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Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukah to All! MONTHLY MAGAZINE

The Women's Corner

Sarah Bruton

Sponsored by Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc.

December 2011

Fear Thou Not! One Pastor’s Battle to Overthrow Cancer The Untold Story of Educationist

Verna King Female Pro-Football Coach

Josette Jackson Tackles Life’s Issues


No She Didn’t! Sunday Best Do It Yourself Body Works Exfoliating Brown Sugar Scrub


You’re Invited! Virtue And PraiseMinistries,Inc.

Service Times

Sunday School 9:30 AM Sunday Morning Worship 11AM Wednesday Bible Study 6:30PM Friday Evening Prayer 6:30 PM

Contact Us

Phone: (317) 388-1541, Email Website: 2989 West 71st Suite #5, Indianapolis, IN 46268 Overseer: Pastor Audrey Berden Senior Pastors: Sarah Bruton And Robert S. Lewis


The Women's Corner

Contents WELCOME LADIES TO THE WOMEN’S CORNER 3 Letter from the Editor/About the Editor First Lady Charity E. Lewis 6 Meet Your Co-Hostesses (Contributors) Pastor Trudy E. Hawkins Ms. Jocelyn M. Hurst Ms. Carlene Ng Gomez

FASHIONISTA EXTRAVAGANZA (Style) 41 No She Didn’t! How to Be a Fashionista in Your Sunday Best 38 Holiday Boldness: How to Wear Animal Print SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY (Health and Beauty) 26 Ward off Winter Weather: Exfoliating Brown Sugar Scrub 30 Fear Thou Not! How Pastor Sarah J. Bruton Overthrew the Enemy of Cancer 28 Colon Cancer: The Ugly Truth that Could Save Your Life

December 2011\ Women’s Corner 3

Contents continued.. “IF THE TRUTH BE TOLD!” (Relationships) 17 Under the Mistletoe: How to Keep the Holidays All Warm and Fuzzy 34 This Year’s Top Ten Gifts for the Man in Your Life

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Real Women Making A Difference in Their Own Backyard 10 She’s Going For It! How Female Pro-Football Coach Josette Jackson Tackles Life’s Issues

HOLIDAY EATS 15 Tangy Honey Glazed Ham and Rolled Sugar Cookies

THE EDUCATION CORNER 20 I Made a Vow and I Won’t Take it Back! The Untold Story of Educationist Ms. Verna King

December 2011\ Women’s Corner 4

The Women's Corner

From the Desk of the Editor Well Hello Ladies! I want to extend a very warm and heartfelt welcome to The Women’s Corner magazine, a stimulating and refreshing extension of Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc. When Pastor Audrey Berden established the ministry in Indianapolis, IN in the year 2000, she opened the doors of her own home, hosting “group therapy” sessions (so to speak) for bruised, battered, and emotionally disabled women, young and old alike, who all desperately needed a place of refuge. I was a senior Communication Studies major at Ball State University when I started attending those meetings in 2003. Twenty-three years old, I had experienced my fair share of abuse, not just from men, but by my own hand; and…I was thirsty for a refreshing change in my life. Those Saturday night meetings were a place where just us…the ladies…could take off all of the “make up” and be transparent. I cried many tears of my own as well as in an empathetic feeling towards others who were breaking free from abusive relationship and fighting with illnesses, amongst experiencing various other torments. The excellent thing about those group meetings is that they were healing moments that brought about restoration; and, aside from rejuvenation, there was plenty of warm and heartfelt laughter while “breaking bread.” So here we are today, coming back home again! Only this time, we wanted to share these times of “refreshing” with you…the every day woman. The hostesses of this particularly fresh, stylish and elucidative publication have thoughtfully penned every jot and tittle of this premier edition with you in mind. You will joyfully thumb through each page to find stories of mountain moving faith such as that of our Senior Pastor, Mother Sarah Bruton, who was divinely healed from cancer; and gain some savvy tips for fashion and beauty (BTW…I’m not sure who makes up the rules…but apparently red and animal print are in this year. SMH!) You will be elevated by the Education Corner and of course enjoy the tidbits of romantic flavoring… (I suppose we’ll allow the “fellas” to have a word or two…but that is it! LOL!) So consider The Women’s Corner your place to not only be informed and relax, but to be transformed entirely into the woman who God has always intended for you to be….the BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, SURVIVING, THRIVING…YOU! Have fun ladies! Sincerely,

Charity E. Lewis Charity E. Lewis Editor-In-Chief





of The Women's Corner

To the Women of Destiny and Promise, Some years ago I had a very long dream but it was so clear. Although I presently live in Indianapolis, IN, I was back in my father’s house in Marion, KY (the town where I grew up which is about three square miles around). I was in the guest bedroom and there was a lot of rubbish and chaos in the corner. However, I was sitting on the couch and I was teaching women. I equated this dream to mean that I have to remain a Godly example in the midst of any situation; and that no matter what…I have to hold on to that peace that surpasses all understanding. My late husband, George, and I, we had a blessed life…a prosperous life together. He served our country honorably in the United States Air Force which enabled us travel to some of the most wonderful places on this Earth….like parts of Africa and Spain. But when he retired in 1974 we had a desire to settle down somewhere that wasn’t too busy to raise our sons, Howard and Ponnell, but wasn’t as quaint as Marion. So we built a home from the ground up in Indianapolis. It was there that God opened a door for me to become a seamstress at Macy’s and later on I was employed as a Mother for the Indiana Girl’s School. In my free time, I enjoyed cooking and cleaning…doing what a house wife does and just being a friend. However, for George and I, everything was not always a bed of roses. We had our ups and we had our downs, especially with our health. He suffered 6

from a stroke and a heart attack in 1993; and…I was diagnosed with cancer in 2002. However, we never doubted that God loved us because we knew that he had a plan for our lives. In 2006, we were seeking a new church home….a place where we could be loved and appreciated. Then one Saturday night, in the wee hours of the morning, I was channel surfing and I came across the television show, “A Word In Due Season” on Channel 40, the LeSEA Broadcasting Network. Pastor Berden and her sister Pastor Trudy Hawkins were preaching the Word of God like I’d never heard before. The next morning I told my husband about the two anointed female pastors I had seen on TV. George and I both felt that if they didn’t love us, then who would? When we fellowshipped that morning, we not only felt the love of God but also His power and unmerited favor. From that point on we were welcomed as members of the Virtue And Praise family; and we praise God for Pastor Berden and Pastor Hawkins for they have truly been a blessing in our lives. They shared with us that they had been praying for a “mother and a father” to come in to the church. So they were just as elated as we were. It was around that time that Pastor Berden laid hands on George, praying against the heart disease, declaring that he would “live and not die and declare the works of the Lord.” It was shortly thereafter that George was appointed the Elder of the church and I, the church Mother. It was May 10th, 2009, when God further exalted George, as he was installed as Senior Pastor and I was ordained his First Lady. Although George passed away on September 29th, 2010, because of God’s power, he lived 17 more years than the doctor’s expected. You see…God holds time and He holds your life in His hands. He’s in control! I know that for myself because although I had to have surgery and chemotherapy, I’ve been cancer free since 2003. Ooooh….Who wouldn’t serve a God like this? So it


was not a hard thing for me to accept the commission to stand in George’s place as Senior Pastor after his passing.

The Women’s Corner Magazine and the Saturday morning brunches are an innovative and refreshing extension of Virtue And Praise; and I am so grateful for this time…a time of sharing and time of caring for each other. We will candidly discuss the real issues you are faced with…and two of my favorite things to teach on are love and forgiveness. If you can’t live by love…you are not living! And you have to forgive to live! That’s just the key to it…loving people and being kind and compassionate.

Hello Wonderful Ladies!

