Issue no. 10 April 2021 Cover Design Emmanuel David Editorial Vicki L. Otaruyina Editor-In-Chief Kimone Mcloud Editorial Assistant
Contributors Albana Tali Cullhaj, Betty Predmore, Donna Wayles, Karen Elias, Nancy Bishop, Mary Grace van der Kroef, Theresa Boedeker, Shanique Blake, Rachel Walker Mason, Mulkie Goodgie, Soniamiarie, Cheyanne Lent Cleyman, Danielle Porter, Jennifer Bryant, Sue Bowles, SallyAnn Gray
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PROMOTING LIFE ON PURPOSE FOR GOD!
THE SPRING ISSUE VICKI OTARUYINA
Hey guys!!! Welcome to the spring issue of Divine Purpose Magazine. In this issue we share on the theme of being “Faithful to God’s purpose as being a sold out soldier for Christ". As we enter the second quarter of the year our aim is to encourage you to remain faithful to whatever it is that God has entrusted you with. It may not always be easy but as long as you know God has called you to it, He will give you the strength and strategies to accomplish it. Whether it’s ministry, business, family, charity or some other project, God’s greatest desire is for us, like Jesus, to remain faithful to the end, because it’s not our will being established but God's. May God richly bless you as you seek to remain faithful to God's purpose!
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faithful to God's purpose but Christ is faithful as a Son over His [Father’s] house. And we are His house if we hold fast our confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ]. Hebrews 3:6
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03 EDITOR'S NOTE 07 CONTRIBUTORS
13 FAITHFUL DEDICATION TO GOD'S PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE 16 WALKING BY FAITH 17 FAITHFUL TO SERVE NO MATTER THE COST 18 SELAH: NOT WHAT I WANTED BUT ALL THAT I NEEDED 20 FAITHFUL CHOICES IN THE (SEEMINGLY) ORDINARY
22 THE PURPOSE IN JUST BEING YOU 23 THE RHYTHM OF ROUTINES 39 CHASTE STYLE
RACHEL WALKER MASON
CENTER FEATURE: GOD'S MASTERPIECE pg. 28
SHANIQUE BLAKE ALL ABOUT SHANIQUE pg. 24
44 CREATE YOUR VISION BOARD: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE 49 FAITH, BUSINESS AND STEWARDSHIP 52 10 TIPS TO LIVING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 53 THE REAL MEANING OF WHOLENESS 55 FINDING FRUITS OF SELF CONTROL IN NUTRITION 57 TRUST IN THE LORD
59 I DARE YOU 60 AUTHOR FEATURES
SALLYANN GRAY SHE IS FAITHFUL TO STRETCH TOWARDS GOD'S PURPOSE
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CONTRIBUTORS Albana Tali Cullhaj Albana Tali Cullhaj is a Christian and she believes in the Father , His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Su Alma (her soul) seeks God’s spirit. She loves looking deep into things, which she believe motivated her to study psychology; a subject she loves dearly. Albana currently works as a freelancer for an Albanian Magazine, ArTeka.al, covering the psychology page. Her educational background includes a bachelor degree in clinical psychology from the University of Tirana, Albania. Website: www.albanacullhaj.wordpress.com
Betty Predmore Betty Predmore is a writer, blogger, speaker, ministry leader and Certified Christ-Based Counselor. She is the founder of Mom-Sense, Inc., a ministry designed for mentorship, connection and service to women of all life circumstances. Through this ministry, women are encouraged and supported with scripture and life application. Mom-Sense helps women overcome life struggles through small group classes with biblical curriculum, individual counseling, bible studies, and other areas of support. Website: www.momsenseinc.org
Shanique Blake Shanique Blake is a Christian Style Coach who studied at the London College of Fashion and also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies (UWI). She is constantly asked "where do you find the time to sew so much?" to which she replies "I want to have a large family so I'm practicing sewing for them, none of them will wear any foreign brands "
Donna Wayles Donna Wayles is a Christian wife, mom, teacher, and domestic abuse survivor. She now lives in Rhode Island with her four spoiled bunnies, Skittles the cat, her amazing husband, and daughter. When not writing bestselling novels, Donna likes to create scrapbooks full of happy memories. Website: www.authordwayles.org
Karen Elias Karen L. Elias is an author and entrepreneur from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Passionate about helping young women in particular, she uses her talents of writing, speaking and dance in mentoring and Life Coaching to spread the message of hope and healing. Karen is married to Kyle and together they have a son, Kallen and a daughter, Karaleigh Blog: www.karenlelias.wordpress.com
Mary Grace van der Kroef Mary Grace van der Kroef was born in Northwestern Ontario. Her love of writing started in her teen years and has never left. She is a wife, mother, poet, artist, and follower Christ. She believes the gift of words is precious, and endeavors to use it to encourage others. Website: www.marygracewriting.ca
Theresa Boedeker Theresa Boedeker is a storyteller, humor hunter, and encourager of others. It is hard for her to cook if her kitchen is dirty. When clean, she likes to bake scones, make pies, and try new recipes. She unwraps life and faith at TheresaBoedeker.com and reminds you what's important abo:ut life, yourself, and grace. Website: www.TheresaBoedeker.com
Nancy Bishop Nancy Bishop has a passion for helping women grow in Christ. She loves teaching and speaking God’s Word and watching others discover the power, peace, and hope in Jesus Christ. She loves to encourage women in their lives, whether in great times or trying times. Nancy is also a breast cancer survivor and an entrepreneur, teaching piano for 20 years and owning her own business in sales for 18 years. She has been married to Dan for over 40 years, is a mother to three, and a grandmother to six.
Rachel Walker Mason Rachel Walker Mason is a multi award winning singer, songwriter, vocal coach, public speaker, tv music judge, bestselling author, mentor, philanthropist and
Her company Venque Style Consultancy has a growing list of clients which includes Doctors, Investment Bankers and other professionals. Currently she is working on her own clothing collection which she hopes to launch soon.
Rachel writes songs for herself and for American Idol alumni, The Voice UK winners, Grammy nominees and movie stars. Her songs have been heard all over the world on tv and radio. In 2020 Rachel spent much of her time supporting charities with musical projects she created. Rachel wrote a song called Illuminate The Night for maternal mental health charity PANDAS which has raised money and awareness for the charity, she also wrote the song Make A Start with cast members from Hamilton which has received international airplay, multiple awards and is raising money for charities supporting black youth.
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CONTRIBUTORS Mulkie Goodgie Mulkie is an author, professional certified coach, entrepreneur, and busy mom. In her coaching practice, she provides the tools, strategy, and support to help people create meaningful change in their lives to be transformed into the image of Christ. Mulkie has held leadership roles in customer service for over 13+ years. She has obtained certification in Bible and Theology, Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change with Case Western Reserve University, and a bachelor's degree in business administration Cum Laude in Business Management with Monroe College just to name a few. Facebook: www.facebook.com/mulkie.goodgie
Soniamarie is a Faith & Business Mentor and Coach who is passionate about helping Christians in business learn how to structure their business in a way that it is profitable, impactful and honours God at the
With her 20 years’ experience in leadership and business, Soniamarie helps Christian business owners who are struggling to find the sweet spot between faith and business, to merge the two together in order to build faith, business and the impact God created them to have. She encourages her clients to play it big and to step away from the expensive hobby and move into leading a business that lasts. She does this through 1:1 mentoring, group programmes, courses and workshops. Website: www.soniamarieconsulting.com/FreeChristian-Business-Resources
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Cheyanne Lent Cleyman Cheyanne Lent Cleyman is a loud & proud wife, mom, bonus mom and American woman thriving in her own reallife fairytale in Belgium. She's a previous actress & host in LA turned stay-at-home who also follows her purposedriven passion of helping other women fall in love with the bodies God gave them, and work towards a healthier & happier life. She herself has lost over 100 pounds, most of which was featured on the hit TLC Network show, Fat Chance. Cheyanne also hosts a weekly podcast called, "Moms Matter," - where she gives moms the opportunity to feel empowered by sharing their stories and reminding them that THEY matter.. Facebook: www.facebook.com/CheyanneCleyman
Danielle Port, MPH A big mouth, Jesus loving, cupcake and kale eating, nutrition counselor, Danielle Porter, MPH shares her passion for helping other women come to see that their physical health journey is inseparable from their spiritual walk with Christ. As a world traveling Army wife and mother of 2, Danielle can often be found not trying to lose her everloving mind because she overcommitted herself in obedience to the Lord. She has helped hundreds of women reclaim their bodies in service to Christ. Website: www.DaniellemPorter.com
Jennifer Bryant, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES Jennifer Bryant is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator at Nourished Nutrition Counseling in Albuquerque, NM. She is passionate about helping others discover peace, joy, and success in good nutrition through a biblical lens. Website: http://www.nourishednutritioncounseling.com
Sue Bowles Sue Bowles is a Master Certified Life Coach, award-winning author, international podcast guest, and speaker/conference presenter. She is the owner of My Step Ahead, committed to helping break the stigma around mental health struggles, advancing the message that 'it's okay to not be okay.' Sue's first book, "This Much I Know...The Space Between," is available on Amazon and Kindle. She is a member of the Walking Stick Retreats community, through which God brought deep healing from decades of abuse, including a childhood rape. Sue uses that healing to bring courage and confidence to others in her speaking and writing.
