ADAPTING YOU TO LIFE. ADAPTING YOU TO GOD
Vol. 3 Issue 2
CRISTINA CAIN: YOU CAN HEAR FROM GOD
HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO FOR THE GOSPEL?
TAKE A REAL STAND AGAINST SOCIAL INJUSTICE
SLAVERY RIGHT IN YOUR BACKYARD
THE LEADERSHIP & JUSTICE ISSUE
ARE YOU READY TO ANSWER THE CALL?
LEARN TO DO GOOD. SEEK JUSTICE. HELP THE OPPRESSED. DEFEND THE CAUSE OF ORPHANS. FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF WIDOWS. ISAIAH 1: 17, NLT
P. 16 | Are you Ready to Take a Beating? P. 20 | God’s Call to Leadership
P. 40 | Review: Southern Lights: Overexposed
LEADERSHIP & JUSTICE P. 24 | America: Home of the Free, Home of the Enslaved P. 26 | The Fight for Social Justice P. 28 | Preventing Social Injustice P. 30 | Living a Surrendered Life
CAREER & MONEY P. 34 | Career Spotlight: Counseling P. 36 | Prophet Cris Tells Us How to Hear from God
IN EVERY ISSUE • EDITOR’S LETTER • CONTRIBUTORS • DISCOVER GOOD..
Photo: Michelle Clarkson
Believe it or not within each of us lies the power to lead. Some people seem to be naturally gifted leaders while others, whether through life circumstances or moments of crisis, seem rise to leadership. Either way, at some point, everyone must answer the call to leadership. Moses, King David, Joseph, Esther, Rahab, Jesus...the Bible is full of examples of men and women who had to answer the call. The beauty of it is that God did not just rely on their innate skills and talents to complete His work. He equipped them by shaping them through trials and tests. For example, Moses, raised in the palace of the Pharaoh, murdered a man and found himself running for his life into the wilderness. David, who received the call to kingship at a young age, spent 15-plus years running from King Saul because of Saul’s jealousy. Joseph, the dreamer, was sold into slavery by the very ones he would later have to save. He ends up in the service of the Pharaoh as a slave and is falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife and as a result is thrown in jail for 17 years. Yikes! In some way shape or form, authentic leadership requires brokenness and brokenness usually only emerges through
trial and tribulation. I also believe that is the reason that most people don’t respond to the leadership call. We don’t want to go through the process of being broken. We don’t want to face ridicule for standing up for what we believe in. We don’t want to go against the status quo. If God is currently calling you to pursue leadership, don’t hesitate to respond and don’t run away from the wilderness season He has you in. Embrace the journey. While he was in the valley, David was able to say, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life...” Although he couldn’t see the end, David believe that God was with him every step of the way. This applies to you as well. As you go, God’s goodness, grace and mercy are right behind you. In this issue we discuss what it takes to truly answer the call to leadership, our role in terms of justice as well as what it truly means to live a surrendered life. We are extremely grateful for our guest contributors from Ms. Tiffany Morrow’s high school students. They are so excited to share their thoughts on justice with you! We hope you enjoy their stories!
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Editor@adaptmag.com PAULA KERR
Paula@adaptmag.com MONICA SIMMONDS
CHRIS RYAN DAVIS
Adapt Magazine is published four times a year by UnKonventional Media, LLC. All questions regarding advertising, subscriptions or this publication should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit www.unkonventionalmedia.com to learn more about our company.
@ADAPTMAGAZINE @ADAPTMAGAZINE @ADAPTMAGAZINE @ADAPTMAGAZINE @ADAPTMAG Photo By: Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock.com Students protesting in Milan, Italy against austerity, Italian crisis and marching to claim their future. October 2013.
1. Paula Kerr: Paula is the assistant editor for Adapt Magazine. Her background and experience include communications, human resources management, recruiting, benefits administration and communications, as well as training and development. In her current as a senior writer for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts®., Paula develops and writes communication and education resources for Disney Destinations. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Public Relations from Iona College, New Rochelle, New York. Paula has been a contributing writer for Adapt since 2009. 2. Paul Mercado: Paul Mercado is a passionate freelance writer from a multicultural background. Blessed with a heart for the lost and the least, he uses his gifts to encourage others to tap into their God given potential and purpose. Paul is also an avid martial artist. His martial pursuit has enabled him to see conflict from a warrior’s perspective and how it corresponds to spiritual warfare. 3. Tiffany Morrow: Tiffany is passionate about Jesus and educating her students. A Gainesville, native, Tiffany has dedicated her life to impacting young people for Christ. Her life’s mission is to inspire, challenge, raise up, train, model, support, and catalyze the transformation of minds towards Christ.
