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Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Teri Washington

HARVEST EXECUTIVE EDITOR George Washington ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Renee Buford

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COPY EDITOR Deneise Bradley PHOTO EDITOR Darnell Gourdine FEATURE CONTRIBUTORS Clayton Coates, Keith Douglas, Debora Hooper, FEATURE NEWS EDITOR Dominque Robinson, INSPIRATION Cheryl Pullins HEALTH + FITNESS EDITOR Pamela Turner Advertising Sales Kevin Counts George Washington *Cover Design - J. Crosby, Vision Studios 7

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contributors | Debora Hooper Pastor, Author and Conference Speaker for Leaders, Women & Singles. Her book Evangelist and Minister’s Handbook is a must read for all in ministry. Visit her at www.DeboraHooper.com

Dominique Ayesha Robinson Rev. Dominique A. Robinson (MDiv, ThM), an ordained elder of the AME Zion Church, is on staf at Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA). She is the author of Unshopke Praise: A Manual on Liturgical Praise Dance and a much sought after proclaimer and instructor of the Gospel. You can reach Dominique at Revdeominiquerobinson@gmail.com

Cheryl Pullins Cheryl Pullins is a business coach for aspiring, new and seasoned women entrepreneurs in the areas of shifting their mindset, understanding their market and monetizing their business for profit using a simple success system that enables them to focus on their brillance. For more information about Cheryl, log onto http://wwwlliveinvictory.org

Clayton Coates, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Coppell in Coppell, Texas, and advisory board member for ChristianMingleÂŽ, the largest and fastest growing online community for Christian singles.

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EXPECT THE HARVEST | editor’snote

Live in EXCELLENCE My Mother was a educator for over 40 years. That was not always a good thing for me and my siblings because the standard of excellence was set very high. Her thought was, the educators children must do their very best always. I remember bringing home a test that I didn’t do so well on that required her signature. She told me under no circumstances was she going to sign it. I looked at her confused. She knew I had to return it to my teacher the next day or suffer consequences. My Mother said something to me that I never forgot. She said she was not going to put her name on anything that was not excellent. I believe it was Dr. Myles Monroe who said, “Excellence is the minimum standard in the Kingdom of God.” People will remember you by the standard of life that you live. If you are the type of person who procrastinates, it will come out in the quality of your work. If you cut corners and are a “take it or leave it person” then that will show forth also. It doesn’t matter what level you are on, be the best that you can be on that level. My Mother wanted me to learn that a persons name and work is a direct reflection on their life and how they will be remembered. Christians should be setting the standard for others to follow. We should have the best credit, organized offices and clean homes. Excellence should be your minimum standard of life not for others but for yourself.. If you have some cleaning to do, don’t worry we have tons of tips to help you spring clean your life. It was my absolute pleasure to attend the WEtv premier event of the Mary Mary reality show. Erica and Tina talked very candidly about the new show, their growing families and new cd recording, “Go get it”. The reality show is a huge deal, as they are the first Christian group to have a reality show on a secular station. As always, I love hearing from you. Inbox me, tweet me or email me and let me know how you’re spring cleaning your life.

1Coringth 14:8 Teri Washington Publisher & Editor-in-Chief 6 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


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facebook @harvestmagazineonline Love the cover and love them too! Meaningful examples of a great marriage and all around great people! - Zenaida Martin, Charlotte NC Wow! wonderful issue. There’s nothing like having spiritual parents in your life. I love it! - Anna Zamora Thanks Bishop and Pastor Mary! The both of you are a great example of a true marriage. - Carressa Simmons, Franklin Park, NJ

twitter @harvestmagazine Everybody check out @harvestmagazine Editor Teri Washington and the crew there are an incredible blessing to the Kingdom. Follow Now! @TheSealBreakers Blessings to you on your awesome magazine; great work and very inspiring. Just read your article withFred Hammond and loved it! @kimjwoods

email info@harvestmagazine.net I’d like to order a copy of the last HARVEST edition. It’d be great if you could send us an edition in Germand and in English. Thomas Kuendig Switzerland

WRITE FOR US! HARVEST through its editorial content, is a vessel to inform Christians about Christian principles for everyday living and enrourages maximizing your full potential. To date, over45K people have read HARVEST. Our mission is to sound a clear call to the body of Christ. If you think you have what it takes to write for HARVEST send a letter of inquiry to info@harvestmagazine.net 8 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


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V

Here’s what a few people are saying about TAKE OFF THE MASK: “My woman’s group in Florida just completed your book TAKE OFF THE MASK and I must say, what a bessing! We took our time going through each chapter, discussing each point and applying it to our lives. There is so much truth in your book, and I am so glad you allowed God to use you in this way to reach so many people.”

“Over the past few years I’ve been suffering from depression, but in the most recent months it began to cripple me. Thank God for your book, TAKE OFF THE MASK. After reading it God has delivered me from depression.”

“My professor used your book, TAKE OFF THE MASK in my seminary class. I was so blessed by your transparency, I would love for you to speak at my event.” Experience TAKE OFF THE MASK for yourself. It’s not just a book it’s a movement! Get your coy today at facebook/Takeoffthemask. 10 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


Vanity

Refresh your Style!

Organize your closet, host a swap party, think pastels. Here’s all you need to spring your wardrobe into action.

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Wedding day and Prom night are just right around the corner. These cotton candy inspirations would work for both occasions.

The color of this Jil Sander Market Tote is so perfectly, icily pale I think I cooled off a few degrees just by looking at it. Bag Net-porter.com Pumps Nine West. 12 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


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Request rates at info@harvestmagazine.net With over 50,000 unique views and counting, HARVEST will reach your target audience. Be apart of the fastest growing Christian Lifesyle Magazine. Contact us today for ad rates.

14 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


NOTHING TO WEAR?

Organize a successful clothes swap: ·

Invite your friends & ask your friends to invite their friends

·

About 10-15 people is the goal - aim for all shapes & sizes

·

If you are hosting the swap at your house, make sure you have at least two full-length mirrors available

·

For those of us who are modest, make sure there are other rooms available to dress and undress. If this isn’t possible, remind people they can wear a body suit or bathing suit underneath their clothing if they wish.

·

Clothes swaps can be seasonal, but they don’t have to be: The best clothes swaps have all seasons clothing.