Sara Peterski Sara Pasterski is a follower of Jesus Christ since 1998 and an avid student of the Bible who loves learning and growing in Christ more than anything else. Sara has gained biblical exposition skills through The Charles Simeon Trust workshops for women, as well as through her years of sitting under sound doctrinal preaching. She has encouraged many through her first published book, a memoir, in August 2019 entitled Even When: Rejoicing in God’s Faithfulness through Life’s Uncertainty, Disappointment, and Loss. Sara is native Wisconsinite now living in South Florida by way of Tennessee. Website: www.HandsUpWorriesDown.com
SallyAnn Gray SallyAnn Gray is an educational consultant, speaker, and awardwinning author. She is the 2002 recipient of the Jamaica Association of The Deaf shield, for Best Performance in Education. SallyAnn is a special education trained teacher, who has written curriculum for government agencies, universities and foundations. . As the founder of Global Speakers, a premier public speaking training and consulting firm, SallyAnn helps professionals build their speaking business using their story and their expertise. Website: www.sallyanngrayspeaks.com/
THE SOLD OUT SOLDIER FOR CHRIST One Who... Can Give Their Life For The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Is Faithful & Dedicated To God
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FAITHFUL DEDICATION TO GOD'S PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE
By Albana Tali Cullhaj God is the home we find refuge in, the only place we belong and where we are not afraid to present our imperfect selves. It's the only place where we know we are accepted, because we know He designed us, and out of His inspiration we are perfectly made. (Psalms 139:14) Each and every one of His creations serve a purpose; the seas, the sun, the plants, the animals, and so do we. Yes, all of us are perfectly made and designed for a great purpose, according to His plan. "The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5). In the book of Proverbs it's said that the purpose of our heart, it is like deep waters, and we know that where the ocean is very deep it is hard to reach and hard to see, because it is hard for the light to penetrate. It is the same with our inner self. We should allow the light of God to reach deep inside of us and be our guidance so we understand what the purpose for our life is. But how can we do that?
1 .Acknowledge that God created you with purpose (Ephesians 2:10) Nothing about you is accidental. Everything that makes you - your talents, strengths, qualities, passions, dreams - are God's gifts for you. Remember, when God puts a dream and passion in your heart, He equips you with skills to fulfill it, so you cannot have one without the other. 2. Do not create the whole picture in your head with the first piece of the puzzle shown to you. God will talk to and direct us toward the purpose He has given us and show us piece after piece till the whole picture is clear. What we need to do is trust Him, obey Him, and wait patiently for this to happen. Do not run and fill the missing pieces yourself, as it may give you a totally different result, misleading and taking you where God doesn't plan to. Moses didn't see the whole picture at first when God told him that He will lead the people of Israel to the Promised Land. Instead he trusted and obeyed the Lord one day at a time, praying and seeking His face. 3. Stay close to God. (James 1:5; Psalms 119:105). It may seem easy, a cliché, but we often wander from His presence . Yes, He has created us with a purpose, but we need His guidance on the quest of understanding and fulfilling it. Spend time with Him in all possible ways you can, allowing His presence to enlighten your path so you can walk in His plan and purpose. DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE |13
Understanding His plan and purpose for our life may be a long thousand mile journey which will start with a single step, and it will require our daily effort to walk in it. His plan for us is perfect, but we are not, which may require some spiritual “vehicles “that will help us arrive at our destination. So let me list what I think may help fulfill your purpose: Perseverance It will not always be a smooth ride, and at times you may need to stomp your feet and persevere, walking over all obstacles. (Hebrew 10:36 ) Don’t be discouraged When disheartening thoughts attack you, remember that you are the beloved son and daughter of the Almighty, rest in His love. Know that everything, even the hardships will work together for good. (Romans 8:28) "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Obedience Abraham, in Hebrews 11:8 obeyed and went to the place God called him to, even though he did not know where he was going! By faith he obeyed when he was called, and got the inheritance promised to him. Trust Moses trusted the Lord even when all circumstances told him the opposite. He knew he could not face the Pharaoh, as he couldn’t even speak, but he trusted the Lord! Trust God that He has equipped you with the skills needed to accomplish your purpose in life, knowing that it serves a bigger purpose, according to God's will! It is not about you! Ego is a dangerous sin, so try to identify and address it if it attempts to soil your heart. Maybe the purpose of your life is to serve others. Embrace it! Don’t forget that this talent, this purpose, is to give glory to God after all, not taking credits for you! Remember that you are not an empty canvas on which you or someone else can draw whatever they want! Instead you are a fully finished artwork of God, beautifully made, inspired by love in every single detail that awaits you to receive, acknowledge and live it through your call or ministry!
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walking by faith by Betty Predmore
There are some moments in life that are just so sweet they bring you to tears. I had the joy of experiencing one such moment about a week ago with my eldest daughter. There we were again at another appointment with the eye specialist. My poor daughter’s vision had diminished so much at this point, that she was lucky to read the top letter in the eye chart (That is 20/400 vision for those that might not know). But this visit held hope. A contact in the eye was supposed to restore some of the lost vision brought on by Grave’s Disease which resulted in keratoconus . So there we were, getting fitted for the contact which would go in the right eye, and getting the cornea transplant scheduled for the left eye. The doctors did many tests that day. Then a specialist came in, put some drops in my girl’s eye, and inserted a contact. Another check of the eye chart and she got all the way to 20/50‼! She asked my daughter to wait in the waiting area for about 15 minutes to let the contact settle in. I followed her to the waiting area and sat down beside her. I saw her dabbing at her eyes, even the one that hadn't been touched. Concerned, I asked her if her other eye was irritated. She turned towards me and I saw the tears streaming down her cheeks. “No, mom,” she answered, “I’m just crying because I can see your face.” My heart broke for this sweet child who has been missing so much. My heart rejoiced that she could actually make out my face and my hope soared that finally, FINALLY, this beloved daughter of mine would have her vision restored. I held her in a warm embrace as her tears flowed and I thanked God for walking alongside my daughter throughout this ordeal. Just like we are promised, He never leaves us. He walks through our fires with us, sometimes ahead of us, forging our trail, and sometimes beside us, carrying us when we cannot stand. I have spent many hours in hospitals and doctors’ offices over the past couple of years. There are times I have felt exasperated, frustrated, and downright mad. But none of that compares to the simple, pure, and beautiful joy of those precious moments that are gifts from our Father. Those struggles don't hold a candle to the happy tears of a child, tears of hope, tears of excitement, tears of wonder. Thank you God that you are ALWAYS there. Thank you for choosing the unexpected moments to bless our socks off. Thank you for providing healing, even when we feel hopeless. Thank you for loving my daughter even more than I do, and thank you for giving her faith, even when she could not see. For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
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By Donna Wayles
FAITHFUL TO SERVE NO MATTER THE COST My soon-to-be ex-husband, Dirk, was stalking me. Detectives had informed me that he calmly declared he would “finish the job” if he found me upon his arrest. So, I was living in hiding at the home of a church friend, Alice. Alice’s husband hid my car in the barn and covered it with a tarp to ensure that he would not see my car even if Dirk came by. Alice was the church treasurer and secretary. She was an older woman whose daughter and grandson lived with her. She was very welcoming, and her home was peaceful. One afternoon, as I sat in her living room with my feet up on her couch enjoying the new-found calm, Alice asked, “would you like a cup of coffee?” Since I don’t drink coffee, I asked for tea, and Alice happily brought herself and me mugs of tea. As she handed me the cup, she wondered, “Do you mind talking about your situation so I can pray for you and understand what’s going on?” I was not offended because she was trying to be helpful, and her face showed genuine concern. I disclosed several situations that had become normal to me. First, I was not allowed out of our apartment unless Dirk knew where I was going, with whom, when I was expected to return, and how long I would be gone. Next, I could not answer our house door or phone without his permission and told him to whom I was speaking.
Lastly, I was required to follow every one of his dictates, to the point that I was not allowed to get out of our bed in the morning until he let me. As I shared this list, I watched Alice’s face intently as she began to cry. She was saddened by what happened to me. Overcome with sorrow; she asked if she could hug me. It was the first time someone from my church had shown me that much kindness. Unsure of how to react, I thanked her when she assured me that she would continue praying for me. I stayed with Alice for a month. When no one else from my church would help, Alice and her family took my daughter and me in. They treated us as part of the family— including evening meals at the dining room table followed by family devotions and prayer. She was determined to serve God faithfully, even to the point of allowing me to live with them despite the risk of violence to her family. Alice inspires me to “Always be prepared to give an answer(A) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15 NIV). When God gives a message, He expects it to be shared. For twelve years after leaving an abusive marriage, I tried to ignore this call of God to share my story.
However, God continues to bring people into my life to remind me of all He has done for me. A few months ago, I found Andrea during a Google search for a photographer> I needed author pictures for my website. When I introduced myself to explain what I was looking for, she replied, “Are you kidding me right now?” “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I was not. Andrea divulged that she had just left an abusive relationship and was struggling in her first few weeks. I am convinced that God had prearranged our meeting to encourage her heart and confirm that He was in charge of my message. As I share my message of God’s grace and the hope of happier ever afters, even from domestic abuse, God constantly reminds me that He has a purpose for me— ministering to others. Even as I sit here writing this article sitting in front of a small warm fire, looking out at the Long Island Sound on a cloudy day with a mug of hot tea, I’m challenged to share God’s message. An adorable older couple walks up to ask about the weather and comment about my open computer. As I share the hope of deliverance from domestic abuse into God’s happier after, they smile and say, “praise God.” Jesus “answered and said unto them, ’I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40 KJV)
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SELAH: NOT WHAT I WANTED BUT ALL THAT I NEEDED By Karen Elias
You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah." (Psalm 21:2) I was sexually abused as a child - every weekend for 2 years. Through prayer and God's amazing grace, I am healed of my hurt and have forgiven my abuser. When I left the location of abuse, I never set foot there again. Even if I was walking the streets and I was approaching the building, I would cross the road. Such was my level of disdain and pain. I have been healed of that pain now, thank God. I realize I could have been tied up by this, if not for humility and the desire to be free. When I told my husband Kyle about what I endured, he said to me "You shouldn't be in church! People like you end up in the world." That may be correct; for that, I continually thank God for His grace and hand upon me. One day my mother asked a favour of me, which I agreed to do, but it meant returning to the place I walked away from twenty years ago. Kyle kept his concern to himself until he finally blurted on the day, "Are you going to be OK there?" My heart melted.
