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Upcoming Events-2012 Calendar Events

Annual Prayer Breakfast Memphis Hilton 932 Ridge Lake Blvd Jan. 28, 2012 $25.00 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Annual Servant Award

Holy Nation Church of Memphis 3333 Old Brownsville Rd Bartlett, TN 38134 May 26, 2012 $25.00 For more information please call (901) 308-4417 / (901) 949-3409

OPM-Women Empowerment Conference 2012 Holy Nation Church of Memphis 3333 Old Brownsville Rd Bartlett, TN 38134 Aug 24 & 25 2012 $25.00 (reg. fee)

For more information please call (901) 308-4417 / (901) 949-3409 | 3

departments Founder and Editorial Director Verna V. Nickelberry Editor-In-Chief India B. Oliver Art Director Rushun Wiseman Contributing Editors Marlena Beal Josie Hayslett Contributing Writers Vanderbilt Brabson Paris Ducker Rhonda Hurst Cheryl Robinson Paola Tennon Layout Designer Denardo Crawford Marketing Consultant Joyce Parkinson (901) 907-8557 Photographer Kendall Elem Sales Director/ Memphis, TN Janet Chestnut salesmemphis@ Sales Director/ Frisco, TX Will Odom (214) 514-2926 O.P. Magazine Mail 8890 Bristol Park Cir. #103 Bartlett, TN 38133 (901) 949-3409 ORDINARY PEOPLE MAGAZINE is a quarterly publication and is distributed in Memphis, TN; Knoxville, TN; Frisco, TX; Atlanta, GA; and Orlando, FL.

contents Spring 2012

16 24





19 2nd Annual Nikki Williams

30 Inspirational Words


Editor-in-Chief Trust


31 From WithIn...

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Girls of Leadership

26 Let The Lady Speak



Are you clothed in your right mind?

Purity Ball

Miracles & Blessings


Get Understanding


All rights reserved.Reproduction in whole or in part without the founder/editor’s consent is strictly prohibited. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the positions or views of the editor. The publication of any advertisement in the issue does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s products or services by the publication. © 2012 Ordinary People Magazine | 5

On The Cover

The National Association of Professional Women-Greater Memphis Chapter (NAPW) From left to Right: Kris Seiler, Customer Service Representer at United Stationer of Memphis; Gayle Anthony, Secretary NAPW-Memphis Chapter and President of Healthcare Space Planning Consultants, LLC; April David, Vice-President NAPW-Memphis Chapter and Director of Marketing for C&L Bus Repair Service, LLC; Onika Shirley, President NAPW-Memphis Chapter and Production Manger for a coil coating company. Lisette Jone, Administrative Services Operation Coordinator for Baptist College of Health Sciences Cover shot by Kendal Elam/courtesy of Memphis Botanic Gardens

Letters to the Editor I finally got my issue of Ordinary People magazine. I especially enjoyed reading the For Your Health issue. Bill Alexander Memphis, TN In the Winter 2012 issue of Ordinary People, the For Your Health article was really enlightening. Unknown Memphis, TN

6 | Spring 2012

I like the new look of the Winter 2012 issue. Keep up the good work. Samantha Memphis, TN


Trust I am blessed to have the honor of being a full-time wife and mother of two young children and a part-time student and employee. In spite of all that responsibility, I still have the tendency to take on too much and attempt to solve problems for everyone who solicits my help. Oh, did I mention I also attempt to make everyone around me happy, and this more than anything else turns my life into a juggling act. Eventually all the balls begin dropping, and I am left holding nothing. These are the things that tend to happen to me when I take my eyes off God’s perfect plan for my life and try pleasing others. Literally, I begin sinking as Peter did when he stepped out of that boat. What about you? The Bible exhorts us to… “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (KJV) In this issue of Ordinary People the focus is on trust. In For Your Health, Paola Tennen explains the relationship between our memory and our spiritual awareness, our human survival and our overall well being. In Consider This, Vanderbilt Brabson III, reminds us that it is possible to see God in everything when we are looking for Him everywhere. In Inspirational Words, Paris Ducker discusses the endless spiritual war raging between the spiritual and the natural man especially for those striving to trust in the invisible, sovereign God. If we are not careful, life’s many challenges will leave us depleted. Remember, we must learn to seek the will of God first, and trust that He will in His own time reveal His marvelous plan for our lives. But in order to know and live out this plan, we must trust Him. Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:33 that if we will seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything else we truly need will be supplied. For me that includes the elimination of my juggling act and my temptation to make everyone around me happy. What does it mean to you to truly trust God and seek Him first? It is our prayer that this magazine will be a blessing to you as you seek to trust the sovereign Lord.

