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V Virtuous Winter 2010/2011

The Key to Healthy Holidays Upgrade Your Style

Holiday Gift Guide Spiritual Resolutions

COLLECTOR’S EDITION!

Happy 1st BirthdayVirtuous


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virtuousmagazine.com

The best of Virtuous Magazine, plus exciting new ideas and inpsiration.

Recipes

She Builds Her House

Lots of delicious recipes from our Food Editor for you to try.

Advice every Christian woman needs to build her home and family.

Online Only Content Uplifting and encouraging articles not featured in the magazine.

Visit us today! www.virtuousmagazine.com


SIN IS... Brittany Owens

Understanding sin is the first step to overcoming it. A workbook designed to help those struggling with common sins recognize them and quit them. From the publishers of Virtuous. Great for new converts!

Purchase your copy today! BrittanyDavis.MAGCLOUD.COM Drive your business to success with Virtuous Magazine! Contact us today for your targeted advertising needs. virtuousmag@yahoo.com

Photo credit: Scott Warman


W hat’s Inside: Winter 2010/2011

ENGAGE Everyday Thanks Giving: Showing Gratitude Through our Actions Upgrade Your Style To Give or not to Give?

ENLIGHTEN The Key to Healthy Holidays Have You Heard One Dress Three Looks Gifts that Give Back: Our Holiday Gift Guide

“It is that example that

moves me. It’s Christ in my children, Christ in my life. Family, it’s a HUGE blessing.” ~Amanda Smotherman on what moved her to adopt 21 children.

EMPOWER What Moves You? Spiritual Resolutions SBHH: Love and Embrace Yourself

Cover photo by Brittany Davis


Living the Virtuous Life Virtuous Magazine Publisher/Editor-in Chief/Creative Director

Happy Anniversary Virtuous!

Follow us on Twitter @virtuousmag talk to me: virtuousmag@ yahoo.com

Brittany Davis Food Editor Descygna Webb She Builds Her House Lucile Allen Fashion Editor Keanna Daughtry Staff Writers Melanie Joyce Johnson Gyquetta Jackson Renita Mathis Contributors Jameal Addison Emma Evans Amanda Smotherman Danica Haislah

Visit us online at: www.virtuousmagazine.com

W

here has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday I had this grand idea to launch a magazine for Christian women to empower and encourage them to live their best lives in service for the Lord. Well my dream has come true ten fold. Virtuous is not only read around this great country but around the world. The inspiring and life changing word of God is being spread far and wide. I could not have asked for more. Virtuous has become such a blessing to me and to so many wonderful sisters who are enjoying every issue. Also, along the way I have met some wonderful Sisters who are doing amazing things for the cause of Christ. That’s what Virtuous is all about; empowering women to take the gospel to the masses.Virtuous has come a long

way this first year with hopes of going even farther. Virtuous has new staff members and contributors are always welcome. I am very excited about the upcoming year and doubly thrilled at the many things Virtuous has planned. I am always eager to hear your feedback and to know how we can improve. This issue features several updates; I look forward to hearing what you think of them. But above everything else I want to say thank you. Thanks to my first subscribers and current subscribers. Thanks to those who offered support and encouragement; thanks to those who can be counted on to help with a last minute photo shoot. I am so grateful.

Brittany


HEART

The Key to Healthy Holidays BY DESCYGNA WEBB

The holidays are once again upon us and for many that means family, friends and food, maybe not even in that order. Whether you’re the cook in the family or simply a guest at family gatherings, you are most likely looking for something to bring to the meals. With all of the fattening foods that are consumed during the holidays, it’s a good idea to try and find something healthy to put on the dinner table. Between gravies, rolls, ham, candied yams and desserts, laden with butter, there will be no shortage of calories available at both Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. As a guest or a major contributor to the meal, it may be up to you to ensure that you and your guests have some healthy options to choose from. If you have just been asked to bring a side dish, you can do that but also volunteer to bring a nice lean meat choice with fewer calories and fat.

add flavor to meat without adding a lot of calories. The recipe that follows will show you how to dress up a turkey breast in a way that will get you rave reviews. Just remember that eating great tasting foods during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to gain weight or deal with guilt after you’ve eaten. Having a healthy holiday isn’t strictly about the main dish either. You must simply use ingredients on your side dishes that are healthy and add flavor without adding fat or calories. One helpful ingredient that does that is chicken stock. You can buy chicken stock at a good price at just about any supermarket and it’s available in low sodium varieties. You can use boxed chicken stock in place of water or even heavy cream or milk in several recipes. It adds flavor without adding a bunch of extra calories or salt. Using boxed chicken stock can be a great flavor booster for mashed potatoes, green beans, broccoli, rice, gravy and anything else that requires water or milk. Remember that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Adding some of these flavorful tips to your holiday meal will allow you to keep the flavor you desire, and eliminate the calories you don’t want.

