Divine Purpose Magazine January 2021 | Winter | 1st Quarter Issue

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Issue no. 9 January 2021 Cover Design Emmanuel David Editorial Vicki L. Olton Editor-In-Chief Kimone Mcloud Editorial Assistant

Contributors Vicki L. Olton, Lori Price, Kavanaugh Dickson-Williams, Latania Dyer, Shay Brackney, Donna Wayles, Matthew Oh (Forefront Charity), Dana Hayes-Burke, Karen Elias, Mulkie Goodgie, Kedesha Dallas Goode, Shanique Blake (Chaste Style), Jake Bodine (God Behind Bars), Retta Sundblad, Sanya Taffe Stewart, Betty Predmore, Becky Antkowiak, Oge Akinola, Luke Wareham, Paula EllisBryant

Marketing vicki@divinepurposemagazine.com Editorial & Collaborations editorial@divinepurposemagazine.com Advertising advertising@divinepurposemagazine.com Subscriptions Visit www.divinepurposemagazine.com or Contact Vicki Olton at vicki@divinepurposemagazine.com Phone: 1 646 350 5481 (USA) 1 246 844 6396 (Barbados) For more information: info@divinepurposemagazine.com

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VICKI OLTON Editor's Note

HAPPY NEW YEAR! On behalf of the Divine Purpose Magazine team I wish to thank you for your support over the last year and we look forward to doing great things for you and with you in 2021. Six months ago, as I was preparing for our 2021 content schedule, God clearly said that He wants this issue to encourage His people to adopt a new mindset of action according to James 2:15-17 which says, "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." God began to speak to me about the fact that many people have faith but their biggest problem is ACTION; putting legs to their faith. What benefit is there for us to have the faith to start a business, see ourselves in the future as great business men and business women, but yet we sit and do nothing to see what we believe come to pass? What sense does it make, seeing a poor person, knowing that they are hungry, cold and about to die and all we do is pray for them and say, "God will provide"? Yes, GOD WILL PROVIDE, but please don't misinterpret where I am going here. God placed us on the earth to be His agents through which He will channel His provision and meet the needs of others. But it begins with doing something. Sometimes all it takes is for us to share $5 with someone in need to start the process of making a difference in their lives. God said let this magazine highlight The 2021 Mindset which He described by using this equation: FAITH + ACTION = MAKING A DIFFERENCE. This is the essence of James 2:15-17. No longer can we do things the same. God doesn't only want us to believe but He wants us to DO and USE what He has given us on the earth to bring into reality what we first saw in the spirit through our faith. Are you ready to put action to your faith in 2021 and make a difference in your life and the lives of those who God brings your way? Are you ready to put legs to your faith and accomplish all that God has called you to accomplish? In this first issue of 2021 you will be encouraged by great inspirational and teaching articles as well as stories of faith + action from persons around the world who believed they could and did what it took to make the difference in the lives of others, for the glory of God. They didn't just have faith but they added works to their faith in order make a difference in the world. God bless you!

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what's

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FEATURES

02 EDITOR'S NOTE 05 CONTRIBUTORS 09 7 KEYS TO BECOME THE CHANGE 09 PRAYER OF CHANGE 11 MEET OUR NEW EDITORIAL ASSISTANT 16 WHOSE LENS DO YOU SEE YOURSELF THROUGH? 20 WHAT IS YOUR ARK? 24 A DEEPER CONNECTION 25 THE JOURNEY OF GRACE

CENTRE FEATURE JAKE BODINE: GOD BEHIND BARS pg. 44

THE CALL TO GO INTO ALL THE WORLD

31 PUT FEET TO YOUR PRAYERS 56 YES TO YOU

MATTHEW OH pg. 35

58 3 POWERFUL TRUTHS ABOUT VISION 60 DRAFTING YOUR PERSONAL VISION STATEMENT 64 THE PURPOSE JOURNAL 68 FROM PRISON TO PRIESTHOOD

71 LEARNING TO BECOME A GODLY WIFE 72 KEEP BUILDING

73 CALLED TO STEP BACK 76 ARE YOU FIT FOR PURPOSE?

78 FAITH IN WORSHIP 81 NEW SINGLE: I WILL NOT FEAR

83 GOSPEL ARTISTES TO WATCH

SHANIQUE BLAKE

PAULA BRYANTELLIS

pg. 38

GOD'S CO-CREATOR

CHASTE STYLE

pg. 89

87 AUTHOR FEATURES DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE Â |05


CONTRIBUTORS Lori Price Lori Price is passionate for Jesus and loves studying, teaching, and sharing the truth of God's Word. She writes a bimonthly blog on her website and is currently working on a devotional. Lori is a wife, mom,and nana to three precious grandsons and runs her own editing/proofreading business, Grammar Fanatic. She also loves to read,bake, drink coffee, and spend time with friends and family

Shay Brackney Shay Brackney is a Christian Life Coach living in Lake Wylie, SC with her husband Frank and their pug, Archie. Shay leads a bible study for the ladies ministry at her church. “Shay is the mother of two grown children and when she is not writing or speaking, she enjoys the slower pace of southern living, kayaking and hiking. Website: www.sbclifecoach.com

Kavanaugh DicksonWilliams is a Best Selling Author, Speaker and blogger for “Lady Kavan Writes.” Her writing is intended to help others navigate complex emotions in the context of the Bible. Send her an email at ladykavanwrites@gmail.com for an invitation into her Inner Circle. Website: www.ladykavanwrites.com

Latania Dyer Latania Dyer is a legal professional, author, speaker, playwright, preacher and founder of Christielle Creative Production Inc. Her years of community involvement, in both Canada and the Caribbean, have positively influenced her creative works. She founded and led Daughters of Faith & Favour Ministries, a female-based ministry that taught women how to use prayer to empower them in all areas of their lives for two years. Latania shares her life with her husband and children. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php? id=28118699

Dana is a Vision Strategist and Business Coach who helps small business owners in the Caribbean and USA move from frustration to success in their business. Through her coaching program she provides tools, guidance, and resources to help you to build a profitable business that can pay you. A full-time entrepreneur for over 7 years, Dana is also a wife of 9 years and a mother of two children Amalya and Maximillian. Website: www.danahayesburke.com/

Website: www.grammarfanatic.com

Kavanaugh DicksonWillliams

Dana Hayes-Burke

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

Matthew Oh After studying engineering, Matthew (Matt) worked in multiple consumer packaged good (CPG) companies. He had an opportunity to go to rural India through a church missions trip which changed his life. In 2015, Matt founded the non-profit organization FOREFRONT Charity which enables every person, equips leaders, and establishes selfsustaining communities by providing basic life necessities such as clean water/proper sanitation, quality education, affordable medical care, and leadership training. Website: www.goforefront.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

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

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Cont'd on pg. 8



CONTRIBUTORS Kedesha Dallas Goode Kadesha's is an author, creative, speaker and educator. key survival motto of International Passion Pursuits is saturated by Prayer, Perseverance and Perspective. Having done many captivating, engaging and dynamic empowerment talks, her audience includes: corporate, schools and charitable organizations. Website: www.kdallasgoode.com

Retta Sundblad Retta Sundblad is a wife, mother, and grandmother. After forty years in the corporate world and Christian ministry, her world would come crashing in with a federal indictment.After intense pressure by the U.S. attorney, she plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison. During her incarceration, she received a scholarship and was able to complete her Bachelor of Divinity degree. She is currently working on her master’s degree in Christian counseling. Email: rhsundblad@gmail.com

Shanique Blake Shanique Blake is a Style & Body Image 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 " 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. Website: www.ladykavanwrites.com

Jake Bodine Jake Bodine is the founder of God Behind Bars, an organization which has partnered with churches around the country to transform the lives of prison inmates and their families. By inviting God into prison and showing His love in tangible ways, God Behind Bars is restoring lives, building faith, fighting addictions, reconnecting families, and giving thousands of inmates hope for the future. Website: www.godbehindbars.com

Sanya Taffe Stewart Sanya Taffe Stewart is the founder of Becoming The Godly Milllennial Wife; A podcast that helps Christian millennial women to transform intended them to be!into the wives God Website: www.becomingthegodlymillennialwife.mailc himpsites.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

Becky Antkowiak A former corporate recruiter, Becky Antkowiak is a writer, speaker, editor, adoptive homeschooling mom and serial extrovert. She is a passionate advocate for Compassion International and the WAMI Foundation (an NGO in Uganda with a focus on reaching and educating underprivileged girls and women). Website: www.beckyantkowiak.com

Oge Akinola Oge Akinola, Founder/CEO of Bump n Chic. She is an author, public speaker, contributor to FaithBased Magazines/ Blogs and a worship leader in her local church. As a Pre/Postnatal Expert, Sports and Exercise Nutrition Adviser, Oge uses Bump n Chic as a Platform for helping young women get to their divinely defined health and fitness goals. The Emphasis of the work we do is on Spiritual aspects of health and fitness, education on intentional living, habit modification, nutrition as well as the importance of physical well being through exercise/fitness plans. Instagram: @bumpnchic

Luke Wareham Luke Wareham is a worship leader and songwriter based in Bristol and he has just released his first 5 track EP ‘Whisper’ followed up by a single written over the COVID_19 lock-down. ‘I will not fear; with his friend Rachel Mason. He loves leading worship and drawing people to Jesus. He works on the staff team at Woodlands Church in Bristol helping coordinate the worship team and has led worship at various Christian conferences such as David’s Tent and New Wine. One of the songs on the EP entitled Whisper made it into the UK Christian Music Charts top 20 (coming 11th). His prayer is that the songs would bring hope to a broken world speaking the truth of Jesus into everyday life situations Instagram: @lukeandrachelworshipmusic

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CONTRIBUTORS Paula Bryant-Ellis Paula Bryant-Ellis is a Los Angeles-based film director and producer. She is the CEO of Mary Esther Ruth, Inc., and MER Productions. Through her company Mary Esther Ruth, Inc., she seeks to lead women into a more intimate, personal relationship with Christ. MER, Inc., reaches women in the middle of their busy day through weekly podcast, speaking events, prayer workshops, online resources and the MER Blog. Website: www.maryestherruth.com

PRAYER OF CHANGE Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask you to forgive me for any time when I did not act the way You wanted me to or in accordance with your perfect will. If there is any area of my life where I have been stagnant or caused stagnancy in the lives of others because of my lack of action and attention to Your vision, please forgive me. Today I make the decision to move and to run with Your vision. Today I make the decision to add action to my faith. I put on the mind which was in Jesus Christ so that I can think and behave like a change agent in order for Your purpose to be established in my life. Show me Your vision for my life so that I can implement the changes and put Your plans into action in order for Your Kingdom to come here on earth in these end times. In Jesus' Mighty Name I pray, AMEN!