In Him,

India B. Oliver Editor-in-Chief | 7

In The Spotlight


of Leadership

Girls of Leadership

pieces of this vibrant picture began to drift in, some gently,

is an organization founded

some abruptly until eventually there was this old familiar

by Angela Garland in 2010,

story that played in her head like a movie. The passion, the

whose mission is to inspire

commitment, the living, breathing reality of it hit her square in

to give girls the opportunity

her face and she knew she had found her calling, in fact she had

to reach their full potential

discovered her life’s work.

by developing leadership skills through self-esteem,

mentorship, and social

of Leadership to fruition. The origins of the vision came with

awareness. Garland and her

just spending some quality time with a niece at the crossroads

team meet with over 30 girls a

of childhood and adulthood and needing some guidance. What

Thus began Angela Garland’s journey to bring Girls

month to teach, encourage, inspire and hold them accountable

began as Auntie hanging out with her niece transformed into

for achievement. This is done in a safe, nurturing, experiential

Girls of Leadership, because at every “Auntie” session more

environment, rich with knowledge, love, excitement and

girls came and they kept coming, and they haven’t stopped



The seeds of the idea for Girls of Leadership were

By mid 2011 the sessions, where girls could come,

first planted in Garland’s mind in divine pieces. God gave her

be nurtured, ask questions, be creative and just be girls, were

a glimpse moment floating through her mind. Slowly, other

offered to the public. To date, Girls of Leadership has helped

10 | Spring 2012

over 100 girls feel confident about their abilities. Angela Garland has found her life’s work and passion in Girls of Leadership. She is one of a handful of women who are saying to their destiny, “here I am, I’m awake and ready so bring it on.” In Garland’s words these girls’ future “depends on me to teach, educate and to pour all of my abilities into them so that girls I touch will not have any excuses as to why they couldn’t succeed.” This supports the vision of Girls of Leadership that says, “We envision a world where every girl is confident in her limitless potential to pursue her dreams and as a result becomes a present and future leader in her school, community and the world.”

This is just one reason Girls of Leadership is

special. Also, making it so special is the “on purpose” way in which Garland tackles the status quo. It doesn’t exist. Girls of Leadership is purposeful in creating an environment where what was unacceptable is acceptable. There are no taboo topics, no judgment, no cliques or bullying in this environment. It is simply about providing fertile ground in which to grow healthy, strong, successful girls who turn into leaders who have a voice for themselves and a voice for saving the world. At Girls of Leadership, participants learn about self-confidence, teambuilding, and learn how to solve problems courageously through leadership. Girls who participate are able to build character by sharing responsibility and taking ownership of their own values and beliefs.

Volunteers, experts, guest speakers and Garland

herself, who holds a Masters Degree in Arts and Liberal Studies come to girls with experiential lessons, creative hands on tools, and events to access the girls for fun and transformation. Each 12 week session gives girls the ability to develop confidence, develop healthy relationships, and develop leadership skills that will enable them to be push beyond their boundaries. There is a formula to Girls of Leadership: every girl can feel confident about her abilities, girls can make positive choices, and every girl is able to build a greater commitment to her own success and her community: Growing beautiful girls and even more beautiful women. | 11

Word Search








12 | Spring 2012









UP C OMING E VENTS • Education Day

June 24, 2012 • 11:15 a.m.

• Summer Crusade

July 8-11, 2012

• Youth Month

September 2012

• Community Block Party

September 15, 2012 • 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. E.A. Harold Subdivision • Millington, TN

• Mother-Daughter: “Live, Love, Laugh” Event

September 28, 2012 - 6:00 p.m.


