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THE RELIGION CORNER: Phoenix Rising From the Ashes

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Lyndia Grant

Lyndia Grant

by Lyndia Grant
Special to the NNPA from the Washington Informer

As the story goes, according to dictionary.com, the phoenix is a mythical bird with fiery plumage that lives up to 100 years. Near the end of its life, it settles in to its nest of twigs which then burns ferociously, reducing bird and nest to ashes. And from those ashes, a fledgling phoenix rises, renewed and reborn. What an intriguing metaphor!

Things get so out-of-control that you hardly recognize your life. Just remember, in life, we must crawl before we walk. The beautiful butterfly is a perfect example. Allow your life to go through the challenges required for the Lord to mold you into that strong tower He needs you to be. You may have had to begin this journey crawling on your belly, finally coming forth as a beautiful butterfly! Then later, come forth, just like a Phoenix who will rise from the ashes. Only this time you’ll be brand-new.

As we endure grief from the pain of losing a loved one, life will never be the same once you lose a child, a spouse, mother or father; it’s a brand-new life, but like the Phoenix, you must rise and live on.

Being a sharecropper’s daughter, picking cotton in North Carolina and later marrying a Marine who turned out to be damaged goods gave me that period when God was molding me for the rest of my journey. My ex-husband created a hostile home environment where domestic violence reigned. My awful experiences were not unique; it’s all part of our earthly journey. Longing for the turmoil to be over with didn’t help. Crying out to God many days while be choked and strangled became routine. I couldn’t understand.

Creating my own plan to see if I could find new information to gain control didn’t work either. I was so busy trying to make things happen that I overlooked the obvious.

Admitting there was so much I didn’t know, I turned my life over to God. Lean not to your understanding, and allow the Lord to direct my path, so I let go and let God.

This new outlook will be like the fire burning up everything from your past. God is always on time. Scripture reminds us, “His ways are not our ways.” Stop trying to figure things out, follow His lead and allow the Heavenly Father to do the rest.

When we look back, we will see the seasons of my experience had to run their course. My negative mind had taken over, and I couldn’t see my way out. The best I could do was “ride the waves,” which I did with varying degrees of success. The clouds do part though. This, too, shall pass.

When darkness descends, joy is blotted out, buried, seemingly nonexistent. Everything weighed like a heavy burden. All your activities will feel like obligations. You won’t experience any joy. That’s when you must get moving; create a “want-to-do” list, like read a book I enjoy, clean out my closets and maybe take long walks along a beautiful path. Those seeds of hope and faith hidden from view will begin to sprout.

None of us want to walk around in broken pieces; we want to be whole. Allow me to share this poem: “Phoenix.” The original poem says: Out of my ashes will rise a new phoenix. A soaring being returning from death proving once again that life is eternal. I live forever because the spirit never dies. I will return in another body in another time, but it is me. The me who is me now will always be. As long as I live, I learn. And I live forever.

Lyndia Grant is an author, inspirational and motivational speaker, radio talk show host and columnist; visit her website at www.lyndiagrant.com, email lyndiagrant@gmail.com or call 202-558-2107. Tune in Fridays at 6 p.m. to the radio talk show, 1340 AM, WYCB, a Radio One Station.

Business

Women in Worship host Marketplace Panel

MILWAUKEE TIMES WEEKLY — Women in Worship was a two-day gathering for women to pray, worship and hear the word of God. As part of the event a Marketplace panel featuring some to the community’s most notable female business leaders who talked about how their faith has helped and guided them to both spiritual and business success.

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Melissa Goins and Megan Westra at the Woman in Worship Collage (Photo by: Yvonne Kemp)

On Saturday, May 25, 2019, Melva Henderson Ministries presented the “Woman in Worship Collage,” at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd. Women in Worship was a two-day gathering for women to pray, worship and hear the word of God. As part of the event a Marketplace panel featuring some to the community’s most notable female business leaders who talked about how their faith has helped and guided them to both spiritual and business success.

The panel featured Maures Development Group, LLC founder and president Melissa Goins; author Megan Westra; Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office Director of Public Affairs and Community Engagement Faithe Colas; Social Development Commission Marketing and Social Media Specialist Chantell Sain; TMJ4 News Anchor Shannon Sims, who served as event MC; and Melva Henderson Ministries founder and president Pastor Melva Henderson, who hosted the event.

This article originally appeared in Milwaukee Times Weekly

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Education

Midwest Bible College Graduation 2019

MILWAUKEE TIMES WEEKLY — Midwest Bible College (MBC) celebrated another wonderful school year at its 16th graduation on Friday, June 7, 2019. Forty-five students received their Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Biblical Studies. Three of these students completed their studies online. Six additional students will receive their degrees at a special ceremony in Uganda, Africa at the end of June. With the addition of this year’s graduates, a total of 578 students have earned a degree or certificate from Midwest Bible College since 2003.

