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THE MAGAZINE

Fall 2017 - Issue 2

SURVIVAL STORIES

Women and Their Journey Back To Life

Kolean W Sanders Founder of the Geneva Foundation on page 6 Eva Jones Pages 16-18

Natalia Trotter Pages 19-21

Anitrus Robinson Pages 26-27

Darla Jones Page 30-31


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Joanne’s Desk

CEO, Publisher & Editor Joanne Bell Cover Photo Rodney McGee Contributing Writers Salmeilia Stewart Dr. Timothy Quinn Michelle Johnson Layout Design Michelle Zischke Facebook Woman To Woman With Joanne The Magazine Subscribe! Visit: bit.ly/joannemag Contact us at: woman2woman.joanne@ yahoo.com 601-398-6733 P.O. Box 2031 Ridgeland, Ms 39158 All rights reserved. No portion of Woman to Woman with Joanne may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The management of Woman to Woman with Joanne is not responisble for opinions expressed by its writers. Woman to Woman with Joanne maintains the unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted material. All advertisements are subject to approval by the publisher. The production of Woman to Woman is funded by advertising and sponsorship.

BY JOANNE BELL, FOUNDER

In this issue we don’t talk a lot about turkey and ham with all the fixings. No cakes and pies or green bean casseroles. In this issue we give thanks to God for bringing us through some of the toughest times in our lives. When I looked up the definition of Thanksgiving, the first one I saw said, “the expression of gratitude, especially to God.”In this issue, we give thanks to God for His unfailing love for us, for His grace that never fails and His mercy that is never ending. In these stories of survival and triumph, we give thanks to God for His protection and His healing touch. We glorify His name because for us, He gave the ultimate sacrifice, His only son Jesus, and for that we give thanks. In the following pages you will read stories about women who have gone through tremendous trials. Some have survived cancer, some have been molested or raped, some have been

through domestic violence, some have been mentally and emotionally abused and some even had their lives taken. Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness is not a one month issue, it happens every single day all around this world. It is our job to shine a light on it and help women find their self worth in God and not in any other person. Our job is not to judge people for their mistakes and for being in the situation that they are in, our job is to love them past their pain. Our job is to lend an ear to hear. Our job is to have compassion, and empathy for our fellow sisters and brothers. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that who soever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 Let’s give thanks everyday to our God who loves us unconditionally.

Love ya much!

Joanne

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In This Issue

Cover Story: Kolean Sanders Geneva Foundation........................6-11 Where There Is Darkness There Will Be Light Review.......................12 Emmanual Faith Outreach Church...........................................................13 Spotlight : Eva Jones..............................................................................16-18 Spotlight : Natalia Trotter....................................................................19-21 Dr. Timothy Quinn Article...........................................................................23 Awakened Academy Celebrates One Year Service...................24-25 Spotlight: Anitrus Robinson................................................................26-27 Spotlight: Darla Jones...........................................................................30-31 Salmeilia Je Article ......................................................................................33 New Layout Designer..................................................................................34 What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.....................................................36 WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •5


Kolean W Sanders Founder of the Geneva Foundation

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The Geneva Foundation

“Planting seeds today for a better tomorrow” Kolean Sanders, Founder

The Gift of a Mother’s Wisdom By Kolean Sanders

In the September 2016 issue of Woman to Woman With Joanne The Magazine, I shared much information about my life, my early challenges as a young girl, and the many forms of abuse I was forced to face. I won’t spend a lot of time in review of those accounts in this article. However, since it helps to form the basis for what is now happening in my life, some segments are necessary to mention. I encourage you to look up that issue of this magazine to get the details. It suffices to say though, in that article, I mentioned the impact that my mother made on me very early in life during the short time she was with me. I recently heard that prayers have no expiration date on them. I assert today, that the prayers my mother offered up for me 50 years ago are still working today. My mother, Mrs. Geneva Williams, was virtuous. She was a visionary and quite spiritual. She had a relationship with God such that she often heard His voice and always obeyed. God showed her what my life would be like, how I would suffer, serve, survive and succeed. Mom, in turn, shared with me. She stated the attitude, ethics, responsibility and spirituality that would cause a good outcome for me. Despite my many attempts to end my life, everything she predicted came true. She literally spoke destiny into me, and I found myself walking in it. It was the only way I could survive. When I began to thrust myself out into the open and tell my story, so many people, men and women, began to share the pain and shame of their own

dark secrets of being abused. It quickly The Geneva Foundation exists to plant became quite evident to me that not seeds today for a better tomorrow by: only was I not alone; but that millions Sowing into the lives of those whose of people had experienced the same. needs have been neglected as a As I listened on the phone to the stories direct result of physical, emotional, and read the instant messages I was or sexual abuse; Helping victims, receiving, I realized the epidemic of particularly adolescents and troubled abuse in its many forms has run rampant females, to deal with these hardships in our culture. as they seek She was a visionary and quite Many have asked the freedom to spiritual. She had a relationship how I managed improve their with God such that she often heard to emerge from quality of life; His voice and always obeyed. the ruins of a and guiding each very tragic life to of them to chart become a success by the standards of a new life course through education, many people. I became inspired to start counseling, and recovery. a foundation aimed at meeting the needs Being true to this mission, I took the of the abused and healing the hurt that responsibility to learn as much as I could others have gone through. so I was not just telling a story about my experiences. Although I knew many I asked God what I could possibly give could relate, because everyone has a to others. His answer was to provide story, it was incumbent on me to study those things that I missed out on as a this issue and find resources for recovery. victim of this horror. After certifying in several courses with the Dark2Light organization, and The Geneva Foundation continuing to do so, I became equipped The Geneva foundation is a nonprofit to help others, hosting group sessions entity, incorporated October 2016. and workshops with women at Geneva’s Registered as a charity, Geneva is a headquarters in Vicksburg, MS. 501(c)(3) organization. It was only appropriate that the foundation be named in honor of my mother, Mrs. Geneva Williams. Without her prayers and advice, her warnings and wisdom, I doubt very seriously that I would exist today, much less, positioned to be the blessing that God has allowed me to be. Had she not invested and poured into me, I am certain I would never have known how to plant seeds today for a better tomorrow. Hence our mission statement:

Grenada, MS Aside from my usual way of giving to others, the first real opportunity to minister to the specific needs of the abused opened up in the end of April of 2017. I attended a conference in Southaven, MS, sponsored by Evangelist Hope Evans’ Sounds of Hope Ministry. At that event, I was asked to substitute for a speaker who was unable to attend. There I told my story as the listeners held WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •7


onto the edges of their seats. Of course, I got very emotional, as did everyone else. Afterwards, Elder Bobbie L. Barnes, pastor of Emmanuel Faith Outreach Ministry, and his wife, Mother Penny, asked me if I would come the following week to speak in their church in Grenada, MS. They said the problem of abuse and domestic violence was prevalent in their community, even within their congregation. I agreed to go. That night, in my peaceful prayer time at home, I tearfully confessed my fears to God. I agonized over how I should present to the people. I didn’t want to merely tell a story. Neither did I want to simply say to them what others had told me, which was “just get over it!” That advice did not help me, and I knew it would not help them either. I prayed, “Please help me Lord. I surrender my all to You. Lead me in the direction You want me to go, and I will follow. And as I go through this, please give me signs.”