9:30 a.m. Prayer 9:45 a.m. Bible Fellowship 11:15 a.m. Worship 6:30 p.m. Worship (2nd & 4th) 8:45 a.m. Worship (5th)

Wednesday Friday Saturday (1st)

Elder John B. Smith, Senior Pastor & Lady Carol A. Smith

7:30 p.m. Bible Study 12:00 p.m. Prayer 8:00 a.m. Prayer

8815 Millington-Arlington Road • Millington, TN 38053 901-829-4106 • Facebook: Rosemark COGIC

For Your Health



“…Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” Proverbs 3:5 Mark 5:1-15 and Luke 8:27-35 speaks of a man with an unclean spirit by the name of “Legions, for they were many”. Scripture tells us that after being commanded by Jesus, the spirit left the man. He was later found sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed in his right mind. From the books of Genesis to Revelations numerous references are given to the mind, memory and remembrance. (“Remember the Sabbath Day... Ex. 20:8 “; Jesus said; “...this do in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19; “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labour of love and patience of hope…1 Thess. 1:3”; “I remember the days of old, I meditate on all thy works, I muse on the work of thy hands. Psalm 143:5.”; “This I recall to my mind, there I have hope. Lam. 3:21.” “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent... Rev. 2:5.”) These are just a few examples that demonstrate to us the significant role remembrance or memory plays and how they relate to our spiritual awareness, human survival and overall well being.

16 | Spring 2012

In today’s society emphasis is often directed towards physical health and wellness, while issues related to brain health and wellness are rarely, if ever considered. The old adage “you don’t miss your water until the well runs dry” can be applied to the case of memory. Typically, brain wellness does not become a focus until we find ourselves struggling to recapture a thought, a phrase, or an event that has occurred in our lives. We began misplacing things or can’t remember why we came into a room. Often we brush it off as a senior moment or just a fleeting moment of forgetfulness. The focus of this article is directed towards memory loss, mental acuity and brain fitness. The goal is to increase our awareness and help us to stay at the top of our game in spite of our infirmities (Psalm 77: 10-11). We began by understanding the role the mind, memory and remembering plays on our everyday physical, mental and spiritual lives. Webster’s Dictionary 4th Edition defines mind as memory, recollection or remembrance. Additionally, memory is defined as the power, act or process of recalling to mind facts previously learned or experienced. From a scientific perspective, the brain serves as the command center for the body. It is made up of billions of

nerve cells and neurons that transmit messages throughout the body. The mind is the integrated functions of the brain that results in intelligence. Its uniqueness lies in its ability to coordinate millions of bits of diverse information within literally seconds. It evaluates, sorts, discards, makes decisions, files and retrieves saved information. As you can see, a healthy agile brain helps us maintain mental acuity and brain fitness. The causes associated with memory loss are numerous. While we often think of it as a problem associated with aging, it can occur at any age and the resulting effects may be temporary, partial or permanent. According to Joan Minninger, author of Total Recall, there are three stages of memory which include immediate (sensory) memory, short-term and long-term memory. Immediate or sensory memory allows us to do activities that are repetitive such as walking across the room, reading a sentence, etc. This form of memory only last for seconds. Shortterm memory is recent memory and can last for hours or days. It can be transitioned into long term memory. Long term memory is what is typically filed away. Its capacity can be infinite and the duration lasting forever.