GUEST CONTRIBUTORS: Hannah, Ryan and Ethan are all students in Tiffany Morrow’s high school class. These students were tasked with writing an article on the topic of social justice. The students were told that the best articles would be published in the Leadership & Justice Issue. To all of the students who participated, thank you for your awesome submissions! To our readers: we hope you thoroughly enjoy their articles!
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DISCOVER GOOD...READS GREAT BOOKS ON LEADERSHIP If you want to be a great leader, you can’t solely rely on what you know. Great leaders are always looking for ways to improve their character in turn improve the character of people around them. These books are a great start in that direction. They are available in print and digital formats on Amazon.
START WITH WHY By: Simon Sinek
THE LEADERSHIP LESSONS OF JESUS By: Bob Briner and Ray Pritchard
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ARE YOU READY TO TAKE A BEATING? NO? THEN YOU DON'T KNOW LOVE Tiffany Morrow, Contributor
How could a person sacrifice for the sake of overcoming hate with love, when all they have been trained to value is their own comfort, convenience and pleasure? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” While the rhetoric of this statement is profoundly charming, are we functionally committed to living out this reality? Do we even know how?
life, the embodiment of Biblical love, was entirely selfless: enduring psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical beatings – even to the point of death. In general, the American-Christian practice of love does not even come close to this.
Hate is viciously cyclic. Darkness is consuming. Hate is contagious. Darkness is insatiable. Hate will not go quietly into this good night, nor will darkness diffuse its influence easily. Hate and darkness will, resolutely, press against any opposition relentlessly until it consumes the opposition or until the opposition consumes it. And sadly, hate often wins this standoff.
Our culture’s dissemination and indoctrination of the normalcy and importance of comfort, convenience and pleasure have domesticated American-Christians. How could a person sacrifice for the sake of overcoming hate with love, when all they have been trained to value is their own comfort, convenience and pleasure? Sure, there is the encouragement in reading Scriptures and the weekly visit to hear the preacher speak, but deep in our hearts there is a code embedded, planted and watered since childhood; and that is the utmost value of comfort, convenience and pleasure.
The only opposition that has yet to be consumed by the tenacious force of hate, is love. However, in the confrontation between love and hate, hate capitalizes on every opportunity to overpower love. Hate does not yield willingly, but rather fights more fiercely when combatted with love. And love must, in order to defeat and consume hate, withstand many, many beatings.
This embedded code, some call it a neural highway, issues an automatic response in the face of hardship, burden or waiting, which is to seek refuge in the nearest comfort.
The American concept of love is sadly domesticated. Love, in the American way, rarely sacrifices self for the sake of another, and especially not for a spiteful, hate-filled enemy. Love is reduced to good feelings, elated moods and idyllic romanticism.
Well, in the midst of battling hate, the nearest refuge of comfort is often to give into that hate. Many American-Christians have mastered the political jargon of condemning actions of hate and hate-speech. And, beyond the jargon, many American-Christians even feel angered by the perpetuation of hate-crimes. However, they are ignorant to, or intentionally turning away from engaging in the actual force that disarms hate – love.
Perhaps, occasionally, love will extend to enduring a hardship with a loved-one, but often when this hardship becomes too much of a personal burden, causing personal damage, a withdrawal from “love” is soon to follow – of course for the sake of one’s own “health.”
Perhaps, deep down, they are unwilling to commit themselves to the actual battle involved in fighting hate, and instead ease their consciences by verbally reproving hate.
In close proximity follows the American-Christian practice of love. Notice the word ‘practice.’ While AmericanChristians may claim a Biblical view of love, often based on 1 Corinthians 13, their functional practice of love is far more American than it is Biblical.
But, love cannot be reduced to words. Love lives, moves, breathes, and fights; and love takes many beatings. In Keith W. Phillips’ novel, ‘They Dare to Love the Ghetto, ‘there is a true account of a woman intentionally living in a government housing project to love and care for disadvantaged children in one of America’s ghettos. This
American Christianity, in a broad and general sense (there are exceptions and praise God for them), has and continues to be a terrible misrepresentation of Biblical love. Christ’s 17
While love requires taking a beating, no human can withstand that beating unless they themselves have encountered and continue to encounter—on a daily basis — the love of Jesus Christ... woman was cherished by most of the children in the area, except for one teenage girl.
harsh and unkind. I was brash and insensitive. I complained and spewed my cynical negativity like vomit, trying to disrupt her pretext of joy. But, she didn’t budge.