·

If two people want the same item, you can have fun with this by either a coin toss, or having each person model the item of clothing and have a vote (do this only if you’re sure there won’t be hard feelings).

·

If you have second thoughts about an item you have up for grabs - speak up quickly. A simple “Hmm, I’m not so sure I’m ready to give that up yet,” should suffice, before someone else gets too attached to the item.

·

Be prepared - for a good time! You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have with a group of women trying on clothing!

Marcia Passos Duffy is a freelance writer and the publisher/editor of The Heart of New England online magazine and weekly e-newsletter www.theheartofnewengland.com HARVEST | APRIL 2012 15


Beauty 16 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


Spring Clean your Skin!

F

acials are just one of the steps to maintaining healthy, clear skin but can also be a relaxing way to pamper yourself. Facials consist of the cleansing and exfoliating of the skin and the extraction of blackheads or whiteheads that clog pores. Often times, facials are designed or catered to a client’s skin type or problem areas. Everyone’s skin is different, but whether skin is dry, oily, a combination of the two, sensitive or normal, there is a facial to cater to its needs.

Kai Body Buffer is a light blend of natural essences and exotic perfumes, infused in a hypo-allergenic sponge to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize the skin. Comes freshly packaged in a set of two sponges that release Kai scented foaming bubbles when wet. Provides approximately 30 uses. Each sponge comes individually packaged in a green Kai box.

Exfoliating facials are designed to remove dead cells on the outer layers of the skin and speed cell turnover, restoring a healthy glow and even skin tone. Benefits to exfoliating are endless, from everything from increasing blood circulation and reducing fine lines and wrinkles to stimulating cellular renewal, so slough away.

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HARVEST | APRIL 2012 17


Organize ·

Powders and pencils last the longest, so you can keep them for one year. Pencils should be sharpened each time you use them, for a fresh surface.

·

Liquid foundations and concealers can start to separate (and germs prefer to grow on moist surfaces), so discard them after six months.

·

Lipsticks and lip glosses should also be changed after six months (and sooner if you’ve had a recent cold sore). Always wipe off the top of a lipstick or lip gloss after using it.

·

Mascara should be tossed after three months.

·

If you use brushes for your blush or foundation, wash them at least once a week (which will also allow them to deposit powder more evenly).

1

Plastic Drawer Organizer: When counter space is limited, the low profile design of an office or vanity organizer is perfect for a cosmetics drawer. The different sized compartments are great for separating all of your products. Try to find one that is plastic so that if one of your containers should leak, you can remove the tray and wash it. The Expand-A-Drawer Vanity Organizer, $13.99, OrganizeIt.com, offers 13 divided compartments and fits in a drawer.

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2

YOUR MAKEUP DRAWER BY MALIA FREY/ dailyglow.com

If your makeup drawer looks like mine used to look, you’ve got tons of cosmetics that are tossed together in one giant mess, making it impossible to find what you need when you are inspired to try a new look. And if you’re like me, you don’t want to break the bank trying to clean it up. So, if you need to know how to organize your makeup drawer and you want to stay on a budget, keep reading. Here are a few inexpensive products that will get your cosmetics organized and ready to use when beauty inspiration strikes.

Cutlery Tray: An inexpensive alternative to the vanity organizer is a simple cutlery tray. The Rubbermaid 2944-RD-FCLR Smart Solutions Cutlery Tray, $5.03, Amazon.com, provides long narrow spaces for brushes, mascaras, pencils, and other tools. If you want to know how to organize your makeup for the least amount of money, this is your best bet.

3

Pencil case: If your makeup drawer is especially flat or narrow, a pencil-case might be a good organizing tool for you. Get a few inexpensive cases at your local office supply store to accommodate various shapes of products. A clear pouch, such as the Office Depot Brand Vinyl Storage Pouch, $1.99, OfficeDepot.com, allows you to see the products stored inside, and its flexible shape will fit inside most flat or narrow drawers.


4

Permanent Marker: Once you know how to organize your makeup drawer, you also need to make sure that your products stay safe. For that reason, a permanent marker is one of your best beauty tools. After buying a new cosmetic, use the marker to write the purchase date on the outside of the product. Remember that beauty products expire! Keep track of when you bought your products, then check this list to see when they need to be replaced.

5

6

Moisture and humity will Cover portable makeup decompose press powders brushes and store them in and lipsticks. The best way to a clean, empty pocket in prevent this from happening is your purse. Unprotected to store cosmetics somewhere other brushes are germ and dirt magthan the bathroom. Because of hot nets, especially if they’re used to baths, showers, and sudden tempera- apply liquid makeup or lipstick. ture changes, the bathroom is by far the most humid room in the average home. The best place to store cosmetics is in a bedroom that is not connected to a bathroom, or in a storage cabinet in another room with consistently low humidity. HARVEST | APRIL 2012 19


Request rates at info@harvestmagazine.net With over 50,000 unique views and counting, HARVEST will reach your target audience. Be apart of the fastest growing Christian Lifesyle Magazine. Contact us today for ad rates.

20 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


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From removing dust to banishing bathroom grime, we’ve got five solutions for cleaning your home for spring and keeping it that way all year long.

using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner or wash according to the label directions. Keep them clean later. To avoid dirt and dust buildup, open and close your window treatments often and gently shake them. Give dust a few minutes to fall to the floor so you can easily wipe it up with a dust mop or towel.

1. Remove dust now. Household dust is made up of tracked-in dirt, sloughed-off skin cells, pet dander and dust mite excrement and corpses. For a thorough dusting, work your way from top to bottom so you don’t have to go over surfaces more than once. Help keep dust at bay.  Stash a pack of Pledge® Wipes in a decorative basket by the staircase so you can grab a wipe to run along the banister on your way up or down the stairs. Put another pack in the living room so you can stay on top of dust while watching your favorite shows. You can also avoid dusting small appliances you seldom use by storing them in a large Ziploc® Brand Big Bag. 2. Master microwave messes now.  Boil a cup of water in the microwave. The steam will help loosen dried-on food particles so you can easily wipe them away using a paper towel. To clean up messes before they dry, try Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial spray. Keep it mess-free later.  Use a microwave food cover to keep your microwave clean and free from food splatters. Most 22 HARVEST | APRIL 2012

covers cost between $2 and $10 and are dishwasher-safe. 3. Tackle laundry now. Spring-cleaning brings loads of extra laundry. As tempting as it may be to try to get the job done quicker, don’t overload the washer or dryer. Clothes need to move freely in the machine to come out clean and wrinkle-free. Instead, save time by reducing the need for sorting with Shout® Color Catcher® with Oxi. Lighten the load later.  Enlist the help of family members by divvying up laundry chores like loading, folding and ironing. To make it easy for everyone to treat stains before they set in, put Shout® Trigger by each hamper. Make sure the young ones are supervised by adults when treating stains. 4. Clean window treatments now.  Window treatments are often overlooked when cleaning, but dirt and dust can build up over time. Give them a thorough cleaning

now.

