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Spring issue of WOW! Magazine features interview with Sherri Shepherd of ABC\'s The VIEW

Spring issue of WOW! Magazine features interview with Sherri Shepherd of ABC\'s The VIEW

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  • 1. WOW! ™ WOMEN of the WORD M A G A Z I N E Sherri Shepherd Faith from her VIEW BE A CELEBRITY STYLE BRIDE Defeating Doubt & Spring 2010 Unbelief Fashion on a budget Spring 2010 DANCE TO A HEALTHIER YOU! SPRING 2010 | WOW! www.wowmagazine.org1
  • 2. contents “...I always remember when I get a little fearful I only have to please an audience of one. At the end of the day I look up and say, Did I do what you told me to do?” -Sherri Shepherd INSPIRE Profile of the Month....................................8 FEATURES Open Hea Stan Popovich............................................14 rt................................................40 WOWderful Woman: Ginger Smith.............................................44 Sherri Shepherd........................................18 WOW! Mom...............................................29 ENCOURAGE DON’T Christina Dix- BOOKS & on..........................................22 FORGET TO Latonja Flow- ENTERTAINMENT CHECK US ers.........................................24 WOW! Books..............................................46 Jo Ann Fore...............................................26 OUT ON THE WEB: BEAUTY, HAIR, HEALTH & EMPOWER FASHION Moving Up Higher with Joyce Meyer........15 Sistah Health...............................................9 Careers and Chri Spirit Fit.....................................................10 st....................................16 Fashion with Genean Cross......................12 Valerie Hicks -Powe..................................30 Chiku Griffin...............................................28 Keys to Dynamic Bible Study....................32 Words to Live By.......................................36 ARTISTIC PROSE & WOW! Tee nz...............................................42 CHRISTIAN FICTION WOWderfully Funny...................................27 Solomon’s Cafe.........................................34
  • 3. WOW!WOMEN of the WORD M A G A Z I N E ™ PUBLISHER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Candie A. Price MUSIC EDITOR George Ward FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR Genean Cross BOOKS EDITOR Tyora Moody GRAPHICS & ART Candie A. Price FIELD CORRESPONDENT Denna D’Mitri CONTRIBUTING EDITORS AND WRITERS Barbara Arnold Tyora Moody Mary Betner McLoughlin Sandi Morais Genean Cross Stacey L. Owens Tamara D. Davis Valerie Hicks Powe Denna D’Mitri Dr. B. J. Relefourd Christina Dixon James Sanders Aleathea Dupree Ginger Smith Edwina Findley George Ward Latonja Flowers Michael Waters Jo Ann Fore Regina Wells Chiku’ Griffin Tex West Diane H. Gordon Filoiann Wiedenhoff Stephanie C. Harper Deaquelynn Williams Robin May Joyce Meyer Gil Michel WOW! Women of the Word Magazine,™ Inspire, Encourage, and Empower™ WOWderful Woman™ and FLRT™ are trademarks of Joy2bhizz Creative Services™ All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 4. W O W ’ d b y H I M ™ A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CANDIE A. PRICE Spring FORWARD! I love Spring time! However, since moving South, Spring time doesn’t love me - waking up to an itchy throat, headache, and watery eyes is not glamourous, but the beautiful cascades of flowers and budding trees are exquisite. What a mighty God we serve that calls the seasons forth to take their shifts in the cycle of life at the same time each year. Just as God calls Spring forth, I encourage you to spring forth this season with a life that honors his mag- nificence! Spring time brings bright sunny days, beauti- ful flowers and pastel colors - Look at your life through the same lens! Get rid of the cobwebs of mediocrity, the clutter of pro- crastination, the staleness of Stay fear! It’s time to clean out your Connected! spiritual closet and Spring Forward! Follow me on In this issue of WOW! Facebook and we have an amazing inter- view with Sherri Shepherd of Twitter! ABC’s The View. I had such an great time chatting “Spring time brings with her and laughing in our conversation, that I almost had a hard time hearing her words when I transcribed our bright sunny days, conversation, because of my laughter! I hope you enjoy our very real and can- beautiful flowers and did discussion (p.18). This month is also Contributor Appreciation month, so you will find ad- pastel colors - Look vertisements featuring the businesses and projects of many of our talented Contributors - please support our writers and help us show them how much at your life through their sacrifice is appreciated! Enjoy Resurrection Sunday, Mother’s Day, Memorial’s Day and Father’s the same lens! Get Day and we’ll see you real soon! Until next quarter, be blessed, my sisters (and my brothers!), and Enjoy, rid of the cobwebs of mediocrity, the clutter -Candie of procrastination, the staleness of fear! It’s time to clean out your spiritual closet and Spring Forward!”