7 KEYS TO BECOMING THE CHANGE by Vicki L. Olton

Becoming the change in 2021 will require you to make a conscious decision to adopt a new mindset and to do things differently. Consider implementing the following and you will be off to a great start: 1. Believe that God has given you the ability to bring change into the world. You are a change-agent in the earth and many are waiting for what God has placed in you. 2. Remove all fear because fear is an enemy of all faith. 3. Decide that you will become a man or woman of action because after having faith, some action must be applied in order to see the envisioned result. Understand that your purpose can only be executed in the earth if you do something. It won't happen on it's own. The birthing of your purpose will take some work and that blueprint of that work is in the mind of God. 4. Spend some time in prayer in order to access to mind of God as it relates to the vision which He has for your life. 5. Write the vision down that God has given to you. 6. Seek to stay in the perfect will of God by operating on the perfect timing of God. This will require that you remain in constant prayer throughout 2021 at every step of your journey in order to ensure that you are on track with the action plans which God wants you to execute. 7. Take on the mind of Jesus Christ. Jesus never sat down and waited for things to happen. He went and provoked change in every place where He went. He believed and He had faith but He always went where the Father needed Him to go. As He preached and taught where He was led, lives were subsequently changed.

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Meet our new Editorial Assistant, Kimone Mcloud Country: Jamaica Instagram: @kimmy_kimz18 Email: kimone@divinepurposemagazine.com

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Introducing THE 2021 MINDSET APPLYING THE "FAITH + ACTION = MAKING A CHANGE " EQUATION

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are you ready to adopt this new mindset?

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You Can't Please God Without Faith

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it begins with you adopting God's view!

whose lens do you see yourself through? by Lori Price

"If you live intimidated by people, then you need to come to terms with your lack of peace. God is bigger than any person. Learn to focus on people through the lens of God's eye, and you'll never see anyone even near His match." - Chuck Swindoll, Stress Fractures I came across this quote and it caught my attention. It doesn't matter where we are in life, we've all felt intimidated by someone. We all experienced it in our younger years—no one makes it through middle or high school without comparing themselves to the "cool kids," or being judged by their standards. As we get older, these feelings of intimidation should lessen as we become more confident in our own skin. But what if they don't? 16| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE


The problem with comparing ourselves to others is there is always someone who has less than us either in talents, looks, money, education—you name it. On the flip side though, there is always someone who has more than us in any of those things. It can become a never-ending cycle of frustration. What is it within us that makes us feel the need to compare ourselves to others? I believe it stems from insecurity, which Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines as "deficient in assurance, beset by fear and anxiety, not confident or sure (uncertain), not adequately guarded or sustained (unsafe), not firmly fastened or fixed (shaky)." It's easy to understand the first part of the definition—"deficient in assurance, beset by fear and anxiety, not confident or sure (uncertain)." No matter how much confidence a person has, at some point they will experience that feeling of uncertainty or anxiety. It's my belief this is an emotion Satan loves to exploit, especially if we are believers. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus talks about being anxious. He uses the word six times with regard to our lives, what we will eat or drink, about our bodies, and what we will put on. He covers just about everything we could be anxious or worry about! The wonderful thing is He gives us the remedy for anxiety and it's found in verse 33: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Paul speaks about anxiety in Philippians 4:6 when he exhorts us to "not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." He goes on to give an added benefit of bringing our requests to God—peace. In the next verse we are told that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This is where the second part of the definition comes into play. It makes sense the definition is referring to inanimate objects being insecure by not being adequately guarded or sustained (unsafe), or not firmly fastened or fixed (shaky). However, we can apply these same definitions to our spiritual lives. When we aren't "adequately guarded or sustained" we find ourselves in an unsafe place. We become susceptible to Satan manipulating our insecurities and if we allow those feelings of insecurity to go unchecked, we open ourselves up to problems with jealousy, resentment, and anger. Extreme anxiety can even make us physically sick. If we are not "firmly fastened or fixed," we are shaky in how we deal with the people around us and situations we find ourselves in. So how do we fix being shaky and unsafe? It goes back to Matthew 6 and Philippians 4—we need to look to God to provide our security. After all, He created us, He knows us intimately, and is "acquainted with all [our] ways" (Psalm 139:3). More than that, He loves us with so great a love that He sent His only Son to die on our behalf for our sins. Seeing ourselves through the lens of God's eye allows us the proper perspective. We shouldn't concern ourselves with what others think of us. Galatians 1:10 poses a question we would be wise to ask ourselves when we face any situation: "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." If we’re believers, isn’t being a servant of Christ and pleasing God what it’s all about?

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But...It Will Take More Than Just Faith 18| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE


A PURPOSEFUL LIFE INCLUDES FAITH IN JESUS AND ACTION FOR HIS KINGDOM – TO REACH MORE PEOPLE WITH HIS LOVE AND THE G O S P E L ." MATTH E W O H - F O U N D E R OF F O R EFR O N T C H A R I T Y Read Matthew Oh's Faith + Action article, A Call To Go Into All The World on pg. 33

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don't let the hurdle of fear stop you. Jump over it!

WHAT IS

YOUR ARK? By Kavanaugh Dickson-Williams

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WHAT IS YOUR ARK? Writing has always been a cathartic outlet for me. I was the girl with the diaries hidden in strange places. In them the secrets of my soul were poured out. I wrote paper based tantrums about the injustices of my teenage life and fantasized about my newest crush. As I got older I graduated from paper journals to digital ones, hidden and password protected. I learned early that writing was also a gift as my teachers gushed accolades for my submissions and the friends I was brave enough to share my words with pointed out the same. I dreamed of being a writer and a poet. I imagined my work reaching thousands of hearts and changing lives but then fear happened. Fear leads to inaction but faith propels us towards the vision of God for our lives. That fear crippled me for decades. Writing became so personal it was rarely shared.

In 2018, the prompt to write for an audience grew in intensity and was difficult to ignore. I had to make a choice to operate in faith and use the gift I was given for a purpose higher than myself or embrace fear, remain crippled and return this gift to God at the end of my life wrapped in its original packaging. A new year is upon us and uncertainty is the order of the day. However, as Christians, we have a hope that is sure and a foundation that cannot be shaken. Building an ark, whatever your ark is, with no proven blueprint in a chaotic environment sounds like a 2021 problem. Life in our current era is the proverbial storm. God has called each of us to provide shelter for a condemned world. What ark have you been called to build? What talents and tools do you have available and surrendered to God that can be used to heal and deliver a broken creation? Without action our world will drown. Our scripture focus for this issue in James 2: 14 (TPT) asks the same question in another way: My dear brothers and sisters, what good is it if someone claims to have faith but demonstrates no good works to prove it? How could this kind of faith save anyone? I found out in 2018 that my ark is writing. I am meant to pen words that reach the heart of people. For you, it may be something else. Whatever your “ark” is, build it so the world may find Jesus our refuge and hiding place. Reject fear and put your faith into action with what God has placed in you.

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"...MAY WE DISCONNECT FROM THE THINGS THAT ARE TEMPORAL AND FIND A DEEPER CONNECTION TO THOSE THINGS THAT ARE ETERNAL ." LATANIA DYER

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A DEEPER CONNECTION By Latania Dyer

I recall a conversation I recently had with a senior lawyer. Prior to developing a working relationship with me, they requested a meeting to chat candidly. At this meeting, they glossed over their extensive experience, and explained how they arrived at the pinnacle of their career. This lawyer acted as lead counsel in arguing a matter before the Supreme Court of Canada. Yet, they were unfulfilled and unhappy. They proceeded to offer details concerning their professional journey of descending the career ladder to arrive at a place of fulfillment As I sat gleefully listening to this story, I connected in a divine way. While I’m only beginning my career as a lawyer, I’m at a similar place in my journey in the realm of ministry. At the end of 2019, I experienced a form of ministry decline. Over the last five (5) years, I worked hard to arrive at where I thought I wanted to be. When I got there and did what I thought that I should do – I was unhappy. My expectations shifted greatly because in one sense I was doing great work for the Kingdom, but there were parts of my life that felt incomplete. After traveling to Kenya, it became nearly impossible to pretend that those parts in me did not exist. As more international ministry assignments came in, I rejected them. This is not something that I shared with others, because I had no one in my life whom I trusted to share that information with. In the eyes of others, I was a great minister, a very powerful woman of God, who could weather any storm.

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In recent weeks, I’ve come to make sense of some of the disappointments that I experienced at those times. Sometimes church can resemble a play or script, with common characters and the well-known narrative – praise and worship, offering, sharing the word. After participating in the play over and over again, things don’t carry the same meaning they once did. It’s possible to feel disconnected from the very ministry we serve in or build. How can this be explained, especially to those who have never experienced these types of feelings? Dunamis power is not simply a theoretical concept that we teach about in church. It is an actual ability to manifest the power of God. It is the work that our faith enables us to do. The word says that when we hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God we will be filled (Matthew 5:6). For some, this hunger and thirst extends beyond the four walls. The greatest manifestation of the power of God will be demonstrated in the works that we can do beyond the physical space. As many parts of the world weather another wave of COVID-19, our ideas of worship, church, and ministry are challenged. In this place of discomfort or venturing into the unknown, may we disconnect from the things that are temporal and find a deeper connection to those things that are eternal. If we never return to business as usual, may we walk in Dunamis power and manifest the works of the Kingdom.


don't get mixed up with the word "works".

T H E

J O U R N E Y

O F

G R A C E

By Shay Brackney

I

In my walk with God, I found grace to be one of the most difficult concepts to understand but also one of the most liberating. I spent many years in a religion that emphasized works over grace. As a result, I used to spend so much time working and studying but at the end of the day, I often felt unworthy. There was always a lingering question. Could I have done more?

In James 2:26 (KJV) it reads, ”…faith without works is dead.” I spent many years taking this phrase out of context. At first glance, this verse seems like the emphasis of our lives should be placed on works. However, I believe we are truly meant to place the emphasis on faith. Our works should be a reflection of our thankfulness for Christ’s great sacrifice.

When I was short on time, in the mornings I would read the bible for five or 10 minutes, I would later wonder if I could have given another five minutes. Could I have made an extra meal tonight to give it to someone who needed it? Could I have been more Christ-like in a moment of anger with my children? These are few of the questions I often ask myself.

In Romans 3:23-25 (NLT) it reads: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life shedding his blood”.

I remember feeling like I was doing something wrong; like I was somehow not measuring up. I thought maybe God was displeased and so I had to work harder. Work, work, work!

Romans 3:27-28 continues: “Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law”.

I spent so many years in fear for my salvation. Missing out on the fullness my relationship with God could have been. And even for that, Grace covers me.

When we place our emphasis on works, this implies there is something we can do, or need to do to earn a position, favor, or the love of God. Cont'd on pg. 27 DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE |25


Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.