The girl was part of a violent and troublesome group of females that terrorized the area. She and her posse regularly fought, yet she was known to fight out of rage.
She always responded with copious encouragement and inspiring words, as a response to my negativity! It was uncanny. She expressed belief in my potential and regularly built me up, despite my terrible attitude. My hate, my hardened and wounded heart, was being swallowed up in love. But, I assure you this woman took many of my beatings in the process.
When the woman encountered this troubled teen, the woman spoke gently and compassionately to her of Jesus’ love for her. The girl, in return, tried to exert power over the woman through physical threat or indifference. In one instance, the girl began beating the woman down, punching and kicking her while screaming profanities.
Dr. King was a forerunner in this understanding that only love can drive out hate. And, King was not only familiar with the hate in the world, but adamantly active in fighting that hate – through love.
The woman did not retaliate and simply took the beating – literally – while repeating over and over again that Jesus loved her. Some time later, the girl and woman had another encounter and again the girl went into a rage and began beating the woman.
King was inspired by a word Gandhi often referenced: Satyagraha, which means truth force or love force. This word embodies the reality that love and truth are forces, which are unconquerable. Gandhi developed his methods of nonviolent civil disobedience around this word and concept. Similarly, King used Satyagraha as a foundation for the Civil Rights Movement in America.
After only a few blows, the girl began sobbing and in between sobs pleaded, “why wont you hit me back?” The woman gently responded, “because Jesus loves you and I love you.” The woman hugged this girl as she broke down and finally received love in exchange for her venomous hate.
Yet, where King and Gandhi differed was the source from which this love force came. To King, love was not generated by human means or energy. Instead, unconquerable love came from the constant supply of Jesus Christ.
Love conquered hate, love consumed hate. But, love took a beating in the process. The above-mentioned account of love receiving and enduring beatings may be less applicable to most American-Christians reading this, though it need not be. Hence, let me give account of my own encounter with love.
While love requires taking a beating, no human can withstand that beating unless they themselves have encountered and continue to encounter -- on a daily basis -- the love of Jesus Christ.
Having been calloused by people letting me down in various forms, I was distrusting of people and rather cynical. I had been cycled through repeated disappointments people caused, and spit out the other end becoming bitter and indifferent towards people.
His love renders people undone and consumes all remnants of hate lingering in their broken, bruised and calloused heart. The source of love, which drives out hate, is Jesus Christ. He flows into our lives and through our lives only as we intimately encounter him daily.
I was a Christian and regularly read the Bible and conversed with God, but love was ethereal, a mental concept, not a reality. One day, by divine intervention, I met a soft-spoken, meek, and impossibly gentle woman. Her nature was in such stark contrast to my own.
Still the love, now flowing, will take many beatings in order to drive out the hate in this world. And Jesus Said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I was convinced a person like her could not exist. I was sure that she was entirely unauthentic and I would soon crack her façade. By involvement in mutual church activities, I interacted with this woman multiple times a week. I was
Lord, grant us a willing spirit to sustain us as we endure beatings in the fight against hate. 18
GOD'S CALL TO LEADERSHIP: BECOMING THE LEADER GOD CREATED YOU TO BE Paul Mercado, Contributor
As humans and members of the body of Christ we all have gifts that play a part in leading the world to Him. Your gift is your specialty. What does it mean to be a true leader? Is it how many people serve you, or how many people you serve? The world often teaches us that leadership is controlling and imposing one’s will on another’s. But Biblically, that’s not the kind of leadership God ordained. Jesus addressed this controlling type of leadership in the Gospel of Luke when the apostles had a dispute as to which of them was considered to be the greatest. Jesus told them the greatest among them should be like the least, and a true leader should be like the adaptmag.com
servant. He then further clarified by asking, “Who is more important: the one sitting at the table or the one serving? You think the one at the table is more important, but I am like a servant among you.” We see this model of ‘servant leadership’ throughout Jesus’ life. It’s a clear model: If you are going to be a great leader, you’re going to have to do it by dedicating or “serving” to the world with your gift(s).