Allow me to introduce myself to you all! I am one of hostesses of The Women’s Corner! My name is Pastor/ Prophetess Trudy E. Hawkins, Affiliate Pastor of Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN), the sponsor of this illustrious publication. I want to first of all acknowledge my Lord and Savior, who saved me from off the streets: from being involved in gangs, hustling and “slanging” drugs and more! Now, my goal is to save souls just like He saved me. Proverbs 11:30 says that “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise (NIV).” So I am motivated to do just that! The advantage that I have in doing so as a Pastor and a member of Virtue And Praise Ministries is that I am not only the spiritual but also the natural sister of my Overseer, Pastor Audrey Berden, who envisioned this awesome outreach. Born in the same household as she, we were raised under parents that taught us how to pray, worship the Lord, hear from God, and how to work in the ministry. Our parents, the late Rev. S. John Hawkins and Evangelist Yvonne C. Hawkins, also instructed us to trust God, and not to lean on our own understanding…but to go the way

The Women’s Corner is also a place where we pray and get into the Word; because according to James 5:16, “the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.” For God wants us all to be filled with the knowledge of His will for our lives and a desire to please Him. So when you open the pages of this publication or attend one of our brunches, watch for transformation! God Bless You Abundantly, Pastor Sarah J. Bruton Hostess

that God would have us to go and in all that getting, to get understanding. I have seen Pastor Berden put that into practice and she did it with great faith; and, that example even helped me in my walk in Christ. So joining Virtue And Praise in the year of 2003 was a handsome move, a Godly move, and a teachable move for me. My sister really did not care if I was her sister or not when it came to the business of the ministry; and, YES…she let me know that. You see, I thought I was well advanced when I joined Virtue And Praise. I had been a lot of places preaching and teaching the Word of God. I knew that I did not have to go through that much and taking over my part would not be a problem. I can do this! Right?! WRONG!!!!!! Yeah, I had jokes. First of all, Pastor Berden teaches the whole history of the Bible and wants you to go through the Word and learn parts that you did not even know existed. Well, praise God! I thank God she did that! Now, I know God better and my prayer life is better. Secondarily, Pastor Berden hated my ability to hustle and would not let me do it in the church. Remember, I was a Pastor doing this! Yet, I was so natural at it that I did not see why it was wrong; but, she pointed it out to me in love, in the Word of God, and in public because I would not stop! OH NO! I did not like that! But it was to the point that God Himself was going to put me out of the ministry. I had a dream about it and asked the Lord was He really going to put me out and I pleaded to stay. I testified about it and Pastor Berden knew I was right because the Lord told her I had to leave! You see, if God is not letting you do wrong and you are coming in the name of your


flesh, and you are doing this and that in His house, the House of Prayer, the House of the Lord…you or I or anyone is wrong; and, we should get out if we are not going to do right! So you see, that is why I respect Pastor Berden and the movement of God that is in her. I mean…seeing her while being in the same home together when we were children, I thought I knew her; but, she blossomed in the Spirit and I have witnessed God increase her mightily in her preaching the Word that is piercing to the soul as the Words of Christ penetrate our hearts! The mantle that Pastor carries is so awesome and the world needs to hear this Power House Now! And that’s what really turns me on about this ministry and the move of God that is in Virtue And Praise. It is the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and the Word of God! He changed my sister’s life and witnessing her as a leader changing made me want to change. Thus, the respect she and the Lord have for one another…I practice it. I have shared so much with you all about my spiritual life; but, I don’t want to leave out the wonderful fact that I am a mother of four beautiful and awesome children that God has loaned to me: starting with the eldest, my son, John A. Hawkins, my only daughter, Angel S. Coleman, Calvin H. Hawkins Sr. (expired) and baby son Kenneth Tanksley. I am also the proud grandmother of three. The eldest one is Caleb J. Coleman, and his sister Gabrielle L. Coleman, and last but not least, Calvin H. Hawkins Jr. I so love About the Editor Charity E. Lewis The Bible says that “my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer” (Psalm 45:6 NIV). I believe that describes my gift quite well. I always loved to write; and, I penned my first short story in the third grade. During my teenage years my parents, recognizing my innate and God-given talent for scripting, enrolled me in the Journalism and Writing Seminars (JAWS) program for junior writers at the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, the nation’s fourth oldest African American owned and operated 8


I also believe that God has placed businesses inside of me. One day I am going to own myself a chain of soul food restaurants; and, I also have desire to decorate homes. OH YEAH! I am good! I might…I said “might”…consider sharing some good ol’ recipes and home décor ideas with ya’ll. I could go on and on…but I wanted to tell you why I wanted to be part of The Women’s Corner…SO I CAN TALK! No, just kidding! But at the same time, I am serious! It is going to be so good to see women from all walks of life come to a common place and speak whatever is on their hearts and not be judged or condemned. You see, at The Women’s Corner you don’t have to hold things in about family because it will make you feel ashamed. You can talk about the happiness you have that maybe some are jealous about; or, the beauty that you possess that maybe others scorn. Talk about whatever…good talk, fun talk! I love it! So when Pastor Berden brought this to the table: to one day host a spa day, or a girls’ day for beauty, to have Saturday morning brunches and this publication…I was like “YES!” Some of us need to fellowship with other women that mean our souls well and want us to be happy. (Plus men do not let us talk anyway and they do not listen!) I am going to stop here; but I have so much more to say. That is why you should join me, your co-host, Pastor Trudy Hawkins, at The Women’s Corner! newspaper. What an awesome opportunity that was! I mean, I was probably thirteen years old when I interviewed LL Cool J and around 16 when I covered the Bad Boy concert featuring R&B superstars 112 (I was too shy to talk to Diddy back then. SMH). Little did I know that God had a greater plan in mind! Even though I continued writing throughout my high school and college careers, it wasn’t until I met Pastor Audrey Berden (Founder and Overseer of Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc.) in 2003 that I came to realize that my gift had a Kingdom purpose. Pastor Berden instilled in me that if I made my gift precious in my own eyes it would bring me before great men (and women…if I may) (Prov. 18:16); and, it truly has! I have been so awesomely blessed to have previously operated as the Marketing and Promotions coordinator for Tyscot Records, representing world renowned artists including Bishop Leonard Scott, Bishop Noel Joel Jones and the City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir,

Deitrick Haddon presents Voices of Unity, Shirley Murdock and Vashawn Mitchell amongst others. God also opened the door for me to interview power couple David and Tamela Mann (Brown and Cora) as well as Darwin Hobb’s who entrusted me as the first journalist through whom he released his testimony of healing from childhood abuse. Enough about my earthly “credentials” though…my greatest accolade is that I am a member of the Kingdom of God; and, this particularly innovative platform of The Women’s Corner Magazine further provides me the blessed opportunity to speak out stories of triumph, of healing and of the multitude of God’s grace and mercy towards me. Maybe one day I will share with you of how God healed my body from lupus; blessed me with a wonderful husband (who

happens to be the Senior Pastor of the Indianapolis Chapter of Virtue And Praise J) and caused us to bring forth children when I was barren. I might speak of the houses and the cars He has blessed me with when man said it was impossible seeing my funny credit and strange change. Oh…if I had ten thousand tongues I could not tell it all! However, here, within the pages of The Women’s Corner, I can testify of just enough to encourage you to go on in to your destiny…not just through my story…but through the triumphs of the every day woman just like you. For that, I am truly grateful! My sincere prayer is that you will be blessed as you read every line and I want to thank you for taking your lunch break or part of your Saturday afternoon “Me Time” to share it with us here at The Women’s Corner. You won’t be disappointed!

Hi Ladies! My name is Carlene NgGomez and I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity to serve as your Senior Fashion Director and contributing health and beauty feature writer here at The Women’s Corner. I have been a member of and an administrator for Virtue and Praise Ministries, Inc., the publisher of this publication, since 2006. I am really excited about this venture because I have also been a seamstress for almost 12 years as my first love is to design and make clothes. My ultimate goal is to become an international fashion designer. So I get to share my fabulous insight and ideas with all of you lovely ladies first! My second passion is working with the Hispanic community as a liaison. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2008 and I now currently serve as the Interpreter and the Minister of Hispanic Outreach for Virtue And Praise. Additionally,

I utilize these skills as a facilitator and tutor for the Building a Better You Ministry (BABYM), an innovative educational reform program sponsored by the church, which mentors and tutors inner-city at risk youths. Since many of you are mothers and community advocates, we will continuously share some of the stories of educators we partner with as well as enlightening tips with you each month in the Education Corner of the magazine. Recently married and an expectant mother and step-mother myself, I can also appreciate this multifaceted publication from a real life perspective as well. The Women’s Corner gives us all the chance to that we may not have had before to unashamedly speak out. It is a place where we can share our triumphs and tragedies, laugh and cry, encourage others and be encouraged. It is our chance as women from all backgrounds to come together and to share in one heart. Just as I have grown tremendously because of the leadership, encouragement, and love of my Overseer, Pastor Audrey H. Berden, who envisioned this powerful outreach, I sincerely hope that this publication will serve as an inspiration to you as well. I believe this is our chance to be strengthened and to be heard. So speak up! Speak out! And Be Free to Be You…here at The Women’s Corner.



The Women's Corner

Hi Ladies!


My name is Jocelyn Marie Hurst, Art Director and Photo Production Coordinator/Editor, and contributing health and beauty feature writer of The Women’s Corner. Recently, I graduated from Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI), where I focused on photography and media arts. Currently, I serve as a business leader for Estee Lauder and Clinique; and, I plan to pursue a Masters of Fine Art in Photojournalism in the near future. I first met Pastor Audrey H. Berden, Founder of Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc., in 2007 when I attended a women’s bible study group that she held in her home. It was there that the power of God touched my life through her. This lead to placing my membership with Virtue And Praise in 2008; and, my life has truly never been the same. Pastor Berden’s love and prayers as well as her spiritual and life guidance has cultivated and nourished my artistic abilities, and has helped me develop skills in areas that I would have never ventured into. There are countless times throughout my college career and other areas of life that I have used the tools acquired from the ministry. 10

Those tools caused me to prosper and thrive from the classroom to my involvement on the IUPUI campus in student leadership positions to graphic design internships. I believe that had I been a part of any other ministry I would not have been afforded as many opportunities in design, photography, and art. Those opportunities that I have been blessed with include operating as a photo-journalists for the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, holding an internship with Radio One (Indianapolis), performing graphic design for Tyscot Records and so much more. Although I appreciate each of those doors that were opened to me, I truly believe that The Women’s Corner is the beginning of new thing that God is doing; and, I am privileged to be a part of it. The Women’s Corner dares to bring to the surface real issues that women toss back in forth in their minds but hesitate to speak on. Yet in still, the magazine will keep you grounded with the latest health, beauty and fashion. As a cohostess of The Women’s Corner, I desire to bring visual zeal to each page of the publication as every issue is guaranteed to be a sensation! Enjoy!