"ANYTHING I DO ON HIS BEHALF IS ONLY TO SHOW MY LOVE FOR HIM AND MY GRATITUDE FOR HIS GREAT GIFT." THE JOURNEY OF GRACE Cont'd

Grace says there’s nothing we can do. We are not worthy of the gift we’ve been given, but we are so loved that He would give His only son, that He knows we would always fall short and so He gives us the gift of grace. We are loved ,beautiful and perfect in His sight. My favorite scripture is Ephesians 2:10 (NLT): “For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago”. This reminds me that I am already beautiful in His sight. He created me and knew that I would make mistakes, that I would not be perfect, and so He gave His son to make up the difference. Salvation is a gift. It is not earned. It is provided for by Christ’s sacrifice and our faith and belief in Him. Is there a place for works when there is grace and salvation? Of course, but today I have it in perspective. I understand it is not to earn a place in His kingdom, it is not to earn good favor. In Philippians 2:12 (NLT) Paul writes: “Work hard to show the results of your salvation”. Because I am already saved, nothing I can do will change or better it. I am already counted for in Heaven. Anything I do on His behalf is only to show my love for Him and my gratitude for His great gift. When I love on my fellow man, when I make a meal for someone, when I offer a ride to someone who is otherwise stranded, I do this to show my appreciation for the times God has picked me up, fed me, loved on me. I do it with thanksgiving in my heart. I’m far from perfect, but grace makes up the difference and because of it, in His eyes, I am perfect. Grace might just be my favorite …

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Make A Difference In 2021 28| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE


RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

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Galatians 6:2

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.


PUT FEET TO YOUR PRAYERS By Donna Wayles

I was bruised, homeless, and had little hope left as I parked my car in the driveway of my church's head deacon; I didn't know where else to go. My soon-to-be ex-husband was stalking and harassing me, as well as anyone who dared call themselves my friend, much less risk helping me. I had been staying in hiding with a friend, an admitted unbeliever, and a fellow Navy wife, who had hidden my car in her garage behind her husband's truck. He was deployed with the Navy, and his vehicle was not being used at the time. Since he was scheduled to come home soon, I needed a new place to stay. I had heard almost nothing from my Christian church friends; I assumed that they had believed the lie that my soon-to-be ex-husband had told them about me having a "virtual" affair and I was leaving him for another man, according to him. After what the detectives called a domestic assault, I could not live in my apartment; it wasn't safe. I had my baby's diaper bag contents and the clothing I was wearing when the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) sent me to the hospital for an evaluation. When I needed more clothes, I had to call the military police to escort me, and even then, they opened every drawer, closet, cabinet, and patted down the couch cushions to make sure no traps could hurt me. I was only allowed to stay at my house for up to 15 minutes as it wasn't safe for me to be there. These thoughts of desperation swam through my mind as I walked up to the head deacon's back door.

He greeted me from the top of the stairs, unlike weeks before, when he and his wife hosted our baby shower, he didn't invite me in. I asked if I could stay with them for a while, I didn't know where else to go. I would only live with them as long as the judge said until he let me move out of state. Surprisingly, I watched in disappointment as he hung his head, and said "No, I'm sorry. We've done all we can. He's dangerous." Knowing he meant my husband was out to hurt me, I agreed, "I have the bruises to show for it", I said. He apologized again and ended our conversation. Cont'd on pg. 32 DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE Â |31


"People, like me in that situation, need action. Prayers would help, but more than that, I needed a hug; I needed my Christian brothers and sisters to surround me, encourage me..."

Defeated, I walked back to my car. I felt as if my church friends had abandoned me. In that instant, I wondered, where would I go? What was I going to do? God provided for me and has blessed me with a second chance at love with an amazing husband and an incredibly happy life. Looking back at that incident reminds me that although prayer is essential, and we should never neglect it, God asks us to put feet to our prayers. "Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:12 KJV) God calls us to prayers and actions. "Yea, a man may say, 'Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.'" (James 2:18 KJV). People, like me in that situation, need action. Prayers would help, but more than that, I needed a hug; I needed my Christian brothers and sisters to surround me, encourage me, and lift me before a mighty God and pray a hedge of protection around me from the demons that were tormenting me. I needed a box of diapers for my baby, a change of clothes for me, clean pajamas for both of us, or even sharing a hot cup of tea would have been welcome God wants us to put feet to our prayers!

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RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

THE CALL TO GO INTO ALL THE WORLD How God Positioned and Commissioned Matthew Oh, Founder of Forefront To Bring Clean Drinking Water and Jesus Christ To Communities In India By Matthew Oh

Growing up near Paterson, NJ, on our way to get lunch when I was young, my mom and I would always pass by a red 99 cents store. There would be a blind man sitting on a chair. Everyday, my mom would give me a quarter to drop it off in his cup. From that point on, I could not stop noticing people in need whether it’s the busy streets of New York City or even foreign countries such as Mongolia. Growing up, I visited countries such as El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, and Paraguay on mission trips but also countries such as Mongolia for service trips. I was first introduced to the world of nonprofits through a church friend who was raising money towards a water well. But all my life my focus was on myself and getting the best job after a good college education.

So I got into college, ready and motivated as a Chemical Engineer. The first semester was awful and I remember everyone telling me that I picked the hardest major. Out of fear, I switched to Operations Engineering with a friend thinking this is my way for an easy and fun college life and good salary post college. It was later in my freshman year after some spotty bible study attendance that an older brother of mine sat me down and straight up told me that I was idolizing good grades and a comfortable future. In my mind, I didn’t understand.

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RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

What was wrong with that? Everyone was chasing after that too. It was then when I began to really wrestle with my faith and what it meant to be a true Christian. I eventually returned back to Chemical Engineering after realizing statistics & probability was not my forte, but even a greater reason why I returned was to go into the area of sustainability, water treatment, and solar energy thanks to a professor I connected with. I wanted to change the world. But I still had my selfish motives. I couldn’t say it was for the Lord. Good intentions… but not for the Lord. During the remainder of my college years, I battled through depression. I seemed happy on the exterior but inside I battled with many dark thoughts. Throughout college, I was always exposed to missions. In particular one missionary from Kazakhstan mentioned that even though his family was away in a foreign country on their own, they were so happy. In my mind, I couldn’t fathom how that is possible. They let go of all their comforts and friends to move to a foreign country where they were not accepted and persecuted. But when hearing their testimony and in the state I was in, my curiosity peaked. I wanted to know what that excitement was like. How even in the midst of trials and persecution, they were so joyful and happy. This is something I longed for. After accepting Christ, graduating college, and starting a full time corporate job, I went on a missions trip to India through my church. 34| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE

During this time, I was having a great corporate life experience with my coworkers and my job. But I felt empty. I felt without purpose or direction. I was going to work, going to church, but I felt as if I was in between two worlds. As I was preparing for the trip to India, I wanted to have clear purpose coming out of this trip. I demanded God for a vision … a calling as if He would give it to me just because I demanded it. The first week went by in India under the hot blazing sun with 100+ F temperature everyday. I was shocked at the lack of infrastructure. There were no sinks with running water in households, villages didn’t have electricity, tin or straw huts as homes, open defecation, and women and children walking over 610 hours a day to fetch water (not clean). These were just the few things I noticed.

But it is through basic life necessities such as clean drinking water which is very scarce, they are able to create the relationship and then enter the village to build a water well. The missionary then said, “But most importantly to provide the living water.” When I heard this, I had chills running down my spine. In was thinking “So I can use my skills and talent for Kingdom missions work and not just for my own life and selfish gain?” I immediately told my missions team my conviction and they prayed for me that night. An excitement and urgency began to brew in my heart.

I returned to India the following two years. I really believe in commitment and it’s only when you commit to a site do you get to truly see progression, grow deeper relationships, and be more effective on the field. The Then the second week came following year, I visited an and talking with the orphanage and villages where missionaries there, I inquired kids did not go to school what sort of plans the during weekdays. I asked why ministry had. The missionary they don’t go to school and listed hospital, school, and they said that there is no church but then mentioned school to attend. The “water wells.” I stopped him following year I met a right there and said “why pregnant woman who had water wells?” At the time, I pregnancy complications. But never heard of any due to her social and income missionaries talk about water status and lack of wells in a missions context. He transportation (they didn’t mentioned that India being a own cars), she was unable to mainly Hindu country (77% of be admitted to a hospital. a 1.35 billion population This enraged and brought which is over 1 billion people) upset to me that a woman does not want Christianity to carrying life was suffering enter their villages. without getting care. From the time of receiving my conviction to this point, even in the United States, I prayed everyday regarding this vision to come to life.


RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

"IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 25, THE PARABLES OF THE TALENTS, GOD GAVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF US A TALENT. WHETHER YOU HAVE 1 TALENT OR 5 TALENT, THE CALLING FOR US IS THE SAME: BE FAITHFUL AND USE YOUR GODGIVEN TALENTS TO TAKE RISKS FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD."

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RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

Then it is through quality education in which an individual gains the skills to help others and become a changemaker. Female literacy is 32% in our school area vs 86% globally and over 40% of primary age children are reported to currently not attend school within a 5 mile radius. Medical care access is important to keep all villagers healthy and active. Lastly, regardless of gender or demographics, we are all created in the image of God and deserve access to all the basic life necessities and opportunities. We call this our fourpillar approach which supports our overall mission to enable every person, equip leaders, and establish self-sustaining communities.

After this trip, I got exhausted from waiting for my next step from God. I had been waiting and praying for the past 2 years and nothing was happening. A few months later, I prayed to God saying that maybe this wasn’t meant to be and I should give up on this conviction. But I promised that I would pray with all my heart one last time. After 1 week of praying, I got a message from the missionary in India. I just knew 100% what it was about. He mentioned that as he was praying, he thought of me and working together to build a school and water well. I told him that that is exactly what has been brewing To date, we have built over 38 water inside my heart this whole time! I knew that this period of waiting was wells providing over 60,000 villagers God refining my vision to make it for with clean water and reducing their water fetching time up to 95%! We Him and not about me. But also, throughout this time, God was placing have distributed nearly 5,000 soaps (and toys inside for children) to in my heart the very model we are encourage proper hand washing. In living by today. villages we have reached out, we First, the name FOREFRONT Charity increased hand washing rates from 39% to 94%. We built a state-of-thecame to be by witnessing all the missionaries & Christians’ boldness art school that can provide up 400 students each year with quality for the Gospel. I witnessed open baptisms, loud PA speakers blasting education and we are also giving 50% off tuition to girls to promote girls’ sermons to the villages, and all the education. We also began an after crazy persecution stories. Despite that, they continue to boldly proclaim school English program in 2019. We the Gospel. In the beginning of the also started work with diabetes as year 2015, my pastor asked us “who India has the second highest number of diabetics in the world. Through will you stand for in 2015?” And in perfect timing, the calling to be bold our relational work, we have opened for Jesus pressed in my heart birthing several new churches in the villages we worked with and have heard the name FOREFRONT Charity. numerous testimonies of village leaders and villagers coming to know Second, throughout the years, I the Lord and the risk and cost it takes witnessed four key pillars: water/sanitation, education, medical to follow after Jesus. care, and empowerment. These became the very pillars we work on In Matthew Chapter 25, the Parables of the talents, God gave each and currently as it takes more than one everyone of us a talent. Whether you solution to lead to sustainable have 1 talent or 5 talent, the calling change. for us is the same: be faithful and use Clean water is the basis of all life and your God-given talents to take risks is the very foundation to ensure our for the Kingdom of God. health. Currently 443 million school days are lost each year from water related illnesses, 163 million people in India do not have access to safe drinking water, and 20%+ diseases reported in India are water related. 36| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE

My college fellowship pastor at Cornell University (full of ambitious over-achievers) would always emphasize this: if God made you a “B” student, be the best “B” student you are called to be. Pretty funny but true. We are called to be faithful and steward what God has given us. Only if you give God a chance, does He give you more opportunities and entrust you with more of His Kingdom work. I share with you these 6 encouragements: 1) Trust in the Lord and listen for His voice. (Proverbs 16:9, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 27:14, Isaiah 55:6) Listen for God’s voice and calling, not your selfish ambitions. 2) Surrender your agenda to God. Then surrender some more. (Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 19:21) Don’t do it for your personal success to have life security but because you want to serve the Lord and it is for Him. 3) Serve the Lord in all capacity. Big or small. (Proverbs 16:3-4) Do smaller tasks without grumbling and do it wholeheartedly. Like the parable of the talents, God will give you more resources when you can handle the smaller tasks. 4) Find a vision. Take action now. (Hebrews 6:11-12) Surround yourself with the right people that is passionate and loves God. They will keep you on track and community is key! 5) Don’t rush. Pray in faith for a vision. (Test your heart. Let God grow your heart) (Ecclesiastes 3) Vision doesn’t need to be grand or perfect from the beginning. Start small, maybe with your immediate community, and go at God’s pace.


RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

" L OOK I N G B A C K , G O D A N S WER E D M Y P R A Y E R S . I H A V E F O U N D T H A T J O Y A ND H A P PIN E S S T H A T I S O C O V ETE D W H E N I H E A R D IT F R O M T H E M I S S I O N A R I E S IN K A Z AKH S T A N . T H I S J O Y O F S E R VIN G T H E L O R D C A N BE Y O U RS T O O ! "

6) Be rooted & Gospel focused. God will lead you and guide you. (Psalm 32:8, Psalm 37:23, Matthew 5:16) Guard the treasure: stay focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ so that you can not be distracted when it becomes difficult. Some additional verses that challenged me: Matthew 25:37-40 ESV “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

Acts 20:35 35 - "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." Looking back, God answered my prayers. I have found that joy and happiness that I so coveted when I heard it from the missionaries in Kazakhstan. This joy of serving the Lord can be yours too!

Even me. I am living proof that an everyday person can be used by the Lord. That a purposeful life includes faith in Jesus AND action for His Kingdom – to reach more people with His love and the Gospel. I am thankful and He gives me strength and joy. May He be your strength and joy and lay in your hearts a vision ultimately to glorify His Kingdom.

I have no regrets as it relates to the immense struggles and hardships we endured. From it, we learned that in all circumstances, both nonprofit and personal, that the Lord is good and that His will be done. We learned to wholly trust in Him and let Him lead and guide us. God uses anyone.

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chaste S T Y L E

By

SHANIQUE BLAKE 38| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE


SHANIQUE BLAKE Style & Body Image Coach

Shanique Blake 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); after completing her degree she gained employment as an Audit Staff at Ernst and Young one of the BIG 4 Auditing firms. During her tenure there, she developed a love for fashion but never took any steps to actively pursue her passion. Later, she added to her professional profile by being employed as a Financial Analyst at one of the largest BPO companies in Jamaica and as an Analyst at one of the largest Financial Institutions in the Caribbean. 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 " When she is away from work, she loves to observe nature which is also a source of inspiration for her; she believes that God is the greatest designer of all and always takes a leaf from His book. Shanique made the decision to actively pursue her passion because she loves when women look and feel their best (especially Christian women), as well as, she feels it's something God has called her to do. 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.

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The Ultimate Fashion Guide

FOR THE CHASTE LADY

a conservative, yet stunning casual/semi casual look www.venqueconsult.com

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a professional edge www.venqueconsult.com

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR STYLE WITHOUT OVERSPENDING 1. Buy pieces on sale 2. Mix new pieces with ones you already own 3. Buy and mix high cost and low-cost pieces 4. Sew your own clothing pieces 5. Hire a Style & Image Coach DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE Â |41


for the mummy-to-be www.venqueconsult.com

Dressed for Success ...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31

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TAKING JESUS INTO THE WORLD

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GOD BEHIND BARS

CROSSING EVERY BARRIER TO SHARE JESUS CHRIST WITH INMATES

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ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION Since 2009, God Behind Bars has partnered with churches around the country to transform the lives of prison inmates and their families. Most prisoners—as many as 92% of all incarcerated individuals—will be released back to society at some point, and 75% of them will return to prison within three years. We address this problem with a unique three-step approach that focuses on the physical, spiritual, and relational needs of inmates and their families. 1. We partner with local churches and other faith based-organizations to live stream dynamic, highquality worship experiences into prisons. Wardens at the facilities offering these services say most of the inmates attend each week and that the program is changing the culture of their prisons. We also offer "Church Inside," introducing the families to Christ by allowing them to watch the same service their loved one is watching on the inside. 2. Family Matters is a God Behind Bars program that sets inmates on a journey to reconnect with their family through Christ and help them follow Him. During this phase they also plug in and grow deeper in their faith by jumping into small groups. Studies have shown that 90% of inmates have struggled with addiction, so we offer the successful "Celebrate Recovery" program along side other strong curriculum to help prisoners confront and fight their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. 3. Our re-entry process helps prisoners return to society with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. We help inmates find jobs, housing, and education opportunities; reconnect with family and friends and develop a plan to move forward in healthy ways with the support of a faith-based community. We then continue our relationship with "ex-inmates" to provide ongoing support. Volunteers from the local church meet them at the gate and stay connected in the weeks to come, fulfilling practical needs like housing, groceries, medical treatment, counseling, life skills training, and more. By inviting God into prison and showing His love in tangible ways, God Behind Bars is restoring lives, building faith, fighting addictions, reconnecting families, and giving thousands of inmates hope for the future.

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EXCLUSIVE

JAKE BODINE THE FOUNDER

God Behind Bars is a true example of what this issue promotes: FAITH + ACTION = MAKING A DIFFERENCE. The organization's aim is to place God in prisons and to show persons that they have a great purpose no matter their current circumstance. This requires a great level of faith and action from the organization and all who work with and collaborate with the organization, in order for such to become a reality. The organization is truly a source of motivation to others who are seeking to do more and make a difference in 2021. 46| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE

DPM: Who is Jake Bodine? GBB: I am the founder and CEO of God Behind Bars, which started in 2009. I am married to Danielle, and we have five amazing kids! I am 32, a pastor's kid, and honestly never thought growing up that this is what I would be doing with my life.

DPM: What is the story behind God Behind Bars? (How did the organization begin?/Tell us the faith story) GBB: I had always planned on playing football my entire life. I was even enrolled and ready to play for UNLV. However, due to a technicality, I was deemed ineligible and that dream ended. It was around this time that I felt the call of the Lord into ministry, something that I had never seriously considered before.


BY INVITING GOD INTO PRISON AND SHOWING HIS LOVE IN TANGIBLE WAYS, GOD BEHIND BARS IS RESTORING LIVES, BUILDING FAITH, FIGHTING ADDICTIONS, RECONNECTING FAMILIES, AND GIVING THOUSANDS OF INMATES HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.

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After a while of wondering what exactly God wanted me to do, I got a call from the mother of my lifelong friend, Ryan. Ryan had recently gotten into trouble because of his drug addiction and was facing some serious prison time. That's when God started working in me even more. I wanted Ryan to know Jesus Christ, but I didn't know how his life could be changed from within a prison. I kept thinking, "Man, someone really needs to do something so that people like Ryan can meet Jesus." And that is when I had my "Isaiah moment," as I like to call it. I could feel God asking me "Whom shall I send?" When I finally realized that God wasn't really wondering who He should send, but was looking directly at me, patiently waiting, I said "Here am I! Send me!" Shortly after that, we launched our first prison campus in the Las Vegas area in 2009. We now have nearly 50 campuses in prisons across the nation, from Alaska to Florida, with over 30 planned to be launched in 2021/22. DPM: What is the role of the organization? GBB: GBB exists to fulfill the call in Matthew 25 of spreading the love of Jesus to inmates in prison and to their families by working with churches to plant church campuses within the walls of prisons and bring a real, engaging church experience to the inmates. We also provide the services online so that family members of the men and women attending the service in prison can log on and watch the exact same service at the exact same time. 48| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE

Not only do we want prisoners to know the love of Jesus, but we want their families to reconnect and grow in Christ together and break the pattern of generational incarceration that is so often seen in our world today. Only Jesus can provide hope and healing to these inmates and their families, and we are trying to reach as many of them as possible! DPM: How have the lives of inmates and others been transformed over the years? GBB: We have seen thousands of inmates and their family members give their lives to Jesus. We have seen children of inmates come to view their incarcerated parents as heroes in their lives again. The wardens of the prisons that we have a presence in constantly comment on how the overall culture of the prison is changing because of what God is doing through GBB. Ultimately, inmates throughout the nation are finding new life, new purpose, and true freedom through the truth and grace of Jesus. They are finding out that God isn't against them, that He actually loves them and wants good for them, and He isn't finished with them. DPM :What advice would you give to a person who may have been in prison or in some prison-like situation as it relates to walking in their divine purpose after imprisonment?

Not only do we want prisoners to know the love of Jesus, but we want their families to reconnect and grow in Christ together and break the pattern of generational incarceration that is so often seen in our world today. GBB: God isn't done with you! There is nothing that you have done that disqualifies you from the love of God. You may have written yourself off, but He hasn't and won't write you off. You may feel like you can't be used because of your past or current situation. But He does have a purpose for you. He may have given you an idea or a calling, but you are holding yourself back because of your own self-judgments or assumptions that you couldn't possibly be enough. But God doesn't always call the qualified, He qualifies the called. God will walk beside you and equip you for your purpose. So, lean in and take a step of faith because He is ready to use you!


TRANSFORMING THE LIVES OF PRISON INMATES AND THEIR FAMILIES ACROSS THE USA DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE Â |49


DPM: How can persons support the organization and help spread Jesus Christ across prisons? GBB: Prayer and financial support. We have lots of plans and new initiatives coming up that will help us exponentially expand the message of Jesus within prisons, but we know that we cannot accomplish this on our own! Our website (GodBehindBars.com) provides all the info on how to engage. For churches, if you are interested in launching a GBB campus within a prison or being a part of some really exciting things coming up, then go to our website and you will find our contact info to set up a meeting and partner with us to reach inmates and their families!