  • 5. contributors LATONJA FLOWERS WOW! also welcomes Latonja Flowers to its family. Latonja interviews Shawna M. Harrison, author of My True Soul, an intimate story of sexual abuse, drugs, incest and so much more (p. 24). STEPHANIE C. HARPER WOW! Magazine welcomes Stephanie C. Harper, publisher of CAREER Magazine, to its list of distinguished writers. Check out Stephanie’s article on thinking outside the box (p. 16). STAN POPOVICH Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. Stan encourages WOW! Readers on how to deal with family members who suffer with fear, anxiety and depression (p. 14).
  • 6. Pro f i l e o f t h e M o n t h Residence: Nashville, TN Church: The Foundry/Fortress Fellowship Dr. Naima Tonya Johnston WOW!: We’re so grateful to honor you in WOW!: Briefly describe how you came to class on various topics to help people WOW! this month! Tell us about yourself. know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior achieve those dreams using a teleseminar Are you married or single? Name of husband and how long you’ve been saved. approach. I am also mentoring a small or fiancée? group of Christian women artists – we NJ: I actually found myself in a call the group, Sing It Girl, we meet NJ: First, thanks for the opportunity to relationship with an abusive boyfriend, monthly and one on one and I am helping share with your readers. I’m from New mainly emotionally, but there were them launch their music ministries – all York City and have lived in Ohio for instances of physical and sexual abuse… via phone and online. I also try to write many years before making my home in and if you don’t get out of those kinds songs and share songs that minister to Nashville. I am a Christian Recording of relationship they only becomes worse. the depths of a woman’s heart. My music Artist, Educator, Minister and Author. I One day we were arguing over what to tends to be very honest and broken, since travel the country fulltime doing concerts, listen to on the radio and he told me that so many women need to overcome pain teaching and preaching as well as I should be afraid since he could kill me, and heartbreak so that they can achieve coordinating events to help others achieve hide my body and nobody would ever find what God has called them to achieve. their God given dreams! I’m the author me. I knew at that moment that he was of several books such as, Called To Sing, serious, I wound up going to church with 13 Mistake To Avoid When Starting In a friend and giving my life to the Lord WOW!: Feel free to leave with our readers Music Ministry and Dr. Nay’s Dream a few days later. I was able to end that any contact information you’d like about you, Development Manual. As for the married relationship and that was in 1994. your ministry/business/church, etc. question… I hope to not be single soon. I am being courted by an amazing man! WOW!: WOW! is about inspiring, NJ: I’d love to be of service to anyone encouraging and empowering other for ministry events, concerts or women’s WOW!: Do you have children? If so, what Christian women. Briefly tell us about conferences, my website is www. are their names and ages? any activities that you are involved in or I’d also love for something that you’ve done that lines up folks to look me up on Facebook, www. NJ: No children, but I do have a with the mission to Inspire, Encourage and or if Chihuahua named Bianca also known as Empower others. folks Twitter, I’m at the Wee Wee Monster… you can catch NaimaJohnston Thanks so much WOW! her video adventures at NJ: Part of my mission is to encourage for this opportunity! com/doctornay others to achieve their God Given Dreams. I’m teaching a free monthly 8 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 7. Sistah Health Dance to Health D ancing is a fun, safe and effective way to help you burn calories. You don’t have to use any fancy equipment. All you need is you. Find an area in the privacy of your home where you can dance freely. Put your favorite Latin, Reg- gae, Gospel or Calypso CD into your CD player and dance your way to health. Nine reasons why you should dance: 1•If you dance for half an hour three to four days each week you will burn a substantial amount of calories. 2•After a long day at work you can reduce your stress and tension with just fifteen min- utes or a half an hour of dancing. 3•Dancing will help you to improve your flexibility because it allows you to have full range of motion. 4•Dancing is a great way to improve your muscle tone. 5•Dancing will help you to strengthen the bones in your legs and hips be- cause it is a weight-bearing exercise. 6•Dancing involves constant movement so it will help you to improve your cardiovas- Photo by Philip Michael Thomas cular system. 7•While dancing your entire body is mov- ing so you will get a total body workout. 8•Dancing will help to build your confidence and self-esteem, and give you a sense of achieve- ment. 9•Regular dancing will help to keep you young, fit and vibrant. Check out my Total Body Workout Tune-up DVD at www.san- Jamaican born Sandi Morais has been a fitness instructor for twenty five years., SPRING 2010 | WOW! 9
