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Winter 2010

A New Beginning!

aboutthecover: Zion Truth Oliver & Israel Jadon Oliver Children of Marcus & India Oliver; grandchildren of Marcus Oliver Sr, & Verna Nickelberry. A New Beginning! Cover Photo by: India M. Oliver

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....................................LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ........................................................FROM WITHIN ................................................IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...............................................FOR YOUR HEALTH ..........................Little Sister’s Butterflies .....................................MIRACLES & BLESSINGS .....................................................CONSIDER THIS .....................................WORDS OF INSPIRATION

27 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. © 2009 Ordinary People Magazine (Trademarkpending)


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departments Founder and Editorial Director Verna V. Nickelberry Contributing Editors Josie Hayslett Alexis Johnson Contributing Writers Vanderbilt Brabson Corina Campbell Dr. Sharon Locklear Pamela Steward Paola Tennon Designers Denardo Crawford Rushun Wiseman Marketing Consultant Joyce Parkinson Photographers Kendall Elam Eric D. Hall Sales Director/ Memphis, TN Janet Chestnut salesmemphis@ ordinarypeoplemagazine.org Sales Director/ Atlanta, GA Bernitta Kennebrew sales_atlanta@ ordinarypeoplemagazine.org O.P. Magazine Mail P. O. Box 323 Memphis, TN 38101 (901) 949-3409 http://ordinarypeoplemagazine.org ORDINARY PEOPLE MAGAZINE is a quarterly publication and is distributed in Memphis, TN; Knoxville, TN; Atlanta, GA; and Orlando, FL.

6 | Winter 2010

Letters to the Editor “The Spotlight (fall issue) on health/fitness was awesome! I enjoyed reading the magazine.” Sonya Jones Memphis, TN

“I take great pleasure in reading your magazine (ORDINARY PEOPLE.) I especially enjoy the inspiring stories and the informative health article. Keep up the good work.” Mr. Willie Joiner Memphis, TN

“Your magazine has truly been a blessing to me. I look forward to every issue.” Anonymous


FromWithin . . . .

Editorial I wondered why God gave me Genesis 1:1 as the scripture for this first issue of the New Year. It was because January is the ideal time for new beginnings and the time most of us set new goals for ourselves and for our families. It is the time of year that we are the most likely to start over or try new things. Whether you are thinking about going back to school, getting a new job, changing careers, or starting the new business you’ve always dreamed of, God’s presence in your life assures that you will not be traveling this journey alone. In this issue, we are proud to feature Vincent Tharp and Kenosis, a new gospel group on its journey to a new recording career. Florence Brown, a guest writer from August GA, shares the remarkable experience of her new beginning in the article title “Little Sister’s Butterflies.” In “Road of Life,” Vanderbilt Bradson, give us insight and his perspective of new beginnings. Pam Steward lets us know in her article, “Miracles and Blessings,” that each one of us is “an absolute miracle”! Mrs. Peola Tennon, completes her health series on the twelve functioning system of the body. Hopefully, this series will inspire us to create new beginnings to help us

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

improve our own overall health. January is the ideal month for new beginnings. I hope you find much meaning

All scriptures are from the Holy Bible the King James Version

and great inspiration as you read all the exciting articles in this issue to create your own New Beginnings in 2010! Happy New Beginnings to all of you! And as always, Love, Peace and Increase! Be Blessed

Verna ordinarypeoplemagazine.org | 7


InTheSpotlight

VINCENT THARPE & Kenosis Ministry BY VERNA V. NICKELBERRY

On

November 7, 2009, I attended the first live recording of Vincent Tharpe & Kenosis. This would be the first of many to come. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Vincent Tharpe before the recording, so I was not prepared for such an explosive performance. The music was as young people would say “off the chain.” Looking forward to interviewing this energetic young man, I meet with Vincent at New Birth Covenant Christian Church, his father’s church.

