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Get Back to Basics!

May 18, 2010 1 comment

At graveside services, we commit the deceased to the ground—ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Yet, we often don’t consider that the earth we were created from was filled with the very minerals our internal organs required to function properly.

God created the first natural pharmacy in the Garden of Eden and this should define our health choices. “And God said, ‘See I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be your food.’” (Genesis 1:29).

Unfortunately we have depended on pharmaceutical drugs and prescriptions to maintain our health, with pretty dismal results. Biochemical medicine confirms that herbs neutralize toxic effects in the body and provide the needed minerals and vitamins for health, with no side effects!

Minerals matter!

Minerals are the basic constituents of all matter and remain as ash after decomposition (death). About 4—5% of your body weight is mineral matter, primarily in your skeleton. After death, organic matter in your flesh evaporates into the atmosphere or the soil leaving about five pounds of elemental mineral ash.

To function properly, your body primarily needs calcium, phosphorous, iron, sodium and potassium. These minerals assist in energy production. You also need iodine and silicon (which are necessary for proper assimilation of calcium).

Natural minerals come from the soil. Unfortunately, mass farm production, use of fertilizers and pesticides have diminished the earth’s natural mineral composition in most soil. Remember, if natural minerals are not present in the soil from which food is grown, the food won’t contain the minerals either.

Get Fit 4 Life!

Choose health care reform by growing your own pharmacy in your yard; from a planter box on your balcony or in a pot on your front stoop.

GROW YOUR OWN HERBAL PHARMACY

in four easy steps:

If you don’t have much time or space, start small. Find a sunny spot for a tomato plant and a few herbs; you can expand as your schedule and growing area will allow later. You can grow veggies anywhere on rooftops, along curbs and driveways, in front and side yards; even in pots!

DIG

Compact beds need 3 to 4 square feet. Get four, 2’ x 4’s; nail them in a square and place them in your sunny spot or if you have space lay out a 4’ x 4’ area in your yard. Loosen the soil with a spad fork or tiller, then dig down 10” to 12” into the dirt. Over that area, spread a 3” to 4” layer of compost and a light layer of 5-10-10 fertilizer. Mix evenly with your spading fork. For pots, just fill with soil & fertilizer and plant the seeds or seedlings.

PLANT

Set out herbal or veggie seeds or plant seedlings in rows. You can tend to the rows from all sides of a 3 x 3 without having to create a path in the garden.

TRELLIS

All vine crops, such as tomatoes and pole beans need a sturdy support. An A-frame of wood or a wire mesh will do. If you want to, just plant the tomato plant in a pot and let it hang for sprawling growth.

WATER

Irrigate your seedlings and transplants regularly—as often as three to four times per week in hot or windy weather; keep soil moist but not soggy. Avoid wetting foliage, if hand watering, apply water in furrows or basins around the plants. Soaker hoses between rows are other good options. Eating something – anything that you grew for the first time, will change your life and attitude forever.

Fit 4 Life Tip: Pick up some parsley!

Parsley is an herb with more Vitamin A per ounce than carrots, 3x more vitamin C as oranges and 2x as much iron as spinach. Chew 3 sprigs a day and you will cleanse and detoxify your blood and freshen your breath (it’s great for absorbing the odor of garlic). Other bonuses of parsley are that it treats jaundice, menstrual and urinary difficulties, asthma, coughs, and indigestion. You can also use parsley as a diuretic and laxative. For more natural herbal remedies consult your local naturopath or dallas@lifebydallas.com

Renette Dallas (www.lifebydallas.com) is a natur- opathic doctor (N.D.), minister, author, lecturer, certified fitness trainer, raw food chef, and lecturer with expertise in nutrition, herbal therapy, enzyme therapy and magnetic therapy. She is the creator of the healthy organic snack product, Life by Dallas Popcorn.

