Restore, Empower, Win, Improve, Nourish and Develop Marriage MARCH/APRIL 2013
KEYS TO A
SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE Dr. Pamela Bell Family & Marriage Therapist
WHAT COUPLES SHOULD KNOW BEFORE MARRIAGE
MIXING MUSIC, LOVE AND DANCE
Keeping The TEMPO IN MUSIC AND MARRIAGE
Composer, Steven Ford & wife, Deborah Ford Bassist, Adam Johnson & wife, Fawn Johnson
“HELP I’M A PK!” Dr. Wanda Davis
for Family Matters
LYRICS OF LOVE
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Restore, Empower, Win, Improve, Nourish and Develop Marriage
ISSUE 3 : MARCH/ARPIL 2013 PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tamara Hundley firstname.lastname@example.org GENERAL MANAGER Terrance Hundley ASSISTANT EDITORS LaTonya Gibson Monique Miskimon MARKETING TEAM Rosalyn Hall, Derryck Fletcher
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Dr. Wanda A. Davis is a nationally acclaimed Minister, Teacher, Prophet, Life Coach and Bestselling author.
Restore, Empower, Win, Improve, Nourish and Develop Marriage
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Editorâ€™s Corner Music & Marriage go hand in hand. Whether itâ€™s realized or not, over time our marriages develop a certain rhythm and a certain sound. The rhythm is the pace at which couples learn to resolve conflicts, communicate clearly, forgive and consistently do the things, based on the Word of God, that will keep the marriage on beat. Likewise, the sound produced in a marriage relates to the peace and harmony couples experiece when they live their lives in accordance to biblical principals. What rhythm and sound is your marriage producing? In this issue you will find articles that will help you identify and set the rhythm and sound of your marriage.
Zelma Allen Financial Advisor, Columnist, and Realtor. Happily Married with three children.
Marcus Brown is a personal fitness trainer, husband, and father.
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KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE Finding and Maintaining Harmony in Marriage. BY TAMARA HUNDLEY
ZUMBA Mixing Music, Love & Dance BY LATONYA GIBSON
KEEPING THE TEMPO For Better or Worse... BY STEVEN & DEBORAH FORD, INTERVIEW WITH ADAM & FAWN JOHNSON
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contents MARCH/APRIL 2013
Restore, Empower, Win, Improve, Nourish and Develop Marriage
31 / AMBASSADOR
34 / LOL
Lyrics of Love.
Rewind’s Hot Spot Pick.
family matters 32 /”GOD HELP, I’M A PK!” BY DR. WANDA DAVIS
21/BEFORE SAYING “I DO” BY ZELMA ALLEN
in every issue 04 / EDITOR’S CORNER email us at email@example.com to post your reaction to this issue.
KEYS TO A
SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE Finding And Maintaining Dr. Pamela Bell
Harmony In Marriage
Serenity Counseling, Randallstown, MD Counseling couples over 10 years Married 26 years
magine the sound of a fork being scraped across the surface of a chalkboard. The very thought of it is unsettling and disturbing, but describes the sound that’s produced when someone plays an instrument or a group of people sing off key. Skillfully playing three or more keys on the keyboard at the same time forms chords, resulting in a sound that is pleasing and pleasant to the ear commonly referred to as harmony. Quite the opposite, unskillfully playing the same keys produces discord (dis “chord”). Similarly, in marriage, the term harmony describes what happens when couples work together in a pleasing manner. The lack of harmony in marriage often leads to constant quarreling, nagging, disrespect, loneliness, and even separation or divorce. However, when the right keys are played, in music and marriage, the end result is harmony. Sometimes relationships fall “off key”. This means the keys need to be tuned for the marriage to produce harmony. Let’s explore the “Keys To A Successful Marriage”. “One of the greatest problems I’m finding is that people don’t understand what marriage is,” said Dr. Pamela Bell, a licensed, Certified Counselor and Therapist, whose office is located in Reisterstown, Maryland. “The word of God says the two shall come together and become one. When you take two individuals and put them together as one, there will be differences,” she added. In her years of practice, Dr. Bell has discovered that people struggle with these differences. She believes the biggest problem couples have with forgiveness is judging each other based on their differences. “If we married someone just like us who does everything we do and thinks the way we think, there would be no room for
10 REWIND / March - April 2013
growth,” she adds. Dr. Bell said too many people have a “soul mate fantasy,” which means they’re looking for someone who’s just like them and who knows what they have on their minds. She points out that the truth is if we found our so called “soul mate” they would hinder our growth. They would be weak in the same areas we’re weak. Hence, she calls this a false fantasy. If the person does not meet those expectations, the individual marks them as flawed. Instead, they should find out what God has in store for them by connecting with the individual. “We fight against the differences as opposed to learning to benefit from them,” she said. Thus, one key that will lead to a successful marriage is to start looking at the differences in your spouse as strengths instead of weaknesses. Don’t judge your mate. COMMUNICATION Communication is a major key to a successful marriage. “If we can learn how to communicate what we’re feeling instead of acting out what we’re feeling; marriages would be more unified and more loving,” said Bell. Like the false fantasy, she believes couples are looking for their mates to automatically know what they need and when they need it. When they realize that they don’t, they judge them based on their assumption that they should have known better. She said some people don’t know better, and even when they do, they don’t always do better. This means both the husband and wife have to communicate to the other what’s going on inside. “I’ve found that most people don’t want to take the time to understand what they’re feeling or what they want all the
