Page 1


Vol. 3 Issue 1

January/February/March 2015



I Am . . . chosen forgiven rescued loved victorious redeemed beautiful

CONTENTS SPIRITUALITY P. 16 | Broken Mirrors: Restoring Our Shattered Sight P. 20 | Abandoned

LIFESTYLE P. 24 | Iron Sharpens Iron...Who’s Sharpening You? P. 26 | Suicide: It Doesn’t Have to Win

CAREER PREP & MONEY P. 32 | Tips for Writing an Award-Winning Resume


Photo: Michelle Clarkson

EDITOR'S LETTER Who are you? Seriously. Who are you, and why are you here? What’s your purpose? If you can’t answer these questions, then this issue was designed just for you. As humans our identity is everything. Within our identity lies the DNA structure to our destiny and purpose here on earth. Without purpose, we find no reason to exist. The Devil knows just how important our identity is; that’s why he tries so hard to keep us from finding it. He’ll use anything he can to distract us: painful experiences, broken relationships, negative words and subtle messages from the media. The Bible says, in Songs of Solomon, that it’s the little foxes that tear down or spoil the vine. We are that vine and when we allow, yes allow, the enemy or anyone else (small foxes) to tell us things contrary to God’s purpose for us, we spoil the fruit God wants us to bear. These small foxes can show up in the form of insecurity, fear, doubt, sin, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. and if we let them, these foxes can put us totally out of commission. So where do we find our identity? How do we find our purpose. Ultimately you have to look to the Creator. I’ve heard it said so many times that you can’t look to created things to find your purpose. It simply won’t work or satisfy. Only the Potter knows the purpose for the clay. Only the Clockmaker knows how to make the clock tick in sync. Only the Artist knows what is supposed to be on the canvas. Only God knows His plans for you — and for me. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone took the time to figure this out? How awesome would that be? You don’t have to wait until some crazy life circumstance makes you take a double-take at yourself. Start asking God to show you who He designed you to be. Ask Him to reveal His purpose in you so you can find your purpose in Him and on earth! Trust me, I don’t have all the answers. God is still revealing my purpose and identity to me, and I’m enjoying what He’s showing me. He’s a good God. He writes amazing stories. Let Him reveal your story to you.






ALLYSEN KERR Editor & Publisher PAULA KERR Assistant Editor MONICA SOLOMON Promotions Team MARGARET OLATUNBOSUN Editorial & Social Media Intern NICOLE WALKER Editorial Intern TIFFANY MORROW Contributor PAUL MERCADO Contributor MONIQUE SCHMITT Contributor

Adapt Magazine is published four times a year by UnKonventional Media, LLC. All questions regarding advertising, subscriptions or this publication should be directed to publisher@ Please visit www.unkonventionalmedia. com to learn more about our company.






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. Nicole Walker: Nicole is an editorial intern for Adapt. A Tampa native, Nicole uses her experiences to write about healthy lifestyle choices spiritually and physically.


3. Monique Schmitt: Monique is passionate for God and His word. She’s a lover of film, music, books, and friendships. Wife of Benjamin. University of Florida Alum. 4. 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. 5: 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.


Adapt is looking for some great interns to help further our publication. Our internship program is very hands on and allows for students to gain experience working in the magazine and publishing industry.

INTERNSHIP AREAS: Editorial, Photography, PR, Advertising, Social Media, Graphic Design, Multimedia, Marketing, and Business

Interested? Email your resume to

DISCOVER GOOD... READS REVIEW: PERFECTLY LOVED IS PERFECTLY PERFECT In her first book, author Rhana A. Gittens helps readers discover and/or rediscover God’s true purpose for love. Using stories and experiences from her own life, Gittens’ main message is that true love can only be known by true relationship with God. He is the author of love after all. “Love is one of the most consumed terms in the human language,” says Gittens in the book’s summary. “With an inaccurate definition of love we find ourselves searching for something to fulfill us, but in all our searching we miss it.” This book is great for anyone finding themselves dissatisfied with the world’s definition of love. If that’s you, then don’t hesitate, pick up this book today. The book features 12 short, easy to digest chapters that break down what it means to be “Perfectly Loved.” Published By: NyreePress Available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Family Christian










As we reflect on Jesus our sight and our hearts become transformed into His likeness, and we see things as they really are, through Him. Recently, the ABC television show Once Upon A Time introduced a new villain – the Snow Queen. The character was adapted from a fairy tale once told by author, Hans Christian Anderson. The original story tells of a wicked sprite (or fairy) that lived “once upon a time.”