Categories: Inspiration

Social Media, Ministry and Digital Evangelism

BY PAM PERRY

Everyone has jumped on the social media bandwag- on—full throttle. Well, almost everyone; certain sectors are lagging behind. The nonprofit sector, especially churches, have yet to really grasp it and make a digital imprint like they could. Outside of pastor and New York Times bestselling author, Joel Osteen, most churches are not ranking up top in Google. Osteen’s podcasts, by the way, are the second most downloaded podcast in the world, according to Religion News Service.

So, should churches and Christian authors be focusing on us- ing the “world wide web” to market their message?

According to Zondervan’s director of publicity, Karen Camp- bell, “Publishers should build on their authors’ networks, including social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blog and Web Sites) and personal contacts to help enhance their brands.”

Zondervan, the world’s leading Christian publisher, has had great success “matching the Christian message with tech- nology” for Inspired By…The Bible Experience, BibleGateway.com and recently, Glo.

To increase lagging readership of Christian books or bolster church attendance (especially among men and youth), technology and social media strategies are viable and can be helpful when used properly, according to David Murrow, author of “Why Men Hate Going to Church.”

“A church that uses the latest technology to teach and encourage,” Murrow writes, “will be sending a strong message to men and young adults: We speak your language.”

Most churches realize that they should use social media to “draw people to Christ” but don’t know how or where to start.

Here are some steps to get going:

Set up a Facebook Fan page and ask members or readers to join it.

Set up a twitter account and connect it to your Facebook. Learn how to “tweet” using your mobile phone device.

Create a blog so that you can have members or readers comment. Blog your sermon notes or, if you’re a Christian author, blog your book! Set your blog to post to your Facebook account and set up a “Networked Blog” so people can follow your blog on Facebook. Creating a community online is critical. Don’t talk at people – engage them.

Post videos on YouTube. Everyone loves to watch short videos. But don’t post anything too heavy. Keep it inspirational and short- under five minutes. Post it and load it to Twitter – which would post to Facebook.

Set up a Cinchcast.com account. This is like leaving a voice message on the internet. Again, make it short (under 2 minutes) and post out into your accounts – people love hearing “real” messages.

Approximately 60% of people under 30 in the U.S. say that they get their news online.

Social media is a great way to reach young people—the ones who will grow your ministry and spread the word. Keep them excited by showing that you’re on the cutting-edge. Make them proud to be associated with a church that has tons of “fans” on Facebook or a ministry that Tweets.

The Internet and digital media is going to continue to grow and become more and more commonplace. Social media marketing is the way to fulfill the Great Commission to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Categories: Inspiration

Christian Dating and Online Mating, Can It Work for You?

May 11, 2010 7 comments

For a lot of people, the prospect of finding a date or a mate via the Internet can be filled with extreme trepidation. Fear of unknowns and preconceived negative notions often results in procrastination or permanent disillusionment. Are Internet “singles sites” filled with mostly losers and liars? Should Christian singles avoid looking for love on the Internet?

Perry Broadnax & Coretta Wright

For Elder Perry Broadnax and Coretta Wright, the Internet proved to be the path to wedded bliss. The pair met and married! And it all started when they met at Match.com. Over the course of two years, they communicated first by email, then by phone and finally met face-to-face and finally tied the knot! (He lived in Nashville, TN and she resided in Birmingham, AL).

While both agree that the Internet is just a “tool” and not “the answer”, both are quick to confirm that when you seek “God’s will”, the Internet can be the “way.”

What made you think about connecting for “love” on the internet?

Perry: I lead a very busy and demanding professional life. Outside of the work environment, I have very little (or no) time to devote to meeting people.

Coretta: I have a very full life and wanted to meet a like- minded man. I was ready to merge my life with someone; I knew it would not be easy but I was open to receiving what God had for me.

What were some of your reservations about moving into a relationship via online?