could enhance this process include stress, alcohol, drug abuse, medication and medical conditions. Stress/Anxiety/Depression – overworks the brain/mind which results in mental fatigue. Chronic stress can actually cause the part of the brain that is involved with processing memory (the Hippocampus) to shrink. Additionally, stress hormones (Cortisol and Adrenalin) are over produced and may attribute or cause damaging effects such as hypertension, heart disease. Medications – may be responsible for memory loss. Read the information that comes with your medication and talk with your healthcare professional and or the pharmacist. Cigarette Smoking – decreases oxygen to the brain leading to potential diminished brain function. Drug and Alcohol Abuse – may actually impair the normal function of the nervous system and lead to memory loss. They also diminish oxygen and break down calcium canals which the brain relies on to correspond with other cells throughout the body. Nutritional/vitamin deficiency – B12 helps the body produce neurotransmitters which carry messages from nerve to nerve. B1 helps in the transition of nerve signals to other parts of the body; Folic Acid helps stabilize emotional and mental health. Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythemotosus) – Causes inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain which may lead to memory loss. Thyroid Dysfunction (Hypo and Hyper) – interferes with the ability to recall current events. Infections – such as TB, HIV, Herpes, Syphilis, and etc may involve the lining or core of the brain, thus resulting in sever memory issues. Alzheimer’s Disease – affects 5million Americans. It is a rapid progressive degenerating disease of the brain that affects memory, rationalization, decision making, and the ability to converse or complete daily activities. Stroke and TIAs (Transient Ischemic Attack or mini stroke) – are caused by an interruption of the blood supply to the brain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, TIA’s are often warning signs that a person is at risk for a more serious or debilitating stroke. Head Injuries – Traumatic brain injury, concussions, amnesia. The effects on memory are dependant on the severity of injury to the brain. Memory loss may not develop until weeks after the injury. Some common cognitive problems are listed in the book “Living

“The causes associated with memory loss are numerous. While we often think of it as a problem associated with aging, it can occur at any age and the resulting effects may be temporary, partial or permanent.outcomes.”

There are a plethora of factors that may cause or attribute to memory loss. They may be medical, physical or emotional. Many believe that the origin of memory loss actually begins in the youthful years but does not present until what we may consider as middle age (40-45). None the less; in many cases memory loss is treatable. Therefore, it is important to increase your knowledge base on potential causes, adjust your life style accordingly, and seek assistance from your healthcare professional or counselor. Various causes include: Depression, chronic stress and anxiety, dementia, amnesia, traumatic brain injury, concussions, aging, substance abuse of any kind (alcohol, drugs), medications, nutritional/vitamin deficiency, cigarette smoking, obesity, sleep deprivation, infections, diseases such as Thyroid dysfunction, Lyme Disease, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Lupus, Hypertension resulting in a Stroke or TIA’s (Transient Ischemic Attack or mini stroke). TAKING A CLOSER LOOK: Aging - this natural process is gradual and allows for slow deterioration of brain cells. It typically impacts short-term memory or the ability to recall recent events. Contributing factors that | 17

with Brain Injury a guide for Families”. They include difficulty concentrating, increased distractibility, difficulty reading, and inability to pay attention or solve problems. SYMPTOMS OF MEMORY LOSS: from the National Institute on Health • Inability to remember things • Asking the same questions or repeating the same story over and over • Becoming lost in familiar places • Being unable to follow directions • Getting disorientated about time, people, and places • Neglecting personal safety, hygiene and nutrition • Impairments in judgment, the thinking process, recognition of friends and family AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION: • •

• • • • •

• •

Plan task, give yourself reminders, write it down (To Do List) Develop habits and routines that are easy to follow. Focus on one thing at a time and set your own pace. Organize your time Maintain balanced nutrition. Get help with shopping, meal preparation and etc. as needed. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of rest daily, relax and meditate Limit or avoid use of alcohol, illegal substances. Familiarize yourself with medication side effects. Manage disease: keep levels within a healthy range (High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc.) Engage in physical activity. Exercise improves brain health by increasing blood flow, increasing the uptake of oxygen and increasing the brain chemicals that promote growth of new brain nerve cells. It also helps to control high blood pressure. Mind over matter: reduce stress by controlling your reactions to situations. Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Think positive. “Yes You Can!” Take control: change the way you think about things. Start small and build on your successes. Find activities and stimulate you brain: hobbies, reading, puzzles, crafts, board games. Get involved in a new activity such as piano, dancing, swimming, etc. This not only increases physical activity but help in the alleviation of stress, anxiety or depression. It also increases brain power! Remember Prevention: “It is easier to protect our brain cell while we are healthy.” (Gary Small)