time, yet they want their mate to be more in tune with them than they are with themselves,” Bell adds. At that point, she said it’s time for the individual to sit down and ask himself or herself, “What am I doing and what do I really need?” Then communicate that to their spouse instead of acting it out by slamming doors, shutting down, or whatever actions they take. Bell also points out that in our culture, men are not socialized to be in tune with their emotional side. Many times, she said, sharing emotions is viewed as a sign of weakness for a man. Consequently, although they too are emotionally sensitive people, they have not been encouraged to talk about what they feel or to be in tune with their emotional side. Therefore, Bell believes it’s a women’s job to help men tune into their emotions. “Most men are comfortable with anger and it ends there,” she said. “In most cases, when men get emotional they say, ‘I’m angry’ instead of ‘I’m hurt’ or ‘I’m let down.’ It is up to us, as women, to help them with that language.” Also, she says women are more likely to express their emotions because they are used to expressing them with their girlfriends. Additionally, many women look for responses when they communicate with their husbands, but often times they don’t get a response right away. Bell attributes this to the fact that men need time to process the information. It may take a few days or even weeks before husbands respond because they are socialized to be fixers. Subsequently, when men are presented with something, their first instinct is to find a solution and figure out how to “fix it”. Bell said we interpret that as the man shutting down and not communicating with us. As a result women get hurt and sometimes nag or ask the same question over and over, but the man still has not come to a solution. Here’s the solution: Men
need to communicate that they need a couple of days to process the information and then they need to keep their word and get back to their wives within a couple of days – even if the response is, “I need more time.” The key is to follow through with a response, insuring their wives that the issue is important. This type of communication also lets women know that they are thinking about it and they’re actively engaged. “Women don’t have the patience to wait and men don’t have the communication skills to say I need more time – but applying this key actually works for many couples,” Bell said. INTIMACY “This issue needs to be discussed in church. We have such a conservative viewpoint about sex, especially in the African American community in relation to our discussions about it, but not in our practice,” Bell said. “It is kind of ridiculous that people are fantasizing, self-pleasuring, and fornicating, but there’s no discussion about what God says about it. Yet, sex is so important that we can’t get here without it,” she adds. “So it’s not dirty. It’s not bad. It’s not inappropriate. It’s how we’re handling it that’s inappropriate because we don’t know the godly way to handle intimacy.” Bell stresses the importance of married couples sharing intimacy and showing affection toward each other on a daily basis. She said, when they do, hormones are released. One in particular called oxytocin is referred to as the bonding hormone. When couples hug, hold hands and kiss they help release this hormone. Bell believes a lack of these actions causes a detachment in the marital relationship. “Couples must also realize that intimacy is not just about sex. It is about making love and a lot of couples don’t know how to make love,” she added.
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11 REWIND / March-April 2013
cont. from pg. 11
Further, she points out that this is not being taught anywhere. “Most of us are introduced to sex or intimacy by means of pornography, discussions with friends, jumping into it at a young age, watching movies, etc. We need to understand that there is a difference between intimacy and sex. We don’t really know what making love looks like because a lot of what we’ve seen are just sexual acts.” She said this is the work of Satan – he always offers a counterfeit. As a result, she says a lot of couples are having sex, but not making love. Getting to the climax is the main event, as opposed to sharing and expressing love for their mate. The truth of the matter is God is the head of our marriage and He should not be left out of our intimate moments with our mate. This will accommodate the changes that people’s bodies go through. Anatomically, we change. If you want to have a lasting relationship it can’t be based on physicality. People change. They have health issues. Their bodies change. “Intimacy with your spouse should not be based on sexual body parts…always focusing on whether or not the woman has the right size breasts, or if the man has a six pack – this is what the world has given us,” she adds. However, she believes couples must understand they are first married to God and He allows them to have their mates. He has blessed them with their mates to shower love on them. It is then they will realize that they don’t have to have a perfect 10 in the bed with them in order to be excited – this is where cheating comes in. When you love this way you’re getting into the soul and spirit with that person and it elevates the relationship to another level – one where it’s not just about physicality. A lot of times women’s’ bodies change because they have had their husband’s children. Now, the men pressure them to get back to where they were when they were 21, and that’s not going to happen. Men must realize that they’re not the same either. Their bodies change too. Satan
uses this tool. We are to have life and have it more abundantly. He wants to take that place of peace and joy from your spouse. He comes to kill, steal and destroy our identity. Bell said in our culture, our identity is wrapped up in what we look like. She said she’s met some of the most beautiful women, who say this issue is still a struggle for them. She believes a lot of men use this excuse to cheat. “For some reason they feel that they are exempt because they can put on a few pounds and look like they’re doing well. They cheat, and so many women are willing to cheat with them. However, a lot of women cheat with them because they are really competing with the woman at home, “ Bell said. “They feel this means they’re better women, somehow?” FORGIVENESS Marriages are between two forgivers. “We are judgmental people so we have a tendency of holding things when we feel someone has done something that we feel is wrong,” Bell said. “I also say that forgiveness is for the forgiver – the person who is actively forgiving, because they are releasing the debt that they’re holding over the person”, she added. While not condoning the other person’s actions, forgiving releases that burden. “Forgiveness is a debt that is owed to you. When you release that person you are no longer carrying the burden of the unfairness and injustice of what the person did.” Additionally, unforgiveness causes stress, high blood pressure and all kinds of illnesses. It is a terrible thing. It wreaks havoc on your body, on your soul and on your spirit. Bell said forgiving is not for the person who caused the infraction so much, but for the forgiver. Couples should think about it this way, “They’ve already been hurt by the betrayal and now they’re being hurt by carrying the debt on their shoulders of what their spouse did.” The key is to simply forgive.