The Women's Corner

Magazine & Conferences Sponsored by Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc.

Pastor Audrey H. Berden Founder/ Chief Executive Officer Hostess: Pastor Sarah J. Bruton Co-Hostesses: Pastor Trudy E. Hawkins Co-Hostess/Contributor

Jocelyn M. Hurst Art Director & Photo Production Coordinator/Editor

Charity E. Lewis Editor-In-Chief

Carlene Ng-Gomez Senior Beauty & Style Director

WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR The Women’s Corner c/o Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc. Attn. Charity E. Lewis P.O. Box 53104 Indianapolis, IN 46253 or e-mail Subject Line: The Women’s Corner


She's Going For It! How Female Pro-Football Coach

Josette Jackson

Tackles Life's Issues By Carlene Ng-Gomez

A social worker by day and a women’s professional football coach by night, Ms. Josette Jackson never fails to tackle or divert any real life obstacle. Should even one day to day situation have the appearance of immobilizing her ability to be successful, she’s going to hit it…and hit it hard. She’s not taking any shorts or losses, whether the offensive maneuver is poverty, illness, or relationship issues…and she’s experienced them all. However, her two intelligent children, the community she serves and obtaining her own personal goals as a role model are her end zone…and in her mindset, a touch down is always just one down ahead. Whether on the field or off, not one flag or penalty is going to hinder her….she’s going for it! Born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, Josette, who grew up in a single parent home herself, has been operating as a social worker for Washington Irving Elementary School #14, of Indianapolis Public Schools, for the last thirteen years. The school, which is located just outside of the vast Indiana business district in downtown, resides on the near east side, where students come from extreme hardships. “The kids are bright, beautiful and talented; but, my babies come from poverty for the most part,” she says. “Ninety percent qualify for free or reduced lunch and there is 20-25% documented homelessness.” In turn, School 14 struggles with a high mobility rate as parents struggle to keep roofs over their children’s heads and provide enough to eat. Thus, the school’s standardized testing and annual progress scores are 12

somewhat sub-par as children are unable to focus. For these reasons, Jackson makes it a point to go above and beyond the call of duty, thwarting these attempted invasive maneuvers to each child’s receipt of a proper education. She does so not only because she can sympathize; but, because she can empathize. This fiery passion to help her students can be traced back to her childhood. Living amid poverty, her family would have to move every six months because her mother could not pay the rent. She remembers that they would sometimes live in tents. Jackson, however, thought it was cool to be “camping” out. She even remembers eating hot dogs over the campfires. Seeing her then present circumstances, people would feed Josette the idea that she would never become anything in life and that she did not have a future. Yet, she refused to believe in their cynicism and instills the same values in the children she advocates for each day. “I swore that no other child would have to go through the same thing I went through.” “I am a social worker and as social worker’s job is to make his or herself unnecessary,” she says of her role in coordinating the cooperation of multiple community service organizations that collectively offset the social service needs of the school’s children. “I want them to have enough networks in their lives that yes, Ms. Josette might have done something for them; but the reality is that they are doing really well on their own two feet,” she says of her playbook of invasive maneuvers utilize to thwart strategies

opposing educational success. Thus, she addresses the individual needs of each student whether it is through providing that child with tutoring, mental health services, basic life necessities or a safe environment. Coining herself a “professional beggar” for the school, Josette has garnered donations of new name brand shoes, gloves, and hats. She also coordinates after school tutoring provided by organizations such as the Building A

“I became a football player to prove something to myself ”

Better You Ministry sponsored by Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc., through which homeless children are mentored. In addition, her office has even been turned into a food pantry and the shelves are fully stocked. Going above and beyond the call of duty this past August, Josette solidified a partnership with the United Way and Community Hospitals, organizing over 200 volunteers, all of whom helped to improve the school grounds. Moreover, she oversees what she calls the “Lunch Buddy” program, where mentors join the children for lunch in order to build a positive relationship. Jackson, however, is not just a role model to children; but also to women from various socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds….and although she earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, Ms. Jackson’s true “hall of fame” recognition comes from her life experiences. It was just after divorcing a physically abusive husband in the year 2000, that Josette discovered an outlet for hitting back on the football field. “One day at work, the female security officer at my job was separating a fight,” she says of an altercation between a male and female which was taking place within the health center where she was employed. “I didn’t think. I sprinted at the man, tackled him and sat on his chest and held him there until the officer could arrest him.” Technically having overstepped her bounds as a social worker, all Josette could think was: “Oh crap! I am in so much trouble. I am going to be arrested.” However, the female officer had another penalty in mind: “If you can do that in stilettos you can do that in cleats,” she said, in a

Josette Jackson’s last football game as a player with the Indianapolis Chaos. It doesn’t show it, but Jackson suffered a broken back at that game. Photo sumbitted by Jossete Jackson

response that completely shocked Josette. Instead of putting her in handcuffs, the officer invited her to show off her stuff at the Indianapolis Chaos women’s football team try outs. Needless to say, she made the team… and the two head coaches’ only argument was whether to place her on offense or defense. “I became a football player to prove something to myself,” she said. “I grew up thinking I was too big, strong, fat and boyish. I tried to make up for my physical shortcomings by being ultra fem and my low self esteem led me to being in a violent marriage,” she says. It was football, however, that aided her in discovering that God made her just right in His eyes. She was the perfect size and speed to be a lineman although she was 29 years old at the time, and thus 11 years older than most men who commence a football career. “I used the field to let out my anger and hurt from being abused. I strengthened my body and my mind while healing my soul on the football field.” Josette would go on to play left guard; but, her career experienced an interception after the first year as Josette had to undergo knee surgery and also suffered from a broken back. Regardless, she would return to play center and nose within the following two years of her Women’s Football Alliance career. While playing for the league, which happens to be the largest women’s football organization in the world, she would eventually become captain of her team which rose to fourth in the nation. Yet, those trophies and honors would not come without a few foul plays handed out by some very formidable opponents. Josette was facing her second divorce. “He left when I was at work and moved in with a woman he 13



21 AND UNDER Christian Club

SPONSORED BY VIRTUE & PRAISE MINISTRIES, INC. Contact: (317) 388.1541 or 14

The Indianapolis Crash (formerly the Indianapolis Speed) visitJosette her at home to wish her health and wellness during her fight against cancer. Photo sumbitted by Jackson. met on line,” she says of the devastation. “I went to work with a kiss goodbye and an ‘I love you;’ and I came home to a note and I have not seen him since. That was on my 33rd birthday.” The year was 2009, and it was the same year that Josette retired from playing for the Chaos. However, life wasn’t over….she was hit…but she wasn’t out of the game. “My motto is ‘Just keep swimming,” she says, quoting the character of Dori the regal blue tang fish from Finding Nemo, with a touch of humor. “For me that means don’t stop moving and…forgive. Forgiving does not mean it is ok to allow people to hurt you; but, realize the person or people were only human; and humans are messy.” So instead of placing her trust in man, Josette believes that God has enabled her with strength to handle whatever comes her way. And Josette would have to call upon this faith as a new defensive player would hit the field of her life fresh off the bench. This time….the toe-to-toe struggle would be with her health. Josette suffered from a stroke right after the second divorce. This was a real live Super Bowl…and her fight to the finish began one morning when she woke up and couldn’t remember her son Brandon’s name. Feeling “weird,” she was not able to form an intelligible sentence; and even

though she was extremely tired, Josette could not sleep because Brandon and his sister Breaira were being loud. Forcing herself down the stairs to get a bowl of cereal, Josette discovered that she was unable to grip the bowl. Suspecting that she was having a stroke, she was immediately rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Upon her arrival the doctors placed her on a stretcher and performed a series of tests. After an MRI she was indeed found to be having a stroke. But there was another opponent on the field aiding the offense: the doctors also discovered she had no immune system; and, in response performed a bone marrow test. Josette was under attack by cancer! Yet, she did not allow this to discourage her. She could not just sit at home and hope for the best. Instead, she returned to work. The children were initially shocked to see her without hair and connected to the chemo-therapy instruments. Josette, however, saw this a teachable moment. Easing their worries and fears, she allowed the children to help her with her medical treatments and even used the scan of her brain from the stroke as an educational tool. She turned her negative experience into a positive one as she does with each life lesson. “Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best,” 15