Similarly, in Once Upon a Time, the Snow Queen casts a spell on the entire town of Story Brook. The Spell of Shattered Sight originated from a mirror that had, over many years, collected the deepest bitterness, anger and unforgiveness the Snow Queen sent into it.

Indeed he was the most mischievous of all sprites. One day he was in a very good humor, for he had made a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful when it was reflected therein, to look poor and mean; but that which was good-for-nothing and looked ugly was shown magnified and increased in ugliness. In this mirror the most beautiful landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the best persons were turned into frights, or appeared to stand on their heads; their faces were so distorted that they were not to be recognized; and if anyone had a mole, you might be sure that it would be magnified and spread over both nose and mouth.

Finally, when the mirror had reached its full capacity, the Snow Queen shattered the mirror and sent its tiny pieces to rain down on the people of Story Brook. When the pieces of the enchanted mirror fell into a person’s eye, their sight became perverted; they began to see only the bad and ugly. Lovers turned into bickering enemies, friends became critical adversaries and families became cruel rivals, all because their sight had been “shattered.” The story of the sprite and the Snow Queen are remarkably accurate to the real world. In many ways we are all the townspeople and we are all the Snow Queen, or wicked sprites. We are all the creators of the mirror, and we are also all affected with the spell of shattered sight.

The sprite and his other sprite peers believed that now, through this distorted mirror, the rest of the world could come to see things as they really were – or at least how the sprites viewed things.

We all have a metaphorical mirror inside of us. This mirror bears the reflection of how we see the world around us – including ourselves.

In their grand plan to bring ‘clarity’ to the rest of the world, the sprites “flew up into the sky, higher and higher still they flew, nearer and nearer to the stars, when suddenly the mirror shook so terribly with grinning, that it flew out of their hands and fell to the earth, where it was dashed in a hundred million and more pieces.

Similar to the story of the Snow Queen, our internal mirror acts as a storehouse of our perspective on, and response to, experiences we have encountered. Each experience, filtered through our perspective, is deposited into the mirror.

And now it worked much more evil than before; for some of these pieces were hardly so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about in the wide world, and when they got into people’s eyes, there they stayed; and then people saw everything perverted, or only had an eye for that which was evil. This happened because the very smallest bit had the same power, which the whole mirror had possessed.

While hardships and difficult situations are unavoidable in this world our perspective of, and response to, these challenges build our mirror; not the situations themselves. Depending on what we have deposited into the mirror, our view may be distorted, riddled with bitterness, anger and unforgiveness, hence “shattering” our sight.

The splintered eyes soon became splintered hearts and such splintered hearts began to turn hard and cold, like a lump of ice. As a result, the wicked sprite laughed heartily at the mess he had made.

On the other hand, the mirror may be precise, endowed with truth though not necessarily understanding, and thus correctly aligning our sight.


January/February/March 2015

We all have a metaphorical mirror inside of us. This mirror bears the reflection of how we see the world around us – including ourselves. The distorted mirror blurs and twists our vision, tainting the world in a shadowy pigment of negativity and antipathy. What was once beautiful and poetic, we now falsely perceive as imperfect and inadequate. What was once inspiring and captivating, we now bypass as foolish and childish. What was once slowly developed but deeply satisfying to the soul, we now misinterpret as archaic and wasteful. What was once humble and graceful, we now denounce as pitiful and weak. And, eventually, our warped sight becomes so ingrained that it buries itself into our hearts and hardens us, making us cold as ice. On the contrary, a perspective and response that illuminates the accuracy of the world around us – exposing both the beauty and the sorrow – is one characterized by gaze and praise towards Jesus Christ. As C.S. Lewis once said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” It is through Christianity, the vantage point of Christ, that all things can be seen clearly, restoring “shattered” sight. And how does one gain this perspective? Through gazing at Jesus Christ. As we reflect on Jesus our sight and our hearts become transformed into His likeness, and we see things as they really are, through Him. Beauty is brought back into focus. Hope is brought back into view. Joy is revived. Forgiveness is given and received. We all have a choice in what mirror we create, and we are all affected by the sight that mirror produces. Regardless of the severe hardships we face or have faced, the responsibility lies with us in how we perceive and respond to those situations. Take for instance, Martin Luther King Jr. After enduring overwhelming suffering King said, “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situations – either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the sufferings into a creative force… if only to save myself from bitterness I have attempted to see my personal ordeals as an opportunity to transfigure myself.” Solomon and the author of Hebrews reinforce the words of Martin Luther King Jr. Let us agree and choose to respond to our situations by setting our gaze and praise on Jesus Christ despite the temporal and immediate feelings of discomfort and inconvenience, and in so doing, by the power of God, our “shattered” sight will be restored. 19

ABANDONED Monique Schmitt, Contributor

“God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?” - Numbers 23:19 When I was young, I had a dad-shaped hole in my heart...