Coretta: The “What ifs”—“What if he doesn’t look like his picture?” “What if he is lying?” “What if he has a hidden agenda?” Then, it occurred to me that he too, could have the same “What ifs.” And, I knew my intentions were earnest and true; “So why not his?” I looked to see if things lined up. “Did his actions reflect his words and heart?”

Perry: Honestly, I don’t know that I had any reservations. I knew what I wanted and was very purposeful in pursuing it. Let me also say, one cannot have an ‘Online’ relationship! The Internet is only the resource that enables two people to connect. Once the connection is established, it is up to the individuals to develop the relationship.

How did the conversation go from casual to serious?

Coretta: After spending many hours on the phone, before meeting, I felt like we knew each other well. So, when we met for the first time (he looked better than his picture!) we talked about how we wanted the relationship to proceed. We had a very long first date; this provided a lot of time to talk and get to know each other. On our second date, I went to visit him and it was then that I knew we had the same desires.

Perry: For me it was never casual; it was purposeful. That is not to say that all our conversations were always rigid and heavy. What I am saying is, I was not just talking to her just to be talking. If what we were doing was not ultimately go- ing to result in us ending up at the altar, it was a waste of time. So, all my conversations were aimed at getting to know her in order to determine if she would be “the one!”

As a Christian adult, it is imperative that before you begin a relationship, utilize any resource like the Internet, or even meet someone in the mall; you should seek God’s direction and guidance! This is the most important thing! Tell God (I mean, really tell God) what you want and what is the true desire of your heart. Wait for Him to give you the impetus to move. It’s all about ‘His timing’! Once He gives you the ‘go ahead,’ then you can begin to look.

I might also say, one must know exactly what one wants because when the waters are troubled, there will be several possible candidates. The only way to distinguish between them and ‘the one’ is to be diligent in knowing what you want and not settling for anything less. —Rev. Perry Broadnax

How did you date (long distance) and make the relationship grow?

Perry: Long distance relationships can be challenging. I don’t recommend it at all to anyone that is merely interested in “dating.” Find someone local! Seriously, once we estab- lished the necessary foundation of truth and trust; did the background checks and established compatibility, we were able to schedule our times of being together. The upside of long distance relationships is that it establishes a premium on quality time as opposed to quantity of time.

Coretta: Long distance relationships are hard and have to be more intentional. When we do spend time together it is quality time. We communicated in various ways several times a day. For example, we used webcams which allowed us to see each other more. Having a long-distance relationship has its advantages; it provides more time to gradually transition into couple-hood and builds an immeasurable amount of trust and confidence in that person.

What advice do you have for singles who want to meet someone and to potentially marry?

Perry: Please seek God’s guidance and wait for His direc- tion! Know yourself! Know what you want and refuse to settle for less!

Coretta: Seek God’s direction. Don’t rush marriage! If you can’t see yourself being honored to have his last name, let him know and move on.

Categories: Inspiration

Is the Immigration Issue a Christian Issue

May 11, 2010 1 comment

By Bishop Andy C. Lewter, D. Min.

On April 23, 2010, the state of Arizona passed its Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act launching a firestorm of controversy as the strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in years.

Immediately, a debate ensued over whether the actions by the state of Arizona, who came under enormous pressure years ago when it refused to acknowledge a Martin Luther King Birthday Holiday, was forcing the federal government to take action.

While political pundits and public officials are debating the pros and cons of the issue, members of the church community are finding themselves in the position of having to examine to what extent this controversy impacts the faith community.

A variety of Christian voices have registered their concern that the bill might serve as a prelude to racial profiling and an unnecessary harassment of hispanic people who living  in the state.

Rev. Jesse Jackson appeared on MSNBC recently and pointed out the inconsistency of having one set of rules for Canadians who come south and Mexicans who travel north to the state.  He further pointed out that the bill itself stands in conflict with the US Constitution.

Rev. Al Sharpton, along with a  host of other Christian leaders have compared the actions of Arizona with that of Apartheid, Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow south.  “We will bring Freedom Walkers to Arizona just like Freedom Riders went to the deep south 50 years ago,” Sharpton vowed.