Post Jackson’s first home game of her rookie year with son Brandon and daughter Breaira showing just how proud they are of mom. (Photo sumbitted by Jackson). is the mantra she has instilled within the children and her players, whom she had commenced coaching on the now Indianapolis Crash (formerly the Indianapolis Speed). More importantly, Ms. Josette is blessed to be first and foremost a role model within her own household. Thus her oldest son, Brandon, age 19, is pursuing a degree in broadcasting at Vincenne’s University; and her 13 year older daughter Breaira, only an eighth grader, has obtained 15 high school credits from the IPS medical magnet in hopes of one day becoming a doctor. Today, Ms. Josette is cancer free. Although she still has three precautionary rounds of chemotherapy left, she is on her third year of coaching the Crash, who have treated her like family through each and every trial. Her daughter Breaira also accompanies her on


her travels with the team as head water girl and team baby sitter. Furthermore, Josette remains passionate about her job as a social worker, enjoys her life, and maintains a positive attitude, especially in the face of negative circumstances. She has rooted herself in faith, love, compassion, humility and…football of course! As a result she merely sees herself as a vessel being used by God. After all she states, “I think God is fabulous and puts the right people in place to make sure things happen as they are supposed to. If I wasn’t here, God would use someone else to do this job. It’s not about me. It’s about what I can do for the people.” However, Josette isn’t planning on retiring from coaching the Crash or social working within IPS schools any time soon. .

Holiday Eats

Tangy Honey Glazed Ham Ingredients 1 ten pound fully-cooked, bone-in ham 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar 1/3 cup pineapple juice 1/3 cup honey 1/3 large orange, juiced and zested 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place ham in a roasting pan. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, orange zest, Dijon mustard, and ground cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside. Bake ham in preheated oven uncovered for 2 hours. Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.


Holiday Eats Rolled Sugar Cookies Ingredients 1 1/2 cups butter, softened 2 cups white sugar 4 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt

Directions In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.


Under the Mistletoe How to Keep the Holidays All Warm and Fuzzy By Carlene Ng-Gomez

Ladies, the weather outside might be frosty and frigid…but it’s still our role to keep the fire in our relationship burning and bright. So, here’s a few tips from The Women’s Corner on keeping things live and poppin’ for you and your boo during these winter months. Do Something He Enjoys: We’ve got to remember that it’s not all about us. Men want to feel appreciated and then it becomes easy for them to relax and be romantic. So start the night off with an NBA game (now that there finally is a season) or be prepared to watch some football. If you have the means within your budget, buy some game tickets and surprise him by your attending the game with him and your closest “couple” friends. Then separate from the party, and venture off to a late dinner for two. Or take him to Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics for some “play time” and let him buy that latest electronic he’s been wanting. You’re guaranteed to get a warm response.

Plan A Trip: It’s always good to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life for the sake of rekindling the romance that may have been lost during the business of the year. If you’re going to visit relatives for the holidays, get your own hotel room instead of staying with them. Gracefully bough out of their offer and reserve you and your hubby a presidential suite with a hot tub and bring the flukes for some sparkling cider. Order room service the first night in and go enjoy family dinner the next day. After the holiday, plan to stay a day later to sight see of just go back to your hotel, curl up in each others arms and simply rest. If you’re not going to see relatives and someone can keep the kiddos, leave the day after Christmas and travel to somewhere warmer (that is if you’re from the Midwest or the East Coast.) Florida and California are still pretty warm this time of year and so is New Mexico. It may be slightly more expensive, but well worth the trip to enjoy less stressful and purely romantic holidays.

Candlelight Dinner: This is an inexpensive way to add a little romanticism to your Christmas holiday. Set the table with your best dishes, light some candles, and turn on some jazz in the background or a little old school Temptations or newer school Boys II Men Christmas for nostalgia. You don’t have to make anything fancy or time consuming. Simple and quick will do. Try to incorporate some of his favorite foods and desserts. 19

Fireplace Cocoa: One fun activity to do in the holiday season is to play outside in the snow with your significant other. Go outside and have a snowball fight, build a snowman together, make snow angels, go skiing or sledding. Not only is it fun; but, it is also good exercise. Once you two are nice and cold, you can go inside and fix a hot cup of cocoa. Cuddle up on the couch in front of the fireplace or turn on a good movie.

Live Music: Find a superior restaurant that has a welcoming atmosphere, great lighting, beautiful scenery, and the whole package. Since it is the holiday season, look for one that has a live band playing holiday music. Both you and your significant other can dress up just as if you were dating again. Let your significant other open doors for you. Turn off your cell phones for the night and really enjoy each other’s company and the atmosphere without any interruptions. After dinner, you two can enjoy a movie or simply return to your house for some alone time with your spouse.

Enjoy the Lights: There are many Christmas lights and decorations this time of year. Take advantage of them. Get out and find a display of Christmas lights or a nativity scene. There are some displays you drive through and others you can walk through. They are not only enchanting, but can also add a touch of romanticism to your holiday season.

Keep His Attention:

Ladies, we’ve got to remember that men are visual. So whatever you decide to do, don’t forget that you are your loved one’s central point of interest...not the engagement you embark upon. So hold his attention from the onset. As the old folks used to say, “Put on some smell good” and be sure to wear some make up if you like, at least a little eye shadow and lipstick. Adorn yourself with garments just sexy enough to leave something to the imagination. Make sure that you are his focus!



I Made a Vow & I Won’t Take it Back! The Untold Story of Educationists

Verna King by Charity E. Lewis

Photos by Jocelyn M. Hurst



There is an ancient African proverb that pronounces that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Most certainly, excellent and sincere educators fulfill this declarative statement as they play an integral role in the rearing of every individual youth whom they encounter…not only shaping their understanding but also their character and thus their futures. Often times, they are a mother and/or a father figure seeing that nearly one third of America’s children come from broken homes and another 1/3 from households where at least one parent is matriculating not through the educational system…but the correctional system. Moreover, public school systems are asked to play basketball without the ball because there are little to no monies for modern technology, updated books or teacher’s salaries as in some states starting pay is less then $27K. This recipe provides not for success…but bakes up a chaotic and disruptive system of learning. Irregardless, there are still those who are willing to stand firm in the gap. One such wholeheartedly enthusiastic and faithful educationist is Ms. Verna King, a 32 year veteran administrator of

was crushing to say the least. Forced to relocate to Thompkinsville, a small town the sum of 3.8 square miles just outside of Bowling Green, Momma Jenny sacrificed gravely to provide for Verna and her sisters. A “day worker,” as they called it, Verna’s mother made ends meet by cleaning white people’s houses; but, she yearned intensely for her children to have a far greater livelihood than that which she could presently provide. “Honey, you gotta get your education…because when I was growing up I wasn’t allowed to go to school. I had to work out in the fields,” is what Momma Jenny, who was unable to read of write, consistently instilled in Ms. King. Coming from a family of 12, she explained to Verna how they had to cut wood in the field day in and day out, maybe earning just enough to put cornbread and sorghum molasses on the table for dinner each night. Yet, seeing beyond the immediate financial need of the family and peering into the prosperous future of her daughter, Momma Jenny initially sent Verna and her sisters off to school instead of out to work. Taught in a two-room schoolhouse each day

“I felt like I was a dummy.” the Indianapolis Public School (IPS) system, the largest public school district in the state of Indiana. For Ms. King, it was not only her devotion of love for children or the compassion towards the hardships they suffer that caused her to remain firm in her calling as an educator; but it was a vow…an unwavering promise that she made as a child herself… one that she could not and would not renege upon. Born in Bowling Green, KY, and raised there from birth until five, Verna was the youngest of three children who Momma Jenny, late mother of were all a product of a Verna King (personal submission) broken home. Living within a primarily industrial and agricultural society, her father’s decision to separate from her mother Jenny 24

where the classes were only partitioned to separate the first through fourth graders from fifth through eighth, Verna and her sisters were stigmatized, so to speak, by the dark cloud which was seemingly residing over their household situation. “We were on welfare. I remember the government cheese and the powdered milk,” says Ms. King of their dire straits. “I was ashamed because we were on welfare, because of my mom not being educated and the job that she had. I was embarrassed going to school; but she was doing the best that she could do. At that time I did not know that.” Even though her young mind could not fully grasp the depths of the distress which they were suffering, Verna did comprehend that her job was to please the heart of Momma Jenny by conducting herself well in the classroom; but, as within many one parent homes there was no one available to assist her with school work. In turn, Verna’s education was somewhat stifled. “I remember flunking the first grade and I was devastated,” said Ms. King. “At that time I didn’t know what the word devastation meant. I just knew that my little friends that were in the grade with

Ms. King works one on one with Kindergarden Brian White.