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DPM: Tell us about Letters of Hope? GBB: We started Letters of Hope at the beginning of COVID_19 because prisons were going on severe lockdown and our church broadcasts were being put on hold. Most outside mail to inmates was also being halted. But due to our relationship with the Department of Corrections, we came up with this program to safely and securely send in letters so that the inmates didn't feel so alone and isolated. COVID quarantines actually gave a lot of people on the outside a level of understanding for what an inmate's life is like. This provided the opportunity for people to write meaningful letters of encouragement and compassion to inmates on a level we haven't seen before. How you do it is by going to LettersofHope.net and fill out the form to write a letter, pay the postage, and we print that letter and safely send it to an inmate. There is also the opportunity to pay for and send them a Bible and a journal.


POWERFUL STORIES

Click here to watch

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"GOD WILL WALK BESIDE YOU AND EQUIP YOU FOR YOUR PURPOSE. SO, LEAN IN AND TAKE A STEP OF FAITH BECAUSE HE IS READY TO USE YOU!"

REACHING SOULS AT ALL COSTS

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Matthew 25: 38-40 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:3540)


WRITE THE VISION & MAKE IT CLEAR

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3

because you need to know

Three Powerful Truths About Vision

Written by Dana Hayes-Burke pg. 58

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YES TO YOU! By Karen Elias

“Today I made the decision to bet on myself. I want to know that when I tell myself I'm going to do something, it’s going to get done. I must do things for me. I can do things for others! I get it done because I want them to think good about me. I don’t want them to think I’m not able or capable or reliable. Yet somehow I don’t do this for myself. I have to change that. I have to count on me to do things for me.” This was a on of my recent journal entries. It was the last quarter of 2020 and like many others, for a lot of my goals I got a hard slap on the wrist and was sent to time-out. Yet, like so many of you, new ideas came like lightning bolts to my very soul! My dreams were vivid! Full of life and possibilities! I saw things through different perspectives. My thoughts evolved as I recognized toxic systems and pertinent solutions. However, like me, you got stuck in the DOING part. You saw the potential but failed to see it through. You knew it was a great idea and you ran with it until the momentum and motivation slowed to the level of your understanding, and you didn’t have much. You probably didn’t have the support you thought you needed – that close friend or relative or spouse that just needed to say “that’s a great idea!” or “go for it” or “anything you need, I’m here to help.”

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Maybe you had so many other things to do that the idea was left in the planner. The chores, the job, the ailing parent or young child took precedence. “I can’t do that now, I have to cook, and look at how much laundry needs to get done. Plus I haven’t worked out for the week so I should do that.”

I’m also here having to implement some things I did before. Allow me to plug in here that nothing in life ever happens by chance. Many of us have a vault of experiences that we simply locked away, never analyzing and making notes. Those notes are valuable! Go back to them!

My friend, I’ve been there, but 2020 taught me to ask myself the hard questions. I got so accustomed to blaming circumstances and outcomes, conveniently forgetting that I have power over both. I was watching TV, claiming that I was ‘resting’ (after all, I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old! I deserve this 2-3 hour downtime!) when I realized that I CHOSE to watch TV. ME!

Allow me to share a few that I reinstated to ensure I took action:

I wasn’t doing chores or any other excuse I allowed myself to claim. I was simply being unproductive. Don’t get me wrong, rest is required, but the reality was I had just gotten up from a nap. I chose to procrastinate. It was then I began to ask myself the hard questions. Why was I sitting there when I had the time and the strength to work on my goals? What would make me get up? If I had a deadline, or if I had accountability then I would get up. That wasn’t good enough though. Why did I need someone over me waving a big stick to get me going? It was then I had the light shone on me. I didn’t think I could be successful for myself. It caused me to reflect on the most pivotal season of my life, the moment I decided to be celibate until marriage. Fornication led me down a dark path, choosing abortion while functioning in the Church and having to crawl out of that depression and nervous breakdown. I hated it. After many attempts to stop, one day I said enough is enough. I had a goal to be the wife God wanted me to be. I wanted to be whole. Pure. Good. I had to be intentional about my steps DAILY and consistently. I bet on myself and I achieved my desire. So here I am now having to do the same.

I wrote my goals DAILY. I also wrote them in big red letters and stuck it where I could see it. I found pictures of my goal. I have a Pinterest Board called “Visualize” filled with them. If I chose to pick up my phone and scroll uselessly, I would stop, got to Pinterest, view my Visualize Board and use that desire to get up and go to my workspace. I found scriptures that pertained to my situation, wrote them and spoke them daily. ANYTIME I felt down or overwhelmed, I would read them out loud. The “out loud” part is the game changer. Scripture says “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17) and sometimes, you need to hear you say it yourself! No one else. I didn’t talk to certain people. I knew you would support me and who would pull me down – I stayed away from those who would pull me down, or worse, encourage me to stay in the place of average. I rerouted my energy. When I felt like doing something that would not benefit or would lead to me being unproductive, I would take that energy and put it into a productive activity that got me a few steps closer to my desire. Bob Proctor, one of the most prolific teachers of personal development, teaches that you cannot manage time because we don’t have control of it; you can only manage your activities. In 2021, I encourage you to ask yourself the hard questions and put practical things in place to add action to your faith. By now you must realize that the world needs us! By holding yourself back, you may be preventing someone else from their breakthrough! If not you, then who?

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3 POWERFUL TRUTHS ABOUT VISION By Dana Hayes-Burke Early this year, I had a consultation call with a small business owner. She wanted to chat with me about where she was with her business. With everything that was happening this year, she felt incredibly lost. She said to me, “I had a vision for this year, but with the pandemic, all that was cancelled.� That statement rang out like a bell because it captured one of the lies that you may have told yourself about Vision. This lie is based on an internal messaging which tells you that your vision changes with the times and season. Therefore, when conditions are good- the Vision is solid and when conditions are unfavorable, the Vision has to be changed. It also means that when you map out your Vision, it is likely focused on all the wrong areas. In this article, I am going to share three (3) truths about Vision that will radically shift how you apply this success principle to your life and business. Truth #1: Your Vision Is A Destination Consider this analogy: I have a dream to visit Paris within a year. The borders are closed in Trinidad and Tobago, flights are restricted. There is also Covid-19 so traveling is not something I can do. But does Paris still exist? Yes, it does. Is it a place that I CAN get to at some point? Yes, it is. The only thing that has changed is the time frame. VISION IS A DESTINATION. How and when you may get there may be affected by circumstances but, the fact that you are going there should not be altered. The problem is, a lot of times your Vision is focused on the process and not the destination. If you consider the Vision as the destination, then though the journey may have ebbs and flows, up and downs, you are still moving in the right direction.

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Truth #2: Your Vision Describes What You Will Be Doing At That Destination Now that you understand that Vision is the destination, let’s tackle the second truth. When you write the Vision down, write what you are experiencing or doing at that destination. Your Vision is something that motivates you. It paints a picture that draws you forward. By describing the experience, you keep yourself motivated. Also, you are pinpointing the actions you need to take (or goals) to make this vision a reality. Let’s go back to the Vision of Paris. By describing what I hope to experience, it points to some goals I need along the way like, get better at French, save $100,000, or make a travel plan. A well-written vision points you to the goals that will get you there. Truth #3: Your Vision Is Progressive Stop getting hung up on starting with the perfect Vision. It is the trap that has so many of you stuck. Take note of the following statement because it will transform how you view having a vision: Vision is imperfect and it is perfected in the progress of it. While you have the general direction of your Vision, you won’t have all the parts together right at the start. It’s when you start the journey, that the destination becomes clearer. Get unstuck. Start making moves toward the Vision: setting goals and taking action. Only then will clarity and confirmation come. Now that you have learned these 3 truths, don’t look back at 2020 with regret. Don't think of all that you didn’t accomplish or that you stopped entirely. You cannot change the past. You can, however, use this new information to chart your path forward. It’s time to SEE THE VISION, BELIEVE THE VISION, BUILD THE VISION.

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DRAFTING YOUR PERSONAL VISION STATEMENT WITH MULKIE GOODGIE

Certified in Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change


Your personal vision statement is a forecast of where you want to be in the future, while your personal mission statement speaks about what you should currently be doing to get there. Both your personal vision and mission statement should work together. If you carefully follow your mission statement now, you will enjoy the actualization of your vision statement in the future. The Bible recommends in James 12: 14-26, that we put our faith into action to harness success. Practitioners and academics alike support this idea that creating a vision motivates people to action and inspires them to excel. Elements of a Personal Vision Statement A personal vision statement should communicate your aspirations for all areas of your life. Here are a few areas you should consider when writing your personal vision statement; Core Values Spiritual Life Finance Work and Career Relationships Health and Fitness Recreation Contribution to the larger community Preparing to Write Your Personal Vision Statement We begin by providing prompts and questions to help you reflect on your thoughts and feelings. During the exercise explore responses that are truly your own rather than what you believe others expect of you. It is also a good idea to jot down your responses. It is the year 2030 and you are ____ years old. You are living your ideal life. You live in a location you have always dreamed about. You live with the people who you most want to be living with. If work is part of your ideal life, you are doing the type of work you love, and just enough – not too much, not too little. Someone records you by video all day long.

What would we see in that video? Where would you be? What are you doing? Who else is there? Etc. Vision Statement Draft Now that you have envisioned your optimal future, you can begin writing vision statements for the areas we identified earlier in this article. As you write, bear in mind that your response should be emotionally appealing for all the areas as this should provide you with inspiration and focus. Do not attach your vision statements to your current or past situation; therefore, allow your mind to run as you write, relax, and have fun. Here are a few examples of what your statements should look like for various areas of your life; Spiritual Life - I have a close relationship with God, and our relationship keeps getting better every day as I learn to trust Him more. I share the gospel and is used to bring people into the kingdom. Relationships - I live my life in a way that shows love, fairness, compassion and kindness for family, friends and strangers.

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DRAFTING YOUR PERSONAL VISION STATEMENT Cont'd

Health and Fitness - I am energetic and make nutritious choices on what I should eat, my sleep patterns, and how I treat my body. I participate in physical exercise at least three times a week. You may notice that I have written under each area of interest in the present tense as if they have already been achieved. The reason why I did this will make a subtle but significant difference in your mind. If you read your vision written in the future tense, you can always put the task off, and it does not seem real, there is always more time to tackle the problem. However, with repeating these desired outcomes to yourself in the present tense your mind is ever so slightly “tricked” into believing it to be true. Rather than being in the future, your mind interprets it to be happening now – eating healthy is not something that you will be doing in the future, it is something you do now, which will help you even more to achieve your desire. It simply sets you up for success. It is now time to pull these reflections on all the areas of your life together into a comprehensive statement of your desired future. You may find it helpful to begin with a brief overview of who you want to be and what you want to do in the future. Do not bother with perfection, your focus should now be on starting. Length and format do not matter with time you can fine-tune it.