References Agne, M. & Guralnik, D. (2000). Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition (pp 898, 916). Foster City, CA: IDG Books World wide, Inc. Ayer, E.H. (2001). Everything you need to know about stress. New York, NY, the Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. Minninger, J. (1984). Total recall how to maximize your memory power. New York, NY, MJF Books/Rodale Press, Inc. Sidekick, R. and Dougherty, K. (2001). Living with brain injury a guide for families the second Edition. Birmingham, AL, HealthSouth Press Publisher Small, G. and Vorgan, G. (2004). The memory prescription., New York, NY., Hyperion Ehealth forum, Memory Loss in Teens. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from in-teen-t223329.html Family Dementia/Symptoms. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from eases-conditions/dementia/symptoms.html Forgetfulness: Knowing when to ask for help. Retrieved March 26, 2012 from www.nia, forgetfulness-knowing-when-ask-help Memory loss, causes, symptoms, treatment. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from Stroke risk factors and prevention. Retrieved March 23, 2012 from article/007418.htm Transient ischemic attack. Retrieved March 23, 2012 from article/000730.htm RESOURCES: Memory loss. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from;i=l;q =memory+loss;sop=en;sp_cs=UTF-8

18 | Spring 2012

U.S. National Library of Medicine NIH National Institute of Health, Memory. Retrieved from

Greater Imani Church’s Youth Department presents their

“2nd Annual Nikki Williams Purity Ball” by Shanika Ford

The Greater Imani Church (Memphis,

Greater Imani Church is celebrated their

help and support in order to make the

TN) mentoring program, Gentlemen

2nd Annual Nikki Williams “Purity Ball”

right choices in becoming prosperous

of Distinction and Ladies of Royal

on April 28, 2012.

adults and to have extremely successful

Distinction, started with a vision given

relationships in years to come.

to their Senior Founder, Dr. Bill Adkins.

The message that we aim to deliver as

The Gentlemen of Distinction and

Christian Leaders is to teach the young

There are classes taught during the

Ladies of Royal Distinction is led by

people is to be healthy in body, soul,

year such as sexual immorality and

Evangelist Shanika Ford. The Purity

mind, and spirit. We believe that this can

fornication, self-esteem and life skills.

Ball was inspired by God and given to

only be accomplished by upholding the

The gentlemen and young ladies who

Evangelist Shanika Ford to help young

standards and will of God. Our objective

willingly participate in this event are

boys and girls uphold the throne of grace

as leaders is to guide and support our

educated as to what they are doing, why

in obedience by taking a vow to God

youth by making sure they become

they are doing it and the importance

to keep their virginity until marriage.

successful in their teen years. Teenagers

of why God asks them to wait until

The purpose of the Purity Ball is to help

are faced with some of the most difficult

marriage. The mentoring program meets

young people understand how important

challenges in their life. For example,

every other Saturday year-round at

it is to stay obedient to Christ Jesus and

they are being challenged in their choices

Greater Imani Church.

all that he asks them to do as Christians.

of friends, educations, sexual orientation, and pressures in life that requires | 19

Gospel Music/Artists

“The SaxLady” Crystal Brown


Book “The SaxLady”, Crystal Brown, for your next concert, social event, party, church event, wedding ceremony, reception or corporate event. Contact her today to enjoy her unique style of smooth jazz mix with a gospel flavor.

The SaxLady Tel: (901)240-6874 Email: Visit the website at: | 21

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Miracles and Blessings

Miracles & Blessings by Verna V. Nickelberry

What is a Miracle? What is a Blessing? According to Webster’s New World Dictionary-Third College Edition, a miracle is – 1. An event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws, and is a hence thought to be due to supernatural causes, esp. to an act of God 2. A remarkable event or thing; marvel; a blessing – The gift of divine favor; good wished or approval; anything that gives happiness or prevents misfortune; special benefit or favor.


ach and every day Miracles & Blessings happen.

In Genesis chapter 12 the Lord is blessing Abram, and the

believe me, God has not retired or stop performing

Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy

Although we may not see or hear about them,

miracles or bestowing blessings upon us. Just to

wake up in the morning is both a miracle and a blessing. To

be able to think, to reason, to go about our normal day or what

is normal to us is in itself a blessing. Often time we take all of these things for granted.