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Midwest Bible College 2019 Grads (Courtesy of Photos Limited)

By The Milwaukee Times Weekly

Midwest Bible College (MBC) celebrated another wonderful school year at its 16th graduation on Friday, June 7, 2019. Forty-five students received their Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Biblical Studies. Three of these students completed their studies online. Six additional students will receive their degrees at a special ceremony in Uganda, Africa at the end of June. With the addition of this year’s graduates, a total of 578 students have earned a degree or certificate from Midwest Bible College since 2003.

The curriculum taught at MBC is Bible based and developed by the college. Students find it to be a unique, challenging and an intense study of the Bible. Despite the hard work, graduates highly value their time as students. They describe their year at MBC as “encouraging”, “amazing”, “transformative” and “insightful”. Through their studies at MBC, each student not only gains a deeper understanding of the Bible, but is also equipped with the ability to apply it to their daily lives.

Midwest Bible College seeks to build the Kingdom of God by supporting local pastors and their ministries. Forty-two churches from across southeastern Wisconsin were represented in this year’s student body and many pastors joined in celebrating with their graduates. Professor Nicole Bowen, M.A., addressed the pastors in attendance and stated that “Midwest Bible College is here to help you achieve the vision and the goal that God has set before you in your ministry. Our vision is to train students to go back to their churches and to be more effective and to help and to assist you and support you and to be an armor bearer for the Kingdom of God.”

Dr. Dorothy Huston, founder and CEO of Technology Management Training Group, from Huntsville, AL, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Huston reminded the students that success is a “do-it-yourself ” project and challenged them to find a way to use what they have learned to change the world. She encouraged them not to be stopped by any roadblock they may face but to follow the path God has given them. Dr. Huston reminded her audience to do their best even when no one is looking and to depend on God. “Trusting in Him is a win-win partnership,” she stated.

Every born again believer is called by God to make a difference and to be a minister and representative of Jesus. MBC prepares students to engage in ministry whether full time as pastors and leaders in their communities, or part time as lay leaders in their church or individual representations of Jesus in their workplaces. MBC offers a flexible schedule of classes. Students have the choice to enroll in either weekly, morning or night classes. Those unable to attend weekly classes may enroll in online classes and work at their own pace.

Midwest Bible College invites you to take the next step in your understanding of the Bible. For more information, contact Midwest Bible College at 414-546- 1248 or visit www.midwestbiblecollege.org. Midwest Bible College is fully accredited through the Association of Independent Christian Colleges and Seminaries and offers Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Biblical Studies. Come and learn how you can make a difference in Milwaukee and the rest of the world.

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Times Weekly.

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2018 NNPA DTU Journalism Fellowship

Church Ministers Through Little Library

THE AFRO — St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. is using books as a means of bringing education, entertainment and hope to the community.

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St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. officially dedicated the first Little Library solely for children on June 30. (Photo by: Micha Green)

By Micha Green

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo in Hyattsville, MD. is using books as a means of bringing education, entertainment and hope to the community.

Two days after St. Matthew’s church member Bernard Jarvis, 25, was gunned down in nearby Brentwood in Northeast, D.C., the parish unveiled a Little Library for children in the neighborhood between services on June 30.  While the planning of the Little Library had been in the works for months, Rector Rev. Vidal Rivas and Associate Priest Sister Elena Thompson remembered Jarvis during the Little Library dedication.

As the community mourned the loss of Jarvis, the birth of the Little Library brought a clear sense of joy to those who attended its unveiling.

“I think this is a little hope, to say as we remember the member that passed away, we can still continue to support those little kids that are growing up and contributing to this Little Library in his memory as well,” Hyattsville City Council member Edoard Haba (Ward 4) told the AFRO.

Haba shared that he felt the creation of the Little Library was important to children’s education and thus kids’ overall growth.

“Education is important in youth and kids’ development,” he said.

The City Council member is so inspired by the Little Library concept that he is working to have more built throughout Hyattsville.

“As part of my vision for the community, I also plan to install a couple more of these Little Libraries throughout the community.  We have three that are slated to be installed by the end of this month,” he said.

While Hyattsville already has a Little Library, according to Sister Thompson explained that the St. Matthew’s location is the only one solely dedicated to young people.

“The Little Library is a movement that is all across the country now, and they’re about a dozen Little Libraries already in Hyattsville, but this is the first one specifically dedicated to books for children,” she told the AFRO.

Thompson shared the logical and historic reasons why having a Little Library made sense for the neighborhood surrounding St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo.

“We got the idea to put the Little Library here in two ways. One of which is that we have many children, when school gets out, walking right past our building. And the second is that this parish has a history of providing library services to the community, that goes back to the years in which the Hyattsville library was racially segregated,” she said.