5. Banish bathroom grime

Wash your shower curtain according to its label and replace the shower curtain liner, which can harbor mold and grime. To rid your tub of soap scum quickly, use the Scrubbing Bubbles® Mega Shower Foamer. Its wide spray ensures you won’t miss a spot, and tough cleaning action makes scrubbing virtually obsolete. Keep it at bay later.  Traditional bar soaps have binders that are the main cause of soapy residue. So try switching to a liquid shower gel or glycerin bar soap to help prevent soap scum buildup. You can also install Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner to keep your shower clean for up to 30 days with the touch of a button. And don’t forget to open a window or run the fan during your shower (and for at least 10 minutes afterward) to avoid mold and mildew buildup. From Johnson and Johnson Right at Home


CLEAN UP YOUR WORKSPACE

A

short afternoon of office re-organization will kick your home business business off on a good track for the new year.

Create a filing system for all your papers and documents. If you already have a filing system, spring marks a great time to clean it out. Your filing should consist of papers that require immediate action, papers that are important but are not of immediate concern, important documents, reference materials, and stuff you should have thrown out a long time ago.

For all your papers that you need for reference, create an easy to use system. Many business owners spend an inordinate amount of time looking for information or documents. Start spring by organizing these papers and you’ll save tons of time during the remainder of the year.

Organize Your Desk in 8 Steps Free “50 Ways to Manage Your Time” tips booklet. Visit www.ineedmoretime.com. Copyright 2002-06 Barbara Myers. All Rights Reserved.

1. Remove everything from your desk. Place your phone on your left if you’re right handed and on the right if you’re left handed. Display personal items elsewhere. 2. Keep a spiral notebook by the phone for messages and phone notes. Write your voice mail messages in it and delete them from the system. Jot down reference notes before you make a call to reduce phone time. 3. Open your planner or turn on your PDA and place it on your desk. Use it to keep track of to-dos, follow-ups and ideas. 4. Keep office supplies in one drawer only. Buy a dozen of your favorite, inexpensive pens and keep them in a cutlery tray in the drawer. Keep back-up supplies in a plastic storage container with drawers 5. Sort through your desk files. Keep in your desk drawers only files you use weekly or those that are personal or confidential. 6. Place your computer at a 90 degree angle to your desk. Keep your desk work surface clear of everything except essentials and your current project. 7. Set up a system for active files either in a step file sorter on your desk or in your file drawer. Sort your paperwork into it: Do, Consider, Awaiting Answer, File, Hold, Read and Refer. 8. Take ten minutes at the end of each day to keep your desk organized. Place tomorrow’s top priority project in the center of your desk. You’re ready for anything! rything done by the time the timer sounds, they win small prizes, such as being able to choose that afternoon’s video to watch, or baking cookies with mom, or something else fun and enticing.

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SPRING CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN Depending on how long you’ve neglected your kitchen, these tasks may take longer than one day. Try tackeling things in zones, refrigerator and pantry, oven, microwave, range hood, etc. Clean out your pots and pans. Scrub cast iron with a soft sponge and coarse salt, then rinse away

the salt. Stainless steel can in fact be stained by heat and hot water. Remove stains with a soft cloth and white vinegar, then dry with a clean cloth. Never soak stainless steel pots and pans because the surfaces will become pitted.

Give your sink a good scrubbing. Keeping your sink clean is a good way to get inspired to do the

dishes instead of leaving them to pile up. Fill the sink to the rim with water and pour in a cup of bleach to disinfect. Scrub the inside of your sink with baking soda to get rid of extra-tough stains. Rinse and finish with a shining spray or wipe.

Don’t forget cupboards and drawers. Empty out your cupboards and drawers, sweep out crumbs

and dust and clean any stains with a wet cloth. If you’re up for it, put new contact paper at the bottom. When you’re cleaning out your drawers and cupboards, keep an eye out for broken dishes and other kitchen accessories. Donate or throw them away and add new versions of the items to your list. 24 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


CLEAN THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR CABINETS AND DRAWERS. You’ll be surprised at how different

your kitchen looks when all of the fingerprints have been wiped off.

ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY. Throw out anything that’s expired, including canned goods and herbs or spices that have been in there for too long. Anything that’s been in there longer than a year may have gone stale. CLEAN YOUR REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER. Do a thorough cleaning here. If your shelves are removable, take them out and wash them in the sink or dishwasher. Scrub out the inside of your fridge with a wet, soapy cloth. Throw out any expired goods. Wipe everything clean with a damp cloth. DECLUTTER THE FRONT OF YOUR REFRIGERATOR if needed and organize your kitchen calendar

and desk area.

CLEAN YOUR MICROWAVE. To get tough gunk off, fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and microwave it on high for a few minutes. Keep the doors closed for a couple more minutes to let the steam work on spills, then wipe everything down with a soapy rag. Rinse and wipe dry. HAVE YOUR KNIVES PROFESSIONALLY SHARPENED. Not only will sharp knives make prep

work easier, but they’ll make it safer as well.

WASH WINDOWS inside and out. DEEP CLEAN FLOORS Sweep under the oven and refrigerator. DUST AND WIPE DOWN WALLS, baseboards and the top of the refrigerator. WASH THE INSIDES OF YOUR GARBAGE CANS. Try using a strong bleach-and-water solution.

Rinse them out and let them dry outside.

CLEAN DRAINS AND GARBAGE DISPOSALS. Run a lemon or a cup of white vinegar through your

garbage disposal to get rid of any unfortunate smells.