God’s promises remain constant and true regardless of geography, whether I’m in Florida, California, or Minnesota.

Abandonment leaves a lot of deep-rooted emotional wounds – inevitably festering over the years if not treated. In the last year, I’ve realized that it’s affected a lot of things… especially the way I handle my relationships.

Something to think about I have falsely projected my fears onto others, living under the fear of assumptions. That is, of course, a lie from the enemy.

With dad absent both physically and emotionally since I was 6 years old, I have had this fear that those I love will abandon me.

Let’s not compare God to the human proclivity of abandonment. “God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19)

This fear morphs into anger, stubbornness, and pride – all under the guise of armor to protect my heart from getting hurt again… but it doesn’t protect it…it hardens it. This desperately needs to change. But this change can only happen in the presence of my Creator.

Start reciting the promises of God out loud. It’s tough and it may seem silly at first, but life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).

He promises that He will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter the troubles of my life, I have to remember to hold fast to the promises found in His word. And while everything in this world is crumbling around me,

Only The Lord can fill the dad-shaped hole in my heart. I know this is a constant battle, but I am willing to let The Lord be my ultimate comfort.

He alone is my constant, my refuge (Psalm 91).

Will you?

With this move to Minnesota, I keep projecting my fear onto Ben that I will be left alone and abandoned. “But, I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” says The Lord. There are about 76 promises in scripture saying different iterations of this same promise.

Note from the Editors: This article was originally published on February 2014. It has been re-published in Adapt Magazine with the authors permission.

God will never leave you. God will never forsake you. Someone once told me that when she was a new Christian her mother passed away. She remembered so clearly that God gave her comfort, reassuring her that He would never leave her.

Let’s not compare God to the human proclivity of abandonment. 21

January/February/March 2015




My friends in college challenged me so much. Through them I saw where I was lacking – where I needed to grow. They pushed me towards godliness, and I tried my best to do the same for them (And I thank each one of them so much for their patience with me).

If you want to pursue godliness, evaluate the friendships you are keeping and compare them to what God says friendships should look like. Before I left for college, I prioritized work over church. I was stagnant.

What are relationships for? What are they designed to do? “As iron sharpens iron, another.” (Proverbs 27:17)




Over the course of a couple years, I allowed myself to be in situations I would have normally been uncomfortable in. I stayed quiet when I should have spoken up. I wasn’t being the light of Christ.


As one of my friends lightly puts it, I can have major FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). That said, it was so hard for me to be apart from my friends in Gainesville – missing out on the everyday mundane, sharing in their joys and their hardships.

What did I get as a result? I felt really far from God. But, He is faithful and guided me to more edifying relationships. “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” (Romans 14:22)

Despite being apart from my friends, God has used new relationships to mold me. These were friends who pushed me towards the cross and taught me the meaning of God’s grace. Even in the difficult relationships, I learned what God’s mercy meant for me, and to extend that mercy to others.

What you allow yourself to be entertained with reveals volumes about your character. The kind of friends you have also says a lot about your heart.

Leaving California is bittersweet. I’m going to miss staying up late with my cousin, watching old movies with my roommate, long walks with my neighbor, and edifying conversations with my aunt.

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Every time I hung out with them, it made me realize how much I need God.

As a good friend said to me, “We all need good friends to come along side us in our journey – to cheer us on, rejoice with us and cry with us, and point us to the cross when we lose our way.”

Are your friends sharpening your faith? Are you sharpening theirs?

If there is one thing I am most nervous about for Minnesota, it’s being the newcomer. I’m scared of not fitting in. But, in God’s immense love for me, some of Ben’s friends have already reached out to me to make me feel at home.

I hope that in some way I can be a friend to you and point you towards the cross of Jesus Christ.

Such a wonderful homecoming for a girl they don’t even know. These new friends are already making me want to be more like Jesus because of their kindness.

Note from the Editors: This article was originally published on February 2014. It has been re-published in Adapt Magazine with the authors permission.

That’s humbling. Something to think about: Who are you surrounding yourself with?