To cut down on calories from a whole turkey basted in butter, you can offer to bring a turkey breast. Or if you have a small gathering you can bring turkey breast tenderloin. By using a marinade or fresh herbs, you can infuse your main dish with flavor without the guilt of additional calories. Since ham is also traditional for the holidays, you might look for a low-sodium and low-fat ham. You can easily use spices and even fruit to create a tasty glaze for your turkey breast tenderloin or ham. There are a lot options that are available to

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Turkey Breast with Apple Glaze

Set the Table

Ingredients • 4 C apple juice, plus ½ C • ¼ C Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

Holidays are special occassions for the entire family to get together. Make the memories extra special by decorating with full place settings and tablescapes. While the food is the main attraction, let your table share the stage by using decorative table cloths, centerpieces and china. Also, your tablescape doesn’t have to be expensive; you can easily repurpose vases, planters and even some leaves from outside to create a beautiful centerpiece. Use your imagination and these inspiration tables and just wait for the compliments to roll in.

• 1 boneless turkey breast with skin (around 3 to 4 ½ pounds) • 5 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme • Water • 1 T sugar • 1 apple peeled, cored and finely chopped (optional) • 1 Tps. olive oil

BY: BRITTANY DAVIS

Directions 1. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups apple juice, ¼ cup salt and 5-10 sprigs thyme.

Photo Credit: Roger Kirby

2. Add turkey breast to mixture and enough water to completely cover the turkey breast. 3. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 4. When ready to cook turkey breast, preheat oven to 425. Glaze preparation 1. In a saucepan, sauté apples until tender. 2. Add the ½ cup apple juice, sugar and 2 sprigs of thyme leaves. 3. Bring to a boil.

Photo Credit: LotusHead, www.pixelpusher.co.za

4. Lower to simmer and cook until glaze thickens and apples are broken down, about 10 minutes. 5. Remove turkey from marinade and pat dry. 6. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. 7. Place turkey breast in roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes until skin turns golden brown. 8. Turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees. 9. Brush the top of the turkey breast with the glaze. 10. Continue cooking turkey breast until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees when placed in the thickest part of the breast, about 50 minutes 11. Remove the turkey breast from the oven and cover with foil for at least 15 minutes before slicing. 12. Slice the turkey breast and serve with the remaining glaze. 6

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Everyday Thanks Giving BY JAMEAL N. ADDISON

The upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving, is a time that many individuals throughout North America use to gather with family and friends and celebrate the many things for which they give thanks. The origins of the holiday date back to a religious celebration and feast shared between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. The colonists gave thanks to the Indians for providing help and aid by sharing the bounty of their crops and we’re reminded of this event every year. Similarly, we as Christians, should use the holiday to remind us of the person to whom we owe endless thanks, God. The worldly tradition of Thanksgiving sets aside a singular day for individuals to reflect upon their blessings, but as Christians we should exceed those secular standards and try to give thanks to God, our Father every day. When I think of the many ways that I can and should display my gratitude to the Lord, I am reminded of the story of Hannah found in 1 Samuel 1-2. Hannah, married to Elkanah, was a mighty servant of God. For many years she longed for a son, and when God answered her prayer, she promised WWW.VIRTUOUSMAGAZINE.COM

to dedicate her son to the work of the Lord. She named her son Samuel, and when he was still a young child, she gave him to the Lord. So, not only did Hannah’s gratitude result in an act of giving, Samuel’s dedication to the Lord rendered him a living manifestation of Hannah’s praise and thanks. In addition, after dedicating Samuel’s life to God, Hannah prayed one of the most eloquent and heartfelt prayers contained in the Bible. She exalted God’s name and presented her prayer as a testimony before God and all others who were under the sound of her voice. Following Hannah’s example, when we give thanks to God, we should also thank Him in word and in deed. God has richly blessed us both physically and spiritually and we should praise Him for His bountiful blessings. Some of the most memorable stories in the Bible center upon God’s servants giving thanks to him through their actions; and as Christians we are called to do the same. In Hebrews 13:15-16, we’re told, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such 7

sacrifices God is pleased.” So how can Christians give thanks to God? We can first, share the Gospel with others. It is the power to save and sharing it is the ultimate gift to God and to man. Christians can also give thanks through service. We as children of God are truly blessed beyond measure, so we should give of our talents to the Lord. We can serve in church by mentoring or helping the elderly and we can serve in our communities by volunteering our time and skills. In Galatians 6:2, we learn that we are to do good to all by carrying “each other’s burdens” and in this way we will “fulfill the law of Christ.” Through service, we strengthen our bond with humanity and illustrate our unwavering gratitude to God. Participating in service activities is a way that our thanks and our convictions are made manifest to all those who see us and benefit from our good deeds. It shows and tells others that God’s favor is ever present in our lives; and so much so, that we want to extend His blessings to others. So, the next time we think of Thanksgiving, let’s think of ways that we, and our families, can give thanks to God for all that He’s done for us on that day and throughout the year.