  • 8. S p i r i t Fi t w i t h Yvo n n e Bennett Workout Saboteurs “Make exercise a part of your day. Activities such as briskly walking the stairs, or briskly walking from the back of the parking lot, stretching at your desk, or working your core by sitting on a resistance S pring’s here, spring’s here ev- erybody give a cheer, we’ve made it through the snow and ice with our fitness pro- grams going just right. As the snow melts and the flowers bloom don’t go into fitness gloom and doom. You’ve worked diligently to meet your fit- ness goals when all of a sudden your pur- ball at your desk are great ways to incorporate poseful, focused pace turns into a painful slow drag. Enter, the workout saboteurs; exercise into your day.” boredom, fatigue and outside distractions lurking to rob you of continued progress and success in meeting your fitness goals. You can compare these workout saboteurs 10 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 9. to the enemy who “walks around like a increase workout intensity with the use or rowing. lion, seeing whom he can devour.” (Para- of circuit or interval training. These small You can also use the television for phrased from I Peter 5:8). Our assign- tweaks to your workout can make big learning new exercises, there are numer- ment, should we choose to accept it is to changes inspiring you to stay the course. ous fitness programs on cable and local stop these minions in their tracks. The bible tells us “And let us not be television stations as well as fitness DVD’s To help you stop workout saboteurs, weary in well doing: for in due season we that can assist you in meeting your fitness pick up the pace, re-gain your stride and shall reap if we fain not” (Galatians: 6:9) needs. stay on the road to fitness success, we will Finally, using commercials to perform Fatigue identify the potential pitfalls and prob- exercises like crunches, planks, push ups, lems that these workout saboteurs can jumping jacks, chair dips or any other cause and how to combat them form of body weight exercises can help to Being too tired can quickly de-rail the provide a quick circuit training program. Boredom most earnest attempts to get in a workout. For example: The quickest way to combat this workout During T.V. Program- Stationary Cy- saboteur is to get a good night’s sleep. If cling Boredom is a dangerously sneaky that is not possible, give yourself some 1st Commercial Break- Push Ups and workout saboteur. It starts subtly and midday pick-me ups. Performing deep Chair Dips slowly grows in intensity until you find breathing techniques will allow you to TV Program- Stationary Cycling yourself no longer at the gym, but on the get much needed oxygen to the brain and 2nd Commercial Break- Calf Raises sofa watching the latest episode of your your muscles which help to increase ener- TV program- Stationary Cycling favorite TV show with a bag of chips in gy, focus and decrease tension. Standing, 3rd Commercial Break- Abdominal one hand and a soda in the other. stretching or taking a short walk around Crunches or Planks Common forms of boredom include your office or around the block will also Television is often looked at as an evil boredom with your actual fitness sched- provide quick relief from daytime fatigue. time waster, but if used effectively it can ule, fitness program and working out in actually assist you in your fitness program. Finally, whatever you decide to do, use Outside general. Boredom with your fitness schedule your time wisely as time is a precious gift Distractions normally is caused by the repetition of that God gives freely to each of us. how your fitness and daily routine are Spring is here, give a cheer renew your performed (i.e. AM/Lunchtime or PM commitment to fitness this year, keep workout followed by work at the office Distractions are the worst type of workout saboteurs at bay and you will or home, chores and bed). Performing workout saboteur and with so much vying reach your goals with- this ritual day in and day out could make for our attention it is difficult to a com- out delay. the liveliest person want to snooze. If plete workout session. Some of the top your workout schedule is in the doldrums distractions are the telephone, the televi- Yvonne Bennett is a Wellness coach and per- shake it up by making a change instead sion, friends and family. sonal trainer and owner of working out in the morning move of Coach Bennett Well- your workout to lunchtime or evening. The Telephone ness Coaching Services Make exercise a part of your day,. Activi- in Buffalo Grove, IL. ties such as briskly walking the stairs, or Yvonne has 20 years of personal training and cli- briskly walking from the back of the park- ent service experience. She is also the director for ing lot, stretching at your desk, or working Turn the ringer down or off, or resolve the Spirit Fit Ministry at Trinity Baptist Com- your core by sitting on a resistance ball at not to answer during your workout time. munity Church in Crystal Lake, Il, a ministry your desk are great ways to incorporate Let your voicemail, the answering ma- dedicated to providing