Something to think about: Who are you surrounding yourself with? If you want to pursue godliness, evaluate the friendships you are keeping and compare them to what God says friendships should look like. 25

January/February/March 2015

SUICIDE: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO WIN Paul Mercado, Contributor

Put the Gun down! Set the knife aside! Put the pills away and back away from the ledge… I’m not going to criticize you. I’m not going to tell you that there are people worse off than you are or that you have no right to feel the way that you feel. Instead, what I really want you to know is that someone understands your pain and people get through this...You are not alone. Editors Note: This article was written based on true events. The name of the subject has been changed. Story continued on next page... January/February/March 2015


hese are the words of my dear friend, Ben Thomas, who later took his own life:

“I feel depressed… Confused… I was flying high but I’m not so anymore… I do not believe these unpleasant feelings are symptoms of a “crash,” but rather my original state of mind. I generally feel like this, which is why I induce my earlier state of mind in the first place. Of course I don’t actually feel this depressed all the time, but much of it. I’m not in the right mind-set now which is why I feel the way I do. Right now I’m in an unusual stage of life. I’m still trying to discover my identity, and drugs have made it further difficult to find. I don’t know who I am now. I sort of feel corrupt inside, as if my morals took a bad turn sometime back and I should be ashamed of myself. I really want to figure out who I am and find my place in the world.” – Ben 28

The Bible tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). This means that the enemy has been feeding people lies, telling them things are hopeless. But the truth is, safety and hope are still within reach. The fact that you are still breathing is a testimony to this. In other words, you will get through this pain. You will overcome it by realizing your inherent value and how to combat the false feelings of hopelessness with TRUTH. When a person commits suicide he or she extinguishes not only their lives, but also his or her potential. It means that

he or she succumbs to a lie and invests in something other than God.

community of believers that will come to your aid. We were made for community. Reach out today!

As Christians we often see suicide not only as a mental issue, but also as a deeply rooted spiritual issue.

I want to leave you with the immutable truth that the battle has already been won.

From birth Satan uses various forms of deception to try and extinguish our purpose and potential in order to devalue our existence. Scripture says, “Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

We have access to power greater than any weapon of the enemy. Know that our value is not contingent upon physical beauty, intellect, performance, or other peoples’ opinions. We are so much more than what the world sees on the outside. Remember what the Lord said to Samuel, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Satan’s primary method of devouring us comes by using the Spirit of fear and insecurity. We often open ourselves to these spirits because it is commonly introduced by our society and by people we know and trust. They unknowingly speak fear into us through criticism, bullying, the media and subtle messages about our image.

We should view each other through the lens of our God. Look at those around you as Christ does: a person for which he would lay down His life.

From here we can inherit a fear of lack. Fear of lack can come in the guise of loneliness, failure, or inadequacy.

If you feel like you were born with depression and shortcomings, I won’t argue with you. Surrender your life to Christ today, be born again of the Spirit and your mind can be renewed through the washing of the Word.

First John 4:1 says, “Believe not every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God.” The world, or the enemy, will tell us that our value is contingent upon things such as appearance, intellect, wealth, social status, and sexual performance.

As a child of God, HIS Spirit joins with our spirit and allows us to tap into strength that we cannot access on our own accord.

In the case of Ben, there was a point when he started to place his value in a false identity given to him by popular media. That shift caused him to elevate the opinions of people and pop culture above God’s truth, which ultimately left him feeling inadequate.

This is what I wanted for Ben, to discover his identity in Christ, which is the only place where a person’s full potential can be revealed. Pray that God will put you in an environment where you can be fully alive. You have been made perfect for your calling.

In his attempt to measure up to these vain pursuits, he was left with a multitude of negative thoughts that would echo in his mind, “I’m ugly. If only I was more attractive, educated, Charismatic...wealthy, people would accept me…”

God can use all of your unique characteristics, some that you might see as flaws, and work them for good to impact the world. Son, you are a prince. Daughter you are a princess. Know that you are God’s masterpiece. Don’t cut your mission short by suicide, but allow God to show his faithfulness through every situation.

The spiral of sex, drugs, and alcohol that Ben invested in only left him feeling more confused, ashamed, and separate from the true purpose for which he was designed. This also kept him clouded from the true source of love, God.

Let’s work together to encourage people just like Ben to combat the lies of the enemy through the Lord’s strength and authority and to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

Nevertheless, some days Ben would break free of the enemy’s snare and allow his gifts to shine through. He was one of the most intelligent and prolific writers I’ve ever known, but despite that, the enemy would steal his zeal and remind him of his past failures.

The more we know God the better we can recognize what is of God and what is not. You can finish strong...because you are strong!