Massachuseetts, Rhode Isaland, New Jersey, New York and Washington D.C. are said to have the worst drivers in the country.

Photo Credit: Randell decruz

HAVE YOU HEARD... 10 years is how long it

82%

of children under 2 have an online presence and 7% of babies have their own e-mail addresses.

50% or less is what most

Photo Credit: Renaude Hatsedakis

Americans scored on a quiz measuring knowledge of the Bible, world religions and what the Constitution says about religion in public life.

could take to bring a possible vaccine for breast cancer to market. Cleveland Clinic have so far tested the vaccine only on a group of genetically engineered cancer-prone mice. The proposed vaccine targets alphalactalbumin, a protein found in the majority of breast tumors. Just as a flu shot uses a dead or weakened strain of the flu virus to ramp up your body’s immune defenses against the invader.

Vatican Bank faces money laundering probe. Italian authorities are investigating the Vatican Bank over possible violations of money laundering regulations, the Bank of Italy told CNN Tuesday.

According to the US Department of Education , 1.5 million children are taught by Mom and Dad. That’s up 74% since 1999.

Homosexual marriage gaining acceptance In two polls conducted

over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42% favor same-sex marriage while 48% are opposed. In polls conducted in 2009, 37% favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally and 54% were opposed. For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, fewer than half oppose samesex marriage. 8

Researchers at Northumbria University have found that men cannot tell whether women are wearing high heels when they walk. Think about that next time you pick up a pair of stilettos.

COMPILED BY BRITTANY DAVIS

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Photo Credit: Rob Rosenhamer

LOOK BOTH WAYS!


Upgrade Your Style Wow time flies! 2011 is upon us and it is a brand new day and it is definitely time for you to advance your personal style to the next level. Now I’m told that the recession is supposedly over but I understand that your pockets may still look like they did in 2008! Don’t fret, your Father has many mansions. He also supplied us with abundant resources. Let us keep this in mind as we explore ways to step up our style while working with a very reasonable budget. Below are style tips to grow into a more fabulous you. We have even equipped you with a budget scale so that you can stay within your financial goals ever so stylishly. • Clear Closet Clutter ($0!): You have to evaluate where you are in your fashion life and take control. This is where you are able to purge and rid yourself of what you don’t need so that you can have a better vantage point to shop your closet. Get rid of all clothes that are too big, too small, outdated, and that you didn’t wear in the last twelve months. o Sell: Look for local resale shops that purchase gently used, trendy, designer items. Just know that they are very picky and don’t expect to receive anywhere near full price for your beloved Gucci sneakers. Make sure to invest this money into your newly revamped style.

Once your closet is clean you can add new items. • Investment Pieces ($30+): Take advantage of the great markdowns at high-end department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus. Shop off season and take advantage of holiday sales for the best deals for your timeless pieces. Look for quality over quantity. • Go Vintage ($5-$50): Visit consignment shops and sift through for chic updates with old style. Sign up for email list of your favorite shops so that you can be in the know for insider events and sales. Be patient and look carefully. Know you brands. Items are often underpriced simply because the owner did not know the true worth of the item. • Accessorize ($5-$30): Accessories are a great way to create a new look for less. Scarves, statement necklaces, patterned/textured tights, earrings, and belts can all add extra dimensions to your pre-existing wardrobe. Layering clothing items can also make for great transitions between seasons and the ever changing weather patterns. This will be a great start to enhance your personal look. Cheers to your fierce new style! BY KEANNA DAUGHTRY

o Give away: Drop off purged items to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

www.LoKeiLuxe.com Twitter @LoKeiLuxe

One Dress 3 Looks!

Look one is a demure belted option that is a nice choice for Sunday service while look two adds a Chanel inspired jacket and pencil skirt for work. Look three adds a mustard trench that is great for Fall weekends on the town.

Stylist Danica Haislah shows how to take one dress from worship, to work and the weekend.

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Spiritual refreshment and a sense of place is what you’ll find

in each issue of Virtuous and you don’t want to miss a single one. Subscribe online today at www.virtuousmagazine.com. No matter if you choose to have it sent to your mailbox or inbox you can be sure to have the latest on evangelism, fashion, beauty, cooking and Christian living in every issue.