COMMITMENT Commitment is another very important key because we live in a culture that says divorce is an option. However, the Bible says God hates divorce. When couples enter into marriage with divorce being an option, they always have this clause. The only way out of marriage that God presents to us is through death and adultery. If we live by God’s word, divorce is not really an option unless that person commits adultery. Therefore, our commitment has to be to God’s word. Most people who have been married for 25 years or more are still in their marriages because they don’t want to break the covenant they’ve made with God and their spouses. At some point they have been tested and at some point leaving was a thought, but they stayed because they didn’t want to break the covenant they made with God. So the key is to commit to God, which will result in a commitment to your marriage. HOW TO GET THESE KEYS WORKING IN YOUR MARRIAGE If you don’t have these key components working in your marriage, don’t panic. Dr. Bell says, “The truth is most of us just need help and most of us come with a truck load of baggage.” Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. We’re fighting unresolved issues from our past, not really our spouses. She said Satan reintroduces memories from our past and we fight that because it’s unresolved. Dr. Bell believes many couples could benefit from marriage counseling. Not just couples’ counseling, but individual counseling so that they can work through their own personal issues. “Counseling would help individuals understand what’s going on inside of them so they can be better spouses,” she added. “Then they can transfer their pain and not take it out on their spouses.” - Tamara Hundley
13 REWIND / March-April 2013
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14 REWIND / March-April 2013
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Health & Fitness
ZUMBA MIXING MUSIC, LOVE AND DANCE
Up Close And Personal With Zumba Instructor Tamarra Fleming-Winbish
t’s impossible to deny the infectious nature of Latin music. Its rhythm is mesmerizing and the very sound of it inspires movement. Even those who are “dance impaired” suddenly have a desire to simply move. Maybe that is the attraction of Zumba, a fitness program inspired by Latin music and classic Latin dance moves. This dance focused program was created completely by accident by Alberto Perez, an aerobics instructor who simply forgot his music and had to improvise. He used what he had in his car – Latin music. The music dictated the moves. His class participants seemed to really enjoy it and his Latin inspired aerobics class soon became one of the most popular classes at his gym. Tamarra FlemingWimbish is one of the many who sing Zumba’s praises, but for her Zumba became much more than a fitness program. It became a catalyst for life altering change. Tamarra, a mother of three, put on major weight with each pregnancy. The weight gain affected every aspect of Tamarra’s life. She simply did not feel like the Tamarra she knew. Anxious to get back to her old self, Tamarra became committed to getting
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15 REWIND / March/April
Health & Fitness
Before & After rid of the weight and attempted to do so through traditional means . . . going to the gym at her job. The results were slow and her attitude about the workouts was less than enthusiastic. While at the gym one day, she heard music coming from a classroom. Compelled by the infectious rhythm she decided to peep in on the class. She liked what she heard, but was a bit intimidated by what she saw. The instructor, Tracy Volk, waved her in, but Tamarra resisted. Sure it looked fun, and Tamarra had taken plenty of dance classes as a child, but those classes were some time ago and now she was a mother of three. Eventually, Tamarra took a chance, and hasn’t looked back. “I thought I was going to die after the first class,” Tamarra says. This high energy class usually lasts an hour and has the potential of burning 500-1000 calories. “I got through it and realized I was having fun, so I kept coming back,” she continues. She started off going once a week and says that she saw results almost immediately, but they were slight and she wanted more. She decided to increase the number of days she attended classes until she was eventually taking Zumba four days a week. “At three days, I started seeing my body shredding. Taking Zumba four days for 4.5 months, I lost 52 pounds and went from 220 pounds to 168 pounds.” During that time she was also introduced to Fit, Firm and Fabulous, a weight loss program and business venture for which Tamarra is currently a consultant. The weight wasn’t the only thing Tamarra found herself confronting in her Zumba class. Zumba became a type of
16 REWIND / March-April 2013
therapy for her as she dealt with another problem. Her marriage was on the rocks. Her husband’s private struggles were beginning to impose on their quality of life and Tamarra felt she had no choice but to just deal with it. This idea drove her into a depression. A private person, Tamarra needed an outlet and found one in the Zumba classroom. “Initially, my husband was not happy about the time I was spending in Zumba classes. He felt like it was taking time away from him, and he was right. It was.” It was time Tamarra felt she needed from Him. In her Zumba classes, Tamarra danced her troubles away. She developed friendships, and rebuilt her confidence. Suddenly, she came to the realization that the things she was dealing with at home were not things she had to accept. Armed with a new found poise, Tamarra insisted that her husband get help for his private struggles. He heeded her insistence. The day he decided to face his challenges, Tamarra made a decision to keep her life moving. She didn’t miss a beat – she went straight to her Zumba class and danced. Today, Tamarra’s marriage is healthy and happy. Even her husband sings Zumba’s praises. In fact, he is one of Tamarra’s greatest supporters and proudly wears a t-shirt identifying him as Her Zumba husband. Other efforts were birthed from her agreeing to take a class. Though everything in her personal life wasn’t perfect, Tamarra has always been the kind of person who goes out of her way to help others. In the Zumba classes Tamarra noticed that some people were simply unable to follow the steps. Instead of allowing people to get frustrated and walk out, Tamarra reached out to other students by helping them master the steps. It was as if she was hosting a mini clinic in the back of the Zumba class. Tracy Volk, who Tamarra affectionately refers to as her “Zumba Momma”, noticed how caring Tamarra was with the other students. She noticed how Tamarra’s concern for them made them successful and helped them commit to the Zumba lifestyle. What Tracy saw in Tamarra was the perfect Zumba instructor; therefore, she insisted that Tamara take the training classes to become a certified Zumba instructor. Initially, Tamarra resisted Tracy’s insistence and dismissed the idea of taking the training class. Eventually, Tracy’s persistence paid off. Zumba had become such a major part of Tamarra’s life that she felt she had no choice but to take the training in order to maintain her lifestyle. For the last 2.5 years Tamarra has been a size 6/8. She attributes her ability to keep the weight off to her current position as a Zumba instructor. She also gives that position credit for her new perspective on life. She views her life as one of ministry and Zumba plays a major role in that ministry. “I’d been hurt so many times by so many things, that I’d shut down,” says Tamarra. “Zumba opened the ‘real’ Tamarra; the side that loves to care and share. That’s the woman God created me to be. Seeing that I was becoming this version of me, I started giving my classes to God and allowing Him to use them to minister to women. I don’t just teach Zumba, I sit and talk to women and minister to them about weight loss, depression, marital and other issues.”
