ORDINARY PEOPLE | Spring 2019 | Vol. 10 | Issue 26

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Cancer is a disease that can affect anyone, but it does not affect everyone equally. The American Cancer Society is addressing the unequal burden of cancer by reaching individuals in underserved communities in collaboration with community partners. Our Community Health Advisors provide education, outreach, and information to men and women, particularly in the area of cancer prevention. They encourage people to practice early detection of colon, breast and cervical cancer while it is in the most treatable stages. To find out more about our Community Health Advisor program , please contact the American Cancer Society at 1.800.227.2345.


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departments Founder and Editorial Director Verna V. Nickelberry Editor-In-Chief Sharon Locklear Art Director Rushun Wiseman Contributing Writers Vanderbilt Brabson Paris Ducker Paola Tennon Jeanette Chestnut-Chester Photographers Whitney Howard Kimberly Taylor Kendall Elem Sales Director/ Memphis, TN Janet Chestnut salesmemphis@ ordinarypeoplemagazine International Director of Sales and Market Frisco, TX Will Odom tndimension.net (214) 514-2926 ‘Advertise With Us� Please Contact Us At (770) 767-0649 O.P. Magazine Mail 1311 Woodridge Dr. Atlanta, GA 30339 (770) 767-0649 http://ordinarypeoplemagazine ORDINARY PEOPLE MAGAZINE is a quarterly publication and is distributed in Memphis, TN; Knoxville, TN; Frisco, TX; Atlanta, GA; and Orlando, FL.

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contents SPRING 2019

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Frederick & Samantha Walker

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sharon E. Locklear

HER FASHION /HIS STYLE Verna V. Nickelberry

JUST TO ENCOURAGE YOU Jeanette Chestnut-Chester

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Brenda F. Ferguson

Understanding Compassion

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. © 2019 Ordinary People Magazine VeMaShe’ Enterprise LLC

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GOSPEL ARTISTS Pastor Keri Fraser



Partial or Total Spiritual Metamorphosis?

INSPIRATIONAL WORDS Apostle Peter’s 5 Nuggets of Wisdom


Verna V. Nickelberry

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On The Cover

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ON THE C OVER   COVER INFORMATION                                                Frederick and I are both products of small towns in Mississippi. Frederick is the youngest of two and raised in Columbia, MS. I am the youngest of 19 and raised in McComb, MS. We both attended the finest HBCU in the South, Jackson State University, Home of the JSU Tigers and the “Sonic Boom of the South” in Jackson, MS! Oddly enough we did not meet there as our years of attendance did not overlap. We met in a small church in Collins, MS on Christmas Day after being introduced by Frederick’s aunt. We got engaged a year later on Christmas Day, got married in the Spring and moved to Houston, Texas. We’ve been married 29 years and have 2 wonderful grown children. God has always been a part of our lives for Samantha as a Preacher’s Daughter and Frederick as a youth choir director from age 15. We were both raised in Church, were active in Ministry and taught the value of accepting the Lord as our personal savior living a life devoted to Him. We always knew that one day we would be in Ministry together. We didn’t have any idea in which area, but knew God had a calling on our lives. While raising our children in Houston, we began inviting college students and other young adults to our home after church to feed them dinner. Our college age nephew was living with us and always had friends that wanted a home cooked meal. It was in our kitchen in Houston that our passion for young adults were developed. We began to impart into their lives and just be helpers to assist in any way we could. We were not in formal young adult ministry but following God’s leading to “be there”. It wasn’t until years later that we were actually able to lead an actual Young Adult Ministry. Our desire wasn’t a title in any way. Our desire was just to do the work for whatever God called us to. Frederick has previously served as Choir Member/Director, Trustee Board Member and numerous other capacities. Samantha has previously served as Young Women’s Christian Council President, Young Women of Excellence Counselor and numerous other capacities. Frederick and Samantha were joint in Couple’s Ministry Leaders as well.

Currently, Frederick and I are College Pastors for The Bridge at ATL in Atlanta, GA. The group was birthed and operates directly out of Greater Community COGIC in Marietta, GA under the leadership of Dr. Matthew Brown, Pastor/Teacher. We assist young adults from the ages of 17 – 35. We are also in partnership with the Bridge Organization at KSU. We provide a “bridge” to connect young adults to each other in fellowship, Study and application of the Word and provide guidance to help them develop a real relationship with Christ. We have a large social media following as well where we provide weekly motivational videos and live prayer. It is our desire to connect today’s young adult to Christ and keep them connected to church. In our everyday life, Frederick is a Global Finance Director for a large Corporation and Samantha does part-time contract work. We have been able to provide a stable home and raise our two children. We lived in Houston for over 20 years and now reside in Atlanta, GA for the past 10 years. Frederick and I make a priority of spending as much quality time as we can together. We love to go to the movies and eating great food! We enjoy time with our adult children as well as with all of our god/adopted children. Frederick will be retiring in the next few years and we plan to spend our lives in service to our church, time with our children and grandchildren (when that time comes) and traveling enjoying our lives together. Our goal together is to continue to be led of the Lord in whatever area he sends us to Minister and continue to deepen our love and bond with each other as we begin our 30th year together! Personal style for Samantha – Classic with a bit of sass Personal style for Frederick – Comfortable but professional Cover shot (s) by Kimazing photos ordinarypeoplemagazine | 9

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the

EDITOR First I need to say how excited I was to receive my first Copy of Ordinary People after speaking with you, Verna! such a kind spoken individual. First , let me say that the Cover Shot drew me in. Your smile was so warm. You are that…….Sister, Aunt, Friend that says , to the world, LETS TALK. There is nothing ordinary about this magazine. I found it to be relate Labe, easy to navigate and straight to the point. The Articles where Spirit filled, informative and had a Round talk discussion feel. Verna, you are a natural beauty with a smile that lights up the room. You are definitely onto something major by connecting the world. The individuals that were interviewed were our neighbors, co-workers and friends. They are making a difference in the lives of others and it was refreshing to meet them. I appreciated the Q & A in each Interview. It helped the flow of the conversation. Keep Striving , Keep Connecting, Keep us informed! - Joanne Anderson Goods, JAGRAGS COUTURE Love the cover! BEAUTIFUL! Ms. Nickelberry looks amazing, great job! The “Her Fashion/His Style” is very creative. - C.G. Ordinary People Magazine is an uplifting, inspiring and informative magazine. In a world where our news broadcast tells of tragedy daily, reading Ordinary People Magazine will lift your spirit. If you haven’t subscribed to or pick up your copy, then you are missing out. Be encouraged and empowered as you read the beautiful articles in Ordinary People Magazine. - Dr. LaTarsha Holden

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1 Peter 3:8 NLT Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude.

mind, sympathize and love each other, remain tenderhearted and keep a humble spirit? Growth, we need to grow in Christ and become more Christ centered in all our actions and deeds.