Subscribe to Virtuous

Don’t miss a single issue! Subscribe today and get a full year of Virtuous for only $30.00! Or two years for $40.00 (that’s $20 in savings!) Virtuous also makes an excellent gift for friends, family and co-workers! Subscribe online at www.virtuousmagazine.com 1 year subscription $30 2 years subscription $40 ($20 in savings!) 1 year digital subscription $20

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photo credit: Scott Snyder

“This is a refreshing new look at getting positive information to Christian women. It’s colorful, insightful and easy to read.”


To Give or Not to Give BY GYQUETTA JACKSON

Photo Credit: Vivek Chugh

“A bone to the dog is not Charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog when you are just as hungry as the dog.” – Jack London Lately, the subject of charity, which I am currently defining as humility in love, has been haunting me. Each time I exit I-285 and a man is standing outside with a sign that reads, “Hungry please help me” I am faced with a decision, to give or not to give?

Practicing charity is easy when I don’t have to sacrifice much. When it is time for our congregation’s semi-annual Big Give, it is easy for me to consider it an opportunity to purge and organize, so I rummage through my closets and share “stuff” that I know I can live without, or am not using anymore, or never used to begin with; but sometimes, I confess that I have been a little less-quick to depart with my dollars, and my time.

If I give, will he use the money to obtain food, clothes, shelter, dare I dream, a job? I am ashamed to confess that I sometimes silently wish for the light to remain green so I can speed past and completely avoid the eyes of the beggar.

I hear the voice of my well-intentioned loved ones recommending that God also expects me to be wise reasoning that if I give away too much of the family budget, then we may be in an uncomfortable financial situation and could likely be in need ourselves. If I give away so much time attending the needs of the saints, and working in the kingdom, my own husband, children, and household may be in a state of neglect. After all, charity begins at home, right?

Whenever I read the Bible to my children, I try to give them real life examples to help them relate scripture to their own lives. While reading the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to my daughter yesterday (Luke16:19 – 25), I used the example of a man we often see on the side of the road begging, and asked her what she thinks God would have us to do for that man.

I consider the parable of the ten virgins. Now if the wisely prepared virgins had given of their supply to the five foolish virgins, what may have happened had their own supply run dry before the arrival of the bridegroom? Even worse, what if they had then gone to renew their supply and during their own absence the bridegroom came and they were the ones who missed out because

The answer from my five year old daughter was simple, “I think we should help him.” I looked into her innocent eyes, trying to teach her lessons I have yet to master, and thought, “Why isn’t the answer always that simple for me?” WWW.VIRTUOUSMAGAZINE.COM

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they were trying to ‘help’ the foolish? How would you have felt had you been among the wise and charitable virgins? I can tell you that I would have been upset. I would have bitterly resented my decision to share in the first place, and I probably would have been angry with the foolish girls had they managed to join the celebratory festivities that I missed because I was trying to be charitable to them. So, if I am to do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind to regard others as more important than myself; to not only look out for my own personal interests but also the interests of others, in such a circumstance how am I to do so free from grudge, obligation or necessity? (Phil 2:3-4) Can I justify my shameful stinginess by considering the words of King David? “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Ps 37:25). After all, if that man would just obey God he would not be out there begging for food in the first place, and those silly virgins would have been prepared, right? Umph, umph, umph go ahead and shake your heads and wag your fingers at me. I know that my attempt at self-justification is just a shame, but am I alone? As much as I’d like to justify my immaturity, I know that God calls on me to do better. Who am I to judge or condemn another? Who am I to act as if I have never been disobedient or unprepared? At judgment will Father ask me whether or not that man intended to use my hard earned money to go buy drugs, alcohol, pleasure? Will He ask me of the circumstances that led to that man’s current predicament? I think not. It is my responsibility to do what God told me to do it is not my business to figure out whether other people are doing their jobs. God has the answers that I need. He chose to give me His very best, though I was wretched, destitute and sullied. He sacrificed that which was His very essence not of necessity, nor begrudgingly, but because He loved me. He actually wanted to give of Himself for me, and He expects that I will want to practice charity for the same reason. “With good will render service as unto the Lord, and not unto men knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.” – Ephesians 6:6-7 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For

“How contrite I become, as I am faced with my own stinginess in the face of God’s selflessness, and His expectations of me.” I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:34-45) As our old preacher used to say, “You’d have to have help to misunderstand that!” How contrite I become, as I am faced with my own stinginess in the face of God’s selflessness, and His expectations of me. In the future, whenever I am faced with the decision to give or not to give, I will be certain that my decision is not “out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility,” “that my gift be without hypocrisy, not begrudgingly nor of necessity” (Phil. 2:3, 2 Cor. 9:7). I invite you to join me as I endeavor to share love, practice charity, and glorify our Father out of a pure heart with cheerfulness. Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father we glorify Your name. We thank you for sustaining us and giving us opportunity to grow in your love. Please bless us with Your wisdom that we may remember to practice charity from a pure heart, strengthen us that we may be perfected in Your Love. Help us to be sensitive to opportunities to practice charity in all humility that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment. In Jesus name, we thank you. Amen.