(1) That Mother Penny would receive a financial blessing; (2) that two young men would come and help the pastor in ministry; (3) the church would overflow with people and that parking would wrap around the church; and (4) that there would be a re-dedication of new life within the church. I drove from Clinton, MS to the church in Grenada for our 10 am sessions. The curriculum was comprised of an orientation and review of my survival story. It also included education in the nine forms of violence and abuse: Neglect, sexual, psychological, verbal, and emotional, as well as domestic, spiritual, cultural, and financial. Other classes were entitled God’s Grace and Mercy, Leadership 1 & 2, How to Build a Better Life, Credit Repair, and Personal Safety. It would end with a graduation, celebration of freedom and a rededication of life.

I will never forget that first Saturday, July 15th. I was somewhat uneasy not knowing God was faithful. I woke up in the middle what to expect from the attendees. I of that night and began to write as He found out much later that it had been breathed into me what I was supposed to said, “That gal ain’t gonna be able to do. First, He said to give them what I did teach me nothing.” As I began to share not get while going through my pain. He through my nervousness, everyone was spoke to me about following up with a quiet and unresponsive. After about 30 12-week series, called From Darkness to minutes, I began to see tears flowing, and Light, that would walk through the steps they began to speak up and speak out. I of recovery and result was blessed seeing the Neither did I want to simply in healing for those breakthroughs as they say to them what others had who had suffered. were experienced. told me, which was “just get He followed with four prophetic visions over it!” which I also wrote Nehemiah down. Everything started as scheduled. But after After my presentation that night, I shared the first few classes, again, God spoke with the leaders about the 12-week series to me. This time, it was about renovating which would begin in Mid-July and end the church. From the vision He gave me, in October. Then I shared the four signs: I knew I was to paint the entire inside of 8 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017

the church. The vision involved wrapping the building in shutters, painting and striping the parking lot, handicap spaces, crown molding, sheet-rock repair, running electrical circuits and fixtures, power-washing the exterior, and staining all woodwork. I knew down on the inside, I had to follow my spirit. But, I remember asking, “Lord, where is all this money coming from?” The answer came when I returned from one the classes. I looked in the chair behind my desk at the office and there lay a check, money donated by my business partner, J. R. Jones. It was the very amount needed for several important phases of the work. I was labeled the “stain queen” for the generous amounts of dark, rich covering I applied to any visible wood. In fact, the women of the church are now staining up their own houses, led by the first lady, Mother Penny. As I was on a ladder staining the 10-foot cross in the pulpit, Hope Evans, an excellent Bible teacher, made reference to Nehemiah in the Bible, who had led a team of God’s people to rebuild the wall around their fallen city. Thus Team Nehemiah was born. It caught on and many others began to participate, working tirelessly through the week. I enlisted the carpentry and electrical skills of another partner, Minister Sheldon Gooch, who as a fourth-degree black belt, also taught the class on personal safety. Daily, as we worked, I took a break to prepare a full meal for the team. There was a strong sense of unity among the members as 18 of us fellowshipped and broke bread together. A couple of weeks later, The Tomato Place, in Vicksburg, MS donated 100 loaves of bread to be divided between the ladies.


As we approached the final phases of the series, preparation for the graduation ceremony and reception went underway. Mississippi Graduate Supply donated caps and gowns for all. Each participant received a framed certificate. The Tomato Place also donated the meal. I wanted to give the students a gift bag with a few tangible, lasting take-aways. So, during the class series, I decided to offer a part of the legacy which sustained me over the years, by authoring The Legacy of Geneva – the Gift of a Mother’s Wisdom, released four days prior to the final event.

brothers repeatedly referred to that day as “sons of thunder.” A couple of months before, Mother Penny had received a monetary donation from a friend. God was truly faithful to the word He had given me. Special thanks for the support of The Tomato Place, Southern De-lite, Mississippi Graduate Supply, Cynthia Milton, Evangelist Hope Evans and Rodney McGee for their services and contributions.

Proclamation To my surprise, at the graduation ceremony, the Geneva Foundation received two award proclamations. One was from the Mayor of the City of Grenada, Billy F. Collins, who officially declared the month of October as Geneva Foundation month. The other was from the Mississippi House of Representatives, a Proclamation, “Excellence in Action,” awarded by Speaker Phillip Gunn and District 55 Representative Oscar Denton. The next morning, Sunday, the church was packed! Cars were wrapped around the church and down the street. There was a re-dedication as new members joined the church and other memberships restored. This is exactly what the Lord had given me prophetically. And, the two young men that came to assist? They were my preaching nephews, Elder Dennis Williams, Jr. and Prophet Demetrius Williams, an anointed pair of Photo Credit: Rodney McGee of RMcGee

Nephews Elder Dennis Williams, Jr. and Prophet Demetrius Williams

Photography

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REVIEW Where There Is Darkness There Will Be Light Graduation

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GRADUATES

WHERE THERE IS DARKNESS

THERE WILL BE

LIGHT

Martha Conley

Lula Henderson

Patricia Harmon

Sharon Henderson

Porcha Henderson

Tepeka L. Booker

Doris C. Smith

Vanessa B. Cooper

Patricia Hudson

Sherry Henderson

Fannie Gordon

Joy Everette

Pastor Bobby and Penny Barnes

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Emmanual Faith Outreach Church Pastor Bobby Barnes & Mother Penny Barnes