I spent a phenomenal weekend at a retreat in Phoenix, Arizona with 18 likeminded women and our facilitators. We sympathized with each other, loved each other, were tenderhearted and our attitudes were humble. We began a year long journey of individual growth within a group setting during 2018. We grew to love and respect each other telephonically during our twice monthly calls.

If we are to be of one mind, we must understand that we represent unity in the body of Christ. We sympathize with each other; I feel what you feel, I understand, and I am here to help you. Love each other as brothers and sisters, want and expect the best for each other. Want for your brothers and sisters the wonderful things that you desire for yourself.

We finally met and put names and voices to faces. The love was real, the joy was real, and our time together was genuine. Not every woman present identified as Christian; however, each did honor spirituality and understood that man was not the center and not the Creator of the universe. If worldly people can unite with one mind, sympathize, love each other as brothers and sisters, be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude…what prevents Christians from total immersion in 1 Peter 3:8? Jesus is not the author of confusion, chaos, strife, envy, pride. Why did you become a Christian?

Be tenderhearted, never harden your heart toward your brothers and sisters or anyone. A hardened heart is incapable of feeling love, compassion, empathy, understanding, hope and joy. A humble attitude is not puffed up, arrogant, proud or haughty. Mighty is he or she that walks humbly with Christ Jesus. Living a complete Christian life has requirements, the requirements in 1 Peter 3:8 are an excellent example to strive toward. Sharon E. Locklear, Editor-in-Chief Twitter: @sharonelocklear Instagram: @sharonlocklear

As Christians, how do we live with one ordinarypeoplemagazine | 11


Our third couple of “Her Fashion/His Style™”, is Kirk and Cheryl Graham, who say “after a 20year hiatus, we, as two college friends, were reconnected during a North Carolina A&T State University homecoming game.” What a beautiful love story! We caught it up with this very busy couple and wanted to know more about their fashion, business, and their community service. OPM: What a beautiful love story of your reconnecting, were you all surprise to see each other? Cheryl: We were so surprised to see each other because we hadn’t seen each other in 21 years! And the fact that we literally bumped into each other was divine intervention. Kirk: Yes, I mean literally bumped into each other. We were in a crowd and it was shoulder to shoulder. And I remember walking backwards and bumping into someone and when I turned around to say “excuse me” it didn’t register at first because she had changed so much after 20 years. But then after a few seconds of processing, we both let out a loud yell! That was crazy and funny all at the same time. OPM: Cheryl tell us why you chose you look for the photo shoot? Cheryl: The reason I chose this outfit is because I love bright colors and bold statement pieces and the subtle part of me likes the dress down jeans too. That’s me; I can dress up a pair

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of jeans with just some heels, a white t shirt, and an amazing, vibrant, bold necklace. I’m a lowkey girl, but I love vibrant colors that bring out life, fun, and joy into the outfit. OPM: Kirk, what made you chose your particular look for the photo shoot? Kirk: I am a simple man with simple taste. Me, being a fitness instructor, I spend more time working on the vessel that the clothing is draped on so I like pieces that accentuate my hard work and dedication. A nice dry fit shirt, because I’m a sweater, and a nice pair of jeans is my go-to statement. OPM: Now, share a little about your business. Cheryl: I started Arbonne in 2012, and Kirk in 2015, but it wasn’t until 2017 that we decided to build and grow our Arbonne business together as a partnership. Arbonne is a highly regarded 39-year-old Health & Wellness Company that is THE #1 Global Brand for healthy living inside and out. We have over 400 plant based, high performance, personal care, cosmetics, grooming and nutrition products for everybodyand we pride ourselves on having Pure, Safe and Beneficial products. Our Arbonne business sits at the intersection of 4 HUGE WORLDWIDE TRENDS: HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Everybody wants it

INTERNET SHOPPING: Everybody is doing it SOCIAL MEDIA: Everybody is on it HOME BASED/PHONE BASED BUSINESSES: People are looking for flexible schedules and a way to own their lives. We’re using this vehicle called Arbonne to transform our health, wealth and wellbeing. It’s bigger than changing someone’s bp, cholesterol numbers, and their financial position. Literally we’re changing peoples mindsets. We want people to flourish in every area of their lives so they can have the time, freedom, options, choices, and finances to do what they are called to do and to bless others while they’re doing it.

OPM: What are your community involvement? We’re both on the Health & Wellness ministry at our church… House of Hope. I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and Kirk is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc and we both love to volunteer our time with doing our community outreach. OPM: What parting words that you all would like to share with our readers? Together, as Team Graham, we want to share lessons with all on how to grow in joy, health, and spirit with a pure lifestyle while setting goals to reaching optimal wellness. And we shall ever hold true to our mission of telling all who are willing to listen of the benefits of making healthy lifestyle choices. Photo by Kimazing Photos

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Meet Don and Rahsheen Lucas our fourth couple of “Her Fashion / His Style™.” Both Don and Rahsheen are very active in their church as well in their community. In September 2009 they formed The A.I.M.S., with a purpose to evaluate, educate, motivate, and elevate Americans to make a sound financial decisions, while enhancing financial literacy nationwide. OPM: What does A.I.M.S., stands for? What was your driving force in creating this organization? D&R: A.I.M.S. stands for Americans Increasing Monetary Stability. After growing frustrated by the lack of financial knowledge and awareness still present during and after the economic downturn/recession, we deemed it necessary to intangibly give back to our families, friends, and our respective communities by engaging and educating through financial literacy and communication; thus The A.I.M.S. Foundation was created to help American make fundamentally sound financial decisions that would stabilize their financial position. OPM: Other than A.I.M.S, what are some other organizations or groups that you all

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are involved in? D&R: Collectively, we volunteer with the Chi Gamma Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, the Marietta-Roswell Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Habitat for Humanity, MUST Ministries, Trinity Food Bank of Cobb County, Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Atlanta, Heaven Sent Outreach for Senior Citizens, HBCU Educate Me Annual College Fair Tailgate, and with various religious organizations in GA, MI and MS. OPM: Are there any community services that you all are involved in separately? DON: I currently serve other community organizations in the following capacity: •

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, where I am a proud financially active member serving on the Project 1911 Mentoring committee providing mentorship resources to local schools within our service area. United Way, where I serve on the Impact Funding Board performing funding due diligence and recommendations for annual United Way programs. Risk Management Association (RMA), where I participate in providing resources to advance sound risk management practices that focus on Enterprise Risk, Credit Risk, Market Risk and Operational Risk.

RAHSHEEN: I currently serve other community organizations in the following capacity: • • •

Financial Chairperson for Educate Me Foundation, where I create the financial curriculum; Mentorship Chairperson for Dekalb Kid’s Project, where I manage mentor-to-mentee retention; Fundraising Chairperson for Moriah Tillman Scholarship Fund, where I manage residual corporate donations, partnerships and sponsorships.