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My husband has his faults, which I still work on forgiving every single day! However, at the end of the day, he is entirely concerned about ME not just my jobs or responsibilities, but my inner me; the part that matters most. When the going gets tough, he reminds me of my inner strengths and capabilities. He knows my past and never uses it against me, but uses it to propel me. He understands that I am emotional, and though I have forgiven, nostalgia is real and he is present as a tower to lean on. For that, I am indescribably grateful. Kyle accompanied me for part of the journey that day. He had to know that I was a little anxious about it. Yet amidst the slight anxiety I thanked God, for indeed my spouse may not be all my mind wanted, but he is definitely all my heart desired and needed, and God knew that. God gives us the power of choice and that includes the choosing of a spouse. Submission of that choice to God welcomes him into the process and after all the wrong choices I made, I wasn’t about to play with the life-lasting decision of marriage! As with everything that God is involved in, the results are simply divine. Selah - God has given you exactly what you need in a spouse. It may not always seem so, but that too shall pass.
“THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS A LIFE OF PURPOSE.” ROBERT BYRNE
By Nancy Bishop
FAITHFUL CHOICES IN THE (SEEMINGLY) ORDINARY Lights, camera, action…wow! What an exciting life! Dinner with the rich and famous, jet setting around the world, vacations in exotic locations, fashion from the big-name designers. Isn’t life fabulous? Or is this not your life? This is not my life either.
day for her faithfulness. He sent her straight to Boaz’s fields. Boaz showed her great kindness and invited her to continue to work in his fields for the rest of the harvest season. This provided food and safety for Ruth.
My life seems ordinary. The same old, same old, every single day. Is this the life God has purposed for us? Most of us seem to be living a life of chores, work, and raising families day in and day out. We don’t live in a Hollywood movie set, we live in towns and cities across the world where we are called to live out God’s purposes for our lives through faithful choices every day.
We see faithfulness in every area of Ruth’s life. She was not living a dream life, she was living the ordinary life of a widow in a foreign land doing a back-breaking job. Yet she faithfully chose to go back every day. God rewards faithfulness. He took care of Ruth and Naomi daily, giving them what was needed.
We think we aren’t called to big things but we are influencing others every day with our choices. Just one decision to obey God and be faithful to Him can change the future in ways we can’t even imagine. This is an impressive way to live, and in God’s eyes, faithful choices are imperative. Ruth, the Moabitess is one woman in the Bible from whom we can learn so much. She married a foreign man from Judah, had hoped and dreamed of their life and family, only to have it cut short. Ruth found herself a childless, young widow. As the story unfolds, Naomi, also a widow at this point, chose to return to Judah. Ruth made the faithful choice to join her. This would be a long trip for two widows that could have proven to be very dangerous. When they arrived at their destination, Ruth was looked upon as a foreigner from Moab, a city that was not highly esteemed in Judah. Most people were not happy to have her move in, yet Ruth was faithful to make the right choices, no matter how hard, small or ordinary. Ruth made the faithful choice to go to work to support Naomi and herself. There wasn’t a glamourous job for her, but instead hard fieldwork. She gleaned barley in the hot sun all day, threshed it, bagged it, and carried the barley back to Naomi. God rewarded her and blessed her that very first
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Eventually, Naomi set forth a plan to acquire a future for Ruth and gave her detailed instructions. She was sending Ruth on a mission to propose to Boaz! If your mother-in-law decided to do this “for” you, how would you have responded? Ruth loved Naomi and fully obeyed all of her instructions. The plan fell into place and eventually, Boaz and Ruth were married and had a son, Obed. Ruth chose faithful obedience again and again and she was rewarded. Through her faithful choices, Ruth was included in the lineage of David. Through her faithful choices, Ruth was included in the lineage of Jesus! Through her faithful choices, her story was included in the Bible and to this day she is esteemed. God rewards faithfulness. Faithful choices change you, the people you are around, and people you don’t even know. When you make faithful choices in your life, it affects others. Faithful choices change lives. The faithful choice of a single act of obedience can bring about extraordinary events. We may live seemingly ordinary lives, yet God still calls us to faithfulness. When we choose to be faithful to His calling, God rewards our faithfulness. While we may not live to see all the results, we can rest assured that God will use our faithful choices in more ways than we can imagine. Make faithful choices your legacy – no matter what.
I HELP MILLENNIAL CHRISTIAN WOMEN TO DEVELOP AND OR REFINE THEIR PERSONAL STYLE BY OVERCOMING MIND BLOCKS (NOT BEING ABLE TO COMBINE COLORS, NOT BEING ABLE TO COMBINE CUTE PIECES, NEGATIVE VIEWS ABOUT DRESSING UP TRANSFERRED TO YOU BY FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS ETC.) ASSOCIATED WITH STYLING THEMSELVES THROUGH MY 1:1 STYLE COACHING SESSION AND MY STYLE CONSULTATION SESSION." SHANIQUE BLAKE (CHRISTIAN STYLE COACH & THE CHASTE STYLE SECTION LEAD Read "All About Shanique " on pg. 24 Browse the Chaste Style section on pg. 39 DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE |21
THE PURPOSE IN JUST BEING YOU Mary Grace van der Kroef What is purpose? How do I stay true to my purpose? These are questions every Christian has asked. We use words like jobs, vocations and callings, to describe what we believe is our purpose in this world, but what if purpose isn’t a task we do? What if every human’s true purpose is to worship God? What if the fullest way to worship is to be ourselves? God created every human being with a unique personality, built on and by our own set of personal experiences. We look, talk, walk, love, think, and react differently. Often we place ourselves, and others, into boxes of what we perceive we should be. Our work for the church or in general is no different. Are you a nurse, a homemaker? Maybe you’re a hairdresser, a janitor, a microbiologist, or a garbage man. Are you a leader in the church? Jobs we hold in life are not our true purpose, they are mere seasons we experience that could roll into the next at any time. We never know when our circumstances will change, and our abilities with it. Are you an artist, a singer, a writer, a dancer, a musician, a sculptor, a photographer? These things we love and find happiness in doing can be expressions of our true purpose, but again they are not purpose itself, even if they go beyond hobbies and become careers. You never know when a singer may lose their voice, an artist their sight, or the ability to hold a paintbrush or pencil.
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Even if these things are defining pieces of our happiness, they are not our innate purpose. So what is? What if our true purpose was just to be ourselves, and to go through life staying true to the worship of God by embracing how he created us? This contains things we are good at, whether a job or calling, but won’t change like our circumstances may. We are each human masterpieces in the making. We are ever-growing. God knows the person he is making us to be, every way that may shift. He isn’t finished yet. Despite that, being yourself is so powerful. What better testament to the power of God than being who we each are in this moment. Trusting him, it’s enough at this moment. I find this freeing. I am guilty of hiding who I truly am. But when I do this, I rob myself and others of experiencing His true purpose for me, and the blessings I bring to others by stepping in to that purpose. I don’t mean for us to walk around saying, “I am who I am, accept me, get over it”,or for us to continue to walk in sins our personalities are prone to. No, but as we step out in faith, in our personalities, abilities, circumstances, and experiences, we step out in true purpose. When we are no longer afraid of who we are, we can live boldly, courageously and honestly. Are you ready?
THE RHYTHM OF ROUTINES BY THERESA BOEDEKER
I am absorbed in the rhythm. Mindlessly lost in the repetitive motion. My thoughts wander and land here and there—time-travel to and fro. I return to the present for a moment. Four carrots. One large onion. My thoughts re-gather and head elsewhere. I am in the kitchen chopping uniform pieces of vegetables to throw into my stew. A task I have done so many times that it takes little thought or concentration. I can relax and slide into a sort of trance. Grab, halve, line up, chop, chop, chop, empty into pan. Begin again. There is comfort in doing repetitive tasks that don’t require much brain power. I can slide into autopilot and my mind is free to wander. Whether it is raking multi-colored leaves, watering colorful flower beds, washing piles of dishes, cleaning grimy bathrooms, pulling covers up and fluffing pillows, vacuuming expanses of carpet, folding piles of laundry, wandering grocery aisles, paying bills, or cooking familiar dishes. God gave us work to comfort, fulfill, and test us. To task our creativity, take pride in, and improve upon. Work can be a form of worship and to show love to those around us. There are days, though, where I bemoan all my daily and insignificant tasks. When I feel so far behind, I don’t think I will ever emerge into the light. Days I get frustrated with what I don’t get done instead of rejoicing in what I did accomplish. Yet I need work. I need the comfort of routines and rhythmic work to soothe me and provide respites. To bring a sense of accomplishment and make me feel a valuable part of the family. To remind me to serve and love those around me through my hands. To remember how much God has blessed us. To show that we live in an imperfect and messy world and that things never stay the same or clean for more than a few nanoseconds. To remind me of the mess of my soul. To know the joy in accomplishing a task. To give me something to do when I am hit with adversity or worried.