me went on to the second grade and I was kept in the first grade.” As a child, such a quote en quote failure created a mark of reproach in her mind to the point that she believed that she was only a further embarrassment to their impoverished family. “I felt like I was a dummy.” Not so in Momma Jenny’s eyes! She continued to encourage Verna to do well in school; and, with a little help from her older sister she did not experience any further set backs in grade school. Realizing her mother’s immense love for her, Verna, who had always been a responsible child, just had to do something to relieve some of the financial stress off her mother’s back. Only a fourth grader, she decided upon obtaining employment as a strawberry picker. “Back then we didn’t make very much; and they would pay us like a quarter a basket,” she says, describing her first ever opportunity for financial gain. “I remember one time, my sister and I, we had gone out and picked strawberries; and, momma was short for a bill. She asked us for some of our money and my sister….,” she paused as the tears began to well up in her eyes, “she wouldn’t give it to her but I did.” It was that very day…that very moment even...when she made the most remarkable vow for a nine year old. “At that time I said, ‘You know Momma, when I grow up, you will never have to worry about anything. And she didn’t!” God, having heard and honored Ms. King’s vow to Momma Jenny, enabled her to increase in gaining knowledge and understanding…opening one educational door after the other. Having earned good grades throughout her secondary years, God strategically caused Verna to move to Indianapolis, IN the summer prior to her freshman year in high school. She would be attending Crispus Attucks High School in the fall. Named for the African American revolutionary

leader killed in the Boston Massacre, the school was the only all black high school in the city at that time. However, segregation was not a deterrent from proper education as the school’s history records that all of the African American teachers held a minimum of a Master’s Degree if not a PhD. One of those wise educationists took a favorable recognizance of Verna, who at that time was taking basic business courses and had expressed interests in computer programming. “She would talk to me about school and encourage me. She would make me think I could do anything,” Ms. King says of this particular teacher who was strategically placed in her life. “One day she called me into her office and asked me if I would like to go to college. I told her I couldn’t afford to…,” she said, not knowing that a window of opportunity had availed itself unto her. In those days, there were few to no student loans, grants or scholarships available to the African American scholar; but there was a summer camp program in place called Group 69 at Indiana University which afforded 200 African American students from across the state of Indiana the opportunity to prepare for college through summer courses. For those who did well, monies would be afforded for the completion of a collegiate degree. Becoming somewhat of a surrogate mother to Verna, the counselor completed the application process on behalf of Momma Jenny and even privily provided some direct financial assistance. Verna was thus ecstatically accepted into the program and, in the summer of 1969 began her first courses at IU. While she had initially desired to become a computer programmer, Verna had a change of heart. “Because this counselor had such an impact on me I decided to become a teacher.” Furthermore, Ms. King decided to finish school in three years by going to summer school every year. There was no partying for her either. “I knew that I had to prove myself so I was a loner,” she says, of focusing on her studies while working nights. Never forgetting home, Verna continued to honor her mother by sending money from her earnings as well as her student loans, caring for Momma Jenny along with her recently divorced sister and three nieces and nephews. Her determination reaped a grately rewarding harvest as out of the two hundred that entered school with Ms. King over half flunked out; but that number did not include her. “I wasn’t that little dumb girl that I thought I was. It wasn’t a 25

“When I finished my Ed. S., I bought mom a house,”... Above: Ms. King’s home in Geist Resovoir Indianapolis. To left: Ms. King sending Christmas greetings from her front door. Photos by Jocelyn Hurst

piece of cake; but I did it,” she exclaimed concerning obtaining the degree in Elementary Education. “My mom was very proud of me. I remember her coming to Bloomington when I graduated from IU and that….. that was a joyous day!” There would be many more rewarding days ahead as she went on to get her Master’s Degree from Ball State University and was able to obtain a job with Indianapolis Public Schools in 1972 after the completion of her student teaching. She later went back to IU to obtain her Ed. S. degree in school administration and supervision; and, thus became a Human Relations Consultant for IPS. She had seized not just her own dream but her mother’s vision of promise for her; and when that vision was full grown she did not fail to keep her childhood vow. “When I finished my Ed. S., I bought mom a house,” she said with a great smile. “She was just so 26

happy.” Momma Jenny lived independently in that single-family home for several years before moving into a tri-level with Verna; but, she was 86 when Verna envisioned an even greater exploit. “Momma, I’m having a house built with a master suite on the first floor just for you,” she told Momma Jenny, who had grown too ill to climb the stairs in her present home. “If you believe in God then God can do this” she encouraged Momma Jenny; and within 6 months the foundation for the luxuriant and munificent household was being laid within the Geist Reservoir community in suburban Indianapolis, where the median household income is $56K and Ms. King and Momma Jenny would become two of the less than 16% African Americans privileged to reside in such a community. Ooooohhh….where God had brought her and Momma Jenny from….from the depths and degradation of poverty to being exalted to a place of

prominence! And it was all because Verna desired to honor her mother with the fruits of her labor. In spite of her fight with diabetes, it was within the walls of that sprawling household that Momma Jenny peaceably enjoyed her final days in this Earth. So in January 2009, when Momma Jenny told Verna, “I’m ready to go home,” there were no regrets. She had paid her vow. “The most important thing to my mother was for me to get an education,” she said. It was March 15th of 2009 when Momma Jenny passed from this life into the next; but, Ms. King had received everything her mother had imparted into her.

“and that….. that was a joyous day!” “So when kids talk about what they can’t do…that’s a myth that I would like to dispel,” she explained. “I think it’s about having determination. We were poor! We didn’t have the best! We were hungry….and I survived that!” Although Ms. King retired from working in administration for IPS in 2006 she continues to serve her community’s youths as a School Community and Parent Coordinator under the umbrella of the Community Alliance of the Far East Side (CAFÉ) (in partnership with the United Way of Central Indiana) within George Buck Elementary School, IPS #94. “I’m still out there trying to change the world,” she says; and she is doing so…one child at a time.


Ward off Winter Weathered Skin


Exfoliating Brown Sugar Scrub W

inter is very tough on our outer exterior. Yet we all fight to keep soft and touchable skin from

head to toe. Let’s not forget the pain that comes with the territory of chapped, cracking and/or tight skin. We spend tons of money on heavy creams trying to ward off the wiles of the brisk cold outdoors. Turn the page for details...


Brown Sugar Scrub How to.... Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar ½ cup olive Blender or food processor

Optional ingredients: Wedge of lemon and/or orange 2-3 drops of Vanilla or Lavender essential oil Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. 2. Mix shortly so that they are chucked together. 3. Place thick mix into easy to use resealable container. *Make 2 applications: double amounts of ingredients as needed. Enjoy! Yet, those creams are not as affective when applied over dead dried skin cells. Those skin cells are no longer of any use to us. So the best thing to do is shed that outer layer of skin so that the hydrant of your choice can be properly absorbed. Thus, every so often we need to give our skin a good scrubbing. One alternative for this is to utilize a home-made exfoliating brown sugar scrub. You could simply go out to your nearest store and spend even more money on manufactured exfoliating scrubs; but why not spend less by doing it yourself? The basics can be found right in your kitchen: a bag of brown sugar and olive oil. Brown sugar granules are round enough particles to gently rid the skin of dead cells; and, using them is a great way to void any irritation to newer healthier skin that lies beneath. It is also easy to clean up with warm water. The sugar, when combined with heat and moisture, melts away down the drain along with your unwanted dead skin. Whereas, store bought scrubs that contain crushed shells or seeds from fruit or nuts are very jagged and can cause small tears in your skin. You will need to combine the brown sugar with oil prior to application. There are a number of various natural oils that are great for the skin; but olive oil is known for its healing, sealing, and nourishing prosperities. Olive oil, when applied, will penetrate deep into the skin and provide a long-lasting shield

of moisture to keep skin smooth and supple. Olive oil also provides the skin with moisturizing over a longer period of time as in comparison to most lightweight oils it takes longer to be fully absorbed into the skin. Do-it-yourself brown sugar scrub is an all natural alternative body scrub that will leave you with soft and revived skin and your pockets a little heavier and happier. The actual combining of the ingredients is a cinch and takes mere minutes. Feel free to play around and have fun with recipe by adding a piece of citrus fruit such as a lemon or orange for extra added exfoliation. Also, a few drops of vanilla or lavender essential oils brings in the aspect of aromatherapy making the overall experience of using the scrub more invigorating. You could also mix and match the oils you use. Maybe try avocado oil, which adds collagen back into the skin keeping the skin smooth, firm and reserves its’ youthful appearance; or, sweet almond oil which is known to relieve dryness, itchiness, and irritation. Whichever final ingredients you decide upon, use this scrub to enhance your “me-time” by exfoliating the feet. Leave it by the sink and use in daily hand washing or cleanse the entire body with it prior to the use of your everyday body wash. You may even choose to share by giving it away as a unique and welcome present for friends and family members. However you decide to use this invigorating scrub… Enjoy! 29