Christians are caught between feeling that the rejection, or at the very least the restriction, of Hispanic immigrants coming into the country will increase jobs and reduce crimes with a sensitivity that any mistreatment of people because of the color of their skin is a return to a social and moral battle that the church had fought and won over forty years ago.

Dr. Warren Stewart is the pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix, AZ and is a local voice on the scene that continues to speak truth to power.  “When I speak on the topic of Immigration Reform, I do not get the resounding amens that I do when I speak on more traditional topics that are more religious in nature” says Dr. Stewart.

Reminding the faith community that Jesus instructed his disciples that the true measure of Christianity would be evaluated by the integrity of love that is demonstrated by his followers toward others, the church today finds itself in a tug of war that involve emotions and ethnic sensitivities.

Dr. Stewart sees the issues of immigration reform and the current controversy regarding the recently passed bill in the state of Arizona as an opportunity to unite blacks and Latinos in the tradition of Christianity at its best.

Stewart fears that the new Arizona law will lead to abuse and exploitation that will prove to be a shadowed embarrassment to the country and to the church.  Stewart and others in the pro-immigration movement, believe that African-Americans will be reminded of their own struggles with racial profiling and will object to the idea of another group of Americans being subject to the similar treatment under the law.

According to Stewart, the new law has already attracted more African-American opponents to the fight for immigration reform.  “Our noted African-American civil rights leaders have really not embraced it,” said Stewart. “They’re just now coming on board.” reports Stewart.

While acknowledging that the church and the Black community are less than enthusiastic right now, he is convinced that it will take many more sermons preached by courageous pastors to win over the country and the church.


Categories: Inspiration

Formation of the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Council Member Letitia James to Announce  the Formation of the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, Co-Founded by Frank A. Haye at  Brooklyn’s Borough Hall on Thursday, June 10 City Wide Auditions to be held on Thursday, June 10 and Saturday, June 12 (Brooklyn, NY – May 10, 2010)  Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Council Member Letitia James will announce the formation of the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, co-founded by Francisco (Frank) A. Haye, Jr. at Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street (between Court and Adam Streets), Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, June 10 at 11:00 a.m. EST. Auditions to join the choir will be held on both Thursday, June 10 and Saturday, June 12. Thursday auditions will be held at Borough Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday auditions will be held at Elim International Temple in the Tabernacle, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.20 Madison Avenue (between Classon and Franklin Avenues), Brooklyn, New York where Archbishop Eugene J. Blount is Senior Pastor.  The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir is an ensemble committed to bringing this city together through artistic expression. The ensemble will encourage members of this great city to appreciate, learn and celebrate the diverse cultures which make the City of New York great. “The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir is a group of performing ambassadors, that will spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ through song,” said Frank A. Haye. “The choir will not only perform in the tri-state area, but throughout the United States and abroad. The ensemble will record and minister to different denominations, outdoor music festivals, concert halls and private functions. All members of the ensemble will receive world-class musical training and an opportunity to fellowship with musicians from diverse ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds. Our motto is simple…One Great City, One Great Choir to the Glory of God.” With the support of many in the community, the event will be co-hosted by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Council Member Letitia James. “I am thrilled to join Council Member Letitia James and co-founder Frank Haye in ‘singing the praises’ of the new Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir. The choir’s diverse voices will use artistic expression and ‘perfect harmony’ to add yet another verse and chorus to the ‘beautiful music’ of our city-Brooklynites and New Yorkers from all communities living side-by-side each and every day.”  Central Brooklyn is known for its cultural arts institutions and initiatives, and the choir’s home base will be located in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, where Council Member Letitia James represents the 35th District. “I first witnessed Frank Haye’s work as a choir director and musician during his tenure at Emmanuel Baptist Church, my home church in Brooklyn,” said James. “Frank’s incredible knowledge and love of gospel music, as well as his gifts as performer and mentor are the perfect combination for his next career venture to head up the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir. As Council Member my free time is limited, but my singing skills are above average and if I could carve out time, I would not hesitate to sing under the tutelage of Frank Haye.”