There are days I wish to retire and have nothing more demanding than read a book from cover to end without interruption. Days I want to sit in the shade doing nothing but thinking and drinking iced chai tea. I dream of days filled with clean bathrooms, washed clothes, prepared food, no appointments, no teaching, no phones, and certainly no demands or disturbances. Where people are waiting on my needs, taking care of me, completing my menial and every possible task. But how long would it be before I would start to get bored, feel useless, grow selfish, and have no direction. Sometimes I joke about the daily grind of cleaning and shopping and cooking. Other times I balk against the hours it takes. I am in the kitchen from beginning to end for an hour or 90 minutes most nights. It is easy to look at other women and compare myself to them. They might be a scientist. A business owner. A travel consultant. They look to be doing important and exciting stuff. And yet, if I am honest, parts of their life and jobs are full of routine. Routines they may get tired of and bored with. No one's life is exciting all the time. Or like my dad used to say. Everyone needs to eat, sleep, and put their pants on one leg at a time. And so, I focus on my tasks and take comfort in them. Offer them to the Lord as my sacrifice. And carefully watch my attitude. Part of being a good steward is faithfully showing up and doing the tasks with a cheerful heart and unto the glory of the Lord. After dinner, I start washing the dinner dishes, swirling the stew juices from the bowls, chasing crumbs and bits of veggies down the aerator, bending over to load the dishwasher, and I think about the comfort of work. I thank God that I have work to do and the strength to do it, that I have dishes to wash and water to wash them in, and a family to dirty the dishes.
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ALL ABOUT SHANIQUE
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Who is Shanique Blake? Shanique Blake is an introvert who enjoys family time and being outdoors. She is passionate about Christ - having a religion versus having a relationship with Him as well as women looking and feeling their best. She also enjoys eating fruits, traveling and sewing. However, she dislikes dishonesty and most things that crawl lol.
You are a financial professional and stylist. How did you reach the place of being a style coach? I originally started out in business because at the stage of making a decision on what to study at the university, I thought that being an Accountant was a safe career and would always be in demand. After being in the corporate world for a while, and leaving a job at an audit firm, I was led into banking and by extension Finance. As it relates to starting a business in styling/fashion - During my adult life I realized that I loved "putting myself together": I loved mixing patterns and colors and I loved assisting others in getting dressed up . There was also a burden on my heart as it relates to the misconceptions associated with dressing well, especially where women in the church are concerned and the fact that these misconceptions were put forth as commandments as well. As a result, I believe The Holy Spirit led me to become a Christian Style Coach and hence I started Venque Style Consultancy.
Tell us about your role as a Christian Style Coach. As a Christian Style Coach, I help millennial Christian women to develop and or refine their personal style by overcoming mind blocks associated with styling themselves through my 1:1 style coaching session and my style consultation session. Some of these mind blocks include, not being able to combine colors, not being able to combine cute pieces and negative views about dressing up transferred to persons by family members or friends etc.) I assist in identifying their body shape and appropriate dressing based on shape, while helping them to identify and understand their personal style. I also teach them how to combine colors, how to effectively shop discounts online, how to dress for different occasions and also teaching them what the Bible says about dressing well.
How would you encourage others with a similar gift and passion to pursue their dream? 1. Before moving forward consult God through prayer 2. Do your research 3. Ask for help if needed 4. Work smart/hard to build awareness and communicate your offerings
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RACHEL WALKER MASON
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ABOUT RACHEL WALKER MASON Rachel Walker Mason is a multi award winning singer, songwriter, vocal coach, public speaker, tv music judge, bestselling author, mentor, philanthropist and musical director. Winner of multiple awards including Gold International Singer Songwriter Association award for best female single, two 2020 Radio Music Awards and the only musician to have been crowned Freelancer of the Year, Rachel runs an artist management business, record label, vocal coaching business and multiple choirs alongside her charity work and raising her two young children.Rachel writes songs for herself and for American Idol alumni, The Voice UK winners, Grammy nominees and movie stars. Her songs have been heard all over the world on tv and radio. Rachel is also a British representative for the World Choir Council, the International Singer Songwriter Association, The Intercontinental Music Awards, the Indie Music Hall Of Fame Artist Council and has been hailed "an inspiration" by Prince Harry for her extensive work mentoring young artists from disadvantaged backgrounds. A survivor of postnatal depression Rachel is an ambassador for mental health and gives her time to run Lyrical Light songwriting workshops for those with maternal mental health issues, creating personalized songs to aid in their recovery. For this work Rachel has won a "woman in business" award as the concept is so original and uplifting. Inspired by the work Rachel does with Lyrical Light she wrote the bestselling book Not The Only One which includes her award winning lyrics and real stories from those who have struggled with their mental health after becoming parents. As a prolific music industry judge Rachel judges the UK Songwriting Contest, The World Choir Games, The Voice Festival, the CARA awards, the AVA awards, The ICCAs, Showchoir Canada and the awardnominated British television show Sing: Ultimate A Cappella during which she worked with Midge Ure, Gregory Porter and JP Cooper. Host Cat Deeley said of her work on the show that Rachel was a "true vocal specialist". In 2020 Rachel created The Songwriter's Circle with pop star Riva Taylor https://onlinesongwriters-circle.com where they nurture talent, help songwriters find great performance opportunities and run the Strive songwriting competition. Some of their artists have performed at the Roundhouse in London and The Bluebird in Nashville. In 2020 Rachel spent much of her time supporting charities with musical projects she created. Rachel wrote a song called Illuminate The Night for maternal mental health charity PANDAS which has raised money and awareness for the charity, she also wrote the song Make A Start with cast members from Hamilton which has received international airplay, multiple awards and is raising money for charities supporting black youth. Rachel also created an international arts festival during the pandemic called Unlock Your Talent. The festival raised thousands of pounds for a British mental health charity that offers counseling to those who can't afford it and judges included Rachel's friends Deke Sharon, members of the cast of Hamilton and multi award winning musicians. For this work Rachel was awarded a prestigious Lock-down Community Hero award
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EXCLUSIVE RACHEL WALKER MASON
We took some time to interview the beautiful Rachel Walker Mason; God's masterpiece. She is a multi-talented woman being used mightily by God and her story is one of faithfulness to the call of God on her life in the many areas where God has provided open doors.
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DPM: Tell us, who is Rachel Walker Mason? RWM: It all comes down to God, everything I have is what God's given me and I feel very blessed that He seems to have given me so many different skills that I can use. I feel like it's my purpose in life to use those skills to help other people. It's such a blessing. My mom always taught me that if God gives you something, He wants to see what you do with it so that He could bless you with something else. This seems to have played out in my life fairly well.
I grew up in a family with a Christian mom. She was born in India, raised as a Catholic and then her family moved to London. That's where she met my dad years later. So as a family, we had a sort of big faith. My dad wasn't really a Christian, but my mom still was a Catholic. Years later, we moved down to the southwest of the UK because of my dad's job, and my mom became very ill. She'd still pray but we didn't go to church where we lived and one day she just suddenly felt like she really needed to get back there. So, we started going to our local Anglican Church, and I joined the choir there, because I love to sing. I started to develop a real living faith with God, which I didn't really know before. That really helped through my mom's illness. So, I did an alpha course when I was 18 yrs old, just before I went off to do my degree. Doing the course was like finding all the pieces that were missing in my faith and I had a real encounter with the Holy Spirit. It was life-changing. DPM: What was really going on in you, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, that you definitely wanted to find those pieces and put them together? RWM: I think I just felt quite broken. There’s only so much that I could do myself to kind of complete myself...and there was still these pieces missing. There was like a big hole in me and no matter what I did, I couldn't feel that hole being filled and that was the God piece that needed to go in.
Nothing else I tried, really worked. And when that piece sort of fit in, it made sense of other things. I still made mistakes; I wasn't perfect, right away. I would quite often have a little internal fight against what God wanted me to do and what I wanted to do and it was difficult. He had a bit of a battle with me sometimes but I never lost my faith. I was a Christian, all through university. I tried to make good choices, most of the time but I found that loneliness was the biggest trigger for me to make mistakes. In terms of relationships, God clearly didn't want me to be in a relationship with certain people; the various boyfriends I chose. I got married and that was not a good choice but God let it happen, because it's what I was going to do anyways. That marriage ended. It was really painful and difficult and sort of the turning point in my whole life when this marriage ended. I was not upset that the marriage ended because it wasn't great and I wasn't really myself in that marriage. I wasn't fulfilling my potential. I was struggling in this relationship that wasn't working and it was kind of holding me back. Dealing with being Christian, and being a divorcee at age 27 just felt awful. I felt like I failed completely. At that time I went through quite a bad bout of depression and self-harm. It was really hard. I remember one morning just saying to God with blood running down my arm, “I don't want to live anymore. If you want me to live, you're going to have to live inside of me, because I can't do this”.
From that moment, everything changed. My whole life became different. There were still difficult things but God had absolutely been there with me through all of it. He just completely saved me that day. I'm sure that the things I've done that have been successful is because it's Him in me now, not just me trying to do it in my own strength. I've made much better decisions with God's help. DPM: How have those past experiences played out today in your role as a leader? RWM: I think it has completely changed me; it really humbled me as a person. When someone comes to me for mentoring or teaching or any advice or anything, I'm quite happy to talk about the sort of bad things that have happened in my life. So, they know that I'm not someone who's got it all together, and they can talk to me about very difficult things that have happened to them. The bad experiences have given me a new kind of empathy. Someone is not going to want to talk to someone who doesn't understand what you're going through. It’s a real privilege to be able to support other people going through similar things I have been through and be able to say, “It won't always be this way; it will get better.” I'm living proof that it will get better.