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Photos by Kendall Elem

OP: Who is Vincent Tharpe? VT: Well, Vincent Tharpe is a young, handsome superman (just kidding!). I am a young carrier of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m a leader, student, minister of music, and servant of God. I was born and raised in Memphis, TN and I have been singing since I was seven years old. I love gospel music. I have been raised around nothing but gospel music so it’s what I love best. I come from a very spiritual background because my father is a pastor. My family believes fully in the Word of God. God is who our hope is built on. My parents, Pastor Vincent and Denise Tharpe, always knew that I would be where I am now. They would tell me all the time that God has something greater in store for me and my gift. God has given me the ability to bless others through music. I am gifted to play the keyboard, drums, and I also sing. He has let me experience so many great things in my life already because of my music ministry. I am 21 years old and show no signs of slowing down in carrying the Gospel.


OP: The name of your background group is “Kenosis.” What is the meaning and how did it come about? VT: The name of my ministry is called “Kenosis.” Kenosis is a group of young, anointed singers and musicians who are running with the vision God has given me. The group ranges from the ages of 18-30 and they are on fire for God. We’ve only been in existence for a year and a half, and God has already proven Himself to be mighty through our ministry. The name was given to me by my aunt, who is a Prophetess. God showed her the name a while back and she didn’t know why. When we were looking for a name for the group, God put it in her spirit to share it with me. Kenosis means the self-emptying of one’s own will to become totally receptive to God and his most perfect will. Philippians 2:5-7 explains where Jesus had to empty Himself to do the will of God. God wanted him to be just who he is, which is a healer, deliverer, provider, protector and savior, but he couldn’t do that with self in the way. So he had to empty out Himself to be totally receptive to God and his will. Kenosis ministers depend solely on the will of God. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the ministry of Kenosis.

OP: Do you write your own songs? VT: Actually I do write all of my songs. God has favored me in the area of writing. I wrote my first song at the age of 13 and have been writing ever since. Many writers have special places or settings where they write songs. I don’t have a specific comfort zone while writing. I never know when God is going to give me a song. I have written songs while watching television, in class and on the road. You want to know something funny? I play the keyboard at my dad’s church, and God gave me a song one Sunday morning. My dad was tuning up his sermon and while following him, God gave me a song right then and there. I started playing my song while he was preaching. He was trying to figure out what in the world I was doing. I’m more aware of that now, but I thought that was too funny. I have two sisters ages 17 and 19 who help me write occasionally. My sisters are products of me, so I often try my songs out on them before I present them to others. The songs that God gives me are mainly set to encourage, uplift, and remind people of the goodness of Jesus. I don’t have a rough testimony or life threatening situations that I’ve been through and write songs about. So, all I can do is help uplift and encourage those who ordinarypeoplemagazine.org | 9


have been in those types of situations, and let them know that there is someone who hears and knows everything they are going through. I thank Him for the favor He has given me through the gift of writing, and I hope my songs are a blessing to many. OP: Is there any gospel artist who you would say you are most like? VT: I wouldn’t say that I am like another gospel artist, but I do have inspirational influences. Everyone who uses their gift to make a positive impact in the gospel music industry is an inspirational influence to me. However, Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones is a major influence to me because of his development with the Nashville Super Choir. Those are some “sangin” folks (excuse my slang ha ha ha!). The accuracy, articulation, and dynamics that the Nashville Super Choir uses are some of the same tactics that I use with Kenosis. Another one of my influences is Donald Lawrence. Donald Lawrence is one of the heavy hitter writers in the industry today. He writes songs like Encourage Yourself, Blessing of Abraham, Giants, and God’s Favor that uplift and encourage his listeners. That’s why I love his music. There are many gospel artists taking this nation by storm, and I am influenced by all of them.