Frank A. Haye

Community residents throughout New York City and the tri-state area interested in joining the choir should come prepared to sing one of the following songs of their choice acapella for 30 seconds. The list of songs include “Amazing Grace,” “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” “I Won’t Complain,” “We Are The World,” “I Need You To Survive,” “Speak To My Heart,” “Even Me,” “My Soul Is Anchored In The Lord,” “Jesus Is Love, ” “Center of My Joy,” “Stand,” and “Blessed Assurance.” All participants will be notified of their involvement in the choir following the auditions. All musicians should come prepared to play a song of their choice and participate in a 15 minute interview. Musicians should bring their own instrument(s) to play with the exception of the piano. All interested participants must be at least 18 years old. In September 2010, The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir will begin regular rehearsals twice a month for all choir members and musicians. Further information on start date, time and rehearsal location will be forwarded at a later date. For information on the auditions, please call 718-307-7808 or email at BICAuditions@aol.com.

Haye is an accomplished and inspiring musician, choral director, composer and producer. He discovered his passion and talent for music at a young age and has been performing since he was 12 years old. A vocalist and conductor, Haye also plays multiple instruments, including violin, flute, piano, organ, oboe, clarinet and trumpet. He served as the assistant director for the Boys Choir of Harlem from 1995 to 1998 and as the Pastor of the Sacred Arts Ministry for Emmanuel Baptist Church from 1998 to 2010. Under his direction Emmanuel’s Total Praise Choir ministered around the country and as far away as South Africa. They performed at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Summer Stage in Central Park, and Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, among other venues. They have performed with artists such as Aretha Franklin at the NBC Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting (2009), Shirley Murdock, Carla Cook, Ken Hicks and several others. Haye has also served as choir director for Butler Memorial United Methodist Church in the Bronx, New York, where he instituted a music conservatory to train singers and musicians. He started Revelation, a community gospel choir in the Bronx, and he continues to serve as conductor for the Symphony St. Paulia—a gathering of classical musicians of African decent. Haye has worked as producer, composer and arranger for CDs for Total Praise, the Boys Choir of Harlem and the Butler Church’s Spirit -N Black Youth Choir.

Haye has served as an adjunct faculty member at Brooklyn College and a visiting professor of music at New York University and The University of the West Indies. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, and received a fellowship to pursue a master’s degree in musicology and conducting. Haye served for more than two years as the director of the Brooklyn College Choir, and he also instituted, for the first time, a gospel choir at the school. Currently, Haye is doing his residency at Elim International Temple as the guest choir director. He is also producing a new CD for Butler Church’s Spirit –N Black Choir and consulting with churches and other organizations on music projects.  For interview and media inquires, please contact: Gwendolyn Quinn Amyre LoomisGQ Media & Public Relations, Inc.   Office of Council Member Letitia James718-622-4100 (office)  (718) 260-9191GwendolynQuinn@aol.com aloomis@council.nyc.gov For further information about The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir and/or auditions, please call 718-307-7808 or emailBICAuditions@aol.com.

Gwendolyn Quinn 
GQ Media & Public Relations, Inc.
Founder, The African-American Public Relations Collective (AAPRC)
Publisher and Editorial Director, Global Communicator
63 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11238
718-622-4100
gwendolynquinn@aol.com
www.theaapr.com

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www.myspace.com/gwendolynquinnsongwriter

Categories: Inspiration

Faith Fights Diabetes

Categories: Inspiration

Need a Marriage Makeover?