OPM: I noticed that you both chose black for your photo shoot, is this your day-to-day dress? And do you ever dress down, say in jeans? D&R: Yes, with our current executive roles, this is our normal day-to-day style of dress; however on Friday’s, Don doesn’t wear a tie and Rahsheen may wear flat shoes with less jewelry. Our day-to-day attire is truly dictated through our career paths and philanthropic responsibilities. Black worked for the photo shoot because it is modest and arrogant at the same time, which exuberates leadership. I once read in a study that the color black is often perceived as “serious and reliable projecting selfconfidence and class”, which are all qualities that my beautiful wife & I possess.

D&R: Yes, absolutely we love to dress down and do so every Friday night through Sunday night, except during church or community events that require different attire. If you see either of us during the weekend at home, you will find Don in his shorts, t-shirt and flip flops or gym shoes, and Rahsheen will either be in a lazy sun dress or capris and a t-shirt, with her hair wrapped up in a scarf.

OPM: Rahsheen, what is your go to look? RL: My go-to look is a simple black, cream, grey or navy dress, heavy pearls, black, cream/nude or navy pumps, and my red “Ruby Woo” matte lipstick. It is my uniform for success, my personal war gear. OPM: Don, do you have a particular look that you sport on the weekend? DL: As previously stated, my weekend look usually is coordinated with comfort top of mind. You can spot me in a cotton multi-colored t-shirt with jeans, cargo shorts, camouflage shorts, or navy chinos, stepping in dark canvas shoes, icy white gym shoes or flips flops for a more relaxed feel and look. OPM: What words of wisdom you all would like to share with our readers? D&R: The words of wisdom that we would like to leave with anyone reading our story is to START NOW, NOT LATER. Whatever the desires of your hearts are, we encourage you to be fearless and do it; and when you are up against a wall, see it through with faith. You are always only one decision away from changing the trajectory of your life. As my father, Mr. Don M Lucas Sr. always reminds us, “its going to rain”, so stay ready, have a plan, and shake off rainy seasons. It is our goal to be willing servants for God, while teaching & empowering our family, friends and community, using the knowledge, education and experiences that God has afforded us. We are blessed to bless others, so it is our duty to give back in a way that motivates & encourages others to reach financial peace & prosperity. Using the tools and resources He provides, to assist others to reach their spiritual, personal, professional, educational, social and financial goals, is the least we can do to repay Him for the brand-new mercies we receive every day. All things are possible with our God. Photo by Kimazing Photos

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Just to Encourage you


1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, all of you, be likeminded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9.Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (NIV)

submit our will to him. They are not difficult when we become pliable and molded by the Holy Spirit. However, because we are of a fallen nature, our first response is to resist. We resist the leading of the Lord, and abandon his teachings, because we want to do what makes our flesh feel good.

Let’s look at this, this is a very intriguing scripture, simply because of the wording.

When the Lord says in the passages before giving us the “finally” is this; He says that wives are to submit to husbands, even those that do not follow the word, this being the word of God. Now, you may say What!!” why should I follow a man that is not even interested in following the word. Now, here is the place where faith and trust steps in. Since God is saying it; has to be important.

When we see “finally” at the beginning of this scripture, it indicates that there were some instructions prior to this. When we go up a few scriptures, we will see that God’s was giving directions before this point. God is so awesome in this way. Before He gives you the finality of a matter, He will show you how to trust Him on the way toward the end of it. Prior to saying finally, there were some instructions regarding submission, and obedience. Let’s face it, we all want God to honor our requests, even when we find it difficult honoring His. God requests of us are not hard, when we

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It has to mean that our behavior is indicative of the word that is in us. How much of God’s word is in you will determine if you are able to influence your mate that has none of the word in him. God says that wives should not nag, belittle, berate, terrorize, condemn, or anything else that is demeaning to their mate. This is the way that the one who is not obeying the word of God, learns to do so. When one is won by example, it is a testament to the strength of the word in the person in whom the word resides. That person’s testimony becomes one that is visual. Not only lip service, but a whole

hearted, wonderful display of the love of Christ. Furthermore, the text tells us that we are not to be more concerned with the outer appearance than we are with the internal working of self. Do not let your adornment be merely outward, (vs.3a). We can dress from Lord and Taylor with red bottom shoes, and all the riches that money can buy, but if our outside does not match our inside then we are in a most miserable state. There is a hidden person within that should have the heart of God, this is the heart that shows forth love, joy, peace, and humility, along with kindness and patience, temperance, longsuffering and self-control. This is the heart that displays the incorruptible beauty of a gentile and quiet spirit. Not someone that is loud, brash, obnoxious, callous, or corrupt. And this is very precious in the sight of God. Our endeavor should be to obey and submit to the Lord, when we do this, it is not a chore to submit to our mate. There are also instructions before the “finally” geared toward the husbands. God’s desire is that the husband be understanding of his wife, as he lives with her. He is to honor her, this means that he is to respect her and hold her in high esteem, complement her and keep her safe and secure. He is to be mindful that she is a weaker vessel, not an insignificant one. He is to realize that their life together is one of heirs of the grace of life. This way the prayers uttered by the husband will not be hindered.

So now, we are at the finally! After you have done all the aforementioned, you can finally be of one mind, and in unity, you can finally have compassion for one another, you can love as brothers in Christ. You can be tenderhearted, not stony hearted. You can be courteous and not rude nor condescending. You will not give evil for evil, your will not criticize, nor abuse with your language. You will not condemn, attack, teardown, or assault with your words. Instead, you will bless and be kind hearted. This is what the Lord calls you to be. And in this, you also will be blessed. For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (vs 1012) Be Encouraged.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT   BY VERNA V. NICKELBERRY                              Brenda F. Ferguson, Founder and CEO of “Creating Flow, Inc.” I met Brenda, a few years ago and new right off that she had a very kind spirit. Brenda is a dynamic speaker, anointed minister, and the author of “It’s Too Funny Not to Be God.” As a licensed and ordained minister, Brenda serves the kingdom and the community with passion as she encourages, impowers, and places a mandate on others to experience the joy of the Lord through a right relationship with Him and others. We caught up a Brenda and wanted to know more about what she got going on and more about her company, Creating Flow, Inc. OPM: So, Brenda tell us a little about “Creating Flow, Inc.” BF: Gladly!! Creating Flow, Inc. uniquely increases the