P

enny Barnes is excited! That’s because she is living in manifested prayer! The First Lady of Emmanuel Faith Outreach Church in Grenada, Mississippi, affectionately known as Mother Penny, joined faith with her husband to ask God to make a much needed change at their church. The church was in crisis. Many of the member’s zeal had grown cold and some were murmuring and complaining. Others had left the church, including some of the Barnes family members. The leaders of the church began to petition the throne of Heaven for help. They say it came by way of the Geneva Foundation founder, Kolean Sanders.  Mother Penny stated, “There was a need for growth. We prayed, ‘God send us some help,’ and He did. Evangelist Sanders walked in and said God told her to come.” Sanders originally came to conduct the Where There Is Darkness, There Will Be Light Program; a 12-week course, to help women process, heal and move on from abuse. Mother Penny wanted to be supportive and was the first to commit to participating. Other members followed as well as women in the community who were not members of the church. Mother Penny had no idea some of the members of the church were suffering, and through this program she has seen a transformation in all of them. 

is a new excitement that can be felt throughout the church.“I am excited this lady came all the way from Jackson just to help our church.” As Sanders and her colleagues worked to fix up the building, other members and some non-members began volunteering to help too. “My grandsons didn’t want Evangelist Sanders to outdo them so they bought a drum set and now they are working on getting a digital media box.”  The Barnes granddaughter also is inspired and very excited. She now wants to bring new programs to the church.  Some have even sent donations from out of state to offer support. As the building that housed the church was transformed, something amazing happened; the spirit of the church was transformed too!. The Barnes now notice a lot less complaining and much more love and unity among the members. “What she’s done has brought about unity and closeness. The Sunday before she came, my grandson gave a message titled, “It’s Time For A Change,” and I see a change in the children and everyone else.

The Barnes say people in the Grenada community are talking about what’s happening at Emmanuel Faith. As a result, they’ve seen new faces in the congregation and some old faces returning; including some family members. Now that the church is heading in the right direction they “From what I’m seeing they are talking can focus on the future ahead. more.  Some were withdrawn and I   didn’t know why but they are now boldly “Now we can focus more on what his speaking and that’s good. They had not vision is for the church. Since we’ve begun been openly talking before. They feel working people want to come in if it’s just free. If we could keep to see what’s being Evangelist Sanders her, “What she’s done has brought done and we know if about unity and closeness.” we would. She has they come in the Spirit inspired us all. of God will take over,” says Mother Penny. The transformation has gone far beyond just the participants of the program.  Sanders will return to the church in Sanders spearheaded a project to January to begin phase two of the renovate the church with new paint, stain, Where There Is Darkness, There Will Be trim, shutters, plants, and decorations. Light program. She hopes more members of the church and community will be “She’s just a Godsend. She really inspired to participate. empowers and encourages others to do things.  She is not just standing back she’s doing it herself.  She is in there working.”  Church Pastor Bobby Barnes says there WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •13


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EVA C. JONES FOUNDER BUTTERFLIES BY GRACE DEFINED BY FAITH By Joanne Bell

E

va Jones has been a servant leader for most of her adult life. She began in her church organizing health fairs, women empowerment sessions, teen summits, and domestic abuse conferences that focused on raising awareness and ending dating and sexual assault violence in the Metro Jackson community. After raising her three sons, Eva returned to college as an adult learner and earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Mississippi College to enhance her knowledge in order to help women, men, and children who are victims and survivors of abuse and violence. In 2010, Eva founded Butterflies by Grace Defined by Faith, an organization that strives to educate, empower, and advocate awareness to change the hearts of people and propose policy and legislation to protect victims and survivors of sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence. Butterflies by Grace Defined by Faith also strives to empower individuals and educate the community to create social change within the community. Butterflies by Grace Defined by Faith is a true ministry which has changed hundreds of lives.

Eva has had the privilege to serve and volunteer on various boards and organizations such as the American Medical Technologist, Sickle Cell Foundation, SIDS, Diabetes Foundation, Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Susan Komen Breast Cancer and many more. She has been honored by many civic organizations and most recently Black Girls Rock, AMT Distinguished Achievement Award, National Visionary Award and Hero of the year Award recipient. Eva is an active member of her church and has worked as a registered medical assistant for over 30 years. Eva is a proud wife, mother of three sons, and grandmother of 7 grandchildren. Eva is guided by Philippians 4:13-I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me. Eva enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and serving others. Woman To Woman WIth Joanne The Magazine had the privilege of sitting down with Mrs. Eva Jones to hear a little more about her personal story and how she came to found her organization. Here is her story: Mrs. Eva was born and raised in Jackson Mississippi in Washington Edition for her early years of life, then her family moved to sub number two and she is a proud product of West Side Elementary School. Growing up in Mississippi, she doesn’t remember a lot of her childhood life but she does remember certain things. “I remember being moved from a particular school because of the color of my skin and sent back to the school in the community. I will never forget that. Racism was not talked about in our house, so I was not familiar with it. I don’t think my parents ever explained what happened that day to me, and I think I hid that for a while until I

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was in grad school at Mississippi College. In a multicultural class, and I had to write a paper and that’s when it surfaced again. So I saw racism in 3rd grade at maybe 7 or 8 years old. It was there then and it is still here now. Mississippi has been good to me, it’s my home. I love Jackson, Mississippi and I don’t think I will ever move anywhere else unless I was forced to.” I am a middle child, the youngest of the girls. I have two older sisters and two younger brothers. We have a step sister so it was 5 of us plus, I don’t believe in step siblings so I call her a bonus child. Growing up, my father was a truck driver and my mom was a factory worker. She was the mom that cooked for everybody in the neighborhood and always took care of everyone. She was that advocate for everybody and I think that’s where I inherited it from. My dad was a hard worker and he was very strict, not that we were afraid of him, but we knew what he believed in. He didn’t whoop us a lot