Colorectal Cancer: The Ugly Truth that Could Save Your Life By Charity E. Lewis

While cancer is a commonly spoken of disease most people are not familiar with the key facts concerning this antagonist that is destroying the lives of their family members, friends, church members, co-workers and neighbors. They have no clue as to why it does what it does or how to prevent it for that matter. One type of cancer in particular may be faux pas in discussion; yet, it is the most likely to be prevented if the embarrassment were removed and the facts were unveiled in conversation. Cancer itself is in actuality a group of more than 100 different diseases inclusive of those most common: Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Leukemia, and Colon and Rectal Cancer to name a few. This raging disease diabolically affects the body’s most basic unit: the cell, by causing them to become abnormal and divide without any form of order or control. It is normal for the body to recreate cells as needed; but when this reproduction is not required, a 30

mass of tissue forms creating a polyp growth or tumor, which can be benign or malignant. The latter is itself cancer. When this occurs in the colon, the part of the body where waste material is stored, or the rectum, the end of the colon adjacent to the anus (or the two together forming the intestine) it can invade and damage neighboring tissue and even distant organs through a process called metastasis. Symptoms may include but are not limited to extreme fatigue, nausea, constipation and/or blood in the stool. This type of cancer in particular is the third leading cause of cancer in males and the fourth leading cause in females. According to the American Cancer Society (, there were an estimated 101,700 new cases of colon cancer and 39,510 new cases of rectal cancer for the year 2011. Although the risk is slightly lower for women, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries found that from 2003 to 2007, forty-one

out of every 1,000 women reported an incidence of colorectal cancer; and, from among them the National Center for Health Statistics declares that 14 of 1,000 died. Thus, the ACS expects that Colorectal Cancer will cause 49,380 deaths, amongst both men and women, before December 31, 2011. What can we do to deter this debilitating disease? Preventative medicine is always the best measure. First things first, some dietary changes will need to be made especially for persons who eat a primarily western diet which is causing cases to increase especially in the United States. According to, “Diets high in fat are believed to predispose humans to colorectal cancer” seeing that “the breakdown products of fat metabolism lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens).” It is therefore better to have a diet filled with vegetables, fruits and fiber so that they may remove the carcinogens from the bowel through bulkier stools thus reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Secondarily, it is important to keep your annual doctor’s appointment and get tested for colorectal cancer, especially if there is any form of cancer in your family history. One should not be afraid to talk to the doctor about blood in the stool, loose stools or constipation. If these symptoms are being experienced consistently, don’t hesitate to visit your physician prior to your annual examination and request a stool occult blood test. Conducted in the privacy of your own home this test could be your first line of defense as the earlier the detection the better. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms but there is a genetic predisposition or family history of cancer it would be wise to undergo a flexible sigmoidoscopy screening test every

three to five years if under the age of 50; and, it is recommended to start as early as age 10. This test examines the rectum and lower colon using a viewing tube and is a shortened version of a colonoscopy. Once you have reached the age of 50 a full colonoscopy is recommended. Should any one of these tests display red flags the doctor may advise you to undergo a full colonoscopy or a lower GI series (barium enema x-ray). There is no reason to be afraid as the performance of further testing can aid the doctor in localizing polyp growths. A biopsy, or small tissue sample, will also assist in determining whether such tumors are benign or malignant. If they are determined to be malignant, complete surgical removal of these growths (even if pre-cancerous) can prevent the development of further cancer. While these administered preventions may seem invasive; “it is better to be safe than sorry” as any one or the cooperation of these procedures could very well save your life or that of your loved ones.


Fear Thou Not:

How Pastor Sarah J. Bruton's Faith Overthrew the Enemy of Cancer By Charity E. Lewis Photos by Jocelyn M. Hurst


With every letter of every word on each page of the triumphal story of the life of Pastor Sarah J. Bruton, Senior Pastor of Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc, God would continuously make Himself known as her personal confident, faithful companion and healer. He would not leave her comfortless during the course of any one plaguing or disparaging dilemma. Although a great tempest would blow, the winds would not prevail against this elect lady…not even the thunderous raging of cancer. The year was 2002 and by this point in her life it had been 41 years since Mother Bruton, had married her childhood sweetheart, the late Pastor George E. Bruton, former Senior Pastor of Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc. An admirable and captivating example of Christ and His bride, they had built an array of loving memories as Pastor George’s demonstration of respect and honor for his country within the United States Air Force had afforded them such vast opportunities to see the wonders of the world from parts of Africa to Spain and across our great nation. The couple who originated from Marion, KY,

a small town about the breadth of 3.3 square miles, determined upon settling in Indianapolis in 1974, where they dwelt in an auspicious household they had built from the ground up, there rearing two sons, Howard and Ponnell. While Pastor George served his country, Mother, an exemplary Proverbs 31 woman, put her hands to the plow as a seamstress at Macy’s and an administrator for the Indiana Girl’s School. However, it was not as if they had never been met with fiery tests and trials. It was 1993 when Sarah’s most cherished soul mate suffered from a stroke and then a heart attack. Allowing none of these things to move them, God, in response to their agreeing faith saw him through a very trying bi-pass surgery. Yet, this time around it was Pastor Sarah’s body that came under a horrific attack. That January was bitingly cold as are most winters in the Circle City; but, it was not nearly as frigid as the symptoms she began to experience within her body. “I’ll never forget those weak days. I just kept on being nauseated everyday; and, at my age you know you are not pregnant,” she chuckled as she spoke of the indicia of unwelcome acquaintances which had been express delivered to her temporary tent. Not to mention the sanguinary hue that made infrequent appearances in her stools. Thus, she was prompted to submit a stool occult blood test. As if that were not embarrassment enough, Pastor Bruton was afterward directed to undergo a colonoscopy, being not-so-privately probed by a miniature medical camera in search of polyp growths which would be unveiled as the secret agents behind this malicious undercover operation of infirmity. God in His omnipotence sent a special messenger of His own to counter-silence the voice of the enemy and encourage His precious daughter. She was attending prayer service the Tuesday following all of the intrusive evaluation procedures, when one of the ministers at her present church, unaware of her existent circumstances, spoke expressly into her heart saying: “Sarah, the Lord said, ‘Fear thou not! ‘Be not afraid of what might happen. I will keep you.” All the while the cells in her body were in complete disarray, rapidly dividing again and then again without a singular modicum of control. A malignant tumor had thus been maliciously formed and implanted itself within the lining of her intestinal walls. Metastasis then followed as the cancer played a game of leap frog, hopping from one place to another within her digestive system. A secretive dramatic performance was unfolding on a darkened theatre 33

stage within her body, only openly playing a peeka-boo of symptoms which almost afforded this vile predator the prime opportunity to remain under the radar. However, the results were in. “Sarah, you have cancer,” were the declarative findings of the colorectal specialist. But she chose to believe the report of the Lord. “I took that verse [Isaiah 41:10]…and when the doctor called to confirm that I did have cancer I didn’t have any fears because of what He had already told me. It seemed like that whole year everything I would pick up would say ‘Fear thou not.’ And so I said, ‘Well, I’m just going to stand on that!’” Holding firm to the recipe for her faith Pastor Bruton also added a pinch of practicality and complied with doctor’s orders to undergo colorectal surgery that February. Prepped for the daunting procedure in Methodist Hospital, the then 69 year old Mother Bruton was attired in only a thin hospital gown which certainly was not befitting of her refined beauty or elegant character and integrity consistently evidenced by her genteel apparel which only outwardly models the depth of this awe-inspiring woman. Accessorized with hospital ID bracelets and needles in connection to the tubes which were administering fluids and anesthesia, there was one thing that was not flowing through her veins in spite of it all…fear. It never once set in because this woman of God had placed the 34

entirety of her faith in the advanced report of the God of all creation who had so ordered this soldier that she “Fear thou not!” (Isaiah 41:10) “It’s just like when my baby was sick,” she shared of the time when her six month old son Ponnell suffered miserably from bronchiolitis. A young and inexperienced mother, she watched in agony for nine elongated days as her baby boy lie incubated, helpless and feeble, struggling to inhale medicated vapors. “Years later the Lord told me, ‘I healed your baby.’ Although he had it …it wasn’t the medication. Although He [God] moves in it …He’s the one that does it,” she declared. Thus Mother Bruton consented to her doctor’s care, undergoing the colorectal surgery in January followed by the dregs of chemotherapy from March until October. It was one week on and two weeks off of the cancerous cell destroying antidote being pumped into her body via a portal in her shoulder. Yet, she and Pastor George remained faithful. “George and I would lie across the bed and he’d say ‘Aaahh…we’re going through this…but He loves us.’ And I would say, ‘Yeah, I know He loves us.’” While she endured hardness as a good soldier God was moving on Pastor Bruton’s behalf to break generational curses. “See that devil used to tell me, “I’m taking you out. You are going get cancer like the rest of your family did. My mom had colon cancer first