We can change the heart of humanity if we step up and accept the authority that God has given us as servant leaders. As humans and members of the body of Christ we all have gifts that play a part in leading the world to Him. Your gift is your specialty.
faithful when you’re focused on when the joy will end. Allow God to shape you. Exercise patience by learning to wait on Him -- and listen to His voice. Don’t jump the gun. His definition of success is often different than ours.
When Jesus says whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, this implies greatness is accessible to everyone. Jesus stating this means that He isn’t against anyone trying to be great, but rather He’s against the process that the world uses to achieve greatness.
3. Emulate Jesus. Jesus set the perfect example of servant leadership. He had a servant’s heart and was approachable and genuinely humble. Jesus’ humility was displayed when He washed His disciples feet.
So what is leadership? Consider the first leaders in our lives, our parents. They serve us by providing for us, cooking for us, bathing us, and taking care of us when we are sick.
This was a service, which was usually performed by lowly servants. Just as Jesus served out of love in accordance to the will of God, so should we. Those who serve well enough inspire others to serve. We’re trying to till good soil so those around us will flourish and lead others into their various gifting.
They are a prime example of “servant leaders.” This is evident in the way children emulate the habits of their parents. Not saying that all parents are perfect examples but, like it or not, all parents are leading their children in some way or another.
Strive to create a producer and not a consumer. Also, another way to emulate Jesus is to have the same heart He had against injustices and corruption. And just as Jesus would speak up and take a stand against injustices, so should we.
Likewise, good servant leaders are aware of the example they set and they use it to develop the people around them. When you accept responsibility you are making a commitment to place the assignment that God has given you ahead of your own desires.
We can change the heart of humanity if we step up and take the authority that God has given us to break the chains of the harassed and empower the helpless. Serve with your gift!
What drives us as leaders? In a word: Compassion. When Jesus saw the crowds He was moved with compassion because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, says Matthew 9:36.
4. Stop making excuses. We see this with Moses and all of his excuses. “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? What if they do not believe me or listen to me?” (Exodus 4:1) “O, Lord, I have never been eloquent, I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10). Were Moses’s shortcomings legit? I believe they were.
Empathy, Charity, and philanthropy are all synonymous with compassion. When our hearts are aligned with Christ, compassion becomes the catalyst that compels us to service. Jesus told us that, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Not many were answering the call. We can change the heart of humanity if we step up and accept the authority that God has given us as servant leaders.
Are shortcomings like these meant to stop you from serving the purpose God has set you on? Of course not! If God called you to it, He will get you through it. The things that we aren’t able to do ourselves, God will provide a helper for us. In the case of Moses, God provided his brother, Aaron to speak on his behalf. This example of delegation is what the body of Christ is for. So there is no “inferior” or “superior” in the body, only different.
Now what does it take to answer God’s call? Here are a few qualities of great leaders: 1. Have a humble heart. Ultimately, pride is a form of fear (the fear of appearing weak). A lot of times we think of serving as belittling or as an inferior position. We need to stop being afraid of doing things that the world perceives as weak and do what God tells us is right. Servant leaders find fulfillment in dedicating their gifts to humanity; not for fortune and fame.
I want to encourage you to remember that God has equipped you to lead in the area of your inherent gifts. He instilled leadership qualities in all of us. So, regardless of what the world may tell you, you have what it takes. Also, steward your gift well; chances are you have more than one.
Be content with what God has put in your life. If you only have five fish and two loaves, God can multiply them. You can rest assured that He will provide everything we need for the mission. Don’t be afraid! 2. Obedience and faithfulness. We must open ourselves up to being obedient. Get into a habit of not only running the race, but staying consistent and finishing the race.
Pray that God will direct you to a mission field to serve in the areas where your gifts can thrive. And when you are on that mission field, stay in constant communion with Him through prayer.