OP: As I watched the recording, I noticed that you were full of energy. Where does that energy come from? VT: God gives me the strength and energy to do what I do. When I’m at home or not on stage, I am a normal person, but

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on that stage I just get a boost of energy and I can’t explain how. I can jump, run, skip, hop, when I’m before God’s people and I never get tired. God is the ONLY explanation for that because it’s no doing of my own. God is just good to me, and I thank him for allowing me to go forth in ministry the way I do. God blesses me to be a blessing by giving me the strength I need to influence and persuade young people that living for Christ is fun, active, and no doubt the right decision. I have so much fun ministering with Kenosis because they are my backbone. I have their back, and I know they have mine. “Energetic” is one of the words used in describing the ministry of Vincent Tharpe and Kenosis, so we will continue to display excitement in ministry to change lives.

OP: What’s next for Vincent Tharpe & Kenosis? VT: Only God knows what’s next for me and Kenosis. Man can sometimes let you down, but God’s plan never fails. Whatever it is, I pray that God leads and guides us in the right direction. Our prayers are to soon receive national as well as international exposure for our ministry. We want the word of God to spread all across the world through our ministry. Our CD is scheduled to be released in April 2010 and we expect God to do some marvelous things with this project. This is our debut CD and God has already proven Himself to be a way maker a long time ago. God has given us the gift to bless others, and we will not stop until He tells us to stop. So lookout world, Vincent Tharpe and Kenosis will be anointing a stage or platform near you very soon. To God Be the Glory!


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“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one member one of another.” Romans 12:4-5 (KJV)

For Your Health by Paola Tennon RN, BSN, CCM, MBA

HEALTH AND AGING: This article is a continuation of the common conditions and diseases associated with aging and how they may affect our body systems. The October 2009 edition of Ordinary People was inclusive of information related to 6 of the 12 major body systems. These systems included the: Nervous, Circulatory, Respiratory, Muscular, Skeletal, and Digestive Systems. An overview of the systems to follow will bring an awareness of their individual characteristics and how they may work in conjunction with one another.

Integumentary System: Skin, Nails, Hair, Oil and Sweat Glands, Sensory Nerves and Receptors The skin is the first level of the body’s defense and is considered the largest organ of all body systems. Its protective outer covering serves as a barrier to protect against physical injury, chemical agents, invading bacterial viruses and other microorganisms. In addition, the skin protects internal structures, reflects the suns ultraviolet radiation, regulates body temperature, repairs damaged cells and produces Vitamin D. It functions as a sensory organ, serves as a reservoir for the storage of water, nutrients and fat. This system excretes cellular waste products through perspiration and works in concert with the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.

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Effects of aging: Loss of tissue elasticity, dry brittle hair and nails, thinning translucent skin, decreased ability to maintain body temperature sweat gland function, blood supply to the skin, protection from ultraviolet light and skin pigment loss Prevention: Proper hygiene, hydration, skin/nail/hair care, physical activity, decrease exposure to the sun

Urinary System: Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder and Urethra Functions include production and excretion of urine, blood pressure maintenance by regulation of salt levels in the blood, filtering of toxins and excess fluids from the blood, secretion of hormones, regulation of the acid base (PH) of the blood and other body fluids. This system also aids in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Effects of aging: Conditions frequently seen with aging include: increased risk of infection, decreased ability of the kidneys to filter toxins, cellular waste produces, or excess fluid thus leading to the development of kidney stones, and renal insufficiency or failure. Other causes of renal insufficiency may include injury, heart failure, high blood pressure, medication and poisoning. Changes due to muscle weakness may lead to urinary leakage, incontinence, or urine retention. In males, these conditions may also result from an enlarged prostate gland that surrounds the urethra.


Prevention: Management of other diseases such as high blood pressures, diabetes and heart disease; maintain a healthy weight, proper hydration and diet, cholesterol and triglyceride levels and avoid or quit smoking. Inform all health care practitioners of renal insufficiency and avoid test requiring intravenous dyes or use of medications that may harm the kidneys further.