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productivity of a company, ministry or an individual by identifying the problem. Many organizations are formed on great ideas and goals, but too many are stunted or unproductive by not focusing on fixing real issues that prevents their flow. “ Aligning for Success” is not just another tagline it is the core value of who we are and what we do. We bring order and organization with proper tools of assessment. “Creating Flow” has found three things to be a common problem that are often overlooked. They are 1. A lack of knowledge (Training) 2. Cutting with a dull edge (Relevance) 3. Pouring new wine into old wine skins (Change), which are all biblically based. Consultation, organization and alignment are strategically designed individually. The testimonies and feedback from

those who has experienced services from us has been an asset to its continuous growth and successful flow. OPM: How did you come up with the name “Creating Flow?” BF: There’s always been a hunger and thirst to know my purpose in the kingdom and to know what am I to offer to the nations. On purpose I attended seminars or read materials that would put me on the right path. Being able to use what is in my hand or even identifying what is in my hand was important to me. The name needed to me as to who I as a person and what I can offer as a company and/or ministry. In 2006, I was blessed to co-labor with an individual that created a seven week workshop to help others discover and develop their greatness / purpose in life. I served as the administrator and coordinator, lots of work and lots of valuable learning. On October 5, 2016 (I still have my notebook today), it was funny to me after putting all the notebooks together, I was more concerned about the contents being in order rather than reading the contents. This particular day I decide to go inside after everyone had checked in for that session. It was that particular evening; purpose was unleashed inside of me just from one exercise that night. We were to write words that describe what you

like to do and what you brought to a table? Well to put in a nutshell, “flow” was the word I was hooked on prior to the workshop (lol) Creating, creativity, bring creative was just in my nature. I knew I functioned & thrived well in think tanks, planning sessions, coordinating events (house parties, showers, weddings, special services etc.) For years I was grateful to have serve largely behind the scenes of major events for renowned speakers. It wasn’t until 2013; the Lord specifically spoke to me saying, “ to step out do who I had become!” Once my identity was there, the doing part wasn’t hard at all!! By God’s grace I knew who I was and it was less challenging to do what I had to by just being and functioning out my ‘ unique greatness ‘ with joy. Bottom line for my purpose in the kingdom whether I am teaching, training, speaking or praying I will be “Creating Flow”. OPM: Others than running the day-to-day operation of “Creating Flow”, what are some other things that you are involved in? BF: Building and supporting others vision. This involves meetings, research, volunteering, building a presence in my

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community, conference calls (prayer or business related). I now make it a priority more than I had before to take hours to stop, be still, be quiet before Him and replenish. It’s a valuable part of my work ethic!! Oh how I wished I valued this years ago. See it’s real simple, I can’t ‘ create a flow ‘ if I can’t get up and go (lol) It’s never a dull moment even in my quiet time before Him!! OPM: You are a published author, how does that feel? BF: Encouraged! Thankful! Accomplished!! & Quite Different!! Joyful! (Smile) Ms. Verna; I make no apologies for keeping it real or being transparent. Having experienced hard times, hard aches, pain then more pain, disappointments, depression, disillusions, confusion, lost, resentment, betrayal, word curses, lies, abandonment, rejection, and my God the list goes on. In spite of it all, its feels great! What does that have to do with being an author? I am author that God’s instructions were for me to write from a pure place a place of healing. The above list would have made a bestseller I’m sure and it is no shade on any other authors because I enjoy all types of writings and celebrate the sharing of what one has experienced. Encouraged! Thankful! Accomplished!! & Quite Different!! Joyful! Because it’s not that I knew how or had a desire to write. But for me I feel joyful to complete the process and to be an encouragement to others that they too can do it! OPM: What is the meaning behind the title of your book? BF: “It’s Too Funny Not To Be God” brings a big smile on my face just to talk about! Sometimes we act as though we have God figured out. We know how He’s going to answer, how He sounds when He answers, how he looks when he answer and who He is going to answer through. I finally realize what and how God was doing things in my life, some blessings would seem funny with humor or even strange. Believe me I have tons of true stories & testimonies with proof (lol). Here is one recently (last month) Police lights comes on I get pulled over not sure what I’ve done, I said a prayer. The officer asked me for my Texas license I gave it to him, he asked me “ are you from Memphis “ (no way right) I said pardon me thinking it was a joke, but acted as he didn’t care to repeat it “ then he said in a low voice ‘my sister

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from Memphis said your name and that she had lost a friends (me) number and I have been on her mind (really) I asked for her name and permission to pull out my phone I showed him his sisters name and gave her a call (laughing) she wanted to tell me a word that I had given her came to past!!! Too many times we miss God in the situation or in the instructions, like go march around Jericho wall!! This book makes you aware that God is concern about our Joy. Laughter is how my joy sounds. Thanks to one of my very close friends who I affectionately call ‘auntie’ ...Every time I would tell her something that the Lord has done for me she would laugh so hard and say “it’s too funny not to be God” for about 4 years she would also say you need to put it in a book and I would say what am I going to title the book and she would say “It’s too funny not to be God” that’s a laugh within itself (lol)*-! I was talking to the Lord one morning and I asked why would I write on this subject or I have this title? Then I guess it was in doubt and I remember saying to Him “there are so many challenges that we are faced with...I felt that this title may seem as though I’m making light of a person’s pain even mine or I’m offering a joke as solution. Finally I could hear Him and this is what He said, “ A really good laugh won’t make my problems disappear but laughter is a reminder that my problems can’t take my joy! Enough said, go to amazon and get the book!!! It will bless you as discover “your laughter is a weapon” and much God laughed at the devil... so can you!! OPM: What some advice that you can share our reader about become an author? BF: Know that what’s on the inside of you it’s already great!! Take the time to put it on paper or a jump drive so that others can be blessed by it. Before you get feedback from anyone else, talk to the Lord first. Let Him be the first one that you consult with. Trust me, the Lord will open up doors at the right time or He will remove the fear and say ‘this the right time’. I live by Isaiah 22:22 ...He will open a door that no man can shut and He will shut the door no man can open!! With all the opposition I faced is another reason for you to know you can do this too. Compare yourself with anyone and step out of the boat, you will not drown!

Word Search




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For Your Health

UNDERS TANDING C OMPASSION   BY PAOLA TENNON, RN, BSN, MBA/HCA, CCM                                             Life is filled with many challenges including: disappointments, pain, sickness and even death; but life is also filled with encouragement, compassion, love, hope and the list continues. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that, how we choose to respond to a given situation ultimately determines the outcome. Hence, scripture teaches us that; “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) The reference scripture for this article is from 1 Peter 3:8 which states; “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful and courteous.” The focus points are on understanding and demonstrating compassion towards others. In order to get better insight, we must look closer at the word compassion. The Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines it as; “sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of others, accompanied by an urge to help, deep sympathy and pity.” The Backer’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines compassion as; “the human disposition that acts of kindness