I applaud you for spending the time to draft your personal vision statement. By doing so you can now see where you are heading in 2021 and beyond. *** Follow Mulkie on social media for tips on how to develop your personal mission statement and to obtain direction on how you must live today to be where you desire tomorrow.

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SUMMER ESCAPADES

THE PURPOSE JOURNAL BY KEDESHA DALLAS GOODE AUTHOR OF THE PURPOSE JOURNAL

“He leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul …” Psalm 23:2-3 Our souls need constant restoration; our minds crave consecration (peace); and our bodies yearn for rejuvenation (rest). As I reflect on the depth of the above scripture I smile, I chuckle, I sigh, and I am in awe of how God’s presence provides the best rest for us. Rest is refreshing and rest is necessary. As the new year peeps through the cracks, what will you claim? What will you be purposeful about? What will you chase? More importantly who will you surround yourself with? And what voice will you allow to echo is your ears? Think on these things … REST! Overthink these things … NO REST! As I pondered them, I got flustered because it seemed all too much, a lot of thinking! However, when I stepped back and dug deep, I began to get a sweet sense of calm and direction! Thank you Jesus! 64| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE

And voila! Va-boom! Oh yes! This journal and planner were downloaded in my heart by the Holy Spirit. To create some peace and semblance of order for my life with the hope that it will create the same for you. Take this intentional, purpose filled and purposeful journey with me as we plan and journal according to God’s will for our lives. Let consistency and discipline be the overarching and undergirding guides that will cause you, me and we to live through these pages in order to grow and glow into the prosperity that God promised us in Jeremiah 29:11. My intentional life mission is to move for God, live for God and execute to the best of my ability for His glory. He has downloaded a lot of gifts and talents for which I am extremely grateful and I am determined to use them in excellence. Journals can be purchased by sending an email to – info@kdallasgoodeltd.com with the subject SUCCESS – I want OR PUSH – I want OR GOALS – I want.


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TELL OF HIS GOODNESS

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TELL OF HIS GOODNESS

FROM PRISON TO PRIESTHOOD By Retta Sundblad I have just returned from a thirty-two month sabbatical. I love the word sabbatical. Doesn’t it sound Godly? It also sounds better than saying I was incarcerated in a federal women’s prison. Did you just blink and read the last paragraph again? Yes, I was indicted for mail fraud and sentenced to 51 months in a federal prison. It is not exactly how I planned to spend my golden years. What do you do when you are dropped into prison? At first, I hid myself away, crying myself to sleep in my bunk, in a room I shared with three other women. I turned to my Bible for comfort. I found that I was in good company. As I looked through the pages of the Good Book, I found that I was not the only person of faith that was tested by incarceration. I joined the ranks of Joseph, Samson, Jeremiah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Silas, Paul, and even Jesus, who was incarcerated between his arrest and execution. All these who had gone before had relied on their faith and made a difference. I wanted to be that person, not a discouraged, bitter woman. I vowed that I, with God’s help, would lead a victorious life, in spite of my circumstances. I decided to grab hold of my faith and develop a new mindset. There are hurting people everywhere that need Jesus, even more so, behind prison walls. There was a reason that Jesus told us to minister to those behind bars. 68| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE

Most are at the lowest point they have ever been. I wanted to share the good news of the gospel to all I encountered. I knew that this was now my mission field. I vowed to leave prison better and not bitter. While in prison, I finished my bachelor’s degree, forty-five years after graduating from high school. I began working on my master’s degree in Christian counseling. I led Bible studies and developed curriculum for marriage, parenting, codependency, and trauma classes. I sang like I had never sang before. I was released early due to COVID-19. As I walked through the gates, into the arms of my family, I heard the cries of women, saying, please do not forget about us. Although I was grateful for my release, my heart remains broken for those left behind. My passion is speaking to churches and community groups, sharing my experiences, and sparking a movement to help those in prison and those coming home. I would love to be able to connect female inmates with spiritual mentors, for help during and after incarceration. My goal is to set up support groups for the families of those behind bars. These are lofty ambitions for a 64-year old felon, but as I read the Bible, I learn of murderers, prostitutes, thieves and even tax collectors that were used by God. God does not call perfect people; He calls surrendered people. May that be the last chapter of my story.


Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.


FAMILY MATTERS

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MARRIAGE GOD'S WAY

LEARNING TO BECOME A GODLY WIFE

But Glory to God who is my redeemer, I am grateful to my Father for His faithfulness, open rebuke and processing that I went through along with my husband’s forgiveness and after fighting a battle that was never mine to begin with and finally learning how to let go of my idea, my will and allowing God to do what He said He would do. All this along with and submitting to God’s will, helped to save my marriage and shift me into purpose.

By Sanya Taffe Stewart

With the leading of The Holy Spirit, His Words and some God-sent individuals, I was able to understand that I could never be his saviour and that God did not call us to force Christ on any man and that included my husband, but to show LOVE and HONOR through the way I served him as a Godly wife and how I lived my life in Christ. That he could see and eventually him seeing God through me and the way I submitted to God and as a wife to him. (Col 3:15-18)

Asking my husband to drop his ways to come follow me as I followed Christ was a nobrainer. Am I not right? After all, I am doing the will of God, surely God wants me to make my husband “Fishers’ of Men!” This was my thought process being a new overly excited babe in Christ, that felt like it was my duty to save my husband and become his pastor. I love God and I wanted to share God with the world and my new whole world with my husband, so it was either he got it together or he had to go! The arrogance and gall of me! Looking back I can say that I did not behave as the Proverbs 31 virtuous wife God called me to be, and quite frankly if I had continued in that same manner I would have lost what God gave to me. I was more or less the foolish woman that tried to tear her house down (Proverb 14:1). I gave him my timeline, condemned him and when he did not conform to that I lashed out, I shifted my focus from being his wife to becoming judge, juror and executioner! What a terrible place to be!

Beloved, our character in Christ is paramount, even to those closest to us, and if we listen to The Holy Spirit and use the Fruit of the Spirit (“Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance” Gal 5:22-23) to draw those closest to us then it would become easier to fulfill our calling towards all persons that come into our presence. Today I challenge you to: Look at the area in your life that you know deep down needs work. Shift your will to God’s will and see how the very idea that you have held on to, pales in comparison to the purpose, vision and promise of God concerning your life.

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MARRIAGE GOD'S WAY

KEEP BUILDING By Betty Predmore Through our relationship with Christ, we gain the wisdom we need as wives and mothers to oversee our household with love, grace, patience, consistency, and endurance. Through His goodness, we receive the building blocks for a nurturing home. Some days, we are on the mountaintop...our homes are clean, our kids are behaving, and our husband adores us. Oh, how elated we feel! We are the champions of the universe on those days. We are invincible and so in tune with the Lord and with those most precious to us. Our gratitude is overflowing. Other days can be a trial...there is three inches of dust on everything, the laundry is piled high, the kids are trying to eliminate each other, and your husband doesn't seem to hear a word you are saying. We feel like a failure, and we are certain that we are living with some strange species that have no ability to hear, listen, or follow any type of direction.

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On those days, we don’t really stop to thank the Lord for all He has given us. On the good days, we do feel as if we are building up our homes as wise women of God. On the bad days, we feel as if they are crumbling around us… as if our homes are being made of sand or sticks, not the solid brick foundation that comes from living life for God It is in those moments of crumble that we need to take a breath, refocus on our beautiful Savior, and take our lead from Him. Are we offering the same grace that He offers us? Are we doling out compassion and understanding? Are we loving on the days we don’t even like our people? God gave us this home and family, and He will give us the wisdom to continue to build it up, to continue to create a space of honor and worship to him, and to make it a place of laughter, joy, and comfort for those we love. Look to the Lord. He will give you the strength to keep building what He has given you. Through Him, you can do ALL things. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)


RAISING GODLY CHILDREN

CALLED TO STEP BACK By Becky Antkowiak

“Twenty-four. I know, I shouldn’t spoil him, but I just can’t help myself”

Watching our children struggle isn’t in our nature. We’re built to protect, to love, to provide.

As I cut my nine-year-old’s meat that night, I wondered if all my “assistance” was crippling them.

My children arrived walking and talking. They seemed happy to let me coddle them. I figured they’d move toward independence when they were ready.

I handed over the sharp knife.

A couple years later, I continued to overmother; the kiddos still didn’t appear to mind. Hubby gently suggested I should let them do more for themselves. “They can choose their outfits and pack their own lunches. I know you waited a long time to be a mom, but you’re doing too much. Kids need to learn independence. ”I thought he was crazy. Then, I ran into a friend at the store. “Do you see sport-scent laundry detergent? Stevie doesn’t like the other one. I’d make him do his own laundry, but he can’t fold a t-shirt properly. Anyway, I can’t get him off the couch. He plays those stupid video games all day. I’ve filled out six job applications. Six. I even set up two interviews, but he missed them. I don’t know what to do.” I stared at my frazzled friend. “How old is Stevie, again?”

Eyes shining, the child performed the “adult” task, and I saw the truth: my over-mothering robbed them of opportunities to build selfconfidence. Instead of stepping in to complete a task, I began to give direction. I’ll admit, in moments of impatience, I sometimes took over. But as we taught our children to perform tasks, their abilities and confidence skyrocketed. As a tween, our daughter learned to drive a tractor and became a crack-shot archer, activities I could have never imagined a few years earlier. Nothing beats seeing your kid with a proud grin on her face. Proverbs 13:4 says, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” The shepherd’s rod was a tool used to guide, to direct, and to create a safe boundary. “Discipline” isn’t punishment, but training. As parents, our job is to guide, protect, and train our children to successfully care for themselves. Right now, many of us have gained extra time with our children. Hours previously spent on outside activities are lived within a much smaller bubble, often at home.