Reproductive System: External genitalia, reproductive organs, gonads (testes and ovaries), glands and associated ducts Reproduction is the primary common denominator that exists between the male and female reproductive systems. However, other similarities include their dependence on specific steroids (sex hormones) to function properly. The central nervous system, endocrine system, primary reproductive organs and the gonads are responsible for stimulation of these hormones. The effects of these hormones begin in utero and are life long. The combination of the female ovum (egg) and the male sperm cell are responsible for the development of a new individual. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It aids in sperm production, development of the male reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics. The primary female sex hormone is estrogen. It is responsible for the maturation and maintenance of the female reproductive system. It also aids in the development of female secondary sexual characteristics and prepares the body for pregnancy. Estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate based on the time of ovulation in the female and, if there is no conception, menstruation occurs. Effects of aging: Influenced by genetics, metabolism, past illnesses, psychological and social changes. Frequent problems seen in males include urinary retention or frequency typically caused by enlargement of the prostate gland, which surrounds the urethra at the neck of the bladder. The ejectile function and fertility may also be impaired. Menopause is a normal part of aging process in females at which time fertility ceases. This process is noted in middle age women or may be surgically induced in women of any age. Decreased hormone production leads to decreased hormonal function, weakening muscle tone leads to urinary or bowel incontinence. Increased incidences of vaginal irritation due to dryness, urinary tract infections, changes in breast tissue, prolapsed of reproductive and urinary structures, mood and sleep disturbances, certain

types of cancer and hot flashes in some women. Prevention: Consult with your health care practitioner regarding alternatives, which may include water-soluble lubricants or topical estrogen, hormone replacement therapy, or surgical intervention for either male or female. Empower yourself with knowledge and discuss the pros, cons, risks and benefits with your health care provider. Make healthy choices to prevent unintended pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Endocrine System: Pituitary, Thyroid, Parathyroid, Adrenals, Portion of the Pancreas, Ovaries, Testes, Hypothalamus, Pineal Glands The Endocrine System is made up of a variety of glands located throughout the body that produces chemicals (hormones). It works in conjunction with the nervous and circulatory systems to monitor and control the health of the cells. The Endocrine System also stores and releases hormones based on the body’s need for coordination and regulation of organ functions. Some of these functions include growth and development, homeostasis (internal balance of body systems), reproduction, metabolism, regulation of mood and sleep, management of blood glucose, and response to stressors or injury. Hormonal imbalance can occur when other systems or organs are not working well. Disorders are specific to the type of hormone and based on hypo-secretion (deficiency in production) or hyper-secretion (over production). Examples include: the Pancreas, which produces insulin and glucagons that work together to maintain the blood glucose levels and the Pineal gland which secrets Melatonin and regulates sleep. Treatment is based on the specific disease process. An article written by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) supports research on chemicals called endocrine disruptors. They hope to develop prevention and intervention strategies that will reduce the effects of these chemicals, which can be found in everyday products such as cosmetics, detergents, pesticides, certain plastic containers made with BPA which can leak out when exposed to heat. Effects of aging: As hormone levels decrease, hormone receptors are less sensitive. Prevention: Hormone replacement therapy, management of associated conditions, maintains a health weight level, manage stress, eat a balanced diet, and avoid smoking and alcohol. ordinarypeoplemagazine.org | 15


Be environmentally conscious and avoid chemicals that might cause disruption in this system. Consult with your health care provider regarding blood levels, test results, status change, medications, alternatives and activity change. Stay motivated and set reachable goals. Review research results and become informed about your condition.