CLEAN YOUR OVEN AND GIVE YOUR STOVE A GOOD SCRUBBING. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, make a paste with baking soda and water and slather it on the parts of your oven that need cleaning. Let it dry overnight and scrape the gunk off in the morning. RUN YOUR DISHWASHER WHILE IT’S EMPTY. Add a little white vinegar to it beforehand to get rid of any odors. If you have a food trap in the bottom of your dishwasher, clean it out.

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5 Powerful Ways to Spring Into a New Season By Cheryl Pullins

One of the most relied upon of the five senses is sight. On a basic level, sight is the ability to see with your physical eyes. But if you dig deeper, the ability to see includes creating a mental picture; a visualization. Are you familiar with the term “mind’s eye”? It refers to the human ability for visualization, by experiencing visual mental imagery. Basically it is the ability to “see” with your mind. Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but, no vision.” From this place of seeing, you can spring your life into a new season. Use your “mind’s eye” to see yourself in the future. Where are you? Are you living the life you dreamed of living? Are you experiencing success in all areas of your life? Are you making choices and decisions which allow you to live in freedom? Go to the mirror and say to yourself, “I see you in the future and you look much better than you look right now!” Visualize the life you want and deserve to live. Harness what you see to help create the path to get from

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| inspiration where you are to where you want to be. Use vision to see where you are going.

Dare to create a vision for your life? Tap into the creativity embedded within you to reach your destined place of purpose. Have you taken the steps necessary to find your purpose? That very thing you are passionate about could be the spark you need. I was inspired to help empower women because I encountered individuals who would share with me that they don’t know their purpose. They don’t know why they are on this earth at this appointed time and place. Some stated they have no desire to invest their time, resources or energy to finding their purpose, maximizing their potential and igniting the passion within them! I am hoping that you are not at this place in your life; however, if you are then you are reading this at the right time! Now is the time for you to invest in you. You may have spent years, an enormous amount of resources or endless hours working toward something that is not germane to your purpose. But take the time to think about that thing in your life which makes you sing. That thing you begin to talk about where people can see the twinkle in your eye and the glow in your countenance. Discover, unleash and pursue your passion.

Take a close look at the word “goal”. The first two letters make up the word “go”. Go, to move on a course, proceed or to take a certain course. It is just that simple. Goals are not as complicated as we make them out to be. Goals are what you want to achieve. An effective way to help reach your goals is to break your goals down into a series of tasks. With this in mind, you may only want to tackle two to three goals at one time. When you list out the tasks associated with each goal the list can become pretty long. Begin small, be persistent and consistent.

tor race, revving the engine prepares the car for optimum performance. To get your car warmed up for the race ahead. This is certainly a principle you can apply to your life. Revving your personal engine is a great way to prepare yourself for the race head. Life is often viewed as a race. It takes many components for you to not only get in the race, but to sustain it with speed, persistence, consistency and accuracy. You are the driver and the car you have been given is called life. One of the keys to life is learning to drive and navigate with wise efficiency. A great way to “rev up your engine” is to create positive affirmations which are consistent with the way you see your life in the future. They should be positive and written in present tense. View your future with your “mind’s eye”.

To “kick start” your life is just another way to say “jump start”. It is time to spring into action and re-energize your life. Little to no progress can be made if you are stuck in life with no energy or passions to get the kick start you need. Sometimes in order to get to our next level in life we need a kick – a swift kick. It is time to make room for new experiences by removing thoughts, ideas, negative words and even people that are not helping you to get to your new level in life. What may have worked in the past may not work for your future. Kick start your life by connecting with the right people, change the way you see your life so you can see it in a different way. Pursue your passion and get the tools and resources you need to spring your life into a new season.

Cheryl Pullins is a business coach for aspiring, new and seasoned women entrepreneurs in the areas of shifting their mindset, understanding their market and monetizing their business for profit using a simple success system that enables them to focus on their brillance. For more information about Cheryl, log onto http://wwwlliveinvictory.org

In thinking about revving an engine, car racing came to mind. In preparation for a high speed moHARVEST | APRIL 2012 27


relationship | marriage

Make Your Marriage Last Marriage is a gift from God. Your wife or husband is not only the love of your life, but your best friend and your support system as well. While having this person fulfill so many roles in your life is undoubtedly a great benefit, it can also be hard to fulfill that role on a day to day basis. Clayton Coates, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Coppell in Coppell, Texas, and advisory board member for ChristianMingle®, the largest and fastest growing online com���� munity for Christian singles, is sharing his top three tips to ensure your relationship lasts and remains strong through the inevitable rough patches!

Put God in the Center of Your Marriage

Marriage is not two incomplete people coming together to form one complete person. Our completeness does not come from our union with our spouse, but rather our union with Christ. Therefore, as Christians, one of the best ways to make your marriage last is to ensure both you and your partner are pursuing a solid relationship with the Lord. Spend quality time together praying with one another and for one another. Make it your goal to live a life according to Galatians 5:22-23, “For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.”

Be Open & Honest

Open communication and honesty are two great policies to adhere to in any marriage or any relationship headed toward marriage. When you’ve spent too much money on a big screen TV or a new handbag, share that information with your partner. When you don’t feel comfortable with your spouse’s behavior (whether the problem is large or small), communicate what it is that bothers you. When we don’t communicate, your partner has no way of knowing what’s really happening. Share your most intimate thoughts, feelings and beliefs and your marriage will grow stronger through life’s” bumps” in the road. Remember, communication is only 7% verbal while 93% is tone and non-verbal. So, how you communicate is just as important as what you communicate!