YOU? COMPILED BY BRITTANY DAVIS

Photo Credit: Marinka van Holten

WHAT MOVES

You can tell what people care most about by how they spend their time and money. Virtuous asked two incredible Sisters in Christ what moved them to give of themselves to the causes they chose; what followed were two amazing stories of selflessness and compassion. May we all seek opportunities to do the same.


Emma Evans: Meals on Wheels We had finished a Bible study at the YMCA with a few women that resulted in a baptism! I was ready to take Barrow county for Christ! A sister who arranged the study did Meals on Wheels. She suggested that this was a good work and could be a way to find other opportunities to meet people, be of service and plant the seeds of the kingdom. Meals on Wheels is a well known nation wide benevolent project that provides people who need assistance in caring for themselves with at least one hot meal Monday through Friday. In our county frozen meals are provided for the weekends. This also means someone will actually see each person in case they have other needs. In our county meals come from the Council on Aging in Clarke County and is managed by the Barrow County Home Delivered Meals Program located at the Barrow County Day Rehabilitation Center. This program depends on volunteers that are willing to use their vehicles to transport meals at their expense for whatever number of times a week or month they choose. There are five routes that cover our county. Sister Davis then 85 years old, with as much energy as any 40 year old gladly accepted the invitation to ride with me. We were given route two, which started about ten miles from the center one day a week. Over the years we served people with various needs. They have been a blessing to us as well. One young man we served was paralyzed from the waist down due to an automobile accident that happened shortly after he graduated high school. He was extremely bitter. We sweetened him up with cheerfulness, encouragement, tracts, a copy of the Searching for Truth DVD and Snicker bars. His attitude got better but last year he moved to another county.

asks about our people when I talk to her. God sent Nancy and Glenda to ride with me. We have become closer as sisters in Christ and closer to our people. What moves me? Faith that comes by hearing the word of God moves me. The faith that teaches if we love God we will keep His commandments. A desire to share the gospel so that people are no longer separated from God because of sin. So that they can enjoy all of the spiritual blessings in Christ and be heaven bound. My sister did not give up on me after I rejected Christ. She was there when I started searching for truth and pointed me in the right direction and was my mentor in Christ for several years. All of the other people in my life that taught me so that I was grounded in the faith also move me.

I must mention one of the seniors we served. She had a great attitude and personality. We were saddened when she died eight days after celebrating her 100th birthday. We serve Mildly Mentally challenged also. It is so good to see them taking care of themselves and being independent. They are so sweet and always thank us for bringing their meals. We have met many interesting people and their pets.

I have enjoyed the best decision that gave me life, obeying the gospel of Christ. I look forward to heaven. Right now, it is a pleasure to love God and serve others.

We are planting the seeds of the kingdom at every opportunity as we make our deliveries and add new people to our route. Sister Davis moved to Florida. She always 14

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Photo Credit: Starla Steward Photography

Amanda Smotherman: Adoption I am the oldest of nine children. My parents fostered from the time I was in about second grade until I was in High School when they stopped to adopt. So a big family was not anything unusual for me. I always knew that I wanted adoption to be part of my family someday and was blessed to find a wonderful husband who felt the same.

The following year my youngest adopted sister who has considerable mental issues got pregnant. She asked Scott and I to take the baby. Seth was born in November of 2001, came home from the hospital with us and was the easiest incorporation. We no longer said we were through, but we weren’t searching.

We had a “small� vision in our adopting. We had four birth children and then expected to find a sibling group of four younger children and then stop. We began through fostering and fostered forty children before we stopped to adopt only. Our children began praying that everyone could stay forever and we agreed. We did adopt one little girl we had in foster care, she was a sweet blessing.

We had a worker contact us in 2002 to ask if they could submit our home study on a group they were going to court with. She asked would we consider five siblings? I told her sure we would consider them, but that is a far stretch from taking them. We prayed that the right family be chosen for these children, and another family was chosen. Three months later the worker called and asked if we


would read the profiles and please consider the children. At this point in our adopting we were no longer immature adopting parents. We read the profiles and made our decision. The children all came home in January of 2003. By far the toughest and sweetest bunch of kids you’ll ever meet. A year later we had a set of five year old twins come and stay with us. We adopted them a year later and they are incredible kids. Our 20th and 21st are two wonderful brothers. We were not able to adopt these two “sons of my heart” but had power of attorney. No paper could make them anymore ours. Both are currently students are Freed Hardeman University. So why are we moved? We believe that every child deserves a mother and father. It doesn’t always happen, but at the very least, every child should have a home, a family, love, support and guidance. We have so many children because we have adopted sibling groups. We believed in “No Child Left Behind” long before it became a phrase heard in schools. We feel that children should have the chance to grow up without worrying about a brother or sister who was not blessed, was not given opportunity at life. We really believe it is a huge strength for our children and our family. 16