Health & Fitness
Tamarra’s decision to give everything to God, including and especially her Zumba class, birthed a ministry called LOTUS – Liberating Our Tasks as United Sisters. This group of women is largely comprised of entrepreneurs and focuses on helping women find their gifts and abilities. Together they do more than talk, they participate in outreach and use their outreach time as an opportunity to bond with their families. Tamarra credits her success and driving spirit to her faith in GOD and the sacrificial efforts of her mother, Elder Bessie Fleming. “I saw in my mother,” said Tamarra, “a woman that believed in God without waiving. Although, she had a difficult life, she never allowed struggles to stop or hinder her from doing what she knew would benefit her children. Finding herself a single mom with two teenagers wasn’t easy, but I never heard her complain or miss an opportunity to serve GOD and others. Receiving direction from God who will provide, she kept my brother and I in private school. He did provide and I managed to graduate from Baltimore Catholic School, Coppin State University, and the University of Baltimore--a recipient of a Bachelor of Science
in Applied Psychology and two Masters of Science degrees in Human Services Administration and Special Education.” Tamarra emphasizes that she is blessed to have a mother who taught her to pray and to never give up. However, she feels that the greatest lesson of all was “that giving oneself back to GOD brings total satisfaction. Learning that lesson taught me not to run from opportunities but to seize them especially if, GOD sends them.” Those opportunities have
continued to come as Tamarra has acquired various training certifications in ZUMBA Fitness: Zumba Basic, Aqua Zumba (water Zumba), Zumbatomic (children), Zumba Toning (Strength & Core Training) and Zumba Sentao (Zumba chair-Strength training). For Tamarra, Zumba is much more than an exercise program. It is a life altering experience that continually reveals the best version of her. It has completely transformed her life making her better, healthier, and happier. - LaTonya Gibson
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WHAT COUPLES SHOULD KNOW BEFORE MARRIAGE by Zelma Allen Engaged? Want your marriage to get off to a good start after the wedding? Then, start discussing finances before the wedding. This gives couples the chance to discover each party’s personal financial management style and his/her attitude about money. Money can be a difficult conversation to have with your fiancé; however, with finances topping the list of reasons couples seek divorce, it makes sense to start at the top. First, check out each other’s creditworthiness. Before you get married, couples should get to know each other’s financial health by ordering a credit report. The credit report will show how each person manages money. Yes, this is a touchy topic, but couples happily deal with sexual and social issues while leaving the greatest cause of divorce on the back burner. This is a lifetime commitment; therefore, couples should do their homework. They should freely discuss their individual credit scores.
21 REWIND /March-April 2013
Finance cont. from pg. 23
This conversation should be open and honest and include divulging information such as current salaries, debts, bad debts and savings; revealing why scores are good or bad. Further, it will lead to a discussion of steps that can be taken, together, to improve negative scores. Having a plan for improving credit scores is essential because credit scores play a big part in so many aspects of our lives (good interest rates, insurance costs, and even employment). Nearly everything couples need to build a financial life together is tied to their credit scores and credit history. Continue the conversation by discussing credit cards and how they are currently used. Total the combined credit card debt and create a plan to pay them off. Set a date by which that debt is to be settled. Be clear on other debts as well such as car loans, student loans and child support. Any delinquency concerning these debts should also be discussed before marriage. Additionally, arrangements should be made to either pay them off as quickly as possible or get caught up. You want to start your marriage together on a beautiful path, not in a deep hole of messy debt.
The differences between both parties will also become apparent during the wedding planning process. Couples should avoid going overboard, getting into debt to fund a wedding. Taking out loans to cover the cost of a wedding is extremely unwise and could be very expensive. Instead, couples should start their marriage off in the best financial way by avoiding debt from the beginning. Before planning the wedding, create a household budget. This will help combat overspending. Exercise discipline and keep your finances in order while planning the best day of your life.
of “keeping up with the Jones.” Further, do not discuss personal finances with friends or family members. Instead, work together to build a healthy financial future. No one enters into a marriage thinking it may fail, but money problems can create a big mess in your marriage causing many disagreements. Most of these problems can revolve around control and trust. The very practical points of discussion identified earlier can be difficult to have; however if both parties invite God into both his/her financial lives it makes a huge difference. If you allow God to enter into the process, watch Him do some amazing things with your finances. Remember, marriage is a joint relationship between God, husband and wife. Don’t leave Him out of this. After all, this conversation also provides the opportunity to make sure both individuals are on the same page when it comes to biblical principles about money such as tithing and giving.
Be clear on other debts as well such as car loans, student loans and child support.
Next, talk about bank accounts how much money is in those accounts (savings, checking, investment and money market accounts). Make a decision to either keep pre-existing accounts or open joint accounts. This discussion will reveal each person’s money personality. The type of accounts each person has makes it easy to ascertain which party is the spender and which is the saver. Understanding how each thinks about and deals with money is the foundation that creates healthy communication. An inability to communicate about money sets the stage for a long and painful future. Therefore, talk through how your money personalities are different, and consider how each will compromise when the inevitable conflict arises.