either, my mom did all the whooping. The and that’s what saved me. Basketball was a only thing my dad had to do was look at us. way for me to release all of my anger. Then He stands 6ft tall, a slim man and has I asked my dad if I could get a job and he always been. He believed in so many agreed, but said I could only work on things. He believed as girls, we could not sit Saturdays. So at 14 years old, I started on the laps of men and men could not give working at a Mexican restaurant called El us money. I remember him saying one day Palacio’s where my step mother worked as as one of his friends was trying to give us a cook. That’s where I met my husband. He money, “ They only have one uncle and was an older guy but he was the manager that’s my brother,” and he had only one there so they had me washing dishes, which brother. He was very stern about that and I I never had to because he washed them for now understand why, but at that time I did me. That’s when things started turning not. My mom and dad separated when I around for me and for some reason, I was young and still at West Side. I think it always knew what I wanted. I started asking affected me more than any of my other God to remove this anger from me because siblings, so much that I didn’t like my father. I didn’t like the spirit. I knew God was I blamed him for destroying our family. I working on me because I knew what to heard a lot of things as a child that I pray for. I didn’t want the spirit of anger and shouldn’t have heard. There was never any I knew I was a better person. By this time I’d physical fights in our home, it was more verbal and it was more of my mom. You know as women we are going say things, but he was just this quiet spirit. He said what he had to say, he meant what he said and he was done with it. One of my favorite memories of my childhood was my grandparents on both sides. My father’s parents lived across the street from us. My father’s mother was blind but she played the piano and sometimes after school we would go across the street and stand at the piano and sing to her. My grandfather had polio in one leg and he was very rich in Bible Belt wisdom. So started dating my husband and it wasn’t while a lot of the other children were out until then that someone held me playing, we would have to do these Bible accountable for my actions. I saw so much Drills, and to this day, if you say something love inside of him and he would tell me about the Bible I can turn to that book. My when I was wrong, and I needed grandfather used to call me Nellie and he accountability. I became a teen mother used to tell me this all the time, “Nellie, you November 7, 1979 after high school are one peculiar child.” He would say, “You graduation. I went to graduation practice are something else and I can’t figure you and got sick, but I still didn’t know what was out.”I didn’t understand it and it didn’t hit me wrong. My husband, then my boyfriend, until two years ago. picked me up from After my father and school when he got off The anger carried on for a mother separated, I long time because no one sat work and he told be he became a very angry believed I was pregnant. me down and talked to me, child. I would fight a lot no one asked me why I was I started crying because and I would get a lot of I had heard all these doing these types of things. whippings. I remember horrible stories about my grandfather whipping how a guy gets you me once for dashing hot sauce in my pregnant and then leaves you. He said, “I cousin’s eye. The anger carried on for a am not going to leave you” and he asked to long time because no one sat me down and marry me then but I knew what I wanted talked to me, no one asked me why I was and I wasn’t ready to get married. I was doing these types of things. They just let me afraid of marriage because of what carry on doing what I was doing. I happened with my mom and dad. We had remember when I got to Provine my 9th the baby and he was right there and asked grade year, I was introduced to basketball me to marry him again and again I said no

because I wasn’t ready. He asked me to marry him yet again and I finally said yes. We got married June 1981. There have been some good days and bad days, but the good have always outweighed the bad and I thank God everyday for him. One of my weaknesses is to see someone being mistreated. I’m that advocate for those people, this is where Butterflies By Grace Defined By Faith began. In November 2007, there was a young lady named Latasha Norman who had been kidnapped by her boyfriend. There was also a young lady named Heather Spencer who was killed by George Bell in September of 2007. When Latasha died, it seemed as if God put her spirit in me. I tossed and turned all night one night until I finally got up and just walked the floor. Then I went to the computer and started looking at the statistics on Domestic Violence. I was just like other people now who say, it aint happening in my family why should I care. I started looking at all the things going on in Jackson and I prayed Lord, what is going on and God started dealing with me. I remember going to the Pastor of the church I had been attending for 26 years and I told him I needed to talk with him. I said, we need to do something on domestic violence. Two weeks later he called me at work and asked me what did I want to do and I started praying and God showed me summits and women coming to me, so I said let’s do a summit. I announced it on the radio and I did not meet the women until they walked into the church that Saturday

WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •17


and four of them were ministers wives. that He chose me and entrusted me to do I remember going home that day and I was what I am doing. That’s how Butterflies was home alone. I sat in the reclining chair with birthed through those two young ladies, all the lights off. I remember crying and Latasha Norman and Heather Spencer. asking God to forgive me because He had Two years ago a guy walked into my office to get me out of my comfort zone to do His and said he heard something special about work. I even started doing a Friday night me, that I work with women and teens who candlelight vigil. I remember one Sunday deal with domestic violence. I said yes, but talking to God and I there is nothing special asked him why me. I said I I can do all this through him about me. And he said yes don’t even know Latasha who gives me strength. it is. Everybody can’t do Norman and I heard him Philippians 4:13 (NIV) that. He closed my door clearly say, but she knows and started telling me you. Right after that a relative in our family about his niece, his sister’s daughter who revealed to me that they were dealing with was killed due to domestic violence. I asked domestic violence. God was showing me what was his niece’s name and he said that it was in my family and I was going to Heather Spencer, we both cried. God made be the one to have to tackle this. I remember sure that I met that childs family. talking with my husband about this and he Her grandmother also came on my job to said, “people are going to think I’m beating meet me. I finally met Latasha Norman’s you.” I told him, I have to do God’s will. mom and dad as well. They came down And I knew then that God had chosen me to from Greenwood to meet me while I was at do something and sometimes He puts us in a walk. Her mom didn’t talk much but she an uncomfortable position, but He already grabbed my hand and said, “I know sooner knows we can do it. I thank God everyday or later my daughter’s name will not be

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mentioned in homes and everybody is gonna forget about her.” I looked her mom in the eyes and said, “as long as breath is in my body she will be remembered.”That is the reason why Butterflies is birthed and my word is my bond. So every time I speak I talk about those two young ladies, because they are somebody’s daughter or sister and I have to tell it everywhere I go. In everything that I do, my goal is for God to get all the glory. I tell all the women that I work with at the shelter that God chose them because they are a stronger vessel. I live by Genesis 1:26-28, we are image bearers of God. Whenever I talk with the women about different topics like friendship and love, I tell them thank you because they have made me a better woman. Butterflies By Grace Defined By Faith changed me. God knew what he was doing.


Natalia Trotter Journey to a Healthier Me By Joanne Bell

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N

atalia Trotter is an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, NPC 3xFirst Place and National Qualifier Figure Winner and a Health and Fitness Coach. We are happy to have the opportunity to share a part of her journey to a healthy life style with you. Her story is that of childhood obesity and ridicule, but also a story of triumph and victory by making a decision to “Change Your Body, Change Your Life.” Here’s her story: My name is Natalia Trotter and I am from a small town in Russia. My husband and I came to the United States in 1999 and we now reside here in Mississippi with our two children. I have been an athletic enthusiast since the age of seven, but I struggled in PE class. I joined an after-school gymnastics class to improve my performance and I fell in love with everything I was learning. One day at practice, I jumped over the horse and unfortunately landed straight on my back. I heard it crack. The pain stopped

me from running and jumping, and sadly my gymnastic journey had to stop due to a spinal injury scare.

allowed to go outside and play. I did that for 2 days straight and then gave in. After a few days I didn’t feel sick anymore from eating so much food and by the end of the summer I was 9 years old and weighed 160 lbs.