Ask Questions

Often times, we bring “unspoken expectations” to the table we call marriage. These expectations, which we are often unaware of ourselves, come from what was modeled for us growing up. Therefore, we can find ourselves growing frustrated with our spouse, but not quite sure as to why. This is the reason; our “unspoken expectations” are not being met. So what’s the solution? Ask questions! A marriage is a partnership and both partners need to feel free to ask questions of one another. From finances to parenting styles, it’s important to know how your spouse feels about these important subjects. If you don’t know, now is the time to ask! Write down the most important questions you can think of related to topics that commonly cause tension in marriages, such as spending and work habits. Encourage your partner to do the same and then ask away! This way, you’ll both be on the same page and have a greater insight into your relationship. 28 HARVEST | APRIL 2012


relationship | single

By Dr. Debora C. Hooper

CELEBRATED OR TOLERATED? “It is better to be celebrated than tolerated?” Those were my words to NYPD’s first high-ranking,

African American women, Deputy Inspector Juanita Holmes and Captain Vanessa Kight, after they received numerous awards for their outstanding work at the Annual 81st Precinct Police-Clergy Breakfast held in Brooklyn, NY in February. “When people love you and celebrate you”, I stated further, “it makes it easier to come to work everyday”. However, that statement doesn’t just apply to hardworking police officers. As a matter of fact, nowhere is that statement more poignant than for singles that are, or seek to be, in relationships. I know most singles desire to be in relationships, so whenever I minister to them, I often make it a point to highlight that life is short. Therefore, it is never a good idea to waste time in a relationship with someone who does not love and celebrate you. At times, it may be hard for singles to decipher this, so consider these tips: If your boo doesn’t put on a big smile when you appear, get excited when they hear your voice, allow you to voice your opinion freely or be yourself in their presence, then perhaps you might want to use this statement as a gauge to determine whether or not the relationship is healthy or unhealthy and moreover, if its even worth continuing. Remember, you’re a person, not a doormat! And just because you’re single doesn’t mean you should reduce yourself to being treated any ole kinda way! You’re better than that! And for all those who won’t give you the love and celebration you deserve, well then, good-riddens! Be sure when someone else won’t, God always has someone who will, but you’ll have to be strong enough to release the toleration, to begin the celebration! Debora Hooper is a Pastor, Author and Conference Speaker for Leaders, Women & Singles. Her book Evangelist and Minister’s Handbook is a must read for all in ministry. Visit her at www.DeboraHooper.com

HARVEST | APRIL 2012 29


$ finance

clean your credit

“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold. ” (Proverbs 22:1).

It takes a long time to build up a good reputation but very little time to destroy it. If you have repaid all your past debts, you can contact each of your creditors personally and ask them to review the credit rating they gave to the credit bureau. However, there is no quick fix to bad credit. The best way to salvage your name is through disciplined use of whatever remaining credit you have over a long period of time. It may take some time to prove your discipline, but don't give up. If you have errors on your report, make a photocopy of the report,

Quizzle.com is our pick for the best place to get a complete understanding of your credit - so you can make better financial decisions. Quizzle® is a website that provides you with important information about YOUR credit – starting with your credit report and credit score – as well as the tools you need to improve or monitor it, so you can make smart financial decisions.

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highlight the errors, and send it back to the bureau that issued the report, along with a letter of explanation. If you do not receive a response from the bureau within 30 days, the errors should be dropped from your record (Section 611d of the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970). If you discover duplicate information on your report, photocopy the report and highlight any duplication. Send the highlighted copy with a letter stating that you want the inquiry and the account information merged. Again you should receive a response within 30 days. Creditor inquiries stay on your report for a minimum of six months; employer inquiries remain on your report for two years. If you have unsolicited inquiries on your

report, you should photocopy and highlight the report and send it with a letter requesting that the inquiries be deleted. Remember, though, that the law states that your report can be pulled by anyone with “legitimate business needs.” The bureau should report back to you within 30 days. Delinquencies, garnishments, repossessions, court orders, eviction for nonpayment, and missed child support stay on your report for seven years. Bankruptcies remain on your report for 10 years from the date of filing. If an item remains on your report longer than this, send a highlighted copy and a letter requesting the bureau to update your report, and await your response within 30 days.


returning to school). If you would like more information regarding this legislation check out: http:// www.obamastudentloanforgiveness.com or http://www.ed.gov.

Money Matters: Loans, Taxes, and Bears … .Oh My!

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o matter who you are or where you live money is significant to the stability of your life. Budgeting is at the top of all of our lists. It never seems as though we have enough money to cover our needs (forget about our wants). Students, professionals, and the unemployed, alike, are all trying to juggle bills, healthcare, and the necessities of life without sufficient means. People across the nation are journeying through the wilderness of debt with the huge beasts of loan payback and tax filing deadlines threatening to suck the life out of them. Well, no worries! Here are a few resourceful tips for those who are seeking to repair their credit and line their pockets this year in regards to student loans and filing taxes.

Have you heard of President Barak Obama’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program? Yes I said forgiveness, an important Christian tenet. President Obama passed legislation that will allow for individuals to have a lowered payment or a shortened timeframe before the debt is completely forgiven. Some of the key aspects of this program are: •

If an individual has paid on his/her loan timely for at least 20 years after graduation then the remaining balance of the loan(s) will be forgiven. Individuals who function in public service positions for at least 10 years have their debt forgiven. Individuals have the opportunity to apply for the Income Based Repayment Plan.

This new legislation certainly alleviates the stress of having to choose between continuing one’s education or stopping in order to work and pay off loans (and never

Loans are not the only animals in the wild kingdom of debt – this is the time of the year that the word “taxes” can seem so profane. April is certainly a money matters month as people race to gather their W2s, 1099/98s, receipts, and bank statements in order to file their taxes by April 15th. People are scrambling all over to find ways to report and receive a bountiful blessing called income tax return. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released helpful 2012 Tax Tips at http://www.irs. gov/newsroom/content. You will find that there are benefits for those who work from home, who are adoptive parents, for having energy-efficient home appliances, and so much more. There are even tips for those who owe taxes. You don’t have to be afraid to file or hide you’re your assets. Just a little research will take you a long way. Spring is definitely in the air but so are clouds of money matters. As Believers, we must be sure to handle our affairs well informed and with integrity. We are heirs to the throne but until we take our seats on high we need to handle our money better down low. Rev. Dominique A. Robinson (MDiv, ThM), an ordained elder of the AME Zion Church, is on staf at Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA). She is the author of Unshopke Praise: A Manual on Liturgical Praise Dance and a much sought after proclaimer and instructor of the Gospel. You can reach Dominique at Revdeominiquerobinson@gmail.com