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RAISING GODLY CHILDREN

Ephesians 5:15-16 encourages us to make wise use of our time, because we don’t know how long we have. Are we utilizing these moments to teach them how to be successful? Are we allowing them to make mistakes while we’re available to help? It’s easier, of course, to step in and “do it for” them, especially if the child is resistant. Most kids prefer the path of least effort, but will rise to the occasion as we step back. Follow their interests. If the only interest is a screen, search together for shows (for instance, about baking) or online classes. Let the child pick a class for you to take together. Build out from there. At our house, we watched a baking show, then tried some of the techniques. Fun is imperative. Don’t start with anything boring. After a bit of practice, we held a family cake-decorating competition, complete with fondant. Find ways to celebrate success. We invited extended family to judge the cake-decorating results. And, of course, we ate the cake. Firm commitment to continued learning is important. Some things aren’t as fun to learn. Ask the child to think about how the skill could help them in the long run, and how life might be more difficult later without the skill. Stepping back as our children learn to overcome difficulty can be tough—and even heartbreaking—but if we continue to step in, they’ll never develop independence. Parenting well is our God-given job. Remember, you’re not alone. We can do this. Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. – C. S. Lewis

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TAKING CARE OF THE BODY

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ARE YOU FIT FOR PURPOSE? By Oge Akinola

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I strongly believe that we have been created to fulfil an assignment whilst here on earth. Jer1: 4-5 says –‘Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you , before you were born, I set you apart an appointed you as my prophet to the nations’... For purpose to work, it must be genuine and must truly reflect one’s goals and values. Once purpose is identified, there is an alignment that is required to occur between oneself and their life purpose. This of course requires a lot of strength, which some might call energy and will power. Energy and will power are two factors that will keep you rooted and grounded in the face of challenges and push you forward to achieve your goals. It is easy to sit and just imagine one’s purpose but its important to move from the spot of imagination to the point of manifestation and fulfillment. The Bible in Ephesians 2: 10 –says that we are God’s workmanship. The TPT version says –‘We have become His poetry, a recreated people that will fulfil the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfil it’.

The Bible says God has created us in His image and if that is rightly so, the question becomes, are we living like Christ? Are we fit for purpose just like Jesus was when he was here on earth doing good? Making healthier lifestyle choices helps to boost the energy one needs to carry on in fulfilling purpose. Sleeping well, eating better, exercising and being more present and intentional in one’s everyday life are practices that help support the fulfillment of our purpose in life. It makes real sense to engage in adopting a healthy lifestyle and exhibiting healthy behaviours in other to have enough energy and will power to pursue your purpose. There are so many reasons to help motivate you to care for yourself and well being.The most important one is to glorify God. Our primary purpose in life is to glorify God. The scripture says that whatever we do should be to the glory of God. Living a healthy lifestyle is a guaranteed way to acknowledge God in your life and to honour Him. You were bought with a price and so that puts an obligation on you to care for your body which is the temple of the Holy Ghost.

Staying fit and healthy guarantees sustainable health and longevity. The Holy Spirit is on hand to teach you all truth as you embrace the journey of healthy living according to God's design. As you follow His leading, I trust God that you will effectively fulfill the purpose for which you have been created. God bless you.

"IT MAKES REAL SENSE TO ENGAGE IN ADOPTING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND EXHIBITING HEALTHY BEHAVIOURS IN OTHER TO HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY AND WILL POWER TO PURSUE YOUR PURPOSE."

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1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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.


Worship FEATURE

Luke & Rachel

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FAITH IN WORSHIP

FAITH IN WORSHIP By Luke Wareham

I love the quote from John Ortberg on worship when he says, "I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on." This sums up to me how we should give our whole life to God as worship to him and look to him daily. I have had times in my life where God has been so close that a word or thought from Him has changed a difficult situation, circumstance or relationship. I wrote a song called ‘Whisper’ based on this experience with my friends Rachel and Ollie whilst reflecting on 1 Kings - God wasn’t in the noise of the wind, in the rocks breaking, in the earthquake or fire – but he was in the silence as he whispered to Elijah. I believe that worship has the power to increase our faith. And that even when the enemy seems loud in our lives, even when we are filled with panic and doubt, a whisper from God changes everything. God revealed Himself in a whisper to Elijah because He was so close and He whispers in our life situations because He is so close to us.

Facebook: lukeandrachelworshipmusic Instagram: lukeandrachelworshipmusic Website https://www.lukeandrachelworship.co.uk https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjyJUyJu JFE24JsIuv8OyLw

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As we worship Jesus in these current testing times worship shifts our focus from what is happening in the world to Jesus. The 2020 COVID_19 lock-down has taught me to let go of the plans I have for myself and trust God with everything. I’ve been reflecting on hearing from friends, family and young people who I work with who are suffering with fear and anxiety particularly at the moment. And John 14 has stood at as a verse that is speaking into my life in this season. Particularly when Jesus says, ‘’Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’. I pray that this verse helps you to know that God is with you.


I Will Not Fear NEW

SINGLE

BY

LUKE

&

RACHEL

‘I Will Not Fear’ is the latest song to be released on the 4th September by Luke Wareham and Rachel Mason who are worship leaders and songwriters based in the South West of the UK, produced by Tim and Jonny Stephenson. Luke and Rachel released their first EP 'Whisper’ in March this year with the song Whisper making it to number 11 in the UK Christian Music Charts. They have a passion for writing songs that lead people into the presence of God, that help people fix their eyes on Jesus and to experience afresh the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Their prayer is that the songs they write will bring hope to a broken world speaking prophetically the truth of Jesus into everyday life situations. They regularly lead worship at in the local church and at various events around the UK.

'I Will Not Fear’ was written largely in response to the current testing times and is based on Psalm 121. Luke wrote the song with his friend Matt Caddick when reflecting on a talk his Dad, a Senior Pastor, did on John 14 when Jesus says, ‘’Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’. Luke says ‘It's a song to share for this tough time. I’ve been reflecting on hearing from friends, family and young people who I work with who are suffering with fear and anxiety particularly at the moment. As I was worshipping during a Burn 24/7 event online over the 2020 COVID_19 lock-down I felt God say he was watching over the world, that we need to look to him and that though mountains and valleys may form God is over it all’. Rachel says lock down has ‘taught me to let go of the plans I have for myself and trust God with everything and this song declares the truth that we do not have to fear when we fix our mind on God’.

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GOSPEL ARTISTES TO WATCH RAQUEL SAMUELS Minister Racquel Samuels was born in Jamaica and migrated to the UK at the tender age of 13. She is a singer / songwriter whose love for God can be seen and felt throughout her worship, she is married and have a son-they mean the world to her. She has been a Worship Minister for over 10year but worship has been a part of her life since she was 2 years old.She would be propped on chairs to be seen by congregations at Churchevents.In 2017 during a 21 day fast, the lord deposited "No Other Name" (1stsingle) in her spirit, it was released August 2019 and can be purchased from all digital platforms.Min Racquel Samuels was blessed with the opportunity of sharing a stage with Dr Jackie McCullough and Min Marion Hall to name a few. Facebook: racquel.racs Instagram: @racquel_samuelsofficial Periscope: Worshiproom/follow

ALICIA TAYLOR Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Author and Vocal Coach, Alicia Taylor is a fine product of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. As an International recording artist, Alicia Taylor is a former member of the group iWorshipp and has performed as a background vocalist for Jermaine Edwards, Rondell Positive, Prodigal Son and has done numerous collaborations as well as recordings with other Jamaican artistes. Alicia's voice and creative mind echoes the concealed thoughts and issues Christians in this age would never think to announce.

Facebook: aliciataylormusic Instagram: @aliciataylormusic

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JASON DAVID Jason David (aka theJASONDAVID) is a 20 year old, singer-songwriter from Bangalore, India. He is pursuing a degree in Electronics Engineering. He has found music as a mode of expression for all that God is doing in my life. He believes that each of us has a purpose that God has placed in our hearts, and in this season, this purpose has been to serve through music. Instagram: @thejasondavid


AUTHOR FEATURES

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AUTHOR JOHN S. GIFTAH ‘Unveil Your Purpose’ will take its readers on a quest to discover, channelize and start living their purpose by helping them understand fundamental truths about their purpose, having a purpose-driven mindset and living a purpose-driven lifestyle. "Journey with me as I teach, guide and encourage you with anecdotes, real stories, personal experiences and more – all anchored to the WORD of GOD!" – John S. Giftah In this book, you will: Understand the fundamental truths about living your purpose Learn how to have a Purpose-Driven Mindset Find step-by-step guidance to discover your area of purpose Be mentally prepared to face the challenges that you will encounter Know the right actions that you need to take Learn how to make Purpose-Driven Decisions and more! ‘Unveil Your Purpose’ has been written in a manner that it will reach both believers and Non-Christians and the salvation message in the end has the foreword by Dr. Paul Dhinakaran. Website: www.johngiftah.com Instgram: @JohnGiftah

John S. Giftah is an inspirational voice to multitudes across the globe through television, YouTube, Podcasts, LIVE sessions and various other platforms. Apart from being an Aerospace Engineer, he is also an Ordained Evangelist and a Certified Life Coach who started the John Giftah International® Ministries, to take the message of hope and good news to humanity and to help them live the life that they were created for. He has authored two best-selling books, 'Who Am I?' and "Unveil Your Purpose". He has often been invited to speak in schools, colleges, corporations, churches, ministries, personality sessions and so on. 86| DIVINE PURPOSE MAGAZINE


AUTHOR NAOMIE PRAISE KABASELE Whether young or old, you've always asked yourself this question: "Why me?" Laugh, cry, and enjoy as a young woman shares her adventures of growing up in a Congolese community in England. Her story will edify you on how she was neglected in every way possible. Subjugated in her own home, rejected by her own community, lived in complete denial and ignorance. Being chained in all aspects of her life. The streets became her best friend; her room became her kitchen and a place of belonging. This was abnormal, horrifying. Being emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically free was all she desired, throughout her childhood and teenage life. The hurdles were too high for her to jump or escape. Those giants were more powerful than her, but never knew she carried a weapon far monumental. What a genuine heart she possessed but it was never revealed in an African home. Almost gave up, close to suicide. Resistance no longer functioned in her system. Until the one last chance she had, to unleash the power of her voice, everything changed. It was simply WOW. Her life was a mess but now a message after Jesus helped her rise above and help others. My adventures have made many smile, cry and relate as I speak to them personally but now I have decided to pour my heart to those who care to listen and see life experiences in different approaches. I am considered as a woman of multi talents by those around me. I'm described as someone that is very strong, never gives up and smiles no matter the circumstances. I was a student, a mother, a wife, a singer that preaches the word of God and a motivational speaker. Lady Naomie Praise Kabasele is a minister of the Lord, wife, mother, mentor, Worshipper/singer of God. An intercessor, student, Philanthropist, business woman, motivational speaker and an author based in the United Kingdom.

Website: www.mpcministries.org Facebook: LadyNaomiePraise Instgram: Lady_NaomiePraise Youtube: Naomie Praise

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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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Paula Bryant-Ellis (PBE) is a Los Angeles based film director and producer. She is the CEO of Mary Esther Ruth ,Inc. and MER Productions.Through her company Mary Esther Ruth,Inc.,she seeks to lead women into a more intimate, personal relationship with Christ. MER, Inc., reaches women in the middle of their busy day through weekly podcast, speaking events, prayer workshops, online resources and the MER Blog. The Divine Purpose Magazine (DPM) took the time to chat with Paula to hear about the inspiration behind her new TV series Behind Her Faith which ,highlights the journey of four women(actresses Essence Atkins, Niecy Nash, Aisha Hinds and Angelica Nwandu, Founder & CEO of The Shade Room) and the power of their faith. The series can be streamed on AppleTV, Amazon, Roku and UMC.tv (an AMC Network).