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DPM: What is it that has kept you in this humble position, where you can say, “Yes, I've achieved all of this, but it's not for me, it's for the glory of God”? RWM: Well, my family mainly. I am married to the most amazing Christian man who is just the best human I've ever met. My parents, my sister and her husband are incredible. I've got a really close family who are always willing to tell me the truth. Also, I've read lots of stories of people who say that you shouldn't meet your heroes, because when you meet them you will realize that they're awful people who really full of themselves. I think the reason why people get like that is because they start to believe the hype about them. They start to believe that they're wonderful and incredible. So, they get a real kind of sense of superiority over others. I just make sure I never believe the hype, because I know that I'm actually just really normal. I'm not very good at cooking and I can't park a car very well. I'm just very aware of all of the things that I'm not very good at. I'm really glad that God has not given me the ability to be good at everything, because I probably will be quite proud. But I'm very aware that there are a lot of things I cannot do at all. I always feel like when I'm cowriting with someone who's really amazing. I just think God put me here. I need to do His work. Even if it's like a secular song. I can still bring God into that situation and it's just an honor to be able to do that. All of it is His ability that He's given me anyway, it's not anything that I've done myself. 32| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE
DPM: Amen. I liked that you ended on the fact that you also work with secular music/songs. For that person out there who is saying, “Well, I can't. I'm a Christian so I can't work with secular songs. A song that doesn't say Jesus is not a valid song”, what would you say? RWM: It's a struggle because sometimes Christian radio stations can alienate artists who also write secular music. There are groups like Lifehouse who technically are a Christian group, but they don't publicly say they're a Christian group. So, a lot of Christian radio stations won't play them because they won't come out and say it. I remember thinking, when I became a Christian, I thought, oh, does God want me to be a vicar now? Does He want me to be a priest? Do I need to work in the church? And my mom said, “No. If every Christian worked for the church, then there wouldn't be anyone outside the church. How are we going to get people to come in if we're all in the church?" God wants us to be Christians everywhere in our lives, no matter what our job is; if we're a window cleaner, or a singer, or a caregiver or nursery school worker, or a teacher, no matter what we do, we need to bring God into that situation. The fact that we're in that job means that God can be in that place.
It's a real responsibility to be a Christian in secular music, and that doesn't mean sometimes I don’t have to make choices about who I write with because if their ethos is into things like drugs and crime and that kind of thing, then it's not a thing that aligns with what I believe and what I feel that God wants me to align with. So, I try to always do my research, make sure I’m working with people that I trust. And so far, it seems to have worked out. DPM: That's great. So, would you then say that for any upcoming person in the industry, prayer and being able to listen to the voice of God are two very important factors, especially as it relates to what activity or what project they take on? RWM: I'm quite determined. If I decide I want to do something, I will push and push until I get it. This way proves to be really hard work. But when it's a God-destined thing, it just seems to happen and I kind of go, "Oh, well, that was easier". So it's definitely staying prayerful because it’s the best way you can be the most in tune with God's will for your life.
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She is allowing God to paint her life with creativity in every area!
DPM: How would define the meaning of being faithful to the purpose of God? RWM: Well, first of all, I think it's important to understand what God's purpose is for your life. As humans, our first purpose is to love God and each other. As we go out into the world, God then gives us individual purposes. For me, it's my musical abilities, and also the ability to be able to talk to people about the different things I've been through with my mental health, postnatal depression and other struggles, which then bring healing to their lives. I know that God's brought me through that, in order for me to help others. So, my purpose is to help others find God and find God's love, because that's the only thing that saved me. It's a real blessing when I'm able to share my story with someone when they ask, "Well, how did you get through all this?", I can say, “well, it was God”. If He's completely integral to the story of how something happened, you can't leave Him out.
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DPM: This question is about your experience with postnatal depression. How have you been able to overcome this? RWM: Postnatal depression was really hard. I would have experienced mild depression years before and when I was pregnant with my daughter, Layla, she's our firstborn, the midwife said that since I had a history of depression, I was quite likely to have postnatal depression. I remember thinking, No, I won't. I won't let that happen. I can be quite defiant sometimes... I just thought, No, I will just power on through like usual. I will not let that happen. It's me having a baby. I mean, come on, and then I had a very difficult birth with Layla. She was born and I absolutely loved her straightaway. It was amazing and I really bonded with her, but I really struggled mentally. I couldn't sleep and it was just awful. I just had such a terrible time. I felt so ashamed of that. Like I've got this amazing blessing because Tom and I thought that we probably couldn't have children. So her having been born was genuinely a miracle. And with all of this going on, It just felt so ungrateful.
"..YEARS AGO I WAS REALLY A KIND OF DRAB PERSON AND YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO PICK ME OUT IN A CROWD...SINCE I FOUND GOD AND I FOUND MY PURPOSE AND I HAVE MY FAMILY AND I’VE GROWN INTO WHO I AM."
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I struggled mentally and I just didn't say anything to anyone. I just struggled on my own. I didn't even feel like I could talk to God then because I just felt so ungrateful that He'd given me this gift and I was not doing very well. I just thought I was a terrible mom. I couldn't cope. I eventually went for help and realized that like one in five women have postnatal depression. So, after that we had our son Elias, and the postnatal depression came back, as it often does. I went for help much more quickly than before. I went to the doctor and had some counseling, and was put on some antidepressants just to help kind of level out. I could have more openly told people about what I had been struggling with. One of the only things that really helped during that time was writing lyrics. I would write song lyrics about how I felt. Lots of people got in touch and asked for help writing songs on postnatal depression made them feel. My response was, Yes, I'm not an expert, but I can talk to you about it, we can share our terror experiences and write something for you". From those experiences, I developed lyrical light songwriting workshops and now I work with lots of different mums and dads who have struggled with their mental health after becoming parents. From those experiences I also wrote a book last year called “Not The Only One”, which again, is to make people feel like it's not just them because postnatal depression is so common. I wanted there to be a book where people could have their stories in it. To write the book I got in touch with different people I've met online who went through the same experience as me and they all willingly gave their real story.
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We include of the song lyrics and poetry in the book and it sold all over the world. It became an Amazon bestseller which is definitely a good thing because I self-published it and there was no money to promote it. It was God; it was absolutely God. I feel like if something terrible happens like that, if you can use it for something good, then it can help others and bring God into that situation even though they might not know that's what's happening. So I’m definitely a changed person. I'm a better mom and a better wife, a better writer, I'm better at everything now because I'm very aware of how imperfect I am. DPM: Tell us about the colored hair. Does it have a meaning for you? RWM: Yes, I change my hair color quite often. Years ago I was really a drab person and you wouldn't be able to pick me out in a crowd. I just looked really drab and I was really depressed and unhappy. Since I found God and I found my purpose and I have grown into who I am. I have embraced all the crazy things that I have always wanted to do. Sometimes I decide that I'm going to cut my hair short and give it a different color. DPM: Rachel, it was a pleasure speaking with you. We are so happy to have you on board. I thank you for your time and we know that your story will be a great blessing to the world. God bless you! RWM: Thank you too!
Check out Rachel's Book Now!
chaste S T Y L E By
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The Ultimate Fashion Guide
FOR THE CHASTE LADY
casual look www.venqueconsult.com
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date night www.venqueconsult.com
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office suit alternative www.venqueconsult.com
Dressed for Success
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CREATE YOUR VISION BOARD: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE By Mulkie Goodgie I believe that every day is the beginning of a new year, so if you have not yet created a vision board for 2021 it is not too late to start working on one to help you remain faithful to God’s purpose for your life. In this article, I will share with you a few tips that will ensure you create your vision board correctly and why you must invest the time now to create one. Follow these tips to get started: Balance Use the categories provided to help you create a balanced vision board. Finance & Wealth, Health & Fitness, Social & Friends, Family, Recreation & Fun, Contribution, Personal Growth, Spiritual, Self-Image. Against each category, ask yourself the question, “How satisfied am I in this particular area?” Use the scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is completely unsatisfied and 10 is completely satisfied. Put yourself in a place with no distractions and reflect on your life as you complete this exercise. If you score between 8 to 10 for any of the categories, congratulations! You are very satisfied with this area. If you have scores of 5 to 7 for any of the categories, you are reasonably satisfied in this area but there is an opportunity to explore ideas to move up the scale. If you have scores of 0 to 4 for any of the categories, you are not very satisfied in this area and you will need to explore ways of enhancing your satisfaction here. By completing this exercise, you are now more aware of what areas you need to focus on when creating your vision board. Long Term or Short Term? Will your vision board represent short-term or longterm change? Using a yearly benchmark is most digestible and easiest to track. So, I suggest focusing on one year at a time.
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Pictures For the areas, you have scored 0-4, no need to feel deflated about it , as scores of 0 to 4 are full of opportunity! I find this quite exciting when someone has a lower score because it is the area where the individual can grow the most. Select pictures for that area first. For the areas, you scored 8-10 and 5-7, you must maintain what you are doing to ensure you remain satisfied in these areas. It is important to ensure you are not limiting your potential for even further improvement, growth, and satisfaction in these areas. Ensure the pictures you have selected are vivid, so your vision board regularly catches your eyes. The scale of your photos is important too. The areas that are the most important need to be bigger and the ones that are not so important smaller. Try to select pictures where persons' faces are not apparent. This will help you visualize yourself in the person's place. Do not select photos because they are super cute but photos that serve a purpose and spark an emotion. The space on your board represents your life. Ensure that each picture is what you want to welcome into your life for 2021 and beyond. Add as many pictures as possible to your vision board. When you look at the board you must see the life you desire flash before your eyes. Words, Quotes, and Affirmations The trick is to make sure that any words, quotes, or affirmations you use are short. I love adding “I am” affirmations to my board because “I am” statements create, affirm, and extend the stories you tell yourself. Stories about who you are, who you can be, and what you can do. Location Save your vision board as your screensaver on your phone or personal computer, or place a physical vision board on your nightstand, your home office, or even by your television because the key is to look at it as often as possible. Visualize The whole idea of creating a vision board is to use it as a tool to visualize. It has been scientifically proven that mental practices (like visualization) can increase motivation, confidence, and performance. So, you need to ensure that you do use your vision board to visualize. Visualize what your life will look like, visualize what your new daily schedule would be, visualize the people around you. Visualize how you will feel. Updates Review how you rated your life in each category and make changes to the scores based on how your life is evolving. Also, think of your vision board as a living board, rip things off, add things, or start from scratch if you are so inclined. Be open to variations of what you want to achieve. For example, if your dream was to be a coach and work with adults, do not beat yourself up if you are working with more children after six months or so. Do not fail to notice the fact that you have achieved something great because it does not look exactly like you thought. Your vision board can help keep you remain accountable and focused so that you remain faithful to God’s purpose for your life in 2021 and beyond. So, I suggest you take the time to create one using the tips provided in this article. Remember all things are possible for the one who believes. I hope that everyone enjoys their dreams for 2021 and beyond, to bring positive change to their life and the world.