There are so many miracles recording in the bible that we can apply to our life today. Miracles of healings; for example,

two blind men cured –Matt. 9:27-31; a woman freed from her infirmity-Luke 13:11-13; Lazarus raised from the dead-John

11:38-44, and so many more. When we hear of these types of miracles some of us think it can’t be, how did it happened, or one that I’ve heard a lot it “something made it happen.” Not

something! God made it happen and God alone! You hear about someone flat lined twice, and came back to life, that was God. Someone been missing for days and survived on only water,

God again! As you can see God is still in the Miracles business. Blessing (s), divine favors; who don’t want a blessing or better yet be a blessing to someone else?

24 | Spring 2012

blessing continual today; “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee; (2) And I will

make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” How many time

has God said move, and some of us didn’t. Could it have been that He was lining you up for a Blessing? In Ezekiel chapter 34 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel: (2) Son of man,

prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say

unto them. Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should

not the shepherds feed the flock?” Should we be blessings to others? Or should we take care of ourselves and not think of

those less fortunate? In all that we do or not do God is still in the blessing business. Ezekiel 34: 26 “And I will make them

and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause

the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers

of blessing.” We all have our season where God will shower us

with blessings, which we will not have room to receive! To God be the Glory! Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Let The Lady Speak

Get Understanding by Rhonda B. Hurst

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding”. (Proverbs 4:7) The proverb says to get wisdom,

and understanding. It is absolutely free, yet very few people

but to get an understanding of that

ever get it. We will go to the end of the earth

wisdom. Some people get wisdom,

to get all

but they do not really understand the wisdom. Understanding is the ability to perceive and discern a situation in order to apply wisdom (knowledge, which is true and moral). It is amazing that so many of us spend most of our waking hours working to earn money to buy things. When we are not buying things, we spend time thinking about all the things we want to buy. We spend our lives’ buying, collecting and getting all the things that we feel will add value and bring satisfaction to our lives. We buy houses; we collect coins; we get new cars. However, when was the last time you went shopping for wisdom and understanding? Don’t worry! I’ll wait while you think. The brutal truth is that very few people seek wisdom and understanding.

There is nothing more important than getting wisdom

26 | Spring 2012

sorts of clothes, jewelry, designer purses and shoes. We will

any course we choose, but God’s word has shown us from the

pay an enormous amount of money to get those things but the

beginning of man’s creation that a rebellious course will lead us

most important and the most valuable thing in life remains free,

down a road of sorrow and misery (Genesis 3:1-24). However,

and very few people bother to collect it. The first diamond in

when we are obedient to God’s will and His word, we avoid so

South Africa was found by a young boy. He picked it up and

many pitfalls and heartaches.

took it home to his sisters because he thought it would be great for them to play with. He did not have a clue that what he had

“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh

picked up was worth a lot of money and that people would

knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for

come from all over the

the righteous: He is a buckler

world to find what he

to them that walk uprightly.

thought was just a stone.

So it is with

us today, wisdom and understanding are freely available yet we throw it away without

“We must understand that living our lives outside of God’s purpose will only bring us challenges and terrible consequences.”

He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. Then shall thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea every good path. When wisdom

realizing that what we

entereth into thine heart,

have is worth more than

and knowledge is pleasant

anything in life. So

unto thy soul; discretion

what am I asking you to understand or what am I challenging

shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver

you to get? I admonish us to get wisdom and understanding

thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh

of God’s word; His

forward things” (Proverbs 2:6-12).

will and His way. We are living in perilous times, and it is critical that we wise up and get understanding

Receiving the spirit of wisdom and understanding is

about God’s divine purpose for our

the key to living a Godly life that will bring forth living waters

lives. Our society is afflicted by

that others can drink and receive eternal salvation (John 4:13).

a spirit of thoughtless arrogance

If we get wisdom and understanding of God’s word through

unbecoming those who have been

reading and studying the bible, we get everything else of worth

so wondrously blessed. It seems

in life. We are able to grasp God’s real purpose and His real

that we have no real wisdom and

intent for our existence. Wisdom without understanding is

understanding about us, God

just knowledge. However, wisdom and understanding ignites

and His extraordinary purpose

change. We have the power within us to ignite change in our

for our lives.

lives, our churches and our communities but only through wisdom and understanding. So as we journey through life

We must understand that

shopping, collecting and getting things, let us not overlook

living our lives outside of

wisdom and understanding.