22 REWIND / March-April 2013
A budget can be a little overwhelming, but it helps keep things in perspective and produces positive forward progression towards realistic financial goals. A budget tells money where to go instead of leaving couples wondering where it went. It also promotes unity as couples agree on short and long term goals. Plan early to buy a house, a new car, save for retirement and/or a nice vacation. Setting these goals will help you plan for the future. As you achieve these goals, your faith and confidence in God will increase. Make sure to celebrate and give God thanks. One of the greatest traps young couples fall into is abandoning their plan and allowing family members and/or friends to pressure them into doing things they are not financially prepared to do. Avoid this trap by sticking to the plan. There is no need to impress anyone so don’t fall into the trap
Pray that God will allow you to put your marriage above any individual concerns you have. Ask God to show you how He wants you to earn your money, use it and distribute it. Humble yourself to accept God’s guidance and ask God to give both of you the strength to release control of your money and give the control to God.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given to him. (James 1:5 KJV)
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Keeping TheTEMPO Maintaining A Healthy Marriage While Balancing Music & Ministry by Terrance & Tamara Hundley
Steven & Deborah Ford
usic is both the art and the science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds to produce melodic, harmonious expressions and emotions. Music-makers (singers, musicians, arrangers and composers) create symphonies of sound. Having a great marriage can be compared to a symphony or a concerto. Consider this; the standard form of any musical composition must have several movements to complete the work. These movements express diverse musical modes, colors, tempos and dynamics. From my perspective, musical dynamics are incredibly similar to what we all must face in a successful relationship. First, music must be cohesive. When it is not, a pleasant sound is not produced. This is also true of marriage. Two are to become one. Ironically, one of the obstacles music-makers face when attempting to develop a cohesive marriage can be the music itself. Mixing the two, music and marriage, is challenging. Music can exhibit the strength of the mythical Hercules, pulling music-makers in a thousand different ways. It can even become an opposing force, having demanding deadlines that can shake the foundation of a once secure relationship. A musician can develop tunnel vision, only seeing the end of that great production or great song, and fail to see that the unbridled pull of musical ambition can cause catastrophic results in a marriage. The unfortunate result of tunnel vision is that we become insensitive to the needs of our mates and replace intimate heartfelt moments with discussions of how to reach end results. Real communication does not take place because the needs of both individuals are not addressed. Music-makers who are being pulled in so many different directions can lose sight
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Steven & Deborah Ford KEEPING THE TEMPO cont...
of whatâ€™s important. The grind of meeting deadlines and delivering excellent music for others can often leave a symphony of sour notes in our marriages. Balance in our relationships is a mandate which can only be satisfied by sacrificing and setting private time with our mates as a priority. If this is neglected, the audience will embrace beautiful music created at that expense of our marriages. When a scale fails to point to zero and no longer can be trusted for accuracy it must be recalibrated. Music-makers must recalibrate daily in order for our marriages to stay pitch worthy and be successful. I feel that many musicians and creative individuals produce the best music, art, and service in the midst of pressure and other internal challenges. Those challenges â€“ brokenness and unbalance â€“ contribute to the pain of love which itself has a
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sound. Those same challenges should also initiate a quest to victoriously navigate both the mountain top experiences as well as the valley experiences. That too has a sound. Every relationship encounters both. As music-makers, our responsibility is to balance the two. The balance needed for relational survival can only be developed by redirecting the energy used to complete each deadline and each project toward balancing special quality time with our mates. Sporadic balance will result in a continued spasmodic delight. On the contrary, if musicians recalibrate and plan continued deliberate and consistent time, we will experience a completely different result: consistent balance and everlasting joy with our mates. In the working world of music ministry, performance or production, each performance and each project becomes a journey in pursuit of a
marked destiny. For the musician, singer, arranger, and the producer, that destination, though far away, is that small beacon of light that becomes brighter as it gets closer. It is the completion of the song, the final composition, that inspiring performance and the final mix that motivates music-makers to fight through the night. It keeps us fighting through the fog. It motivates us to drive ahead even though we’re unable to see what awaits. But no one who commits to this musical journey travels empty handed, there is always baggage. That baggage can be the obstacle that not only hinders the completion of a successful project; it also can be the detriment to our marriages. Of the several pieces of luggage, which can cause serious problems two standout; the first is communication, which is a form of the word communion. A marriage can never become unified without the breaking of bread. Jesus used the breaking of bread to symbolize his willingness to become the one body, broken for us. In like manner, the music-maker must be willing to break away from habits that can cause separation in communication. This is the only way oneness is accomplished. Too often music-makers get so involved with the language of music that we neglect the corresponding verbal communication our spouses need. The marriage language suffers from neglect and falls prey to countless hours of listening, editing, writing, recording, arranging, and analyzing a wide pallet of sounds. All of this sound often mutes the subtle sound of our mates’ voices in their simple monophonic tones. Sure, the symphony is completely audible, but often musicians stumble when it comes to being sensitive to the loud message of silence. Therefore, music-makers must know when to turn the music off and pay closer attention to the sounds of their mates’ hearts. The second piece of baggage that can cause discomfort in the marriages of music-makers is time management. The proper delegation of time
can be addressed through restructuring. The Old Testament teaches us to reverence the Sabbath. This is simply a time management principle. Musicmakers need to restructure their lives to ensure that we include personal rejuvenation time for our marriages. To meet that challenge there must be a scheduled day of rest and refreshing. No music, no business, just scheduling what our mates want to do. Make it a practice. Neglecting to do this can wreck a relationship. Getting the final mix is absolutely essential, but if we are not attentive to and concerned about the marital mix we may be surprised to find what has been edited out of our marriages. Author Andre Gide once said “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” A real close look in the mirror will reveal what needs work in your marriage. It will also bring to light the part of you that should be hated enough for you to want to change. Your relationship with your wife or husband will produce a better song without the weight of unnecessary baggage. Many times the music of the lives of those married to music-makers can be filled with dissonance in private while everyone hears the harmonious tones your mate produces in public. The wonderful bliss of marriage for the music-maker can be successful by committing to working through each situation and holding fast to the belief that your communication can always produce communion if you keep God first. Be honest with each other and remember that your love can grow only when you promise to harmonize . . . together . . . forever. By Steven & Deborah Ford
“The baggage of the working musician can often be the inability to be sensitive to the composition of our companion.”
Fawn Elizabeth Johnson & Thomas Adam Johnson
KEEPING THE TEMPO ADAM - Depending on my musical obligation Iâ€™m a Musical Director, Bassist, Song Writer and Producer. I also consult and do artist development. FAWN - Wife, educator and mother to be. Fawn and Adam have been married five years. They reside in Randallstown, Maryland and are currently expecting their first child. Read how they keep the tempo in their marriage in the following interview.