We know that our children will truly only find peace and joy and life in Christ it’s important. We do everything as a family and the difference it makes in our lives and the lives of our children we intend to last through eternity. I could give you many Biblical examples. We have an obligation to love others unconditionally. That’s true, but I see that unconditional love in the life and attitudes of my children and those examples speak so loudly to me. Our eldest daughter Chelsea was planning her wedding earlier this year when Seth our youngest, 8 at the time, asked a question, “Hey Chelsea, what color are your babies gonna be when you and Bo have’em?” I was standing nearby and turned to watch Chelsea say, without missing a beat, “What color do you think they will be?” It didn’t matter that Chelsea and Bo were both caucasion, in Seth’s mind that had nothing to do with family, nothing to do with love. He thought a minute and nodded, smiling as he said, “I think four boys, two black, one brown like Ryan and one like me,” meaning two African Americans, one Hispanic and one Caucasion. Chelsea nodded along with Seth and said, “Maybe, we’ll just have to wait and see!” It is that example that moves me. It’s Christ in my children, Christ in my life. Family, it’s an huge blessing.

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TiS

The

The Gifts That Keep On Giving! 5 gift ideas under $25 that benefit charities across the world. BY KEANNA DAUGHTRY

SeaSon

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LUSH Charity Pot. $20.95 7.9 oz of pure organic cocoa butter and almond oil with a lovely chocolate scent. But wait, there’s more! 100% of proceeds (minus taxes) goes directly to worthy causes! The proceeds from every purchase are distributed to charities across the globe that support animal rights, environmental protection, and humanitarian concerns. Ash free, check! Smelling good, check! Making the world a better place, check! www.lushusa.com

Gap (PRODUCT) RED ™ Tees. $24.50 New styles of the Oh-So-Giving Gap tees have arrived at stores. 50% of profits from the Gap (PRODUCT) RED ™ styles are designated to help women and children affected by HIV/ AIDS in Africa. That alone should be a great reason to fall into the Gap! www.gap.com

Stop Sex Trafficking Bag for Life. $5.00 This compelling, reusable, natural cotton, chic tote from The Body Shop should definitely be the next “IT” bag. 100% of the net proceeds go to the Somaly Mam Foundation, a nonprofit charity committed to ending modern day slavery in North America and around the world (www.somaly.org). Visit www. thebodyshop-usa.com to help lift this enormous burden from an estimated 2-4 million young women and children.

Clothes Off Our Back. Auction We know that celebrities love their beloved clothes….who knew they were giving those very clothes away? Clothes Off Our Back is a nonprofit that auctions off celebrity attire to the public with proceeds benefitting various charities such as: Feeding America, Malaria No More, and AbilityFirst. The best part is if you can’t keep up with the bids for the celebrity digs, you can purchase a scarf, beanie, or make a donation. Hey, you don’t have to have celebrity money to make a difference. www.clothesoffourback.org

Pink Knot Friendship Bracelet. $24.95 Reach out to a faraway friend with RedEnvelope’s quaint friendship bracelet from their Pink Ribbon collection. Its sterling silver button toggle reads, “A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart.” It reads like a big hug from a dear friend that you haven’t seen in years. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it even more when she realizes that 10% of the proceeds go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, an organization dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. www.redenvelope.com


Spiritual Resolutions Oh no! Not another New Year’s resolution article telling me how to be a better Christian woman than I was last year! I’m tired of reading my bible every day or praying all day. What will it be this year? Lose 10, 15, 20 pounds, spend more time with my family? Get the career I’ve always wanted? Buy the latest Donna Karan dress, Coach bag, or Milano pumps to catch that cutie’s eye that’s been eyeing me in Bible Class? If you are thinking these thoughts, I urge you to slow down and wait before turning the page. Before you go run in gloom and doom because you didn’t measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman last year, take a moment to just be the woman that God created you, and only you, to be same pig walking around with jewelry on! It’s a cover up. this year. Ask yourself, what can and will I do to be the Newness requires a complete change. It means new woman this year that I did not become last year? something different, noticeably different has happened. If only the year had a few more weeks so that you could How often do we dress up our outside to look like how have gotten everything right, gotten yourself together, and we feel inside? Rarely, right? I’m sure your clothes don’t gotten your family on the road to newness and growth. stink like your attitude does at times. I bet your shoes are If only that would not have happened or this did not not worn down like your spirit is after being berated by occur to hold me back. If only I didn’t experience loss someone overbearing. I know your pants aren’t too short or misfortune. Stay away from the “if only” mindset that like your anger fuse is, nor are your shirts dripping wet, seems to resurface every New Year and be renewed in the like your soul is from crying inside from hurt and pain spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23). So, what is so different you may have experienced. Usually, we are likely to dress about 2011? Of course, a new hairstyle will not make you up our outer person to show the opposite of how we truly new; you’ll just be the same woman with new hair. The feel inside. So why not focus your mind on things above, change of wardrobe will not make you new; you’ll just so that your inner appearance can shine like new money. be the same woman with new clothes. It’s like putting a Transformed thinking gives birth to complete change. shiny gold ring in a pig’s snout; it’s not a new pig, it’s the When we look in the mirror, the reflection of Christ WWW.VIRTUOUSMAGAZINE.COM