God’s purpose will only bring us challenges and terrible consequences. It is true we have been given the free will to pursue | 27

Consider This



n atheist, whose nineyear-old daughter had questions, sought to teach her his philosophy on life. The girl had been talking to other children at school and later that evening she approached her father, seeking answers to her questions. The father answered all his daughter’s questions; however, when she asked him to tell her where God is, he simply smiled, placed the book he was reading aside momentarily, pulled out a pen and a piece of paper, and sat his daughter upon his lap. The father thought to himself this would be a perfect opportunity to teach his daughter his disbelief in the existence of God. He laid the sheet of paper upon his book

28 | Spring 2012

By Vanderbilt Brabson III

and wrote the words “GOD IS NO WHERE.” He then asked his daughter to read the answer to her question he had written. The little girl stared at the paper and sentence momentarily and then read, “GOD IS NOW HERE.” Like the little girl in the story, it is possible for us to see God everywhere when we look for Him in everything. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).” Jesus was teaching that individuals seeking to honor God in their hearts and lives will not only be blessed with spiritual vision to see God in the realm of time, but will see Him in eternity as well. Jesus’ words clearly reveal that the existence of God is not the issue. The real issue is an individual’s ability to see Him and

discern His presence. A person whose eyes are on things other than God lacks the ability to see God. When a person has his or her eyes on: • Things, it leads to materialism, and a focus on things will impede our ability to see God; • Circumstances, it leads to happiness or unhappiness which are primarily dependent on how outward conditions directly affect him or her, and a focus on our circumstances will impede our ability to see God; • Self, it leads to pride, and a focus on oneself will impede our ability to see God; • People, it leads to idolatry, and a focus

on others will impede our ability to see God. If we fail to see God, it is not because God is hiding. In fact, the Bible teaches God has chosen to reveal Himself to mankind through: • • • •

Creation (Romans 1:20) Man’s conscience (Romans 2:14-16) Scriptures (Romans 3:1-2) His Son, (John 1:14; 14:9-11)

The reason nonbelievers cannot see God is because they are spiritually blind—a spiritual state in which Satan attempts to keep them through deception. Speaking about nonbelievers, Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church wrote, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:4).”

stand before God in judgment and see Him (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). Remember, even as Christians we, like Peter, are sometimes guilty of taking our eyes off our Lord (Matthew 14:22-31). When this happens, we find ourselves overwhelmed by our circumstances as we struggle to get our eyes back on our Savior. If you are struggling presently to see God in your circumstances, and you desire to, please pray the following: Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me. Forgive me, because just as the Prophet Elijah did in the midst of harsh circumstances, I too found myself discouraged and took my eyes off You. Elijah looked for You in the great wind, but You were not in the wind. He looked for You in the mighty earthquake, but You were not in the earthquake. He looked for You in the fire, but You were not in the fire either. You came to Him in a still small voice, which spoke to Elijah’s heart and is speaking to my heart as well. Give me, O Lord, a heart that believes beyond all human logic, ears that hear beyond the audible, and eyes that see beyond the visible. Help me from this day forward to have the spiritual eyes to see You everywhere and know that I am never alone because You are ever present. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“The reason nonbelievers cannot see God is because they are spiritually blind—a spiritual state in which Satan attempts to keep them through deception.”

Even after Jesus physically healed a blind man (John 9:1-7), He later intercepted that same man in a crowd and asked him, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God (John 9:35)?” Why did Jesus ask this man did he believe on the Son of God? Jesus asked the question because Jesus knew, although this man could now see physically, he was still blind spiritually. The greatest healing this man could possibly receive from Jesus was not in the receiving of his physical sight. The greatest healing was about to occur in the receiving of his spiritual sight (John 9:3638). Unfortunately, for many of us, we see only what we have been taught to look for or what we choose to see. Some of us have been taught to look for the good in everything. Others of us have been taught to see only the bad. Some of us have an optimistic disposition, while others of us have a pessimistic one. A glass partially filled with fluid is viewed by some to be half full, while others view it to be half empty. Of course it really depends on whether the glass is being filled or emptied of fluid. Whether we are able to see God all about us or not, one thing is certainly true, if not now, one day each of us will