One way to do this is by looking forward to the good times instead of bracing for the bad. It’s hard to remain
I dare you to be the leader God created you to be by serving your gift to the world! 21
Leadership & justice
AMERICA: HOME OF THE FREE , HOME OF THE ENSLAVED Ryan Concannon, Guest Contributor
Human trafficking generates $9.5 billion yearly in the United States, according to the United Nations. Does that sound like a foreign problem? Human trafficking is a widespread issue, and America is not exempt. Americans often believe that since sex trafficking occurs overseas or in other countries, they cannot and do not need to get involved. This is a lie. People of the United States need to be educated, need to change the culture of tolerance. Only then can America truly be the home of the free and the brave. Prostitution is often seen as a victimless crime, between two consenting adults. Not only is the prostitute often coerced or forced into prostitution, the victim is often underage. The average entry age for prostitutes is between 13-14 years old, reported the U.S. Department of Justice. The average victim of prostitution may be forced to engage in sex 20-48 times a day. Prostitutes are often forced to make hundreds in nightly quotas, all given to their pimp, states The Polaris Project. What adult or teenager would willingly choose to live this lifestyle? Prostitution is a form of human trafficking, and it is not a victimless crime. America has begun to adopt an apathetic, tolerant attitude when it comes to prostitution. We even glorify it, teenagers use “pimp” to describe something as cool. Would “pimp my ride” have ever been a popular phrase if people knew the meaning behind the word? It becomes less cool when pimp means rapist, pedophile, and slave driver. Pimping is not cool. Prostitution is not cool. Raping, beating and selling human beings are not cool. America needs to stop having a lighthearted attitude about prostitution. Until the culture is changed, the U.S. will continue to ignore the disgusting crime of human trafficking. The best way to end human trafficking is to educate people. Educate students in schools, flood the internet and social media with information. When people can no longer claim ignorance, they are more likely to act. The more people act, the more others will follow them. Law enforcement is working to end sex trafficking, but without people’s involvement, human sex trafficking cannot be combated. In an age when information by the thousands is available online educating people should not be a difficult task. Read articles, share articles, write articles. Educate the people to empower the people. Human trafficking is a widespread, hideous violation of human rights. These are American citizens being used against their will. These women, men, and children do not have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The constitutional rights guaranteed to Americans are supposed to not apply to victims of prostitution? Should a rape victim not be allowed to vote, worship, speak how he or she likes, or have any basic constitutional rights? No. Americans need to be educated so that they can join the fight against human sex trafficking and no longer claim ignorance. The culture of acceptance needs to change. Human sex trafficking is slavery, not a game. Only when Americans stand up and speak can the US be the home of the free and the brave. Can Americans really speak of freedom when their own citizens are enslaved?
â€œSpeak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the r Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and
Photo By: Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock.com Students protesting in Milan, Italy against austerity, Italian crisis and marching to claim their future. October 2013.
rights of all who are destitute. needy.” - Proverbs 31: 8-9
THE FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE... OUR STRENGTH IS NOT OUR OWN Hannah Magee, Guest Contributor
Whether we are old or young, black or white, poor or rich we are called by God to be leaders and defend social injustices. Our age, our ethnicity, and our status are irrelevant in the fight for social justice simply because it is not by our own power that we accomplish change, but instead by the power of Christ. As stated by Paul the Apostle in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10, “But he [Christ] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” The beauty of Jesus is that if he calls us to do something, he will give us the strength to accomplish it. Martin Luther King Jr. understood who God was and from that understanding he was strengthened through Christ to change the world. His understanding is seen vividly through his quote, “The God whom we worship is not a weak and incompetent God. He is able to beat back gigantic waves of opposition and to bring low prodigious mountains of evil. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able.” The mountains that humans think immovable are nothing compared to the power of Christ Jesus. When equality for all men was thought to be impossible Martin Luther King Jr. proved that theory wrong. King was strengthened by his faith in God and because of that he was then able to begin a revolution for equality. To properly combat social injustices we too must rely on Christ to be our strength. Another example of such unexpected strength derives from the life of Corrie Ten Boom. Through Corrie’s immense amount of faith in God she was able to save numerous Jewish lives from horrendous concentration camps during World War II. Even when she was captured by Nazis and put into a concentration camp, her faith did not waver. Corrie continued to proclaim the love of Christ during and after she was released from the camp. Corrie understood that the strength she needed most to make a change did not come from herself but instead from God. She once stated “It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.” In conclusion, to be a leader and to combat social injustices it is more necessary to rely on the strength that is given through Jesus Christ than to rely on our own abilities. The attributes that we deem as weaknesses can be used for greatness because it is God who makes us strong. As Romans 8:25 tells us “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