It was through Pastor Bruton’s unshakable and unmovable faith that God was able to perform such a wondrous and marvelous miracle in her life. Having undergone all of the proper medical process which God inspired in the mind of man, Pastor Bruton completed one final tests: a carcinoembryonic antigen or CEA blood tests to detect the substance of any remaining cancer cells. The results again were in. Only this time, there was stamp of victory applied by the blood of Jesus! Pastor Sarah Bruton was cancer free! It was done unto her according to her

“That assurance…it’s just everything….cause you know what He told you and you know that He’s going to do exactly what He said! He’s gon’ hold my hand! He’s gon’ do this for me! Just rest assured… so sure! There are no doubts. You know when you can go to bed and go to sleep and sleep all night ‘til time to go to surgery…you are not worried,” she exclaimed with heartily laughter and a vivid smile. Seeing their faithfulness to God, in season and out, the Lord rewardingly established the ministry of Senior Pastor George E. Bruton and First Lady Sarah Bruton within Virtue And Praise Ministries on May 10th, 2009. Thus they were able to happily spend their latter years together serving the Lord as an astute father and gracious mother to many spiritual children prior to his honorable discharge from his earthly service in the Kingdom of God on September 29th, and 2010. In salutation, God transferred the then my brother who was a minister same precious anointing to his loving had lymphoma. I had one brother to have brain cancer wife of nearly fifty years, her being humbly and and then my father had prostate cancer. And I got it… graciously installed as Senior Pastor. Remaining but I prayed against it and I’m still here,” she resoundingly caner free until this day, Pastor Sarah J. Bruton’s life expressed! So when the surgery was successful, just as was preserved for such a time as this. God’s promises had assured, Sarah came home, and although somewhat weak, “I got up and went to church the following Sunday,” she says. 35

10 Gifts for Him By Charity E. Lewis and Carlene Ng-Gomez


Shopping for the man in your life can be frustrating especially during the holiday season. You want to get him the perfect gift but you are not quite sure what he will like. Plus, you don’t want to get him just any “old” gift or a different version of the same gift from last year. You want to get him something that he will really love and something that is unique to him. Let the Women’s Corner can help. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 gift ideas for the 2011-2012 holiday season. Hopefully this list will help you find the right gift for that special man in your life! 1. Superbowl Tickets: This year the number #1 best gift you can give your husband or boyfriend are Super Bowl XLVI tickets…especially since the Super Bowl is being hosted in my hometown of Indianapolis for the first time ever. The venue is set for Lucas Old Stadium home to the Indianapolis Colts with its retractable roof and seating for 70,000. The date is February 5th, 2012 which is right around the corner and will feature a head on collision between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) season champions (that tidbit is for the ladies who care to know nothing about “fool’s ball.” LOL). Will it be the Packers, the Patriots, the Saints, the Ravens or the Steelers declaring a win this year? Only time will tell…but regardless your man will be beyond superexcited and will love you forever. Need I say more?? You want to get tickets fast because even though they are expensive they are selling like hot cakes. They can be purchased by calling (866) TIX- 4NFL or by visiting These options are the most secure but the tickets may be more expensive because you are buying them directly from the NFL. However, these options may even offer overnight FedEx shipping or pick up at the box office if you just have to wait until the last minute. Other alternatives include checking out websites like and for discounted prices starting from $1, 930.00. Your boo will also appreciate tickets to participate in other main events such as the 20th NFL Experience Presented by GMC. (I’m sure we’ve all seen the funny Mike Epps commercials for that engagement. LOL) Hosted at the Indiana Convention Center beginning January 27th, the festivities will include an interactive theme park, autograph sessions, a football memorabilia show and football clinics for the kids…just in case he chooses to bond with the little guy instead of the fellas. Whatever he decides to do during the Super Bowl, he’ll appreciate the “weekend pass” to just be a man! 2. Electronics: Electronics come in at a close second to Superbowl Tickets. Men love electronicstelevisions, iPhones, computers, etc. This is a gift that never stops giving. He gets to play with his favorite toy for a while and you get some time to yourself! Electronics can be found just about anywhere at places like Wal-Mart, online at, Sam’s Club and Best Buy. The iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab are expected to be the top selling electronics this year. Right behind these are the iPhone 4, Android phones, and e-readers like the Kindle 3G. Next are LCD Televisions. Since these have become so common LCD televisions are sold at great prices. They can even be found for as low as $300.00. Internet TV makes the list too with add-on Apple TV boxes for $100.00 and Google TV for $300.00. Roku boxes will stream movies from Netflix to your home TV for only $60.00. Any number these man toys is bound to be a winner. 3. Video Game/Game System: One thing is for sure about men: they never grow out of playing video games. They always want the latest games to play and the newest game system to play them on. If this sounds like the man in your life, go buy him that game he can’t stop talking about. Or if you have no idea 37

which games he likes, buy him a gift card to EB Games or any other store that sells video games. Some suggestions on the latest game systems to buy are the PS Move and Xbox Kinect, both of which try to match the Wii with a camera and sensor that mimic a player’s movements. Of course, the Nintendo Wii is and will continue to be a popular gift for Christmas. Popular games include Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fallout: New Vegas, Halo, Rock Band 3, Goldeneye and the staple football and basketball games. 4. Tools and Gadgets: Tools are a man’s best friend and any man will appreciate a new tool or gadget to add to his collection. Replace his old, worn out tools with something brand new that he has always wanted. You can choose from anything such as kitchen tools, power tools, office gadgets, etc. The list is endless. If you need some help picking out that perfect gadget or tool, you can always stop by Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Menards. The associates there can make suggestion of the best gift to fit your loved one’s interests. If you prefer online shopping, you can visit, which lists the top 11 best gadgets to buy your spouse for Christmas. One of the unique tools listed is the Felo Ergonomic Screwdriver. This is easy to use and has cushion handles that conform to the users’ unique grip. Might D Worklight is another cool tool that made the list. This light stays cool, does not need an outlet, and has hand friendly features. Finally, other unique gadgets are the Livescribe Echo Smartpen that records audio as you write and has a microphone at the top of the pen and the TomTom Go Live World Navigation Device that has social networking capability and automatically updates the day and time. Both devices can be found on and respectively. Just remember, it doesn’t matter what kind you buy him. All that matters is it is some kind of tool or cool gadget because he will find a reason to use it. 5. Watch: Watches are mandatory accessories for any man’s wardrobe. Watches add personality to any outfit, whether formal or casual. The best part is that watches come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They even range from sportswear to formal wear. From the Rolex Perpetual Air-King Precision, Gucci’s first digital offering, to the Casio Men’s G-Shock Multi-band or the TAG Heuer Men’s silver Aquaracer, there’s something for every man starting as low as $110. While you could shop at the vendor kiosk at Macy’s or Nordstroms, the best prices for men’s watches seem to be on this year 6. Cologne: This is always a great gift for the man in your life, whether your husband, brother, or son. If you don’t already know it, figure out what his favorite fragrance is and go buy it for him. He will be psyched that you know his favorite scent. Plus, he can never have too much of it. If you want to surprise him, the best picks are the market right now are Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue, L’eau D’issey by Issey Miyake and Gucci Rush or Envy by Gucii


7. Cuff Links: This is a great idea for any man, especially for the business man. Cuff links vary in style and type-gold, silver, black, fancy, and simple. You can pick out the perfect pair for his favorite suit. You can even engrave most cufflinks to add a personal touch to the gift. You can find cufflinks at any major department store in the men’s section. 8. Personalized Money Clip: Most men don’t carry a wallet and as a result the money gets shoved in their pockets. A money clip is a great way for men like this to organize their cash. You can even go to Things Remembered to pick out a keychain and other various knick knacks, such as a coffee mug or money clip that you can have engraved with your own special message. 9. Framed Picture of You and Him: This is a simple, easy gift to give. Find your favorite picture of you and him and put it in a nice frame. If you are creative, you can decorate the frame with glitter, rhinestones, or any knick knack. You can even take this a step further and create a collage of your favorite memories of you and him. 10. Gift Card: Gift cards are another great gift for your favorite guy. These are an effortless gift. Pick any amount and a store (preferably one of his favorites) and it’s a wrap! If you are unsure of which store to choose, you can buy a Visa gift card from the mall that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.


Holiday Boldness How To Wear Animal Print

It is that wonderful time of year again! Everywhere you go you see twinkling lights, holiday decorations, and children laughing. The streets are lined with trees that come alive with Christmas lights and holiday music is heard in your favorite shopping centers. Oh, what a delight! And oh, yes! We must not forget about all of the frivolity that comes with the holidays - food, fun, and parties! Parties are a great way to enjoy the holidays and are definitely a fantastic excuse to dress up. Holiday attire is always fun and fabulous and full of silky fabrics and sequins. This year holiday wear has been given a little bit of twist with today’s latest fashion trend-animal print. In this article, I will show you how to add a little flare to your holiday wear using this newest trend. If not worn properly, animal print can be ostentations and loud. It can look distasteful and outdated. What’s worse is you may end up looking like you are part of the jungle, if print is not worn in moderation. During the holidays, this is the last thing you would want. However, with these few simple tips you can incorporate animal print into any holiday outfit.


