someone who has done it before and has done it well. Both Bishop and Pastor Carrington point to mentors who have been excellent examples of what it means to be married and in ministry. Even after 30 years in marriage and 28 years of ministry neither of them believe they have all of the answers and are constantly looking to glean from those who have experienced success. Their mentors include Bishop
Couples who apply these tips are bound to experience the good success and peace the Carringtons now enjoy Married in Ministry.
28 REWIND / September - October
On average, only 7% of porn performers use condoms in heterosexual porn films. 66% of porn performers have herpes, and 7% have HIV.
The internet porn industry went from $1 billion a year to $3 billion a year in the U.S. alone.
PORN IS BIG BUSINESS •
Just six years ago, global porn revenues were estimated at $20 billion, with $10 billion coming from US consumers. However, by 2011 both global and U.S. porn revenues had been reduced by 50%, due in large part to the amount of free pornography available online. It is estimated that 80-90% of Internet porn users only access free online material. As far as online pornography is concerned, from 2001 to 2007, the Internet porn industry went from a $1-billion-a-year industry to $3-billion-a-year in the US alone. Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball, and basketball franchises. US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, & NBC (6.2 billion). Child pornography generates $3 billion annually.
PORN IN MARRIAGE •
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 56% of divorce cases involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” According to numerous studies, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:
PORN IN THE CHURCH
35% of all pastors are addicted to pornography
50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women say they are addicted to pornography
Women, far more than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs.
1. a diminished trust between intimate couples 2. the belief that promiscuity is the natural state 3. cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners 4. the belief that marriage is sexually confining 5. a lack of attraction to family and child-raising •
Happily married men are 61% less likely to look at porn.
Those with teen children are 45% less likely to look at porn.
Sources: http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/ Source: internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com www.abstinence.net inspriration: message by Dr. Jerome Stokes
Infographic by : Tamara Hundley
Support by SUBSCRIBING HERE: www.rewindmarriage.com
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30 REWIND / September - October
BRINGING RESULTS TO YOU! 2013
pot S t o H
n Baltimore, the term “local fare” often conjures thoughts of seafood; especially crab cakes. Woodberry Kitchen has taken the concept of “local fare” in an entirely different direction. Here, the kitchen focuses on what local farms produce instead of Baltimore’s proximity to the Bay. At Woodberry Kitchen the patron is reminded of Maryland’s once flourishing farming heritage and the rich flavors that emerge from unprocessed food. Upon arrival to Woodberry Kitchen guests are overwhelmed with a since of nostalgia for a simpler time. Located at histoic Union Mill, Woodberry Kitchen embraces its rustic location and builds from there. Nothing about the décor is overdone or so thematic that it feels disingenuous. Instead the atmosphere seems sincerely welcoming. It’s a place where people just seem to slow down, relax and unwind. It’s a place that welcomes a conversation, in fact anticipates conversation as exhibited by the huge fire pit outside. It simply beckons guests to sit by its fire and engage in real dialogue. Once seated the concern about whether or not the food will live up to the hype is washed away with the first bite. Patrons can capitalize on the “tapas” trend and order several small plates to pass and share or order a complete “supper”. Whatever you do, don’t miss the mac and cheese. It is sublime and will definitely be worth it. Of course no Baltimore restaurant would be worth its snuff without a crab cake dinner. Woodberry serves up a delightful crab cake dinner that sticks to the restaurant’s overall theme by including a side of hearty vegetables such as squash, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, and onions. I’ve enjoyed dining at Woodberry Kitchen several times and have decided
Dusan Vuksanovic, photographer
it is one of my absolute favorite restaurants. It has earned my affection in several ways. First, what could be better than meals prepared with local produce? The freshness is impeccable and the taste undeniable. Secondly, one of Woodberry’s suppliers is Great Kids Farm. This is a branch of the Baltimore City School System that provides education on healthy eating and sustainability. Finally, Woodberry Kitchen has the best scallops this side of heaven. They are perfectly prepared and served with creamed corn, bacon tomato jam, and roasted okra. Here’s my food truth - I NEVER eat pork and I hate okra. Woodberry Kitchen’s preparation of these items causes me to completely defy my own rules. Woodberry Kitchen has proven that fresh is definitely best and makes a monumental difference in the taste and overall dining experience. I almost forgot – everyone seems to agree with the conclusion I’ve drawn, so do yourself a favor and make reservations. - by LaTonya Gibson
2010 Clipper Park Road, No. 126 Baltimore, Md 21211 410-464-8000
31 REWIND / September - October 2013
Husbands! Do you have what it takes?