bible based fitness educa- exercise into your day. chine or family act as your personal assis- tion and programs. If you have questions or re- tant during your workout sessions. quire more information you may contact Yvonne If bored with your fitness routine now at may be a good time to hire a personal trainer to get you started on a program. Meeting with a trainer for 3-4 sessions The Television is a great way to get you started and fa- The television can actually be used as miliarized with your program. Follow up your workout companion. To use the tele- with your trainer every 6 to 8 weeks is vision effectively, choose a 30 minute pro- recommended to revise your program to gram, and workout for the duration of the keep you challenged and increasing your show, this allows you to get 30 minutes of fitness level overtime. If your routine has exercise and it is especially affective when gotten routine, move your inside workout doing a cardiovascular workout such as outside and your outside workout inside, stationary cycling, walking on a treadmill, SPRING 2010 | WOW! 11
  • 10. Fa s h i o n & B e a u t y w i t h G e n e a n C r o s s Spring 2010 “The Look for Less” We took all of Spring 2010 must have trends from the runways of New York and Paris by designers like Narciso Rodriguez, the late great Alexander McQueen and Basso & Brooke and setout to find the looks for less. Designers are mixing and matching prints all over the runway, if they have it their way you’ll be mixing and matching head to toe. And I’m not just talking florals, I’ve seen tribal motifs, digital designs were engineered for a more intense impact. Our first trend of the season: Pattern Play Designer Basso & Brooke Jewel Embellished Arden B $78 Floral Dress $37 How best to head into this new season? With a clean slate. Fashion this season has rediscovered that less is more, simplistic yet feminine. Dresses at Calvin Klein Collection and Donna Karan billowed and frilled,feminine takes on tailoring; at Michael Kors’ cutouts and thigh high slits. Second Trend of the season: A Clean Slate $178 Commanders Daughter $59.99 Designer Steven Burrows 12 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 11. The military influence is still ubiquitous on and off the Spring runways(the flak jacket may even have replaced the leather bomber as the official outerwear of your MOD. a.k.a. model off duty) Look for more dressed up takes on uniform dressing from the likes of Mr. Sequined Camo Leggings himself, Balmain’s Christophe Decarnin and Haider Ackerman. Only I found those very looks for less at some of my favs like BeBe, and H&M…so about face ladies. Third trend of the season: Marching Orders Twelve by Twelve $34 Designer Aquilano Rimondi Minx, Minx, Minx!! What are they you may say? Sparkly metgallics,personalized graphics and photo-quality designs made of flexible film. Minx give women completely customized nails that can feature the exact pattern and colors of their newest gown, their favorite photo or that seasons hottest design. The downside to this trend is not only the price which can set you back up to $200, but because of it’s intricate design I would highly recommend that they be applied by a profes- sional. Beauty 4 Less Nail Art Made Easy! Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen is unique and has a fast drying formula that allows anyone to “Design and Go” and if that’s not enough the pen comes in eight vibrant colors and affordably priced for as little as $6 at your local Walmart or Drug store. Fashion questions? Contact Genean at Don’t forget to email Designer Celion Genean with article ideas, Q & A and pictures of you and your Star Style. And check out her log You’ll find more fashion and beauty tips, trends and even freebies plus giveaways. And check out my blog You’ll find more fashion and beauty tips, trends and even freebies plus giveaways SPRING 2010 | WOW! 13
  • 12. When A Family Member Struggles With Fear, Anxiety And Addiction W BY STANLEY POPOVICH experience, begin to learn what works, have that option of going elsewhere if hat do you do when what doesn’t work, and what you need to you are unhappy at your present location. a family member has improve on in managing your fears and Changing your thinking can help you to deal with persis- anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of manage your fears. tent fears, anxieties, anxiety and you decide to take a walk to Another thing to remember is that or even addiction? help you feel better. The next time you feel things change and events do not stay the Well the first thing you need to do is to anxious you can remind yourself that you same. For instance, you may feel over- get the person to seek the services of a got through it the last time by taking a whelmed today with your anxiety and feel professional who can lead them in the walk. This will give you the confidence that this is how you will feel the rest of the right direction and give them the help to manage your anxiety the next time week or month. This isn’t correct. No one they need. In addition, here are some oth- around. can predict the future with one