Pick One Print

Zebra Stripe Peep Toe Pump Charlotte Russe $30.00

Animal print comes in many different variations. There is everything from zebra, cheetah & giraffe. And even these can range in colors from neutrals to bright colors. The key is to pick only one print. Not every variation of leopard print goes together or goes with another print like zebra. If you going to mix and match them, stick with one consistent print. Let all pieces be of the same print. This will help the print to stand out. It will also further help to accentuate your figure.

Keep It Simple Wild Panel Bracelet Forever 21 $8.80

Once you decide on a print, you should decide how you are going to wear it. There is a multiplicity of ways to wear animal print. Since print is found everywhere, you can wear printed tops, jackets, shoes, belts, skirts, and pants. You can even wear handbags and jewelry. However, this does not mean you should wear them all at once. Wear 1-2 pieces of animal print per outfit. Wear a shirt or jacket with matching shoes. Pair a great animal print belt with a solid color top and a pair of jeans. Remember a little goes a long way.

Start with Accessories

Merona Zebra Print Scarf Target $11.24

Leopard Print Handbag Forever 21 $24.89

Since accessories can dress up any outfit, it is the perfect way to spice up any “plain jane” outfit. This is a great way to incorporate animal print into any outfit and to accent your outfit with some animal print. Because print can be found in more than just clothing, wearing a couple of accessories instead of a single piece of printed clothing can be a great way to subtlety add the latest trend to your wardrobe. Printed bracelets, earrings, and necklaces can be used to bring a little spice to your solid colored top or blazer. An animal print handbag and shoes will add a touch of personality to your “little black dress.” You can even add an animal print scarf to help you keep warm in the winter.


Python Crossback Top Charlotte Russe $20.99

Satin Leopard Trench Charlotte Russe $44.99

Finally, if you are feeling really bold, wear a great fitting dress in your choice of animal print. Add red accessories such as jewelry or belt to show off your favorite print. You can even add a little sparkle with metallic sequined shoes or a jacket. Both will help to add a little holiday cheer to your outfit and cause your personality to shine! The list of ways to wear animal print goes on and on; but the key is to find what works best for you and your body type. If you are unsure of what looks best on you, go to the store and try on different types of clothes and animal prints. Find a sales associate who can help you pick out clothing that suits your body type. You can also take a friend with you who would be able to make honest suggestions for your body type. (Plus, it is always more fun with a friend!) Just remember to have fun and be creative. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.


No She Didn't! How to Be a Fashionista in Your Sunday Best By Carlene Ng-Gomez

Nautical Contrast Pea Coat Forever 21 $47.80


Getting dressed for church can seem like a daunting if not impossible task. Many questions arise such as, “Should I dress up or dress down? Should I put on a skirt or pants? Jeans or dress pants?” And the list of questions just goes on and on. It used to be that getting dressed for church was simple. The rule was: always dress up. Children were forced to wear suits and ruffled dresses. Jeans were unacceptable and if you were attending a real “old school” church, it was mandated for women to put on a skirt that fell below the knee; and, IF they wore make it better be little to none! This type of dress definitely did not allow for women to be fashionable let alone trendy. Yet, it seems like as time goes on the standards for women’s dress is changing. As the modern church is evolving so is the dress code. It is becoming increasingly more fashion oriented…so much so that church has become a fashion show. Women wear pants, fancy hats, and even makeup. Some people even wear jeans, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. I have even noticed that there are some televangelists who wear jeans for Sunday service! (Now, please note that there are still some denominations that abide by a stricter dress code). So, with all of these changes, how should you dress for Sunday morning service? And is it okay to be fashionable and trendy when attending church? The answer, fashionistas, is YES! It just has to be “decent and in order” as they say. So here are my recommendations. First and foremost, I would recommend that you abide by the particular church’s dress code that you will be attending. For example, if you will be going to any Pentecostal, apostolic, or charismatic church that does not believe in women wearing pants, then please do not wear them. Wear a skirt that comes at least to your knees, just to be safe. However, that does not mean that you have to look like you a member of the Mother’s Board, Usher Board or Nursing Committee wearing a skirt to the floor and a long-sleeved high neck turtleneck shirt. There is a difference between being antiquated and fashionable. You still can dress respectfully and fashionably. However, you are probably thinking that you have to throw out your entire wardrobe and run out to the mall to buy trendy, expensive clothing from a name brand store. Yet, this is not the case. Instead, use your current wardrobe as a foundation. Start by accessorizing the basics (i.e. solid color pants and tops, etc.). Brighten up your black pants with a pair 44

Woven Leopard Forever 21 $13.80.

Metallic Ring Wristbag Charlotte Russe $18.50

Disco Fever Metallic Pump Charlotte Russe $32.50

of brightly colored shoes or a printed top. Mix in an animal print purse to give your old blazer new spice. Pair your business suit with a beautiful, silk scarf, fancy earrings, or a trendy belt. There is an endless amount of ways to give new life to your current wardrobe. Here are 3 of the latest fashion trends and how to mix them with your current clothing: Animal Print: Nothing will make a bolder statement than animal print! Animal print can be worn in an innumerable amount of ways. There are even varying types of animal print such as giraffe, cheetah, zebra, and even pink, purple, or red print. These are found in every form, from shoes and purses to jewelry and clothes. So, how should you wear

Butterfly Sequin Top Forever 21 $22.80

Sparkle and Feather Necklace Forever 21 $12.80

Suedette Rhinestone Flats Forever 21 $16.80

zebra print? The key to wearing this bold fashion trend is to not wear too much at once. Keep it simple. For example, wearing printed jewelry, a printed top, and a printed belt would be too much. Instead try replacing the printed top with a solid color shirt. This helps to tone down the boldness of the print. Learn to use the animal print as an accent by wearing printed shoes with solid pants or a scarf with a brightly colored blazer. The Color Red: Just as bold of a statement as animal print is the color red. This color works best when mixed with black and white prints or shades of brown. To make this color really stand out, you can pair red with darker colors like grey and black. Accessorize a printed top or jacket with

Sequin Front Cardigan Forever21 $32.50


sweaters and any winter look. Mix a sequined beret with a sequined purse and any sweater dress for a bolder feel. However you wear it, make sure you wear it with confidence and class. Metallic Sheik: This is one trend that will definitely turn some heads. Metallic, sequined, and glittered fabrics will add a little bit of fun to any outfit. You can sparkle all day long in these fabrics. The best way to wear these audacious fabrics is to wear them in moderation. Add a metallic jacket to dress up your pair of jeans. You can also wear a sequined top with a pair of dress pants. If you want to be warm for the winter weather, you can wear a glittered scarf paired with a comfy sweater and glittered heels. Whether you wear a metallic jacket or a sequined scarf, these fabrics will make you the center of attention!

Tortoise Button Blazer Forever 21 $29.80

a red belt, purse, or earrings. You can even wear a printed or solid color dress with a red trench coat and matching red shoes. If you are feeling really daring, you can wear a sheik red dress paired with a printed purse and matching shoes. Just remember, a little bit of red goes a long way! Hats: The ultimate accessories this season, hats are a great way to liven up any outfit. Plus, it is always acceptable to wear hats to church. And let’s face it, hats are a great way to hide a bad hair day and still be trendy! Hats come in many shapes Faceted Bead Necklace and sizes from fedoras to berets to Forever 21 $10.80 caps and beanies. Hats go with just about everything. You can dress them up or dress them down. You can add some sparkle to your favorite pair of jeans and blazer with a sequined hat. Or you can opt for a more sophisticated look by adding a fedora to any outfit. Berets work well with 46

You can mix and match these trends however they fit your personality. Dress according to your personal style and what looks good on you. Dress in what you feel most comfortable wearing, and remember you can dress fashionably and in the latest trends. Don’t forget, however, that church is not a fashion show and is not about impressing your neighbor. Church is about praising the Lord and not about wearing expensive, name brand clothes. Be true to who you are but with respect to the church’s dress code you will be attending. When in doubt, err on the side of caution-put on a longer skirt with stockings. Also, be sure that your cleavage and upper arms are completely covered out of honor the ministry you will be attending. Modesty is acceptable at all times; but don’t forget to spice up that skirt with a bold top or brightly colored jacket. Don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Be bold! Be fashionable! And Praise the Lord!

Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc. Proudly Presents


The Third Saturday of Every Month 11 AM Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc. 2989 W. 71st St., Ste. #5 Indianapolis, IN 46268 For more information call (317) 388-1541 or e-mail:


The Women's Corner  
The Women's Corner  

A refreshing new publication sponsored by Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc., The Women's Corner Magazine addresses the issues facing the ev...