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You have to learn to compromise and appreciate the gift. ADAM
Q. How often does your job pull you away from home? A. I’m gone about once a month for no longer than two weeks. I am very rarely gone longer than that since I’ve married. When I was a bachelor I was never in town. To that end, I think business men should examine the pros and cons of traveling as a married men instead of accepting every call. It may not be worth it in the long run. Q. When is your family time and what specifically do you do to balance the time you spend with your spouse? A. When I’m home family time is usually after 7:00pm. I try to answer emails, practice etc. and handle business during the day so my nights are available. Q. What job related obstacles do you face in your marriage? How do you overcome those obstacles? A. Job related obstacles I face in marriage include traveling, inconsiderate people that don’t value my time, and my family and friends misunderstanding my career. Working in the music industry confuses people because it’s not a 9-5. Another obstacle is that sometimes people pay you late or not at all. That can be challenging. Bringing work related stress home isn’t healthy either. It’s a good practice to leave work at work.
FAWN Q. How does your husband’s schedule affect your marital relationship? A. During our first year of marriage, it was really hard. Adam was touring and traveling a lot and it took a toll on me. Over the years it has gotten a lot better. Now, he isn’t gone for months
at a time like before. When he does travel, it works out because I have that time to myself and he does as well.
Q. What specifically do you do to help balance the schedule in your personal relationship? A. When he is home we spend a lot of time together, that also makes it easier when he needs to take time for work and to practice. When he is away, we communicate through either phone or skype as much as possible. If he is working locally, and it is possible, I travel with him. Q. Are there times when you feel that he’s married to the music and not you? If yes, how do you deal with that? If no, explain a little? A. In the beginning of our marriage, there were times I felt like the music took a lot of his time. I had to realize that music is such a big part of his life and has been for a long time. It took time, but I’ve learned to be as understanding as possible when he needs time to practice and work. Musicians work at the weirdest times. Something could pop into his head in the middle of the night and he’ll get up to go practice and play it out for hours. It took some time getting used to it, but I could not come between him and his music. It did feel like a third person was in our marriage at times, which did bother me at first. Over the years I have really come to appreciate his craft, skill, and dedication to his music. I know sometimes it is an outlet for him. He goes to another place while playing. Sometimes I sit and listen to new things that he creates, and I love when he invites me to be a part of that experience. I am still growing, and every day I learn more about what it
means to be married to a musician. I no longer feel like there is another person in our marriage, but look at it as his passion, his craft, and his work. I find it amazing.
ADAM & FAWN Q. What advice can you offer to other couples in music ministry about keeping the tempo & finding balance for their marital relationships? FAWN: It takes a great deal of strength, patience, and understanding to be married to a musician, but looking at it through his eyes makes it a lot easier. You have to learn to compromise and appreciate the gift that God has blessed them with and realize, like any other job or skill, music takes time and dedication. As long as you make time for one another and cherish the time you do have together, then the time your spouse is away traveling or practicing won’t take a toll on your relationship. Also, have hobbies of your own so you don’t feel like you are alone while they are away. That way you can appreciate the time you have for yourself. Lastly, it is very important to keep other people out of your relationship. Things always look different from the outside looking in, but only you and your spouse know what is really going on in your relationship.
ADAM: If I can give any advice to
other married couples in ministry it would be to support one another and have a life outside of your careers. Have fun together and hang out. Keep it simple.
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his was more than a cliché. It was an entire movement in the church. There was a period of time when every church in America was saying name it and claim it. It got a bit out of hand when women started naming and claiming husbands. Unfortunately, many of these men were already spoken for. Pastors across America had to tell single, female congregants that it was not their job to find a husband. It was the man’s job to find a wife. Yes, this movement went slightly amiss. However, there is a lot married couples can learn from the principle behind the misguided moment; especially if they find their marriage to be in a place of dissonance. First, let’s consider the scriptural root of this saying: (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. – Romans 4:17. For years many have misquoted this scripture as saying “speak those things which be not as though they were.” Misquoted, the scripture carries the denotation that we have the capability to speak into existence things that are not currently in existence. However, that is not what this scripture is actually saying. This scripture is actually speaking of Abraham’s faith in God. It suggests that the faith Abraham had in God’s ability to do the impossible was not a foolish faith. After all, the One Abraham had faith in was the one true and living God, the God who has the ability to quicken the dead, and the God who has the ability to call into existence things that did not exist prior to His call. At the moment He spoke of them, the nonexistent became tangible reality. Though they were never formed before, their name was established by God. Thus, when He called their names they had to come forth even though they were not known of or present prior to His calling. That is power and a reason to have the unshakeable faith Abraham exhibited.