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and mercy are a form of love that is aroused within us when we are faced with those who suffer or are vulnerable and this produces actions to help alleviate the suffering.” Finally, compassion as described in an article in the Journal of Clinical Nursing (2014); ‘How does it really feel to be in my shoes?’, is reflective of patients’ experiences and perception of compassion within nursing. Although, it is considered a fundamental part of nursing care; the article indicates that absence of compassion can lead to patients’ feelings undervalued and lacking emotional reinforcement. On the other hand, demonstrating compassion when caring for others motivates us to become more engaged; thereby, prompting us into action which in turn enables one to move towards a more positive outcome. Research indicates that the benefits resulting from acts of compassion and kindness being shown towards others, leads to decreased stress, aids in helping to reduce negative emotions and enhances both mental and physical health. Typically, we do not consider the effects of our actions when we interact with people in general. This brings about two important questions that we should take under consideration. 1. Are we more task oriented when assisting those who may be struggling, suffering or in need; or do we have a sincere desire to ensure that the needs of that person are met? 2. Are we reluctant to show compassion for fear that it may be misinterpreted given the current social climate of suspicion, mistrust and abuse; or do we hold to the teachings of the Bible which encourages us to show compassion towards one another. Colossians 3:12-13 instructs us to, “clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” In so doing, “we bear the infirmities of the weak and not please ourselves” Romans 15:1. My initial intent was to write on a totally different topic; however, I was redirected back to this area of focus. It is in times like these that I don’t question; rather, I choose to be obedient. To bring the topic of compassion into the forefront, I would like to share some personal experiences of someone very dear to me, my sister, who has gone through a multitude of medical and personal challenges. I asked her if she would share some of her ordinarypeoplemagazine | 23

experiences as they related to her medical condition. And, as you read her story; think about friends, loved ones, church members, coworkers etc. who may be going through serious health issues, or who may be struggling financially, or who may be suffering or in need. Then, ask yourself if you could be of more service? The following excerpts are from the life and experiences of my beloved sister told in her own words and in her own way. It is entitled: “PAIN IS”

I would not remember my name. And that everything was in my head. I had to choose to make peace with the pain and encourage myself because each day brings challenges. It’s amazing when people have experienced very little, temporary or no pain are often those closes to us. And some of our personal physicians get their information from text books and hearsay, but with no one on one personal experience with pain.

Emotional Pain, it’s experiencing one’s perceptions, cognition, judgment, feelings, behavior, sadness, loss of self, emotional hurt and reasoning changes. Spiritual Pain, it’s experiencing one’s loss of inner peace, grieving, hopelessness. Forgiving, feeling of distressed and feeling the loss of our life’s purpose. Physical Pain, it’s experiencing one’s bodily damage, visible, internal, invisible, temporary or permanent. Impairment to one’s body that renders chronic, acute and unimaginable pain and trying to make sense of it all. Having suffered for over 50 years of my life being bombarded with pain, I had to find peace thru the pain. Everyday my body attacks me. I struggle with arthritis, limited mobility, atrial fibrillation, neuropathy, sciatica, sinuses, spinal compression and my skull is cracked, and I had a spinal fusion. They said I was dead. I had a stroke and doctors said I need both knees and both hips replaced, and my blood pressure is high. I mention this to let you know, I know what I’m talking about in dealing with pain. You are not alone. Each day and all day, I tell my body to move, to sit down, don’t fall, you can stand. I command it to do what most people take for granted. I was told by doctors, I was dead, I would never walk again, and

They ask me on a scale of 1-10, how would I rate my pain and my body is screaming “Help! It’s 175”. I had to learn not to lash out and cause others to suffer because I’m always in pain. Pain is no respecter of persons. I learn to forgive what happened to me and the person that almost killed me. I forgave everyone who didn’t understand and said hurtful things like; there’s nothing wrong with you. Throw that cane away you don’t need that, etc. It’s okay to acknowledge and grieve what has happened to us. But that was then, this is now. There comes a time when we must release all toxic thoughts and feelings because they create more pain. I had to look up and speak life over myself to understand and appreciate that “my worse day is someone’s best day”. I

“Research indicates that the benefits resulting from acts of compassion and kindness being shown towards others, leads to decreased stress, aids in helping to reduce negative emotions and enhances both mental and physical health. ”

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have a greater understanding and respect for my life and my purpose within it. Life and death are in our tongue. I choose life abundantly. I had to remember that GOD created this body and I must respect that it has overcome a lot trying to heal and function for me. I use my power to speak life and affirm the power of my faith by pleading the blood of Christ Jesus over and in my body. I never ask GOD why me. I only ask HIM, what do YOU want me to know? And what is my lesson to learn. God simply said, “I knew you could handle it”; HIS simple statement told me of HIS trust in me and my trust in HIM”. Then, I thought about the Children of St. Jude, who would wave, and give me a big smile and speak to me as they passed by. You see, I was their scrub technicians during their surgery. And I thought about all the babies I help come into this world as a Labor and Delivery scrub technician. But most of all, I remembered HIS words to me, ‘Hi and lo’; I AM with you always, even until the ends of the world. And HE said, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; and your walls are continually before ME. I AM the LORD, Your GOD.”

beyond suffering. 1 Peter 3:8 admonishes us to, “…be of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful and be courteous.” Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, cautions and reminds us that; “…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me” Matthew 25: 35-40. Understanding that, as we become more engaged in showing compassion towards others we are able to acknowledge that; acts of compassion aids in the recovery process, helps to improve outcomes, promotes wellness, and influences our quality life.

Now that you have read her story, can you relate? Can you think of ways in which compassion could have been shown? In conclusion, how would you feel if you had to walk a day in the shoes of someone who was suffering, or who was hungry, or who was thirsty, or homeless, or naked, or sick, or prison bound? Let us remember that compassion comes from the heart and reaches


















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Gospel Music/Artists



Pastor Keri Fraser, a native of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands is a multi-gifted Pastor and Prophetic Psalmist who willingly shares her ministry gifts with the body of Christ. She is an anointed preacher with a powerful message of deliverance and has impacted many lives throughout the Caribbean, United States and Europe. Pastor Keri co-labors in Ministry with her husband, Prophet Dwayne Fraser. Together, they provide vision and leadership to Abundant Rain Empowerment Church in Decatur, Georgia as well as other International Ministries. Pastor Keri is currently serving as the Senior Pastor of Abundant Rain Empowerment Church and has the distinct honor of leading a multi-cultural body of believers committed to Impacting Nations, Transforming Lives and Advancing the Kingdom of God. Pastor Keri has a passion for praise and worship. She is an accomplished songwriter and gospel recording artist whose rich alto voice does nothing short of ushering you into the presence of God. Her highly anticipated CD project, “In Awe of You” was released on April 28, 2016. She has received such recognition as The Prayze Factor Awards Songwriter of the year and Video of the Year (Open Heaven) as well as a Newsome award for Female

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Vocalist of the Year. Pastor Keri also wrote her first book, “Taking the Limits Off!” to challenge believers to walk in God’s divine order and unlimited power. Currently Pastor Keri’s Music Ministry is presenting “A Night of Worship with Pastor Keri Fraser” which is touring throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, Canada and Africa. Pastor Keri is a prophetic worshiper and inspires praise and worship ministries worldwide as they deliver their ministries to their various communities. As a amazing public speaker Pastor Keri has also share more intimate worship settings while teaching and empowering others to tap in to their God given gifts and abilities which has opened a door for her new television show “Tea With Pastor Keri” airing on PGN TV powered by Xperienc On Demand to over 300 million viewers. Download the XOD app and look for the show to begin airing summer 2019. Pastor Keri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards for excellence in Accounting and Financial Management. She is the business owner of Fraser Financial and Computer Solutions. Pastor Keri also holds a Master’s Degree in Christian Education and a Doctorate in Ministry. Pastor Keri has been happily married to Prophet Dwayne Fraser for 25 years and is the proud mother of three children that are all fully active in both the church and the personal ministry that God has charged Pastor Keri to oversee. If you would like more information on Pastor Keri Fraser please visit www.kerifraser.com. Now accepting bookings for “A Night of Worship with Pastor Keri Fraser” as well as bookings for teaching and preaching servicing. Contact Triune Management & Booking at triunemanagementandbooking@gmail.com or call 678 383-0019.