hundred er techniques you can use to help a family Challenge your negative thinking with percent accuracy. Even if the thing that member cope. positive statements and realistic thinking. you feared does happen there are circum- Learn as much as you can in managing When encountering thoughts that make stances and factors that you can’t predict anxiety and depression. There are many your fearful or anxious, challenge those which can be used to your advantage. You books and information that will educate thoughts by asking yourself questions never know when the help and answers you on how to deal with fear and anxiety. that will maintain objectivity and com- you are looking for will come to you. Share this information with the person mon sense. For example, you are afraid who is struggling. Education is the key that if you do not get that job promotion Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide in finding the answers your looking for in then you will be stuck at your job forever. to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christian- managing your fears. This depresses you, however your think- ity and Non Resistant Methods” - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of tech- Be understanding and patient with the ing in this situation is unrealistic. The fact niques that are effective in managing persistent family member struggling with their fears. of the matter is that there all are kinds of fears and anxieties. For additional information Dealing with depression and anxiety can jobs available and just because you don’t go to: be difficult for the person so do not add get this job promotion doesn’t mean that more problems than what is already there. you will never get one. In addition, people In every anxiety-related situation you change jobs all the time, and you always 14 WOW! SPRING 2010
  • 13. Moving Up Higher with Joyce Meyer How to Defeat Doubt and Unbelief Once and for All I have developed a “life attitude” Every day you need to say, “Something When the devil spoke to Him, Jesus re- that makes me more than a con- good is going to happen to me today. I can sponded, “It is written…” and quoted the queror in Christ Jesus: “I’m go- hardly wait to see what God is going to Word of God. He used the Word as a ing to finish my course, enjoy the do in my life today!” weapon to overcome the lies of the enemy. journey, fulfill my destiny and have And you especially need to speak this We can do the same thing. We can re- everything Jesus died for me to have!” when the devil is trying to flood your spond to the thoughts the devil brings to Before I learned to live with this atti- mind with doubts. The way you fight the our mind with the truth of God’s Word. tude, I struggled with two things the devil devil is by opening your mouth and saying We can feed our faith with the Word, often threw at me: doubt and unbelief. what God says. Don’t just let the devil use rather than feeding doubt with the devil’s Doubt and unbelief are big problems your mind as a garbage dump. lies. for Christians. They are negative and dis- Learn How to Doubt Your Doubts Decide to doubt your doubts and be- courage us. They cause us to make poor You may be thinking, I just can’t help lieve what God says it true. Talk about choices, which make life difficult. They it…I wish I could believe and not doubt. the good things God has done, not the cause us to say things like, “I wish I could But the truth is, you can! God wouldn’t problems. Spend time with people who lose weight,” or “I wish my kids would be- tell us to believe in Him if it wasn’t pos- feed your faith, encourage you and believe have,” or “I wish I could keep my house sible for us to do it. We can defeat doubt God. clean,” or “I wish I had better relation- and unbelief if we know how to do it. Refuse to be a lazy Christian and re- ships.” So how do we do it? How do we be- sist a passive, apathetic attitude. Be deter- We need to stop wishing for things and lieve God and live by faith? Romans 10:17 mined to do your part to build your faith. make up our minds that God will help us (NKJV) tells us how: “Faith comes by Never give up. And you will defeat doubt to have wisdom, make good choices, and hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” and unbelief ! overcome our trials and tribulations if we The key here is the Word of God. We will put our faith in Him. need to love the Word of God and go For more on this topic, order Joyce’s four-CD series And doubt and unbelief interrupt faith. after it like we go after food when we’re Never Give Up! You can also contact us to receive Another way we struggle with doubt really hungry. When we’re hungry, we’ll our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling (800) 727-9673 or visiting and unbelief is by thinking God won’t usually do what we need to do to get food. Joyce Meyer is a New York Times help us because we haven’t done every- God’s Word is medicine for our soul bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer thing right. Or believing that God is will- and the food we need to keep our spirit Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 