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Unshakeable faith is what gives us the ability to use words, not to create, but to control and change what already exists. Matthew 17:20 says, “ And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” The mountain has already been named. It already exists, but through faith your words can determine where that mountain resides. Through faith your words can transform a mountain into a stepping stone. Through faith your words can make the mountain a place of refuge instead of a trial to be overcome. Through faith your words can cause the mountain to become a source of shade instead of an unbeatable giant. Your words have power, but only in the presence of faith. How does this apply to marriage? Often we find ourselves in disharmonious marriages. The discord of marriage can seem insurmountable. We feel like achieving balance and harmony is a hopeless and impossible task. When something is displeasing to the ear the natural response is to get away from it. That is the same response we have when we encounter dissonance in our marriages. Instead of responding naturally, consider responding with faith. Like Abraham, your faith can make the impossible possible. Like Abraham, your faith is valid. The creator God is the One in whom you believe. He has spoken your marriage into existence. He has also spoken
into existence the mountain you now face in your marriage. Further, He has given you the power/ authority/dominion to rule over that mountain. After he formed it, He stepped back and gave you dominion over it. There is nothing in your life that was not created by God and, simultaneously, placed under your authority. Why would God form an obstacle? God formed the obstacle Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3-4. The current struggle has purpose. It is attempting to teach us to be patient. Who better to assist us with the acquisition of patience than the ones we love the most – our spouses. This trying is perfecting us. The more we yield to this process and exercise our faith during the process, the more whole we become. The end result is we are fully satisfied, wanting absolutely nothing. It all begins with a word spoken by faith. A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:20-21 What are you speaking over your marriage? Are you exercising faith or speaking dissonance and discord? Are you at a place where you just don’t know what to speak? Identify scripture that addresses your need and start speaking it over that situation. - LaTonya Gibson
ot p S ot H
AMBASSADOR Dining Room Royal Indian Cuisine
have the belief that dining should be an experience. The Ambassador Dining Room shares that belief. Nestled in the heart of Baltimore on the lower level of the Ambassador Apartments, the Ambassador Dining Room’s ambiance entices its clientele to embark on a culinary journey that begins, not with the taste buds, but with the sense of sight. Immediately, you are embraced by the heavy wooden furniture, the massive fireplaces and glowing candlelight. As you venture further into the restaurant you come upon what can only be described as a secret garden. The garden’s beauty, enhanced by its flowing fountain, is enough to make you forget the tumult of your day and relax into the moment. Once seated you are catered to by the entire wait staff. It is as if they anticipate your needs and make it their business to ensure they are met. Each staff member was extremely courteous. Since The Ambassador Dining Room serves East Indian cuisine, I had a few questions which my waitress responded to in the most polite manner. Once the order was placed, the wait time seemed a little long, but not inordinately. This is not the place to go if you want to have a quick bite. It is not designed to be that place. It is designed to be the place you go to have the total experience. Don’t try to rush it,
you’ll miss the point. Go to sit and have real conversation. Go to enjoy the person you’re with and the atmosphere you’ve entered. East Indian food is well seasoned and the sauces are rich. The Ambassador Dining Room does an excellent job training the American palate to the alluring flavors of the east. I have a weakness for lamb and ordered Boti Kebab Masala. This dish consists of grilled lamb in a masala sauce. It was perfect. Contrary to popular belief, all East Indian foods are not set on scorch. This dish was not spicy at all, but quite flavorful. I coupled it with a must – garlic naan. Naan is unleavened bread. It comes in a few varieties. Garlic Naan is topped with garlic and coriander. It is the perfect way to enjoy the abundance of sauce from the main course. Unfortunately, I was too stuffed to get dessert, but if you like truly sweet desserts, try the Gulab Jamun. From past experience this dessert takes sweet to a completely new level. My entire experience at The Ambassador Dining Room was exquisite. It is the place to go for a truly romantic date. I would also highly recommend it for special events. The garden is the perfect place to host bridal showers, birthdays, even a classic and timeless wedding. - Latonya Gibson
3811 Canterbury Road Baltimore, MD 21218 410 366-1484
I’M A PK!”
oung and old bodies are strewn all over the road and the nearby fields. Arms, legs, and …what are those? Vital organs necessary to sustain life! This is not a scene from a Warner Brothers film production. CNN, HLN and Fox News are not present to describe what is happening? Those intrusive investigative reporters are nowhere to be found? Who do these bones and body parts belong to? Some of them look like young babies, infants, young adolescents, maturing teenagers, young adults and even some old faces…so many, so many. Yet there is no large bus. A plane has not crashed. Who are these people? Who do these beautiful, but crushed children belong to? Why are there so many teen-agers? Why does it look like it is the result of some rambunctious party? As I look closer I see a hand holding a marijuana stick and someone else seemed to have been drinking beer and whiskey… What is going on? They look so familiar; like I know them. Like I have seen them on Television or heard them on the Radio. The familiarity makes me take a closer look. Could it be? No, it can’t be. They look like pastors and preachers kids. Oh my God, what happened? They had such bright futures and after all they live with Godly, Anointed, Appointed, ‘Blessed and Highly Favored Parents’… or do they? This vision has further compelled me to accept my next assignment…ministry to the PK’s of the Kingdom through-out the world. It was not so long ago that I (a PK) was lying in the middle of the street trying to cope with molestation, depression and anxiety, wanting so badly to be “perfectly perfect in my imperfections” so Daddy and Mama would love me more than they love “those other people”. So that the saints at the church would stop hurting me with their lies, back-biting, jealously, bitterness! Jealousy? Wow, if they
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only knew that PKs were not having the fun they thought we were having, they certainly would not be jealous. Yes, my daddy is the Pastor. Yes, my daddy is the Bishop. Yes, my mom is the First Lady. Yes, we have a larger car, but that is not because of greed or lust, but because we have a larger family. There are thirteen kids in our immediate family. I haven’t even begun to mention everyone in the church who wants to be a part of our family and; consequently, keep showing up at our home long after worship services are over Sunday after Sunday. Sunday afternoon is that day and time we preacher’s kids hope to have some uninterrupted time with mama and daddy, yet here come the masses ready to eat, to play, to break our toys and then talk about us they leave us. If our family was so “all that,” why, at just twelve years old, did I walk up to the balcony of my daddy’s new church and attempt suicide by jumping from this elevated point? If we were having so much fun, why did I try so hard to get straight A’s. I didn’t study for knowledge, but for approval, acceptance and acknowledgement. I thought mama and daddy ignored and rejected my attempts for attention…what I didn’t realize was they were just two people trying to touch each other, touch their thirteen children and touch the masses of “sheep assigned them in God’s Kingdom” and all in a day but they were only two people…! There were simply too many people for only two people. Every time Preacher’s Kids have to share our parents with so many others while needing them the most ourselves, a part of us dies. Every time Preacher’s Kids (whether 6 or 60) try to get over church hurt-you know mean deacons and ushers, jealous secretaries and administrators, being over-looked when talented and gifted, a part of us dies! Every time Preacher’s kids need to tell their parents