The Bible is clear when it states in John 10:10: “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy…” We don’t have to accept the lies of settling for hopelessness because Satan’s power is limited. Remember, the enemy can make suggestions, but he cannot make a person pull the trigger. I’ve written this article to honor my friend Ben and all those who may be going through similar trials. If you know someone that is battling suicidal thoughts, speak life and encouragement into them today. I know that any good work that was begun in Ben will be finished through his legacy.

If you know someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or you yourself are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out today. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 1 (800) 273-8255. You can also contact your local church or the counseling center on your college campus.

So, I plead to those experiencing abuse, depression, and suicidal tendencies: Please don’t isolate yourselves. The Bible tells us that, in the multitude of counselors there is safety. So shift gears, get out of park and go seek a


January/February/March 2015



As the job market continues to evolve, so must the way we approach the resume writing process. When writing a resume it’s important to use a basic format that is easy to read, both for hiring managers and for applicant management systems. To help you focus on getting that all-important job, we have provided some tips for choosing a resume format, selecting the right font, customizing your resume, and using appropriate resume keywords. What’s the right resume format? Truthfully, there is no right or wrong way to write a resume; instead, resumes are generally written using various formats. As such, the format you choose to use when writing your resume depends on your personal situations. This article addresses some examples of generally acceptable formats that have been used over time: Chronological, Combination, or Targeted. Chronological – With this format you would ordinarily start by listing your work history, writing the most recent positions first. The chronological 32

format works well for job seekers with a strong working background. It also focuses on your most recent work experiences and is therefore considered to be a common resume structure. Additionally, most employers usually prefer this format because it clearly shows what jobs you have held and a history of when you worked at those jobs. Combination - A combination resume lists your skills and experience first, followed by your employment history, in chronological order. Using this format allows you to highlight the skills relevant to the job you are applying for. Targeted - This format focuses on a specific job opening, and should be written to highlight the particular skills and experiences relevant to the job for which you are applying. An important point to consider when sending a targeted resume is to target your cover letter to the job you are applying for. The cover letter should show the employer how your experience and skills are a great match for the position. Resume Font Size and Type. These matter, especially if you want an employer to easily read your resume. The font size you select should be between 10 and 12 points. However, you may use a slightly larger size for

your name that should appear at the top of your resume.

Include Your Education. Generally, if you are currently enrolled in college while applying for a job, you might consider writing your education/ academic status at the top of your resume, just below your summary, or job objective.

The font type you select should be a readable font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. If you are applying for a position in advertising or graphic design, you may be able to use alternate font types or sizes. It all depends on what the employer will allow (make sure to ask).

Conversely, if you have completed your education, this information would then be written after your employment history, at the bottom. A Word About References. References might include people you know who would give a good word on your behalf, if asked, such as colleagues, current/former employers, personal friends, etc.

Customizing Your Resume. While it is important to tailor you resume to the job you’re seeking, it is also necessary to ensure that you state your purpose or intent to apply by writing a brief summary statement below your address (the header in your document), or an objective statement.

The statement that reads: “References will be provided upon request” holds true in that it is only provided upon request.

A sample objective statement could be as simple as this: It is not a good idea to provide contact information for your references in your resume. Instead, you should write the statement that “References will be furnished upon request” at the very end of your resume.

Job Objective. Obtain a position at ABC Company where my education and business experience can be put to practical use, while delivering on company results.

A more preferred (and professional) way is to include that information in a separate document (again, if and when requested by the employer).

Work Experience. It is well worth the effort to invest time in customizing your resume. A key standard to follow when explaining your experiences is to focus on keywords, include quantifiable achievements, and talk about unique successes that will bolster key accomplishments and showcase business goals.

Additionally, and very important, it is always good practice to obtain permission from your references before giving their information to be contacted. No one likes to be caught off guard. While we know that the job search process is a job in and of itself, we believe that you can overcome some of the challenges of writing a winning resume by utilizing the available tools and resources on the Internet. Writing a resume is not complicated. In fact, the more you do so the better, and easier, it becomes. If you need help, get tips and resources on these (and other) websites:

Here’s a suggested list with a few ideas: • • • • • •

Launched X new stores/campaigns, etc. Increased revenue by X percent Decreased waste by X percent Improved productivity process by X percent Achieved business goals and increased revenue by X percent Managed a team of X employees

• • •


January/February/March 2015

Adapt Magazine: January-March 2015  

Identity is everything. Re-awaken your identity and purpose in this issue.

Adapt Magazine: January-March 2015  

Identity is everything. Re-awaken your identity and purpose in this issue.