By: Willie G. Miller Jr.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
eally? Is this even possible? What a challenge from God. Finding a woman to love who will truly love a man in return seems hard enough. Now once she has been found, a husband is expected to love her just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her? He knows he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him; however, this is a very tall order. For most men, the concept of giving his life in exchange for his wife’s isn’t foreign. He would easily take a bullet for his wife, but the action would be based in pride, not sacrifice. That’s no different than a gang banger taking a bullet for a fellow gang member. So, giving himself may not be hard when thought of in that sense. On the other hand, giving himself through a well thought out plan that incorporates a level of suffering measured by no standard other than long- (long-suffering) is different. God planned to love us and give himself for us with an understanding that it would require long-suffering on His part. His long-suffering would ultimately lead to the giving of His life upon the cross for an unworthy people. God extended His hand to establish a relationship with us based on His love for us and His hope that we would develop a love for Him. A glance through biblical history reveals man’s continuous tendency to fall into idolatrous and destructive behaviors. Constantly, we are drawn away with lustful desires and enticed. However, through it all, God’s love prevails and we find Him forgiving us and providing opportunities for us to continue in our relationships with Him. These opportunities are not without sacrifice and we can never forget God’s ultimate expression of love in dying on the cross. He gave Himself for His church (or one could say His bride) and now expects a husband to demonstrate that same level of love and sacrifice for his wife, his bride. When he marries, the newly married man gives little thought to the idea of long-suffering as a husband. Yes, he loves his wife; however,
32 REWIND / September - October 2013
forgiving her 70 times 70 was not incorporated into the wedding plan. He did not think about her bringing offenses that would require him to look past her faults and see her need to be loved and accepted. However, the new husband need only consider his own track record with God. He would become acutely aware of the numerous times he has fallen and required God’s forgiveness. Without question, each time he has repented, God has looked past his faults and forgiven him. Now, when it comes to his wife who is he to hold grudges and magnify mole hill sized problems into mountains. When we face challenges in our marriages we should try to remember that our wives are not separate and apart from us. They are us! Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Gen. 2:24, KJV). We cannot allow our displeasure to change our view of our wives from the oneness God intended to being separate and apart from us. Really, when we are upset with ourselves because we made a mistake, we never stop talking to ourselves so; we should not cut of communication and intimacy with our wives because in God’s sight, they are us. If we allow the enemy to establish a stronghold of non-communication, before we recognize it, we will be talking to others about our displeasure with our wives. When in reality, we are not happy with ourselves. Husbands, non-communication and isolation are not the types of responses we receive from God when we offend Him with our sinful natures. When we fall short, we confess our sins and walk away knowing that we have been forgiven. We continue our communication with God because He washes the sin and offense away and gives us a brand new start. Although sometimes it seems unbelievable, we maintain our relationship with Him as if nothing ever happened. This is the level that God is calling us to as husbands when we feel offended by our wives. I know it is a tall order because I had to put on my big boy pants to sit at the table and eat this one. Oh yeah! I might as well put this out there now because someone is thinking, she needs to do this… or she needs to do that…. This scripture is for the man without any caveats or a chaser. Husbands have to take this one to the head like cough syrup without any cool-aid to wash the taste out of our mouths.