PREVENTING SOCIAL INJUSTICE IS IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE Ethan Angerhofer, Guest Contributor
According to Albert Einstein, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” At 14, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the face on Oct. 9, 2012, because she believed in women’s education. Pakistan is not dangerous for girls who want to learn because of the Taliban but because little was done to stop the Taliban prior to Malala’s attack. Even though evil people cause injustice, those witnessing should take action against such social injustice; people can’t change the hearts of humans, but they can start a revival against social injustice. It is better to fail than to endure neither joy nor suffering. There are many risks involved in taking action: shame, despair, pain, and even death. But, the possible rewards, fame, freedom, love, and joy outweigh all risks. However, not taking action does nothing. While action and focus almost always create history, apathy and inactivity do not. Allow me to clarify, sometimes the best course of action is to be patient yet patience does not equate to being inactive. Evil prospers when people are ignorant and apathetic. As Haile Selassie, an Ethiopian leader, said “Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered the most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Similarly Proverbs 18:9 states, “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” Inactivity does not simply prove fruitless, but it is also detrimental to the one in bondage. Being inactive causes unwanted consequences, including criminals being free to roam. Now people may say, it is the government’s responsibility to take care of all the “bad people”. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” Laws fail because they are made by humans and are required to be upheld by humans. But, humans are fallible. Thus when laws fail it is the job of the people to take action and either change the laws or to directly solve the problem. While the government has some responsibility to stop social injustices, the most effective solution lies in the action of the people. We must remember too that, sadly, the government too takes part in social injustice. How does the common person act to put an end to social injustice? Some people may want to take action but don’t know how they can help. After all they are only one small person in a huge world. One person may be hard pressed to change a far-reaching problem, but through unity much more can be achieved. One way to bring change is to start a group or movement. As the movement increases in size, there will be enough people to rally the government to help, by petition. Or such numbers can perhaps change things directly. Often when one person spurs to action many will follow. Preventing social injustice is in the hands of the people. On one hand they could be inactive and nothing happens. On the other hand, they could work together and change the world. While many readers will finish this article and continue with their common day-to-day lives, if just a few are moved to action the world will be changed.
LIVING A SURRENDERED LIFE Allysen Kerr, Editor
Imagine picking up your young family, leaving everything and everyone you know behind and moving to another country. Sounds alluring, especially if the country is France.
called me to do,” Davidson said. “I was making great connections here in Orlando. I was helping to [do] a Bible study for all of the Orlando City Soccer players...so I’m like, ‘God, all of these great things are happening here, why are you calling me there?’”
For Davidson and Katie Jean-Rejoius, that will soon be a reality. The couple will take their small tribe to France for the next four years.
Soon the Lord began to remove Davidson’s ‘comforts’ from the picture.
Davidson and Katie both felt that the groundwork for this calling was laid years ago on their honeymoon to France.
The owner of the house they were renting came back sooner than expected and Katie and Davidson found themselves hunting for a new home during the Christmas season. They were able to find a new place by January and God blessed them with a month of free rent.
Why France? Touring the streets of France for those two weeks showed the couple one thing: “The French need the Gospel,” Davidson said. They both found himself heartbroken by the absence of God in the lives of the people of France.
Like the Lord, Katie also truly believed that they were supposed to go to France. She continued to encourage Davidson to seek the Lord.
They saw a lot of beautiful churches but very few attendees. Witnessing this left them with a burden to go back and share the Gospel.
“I kind of feel like I’m never home, like I always need to be wherever God is sending us,” Katie said. “[So] I’m excited about the transition and not worried about the details,” Katie said.
While on mission in France, Davidson and Katie will help to plant a church with Mission to the World, an organization helping to spread the Gospel around the world by bringing the kingdom to the communities they serve.
LIVING A SURRENDERED LIFE. Since Davidson and Katie said, “Yes” to the call to go to France, they have had lesson after lesson in learning to surrender to the Lord.
“We believe the best way to reach the world is through the bride of Christ,” Davidson said. “We are just going to do life with people.”
They will be spending the next couple of months sharing their story and raising support.
PREPARING TO LET GO. At first, Davidson had a difficult time accepting God’s desire for him and family to go to France. They had a comfortable life, a nice house, a great community and job.
“It’s really going to be a humbling experience,” Davidson said. “[It’s going to be] a time of trusting the Lord, knowing that He will provide, that He will do it. I totally feel that I’m not in control of my life anymore and I’m like, ‘God, you’re going to have to do it because I can’t’ and as man, that’s scary for me.”
“I got comfortable and that blinded me from what God
SUPPORTING THE MISSION. As full-time missionaries to France, Davidson and Katie are going to have to raise their own funds. Anyone who wants to support them in France can do so through prayer, giving a one-time donation or committing to supporting them on a monthly basis.