GOD'S GO-CREATOR

Paula EllisBryant

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Intervi ew

DPM: Thank you so much, Paula. We are so interested in hearing about you, and the Mary Esther Ruth movement, the prayer box, and of course, the Behind Her Faith series. Who is Paula Bryant-Ellis? PBE: I'm still trying to figure out who she is, if you got some tips, let me know (chuckles). I think I'm just a warrior on assignment. In this season of my life I don't believe that I'm just here to randomly walk the earth. I don't believe that is who I am. I don't believe that's who any of us are. But we all have a responsibility to accept the assignment.

DPM: I love that. Warrior on assignment.! I've never heard anybody describe themselves like that. Tell us a little bit more about the assignment that you're on and what that has been like over the years, and how you've gotten to this place of being so focused on that assignment? PBE: In this season of my life, I'm very clear on what God has asked me to do. That assignment is to teach about intimacy, teach about what it looks like to have a relationship with Him. It's about moving in a different realm, a different space and a different dimension of God. It's just this: We all have girlfriends at different levels; we have girlfriends with whom we will share our most intimate secrets with and we have girlfriends who are the ones we'll hang out with, but we know they gossip, so we don't tell them too much. We have girlfriends at all these different levels and I think that's what it's like with The Holy Spirit. We move through levels, in our relationship with The Holy Spirit and so, in this season of my life, I am trying to encourage, engage and empower as many women as I can to get to that space where He's the ultimate secret keeper where He knows everything about you. In Isaiah 55:80, God tells us that ”my ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts”. When I was growing up, that scripture was literally turned around and given to us as a negative. But what God is saying to you is that my ways are not your ways, but I'm inviting you up. I'm inviting you into this intimate space with me so that you can know my ways and you can know my thoughts. I'm not trying to keep secrets from you, I'm trying to empower you. But the only place that you can get all that information, the only place you can get the master strategies of God is with God, and that only comes through spending time with Him. So that's really where I'm at In this season of my life. I used to be a financial executive for many years, worked in a bank and have worked my way up to executive level as COO. At age 50, God called me out and told me he had a different plan. So, at the height of my career, He said, “I need you to trust me and jump and dive into what I have for you and don't worry about whether you're qualified or not. I'm going to qualify you. I'm going to be the distributor; I'm going to be the screenwriter; I'm going to do those things. But you got to trust Me in this journey.”

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So, I left corporate America in 2014 and started this journey with Him. I didn't know anything about the industry. So, I had to go back to school, I had to go sign up and start learning all over again because when God calls you, you never know what the assignment is fully going to be. So I went back to school and started learning the film industry, the terminology and how it worked. The ways and how the networks were and what were the different organizations and what did the different distribution channels look like. He called me back to the very basics. The fact that I have been Chief Operating Officer did not matter.

DPM: That is truly an awesome story. What did it look like for you to totally surrender to God's purpose for your life? PBE: It wasn't easy because God never calls you to the easy. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. So, it wasn't easy, but He was very clear. When I say I have a conversation with the Holy Spirit, I have a conversation with Him, just like I'm talking to you now. He was very clear on the fact that He wasn't giving me any direction until I trusted Him when I left the job. He reminded me that He had done it for me before, and He'll do it again. He reminded me of when I got married and was a mother by age 19. Then I went back to college at age 24. He told me specifically it was time to get up and He needed me to go back to school because He was going to use it. I remember I said, I tell this story all the time, I had a conversation with Him, and I said, “Well, what do I major in?” He responded, “I don't care. Whatever it is, I'm going to use it. It doesn't matter what school you go to. It doesn't matter what you major in, I have a plan, but I need you to go back to school. I got up and I registered.” I went back to school, and it was not easy. I was a mother; I had a baby but I made it my job. I still had to work full time and go to school full time. I graduated in four years. I did a double major. It was not easy but He was with me all the way. We didn't lack anything and that graduation day was very special to me.

DPM: Tell us about the Behind Her Faith series and what it is all about. PBE: I was co-creating with the Holy Spirit on how do I visually give someone what it looks like to have a relationship with Him, to have challenges in life, but still continue to try to push through and to find women that would be transparent enough and honest enough about their journeys. So, that was how this started. I was sitting at my desk, and I asked The Holy Spirit, “how do I do it?”

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He literally said, “write this down”, and I wrote it down. That was the vision of the story and then I went out and I started pitching and AMC picked it up, and I was very grateful and thankful for that opportunity. The stories of all the women are very different. One of the things that I wanted to do in the storytelling was that I just wanted to know enough. I didn't want to know their whole stories. I just wanted to know enough as to whether this was the story that God wanted me to put forth because you have no idea what people are enduring, and you don't know what they've been through and the trauma that leaves the leftover residue of what they are enduring and how it affects them every single day. We didn't try to manipulate and tell the story. Those are their stories; I was the shepherd of their story. They were very transparent. You hear Essence talk about, really wanting the family. She didn't have a family growing up. Her parents were never married. She says, jokingly, but there's some truth to that. She says, ‘my mother wanted a child, but it was news to my father’. You see, that was the seed that ended up getting planted in her but it was the thing that gave her the confidence to pick up the phone to audition for The Cosby Show because she was looking at this perfect thing. Now she finds herself as a divorced mother, when that was the thing that she wanted more than anything, and how she's trying to walk out that journey. Aisha Hines, shot in the street in the back, an innocent bystander at 16 years old, and left to die and to this day it's never been reported. No policeman ever came to see about this young beautiful black woman lying in the street shot in the back to die…You don't know what that does to someone. You see Angelica, she's the CEO of The Shade Room and you know what a controversial Instagram site she has. Yet you don't know her story. You don't know that it was her and her sisters that were laying in a room asleep while her father was there murdering her mother and that's her father who was a preacher. So, you don't know what people endured. You know, we're seeing Niecy live out her life in social media, but you don't know the traumas of what it was like to see your mother as a little girl shot in front of you; a man pulls out a shotgun and shoots your mother down like that. A couple of years later, your brother is murdered in a love triangle. You don't know what it does to someone's psyche, the warfare and how it's attacking them in their assignment.

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We're all warriors on assignment and we're all dealing with warfare. So, what I hope the takeaways of that show is that these women were transparent, they were raw, they gave their hearts and that and I'm so appreciative of that. But I wanted women to see that no matter what you're dealing with, that you can endure; that you can continue to press forward, that this is a journey between you and The Holy Spirit and nobody else it's not a journey between you and social media, it’s a journey between you and The Holy Spirit, and you can push through that thing. That was really the passion behind trying to give a visual to what it was, what it is like to have a relationship with Christ. DPM: Great story!!! Tell us now, how has this series really changed you? I know your aim is to help women to change women to open their minds to what it’s like to have a relationship with God. PBE: How has it changed Paula? It just made me more passionate about my relationship with Christ. It makes me not want to do anything without Him, whether it's to do this interview without Him. I don't want to be a wife and a mother without Him. I don't want to be on a project that He doesn't want me on and it makes me understand how important it is to keep myself tethered to Him that I constantly need to move in tandem with The Holy Spirit. So, it just made me dig in deeper, it also helps me, it made me more acutely aware of warfare. What it’s like, how it comes, when it comes, we get t-boned a lot, sometimes just sideswiped, we can't see it because it's in a peripheral view. It's just right there in that blind spot and you can't see it. But it's made me more aware of how strategic the enemy is when he attacks us, when we see the attack in the flesh, but it's always meant to be spiritual. DPM: You talk a lot about co-creating with The Holy Spirit, what would you say to women? Whether it's marriage work, being a mother, in ministry, what would you say to the woman out there about co-creating? How can they be the best version of a co-creator with God in this season? PBE: Think about it from the aspect of being a co-creator with anyone. I'm working on a project right now that I'm co creating with someone and my partner is very, very respectful. He doesn't seem to bring an ego to the table. It's just like our ideas are in sync. They're in alignment, visually how we see this project going forward and when I think about co-creating with God, you know, He gives us examples of what it's like to co create with Him. He says, In Genesis, it started in the garden, He said, Listen, Adam, I'm going to bring you these animals and whatever you name them, that's what they'll be. That's why He says, come up, I need you to come up, come up. Come up. I'm going to bring you these animals and whatever you call them, they will be. So, when He said, giraffe, the giraffe neck, the beautiful eyelashes of the giraffe formed and the beautiful coloring in the code of the giraffe form. When he said, Lion, the mane on the lion’s head began to form and the uniqueness of his tail and the gold color and the power of his roar began to form. When you co-create with God, you're co creating from scratch, it never existed. You're not taking something that exists and slapping your name on it. You're taking something that never was, and you're calling it as though it was, that's what co-creating with God looks like you're in covenant with God.

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DPM: So, it's a process of women or anybody just seeking to discover with God, their uniqueness, their unique living out. .PBE: It's the assignment, you're seeking out the assignment, what is the thickness of the assignment that you have for me, because you can only get it from Him. You can't get the instructions from anybody else. You can only get it from Him and you can only get it from spending time with Him. DPM: Exactly. PBE: It's not a male or female thing. It's a relationship with God and then you get all those things that he's telling you to do. He told me to co-create with Him on Behind Her Faith. I had to be obedient and He said write it down. I said, Okay, what if I hadn't stopped and written it down? If I'm co-creating with Him, I'm not supposed to worry about the distribution channel. He has to figure that out. DPM: Amen I love it. What would be your final words for us as women? In 2020, moving into 2021? PBE: 2020!!! My God, what a year, right? You know, I can't stress enough, really the right relational aspect of my relationship with God, and that I don't know how women today move without it. I don't get it. When someone says to me, “How do you know? How did you get there? God doesn't talk to me.” God didn't talk to you because you're not reading that Bible. When I'm in my prayer room, I enter differently every day. I go in and I say, “Holy Spirit, what do you want to do today? Do you want me to worship? Do you want me to war for somebody? Do you want me to study the Word? Do you want to just downpour into me?” You must have time for God to counsel you. You can't always go into a prayer room with the stance of I got to pray, I got to pray. I got my agenda; I got all these items. I need you to do this guy. You have to enter in there and ask, God, what do you want? What am I missing? What am I seeing? How come I'm seeing what my human eyes and not my spiritual eyes. God is always looking for an opportunity to flex for you. So that is my challenge to all these beautiful women and everyone else. When have you given God an opportunity to flex for you? Whenever you skydive with him at 13,000 feet so we can flex for you so that he can show you even though you're in free-fall, that parachutes going to open DPM: I’m just taken back. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, but this conversation with you has gone past anything I could ever expect. It is amazing how God has worked in your life, and I am sure that everyone who reads this interview will be thankful. So, Paula, I just want to thank you for your time. Thank you and God bless you! PBE - It was a pleasure and thank you for the opportunity.

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