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Miracles and Blessings




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I met Richelle Hill at a business expo in Atlanta. As always, I was being my most skeptical self. It’s hard to convince me that I need a certain service or a certain product. But Richelle won me over with her knowledge and her warm smile. As I listened to her telling me about how my face (skin) could use a great cleansing regiment, I felt my walls of skepticism begin to dissipate. As a matter of fact, we begin to share on a more spiritual level bringing the both of us to tears. God showed up! OPM: Hi Richelle, it was indeed a pleasure talking with you at the expo and learning of your spa “Asia Rose Spa.” Tell us how you got started. RH: Tearfully speaking, it has been quite a journey towards reaching the success of opening Asia Rose Spa. It is truly a blessing from God that Asia Rose Spa was able to come into fruition. I am blown away on how I can be here today talking to you about my journey in just thinking of all the barriers my family and I have faced along the way to get to this point. I am encouraged to continue on this path by the continued miracles that are experienced by situations that arise wherein I have no idea on how things will pan out. I am blessed and grateful in that Asia Rose Spa continues to grow and progress towards success. I can’t help but to believe that Asia plays a huge role in our ability to overcoming these barriers as well. As a medical professional with a love for all things beauty, the decision to merge the two into a spa concept was a nobrainer. I wanted to create a spa experience that catered to and addressed not just the physical aspect of a person, but to include the mind and spirit of an individual. In hence, our slogan “holistic beauty” was born. Holistic beauty means to recognize the importance of beauty as the sum of its parts, (the mind, body and spirit) that make up a unified whole. The most important aspect of beauty is to understand how and what is necessary in order to achieve and maintain beauty from within. This was one of the driving forces in determining what products and services Asia Rose Spa would ultimately offer to prospective clients and the neighboring community. The clinical knowledge, skills, and experience that I’ve gained over a decade as a registered nurse allowed for great feasibility in choosing the types of services and best proven methods to achieving beauty. I can also be a bit of an extreme perfectionist which led me to further expand my knowledge and skills as a skincare specialist by enrolling into an Esthetics program. As

a registered nurse and a licensed esthetician, I then felt even more empowered and confident to move forward with plans of becoming a holistic spa owner. I set out to do what most people do when starting a company which is to complete a business plan, conduct market research, and align the necessary capitol. Choosing an area to do business wasn’t as hard as I always knew that the City of Atlanta would be Asia Rose Spa’s home and that we would be Atlanta’s home for holistic beauty. With all things considered, I went for it! After an entire buildout of the space we were able to nestle into a chic, boutique spa with a rendition of a 5-star hotel inspired feel. OPM: How did you come up with the name “Asia Rose”? RH: I’m so happy you asked! Asia Rose Spa was named in homage of my late sister, Asia. Her passing inspired me to become a nurse and as a result I was also able to cope with her loss through the understanding of anatomy and physiology. I wanted to create an environment wherein her spirit would live in the physical sense as well. In addition to wanting to honor my sister, naming the spa after her was a great fit in expressing and exemplifying Asia Rose Spa’s culture and commitment to delivering the best client care. Asia was known for her beautiful smile, selflessness, and compassion for helping others. The vision is for Asia Rose Spa to also be known for the same qualities. The term rose was chosen to exemplify our attention to nature and expression of love, endearment, and care to all of which we service. Asia Rose Spa delivers products and services that are classified as plant-based, organic, and medical grade botanical which are derived from natural sources. Our products and services are free from harmful, toxic ingredients that can be found in most beauty and personal care products and skincare practices. Toxic ingredients have been proven in clinical studies to cause damage to the human body by way of development of disease processes such as cancer and autoimmune diseases to name a few. OPM: As a Registered Nurse, was it hard going into the skin care/spa industry? RH: Oh, not at all. Nurses are trained to deliver patient care with the mind, body, and spirit in mind in an empathetic manner which makes it so easy to approach beauty, skincare, and wellness holistically. I am grateful to have had

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opportunities to work in the medical field in a plethora of specialty areas including the areas of dermatology and women’s health. So, with my background it actually makes for a smooth transition into the beauty industry. In fact, being a medical professional within the beauty industry is what makes this journey unique, creditable, and sustainable. I can honestly say that the challenges I’ve endured as a registered nurse have been much more challenging and vigorous than in working as a licensed esthetician. I tend to lean more on my medical expertise when making clinical decisions and developing service protocols. This is also what makes Asia Rose Spa so special in that clients can rest assure that we are not only providing requested services, but that we are focused on their overall wellbeing.

that most people and those with busy lifestyles tend to not value as much nor prioritize self-care. Toxic substances are all around us, such as in the foods that we consume, the beverages that we drink, and the air that we breathe. How many of us have considered that these factors may very well be contributing to the increase in health conditions and diseases across the nation? How many of us have considered beauty and personal care products as a possible medium or pathway to these health disparities? How often do we detox and rid the body of toxins? Do we consume at least thirty-two ounces of clean water daily? Are you getting proper rest? These are important questions to ask as a part of raising awareness and an encouraging a commitment to one’s health journey. Leading a healthier lifestyle is key to leading a balanced life and slowing down the aging process.

OPM: Your approach to skin care is “Holistic”, why did you choose that path? RH: Asia Rose Spa’s philosophy is to approach beauty holistically with the understanding that true beauty begins from within. Proper balance of the mind, body, and spirit facilitates life fulfillment and overall wellness. I chose this path because I believe that there is an overuse of chemical and artificial substances in the beauty industry. I also believe

Through Asia Rose Spa, we offer consumers a safer and natural alternative to meeting their beauty and skincare needs. We challenge our clients to consider all factors that may be contributing to unhealthy appearing skin, poor health, and lack of mental acuity.