Lymphatic System: A network of Vessels, Lymphatic Organs (Spleen and Lymph Nodes etc), Lymph Fluid and tissue Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the armpits, neck, chest, abdomen and groin. The spleen, tonsils, bone marrow and thymus (located behind the breast bone) are also in the system. The fluid contains white blood cells, which help fight infection and the growth of tumors. Blockage or injury to this system causes the fluids to build up in the soft tissues of the legs and arms. This is known as Lymphedema and can occur in a person with tumors or scar tissue, and following cancer treatment, radiation or surgery. It is also seen in some people who are overweight or obese. The Lymphatic system works in connection with the Circulatory and Immune systems. Effects of aging: Decreased effectiveness to fight off infection and disease, skin damage, sleep disorder, premature aging due to buildup of toxins, increased emotional or stress problems Prevention or Management of condition: Increase activity, proper nutrition, and vitamin supplements, maintain an active social life, skin care, compression devices, management of associated medical conditions

Examples of systems and associated autoimmune conditions include: Nervous system- Multiple Sclerosis; Skeletal SystemRheumatoid arthritis; Muscular System- Myasthenia gravis, Endocrine System- Type 1 Diabetes, Digestive SystemCeliac’s Disease. Effects of Aging: Decreased ability to fight infection Prevention: Balanced nutrition, physical activity, adequate rest, stress control, proper hydration, and nutritional supplements as indicated by your health care provider. In conclusion, maintaining proper balance of our body systems may prove challenging in our fast pace society. However, we must take charge if we want to remain in optimal health. As you can see, many of these systems work in conjunction with one another and if one malfunctions, it may impact others. Keep in mind; we are one body with many members.

References: http://www.healthline.com http://antiaging-wellness.com http://www.nia.nih.gov http://www.cdc.gov/std/ http://www.healthypeople.gov http://www.hormone.org/endo101/ http://training.seere.cancer.gov/anatomy/lymphatic/components/ http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Human_Physiology/ TheImmuneSystem http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immuneSystem/default.htm http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthtopics.html

Immune System: An intricate network of organs, tissues, protein and cells that work together to defend the body from foreign invaders

http://www.besthealth.combesthealth/bodyguide http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus http://nhlbi.nih.gov/health http://www.healthopedia.com/aging-changes-in-urinary-system/

Its primary function is to seek and destroy. The organs of the Lymphatic System are a part of this network and the Circulatory System is the mode of transport for the immune cells. Malfunction of the Immune System render us venerable to infection or an array of diseases. Anything that triggers the immune response is called an antigen. The three categories that define these responses are: hypersensitivity (allergic response), immunodeficiency (ex. AIDS/HIV) and autoimmunity (the immune system attacks the body instead of a pathogen).

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Little Sister’s Butterflies By Florence P. Brown A little uneasiness comes into our lives sometimes and we feel jumpy and aflutter on the inside. We tend to label the feeling as “having butterflies” and attribute it to a type of discomfort.

The uneasiness grows and we worry more and become tense. The flutters intensify and quickly our minds and bodies are on overload! Panic sets in and our personal strength becomes challenged. As the heart palpitates and the stomach quivers, the determined woman resists the attack of the butterflies. “We have work to do,” says the strong woman, a caretaker destined by nature to pamper the world and get things done no matter the circumstances. I recognize this woman in my mother, the middle-aged woman in the mirror, and many who have crossed my path on my life’s journey.

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The daily tasks of motherhood, housewife, career woman, student, sister and friend can put us on an emotional roller coaster leading to exhaustion. From flipping pancakes to executive meetings, modern day women are pressured to prove themselves as family matriarchs, worthy competitors, and pleasing partners. Rumor has it that a w-o-m-a-n must work her position from all angles to be deemed the best mother in the world, the love of his life, and a true success by society. Listen up ladies, I tried doing it all and it doesn’t work! As I pampered the world, the butterflies raged inside and I didn’t listen. I lost my sense of self. Everyone around me was cared for and happy and my nursing career blossomed. Over the years, I continued to nurse others and made it my business to make other people feel better. It was rewarding to see others smile, shoulder some of their burdens, and be the hero to the SOS calls. Yes, I was working my angle at home, making waffles and cheesecake, playing Legos, and doing manicures


and pedicures. One might think this lady had it all but I didn’t. The more I filled the cups of others, the emptier my cup became. I felt like a second class citizen to my own life. My service to others and my career left me feeling invisible, empty, used and unappreciated. Everybody was smiling except Florence or so it seemed. Something was missing inside; it was ME.