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Photo Credit: Starla Steward Photography

BY MELANIE JOYCE JOHNSON


should be staring right back at us. Colossians 3:2-3 states, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” According to these scriptures we as new Christian women in the year 2011 should be looking up to heaven and looking more like Christ than we were last year. How do we look like Christ? Philippians 2:5, says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” The first step to a spiritual makeover would be a mental transformation. Changing from looking like this world, to thinking and speaking more and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. What we think about things, should be what Jesus would think. If He says we can do it, we should believe and speak this to ourselves. Our responses to evildoers, low self-esteem, troubles and trials, are just obstacles that God has endowed us with power to overcome. Jesus knew that to be a new creature in Christ we needed to have a change of mind, which will lead to a change of belief, and a change of action. As stated before, we are to “set our minds on things above.” That includes God in all His glory and heaven in all its splendor. When our focus is on the things around us, or if we are steadily looking back into the rearview mirrors of our lives, we will eventually wreck. No one wants to be a spiritual wreck, or even around someone that is a spiritual wreck, so strive daily to keep your mind ahead, and focused on God and the hope of heaven and you are bound to reach your destination to a new you safely. Remove your focus from what man is doing and let this new year bring a new focus: God of heaven and a new spiritual you of purpose. Newness also requires a spiritual death. Say goodbye to the evil woman of your old self and walk happily in the new you of today! In 1 Corinthians 7:22-23, God has called us to be free of the slave master, sin, that we served when we were His enemy and to embrace the freedom in being His precious child. He bought us with a price that could not be recompensed, the shed blood of His only Son, Jesus. Spiritual death, though, is hard to come by, because our human selves dig up that old woman who gave us comfort in our sins. Imagine looking in the mirror today and seeing the woman you were last year, or the year before...oh, what a horrible unchanged sight. We wouldn’t leave a dirty diaper on a baby for a year; you would change that thing before germs fly and infection occurs in the baby and those around. So what keeps you from changing your dirty habits? Sin will stink if it is not changed. Your thinking will stink, your attitude will stink, and your work efforts will stink. When sin is full grown it brings forth death (James 1:15). Try your hardest not to bring that dead woman walking into the new year.

It’s easy to change the outward appearance to look new. Yet, believe me if you do not seek to improve the woman you are inside, the outside woman won’t shine as bright. The most important asset to becoming the new you is the changing of your heart and your priorities. Exercising a daily self-examination against God’s Word will make your yearly transition to the new you, less painful and much smoother. This year will your change of attitude get as much attention as your new outfit? Will your renewed energy in serving God turn heads like the mention of your new promotion? Start to think spiritually rather than carnally. Being a better woman in Christ each year will take work though. I knew it, you say, more lectures on what to do and what not to do. Actually, my sister, you already know right from wrong in many cases. Who am I to tell you otherwise? God has already equipped you with the know-how, because if He didn’t we would not be running around each New Year, trying to be better and do better. It’s a matter of using what you have. So, drop those pounds of shoulda, woulda, couldas, and live in the, I can! I will! I am! Because after all, you are!

“...take a moment to just be the woman that God created You, and only You, to be this year.”

So, how do you become new? What has to change? WWW.VIRTUOUSMAGAZINE.COM


SHE BUILDS HER HOUSE “Love and EmbraceYourself”

T

o everything there is a season a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to love, a time to embrace.

Sisters this is the eleventh month of the year and you deserve pampering after ten months of work. Work may have included: being a virtuous woman, providing for your household and helping others. Strength and honor are your clothing and it is necessary to continue your strength by taking care of yourself. TEN SUGGESTIONS: 1. Find or create your special place to relax. This special place maybe in your bedroom or any place in your home that you create for yourself. 2. Discover yourself and your special needs. Listen to your body. Begin by lying on the floor using blankets to get in a comfortable position and breath, focus on any tense areas, breathe into them and exhale all tension away.

Begin with fifteen minutes of study time each day. Memorize the books of the bible.