“Our bodies are temples and in knowing that we should honor ourselves and our Creator by allowing only the best to enter into our temple. ”

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Our products and services optimize the natural healing process, enhance the skin’s condition, and rid the body of

toxins. It is important to understand that the integumentary system is an organ system and is by far the largest organ of the human body. Healthy skin is vital to our survival. The skin has many functions to include protection from disease processes, maintaining temperature, and retaining body fluids, just to name a few. It is very important to pay attention to what the skin is absorbing as the skin is a gateway to the circulatory system. We empower our clients to make informed decisions, encourage them to maintain healthy lifestyles, and to not sacrifice their health for the achievement of beauty. With Asia Rose Spa products and services, there is no need to compromise your health. OPM: Is “Holistic� better? RH: Definitely, a holistic approach to beauty is much better! Why? Because we are more than just physical beings. We are spiritual and mental beings as well. It only makes sense to invest in the total you rather than focusing on just the outer appearance. We are motivated by our mental capabilities and are moved by our spirits. Should beauty, skincare, and wellness practices be any different? I don’t believe so. The outward physical appearance is usually an indication of what is occurring internally. Our bodies are temples and in knowing that we should honor ourselves and our Creator by allowing only the best to enter into our temple. God has given us everything that we need on this earth to maintain our existence, repair and heal our bodies, as well as accentuate our natural beauty. Asia Rose Spa provides clients with a perfect balance of nature and science. We partner with world renowned companies, skincare product lines, and equipment vendors that share our same views in promoting wellness through beauty

practices. OPM: Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers? RH: Absolutely. First, thank you so much for the opportunity to interview with you and affording us this platform to introduce Asia Rose Spa to your readers! Asia Rose Spa promotes client education, self-awareness, and self-care. I would highly encourage the readers to evaluate their lifestyle and determine if there any opportunities for improvement in any of the areas mentioned. If anyone is interested in learning more about Asia Rose Spa products and services and are ever in the Atlanta area feel free come by and check us out! We also offer free consultations and tours of our facility. We are present by phone, via the web on our website at www.asiarosespa.com, and on social media @asiarosespa. We would love to have the opportunity to meet and assist you with your beauty, skincare, and detox needs. Best in Beauty and Health! Yours Truly, Richelle Hill, MBA, BSN, RN, LE Photos by Kimazing Photos

Consider This


SPIRITUAL METAMORPHOSIS?   BY VANDERBILT BRABSON III, AUTHOR  We don’t hear this saying or expression nearly as much today as we once did; however, when I was a boy the old folks from time to time would make a quiet or under-the-breath comment regarding a certain person or persons who typically were nearby but not within hearing distance. That comment was he or she is “always saying one thing but doing another.” Actually, no matter who said it or whoever he or she was referring to—one thing was always obvious: judging from the speaker’s body language and sarcasm—the comment was never a compliment. Of course, with that in mind, one day while talking to one of my grandsons [it is always my goal to make them think before speaking], I asked him to define “success”. Immediately he attempted to answer me, but I stopped him and asked him to think about his answer before speaking. He did for a minute or so… and then he answered. “Success is worshipping and following the Lord.” I told him I wholeheartedly agree with his answer. So, I posed a second question to him: If an individual gives the same answer you gave to that question, but his/her lifestyle is consistently contrary to his or her answer, is it possible that is not how that particular individual

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truly defines success? My grandson paused momentarily and then looked me straight in the eyes, “No, it is not.” Barring extenuating circumstances, I truly believe everybody inwardly desires and aspires to be successful, but only in the way he or she truly within defines success. Therefore, it is possible that publicly an individual may define success one

way, but inwardly define it another way. I submit to you that however we inwardly and personally define success is typically the course we will travel to obtain it. Maybe you have, but I have never heard anyone sincerely declaring, “I want to be a failure! I don’t want to succeed! I am aspiring to be a loser!” Consider the following statement: If one defines success as did my grandson, yet all the while the same individual’s lifestyle is consistently contrary to that definition, could it just be possible that individual truly does not define success as “…worshipping and following the Lord?” Like it or not, it is human nature for people to listen when we speak—even if we are not addressing them. It is human nature for them to observe what we do, even if it is none of their business. It is also human nature for others to inwardly judge our character and integrity by what they have overheard us say as well as by what they have observed us doing. Friedrich Nietzsche’, a famous German philosopher, who was born in 1844 and died 55 years later, declared there is no God, and if there ever was, then God is dead. He also went on to say … “if I am to believe in a redeeming God, I would have to first observe his followers acting as redeemed people.” Ouch!!! That really hurt, Friedrich! As a Christian in today’s world, all about us we see beliefs that are not only springing up and muscling their way to the forefront, but are also contrary to scripture. Now with all this happening around us, it is easy to be like the proverbial ostrich and bury our head in the sand, while pretending to not notice the vast and rapid changes going on in our society. Or, instead of doing that we can inwardly and harshly stand in judgment of those around us whose values do not reflect our own. However, neither of these two courses of actions—be they subtle or overt—is what you and I as believers have been called to do. Instead, we have been called and

empowered to walk in our calling to reflect God’s light and love to the world around us. In short, these are our marching orders, irrespective of whether we agree with an individual’s lifestyle or values. I hate to use this tired old line, but I must— we ourselves have not always been saved, or to put it another way—redeemed. Question: So how do we best represent the Christ who saved us and has given us life eternal to this everchanging world around us that is rapidly not navigating toward but away from our Lord and His inspired word? I am certainly glad you got around to asking. So here is my response: When young Timothy became discouraged due to apathy and resistance to the gospel message—not just from outside the church in Ephesus but within the church as well, Paul gave the young pastor five pieces of wise counsel that would certainly be beneficial to us as believers today. The 1st piece of wise counsel Paul gave to the young and very discouraged Timothy, the under-shepherd of the flock there at Ephesus, was…Don’t Quit. Stay where you are. In other words, regardless of what others around you are doing, stay committed to God’s call upon your life. Like Timothy, we must remember God never called us to be successful. He called us to be faithful, and the power we need in order to be and remain faithful is not of us, but rather it is of Him in us. When we flee from opposition and differing opinions rather than lovingly taking a stand as ambassadors for Jesus Christ, we lose our opportunity to allow