According to Thompson, parish families worked to create an inclusive library.

“There was a family here named Hotchkiss who wanted to be sure that reading and books were available to all children. And so they and others established a parish library.  The family of Owen Thomas gave a large grant, when this building was built in 1953, to make sure that there’d be a dedicated library space to which everyone could come,” she told the AFRO.

However, overtime, the demand for an inclusive library affiliated with the church became less as the public library eventually integrated.

“So we still have some of those old books, and we got into a discussion about what we should do with our old books from our old library and the children who are here in our church, in our day school and in the public school who come walking past us,” Thompson said. “And we brought up the idea of a Little Library and the Junior Warden immediately said, ‘I would like to build that.’  His name is Jose Ramirez. Jose went to his workshop, and over the next three months, built this library from scratch, and last Monday installed it.”

The need for a Little Library was further emphasized once installed, as community members began using it  before the formal dedication.

“The community already responded- brought books, taken books and we are looking forward to a big outreach as well as an internal ministry for the Parish,” Thompson explained.

Using the ministry of education, the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) group at  St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church/ Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo will be sharing the Little Library idea.

“Our ECW is going on a visit to another parish that has another school, and we hope to be able to tell them our story, and help them to begin a Little Library ministry of their own.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro

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Family

Mothers and Daughters ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Clairton

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER — The jubilant faces captured the “Make A Joyful Noise” theme at the Mother-Daughter Musical Extravaganza, held June 9 at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Park Avenue, Clairton.

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The Mother-Daughter Musical Extravaganza at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Clairton, June 9. (Photos by Courier photographer Jacquelyn McDonald)

by Courier Newsroom

The jubilant faces captured the “Make A Joyful Noise” theme at the Mother-Daughter Musical Extravaganza, held June 9 at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Park Avenue, Clairton.

The concept was in the mind of the community’s Patriarch and Host Pastor, Rev. William Callaway and came to fruition with the support of the Clairton church community. The event, which featured six sets of mothers and daughters, kept the crowd on its feet, clapping and cheering, giving perfect pitch to a triumphant time of worship in song.

Dr. Bernadette Jeffrey, associate Evangelist of neighboring Gethsemane COGIC, was Mistress of Ceremony.

– Jacquelyn McDonald

Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hl

Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier

This article originally appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier

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Chicago Crusader

Chicago’s Historic Liberty Baptist Church Inaugurates New Pastor

CHICAGO CRUSADER — During 2019, an ecumenical bedrock institution celebrates its 101st year of spiritual service to Chicago’s historic south side Bronzeville community.

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Reverend Andrew D. Hunt, Jr.

By A.L. Smith

During 2019, an ecumenical bedrock institution celebrates its 101st year of spiritual service to Chicago’s historic south side Bronzeville community. Within the next couple of weeks, people of faith from across the Chicago will gather to witness the ‘Transition & Transformation’ of this renowned church, as Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago’s 7th and newest Spiritual Leader and Pastor Reverend Andrew D. Hunt, Jr., CPA, M.Div., is officially inaugurated at the ‘Transforming Our Legacy for New Generation Leadership’ Church and Community Installation Weekend on July 12-14, 2019.

Rev. Andrew D. Hunt, Jr., CPA, M.Div., in addition to being a noted professional certified public accountant, Pastor Hunt served for many years as the former leader of Chicago’s Transformation Church. Rev. Hunt is a south side Chicago born and bred cum laude graduate of the legendary Atlanta Morehouse College, the historically Black college alma-mater of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Accompanying his duties at Liberty, Pastor Hunt is currently an Auditor with the United States Department of Justice and is responsible for auditing bankruptcy filings for the United States Trustee Program. A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Rev. Hunt is a loving husband, father and grandfather who shares his life with his adored and accomplished family: wife Chyna, B.S., MBA, a Director at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and their two daughters Drew, a high school Junior at Morgan Park Academy, and Shannon a Spelman College graduate and PhD candidate at New York’s Pace University, whose husband Mykel is also pursuing his PhD degree at the City College of New York, while co-parenting their son Lucas.

Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago (LBC), is located at 4849 S. King Drive. Respected across Chicago and the nation as the ‘Church with the Common Touch’, this institution is a founding member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention

(PNBC), a nationwide conglomeration of nearly one-thousand mainline African-American Baptist institutions with over 2.5 million members in the U.S. and across the globe, emphasizing civil rights and social justice. The PNBC movement supported Rev. Dr. King’s struggle for freedom for African Americans. It was the PNBC that provided a denominational home for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago served as Dr. King’s organizational headquarters during the 1960’s Chicago Freedom Movement’, thanks to his fellow Morehouse College classmate and former LBC Pastor, Rev. A.P. Jackson, along with many of the Baptist leaders in the local Civil Rights Movement.