“It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.” C.S. Lewis. Lewis was an Irish author and scholar. Lewis is known for his work on medieval literature, Christian apologetics, literary criticism and fiction. He is presently best known for his children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia. | 29

Trusting Inspirational Words

by Paris Ducker

I daresay one of the most challenging decisions we have to make is the resolve to trust. Whether it is trust in God or man, it is not an easy choice. How many of us struggle with the idea of total trust? Being able to trust means to give up control and rely completely on what or whom we have purposed to believe in. It is the expectation or confidence that something will take place without a doubt. It’s akin to putting all of our eggs in one basket; counting our chickens before they hatch and putting the cart before the horse. Our natural man tells us that it is not good or smart to trust in someone that we can see; so how much more difficult is it to trust in someone we cannot see? There is the endless conflict between the spiritual and natural man when we are striving to trust in a God that we cannot see. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” We must acknowledge the fear and uncertainty of not knowing the outcome of our situation, and say “When I am afraid I put my trust in you “ Psalms 56:3 (NIV). The word trust is found in the bible 134 times in the King James Version. That tells us trust is necessary and important to God, as well as part of His plan and process for us to grow in Him. You see; we must learn to trust in God regardless of what we feel, think or see. We frequently remember and hold on to our feelings of hurt when we reflect on what happened in the past, when our expected result was violated and misused by someone, we put our trust in. Well beloved; our God is not a mere someone. He is the

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Great I Am! That means no matter how often we encounter times of distress, depression and discomfort; “The Lord will also be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in the time of trouble.” Psalms 9:9 (NIV).

There is action required when we choose to trust. Walk in faith, give up control, completely submit and just plain ole trust in God like the saints of old is more than a notion you say? Yes, and Amen; it requires a great deal of soul movements, decision-making and a transformation of our mindset. This means your spiritual and natural man agree so speak consistently that you will trust; and it is a commitment that must be made daily. Verbally stating your trust in God gives life and power to your words. An example is “I AM healed.” We are to wholeheartedly believe that what we trust God for will come to pass. Confession is a statement of truth based on scripture; thus, it is only reasonable that we speak and announce our trust. This is when we must declare to our flesh that I will “Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord we have an everlasting rock” (Is. 26:4). On this everlasting rock we are able to lean, drop, surrender and enter into complete rest knowing that God is in total control. “O taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him”. (Psalm 34:8) Trusting in God gives us a new perspective on our situation; it’s an opportunity to experience His love towards us a Father, Protector, Redeemer and Teacher. When we rely on the process that God desires us to follow, then we can agree with as King David as he proclaims in Psalms 20:7; ‘Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (NIV). How awesome and what a privilege it is to be able to trust in a Mighty and Awesome God that cannot fail!

From Within... When reading this scripture it seems very easy to do. Just, put your trust in God, and He will take care of everything? However, how many of us can say that we do precisely that! We attempt to trust God, with our lives, our relationships, our choices, and even our health. Somewhere alone the way we get off track. Could it be that we become impatient, and began to do things our way, and not wait on an answer from God? Not trusting Him will only bring about heart ache, confusion, and even destruction. Waiting on God to lead us in all that we do will make all situations easy, or it will seem that way.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”.

Proverb 3: 5-6

I can remember being faced with a problem and having prayed about it; I didn’t wait for God to intervene. Instead, I set out to do it my way, which caused things to become worst. I could have saved myself a lot of sleepless nights and worry if I had trusted and waited on God. Sometime we get ahead God, and try to fix the problem (s) ourselves. This cause a delay in what God is working out on our behalf. He will get the job done! Nothing is too big or too small for God to handle. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33 And as always, Love, Peace, and Increase…

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The “Each One Reach One” church growth challenge is an initiative that challenge members of Holy Nation Church to....

• Be a witness and win souls for Christ • Compel individuals without a church home to visit Holy Nation • Challenge individuals to become members of Holy Nation • Spread the vision of Holy Nation in the Memphis and surrounding community We are extending ourselves to the Memphis, West Memphis and surrounding communities to come and grow with us as we impact the world for Christ!

3333 Old Brownsville Road Memphis, TN 38134 For More Information Call: (901)491-6403

Andrew and Shirley Perpener, Pastor