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FAITH, BUSINESS AND STEWARDSHIP By Soniamarie
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Faith, Business And Stewardship As a business owner, and I use the term ‘owner’ loosely, it can be easy to think that you own your business, but nothing could be further from the truth for us Christ followers. If you have been called to entrepreneurship, God has entrusted you with the resource of a whole business for the furtherance of His work; work which He predestined and prepared in advance for you to do (See Ephesians 2:10). I refer to business as a resource because put simply, a resource is something that can be used for a purpose. Consider this, God the ultimate Source, has called you, to whom He has given skills, gifts, talents, knowledge and abilities, to create a resource in order to fulfill a purpose. That is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly when you think about all that is involved in operating and running a business. Luke 12:48 says that "to whom much is given, much will be required", so God expects us to be good stewards of what He has kindly placed in our hands. Being a good steward starts with accepting and acknowledging that everything belongs to God and that every good and perfect gift comes from God (See James 1:17). What He has given you, doesn’t belong to you, but has been entrusted to you and with which you must do something and cause it to grow. It was the two in the Parable of the Talents that did this very thing and God said “well done my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). The two key words are “faithful” and “servant”. So what does it take to be a good steward when it comes to business? Well, firstly I believe that you need to become a good steward of yourself. That is, stepping into all that God created you to be and discovering what He has placed inside of you as well as your unique character. Running a business isn’t for everyone. God knows exactly why He’s called the people who He has. Seeking to be the best that you can be, to understand your strengths, weaknesses and to bear the fruit of the Spirit, is an essential first and ongoing step to the winding road of entrepreneurship
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Being a good steward of business also involves you taking the time to know and understand the very nature of business and how the various functions work together, so that you can implement efficient systems and processes. God doesn’t want us to be slap dash (careless) in anything that He has called us to do. Coming to grips with the core functions of Marketing, Operations, Finance, People and setting a strategy, are prerequisites and fundamental to business success. However, there is a little more that is required of us as Christians in business and that is to incorporate Kingdom principles and not just follow the way of the world. The way of the world is compatible in many ways with God’s way. There is much to earn from the Bible as it relates to our approach to business. For example, the Bible teaches us how to manage our finances. The Kingdom economy operates very differently to the world economy which focuses on selfish ambition and greed. The Kingdom economy however, operates on the premise and process of giving; the more you give, the more you receive. This means that if you operate a for-profit business then God is concerned with how you use that money to serve and help advance His Kingdom. Giving, serving and being faithful are key here. (Just in case you were wondering, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Christians having a profitable business. Money is not evil but it’s the love of money which is - See 1 Timothy 6:10). The bottom line is that your business is a vehicle of opportunity to serve. God’s resource here on earth is that He wants you, as His child and a Kingdom ambassador, to steward in a way that will honor His name and fulfill the purpose He has set for you. Faith and prayer are not enough. Actual work is required. Understanding that work and doing it with a spirit of excellence is what makes all the difference in being a good steward and a Christian who is called to serve through business.
TAKING CARE OF THE BODY, SPIRIT & SOUL
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10 TIPS For living a healthy lifestyle By Cheyanne Lent Cleyman 1.Get real with God - Getting real and authentic with God is essential to bring balance into your mental health and physical fitness. It is your foundation - your spiritual health is the most important component when you are aiming to take better care of your body. When you have a strong ground to build on, during the trials and challenges of life, you will be able to stand. 2. Have an accountability system - When trying to live a healthy life, all kinds of attacks and old bad habits will try to come and stand in your way. This is why it’s essential to grab a family member or friend you trust to help support you along in your journey. Get on the same page as to what you want your accountability to look like and be sure to have the same expectations of the accountability relationship. Come up with a plan together and stick to it. 3. Take your thoughts captive - We sometimes don’t realize how often our thoughts affect our actions - that is, until you try to get healthier. To combat this, it’s a perfect time to activate that prayer life. Ask God for help in the things and thoughts you cannot control. When destructive thoughts come that try to keep you off track, speak Scripture out loud, put on some worship music or write out your thoughts in a journal. Take a moment to get a hold of these thoughts before they get a hold of you. 4. Let Go and Let God - Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our overall health is to just do our best, and accept the rest. You can’t control the gym doors being closed, the pizza at the party you weren’t expecting or the negative comments someone wrote on your Facebook. In 2021, it’s time to let go of 2020…the inactivity, the old mindsets, the old norms and even the possible 20 extra pounds put on, and let God lead you into new, uncharted but exciting territories. Trust Him, and He will direct your way. 5. Take Control - We CAN control what we put in our mouths. We CAN control how much we move. We CAN control what thoughts we decide to believe about ourselves. We CAN control what words we speak to ourselves in others. Focus on the things you can control and take charge of them all the way. There are so many things we can’t control, but the ones we can, those are the ones we can get better at.
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6. Make a plan - You’ve heard this one before, right Fail to plan, you plan to fail. Set yourself up a plan of success, so no matter the circumstances, you have a plan that’ll lead you forward in your goals. Make a grocery list before you go to the store. Look at your week ahead and schedule out the exact days and times of when you’ll do your workouts. Get your family involved and ask them to join you as often as possible. Stick to a plan and you won’t fail. 7. See food as fuel, not a filler - As delicious as food is, remember that God created food to yes, be enjoyed, but to mostly, fuel us, not just fill us. There is a lot of food out there that is easy to make and quick - but in the long run, will hurt us rather than help us. A quick fix is often a long term problem waiting to happen. Choose food that’ll nourish you, not deplete you. 8. Make movement fun AND challenging - Don’t torture yourself and set yourself up to fail by choosing a workout program that you absolutely hate. As a trainer and online fitness coach, I see people do this all the time! If you absolutely hate to run, don’t buy new sneakers and plan to run a marathon. If you loathe biking, don’t buy a cycling bike. At least, not at first. Find yourself an easy win. Find something you’ll stick with and enjoy - and then level up and keep challenging yourself. 9. Get your family involved - The family that sweats together, stays together . The more you can get your family involved, statistics show, the more likely you’ll succeed and even exceed past your goals. Just think you’ll have built in accountability partners, exercise partners, sous chefs and cheerleaders. Getting everyone involved allows you all to have an “iron sharpening iron” experience and get closer and more connected as a family and to God. 10. Have long term goals - Perhaps most important, look beyond 2021. Don’t just think about where you wanna be in 3 months, but what about 3 years? 3 decades? Remember to not make your body an idol or become self righteous in your work towards making it fit - it’s Gods, as are you and everything created. Set your sight on Him, work diligently in becoming healthier mind, body and soul, and He will direct your path there.
THE REAL MEANING OF WHOLENESS By Danielle Porter, MPH
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"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. " (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20) What does it mean to be a wholly healthy person? Not a holy, healthy person, because only God can make you holy, but wholly – meaning whole. God designed the parts of our whole body to work synergistically together. Not to work as a bunch of parts to be tinkered with independently. When we embark on a whole health journey, it has to include working on our nutrition, fitness, and mindset. So often when 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is referenced the emphasis is placed on verse 19. I want to be sure we don’t stop the conversation there. Verse 20 is the “bring them home” part of the verse, the crescendo of the story. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. What if you treated your body as if it weren’t your own? What if you treated it like the gift that it is? When someone gives us something deeply precious we treasure it. We treat it with respect.
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If it were a special heirloom piece, we would dust it and wrap it carefully every time we wanted to move it. We would carry it with us in our carry on luggage when we travel, instead of shoving it haphazardly in our checked bag. How much more precious is our life, this body that we have? Can we treat it like the gift it is? It is my deep and sincere belief that we cannot be the most effective in God’s kingdom if we aren’t working on being wholly healthy. I’ve sat slack jawed listening to well meaning Christians proclaim that what we eat doesn’t matter to God; that what matters is our testimony and how we share Christ with others. Ummmm . . . pardon?! I’ll agree that when we let food or fitness, or anything for that matter, consume our thoughts, we aren’t effective witnesses for Christ (actually if we do that, we’re making idols, which last time I checked is a big no no). But I will not agree that it doesn’t matter. Sharing the gospel is difficult when we are consumed with preventable lifestyle diseases or when we’ve depleted every ounce of mental energy we have serving our children and everyone around us. It’s hard to share the gospel when we can barely speak after ascending a staircase. I’m not saying you can’t. You can preach from a hospital bed for goodness’ sake. But I am asking, is that all God made you for? Did God make you so that you could tear down the temple He gave you?
Mindset, nutrition, and fitness are the trifecta of whole health. If you’re too depressed to function, it doesn’t matter if you can do 1000 burpees, and vice versa, if you’re carrying so much extra body weight you’re not able to breathe by the time you hit the top of the stairs, it won’t matter if you are calm and at peace in your mind if you can’t breathe! God created us on purpose for a purpose. If we aren’t attending to those three pieces of the puzzle the wholeness will always be lopsided, making it easy for idols to come in. What can you do today to pay honor and respect to the gift that God has given you? How can you be faithful to your purpose by attending to your nutrition and fitness? It doesn’t take monumental efforts most of the time. You can get the ball rolling by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Taking a 15-20 minute walk. And then as your strength and stamina grow you can add in more exercise, more vegetables and more healthy lifestyle choices. The world over complicates healthy living. It’s really simple. God created food and he created our bodies to move. He didn’t create the heavily processed, manufactured, “food like” things we purchase at the convenience store. He created our bodies to move and stretch and carry out his work here on earth.