80 ing to help other people but not me. strong. It has inherent power to change books, including Battlefield of the Mind and The But God doesn’t expect perfection our lives when it is mixed with faith. Love Revolution (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoy- from us. God works in our lives through Study the Word and speak the Word. We ing Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which faith. He wants us to trust Him, believe need to talk about the good things God air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more in Him, have faith in Him, and have a has done and not the problems. information, visit hopeful, positive attitude. He wants us to In Luke 4, when Jesus was in the wil- expect Him to do good things in our lives. derness, the devil came to tempt Him. SPRING 2010 | WOW! 15
  • 14. Careers and Christ WHAT BOX? …they speak a vision of their own heart. Not from the mouth of the Lord. Jeremiah 23:16 R BY STEPHANIE C. HARPER appearances, attending political and religious gatherings and vis- eady to think outside of the box? Ready to have a iting various places. paradigm shift? Ready to be a trailblazer? Follow With so much to do in so little time, Jesus had very little time the cross and you will make it. When God has put to be concerned about the box people wanted to confine Him a unique task before you, you cannot wait on the to - and likewise - so do you. If you want God to move in your approval of others, take a committee vote, or allow career, roll away any stones standing in the road to your destiny. anyone to hold you back. It is a natural thing for people to of- You have so much to learn, do and become. Your blessing is too fer questions, comments and observations about your plans. You great to allow people to hold you back. The next time someone have a mission to accomplish and your task is not complete until asks you to think outside the box - just ask “what box?” it is done. When Jesus moved, He moved in power. The thing which Stephanie C. Harper, PHR, CCP, CHRM is certified human resources makes his death so ugly is the fact that His life was so miracu- professional, author, career expert , and Publisher of CAREER Magazine lous. Even amidst hypocrites, rejection and ridicule, He accom- plished amazing things. An overview includes: 36 miracles, 38 parables, 19 prayers, 45 predictions, 16 sermons, 36 dialogues, 22 old testament quotes, the 10-fold proof of His deity, the 30-fold proof of His humanity, 37 old testament prophecies, 27 souls converted, 15 kinds of sufferings, 7 last words, 10 resurrection 16 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 15. WOWderful Woman Sherri Shepherd Faith from her VIEW 18 WOW! |SPRING 2010 18
  • 16. Sherri Shepherd is a breath of fresh air. In this candid interview she shares the pain of her divorce, her life as a single mother, and how she found Jesus at the darkest moment in her life. BY CANDIE A. PRICE wouldn’t take long. I decided to be a le- friend said, “Sherri, if you never try, you Candie A. Price: We are very excited to gal secretary because it looked like I could will never know.” And with that a bunch talk to you today. Where did you grow up make the most money without a college of girls put together some money for me, and what was your childhood like? degree. So that’s what I did, it wasn’t like because I was always getting my check Sherri Shepherd: I grew up in Chicago. I was happy being a legal secretary. I think garnished because of tax liens, it was $600 Then we moved to the Brookwood sub- that everybody that is in law has an artis- to take a comedy class and they all gave urbs when I was about eleven, right in the tic side. Every lawyer I ever met wanted to me the money. That was how it started, middle of roots when Toby got his foot be an author or an actor. the comedy class was for six weeks, I went cut off. I say that because I went to an That’s how I became a legal secretary. I to a club and did their variety show and all white school and Toby getting his foot did it for a number of years and was quite won $100 and was hooked - telling sto- cut off – that was the news of the day at good at it and made a wonderful salary. I ries about my life that people could relate school. I had a really wonderful child- think at the time I was making $42,000 a to. I think that’s why people say, “Why hood - I’m a daddy’s girl. My family was year, which was really good back in 1995 do you tell all your business?” Because it Jehovah’s Witnesses and on Sundays we but I was always making people laugh - helps me - I’ve always done that even as a would go to the Kingdom Hall and my I had been making people laugh since little girl, my father would say, “Why are mom would cook and we would go to my I was little. And one day a bunch of us you telling everything that goes on in this grandmom’s house in Chicago and all the decided - there were eight of us legal sec- house?” Because it makes people laugh! I cousins would put on a talent show for retaries, and we decided to have a night would talk about things that I go through the older folks and I would make people on the