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God in the midst of such resistance to 1) raise our level of spirituality and 2) impact the lives of others who are watching us to see how we act and react to life’s challenges. Maybe some of you have my problem. My problem isn’t discerning God’s voice from the devil’s. Scripture tells us how to do that in 1 John 4:1. My problem is discerning God’s voice from my own fleshly voice. According to Jeremiah 17:9, we cannot trust our inner fleshly voice [the voice of our old nature]. If I am not careful, I can talk myself into things – which may not be contrary to God’s word, but it is still not God’s best for me—and afterwards convince myself that God told me to do it. Of course, He later reveals to me it was not of Him. It was totally of me. So, if God has gifted and called us to a task in His service, we should stay the course, that is, until He (not you or me) changes our direction. The 2nd piece of wise counsel Paul gave to the young pastor was: Continue to stand on God’s word and communicate God’s truth. There really is only one truth, and that is God’s truth as revealed in His inspired written word and in Jesus Christ, the living Word and the living Truth. However, shoving God’s truth and love down the throats of others is not our marching orders. Rather we have been called and empowered to model as believers a life that exemplifies that God’s word and God’s truth abides in our hearts and lives. How? It is because through the Holy Spirit’s enabling, we, the redeemed, have the power to be followers of Jesus Christ in thought, word, and deed. The 3rd piece of wise counsel Paul gave to the young pastor was: Stay focused on the ultimate goal. If we seek in the power of God’s Spirit and God’s word to walk before Him and others with a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith, we will 1) exhibit sincere love for God and others, and 2) come to understand that the ultimate goal of theology is not information—but transformation. Please understand, if I can recite countless scriptures but cannot forgive others, I give evidence that I have never experienced the gospel’s transforming power in my life. The 4th piece of wise counsel given by Paul to Timothy was: Remember the Gospel’s Standard. To drive home his point, Paul gives Timothy a list of lifestyles that oppose sound doctrine and Biblical truth. Does that mean we stand in judgment of those whose lifestyles fall into that category—indeed not. We are to love them. How? As God gives opportunity by 1) planting the gospel seed, 2) watering the gospel seed already planted by us or someone

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else, 3) modeling the power and light of Jesus Christ in our lives, 4) financially coming alongside ministries that are not only bringing individuals to Christ but are also ministering financially and in other ways to the hurting and the needy, and 5) interceding on behalf of the redeemed as well as the unredeemed. The 5th piece of wise counsel given by Paul to Timothy was: To fight the good fight and engage in Spiritual Warfare on behalf of both the Redeemed and the Unredeemed. Paul went on to encourage Timothy to fight this spiritual battle with the weapons of his faith, his good conscience, and God’s word What about you? Have you surrendered every area of your heart and life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, or are you saying one thing publicly while actually living and doing another privately? If the latter is true and you desire our Lord to change you, then tell Him. Please pray the following: Dear Heavenly Father, I am seeking your forgiveness for my stubbornness and unwillingness to daily surrender myself totally to Your lordship. I realize that when I invited Jesus Christ into my heart as my Savior, there were areas in my life that up to this point I had never surrendered to Your Lordship. Please forgive me. Cleanse me of any disobedience to your sovereign will over every area of my life, and from this day forward, please give me a heart and life that lines up with my profession of faith. Lastly, please enable me to fight the good fight for Your namesake. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. “It’s not the scripture that I don’t understand that bothers me. It’s the scriptures that I do.” Mark Twain Mark Twain: Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. © April 2019 Vanderbilt Brabson III, Author ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Inspirational Words


5 N U G G ET S O F W ISDO M   BY PARIS DUCKER                                   The letters of “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ” are addressed to Christians that were located in the areas of Asia Minor (Turkey). This verse is a portion of the encouragement from the epistles he wrote to the church.

Finally, all of you, be likeminded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV

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Apostle Peter gave them 5 love nuggets to remember and to live by; and even though they were being persecuted they were to still walk in love. We as modern-day Christians also need this encouragement; although many of us may not be physically persecuted; we are hit hard by the evil around us. It is easier to pull away from our brothers and sisters in Christ than it is to follow these 5 nuggets. At some time in our Christian walk we have experienced “church-hurt” which in reality is hurt from folks in our local church building we attend. These hurts can range from not being accepted in a particular clique, being talked about, being accused of something that didn’t take place, judged because of your character, no one came to see you when

you sick, evicted, in the hospital or even in the midst of a divorce. There are so many stories that can be shared regarding hurt received from church folk; but that means we that experienced this; have most likely also hurt other folks in the church. We (myself included) have also been guilty of hurting others in the church at some point; and I would imagine that no malice was intended; but the hurt happened. We don’t want to focus on church hurt; but rather the solution to church hurt. I appreciate the reminder that Apostle Peters gives us regarding the 5 nuggets below. While they seem really simple at first glance, and many of us will say “yeah I know that verse by heart” – but I ask is this verse IN your heart. Have we really sat down and studied this seemingly short simple verse? This verse calls for a lot of action; movement and even though it doesn’t say it – repentance is necessary also. If you follow this column then you know that “action” is one of my

favorite words. Because in order to move, change, grow, repent or forgive – movement must happen. Follow the Nuggets: Like-Minded: Having the same mind (let this same spirit that is in Christ Jesus – be in you). Even though we are all different, we are to have the same mind that Christ has. We are to be unified in our faith, have love for one another, faithful to our respective houses of worship that we attend, let God’s grace shine through us in a dark and hopeless world. We are to read the Word, hide the Word in our heart and live the Word. God’s Word has not changed – so if we are reading, hiding and living the Word we are all of the same mind. Sympathetic – Being sympathetic is to be sensitive to the state of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Supporting them by prayer, giving, being moved in our hearts by their situation. This does not mean that we do this only when sadness or grief occurs, this nugget applies to rejoicing, happiness, and just plain old joy for life -(Like-Minded) Love One Another - Love one another like Christ loves his Church! This love we should have for one another means we should look over the faults of each other and instead of focusing on those faults – pray one for the other with LOVE. Forbear, show grace, be ready to forgive (always), repent your faults to each other (pray in love again). Compassionate – Be mindful of the current situations of our brothers and sisters. Take time to consider their state and what can you do to help or support them. Be a willing and cheerful giver even if is to someone you don’t have a close relationship with. Put yourself in their situation and show love, be sympathetic and give like Christ has given to us.

Humble – This encompasses the 4 nuggets we just read about – add kindness, meekness (be teachable, long suffering, willing to follow Christ’s teachings). Being humble does not mean you are weak or to act as if you are weak; but that you remain strong in your spirit. This can happen when we stay in the Word, pray and love as Christ loves. We help those that are in need, we love the unlovable, forgive, repent, and rinse and repeat. Apostle Peter has given 5 nuggets for us to follow. Remember the number 5 is the number of Grace. We should rejoice and thank God that we have been given grace to follow and practice these 5 nuggets! I admonish you to look inwardly and see where improvement is needed so that we can follow what Apostle Peter calls us to do.

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40 | Spring 2019


According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary, in the verse, the Apostle Peter passes from special to more general exhortations. He teaches us how “Christians and friends” should treat one another, to be all of one mind to be unanimous in the belief of the same faith as well as practice the same duties on religion (at that time Christians were (many of them) in a suffering condition. Apostle Peter charges them to have compassion one of another, to love as brethren, to pity those who were in distress, and to be courteous to all.

Finally, all of you, be likeminded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV

We should be like-minded one to another, according to Romans 15:5&6 “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” As Entrepreneurs we often talk about being around “like-minded” individuals, those who share the same interests, ideas, and opinions as we do. Let’s not just talk it but let us walk it as well and mean it. I do believe that this one simple act could bring about many grate collaborations. Each one Reach one! I do hope that you have enjoyed reading this issue and that you were able to gleam some great nuggets for it. May the blessings of the Lord God be upon you! Love, Peace, and Increase

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