In my efforts to understand God’s love for us as His Bride and how He has the same expectation for us as husbands to love our wives as He loves us (His Bride) I went on a 30 day journey. For a month, I put myself on the back burner just like God does with His Bride. When I felt annoyed, offended, or underappreciated by my wife, I reminded myself, that Christ forgives us His Bride and just as He does, I should do the same. I admit, some of my feelings about the way I was being treated where just that, feelings and not reality. However with God, when we offend or sin against Him, it is a reality and yet He continues to give Himself for us. What I found on my journey, is brokenness. I realized that my offenses before God exceeded any of the perceived offenses my wife brought in those 30 days. Additionally, I grew to understand how much God really loves us and His command and challenge to Husbands to love our wives as he loves us really causes us to explore the crazy love he has for us as His Bride. What I learned on the 30-day journey is that God’s forgiveness and care for His people is incomprehensible - it is part of who He is. He forgives us and washes us with His word so that we can stand before Him without spot or blemish and without reservation or apprehension. We don’t have to wonder if He’s tired of trying to make the relationship work. After every offense, God removes all doubt and fear. We don’t have to question will He be there tomorrow or next week? There should be no doubt in our minds regarding whether He still feels the same about us before we made the mistakes? We don’t have to wonder if He’s still attracted to us even though we gave into lustful desires. God’s heart remains soft towards His Bride and he doesn’t handle us roughly. He has a plan for us and He is patient, kind and long suffering. He does not see our sins. All He sees when he looks at us is His sacrifice of love. He looks at us through Himself because we belong to Him and are a part of Him. Because God loves Himself, He cannot help but love us because we are His. He brought us with His sacrifice on Calvary. As husbands, we should learn from His example and exercise the same with our Brides. Husbands, I challenge you to take the 30day journey. However, before you do you should ask yourself a few questions. If the Lord
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
looked at your wife through your eyes, what would He see? Would He see you and Himself or would He see your unforgiving spirit of condemnation? If your wife stood before God today in judgment, would she be condemned based on the judgments you hold against her in your heart? Do you forgive your bride daily and wash her with the word to strengthen her? Do you approach each day with her as a clean slate and an opportunity to explore different ways to strengthen the relationship? When you look at her, do you see her or do you only see her flaws, mistakes, weaknesses, problems and issues? Do you see her without spot or blemish or do you see her through a clouded lens of unforgiveness.? Do you extend new mercies daily? Is your love for your wife as deep as God’s love for you? The million dollar question – when you look at your wife, DO YOU SEE YOU? Husbands, here is a 30-day challenge: For the next 30 days, when you find yourself feeling annoyed, offended, unappreciated or under celebrated by your wife, think about the grace of God and how you have worn it out. Just as you needed forgiveness, forgive her and treat her like it never happened. I warn you, you are going to see just how much you need and rely on God and how incapable you are of walking upright and flawless in His sight. I challenged myself to love my wife as Christ loves the Church. I decided to put myself and my feelings on the back burner and forgive. What I found is there are many opportunities for offences and they are going to come however; they are no different from those that we commit ourselves before God some with knowledge and others without. Whatever the case, I found myself before God many times asking Him for grace and mercy. Through this process I found an overwhelming level of gratitude to God for His provision and forgiveness in my life. I have realized at a different level, on my best day of consecration, my righteousness is a filthy rags. I have no righteousness without the provision to salvation afforded me by Christ. He is my salvation. So, for me to love as Christ loves, I must be a conduit of salvation and a place of safety that through my love and longsuffering, my wife can see Christ in me. Ok, I know you are wondering how I made out at the end of the 30-day challenge. I decided to live my relationship with my bride
starting every day with a clean slate just like God does for me. I’m still working on developing my relationship to erase any bad history because every day God treats me like I did not make the same mistake last week. He provides new mercies for me, so I should do the same for my bride. One of the major points is I want to stay on the honeymoon with my wife (bride). The Lord has us on a never-ending honeymoon because every mistake we make is the first mistake. He chooses to forgive and forget our mess every time as if it never happened. Finally, I will remain broken before God and my wife. Just as God is gentle and loving with me and hears me when I call, I must be the same with my Bride. I know she loves me just as I love God. He never throws us away and is always there for us. Likewise, I will continue to strive to be there for my bride. REWIND RESPONSE: This article makes an excellent point about the importance of a man knowing how to love in a marital relationship. This principle also applies to relationships in general. On our own it would be difficult to love anyone. As the article states, Christ is our example of how we should love. He does not leave it up to us to decide how, rather, He expects us to use Him as our example - He sets the precedent. If we follow His example we can overcome the challenges and emerge as conquerers by using these two powerful tools - love and forgiveness.
33 REWIND / September - October 2013
Happy Anniversary Honey. I picked this expecially for you
Yikes... I forgot our anniversary! I don’t have a gift.
I’ll grab the roses from the centerpiece on the next table
Wedding Anniversaries are special and should be remembered. Don’t let this be you. Plan ahead and make your anniversary special!
34 REWIND / June l2013
THE MISSING PIECE TO “MAKING YOUR VISION A REALITY”
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BACK TO THE 2013 Conference BASICS Celeating 28 Yea in Ministry aturing
Music & Worship Arts Workshop with ISRAEL HOUGHTON & STEVEN FORD SAT. Nov. 9th
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION: $75 per person registration permits access to all workshops, early entrance for worship services & Saturday afternoon Luncheon Worship services are free to all
Bishop Jerome & Lady Maha Stokes