My brother and I spent an entire summer with my grandparents one year since we seldom saw them, because we moved from Russia to Ukraine I didn’t think when I was 2 years anything of my Some days I wanted to take a old. They lived on weight gain and I knife and just cut my belly off a farm and raised was looking forward because I thought it would make to going back to all of their produce all my problems go away. and live-stock, school. When I went which was their back, I ate my lunch way of providing and someone else’s for themselves. Both of my grandparents just to entertain them, but then I became went through the horrors of World War subject to bullying. That crushed my world 2 and starvation made its mark on them. and I withdrew from everyone including They couldn’t imagine their grandchildren my parents. I am quiet by nature, but I just ever being hungry, so I was forced to wanted to disappear because everyone at eat large amounts of food equal to what school laughed at my appearance. my grandfather ate. I literally had to sit at I didn’t have friends for a very long time. the table from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm until Some days I wanted to take a knife and just I finished my plate, and only then was I cut my belly off because I thought it would

20 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017


make all my problems go away.

managed to lose the weight by 6th grade but it took years to build my self-esteem back. My value should not have been determined by a number on a scale.

I became envious of skinny girls and wanted to be like them. I often saw myself as a fat pig because that’s what everyone called me at school. I decided My husband Wilson to drastically reduce and I met in college Fitness gave me life. the amount of food I in 1999 and we got I learned how to train from allowed myself to eat married that winter. scratch and learned nutrition Then we made the and slowly, over the from A to Z. next three years, my decision to come to weight began to come America in June of down. 1999. After my second child was born I was hit with severe postpartum depression I wanted to return to gymnastics, but I was and my feelings were definitely manifested turned down because of my weight. I through my body – my weight went up wanted to try ballet, but they said I was to 206 lbs. After years of self-search, my too heavy to dance. The rejection made prayers were answered with a simple, yet my self-esteem shrink down to nothing. I very powerful command: “Change your

Before

After

body – change your life!” And that is exactly what I did! Fitness gave me life. I learned how to train from scratch and learned nutrition from A to Z. I cleansed my body and my mind along with my relationships with my husband and children. My journey started at the steps of my back-yard gym. I dropped 70 lbs and that’s when I knew that the “Change your body - Change your life” was real. My marriage of 19 years has been revolutionized by fitness and my husband is very happy to see what it has done for me. I earned my Personal Trainer Certification within the next 3 months and I reached my goal of 126 lbs in 7 months, which was 5 months sooner then I planned. I was so excited about the things I learned about my mind, my body and my relationships. I discovered personal training was a right fit for me. After I became a Certified Personal Trainer and was in business for years, I began looking for opportunities to challenge myself and sharpen my craft. I began competing on the professional fitness stage in 2014. Since then, I have competed in three shows, earning three first place finishes, with one overall and national qualifier in 2017. I am in the process of taking what I have to the next level by writing a book designed to help women become their best selves in health, fitness, and relationships. My goals are to show women all over the world that you can absolutely change your body at any age. Self-acceptance and forgiveness is a must to begin the journey. Love yourself at any transformation stage and in any shape, but know that you must strive to be your best self tomorrow. Woman To Woman With Joanne The Magazine is grateful to have the opportunity to share Natalia’s journey with you. If you have any questions regarding self-improvement through fitness, food plans, training plans and developing a vision for your fitness project She is a Mission Oriented Trainer with your vision in mind. Please contact her at (601) 454-1289 or email fitness@nataliatrotter.com.

WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •21


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22 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017

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The

WINTER

BLUES By Dr. Timothy Quinn

Photo Credit: .shock/Adobe Stock Boggy/Adobe Stock

As I entered the exam room to visit Christmas as well. Her entire demeanor one of my favorite new patients, I was different, and she started to cry immediately noticed that something was as she elaborated on her symptoms. wrong. Miss Jones had only been to my She explained that she, for unknown clinic twice, but left a lasting impression reasons, felt sad most of the day for with our entire staff. In her previous two the last couple of weeks. She further visits in the spring and late summer, she explained that the sad feelings for the was very energetic ...she started to cry as she last couple of weeks and friendly. included decreased elaborated on her symptoms. Everyone loved interest in normally her, and made comments suggesting enjoyable activities including holiday that they wished more patients were festive events with family and friends. as pleasant as Miss Jones. I remember Miss Jones told me that she had no this encounter being the week after energy, increased sleeping, increased Thanksgiving last year, because I appetite, decreased concentration at remember asking her about the holiday. work, and had an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness. She reported that she Miss Jones told me that she stayed was written up at work for coming in home alone for the holiday this year, late on three recent occasions due to and planned to stay home and rest for oversleeping. She was very tearful as she spoke, and repeated that she just did not understand why she felt this way.

sufferer can develop severe depression with suicidal or homicidal thoughts. More commonly, a person with a less extreme case may have the potential to suffer problems with their occupation, relationships, and overall feelings of hopelessness or feeling worthless. Without treatment, this condition can be debilitating.

The good news is that treatment can be very effective. With the decreased sunlight during this time of year being included in the contributing causes of someone suffering from this condition, light therapy or photo-therapy has been used and proven effective. For some, psychotherapy that is commonly used for standard depression is effective. For more extreme cases, medications are used as an adjunct with psychotherapy. Some of these medications increased the level of Serotonin, which is a normal I diagnosed my patient with Seasonal chemical in your brain (neurotransmitter) Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a type which has been noted to be less of depression that’s related to changes with reduced sunlight which occurs in seasons. According to a recent report during the time of year that most are published October affected by SAD. The good news is that treatment By having the 2017 by the Mayo Clinic, this Serotonin levels can be very effective. disorder begins increased using and ends at about the same time every the medications, many have some year. Most with this disorder have symptom relief. symptoms that start in the fall and last If you or someone in your life exhibits long into the winter months. Some symptoms of Seasonal Affective can have residual depression lasting Disorder, encourage them to visit their into the spring and summer. An early medical provider. Like my normally diagnosis and treatment is important for cheerful patient Miss Jones, help can be someone suffering from this disorder to a doctor’s visit away. prevent worsening. In severe cases, a