hardships. Bravely, I kept on smiling and calming my nervous stomach with gentle rubs. I knew my worth and one day the world would, too. As a teenager, I stood at the podium at my high school graduation and gave the Salutatory address. My stomach fluttered on the inside; this time it was with a feeling of excitement! I was closing the chapter of childhood and beginning the new chapter of womanhood. Hope was in sight and I anticipated a fabulous future. The promise of a brighter day was clearer more than ever and the butterflies never felt better.

Is it possible for a woman to give so much yet still feel fulfilled herself? Absolutely, but it requires losing the concept of other people filling up her cup in response to a kind deed. Not everyone takes heed to the care of others. Recognize that it As a registered nurse, I continue to care for others but I never is essential to be responsible to self and create a balance in forget the importance of taking care of myself. I teach this life. The three components of harmony are spiritual stability, lesson to others. I am single again and in a new phase of emotional stability, and physical stability; that mean, finding self-discovery. Life is still grand without the splendor I once time to enrich our belief systems, owning our feelings and dreamed about. As an adult, I know the difference between the working through them, and living health conscious lifestyles. reality and fairy tale. This newly found independence is both Whether this means time-outs, frightening and empowering at Women of all ages, cultures, personal escapes, meditation, the same time. prayer, sister chats, shopping nationalities, and positions trips, backyard picnics, or bird in life should feel empowered The butterflies must be heaven watching in the park…get lost sent and are the keepers of my by the spirit of prayer and in yourself and smile about spirit. They let me know when hope. Your personal strength it! I quiet my fears as much as to inhale and exhale, laugh is boundless if you remain possible by the components of and cry, stand still and move harmony. My mind calms itself fearless in faith forward. I am accountable to and a thought whispers in my them because they guard and ear, “Here I go again with another new beginning.” I smile protect my innermost self. Wise and intuitive, the butterflies and keep flipping pancakes and punching the time clock, but have the wisdom of a self-made success story. It’s as if they finding quiet time for daily devotion. Daily devotion to the self talk and my soul listens. In the maturity of life, I continue is healing and might just chase the butterflies away. to learn through my experiences that the safekeeping of our Prayer has been my stabilizer through many of life’s events. Life should not be limited to crooks in the road, dirt in the eyes, bad luck traveling in threes, and accidents ready to happen. Women of all ages, cultures, nationalities, and positions in life should feel empowered by the spirit of prayer and hope. Your personal strength is boundless if you remain fearless in faith. Perhaps you will discover like I have, the belly flutters are often in celebration of new beginnings. At the mature age of 48, this w-o-m-a-n had endured many challenges from childhood to adulthood. I grew up as “Little Sister,” a meager farm girl in Georgia with few material possessions. The butterflies came often when faced with

emotional health is crucial for happiness. Strive for selfassurance and do not be threatened by uncertainty, change and growth. I shout to the world, “I’ve got butterflies and I’m out of my cocoon!” Join me in the flight and celebrate life! Florence Brown is a psychiatric nurse and author of the memoir/ self-help book entitled, “The Breezy Meadow, a Butterfly’s Story” which was released February 2009. Book reviews available on www.amazon com. and www.booksurge.com. She welcomes emails from her readers: flobro3550@bellsouth.net. All rights reserved

ordinarypeoplemagazine.org | 19


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ordinarypeoplemagazine.org | 23