7. Enjoy Christian fellowship. Girl’s day or night out weekly, monthly, bi-monthly however you like ---Enjoy.

4. Eat healthy

8. Keep a journal.

Eating healthy organic foods will rejuvenate your body, creating more energy and longevity.

Talk to yourself through writing. Write about your favorite things, scripture, color, make-up, outfit anything that you love.

3. Meditate on God’s word.

5. Go to the Spa or create your own. (Recipes follow.)

9. Do you have a hobby?

We owe ourselves time to feel refreshed and beautiful. Take time for yourself.

A hobby isn’t necessary but having one can be relaxing and express creativity.

6. Remember your annual physical exam. (Mammography and Pap)

10. Organize yourself.

Five years ago, a friend of mine was watching the Oprah show and Oprah asked all the women who had not had a breast exam to please get one. My friend decided to go and have her breast examined and she was diagnosed with a breast tumor but due to early detection the tumor was removed and she is doing great. Thanks to God, Oprah and my friends concern about herself. 21

Purchase the book; Organize Yourself by Ronni Eisenberg. This book teaches organization in every phase of your life and being organized allows free time for yourself.

BY LUCILE ALLEN

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Avocado Butter Mask

Bathing in lavender, well known for its sedative properties, is a perfect way to reduce stress at the end of a long day. Lavender’s sweet, subtle scent calms the over stimulated mind and will help you drift off to sleep. For use in the bath, first make an infusion by combining a 1/2 cup of fresh lavender blossoms with 4 Evening Salt Soak cups of boiling water, let steep for 20 minutes. Fill bathtub, pour the infusion into bath and disappear in Soaking in Epsom salt or Dead Sea salts has a tranquilizing effect on the the comfort of lavender.* body and is an effective treatment *Note if you are too tired to make after a long day of sitting at a desk an Infusion from fresh Lavender, or standing on your feet. These simply add 5 to 6 drops of Lavender salts can also be mildly detoxifying essential oil to your bath. because salt induces perspiration to help eliminate acidic waste from the tissues.

The rich consistency of the flesh and oil of Avocado make it an excellent choice as a moisturizer for the skin. This mask utilizes the emollient power of Honey and the nutritive properties of lecithin derived from Egg yolk to tone and condition the skin. 1 egg yoke 2 tablespoons Honey 1 tablespoon evening primrose oil 1 teaspoon yogurt Puree all the ingredients in a blender. Place a warm washcloth over face for 30 seconds to prep skin. Apply a thin layer of mask evenly to face and leave on for 10 minutes. Gently wipe off with a moist cloth. Photo Credit: zheng dannie

Photo Credit: Bert van ‘t Hul

The hypnotic effect of Clary Sage will add to the calming effect of this bath and it blends well with lavender whose mellow sent will add to the relaxing effect.

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

1 pound of Epsom or Dead Sea Salts 4 drops Clary Sage essential oil 2 drops of Lavender essential oil Fill bath with warm water and pour salts into tub. Add essential oils and agitate the water before getting in to disperse the salts and the oils. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. If a tonic effect is desired, end bath with a cool shower. Kandi Tobin Jafra Independent Consultant www.myjafra.com/ktobin kandi.tobin@gmail.com Recipes from the Spa deck by Barbara Close.

501-593-7127 The Best of Science For Your Beauty, Naturally. WWW.VIRTUOUSMAGAZINE.COM

Photo Credit: irichai Tichakorn

Lavender Infusion Bath


EVENTS

The Young Adult Christian (YAC) Weekend took place this past summer on August 13 -15, 2010 within the Metro DC area. It served as a one-of-a-kind, free opportunity where young adult Christians were able to grow spiritually, fellowship, and build stronger bonds with each other. The weekend’s events included a meet n’ greet and panel discussion on Friday night, area-wide cookout and devotional on Saturday afternoon, upscale “AllWhite” Affair on Saturday evening, and inspiring worship service on Sunday. We were blessed to have dozens of young adult Christians from the metro DC area as well as those traveling from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. We look forward to an even bigger and better (YAC) Weekend that will take place again in 2011 during the 2nd weekend of August!!

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EVENTS

Opening night for Atlanta Fashion Week was a big hit. The avant garde creations were shown at the Defoore Center in west midtown. The event included back to back couture shows, a vendor’s lounge, gifts and complimentary manicures by Tiny’s Nail Bar.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM VIRTUOUS!

What Must I do to be saved? Hear God’s word: Romans 10:17 Believe Jesus is the Son of God: Mark 16:15-16 Repent of your sins: Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30 Confess the name of Jesus: Acts 8:36-37 Be baptized for the remission of your sins: John 3:5, Luke 7:30 Stay faithful unto death: Revelation 2:10 Visit: www.apologeticspress.org for more information or contact your local Church of Christ


Winter 2010/2011