Dr. Timothy Quinn WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •23


Tita Cheatham Williams

Director Ms. Cheatham has been in childcare for over 10 years. She has served as the Director/ Owner of TLC Childcare and Development Center here in Jackson, Ms. and is CDA Certified (Child Development Associate Credentials).She is a graduate of Stillman College where she received her Bachelors Degree in Music. She is also a graduate of Jackson State University where she received her Master Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is the loving mother of 2 and grandmother of 2 boys. Her motto is “If The Village HELPS To Raise OUR Children, No Child Should EVER Be Left Behind!” 24 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017


Awakened Academy Early Learning Center’s One Year Anniversary By Tita Cheatham Awakened Academy-Early Learning Center has experienced tremendous growth and support from the metropolitan Jackson, MS community over our first year in operation. We now have early learners enrolled in each age group: from infants through pre-K5 years of age. We also now house a robust after school enrichment program providing pickup and transport to the Academy from local schools. Our staff has grown as well. We proudly boast full-time lead instructors in each classroom who are fully certified and very effective classroom educational advocates for our early learners. We continue to seek to enhance our technology; both for our students and parents. The SmartCare® child care management system has been fully implemented and is an operational success! We are also a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business; the only business in Metro Center to have obtained this designation. Our parent/guardian support has been amazing! We are blessed to have earned the confidence and trust of each of them. They have also demonstrated the true meaning of collaborative learning and we are most thankful for their continued support of our mission and philosophy.

established with MS-BuDS: “Beginnings Determine Success.” Through their offices, we are able to offer enhanced social services to our families, including: increasing public awareness that children from ages birth to 5 can have social, emotional and behavioral challenges, identifying these children early in their development through universal screening, and developing a competent workforce for evaluation and treatment of young

phenomenal work daily for our students and their families. We could not carry out our mission without their dedication to educating and nurturing our early learners. As fall ushers in, we at Awakened Academy-Early Learning Center continue to partner and expand as God sees fit, while adhering to our core mission of educating and nurturing to inspire our students to become: “responsible citizens of the world.” We look forward to new opportunities to enhance our community offerings as well as grow our Academy, all while maintaining our core principles and values. November ushers in bountiful harvests of hard work all year long. It is also a time of putting others’ needs before our own, strengthening ties with family and friends, thankfulness and purposeful reflection, and some serious eating!!!

children with these challenges. MS-BuDS is a collaborative between the City of Jackson, Mississippi, Families as Allies and Mississippi Families for Kids.

Awakened Academy-Early Learning Center has also been blessed to have developed a wonderfully productive partnership with Speech Depot® to offer With enrollment growth comes growth hearing and language screenings for all in staff. We are blessed to have a most of our students free of charge! Speech competent, well-respected director in Ms. Depot® also is our exclusive deliverer of Tita Cheatham. Ms. on-site speech and We proudly boast full-time lead Cheatham has been language therapy a successful early instructors in each classroom who for our students as are fully certified and very effective childhood center well as reading director/owner for classroom educational advocates literacy program many years. We for our early learners. activities. Mrs. are excited and Jameka Tenort and humbled to have her husband, Bryant Tenort have been her leading our daily Academy and after awesome partners and continue to help us school enrichment operations. We have expand our social service offerings at the also retained competent lead instructional Academy. staff throughout the Academy. They do Yet another exciting partnership has been

Our sincere hope and prayer is that each of us take time during the busy weeks ahead to meditate on this past year. Let us give where we can, when we can, how we can. Let us be thankful of life’s dualities: the good and bad; the ups and downs; the successes and failures. In the end, we know that most (if not all) situations are not accidental; and that The Most High continues to make rough places smooth, according to the Will of the Divine.

WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •25


My Journey With Breast Cancer and Pregnancy By Anitrus D. Robinson

I

n June 2016, I found out that I was was something there. She then ordered pregnant and we were so excited, but In tests to check my left breast. The radiologist July were challenged beyond our wildest saw the lump in my breast, and she stated imagination. I started having pains in my left that there was something on the lump that side that were unbearable. My OBGYN looked like stars. My doctor immediately decided to hospitalize me on September 13, called UMC to have me admitted for further 2016 at River Oaks Hospital where they ran observation. “It may be cancer,” she said. test to try and figure out what the problem That was on September 15, 2016. was. September 14, 2016 my doctor came I have been married to my husband, Joey to my room to talk to me about the results but my husband had Immediately the Lord spoke Robinson, for 11 years. We actually met while we gone to get me some and said, “I GOT YOU!!!!” were in high school. We food, and she didn’t united in holy matrimony want to talk to me on December 10, 2005. After our first year until he came back. I knew then that this was of marriage, we decided that we would something serious. Once Joey arrived, she start our family. On September 30, 2007, I sat us down to tell us that the tests showed gave birth to our firstborn son, Joel Mahli I had lesions on my spine and my liver, but Robinson. Surprisingly, our 2nd child, they didn’t know where these lesions were Aniyah Ca’Ree Robinson, was born on coming from. The doctor asked me if I had December 2, 2009 two years later. Now ever felt a lump on my breast. I told her no. it’s 7 years later and I find out I’m pregnant She began to examine my breast and there with our 3rd child. The doctors immediately told me if they found cancer, Joey and I would have to make a decision on whether we were going to terminate the pregnancy. On September 22, 2016, the doctors came to my room around 8:30 am to tell me that it was cancer! I was devastated. The doctors were trying to console me, but I could not understand anything they were saying. I was numb and

26 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017

all I wanted to do was scream. All I could do was call on Jesus. My brother had spent the night with me, and we immediately contacted my parents, my husband and one of my best friends. Later that day, they came and told us that is was Stage 4 and that the cancer had spread to my lungs, liver, and bones. I also had a fracture on my spine. The devastation began again! “Lord! What I am going to do? What about my children? What about my husband? What about my family?” Immediately the Lord spoke and said, “I GOT YOU!!!!” At that time, I was 20 weeks pregnant. After all their meetings, they found two chemo drugs that I could start the very next day. These drugs could cause birth defects to my baby but he would live, and they could try and save me too. The very next morning, September 23, 2016, I had my 1st chemo treatment. My drugs were Cytoxan and Adriamycin and these drugs were very strong. The Adriamycin took my hair out after the 2nd round of treatment and I was really worried about how my children would look at me. Before I shaved my hair, Joey and I sat down with the kids and told them that I had cancer. My biggest fear was if they heard the word cancer they would think I was going to die. When we told them the news, they took it really well. My children are strong warriors. They know the chemo routine and they love my bald head!! Except when I


have to come to the school. They made sure I wore a wig on those days!