FINDING FRUITS OF SELFCONTROL IN NUTRITION By Jennifer Bryant, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES God’s work in my own life has been truly remarkable. I have seen Him change me in more ways than I could have ever imagined! My unhealthy habits with nutrition started in high school, then throughout my young adult life these habits grew into what I describe as disordered eating. I struggled intensely with sugar addiction, body image issues, unhealthy dieting, and exercise addiction. My unhealthy thoughts and habits were starting to consume my mind and I wondered if I would ever break free from the feeling of slavery to food. The Lord showed me there was a way out as I started my first job as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in a weight management clinic. As I was practicing the practical tools that I was teaching in this clinic, the Lord slowly started to show me that He was growing this fruit of self-control in me. I started to see the striking connections in the food I was feeding my physical body and my spiritual health. As I continued walking on the path God had laid for me, I saw positive benefits in my overall health, energy, and spiritual walk with the Lord. It was amazing to see the direct link between spiritual and physical health! God was rescuing my soul from a very damaging relationship: food, nutrition, and body image! God’s inspired word, the Bible, instructs us in many areas including instructions about taking care of our earthly bodies. These lifegiving instructions can easily be applied to how we feed our bodies. As we study it, we start to see that God’s word is very applicable to nutrition and health!
Here in these encouraging and challenging words we see God showing us how life is lived best. While we are growing in our knowledge and love for God, we also grow in obedience and the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 gives us a list of these fruits and in this list, we see self-control. As Christians, we all have this fruit of self-control in us. The Holy Spirit helps us grow in each of these fruits as we grow in our love for God. We are also commanded to practice living our lives with each of these fruits. The fruit of self-control is just one example of how God’s word applies to our nutrition. Self-control often has a negative connotation. When we say the word, it sounds hard and it sounds like work. What if instead of thinking of it as a burden, we thought of it as a joy to grow and practice this discipline? What if instead of dreading the healthy changes we are pursuing, we found delight in taking care of our bodies? When we begin to change the way we think about this concept, we begin to see the treasures in practicing good nutrition and healthy habits! Practically, what does it mean to take care of our earthly bodies? There is so much conflicting nutrition information out there, how do we even know how to eat healthfully? The Bible gives us some direction on where to start with these questions. First, it is helpful to find the right motivations. The Bible instructs us to take our focus away from appearance and focus on motivations that matter. For example, take care of your body to “do everything in the name of the Lord”. (Col 3:17)
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Second, we want to think of some practical ways to start taking care of our bodies well. Consider paying attention to hunger—do we really need to eat when we are not hungry? Assessing our overall diet can be helpful also as we focus on improving variety, balance, and moderation. We can also think of ways to add more fresh foods including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Lastly, we can make sure to get enough sleep, read God’s word daily, exercise and outdoor time. All of these habits are helpful in taking care of our bodies! Third, thank God for the food we have to eat. Thank him that he has made food to nourish our bodies and provide pleasure. Thank God for helping us find joy in eating foods that feed our bodies well! Growing in self-control is not always easy. But don’t forget that The Holy Spirit is helping you all along the way! When we start to see progress in our own lives, we will be amazed by the vast beauty of Christ we will see working in and through us!
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TRUST IN THE LORD Let’s be honest, even as Christians we struggle with worry. It has been said that as much as 90% of illness and disease is stress-related. Such a sobering statistic ought to compel us to examine how our anxiety and worry translates to not trusting God and, in turn, our languishing of the opportunity to best steward the body He’s entrusted to us. Stress that is based in sinful fear and distrust of God’s good and perfect sovereignty should be absent in the Christian life. By Sara Pasterski
Trusting God leads to a blessed peace and a divinely-given lowstress life. The more we trust God in every little thing, the more eagerly we’ll pursue going to Him in the midst of trials and circumstances that foster worry. The result of truly knowing God, leads us to trust Him more, and therefore uproots those entrenched weeds of stress from our mind, all leading to greater health for His service.
We ought to be pursuing righteousness through knowing God’s Word, examining our heart, turning from sin, continually renewing our mind, and obeying God - all through the help of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 32:17 confirms the benefits of this pursuit stating, “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.”
God’s gift of peace is constantly available to us, but we interrupt that flow by giving in to our flesh in myriad ways. When we take our eyes off Christ and who we are in Him, we start focusing on things of the world, trying to live in our own strength and sinfully worrying. To remedy this despairing obstacle on our pursuit of peace, we must pursue righteousness. As Psalm 119:165 states, “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.”
As we pursue righteousness, we grow in faith as we dive the depths of God’s truths in His Word. Having faith is a reasoned response to revealed Truth. Faith is thinking. Spiritually-stable followers of Christ are involved daily in thinking about God, His attributes, His promises, His sovereignty and perfect control, His work in their life, His goodness, His grace and mercy, His magnificence, and His unparalleled power. Far too often we fill our minds and spend our time fixated and dwelling upon things of this earth. We can mistakenly put our ultimate hope in people or desired circumstances and not God.
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As we put some trust in fallen man in many areas of our lives, such as with doctors, taxi drivers, pilots, and so forth, how preposterous does it seem that far too often we act untrusting towards God in our heart with all our sinful worry, anxiety, and fear? God’s Word gives us no reason to ever question Him. His faithfulness in our lives gives us no reason to ever doubt Him. His sovereignty in this world gives us no reason to ever despair. His control in this world gives us no reason to compromise. His goodness gives us no reason to ever fear. His character gives us no reason to be anxious. So, whose fault is it when we worry and stress? When we truly know who God is and all that His character embodies, when we behold His power and magnificence and sovereignty, and when we ponder His promises and tremendous truths revealed to us in scripture, we’re left without any doubt that He is worthy to be trusted.
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Store up in your heart truths about who God is, so you may be reminded of them when your mind is under attack with an anxious thought. Strive to know the Word and perhaps also post visual reminders that you’ll encounter throughout your day. A painting with the following scripture hangs in my kitchen as a constant reminder, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3. Stress-inducing situations are inevitable, but our responses can be managed, and therefore our health impacted for the better. Our experiences and trials are the fires that forge the strengthening of our faith. Let us trust Our Father in everything, humbly embrace every circumstance, run to Him for strength, and give thanks to Almighty God, praying that He will cultivate character and spiritual growth in us as we patiently endure trials and tribulations. Our spiritual and physical health will be better for it, and we will be stronger and better equipped to serve Him with all that we are.
I Dare You! BY
“I know your life story. I know every skeleton in your closet, I know every moment of sin and shame, dishonesty and degraded love that darkens your past. Right now, I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship. And my word for you is this. I dare you to trust that I love you, just as you are! Not as you should be. Because none of us are as we should be.” - Brennan Manning We all desire to be faithful to God and His call on our lives. We struggle with our humanness, when we find ourselves less faithful than we desire, we can begin to question God's love for us. Our discipleship becomes duty, our service becomes obligation. Our desire to love becomes a means to be loved. We specialize in being busy, often in the guise of 'doing for the Lord.' Thatalone, is a subtle distraction, drawing us from our relationship with the Lord. We move from 'being' to 'doing,' losing ourselves in the process. When we strip down the 'doing,' we often find the activity is rooted in a sense of inadequacy, insecurity, and very possibly, a cloaked yearning to earn God's acceptance. Within the above quote is the simple – but not easy – key to growth, discipleship, and faithfulness. It points us to the source of the problem, and the source of the solution. It challenges us, reproves us, and comforts us. It is all found in this: “I dare you to trust that I love you, just as you are.” In short, 'dare to trust.' Have you ever had a whisper in your heart of 'am I doing enough for God to let Him know I love Him'? or, 'am I doing evangelism right?', or even 'I've screwed up too many times, how could God love me any more?' The common denominator is the silent belief that God's love is earned, that God's acceptance of us is based on our efforts. In short, that God doesn't love us unconditionally.
The secret in the quote is the root of the problem: “Dare to trust that I love you.” When we subtly turn our faith into performance, we are not trusting that God loves us, just as we are. We are saying, without the words, that God needs our help to love us. We may not see it that way, but it's what we're saying, and it's pride. We remove God from the throne, replacing Him with our performance. The enemy is crafty and knows our weaknesses. He is a master of quietly exploiting them. As soon as he sees us taking the bait, he will leave us alone, because he knows our humanness will keep things going without his help. As soon as we start to believe the lying whispers of the source of our worth, our identity, and our purpose, the slippery slope begins. The good news is that the secret in the quote is also the resolution to the problem: “Dare to trust that I love you.” I am in recovery from an eating disorder. Early in my recovery, my dietician consistently told me 'you are not your eating disorder.' She helped me begin to believe that I was separate from the eating disorder whispers I kept believing. For me, I went so far as to verbally rebuke the thoughts. I had given my eating disorder the name “ED”, helping separate myself from it. When my eating disorder started to whisper its lies, I verbally said, “ED, shut up!” It helped me separate my thoughts from my behaviors, and the difference was profound. In the same way, a strategy to fight the inadequacy lies is to verbally say “I dare to trust that You love me” when the whispers get loud. Be louder! Put the emphasis on different words. “I DARE to trust.” “I dare to TRUST.” “I dare to trust that you love ME!” Speaking words is not enough; it is just the first step. Surrounding ourselves with a couple people who will be real with us is key. Who is your accountability person? Are you being honest with them, all the way down to the silent fears and whispers? We are not meant to do life alone. To be faithful, we have to get serious about getting real. Take off the mask, let your true self be seen. Dare to trust that He loves you!