STAY CONNECTED •
Receive updates on Davidson and Katie’s progress by visiting their blog at: www.JeanRejouisInfFrance.wordpress.com • If you want to donate or join their prayer team, please contact them by email at: JeanRejouisInFrance@gmail.com • Mission To the World #13717 • Learn more about MTW by visiting www.mtw.org 31
CAREER & MONEY
CAREER SPOTLIGHT: COUNSELING Paula Kerr, Assistant Editor Whether you are looking to work for a private practice, in a church ministry, or for a school, if you enjoy helping people, a career in counseling can be very rewarding. However, there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge. The first thing to consider is whether your desire is a calling from the heart and if you are sincerely passionate about helping people. Once you determine where you stand on this spectrum, the next question to answer is: “Do you have what it takes”? If you believe you do, then you need to know how to get started. Let’s look at a few… TIPS AND RESOURCES TO BECOMING A COUNSELOR 1. Talk it out. If you want to get a sense of what professional counselors do, a good place to start is to talk with them and spend some time out in the field, especially in the area(s) where you have an interest in working. You will find that many professionals will gladly share the good, the bad and the serious truths about this line of work, but best of all they may tell you that watching other people’s life transform is probably the greatest reward to being a counselor. 2. Do your homework. Thorough research can lead you to the information and resources you will need to prepare for a counseling career. This step could take months, maybe years, before you are finally ready, so as you’re preparing, check out the area or areas you want to serve as a counselor and learn about what skill sets you will need to acquire. Some of those areas might be: • Marriage and family counseling • Pastoral or Faith-based counseling • School counseling • Career counseling • College counseling • Rehabilitation counseling • Addictions counseling 3. Get the required credentials. Find out about becoming a counselor in your state. Requirements may vary and practices may be regulated differently. So, know the facts before you take that leap. For example, Florida regulates the mental health counseling and school counseling professions. Both roles require master’s level education. One thing to note is that you don’t need to decide on a career track until it’s time to make preparations for graduate school; however, you can take steps much earlier in the process to ensure success. 4. Demonstrate critical skills. As a counselor, regardless of the field or area in which you are serving, active listening skills are important, and you must be empathetic, trustworthy and have an honest desire to problem solve. To learn more about critical skills that are vital components of a counseling career, click here. 5. Have a positive attitude. This is a fundamental trait that will distinguish an effective counselor from an ordinary one, and will also determine whether you can effectually help the emotional needs of those whom you will counsel.
PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND. YOU CAN MISS IT. IF GOD IS TELLING YOU TO DO SOMETHING, AND YOU DO IT WHEN YOU WANT TO DO IT, THE CONNECTIONS HE HAS LINED UP FOR YOU ARE NOT GOING TO COME INTO PLAY BECAUSE HE HAS THEM IN A SPECIFIC SEASON AND TIME FRAME. ooking at Cristina Cain today, there’s no way one could tell that she ever had a life before Christ. “You couldn’t tell me anything. I loved the Lord,” she said. “You couldn’t speak negatively of Him, I mean I would fight you over Him. It was that type of passion that I had for Him.”
But the change was a process. It didn’t happen over night. “There’s been steps, and there’s been tests, and there’s being faithful over a little. And each time you begin to trust God and more importantly obey Him, He begins to expand your borders,” she said. For the next seven years, the Lord continued to expand her borders and to teach her how to hear God’s voice. Something she believes anyone can learn and deems essential to life as a follower of Christ.
But throughout her college years, Cris fell away from the Lord. It wasn’t uncommon to find her in the clubs, drinking and partying until all hours of the night, she said. Life went on like this until age 27 when she had an encounter with God that completely altered the trajectory of her life.
She believes that the more we study the nature of God and His word, the less likely we are to be persuaded to follow another word.
“The Lord appeared to me in an open vision, and not just to myself but a friend as well, and it totally, radically transformed our lives,” Cris said.
“People don’t really want to hear that because they don’t really want to pick up the word,” Cris said.
In that vision, God showed her a clear vision for her life (read more about the vision in her book).
In January, Cris found herself facing another challenge from the Lord: to write a book. Even though she liked to blog, writing a book was something she never saw herself doing. But she recognized God’s calling and decided to respond. To her surprise, the publishers were blown away by the congruency of every chapter.