something without feeling judged by their pastors; a part of us dies! Every time these parents are so busy that their children have to make appointments to see their own parents…a part of us dies! Every time my dad make a dumb private decision that had monumental public consequences; a part of me died! Every time we abruptly moved and it became necessary for me to start a new school because Daddy got a bigger church; a part of me died! I was dying, bleeding, broken, and gasping for air (life). I was lost, in the dark, alone, scared and frightened. Like those described earlier, I’d crashed and almost died living…what about the other preacher’s kids that did die living? They’ve DIED, but no one is even planning their funeral. Parents, friends and saints are too busy with chuch to notice the dead! Is there hope for the hundreds…I dare say thousands of wounded, fatally wounded Preacher’s Kids. Does God see? Yes! Does God care? Yes! What can God do about it? In the Ezekiel 37:1-12 (the Message Bible) the prophet testified this, and perhaps was speaking right to the hearts and lives of Preacher’s Kids today: “God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and sat me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them – a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain-dry bones, bleached by the sun. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Master God, only you know that”. He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!”. God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!” I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them. He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!” So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army. Then God said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Listen to what they’re saying: ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone, there’s nothing left of us. There, prophesy. Tell them, ‘God, the MASTER, says: I’ll dig up your graves and bring you out alive- my people! Then I’ll take you straight to the land of Israel.” Today, I speak prophetically to every Preacher’s Kid that has been laying in the fields and streets of life, waiting for rescue and recovery. Just as the Prophet Ezekiel was anointed to prophesy over the dead, dry bones hundreds of years ago and the breath of God came back and restored life; I too prophesy. Today, I look at those of you hurting, aching, angry, and bitter and command the breath of God to return to
your lungs (spiritual and natural) and cause you to live again. I command the broken pieces of your life to come back together as the spirit and power of the living God gently, yet at times abruptly, shakes you and causes you to breathe again. I know you’ve been so hurt that you said in your heart “forget it”. But God says “he can never forget you…that you are a part of his finger print.” That’s how close we are to him. Right now…lift your eyes and see the loving, caring, gentle Jesus beckoning you to arise from your graves of defeat (high school and college drop outs, pregnant teen-agers, addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex). Get up today and run back into life with Jesus. You are his Love Child. He forever loves you, wants you, and will forever rescue you…starting today! I prophesy new life, new visions, and new victories (God doesn’t want you to become a victim but has made you an overcoming victor). Arise, Get up. Get back into life. Stretch your muscles. Exercise your gifts in life. Run your race! Throw your head up high, for by faith you will cross the finish line…as The Winner! How do I do this, Wanda? For some, memories of a painful past are blocked by what can be deemed a gift from God…amnesia. Amnesia handles those pains and sorrows that have become too difficult for us to handle ourselves. However, God has provided something that will free us from our pasts forever. Freedom from the past is essential because the greatest enemy of the new is the old. The greatest enemy, to our destiny is our history. How do we push past the history of our lives and walk in new destiny? Remember to Forget! How do I do that? Isaiah 43:1819 (the Message Bible) declares, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new.” The King James Versions says, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing: now it shall spring forth.” As soon as we do our part by forgetting the past (quit rehearsing the past), God does his part. He brings us into something brand new! Our Creator and Savior begins re-writing the chapters of our lives. One of the key ingredients in forgetting is forgiving. Therefore, we must learn the power of forgiving: • Forgive because God says to forgive and empowers us to forgive through him. • Forgive even when the guilty party hasn’t asked for forgiveness. Know that God forgave us on Calvary before we asked him. • Forgive because if we do not forgive those who have harmed us, God is not obligated to forgive us when we harm him (“Forgive my debts as I forgive my debtors” – The Lord’s Prayer). • Forgive because un-forgiveness is a gateway to major health problems; cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. • Forgive because un-forgiveness ages you and makes you look old! The list of reasons to forgive is endless, yet it is one of the most difficult things
God requires of us. Why is forgiving so difficult? Because we are trying to forgive the sins people have committed against us instead of just forgiving the person. Let God handle the sin. You see the word declares, “Only God can forgive sins.” Stop playing God. Forgive people and let God forgive the sins of the people. Afterward, turn wholeheartedly back to the Lord Jesus and allow him to be your Lord and Savior once again. There is a powerful quarterly devotional entitled, “THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY”. At the close of every devotional booklet, this publication gives Three Reasons Why You Need Jesus. Let me share them with you now: 1. Because you have a past. You can’t go back, but He can. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.” He can walk into those places of sin and failure, wipe the slate clean, and give you a new beginning. 2. Because You Need A Friend. Jesus knows the worst about you, het He believes the best. Why? Because He sees you not as you are, but as you will be when He gets through with you. What a Friend? 3. Because He Holds the Future. Who else are you going to trust? In His hands you are safe and secure-today, tomorrow, and for all eternity. His Word says, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12 TLB). PK’s (young or old), I am so honored to have had this time with you. I only regret I am not sitting in room with you right now. Be encouraged that God will cause “all things to work for the good” even the bad horrible things of your past. Now an adult, I look back over my life and thank God for every ugly, horrible circumstance because although the “devil meant it for evil, God turned all of those things for good”. I can speak directly into your heart, because I am one of you. I have walked where you are walking. I have lived where you are living. I promise you that your tomorrow is better. The mess of my yesteryears prepared me for my today and my tomorrow. “Message” is a compound word composed of “mess” and “age”. “Mess” represents the issues, the problems, and the junk of our lives. The other word “Age” is another word for Time. That means in time, your mess becomes your message and will allow you to help others . . . you know those that when you meet them you see in their eyes what you use to see in your mirror. My mess has become my message. PK’s hurry up and be healed. There are so many others waiting for your loving words and touches. Go on… you can do it! I send you big hugs and prayers for your best. I love you dearly… -Just Wanda
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LYRICS OF LOVE
A REWIND Survey by Rosalyn Hall
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THE MISSING PIECE TO “MAKING YOUR VISION A REALITY”
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