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wealth building |

VISION By Keith Douglas, Author of Book The Power to Get Wealth: No Money Required In order to be successful you must have Vision. When you ask people what is vision, you will learn that so many people do not understand the true meaning . Once you understand vision, it will literally lead to your provision and you will begin to activate what God has given to you naturally. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish:… “. The word perish is a strong word. It means to do away with or suffer from spiritual death. Notice, the Bible does not say where there is no fasting or faith or prayer, the people perish. But it says where there is no vision the people perish. The Bible also says in Acts 2:17, “17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”. Your dreams are not a figment of your imagination; they show you glimpses of your future. Whenever ideas come to you, they are not yours. It’s coming from God to you. Once we tune into what God brings to us through vision, remember it will lead to your provision. For example, an idea came to your mind to create a new invention. You were obedient and you wrote down all the details that came to your mind. The result of you being obedient, led to the success of that new invention. The bible says in Habbakuh 2:2,3 “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”. So whenever God gives you a vision, it is no different from Moses receiving the commands. It will become law, if you are obedient. It’s not a point of if it might happen, it has to happen because God cannot lie. Can you build a house without a blue print? Can you plan an event without a plan? I guess by now you are seeing how critical vision is. So many of us let ideas pass us by everyday, because we are so busy looking outside of ourselves, instead of inside The Bible says we walk by faith and not by sight. So start today using your faith to fulfill your vision. Keith Douglas    www.KeithDouglas.org 

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“The Future of the Local Church”

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by Dan Reiland

recently attended the Velocity 2012 Conference hosted by lead pastor, Shawn Lovejoy at Mountain Lake Church (www.mountainlakechurch.org) in Cumming, Georgia. For the last seven years, Pastor Shawn and his team have invested in the lives of pastors, and in particular church planters, (www.churchplanters.com) with passion and excellence. To be invited to speak on leadership development was a delight and privilege. My role was to pour into the young leaders, but I found myself learning and being inspired by the people I met. Let’s be honest, the Church faces significant challenges these days from financial pressures to declining loyalties toward any one church body. My take on the church is positive, very positive in fact, but I hear a lot of negativity. I love the local church, but many Christians and church leaders are disillusioned and disenfranchised. This conference was filled with over 750 leaders, many young and a few not so young, all who love and believe in the local church! That alone was a great statement about the future of the church. If the leaders believe, that’s where it all starts! Let me share some thoughts that I picked up in the hallways, lobby, munching on snacks and talking with young church leaders, church planters and a few para-church leaders as well. I’ve included some of my musings into the mix. They do see things different in the future, a few things timeless, and even thoughts on coffee, so let’s start there. Going “green” will matter. The Next Gen care about this. From building design, or no permanent buildings at all – rented facilities only, to what kind of cars they drive, ecology will matter. We are not of this world, but the young leaders care about what we do to it! Ecology (the earth and all that is in it) will carry more of a spiritual tone than in the past. I’m not suggesting a bend toward pantheism, so please don’t go there, just a greater respect for God’s creation. The realities of food, fresh water and fuel can’t be ignored. They might even rebel against something as commonplace and accepted as the corporate Starbucks model, though many still love it. Instead, insisting on more localized “mom and pop” coffee houses that support local “green” endeavors.

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Partnerships will pave the way. Resources are tight and not likely to become ‘”abundant” in the near future. From ideas to money to time and energy, the thought is that we need to work together if churches are to thrive. It’s not a throwback to the sixties communal Jesus movement, nor is it about the big box idea like Wal-Mart. It will involve more local based initiatives where churches and community organizations partner to make a lasting impact. This idea isn’t new, but candidly, not many churches are making it work. Hopefully this becomes something that is more than a good (almost obvious) idea, but one that we are inspired to embrace. One good example is www.streetrgrace.org. 12Stone® Church, along with many other local churches and organizations, have come together and leveraged resources toward the eradication of sex trafficking in Atlanta. Without this kind of collaborative effort, this anti-sex trafficking effort would never be successful. It’s just too big for any one organization to attempt on its own. Theology will find its place. Theology would certainly come under the timeless category, and may now be forging a new path. The seeker movement colored our approach to theology. It did not color it negatively or dismiss it, we all acknowledge the inerrant truth of God’s Word, but we must be honest about the many Christians today who are biblically illiterate. Something must be done. I’m not suggesting that we teach systematic theology and doctrine in our weekend services, or maybe I am. I am hearing young church planters talk about it. But I’m convinced that regardless of how we do it, understanding what we believe and why we believe is essential. One of the things that is greatly encouraging is the easy access to seminary level education. Nearly anyone can get great training online, for credit or audit. We can start there for those who are ready! Missional Smissional Ok, I’m kidding a bit on the “missional smissional” crack. But some of the young, (and not so young) leaders are beginning to tire of “all things missional.” The concern is that over the last ten years that we’ve used the term missional, we may have overused it. This potential overuse may have caused us to lose sight of what it means. It may have become like the proverbial “mission statement” on the wall that no one pays attention to. The easy evidence is found in the abundant number of books and articles written on the topic of “missional” that attempt to define what it means!! Personally, I just wish my spell check would recognize it and stop underlining it in red! (smile) Really, it’s missional everything -- missional strategy, missional community, missional small groups, missional student ministry, missional outreach, missional justice and compassion, missional finances, missional multi-site, and on the


list goes. I’m waiting for missional coffee to be announced!! Alan Hirsh says it well: “When everything becomes missional, then nothing becomes missional.” The point is this, for missional to matter it has to be focused, fresh, relevant and something you would give your life for. When I interact with church planters out on the front lines who have little help and even less money, I can see and feel “the missional.” It doesn’t have to be explained. It is deep in their bones. It matters. They are sold out, fired up, and in deep with their whole heart! You don’t have to define it for them. They live it! Missional for them is incarnational. It’s everyday faith to make it one more day. Missional is an “all in” mindset, to reach people for Jesus, because anything less doesn’t work. Many will take a different look and path. Many of the churches in the future will look much different than our current model(s). I met a guy named Tom at the conference. He was heavily tatted, sported serious piercings and had a crazy cool long goatee. He’s into motorcycles and just about to complete his D.Min. We hit it off immediately and I feel like I have a new friend. Tom is not likely to build a mega-church but he is reaching people that many of us don’t reach. He’s more of a store front guy doing ministry that by its very nature can’t become big, but it goes deep and lives are being changed. This is not a shot at the mega-churches. I serve in one. And I’m not suggesting that huge churches aren’t deep or don’t care. I’m just saying that growth may be lived out and measured in new and different ways. Global perspective is the new norm. It’s no longer a “missions” department deciding on a few trips to take a year. It’s bigger than that. It’s strategic, long term, and partner-oriented. Places that seemed exotic and far way from Africa to Asia are now the new neighborhood. The cultural, political and economic impacts make our spiritual focus more important than ever. A great example is a massive endeavor to develop spiritual leaders in more than 150 countries and counting. Hundreds of churches are partnering with EQUIP www.iequip.org to see major transformational impact take place on a global level. There are so many other global initiatives from fresh water to fighting aids! We have the opportunity and responsibility to change the world together! Diversity I’ve been wrestling with this one personally for some time. I don’t believe we can force the idea of diversity. But we don’t have to. It’s just here, and here to stay. We don’t force diversity in restaurants, banks or sporting events. It’s just part of culture. I think what I’m hearing and thinking is the opposite of intentionally and mechanically trying to program diversity. We need to simply relax and embrace it. In the same way that you cannot legislate relationships, you can’t program diversity. It won’t happen just because we attend a seminar or write a few articles. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that those who are not, at a minimum, thinking and talking about it, will forfeit huge potential and perhaps experience reduced momentum.