“He showed me exactly what He wanted me to do, which was to prepare this generation for the coming of Jesus Christ,” she said. From that day forward, Cris began to have supernatural experiences. “I was this party girl, I was crazy, I was wild, I had a lot of fun, I was drinking, I was doing the clubbing and [in] that one moment God said to me, ‘You know Cristina had you died before 27, you would have gone to hell.’”
The finished product? “You Can Hear God,” a book that breaks down how to hear God’s voice. In the book, Cris also reveals the things that can become a stumbling block to hearing God’s voice (i.e. fear, doubt, horoscopes, psychics, palm reading, etc.). Over time participating in these stumbling blocks can produce voices that become louder and can ultimately drown out God’s voice. Cris wants to help people identify and silence these voices.
Like many, Cris sincerely thought that she was saved because of how she grew up in church and the passion that she developed for God at such a young age. But the reality was that her heart wasn’t truly surrendered to the Lord.
“You Can Hear God” was recently released in digital format and is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iTunes stores. The print format will be available soon.
Once God revealed the true state of her heart, Cris made the decision to truly yield her life to Christ. That decision has led Cris down a path that she never could have thought up on her own.
Photos: (Counterclockwise) Cris, her sister Trina and their mother. All team members of Worship Him Ministries International. Serving the Least of These: Cris’ life has been dedicated to serving prostitutes, gangbangers, the homeless, orphans and widows over the last 10 years. Learn more about her ministry at ProphetCris. com. You can also follow her on Twitter @ProphetCris. Book Cover Image Provided by Cristina Cain.
REVIEW: SOUTHERN LIGHTS-OVEREXPOSED Marc Seide, Contributor
When it comes to collaboration in hip hop, nothing is special to see two rappers trade rhymes for rhymes on a track, but to do it for an album takes a lot of work. When Jay-Z and Kanye West came together four years ago for the critical and commercially-acclaimed “Watch the Throne,” and both going head-to-head for the top spot, the bar for a collaboration on a record was set high. Add Collision Records label mates Alex Faith and Dre Murray to the list of artists who have came together to make a catalog of recordings as they explored a number of topics such as race, hope and status on the album “Southern Lights: Overexposed.” Immediately, the two rapper’s Southern flow and the heavy bass production is dripped all over the 10-track record, from the opening title track to “Takin’ Time.” “Overexposed” shows Faith and Murray opening up about their struggles, desires and current fears with lines such as “My brotha told me that my skin was my sin. And I ain’t understand, he said. You’ll get the picture when you develop as a man.” While “All Around the World” featuring Tragic Hero is a picture of hope as they explored their faith, “Wake Up Music” continues where the title track left off. With the recent events in Baltimore, Md., and Ferguson, Mo., Faith, Murray and guest Swoope addressed the issues of racism in America through the only way they know how, music. The trio showcased their struggles through their neighborhoods from with Murray rapping, ‘Beast roaming through the jungle on the prowl, got me feeling like the prey, can a congregation pray?’ to Faith stating his area won’t care about the “nooses” until they see a white body lying in the streets. Swoope’s rhymes demonstrated his struggle with trusting the police and the lies America paints, stating “What kind of lies are they selling us, That we are post racial, because we are post racial memes of King.” The two labelmates paid homage to their hometowns on the tracks “I-285 (Interlude)” and “I-610(Interlude)” as Faith reminisces on the music scene in Atlanta with quick shout outs to Outkast and T.I. and its influences on him, even mentioning he didn’t listen to hip hop greats De La Soul until he was 19 years old while Murray shares his memories of the independent music scene in Houston and its environment to realize that lifestyle was leading to destruction when God opened his eyes. As the album progress through these topics, it hits its first misstep on the lead single “Decatur Street Blues” featuring Corey Paul. Released last year, the single had a gritty beat with a tough baseline, demonstrating the duo’s Southern but it was remade for the album, replacing the simple, hard beat with an organ-based, electronic beat. The song feels like it belongs somewhere else. The album’s last two tracks end it on a high note. “Forever” illustrates that the duo scars and illustrates have them who they are over a hard hitting beat with an organ in the background where “Takin’ Time,” featuring Young Noah, shows the two becoming introspective as the look the future. Although the album is not perfect, it illustrates Faith and Murray desires, struggles and current fears as their lives begin to move forward. 41
COMING FALL 2015
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Published on Jun 4, 2015
Feeling like God is calling you to something greater than yourself? Not sure you've got what it takes? Find out if you're really ready to an...