By Lisa M. Tait

“What can I do to save my marriage?” As a counselor, this is the most frequently asked question that I encounter. If you take seriously the covenant of marriage between a husband, wife and God, it is painful to even consider divorce as an option. So, what can couples do to bridge the gap left in their marriages from issues of infidelity, loss of trust, abandonment, neglect, abuse, fatigue, financial hardship, harmful addictions, etc. What do you do when the pain of remaining with someone is so overwhelming that divorce seems like the only escape to peace and sanity?

First, let’s identify key issues that make researchers conclude that between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. (Brian K. Williams, Stacy C. Sawyer, Carl M. Wahlstrom, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships, 2005). One of the glaring problems is that our society teaches us that everything and everyone in our lives requires work and maintenance except our marriages. Hollywood has hoodwinked us into believing that once we say “I Do”, everything will fall magically into place and we will ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

We all recognize that owning a home requires constant maintenance and a regular financial investment. We bring children into the world and we automatically shift into parent mode providing for their needs and carefully crafting a future for them. We even purchase automobiles and diligently change the oil, follow a prescribed maintenance plan, and secure the proper insurance. However when it comes to marriage we put our lives on autopilot and assume that somehow things will work themselves out. My mother used to tell me, “Whatever you did to get him, you got to do the same thing to keep him.” I’ve often reminisced about the amount of work I put into my relationship while dating. I never wanted to appear in a negative light. I went out of my way to be supportive and flattering. You get the point!

Your marriage must become sacred, precious, and a top priority.

God thought so much of marriage that he created a wife specifically for Adam so that he would not be alone. If the enemy can destroy our marriages he can destroy our families. Children of divorced parents lack a Godly example of a two-parent, loving, spirit-filled home. Many of us wonder why our children end their marriages in divorce once they have matured, but we failed to recognize that a generational curse has been introduced into our families. We allow our children to hear us talk negatively about their other parent. They see us verbally (and sometimes physically) assault one another.

We must end the attack on our marriages and families and change the discouraging statistics! What can you do to be proactive about keeping your marriage and family healthy? Here are a few biblically-based steps to help you “divorce-proof” your marriage and protect your family:

Create a Marriage Plan. The purpose of a written marriage plan is to provide direction, content, structure and purpose to your marriage. Just as you, as an individual, have a God ordained purpose, so does your marriage. If you’re not certain what that purpose is, pray about it, then talk to your spouse. Reassess your gifts and abilities and share your heart’s passion until God’s purpose is crystal clear. Then write it down as a mission or vision statement (Habakkuk 2:2-3) for your marriage. What do you want to accomplish together (e.g., successfully rear our children, finish our degrees, start a business, work together in ministry, write a book, own property, etc).

Cultivate Your Love Life. Marriage takes work. This work isn’t one-sided but the load is equally shared; which makes it seem much lighter (Eph. 5: 22-25). Work on how you talk to one another. Use love language that is certain to affirm, build up, and support your spouse. Set aside a date night once a week or twice a month. Find a sitter and spend time alone simply sharing your dreams. Take vacations together and remember that little things (e.g., a home cooked meal, a single flower, a massage, an encouraging word) mean a lot.

Center Your Marriage In Christ. A relationship devoid of Christ is a relationship headed for divorce. The trials and tribulations that you face daily, coupled with the reality that your spouse, as well as you, are flawed human beings, is enough to end the strongest marriage. Never forget that your marriage vows included a covenant with God; and with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). Continue to invite God into your marriage to guide, comfort, protect and keep you and your spouse.

I hope you will begin taking the necessary steps to fortify your marriage “before” and not “after” any breakdown. Value the gift of marriage and family, recognizing that there are many people who would love to be married with children. Remember, marriage will work if you work at it!

– Lisa M. Tait, M.A., M.Div., D.Min., serves as an Adjunct Professor at the ITC, a pastoral counselor and co-host of Relationship Thursday on Praise 102.5 FM (Radio One). She is author of Women of Destiny: Five Principles For Pursuing Your Purpose in God. Visit her at http://www.drtait.com