Miracles & Blessings by Pamela Steward

A

s I contemplated what to share as we begin this New Year, the answer came resoundingly. It is the miracle of YOU. It is one miracle that we are all graced with everyday. For you are wonderfully and fearfully made. The scripture says it clearly: Psalms 139:14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. (NlT) 13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. (MSG) When I think about the anatomy of man from the biological or scientific point of view, I get excited because God made each of us from a unique blueprint that cannot be duplicated. Even science has to declare that His work is awesome. Just think, there is no one who has the identical DNA as you, not even a twin. You inhale and exhale without thought. Your body continually replaces old cells with new ones. Every neurological

22 | Winter 2010

cell knows when to fire. The endocrine, the circulatory, the respiratory and every other intricate system simultaneously perform its appointed function effortlessly, working in harmony. You are like an orchestrated symphony with every instrument releasing the perfect note at the correct time, playing your song in the key of life. You are an original masterpiece!!! No, there is not another like you anywhere. There is only one you. Yes!!! You are marvelously made, an absolute miracle!!! So if you need to see a miracle today or any day this year, just take a good look in the mirror and see …the miracle that is YOU!!! It is my prayer that as you embrace the miracle of who you are, you will experience the purpose God has created you for. You are a miracle but more importantly, you are the miracle that someone is waiting on. There are situations that won’t have the best outcome if you are not in place or where you are suppose to be. May this year be a year of new beginnings, new discoveries, and new encounters of many miracles as you walk out your destiny? Much love and “Miracles and Blessings” to you, Pam


ConsiderThis . . . .

The

Road of

Life By Vanderbilt Brabson III

A few years ago, I was driving home from work on a two-lane, one-way street. I was driving at a speed of approximately fifty miles per hour when I began approaching a curve in the road and an underpass beneath a bridge I had driven through hundreds of times before. 24 | Winter 2010


J

ust as I neared the underpass on that curve,

“Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and

driving in the left lane, an inner voice told me

injurious: but I obtained mercy,

to change to the right lane – immediately! A

because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of

quick glance in my mirrors revealed no other

our Lord was exceeding abundant

cars behind or beside me in the right lane so I changed

with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a

lanes immediately just as I met and passed another car

faithful saying, and worthy of all

speeding in the opposite direction in the left lane directly

acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save

under that bridge. If I had not changed lanes exactly

sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I

when I did, the other driver and I would have collided

obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew

head-on, and one or both of us could have been killed.

forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter

Many of us know what it is like to find ourselves

speeding down the road of life, heading in the wrong

believe on him to life everlasting (1 Timothy 1:13-16 KJV)”.

direction. We were so determined and focused on getting where we thought we needed to be, we had failed to notice,

Now that we have found grace and mercy through our Lord

or we just simply ignored all the signs marked “Wrong

Jesus Christ and are now traveling the road of life in the

Way!” Many of us traveled life’s road in the wrong direction for many years, and we have the scratches and scars of misunderstandings and

Only God knows what lies ahead in our path, and only God can guide us around hurt, harm, and danger.

the wreckage of damaged

right direction, shouldn’t we be sensitive to the voice coming from our GPS to ensure we change lanes in life exactly when we are suppose to change lanes? Of course the GPS

relationships to prove it. Our wayward journey put others

I am speaking of is the Bible, God’s Piloting System which

at risk as well as ourselves, and at times deeply hurt and

keeps us on course heading safely in the right direction.

troubled the ones who loved us the most, but we were too

Although we may now be traveling on the road of life in the

selfish and too determined and focused on what we wanted

right direction, failure on our part to pay close attention to

to notice.

that inner voice [God’s Spirit speaking to us through God’s Word] could put us on a collision course with others who

The only reason we are still not speeding down

are headed in the wrong direction. Only God knows what

the road of life, heading in the wrong direction, injuring

lies ahead in our path, and only God can guide us around

ourselves and others, and on a collision course with destiny,

hurt, harm, and danger. The psalmist prayed…

is not because we wised up. It is because our great God and Savior knew what we did …we did in ignorance. And

“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have

yet, in spite of it, He patiently extended to us His grace

dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man:

(the favor we did not deserve) and mercy (withheld the

so will I keep thy precepts (Psalm 119:133-134 KJV)”.

justice we did deserve). Paul, in acknowledging he too once traveled the road of life—heading in the wrong direction,

It was certainly the desire of the psalmist, who was

wrote in his first letter to Timothy these words …

obviously traveling in the right direction on the road of life, to avoid a collision with those headed in the wrong ordinarypeoplemagazine.org | 25


direction. The psalmist knew his only hope of deliverance

tired of the emptiness within which has become my constant

from those who would oppress him externally (Psalm

companion, and I’m tired of the disappointments I’ve had

119:134) was based first on his deliverance from sin that

to live with because of poor choices, bad decisions, and the

would dominate him internally (Psalm 119:133).

wayward direction my life has been heading. I’m asking You to forgive me for walking contrary to Your will and

QUESTION: What direction are you traveling on the

Your word. I’m asking that You cleanse me from all my

road of life? If you are presently traveling in the wrong

sin right now and give me a contrite spirit and a broken

direction, contrary to God’s word and His will for you,

and surrendered heart before You. May the remainder of

please consider the following scripture…

my life be spent serving You in such a way that Your name is magnified and glorified through me. I ask these things

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man

sincerely in Jesus’ name. Amen.

soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:7-8 KJV).” “Enter ye in at the strait

“In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine. Every moral rule is there to prevent a breakdown, or a strain, or a friction, in the running of that machine.”

“In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine. Every moral rule is there to prevent a breakdown, or a strain, or a friction, in the running of that machine.” When you are being taught how to use

gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth

any machine, the instructor keeps on saying ‘No, don’t do it

to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

like that,’ because of course, there are all sorts of things that

Because strait is the gate, and narrow

look all right and seem to you the natural way of treating

is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that

the machine, but do not really work.” C.S. Lewis

find it (Matthew 7:13-14 KJV).” Clive Staples Lewis, commonly referred to as C. S. QUESTION: Has traveling in the wrong direction left you

Lewis, was an Irish-born British novelist, academic,

weary and worn, battered and bruised? If you continue to

medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and

travel in that direction, scripture teaches it will only become

Christian apologist.

more difficult… © November 2009 “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of

Vanderbilt Brabson III, Author

transgressors is hard (Proverbs 13:15 KJV).

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

QUESTION: Would you like to change the direction of your life and find the peace of God which surpasses all human understanding? If you do, please pray… Dear God in Heaven, I’m tired…tired of the misunderstandings, tired of the shattered relationships,

26 | Winter 2010


Words of Inspiration By Krystal O’Neal

O

n January 1st, the dawning of a new year, we set goals to do better. Lose weight. Exercise more. Pay off bills. Take more vacations. All are very good goals, however we usually fail to keep our commitment to them soon after the New Year begins. Setting goals or resolving to do something better is natural. Losing weight will make us look better. Exercising will make us feel better. Paying bills will make us more financially stable. All of these things affect our physical state of being. But do we ever set spiritual resolutions? Paraphrasing Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world – this age, fashioned after and adapted to its external,

superficial customs. But be transformed (changed) by the (entire) renewal of you mind – by its new ideas and its new attitude – so that you may prove (for yourselves) what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect (in His sight for you). Have we gotten so caught up in the traditions of this world that we have forgotten the ultimate goal of the Christian? Our aim is to reflect the love of Jesus Christ while living here on earth. This is a commitment that we should renew daily, not just on the first of the year. So, let us make spiritual resolutions.

Give God glory in all that we do. Be thankful for every moment we have. Love everyone at all times. Let’s try something new. Let’s reflect, rejoice and renew not only in the natural, but in the spiritual. Krystal O’Neal is a member of Holy Nation Church of Memphis where she serves as Director of Music and Fine Arts. ordinarypeoplemagazine.org | 27



Ordinary People 2010 Winter Issue