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor’s heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

This article is used by permission from Dr. Dan Reiland’s free monthly e-newsletter, “The Pastor’s Coach,” available at www.INJOY.com.”

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How would a ‘mystery guest’ rate your church? “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Heb 13:2 When Faith Perceptions was founded in 2008 offering a mystery guest program (similar to mystery shopping in a business context), they knew they were onto something. It turns out they were onto something big. Faith Perceptions experienced a 300% increase in growth in 2011 from 2010. They also expanded from one state to eight states, and they now serve four Christian denominations. This makes it the fastest growing firm of its type in the country. Here is how it works: Faith Perceptions ( FaithPerceptions.com) partners with church leaders to evaluate the guest experience. Church leaders typically do not disclose their participation in the program to the congregation so everyone will conduct "church as usual." Faith Perceptions finds people in the church's local area and hires qualified "unchurched" mystery guests to attend the church services -- a different person at each service. The mystery guest then completes an online survey rating the church both numerically and with written commentary. Faith Perceptions compiles the data and provides reports to the church leaders quarterly with qualitative and quantitative feedback. Church leaders use this information to make their environment more welcoming and hospitable to first time visitors. Melanie Smollen, Project Manager for Faith Perceptions explains, "We originally piloted the Mystery Guest program in Missouri. When we determined that it truly could expand geographically and into other denominations, we invested in the infrastructure to handle the increase and it has been very successful. We now have over 2,500 mystery guests visiting churches in eight states and four denominations. We've evaluated well over 1,000 worship services across the country." Along the way, Faith Perceptions has been asked to provide additional services beyond the Mystery Guest program that increase growth and maximize outreach efforts: Church Plant Services is available to help those who are launching a new church, adding a service, restarting or developing a satellite location. Church Marketing Solutions helps churches in a variety of ways to reach out and connect with people in their communities in a meaningful way. For more information, please contact Melanie Smollen at melanie@faithperceptions.com. How would a mystery guest rate your church? Are people welcoming and friendly? Is there a program or something to invite people back at another time? Do they capture the information of first time guests? Are there any follow up calls/visits? Post your comments and let me know how your church is doing.

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Mary Mary

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A

s the groundbreaking gospel duo Mary Mary, sisters Erica and Tina Campbell come onto the music scene driven by a fearless and unstoppable creative spirit. Growing up with humble beginnings in Inglewood, CA, Erica and Tina began singing as small children in their local church. They broke through music barriers in 2000 with their pioneering crossover hit, “Shackles (Praise You),” and have since gone on to win numerous accolades: three Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards. Two Stellar Awards, an NAACAP Image Award, a Soul Train Award, A BET Award, plus two new Grammy nominations this year. With six albums under their belt, including their latest Something Big, Erica and Tina Campbell have never wavered from defying convention to fulfill their mission: sending uplifting messages through music and words that are relatable to everyone. While Mary Mary continues to perform, tour and record new music, Erica and Tina also run busy lives on the home front. As two of nine siblings, they have a large family with larger-than-life personalities. Just two years apart from Tina, Erica is the “big sister” and married to the group’s producer, Warryn Campbell. Warryn, a music visionary in his own right, has worked with the likes of Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Missy Elliott, among others. Devoted parents, they have three young children and Erica’s most recent pregnancy is chronicled in each episode of MARY MARY. Tina Campell is a self-proclaimed “Martha Stewart in-the-making,” and two steps shy of being a “soccer mom.” Tina is married to Teddy Campbell, the drummer for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno’s Rickey Minor Band. They recently announced their ‘surprise pregnancy’ which will be number five to their blended family of four kids. Aside from their own broods, the sisters have a large extended family including: sister Alana who’s on the verge of getting engaged, parents who’ve been married to, and divorced from, each other three times (yes, three times and are currently separated): and sister Goo, who doubles as Erica and Tina’s stylist. All of that is a mix for good reality TV! Erica and Tina love the life that Mary Mary provides, but being a superstar comes with huge sacrifices and major challenges. Faced with the daily decisions that being wives, mothers and career women come with, their lives are a balancing act as they constantly have to prioritize what’s more important. There are plenty of raised voices, hurt feelings and snide comments on the gospel duo’s self-titled WEtv series MARY MARY. While the craziness doesn’t rise to the level of an episode of “Basketball Wives,” Erica and Tina Campbell say it’s enough to show people that despite their Christian faith, they’re human and far from being perfect. “We have inspired so many with our music maybe we can now inspire people with our lives.” said Erica, who is an executive producer of the show with Tina. “We’re real sisters. We’re black sisters with egos and strong personalities. But what we do know is that our mission and message is much bigger than that.” The hour-long, 10-episode series delves into the personal lives of the Grammy-winning group as they seek to balance their own households as mothers and wives while promoting their music. Their upcoming album, “Go Get It,” is expected to be released in May. “I think people have a misconception of what a Christian is,” Tina said. “I don’t know, some think we buy Christian soap, or go to like Christian restaurants. Everybody thinks we’re so spiritual, but that’s not the case. We’re gospel