fine! To God be the Glory!! I have really surprised myself with this battle because I really did not realize just how strong I The doctors told me that I would do was! God truly gives the toughest battles treatments every 21 days. I did 4 rounds of to His strongest soldiers. I have been able the Cytoxan and Adriamycin. They called to stay encouraged throughout this journey the Adriamycin the red devil because it because I know that God is going to heal was red and it was strong, me. I also but I called it THE BLOOD OF JESUS!!!! have a GREAT support system. My parents After those 4 rounds, I have taken great care started a drug called You can’t tell me that God is of me not a miracle working GOD!!! and my family. Taxol. After my 5th round, it was time to prepare for the baby’s arrival. My Pink4Tink foundation is AWESOME!! I had to switch OBGYN Doctors because This foundation was started immediately of my risk. The doctors wanted me to be after I was diagnosed by one of my best at least 36 weeks before they delivered. friends. This group of ladies work hard to I had to get a steroid shot two days prior make sure I don’t have to worry about to his birth to make sure his lungs would anything but getting well! I love them be developed. They decided not to do a to pieces. spinal due to the fracture on my spine. To any woman out there who has been The anesthesiologist told me that if they diagnosed with breast cancer, DON’T did the spinal and a drop of blood got on GIVE UP!!! You can win this battle! Cancer my spine, I would come out of the hospital never wins. Keep God first! Get up, get paralyzed. I cried but I knew that God was looking out for me. They rolled me into dressed and still enjoy life!! The Bible tells us that weeping may be endured just for surgery. I was on a ventilator, tubes down my throat and not knowing that I was in the the night, but JOY is coming in the morning. Your morning may not be right now, but world. My husband told me that it scared him when he walked into the room because morning is coming! Just keep your eyes on Jesus! Don’t let anybody tell you that you it looked as if I was dead. can’t win! Hold your head up and know January 19th 2017 Joelsten Carl Robinson who are in the Lord! Be bold and speak to was born weighing 5lbs 13oz. PERFECT that cancer!! HEALTH! NO BIRTH DEFECTS! You can’t To any woman who has not been diagnosed, tell me that God is not a miracle working please GET CHECKED!!! GOD!!! I was not able to see him until the Get educated about breasts exams! next day because they wanted to check Know the signs, learn the signs! If something’s him from head to toe. I couldn’t wait to not right about your body, go to the doctor. meet my champion. The next morning, I Don’t sit and wait thinking that you will be ok. woke my husband up early because I was ready to meet my baby. When they put Joelsten in my arms, I was so emotional. All I could think of was, look what God has done!! Joelsten was fine. I was fine. And to top it off, I was released that Sunday with no complications! Who gets diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer while 20 weeks pregnant, go through 5 rounds of chemo, gives birth to a healthy baby boy and still lives? ME!

Jeremiah 30:17, For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord!!

A year has passed!! I am on round 17 of chemo. My chemo now lasts for five and a half hours. I am now getting Perjeta, Herceptin, Taxol and a bone treatment. I have to get a heart scan every three rounds of chemo to make sure the medicine is not damaging my heart and my heart is WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •27


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Darla Jones

My Journey with Breast Cancer By Darla Jones 30 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017


I

met Darla several years ago and she left such a lasting impression! I saw her as being a strong woman, mother and wife and she was a joy to be around. When I heard of her fight with breast cancer I followed her journey on Facebook. She indeed proved to be the strong woman I knew she was and we are proud to share some of her journey with you. Here is her story:

an annual checkup and she confirmed away. My chemotherapy consisted of there was a lump in my left breast. a combination of 5 drugs administered My doctor ordered a diagnostic intravenously for six cycles every three mammogram but when the results came weeks. Those six months of chemo were back it did not show the lump. Next she by far the hardest months of my life. requested an ultrasound of the breast.... I had good days and bad days and and there it was. A tumor approximately days when I thought I couldn’t take 2 centimeters long. Immediately, a anymore. I lost my hair, I lost my biopsy was taken and I went home and nails, I even lost strength and mobility, waited for the results which seemed to but I got through it with the help and be forever. Three days later, I received a encouragement of my wonderful family My name is Darla Jones. I have been call from my doctor and she confirmed and friends and my faith in God. married for 21 years and I have an I had breast cancer. The news was Four weeks after chemo therapy, I had 18 year old son. I have been a Police hard to digest and I immediately broke a Double Mastectomy to remove the Officer since 2004 and currently down and cried. I thought breast tumor and any remaining cancer cells. work as a Fraud I went through a gauntlet of cancer meant I was I chose to have a double mastectomy Investigator in emotions and asked “why going to die but my because of my family history and for Temecula, California. me”... doctor assured me peace of mind. I came out of surgery breast cancer was Breast cancer is nothing new to me with clear margins and no cancer in not a death sentence if caught early since my mother was diagnosed at the my lymphatic system. To decrease and treated. The next few days, I went age of 46. I’ve always been mindful of the chance of cancer returning, I through a gauntlet of emotions and my diet and nutrition and I made sure to asked “why me” but after that, the fight will continue receiving a drug called get a mammogram every year starting Herceptin, which is an antibody, for one was on and I was ready to take back at age 39. However, twelve days after year and hormone therapy for the next my life and get healthy. my 43rd birthday, I was diagnosed with 5 years. breast cancer. The following week, I saw my Currently I am Oncologist. He ...but I got through it with the undergoing breast I discovered the lump in my breast diagnosed me as help and encouragement of reconstruction which three months prior to my diagnoses. I having Stage II Triple my wonderful family and put off making an appointment with my brings its own set of Positive, Invasive friends and my faith in God. challenges but I have doctor because it was the beginning Ductal Carcinoma, of the holiday season and I was busy. a very supportive an aggressive form of breast cancer Three months later, I saw my doctor for husband who has been by my side and started me on chemotherapy right every step of the way. Now whenever I look in the mirror I am forever reminded of my battle with breast cancer. It has robbed me of so many things but it has given me a new outlook on life. Today I am a more compassionate person and I am grateful to be alive.

WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •31


32 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017


A Call To Love By Salmeilia J. Stewart

A

s we near the holiday season, we and lend to them without expecting to are often reminded of the love, get anything back. Then your reward will generosity, and kindness we have for be great, and you will be children of the humanity. It’s the time of year where we Most High, because He is kind to the truly embrace the spirit of peace, hope, ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just and charity. The message of love is often as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:32preached in the pulpit, we express it 36) through emoji’s, hashtags, and bumper Yes friends, Jesus has asked us to do stickers. However, if you turn on the the one thing most of us are scared to news, or go to your favorite retail store do, to love someone that may not love to ask for help, it’s just an afterthought us back. Now God is not asking us to and love is not something that is really allow someone to take advantage of us being practiced. Most of the time we act and be a walking door mat. But just as as though we have an option to love but we want God or someone to have mercy as believers Jesus has commanded us to on us, we must be able to extend that love. same mercy to someone else. We have “A new command I give you: Love been called to be God’s walking vessels, one another. As I have loved you, so extensions of His love to His people. Our you must love number one purpose “A new command I give you: Love one another.” in life should be to one another. As I have loved you, (John 13:34) Yes, love God and to love so you must love one another.” that’s right. Jesus His people. (John 13:34) has commanded The work of the you to love, He did not offer it up as enemy is to divide and conquer. One a mere suggestion. So, when the lady way to create this division is to find ways at the register gets an attitude with me to create more fear. Great empires have about my order, I must love her. When risen and fallen at the hands of selfish someone says something hurtful behind and arrogant people. People who stop my back, I have been commanded to being God centered and start being selflove that person. When I so desperately centered. The root of most unhappiness want the peace of revenge, I have been in the world can be traced back to a called by my Father to walk in love. God life centered around self. I lived most of never promised us it would be easy or my life trying to avoid people so they convenient for us to walk in love. But wouldn’t get the opportunity to hurt me. through the power of Jesus we are able My plan failed because as long as I live I to do so. am going to have to interact with people. “If you love those who love you, what In my effort to try and protect myself credit is that to you? Even sinners love from being hurt, I only perpetuated the those who love them. And if you do same thing I was running from. God good to those who are good to you, made it possible for me to go through what credit is that to you? Even sinners years of having to depend on people do that. And if you lend to those from for survival. During that time, I had to whom you expect repayment, what learn how to receive love and give love. credit is that to you? Even sinners lend Because of the trials I have been through to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. I am not so easy to judge others on their But love your enemies, do good to them, shortcomings. Because God loved me,

and others cared for me when I couldn’t do for myself, it has given me a purpose in life to do the same for others. I’ve had to learn how to love people through the power of Jesus, and in my best efforts do good, despite how someone may treat me. There was once a time when I was filled with so much fear and bitterness in my heart, now love takes residence. I can truly love despite the chance of getting hurt because I truly believe I am loved. God wants us to love Him with all our heart and soul and He wants us to love His greatest creation, His people. Most of the problems we face today are simply because we have failed as a human race to learn how to simply get along. Our pride, greed, and fear is often what creates the barriers between us. Our Father has created a world where we have to depend on one another for survival. If humanity wants to continue to survive, we have to live in a people driven society and not a me, myself, and I society. May we allow the holiday spirit to ignite a fire to accept the call to love all year round.

Salmeilia J. Stewart Background Photo Credit: Rawpixel.com/Adobe Stock

WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •33


A R T

Photo Credit: Katie Jeffery

NEW DESIGNER

E X P E R I M E N T A L I S T 34 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017

Hello! My name is Michelle Zischke. I am a recent graduate from Belhaven University’s Graphic Design program. As the designer of Woman to Woman with Joanne: The Magazine, I will strive to make the visual aesthetic of the magazine engaging and easy to read. My style can be summed up in the title ART EXPERIMENTALIST. If there is something, bright, bold, beautiful, or detailed, I am in. I am all for trying new things in design and art. Some other hobbies I enjoy are baking, playing violin, and sewing. I look forward to being able to continue serving you through laying out this magazine.

I lift up my eyes to the hillswhere does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2


WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •35


What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You By Michelle Johnson

W

statement can e have all heard the saying, change What you don’t know won’t someone’s hurt you, but that is not entirely true. life or view of Especially when it’s related to your (God) forever! spiritual life. I recently started listening Ask them, how more to teaching and preaching on much do you social media. Yes, that’s right, with the study? Can you click of a button someone you don’t identify truth, know, and have never seen can speak or do you clap directly to you about important life on emotion? issues, biblical concepts and matters Would you of importance. They have access to know if a place that has in times past been you were reserved for people you grew to trust. listening to an While there are These people are convinced that they ISM (distinctive amazing teachers, have heard from God on a topic but practice, system, preachers and didn’t study the topic thoroughly. or philosophy of pastors utilizing man)? These questions are vital to your social media, there are also well spiritual health. As we step into this meaning biblical novice. These people new season, Fall is in the air. Let’s not are convinced that they have heard fall for just anything! I pray that all who from God on a topic but didn’t study read this will change the way they view the topic thoroughly. God will never Ministry. They will pray for God to give contradict Himself, so when you know them a hunger for the Word and begin the word, you know when it is sound to study for themselves. Examine what and when it is twisted. This sparked me is being taught through discernment of to write this article. How well do we the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. know the Word of God as everyday If you’re not familiar with the topic, pull believers? I want to make this statement out the Word and study it for yourself. before I continue. I watch other When more understanding is needed, teachers, enjoy solid teaching on social ask a trusted friend who is well versed media, I even teach on Facebook live in the Bible. Many sermons today myself! This is not about not watching sound more like motivational speeches, others teach or preach. However, the filled with metaphors and similes. We Holy Spirit laid this on my heart after are hearing less and less of the pure a broadcast. I was saddened as I listened to a well meaning person teach. Word of God. What You don’t know... Will hurt you! Study to show yourself It started off good but fell into error. approved unto God, Rightly dividing the God laid on my heart to warn people, Word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 asking them if they know what they are “eating.” Ask them if they know one off

36 • WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •Fall Issue 2•2017

If you’re not familiar with the topic, pull out the Word and study it for yourself.

Michelle Johnson Photo Credit: Mele Avery/Adobe Stock olly/Adobe Stock


WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •37


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A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS State Bank & Trust Renasant Bank Allstate Steven James Agency DMD Event Planning & Design Rashida Long Photography John Gooch Kenny Crews Dr. Timothy Quinn Sanjo Security Systems CNC Integrated Payment Systems WOMAN TO WOMAN WITH JOANNE: THE MAGAZINE •39


Profile for Woman To Woman With Joanne The Magazine

Woman To Woman With Joanne The Magazine Fall Issue 2  

This Month's issue of Woman To Woman With Joanne The Magazine focuses on women who have survived breast cancer, domestic physical and mental...

Woman To Woman With Joanne The Magazine Fall Issue 2  

This Month's issue of Woman To Woman With Joanne The Magazine focuses on women who have survived breast cancer, domestic physical and mental...

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