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AUTHOR KERRY E.N BRATHWAITE Kerry E.N. Brathwaite is a youth pastor at Divine Visitation Assemblies, a global ministry mandated to take people from bondage to greatness. She is a trained social worker and primary School teacher in Barbados. By design, she possesses the heart of a humanitarian and a passion to share the love of Jesus Christ. Her compassion for the youth and the less fortunate has empowered her to serve within a few charitable organizations. Kerry has two adolescent daughters Jadia and Jakerra and a growing number of teens who she intends to coach and assist with the unlocking of their value.
In this prophetic poetic journal, Kerry openly expresses and transcribes what she senses and yearns for in her spirit unto The Holy Trinity. This book Eyes Wide Opened to your Love will cause you to: Acknowledge that you are a recipient of love that has been distributed by God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and this Triune God is deeply in love with you Increase in you a desire to fellowship, and experience a greater intimacy with God Experience an encounter with the tangible love of God Receive insight into God's love even when undergoing challenging undesirable circumstances Develop a hunger to seek God's face and hear his voice Activate a spirit of praise and thankfulness Finally, if you are ready to surrender confess and pour out your heart to your creator reading this book is an awe-inspiring beginning
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AUTHOR KERRY E.N BRATHWAITE The Love of God is free and available to all. However, many of us will only recognize HIS love during a life crisis or when facing undesirable situations. In tears of desperation, Kerry cried out to God when her world came to an abrupt halt. She knew that God answers prayer therefore she wanted him to intervene and save her relationship of 14 years. But God allowed this life crash to occur knowing that from this experience He will be acknowledged. It is in that moment of depression and humility The Spirit of God spoke to her and revealed that she has always been searching for love in the wrong places when He was always there. Soon after this revelation, she would be awakened during the midnight hour with an urgency to express and pour out her soul to The Holy Trinity. Daily she began to fall in love and was now writing love letters to God. She never imagined that God could fill her void, heal her wounds and be the greatest replacement for her loss. He removed the veil that caused blindness from her heart and the Book " Eyes Opened To your Love" was birthed through the expression of her love letters. Facebook: Erika Brathwaite Instgram: @kerica_ivanka
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AUTHOR STACY-ANN GARVEY
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Many persons are walking around who have never seen inside a prison, never committed a crime but have been given a life sentence, serving time in a mental prison. The greatest battles many of us fight is never with someone else or the devil, but with ourselves. The truth is, many of us have been living afraid even to face our true selves.My Prison Break provides powerful tools for breaking free from the limitations placed on your lives by the enemy and you. The book contains formulas for breaking free from the mental prison that so many have been trapped in. In My Prison Break, Stacy-Ann Garvey is allowing persons to discover and understand just how powerful their mess, pain, and failures can be. This book will enable persons to understand how powerful exposing and facing your truth can be, no matter how horrible it is. It will give a greater understanding of the scripture that says all things work together for the good of the Lord for those who are called for His purpose. What the devil meant for evil will be the promotional tool that God will use to elevate your life. Website: https://resurrectedgminist.wixsite.com/website Facebook: Resurrected Garvey Ministries Instgram: @resurrectedgarvey
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SallyAnn Gray She is Faithful To Stretch Towards God's Purpose
The interview DPM: SallyAnn, thank you for accepting to be interviewed by Divine Purpose Magazine once again. When we talk about being faithful to the purpose, what does that statement really mean to you? SAG: Motivation has always been a struggle for humankind. We always go to these workshops where we learn all these tools. Les Brown pumps us up and sends us off. Then three days later the motivation drops. So, one of the things that's become very clear to me as a woman of God, is that I can't rely on motivation or even inspiration. I have to become very centered and clear on what God's vision and purpose and mission for my life is. And then tie all my actions to that; it’s easier said than done, but once I get clarity, I can move in motion towards, what God has called me to do. So, when I talk about God stretching me and things being a struggle for me, I can push through the stretch and I can push through the struggle because I am clear and cognizant about the calling on my life and what the mission is.
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DPM: When you talk about having that clarity, what if God doesn't give us the full picture... How do you proceed as a woman of purpose with just a glimpse of the vision? SAG: I'll use my own life experience and speak specifically on my new show, Set The Stage. As someone who is already an accomplished speaker and author and all these things, people may look on the outside and think that Sally is doing it, and to God be every single glory. What they may not know that there are levels to success. And I always tell people that when you ‘master in that certain area’, God will always shift you higher. As you utilize the gifting that He has given you like the parable of the talents rather, where God gives you a talent and you multiply it. In other words, once you give Him a return on His investments, He's going to be willing to give you more. And so I've already mastered the author and I've already mastered the speaker. It's nothing for me to write a speech or go before people now. It wasn't always that way. It was a struggle in the beginning. But now, it's easy for me to write a manuscript and send it off to be edited and boom, market the book. But God was saying to me that it’s going to be slightly a little bit different this time around. So when He came with the idea of Set The Stage, I had to go back to the beginning. In one of my books, I talk about mind renewal and mindset shifting. And people think that you renew your mind once and that's it. But for every season, for every new project, you have to go back to the drawing board. And so, I had to go back to the drawing board. I told God I don't know anything about journalism or TV and that He was going to have to teach me. When the Bible says, I send you a Comforter in The Holy Spirit and He will guide you into all truth and teach you all things, it is the truth. Based on this truth I laid in my bed one night and I said, "God, you going to have to give me the name of the show", and He gave me the name: Set The Stage. I'm sharing this story to answer the question about getting clarity. It’s about faith, it’s about trust, and it's about movement; i.e. faith moves. I may not have the full-on picture of how everything is going to turn out, even right now, as I speak to you with two episodes under my belt, I'm still trying to figure out the form that the show should still take, but guess what? God can’t perfect that which concerns me until I jump out into the ring and say, "Hey, I'm the one and I'm going to do something." When I became an author, how I started is not how I have finished, and still have a way to go because I'm sure that God has place is me more that the four books that I've written, but right now is just not the season to write another book. How do you remain centered and get clear, even when you're not really clear on, you're still uncertain? You have to keep that momentum going. If you listen to all of the great men and women in ministry, you will see that it was the momentum of getting started when God said "GO", which made the difference, even when they had to idea.
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Take for example Bishop T.D. Jakes. Preachers like him will tell you you that when they started the ministry, God just gave them the name. And then God said, "go to a specific state and start the church". When they obeyed, and started their ministry in the small space that God gave them, then after a while, God gave another instruction: "go and buy for that bigger building". And when they moved in obedience, they may not have had all the people and staff they needed but because of their obedience, over time growth starts to happen, God took care of things. That's how God reveals. He doesn't give the full picture all at once. It's also all about relationship. I have a relationship with God and that relationship has taught me that clarity comes in stages with God. I don't have to wait for a spiritual appearance of the Father, or for a specific a man or a woman. Based on the fact that Jesus died on the cross so that we could access Him for ourselves, and based on my relationship with Him, I have access to the strategy once I just begin. I believe that if He gives me the name, then He will give the strategy. And when He gives the strategy, then He'll tell me who the first guest should be. And when He tells me who the first guest should be, then He'll provide a venue. And then when He provides the venue, then He'll show something else. Keep the momentum and stop waiting on the full picture to actually move. Start with what He has given you and move! DPM: In a recent social media post, you talked about stretching. Then you talked about mind-renewal , and you also talked about starting. What would you say to people about the relationship between these three aspects? SAG: No one ever wants to be stretched because the mind and the brain is already structured to biologically and physically, as scientists would tell you, to protect you against things that which it perceives as dangerous and anything outside of what you've already been able to accomplish and do at a high level of competence. What I would tell the readers is that many don't want to be stretched because it is uncomfortable and it takes you outside of your comfort zone. So the first thing to overcoming that is the awareness that this is what your brain does. The second thing is being able to say to your brain, "listen brain, I know what is important for me to go higher". I talk about this in my first book, The Renewal that this is necessary for every one in every season in order to go to the next level of success in your life. You're also going to have to surround yourself with people who have more faith than you until you can catch up. For example, I have now had to start talking to persons in media and radio who are in this media world because it is new for me. These persons are able to critique my work and give advice. Some have view the show and have said it is good, but here are some things you can go to make it better. These types of comments stretch my mind to help me to go up to that higher [lace where God wants me to be. It is important to have these persons around us who can speak the right things into our lives. Affirmations are very important as well. Being able to say "I am a wonderful TV host, I know what I am doing" makes the difference. Speaking these things over my life will help to renew me and stretch me to what God has called me to do. I had to do this when I was becoming an author and speaker. Success was not overnight. I always knew I would be a speaker. I was even kicked out of school for talking but I didn't know I could connect with an audience. Over time I was able to speak to others and based on my success and now with the new television show, after a while I will be able to tell others about what God did and the specific strategies that were used to achieve success.
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DPM: Tell us a little bit about the show, Set The Stage SAG: What people can expect from the show is the next level of success tools to equip them for next level success in any area of their lives. So I am trying to connect with persons who have a story and pointing the guests to a place where they can ultimately provide tools for persons from various backgrounds, on how they can strive for the next level of success,and strive towards a spirit of excellence when they're executing and doing things. That's really what the show is about. God is excellent and I believe that He expects us to grow and move in this same spirit of excellence. And like I said before, to whom much is given much is expected. So if we're going to move on and we're going to grow it is important for us to understand what the next level of success means; what it looks like for us and what are some things we can do to achieve that. DPM: That’s Awesome. Sally, I really want to thank you for your time. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. And we look forward to seeing more of you on Set The Stage. SAG: Absolutely. Thank you!
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