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artists, but we make mistakes. We’re normal people who praise God and everybody will get to see that on the show.” On one episode show, friction arises when Erica brings her family to Atlanta for their Thanksgiving concert, leaving Tina feeling lonely and left out. Later in the season, the sisters argue about how to move forward as a group, leading them to seek counseling to resolve their issues. Initially, Erica wasn’t ready for the cameras to follow her on daily basis. She worried about how she would be judged when the camera caught her large personality, but she eventually understood that it would be beneficial to viewers to see the good and bad of their lives. “With the show, we live out our faith as opposed to telling you,” Erica said. “In church, you hear someone preaching and telling you how to live. On the show, you’ll see how it looks to live it out. The scripture says to forgive, but what happens

when you are really mad? Those are things we will work through.” The duo hopes viewers won’t put them on a pedestal and expect them to live a perfect life. “Don’t put me up higher than what I’m supposed to be because I’m going to let you down,” Tina said. “I’m not perfect. I don’t have all the answers. ... It’s not always a storybook life. It’s OK to fall and get back up. It’s OK to get back up and repent. It’s OK to work hard and get it right.” Since Mary Mary released their first album 12 years ago, the duo’s goal has been to spread their message of Jesus to those who are reluctant to attend church. They have been one of the few contemporary gospel acts to gain mainstream appeal by blending urban R&B beats with traditional church music. Now, the sisters say the new show gives them a bigger platform. They believe it will open doors for the gospel genre and lead them to possible movie roles and endorsements. They already have released two books and are featured judges on the BET series “Sunday Best.” “Maybe somebody will go home and submit to their husband,” Erica said. Maybe someone will want to be closer to their family after seeing the show.” Tina agrees, “Maybe we can be a breakthrough for other gospel artists who want a reality show too. For us, our whole goal is to reach people. We just don’t want to just sing in a church. We want to sing to everybody. We want to have an impact on people in so many different ways.”

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Sound Check

Marvin Sapp’s world was rocked when his wife MaLinda died from colon cancer in 2010. Along with his personal life, the gospel singer also had to transition musically without his wife, who managed his career and encouraged him to release “Never Would Have Made It,” the 2007 song that would become his biggest hit. But in his wife’s absence, Sapp says his three children helped him select material for his ninth album, “I Win,” which is filled with high-energy tracks and uplifting messages on how to endure life’s obstacles.

Since scatting on his Aunt Vickies Winan’s hit single, “How I Got Over” Tim Bowman Jr. has been a problem to gospel music. His new cd Beautiful due to be release April 24th is sure to shake things up.

Anita Wilson has spent the last few years backing a venerable list of who’s who in the gospel industry including Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, DeWayne Woods and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Wilson has also enjoyed success as a member of Donald Lawrence’s backing ensemble (referred to as the Company), showcasing her own inimitable style on “Happy Being Me” a track from Lawrence’s The Law of Confession CD. When not traveling, she can be found in ministry serving on the music staff and as Praise and Worship Leader at the Fellowship Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Charles Jenkins. HARVEST | APRIL 2012 41


body cleanze

Enjoy Dr. Oz’ cleansing beverage as often as you like. He typically recommend two glasses between meals. Pineapple contains digestive enzymes. Kale is rich in compounds that support enzymes in the liver. And artichoke can improve bile flow.

Ingredients ·

½ cup pineapple

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4 cups chopped kale leaves (no stems)

·

2 large cucumbers

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½ lemon, squeezed

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½ cup mint

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2 artichoke hearts (from can or jar)

Directions If you don’t have a juicer, use a blender on high; just add 1½ cups water and remove the pulp with a strainer. Berries deliver super-healthy antioxidants that help fight disease. In fact, one landmark study shows that just one cup of berries provides all the diseasefighting antioxidants you need in a single day. Of course, dietitians will tell you, “Don’t stop there.” A healthy diet needs a variety of nutrients from many food sources. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are plentiful in most corners of the U.S. “Berries are available almost year-round now…and even though they may be more expensive some times of the year, they’re still much more accessible than they used to be

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What do you like most about running? The best part about running is participating in organized races. They are really exciting. I usually bring my family to cheer me on. I usually run 5K races however, I planned to do more this year. What do you dislike about running? I honestly do not like the formal training aspect. Anyone can pretty much run a 5K. However, to successfully complete a longer race without injury - it is necessary to train consistently. What motivates you to continue to run? I like the way my body has responded to running. I also would like to eventually run a full marathon in dedication to my father who passed away last year. He was an avid runner who encouraged me to run.

Running With a Purpose

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by Pamela Turner

ore and more African American women are using running as their preferred physical fitness method. Many groups of runners have emerged in the recent years to run away from the norms that once plagued the African American community, where it is common to find many impacted by heart disease, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Some are now participating in short and long distant running competitions to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Running provides a great cardiovascular workout, strengthens and tones your muscles. For many, running is a good way to lose weight and generally get in shape. I interviewed Tiffany Overton and Shea Duncan, two ladies that started their running journey 2 years ago and are enjoying every bit of it. Here’s their story… TS- New Jersey How long have you been running? I have been running off and on for the past 3 years. However, I have been running more consistently for the past year. What made you start running? I struggled with weight issues for a number of years after having children. I started running to lose weight and to get back in shape. Are you part of a running club/group? I am a part of the Black Girls Run running group. Participating in a running group definitely has motivated me to run more often and to challenge me to run longer races. Have you seen health improvements since you’ve started running? Yes, definitely I have lost about 40 pounds, gone down 4 sizes; my blood pressure has gone down and I increased my physical endurance.

SD- Washington, DC How long have you been running? I’ve been running for about 2 years. What made you start running? I started running because I was asked to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. I didn’t want to look like a stuffed pig in a dress. I modified my diet, started walking and build myself up to running. Are you part of a running club/ group? Yes, Black Girls Runs! Have you seen health improvements since you’ve started running? Yes, I have lost over 30lbs and have loads of energy that helps me keep my fitness goals. I find myself motivating others around me to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle. What do you like most about running? I love the fact that it is my time, time for me to think and reflect while I am doing something good for my body. I love the support of my running group and the new friends that I have made. What do you dislike about running? Running long distance and trying to find the time to balance work, family and my wellness. What motivates you to continue to run? My personal goals keep me running. Signing up for races keeps me training and obligated to find the time to run. Pamela Turner of TurneRoundfitness is a highly respected fitness pofessional and an expert at showing people how to have fun and get Moving! She is one of the most sought after personal trainers in the NJ and PA areas

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HARVEST APRIL 2012  

MARY MARY "It's You're Time!" 101 Wasy to Live in Excellence, Spring CLEAN Your LIfe