Reflecting upon this strong legacy, Rev. Hunt says, “For over a century, Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago has worked in the service of God, providing faithful inspiration and direction to several generations of committed believers. Today, I am deeply and humbly honored to have been chosen by the leadership and congregation as the 7th Pastor of this venerable church as we together, united in Prayer and Purpose, embark upon a new era of transforming, elevating and spiritually connecting the awesome potential of our current and future generations.”

The Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago Trustees, Deacons Ministerial Staff, and Club Presidents cordially invites the public including friends, family and members of the faith community to attend this exciting and festive weekend of events, which kicks-off with a celebratory, welcoming Installation Banquet at the Chateau Bu-Sché, 11535 South Cicero, in Alsip Illinois on Friday, July 14, 2019 starting at 6:00 p.m.

On Saturday, July 13, 2019, the men of Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago will fellowship together with Pastor Hunt at Burr Oak Bowl, 3030 Burr Oak Avenue, and on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago, 4849 South King Drive, the Official Installation Morning Worship Service for Rev. Andrew D. Hunt, Jr., CPA, M.Div., will take place. The keynote speaker will be LBC Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Darrell L. Jackson, B.A., M.Div., and during the 3:30 p.m. afternoon Installation Celebration, words of inspiration will be given by Dr. Spencer Isaac.

Founded in 1918 by several spiritually united and advocacy-oriented members in the home of Bertie Boone, Liberty has steadily grown and played a pivotal role in the shaping of Chicago’s history. Many prominent speakers, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Hon. Mayor Harold Washington, and the Hon. Barack Obama a then little-known, young man aspiring to become the Illinois Senator from Hyde Park, who evolved into the nation’s first Black President and South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu, among others have spoken powerful words of inspiration from the Liberty pulpit.

Liberty also hosted one of the city’s largest rallies during the election campaign for Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African-American Mayor, and today remains active in the fight for social justice on multiple fronts.

The Liberty Baptist Church of Chicago family invites everyone to join them during this exciting Pastoral Installation Worship Service Weekend. For more information call (773) 268-6757.

This article originally appeared in the Chicago Crusader

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#NNPA BlackPress

Did You Insult or Exalt God Today?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — For every quote I could give you right now, there are many of you who could quote at least three more appropriate ones for this message. James 5:15-16 “And prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you might be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

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James A. Washington is a father, husband, Christian, writer, entrepreneur and the owner/publisher of the Dallas Weekly.

Spiritually Speaking…

By James A. Washington, Publisher of the Dallas Weekly News

Have you succumbed to the notion yet that prayer will get you through it? The ‘it’ I’m referring to is EVERYTHING.

If the truth be told and you’re like me, at times you’re not very enthusiastic about your faith. That fire that initially burned in me when I finally met Christ leaves me more cold than hot and I cannot and do not remain constant or consistent in my journey towards eternal salvation.

Have you ever been there? It is then that my prayer life is more often weak not strong. I’ve finally figured out at times like these that if I only do one thing, I have to continue to pray. However casual or cavalier I might think it is, if I do nothing else, I’ve learned that I’ve got to pray my way through it.

If you’ve ever been lost on a nameless highway and know that you’re lost, you probably understand what I’m talking about. No exit, no gas stations, no people or other cars around. No one to ask for directions. You just keep driving and you just keep looking, hoping against hope. It’s just you and the needle on the fuel gauge.

Given your and my circumstances, prayer is probably very appropriate when one is spiritually lost; especially when you are forced to acknowledge that you are. My word to you is to just keep praying.

At this stage of my spiritual development, I can’t think of an alternative. I just so happened to look up prayer in my bible’s Concordance and found out that I’m correct in my assumption that prayer(s), pray(ed), praying, all hold a special place in spiritual history and in the eyes of God.

For every quote I could give you right now, there are many of you who could quote at least three more appropriate ones for this message. James 5:15-16 “And prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you might be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I will not sit here and profess to you to be a righteous man. What I will do is profess to you and anyone who will listen that I am a sinner seeking God’s forgiveness.

I am also on record as praying for you, my fellow man, that you too, will understand God’s faithfulness. Mark 11:24-25 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

I’m not making this stuff up. This is what the text says. Hopefully, what I’m trying to convey to you is once I was lost. I’m sure I’ll get lost again and when it happens, prayer will continue to lead me home.

It is an irrefutable spiritual fact.

Try it. Speak to God from your heart. Let Him know that you know He knows you are lost. He will then step up and act out on your behalf proclaiming for all to see that you are never really lost and certainly never really alone. He has known where you were from the beginning of time.

May God bless and keep you always.

James A. Washington is a father, husband, Christian, writer, entrepreneur and the owner/publisher of the Dallas Weekly.

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