town and we went to Sizzler’s and and it makes people laugh - even when I laugh. We would dance - we had a dance had the all you can eat shrimp and then tell people what I’m going through now it called the California Shake, I will never we went to The Comedy Store. Before makes people laugh because I seem to tell forget that. It was a really good child- the show started I was making a lot of it in a funny way. hood- I just remember a lot of good times. the ladies laugh around me and Andrew Dice Clay got up on stage - I had never CAP: Well, that’s a blessing to be that Candie A. Price - Currently you are best thought of doing comedy before, but An- transparent because even though you’re known as co-host on The View, but some drew Dice Clay got up on the stage and making people laugh it makes them re- of us have watched your career evolve made all of those women so angry with flect on their own issues. Sometimes we through shows like The Jamie Foxx Show, all that hickory dickory dock rhymes and think that we are so alone and we go Friends, Beauty Shop and other roles, and this lady turned around at the table and through things all by ourselves and when I’ve heard you talk of your job as a legal said, “Sherri, you’re funnier than him, we hear other people’s stories it does help. secretary. Being a former legal secretary you should do this.” And it was like this How did you wind up on The View? That myself, I can relate to your aspiration of seed was planted in my mind and from was a major move for you. wanting to do something else, not that then on it wasn’t so much listening to SS: That was God! When people ask me there is anything wrong with being a legal what the comics who got up- what they I have to say that was Jesus! It was NOT secretary. But how did you go from being said, I looked at how they affected the me. I’ve always had two dreams -one was a legal secretary to being a co-host on a audience. Charlie Fleisher got up, Eddie to have my own talk show and the other major television show like The View? Griffin got up and they made the audi- was to have my own sitcom. I had already SS: I became a legal secretary as a Jeho- ence move as one with the laughter - with done a pilot for my own talk show but it vah’s Witness. They didn’t encourage the stuff that everybody could relate to. I wasn’t picked up, they had picked up Ra- kids to go to college, it was pretty much went up to Eddie Griffin after the show, chael Ray and The View came about be- discouraged. I really wanted to go to col- he thought I was a groupie, but I asked cause I was on a sitcom called Less Than lege and since it was discouraged what for his advice, which I never forgot was Perfect and I was just trying to get on The teenagers did after high school was get “do it scared.” Because I said, “I’m scared View to promote the sitcom. But they al- a trade because the main focus was to to do this.” And he said, “Do it scared!” ways said no. Bill Getty would always say be in field service - you know, when you I called up all my girlfriends that night we don’t know who Sherri Shepherd is- are out there talking to people about The around midnight and asked them, “Do we don’t know if she can sit on the couch Watch Tower and The Wake and becom- you think I could do stand-up?” And a for five minutes and hold a conversation. ing Jehovah’s Witnesses - that was to be bunch of them said, “No, Sherri, you have That was pretty much what every talk our main focus. Since I was encouraged a great job, you’re making your money, show said; Ellen, and I don’t recall who to get a trade, I looked into being a court you’ve got your pension plan, you’re going else was out at the time - even though reporter and a legal secretary because it to be struggling to make it.” But one girl- talking is what I do. My publicist kept SPRING 2010 | WOW! 19
  • 17. calling them - everybody on the sitcom don’t know what God has for you.” I said, ries, it’s been a dream and God brought it had been on The View except me. But “No, No, I see what they put Ms. Jones to fruition. What’s your show’s premise? one day, unfortunately, Johnnie Cochran through, uh, uh. And I told them no and I SS: My show, Sherri, is also a Godsend. had passed away and Star Jones had to said, “Lord, did I make a mistake? I want It’s based on my life and it’s based on my go to the funeral and my publicist hap- to do sitcoms.” And I don’t know, my pas- stand-up of my real life of having been pened to be calling that day - I was on tor just kept talking about ‘run toward married and my husband had an affair bed rest because I was pregnant, and they what you fear the most’ and it confirmed with a white woman and the girl got preg- said we need someone to fill in for Star, my “do it scared” and that’s my motto nant. And there were times when I would if she can be on the plan tomorrow we’re now. If you fear it, Sherri, run toward it. lay in bed and cry -for almost a year - and going to have a co-host. I talked to my And I’ve gotten in more trouble because my friends would pray with me and I just doctor and asked if I was going to have of my mouth! remember the Lord saying, “Peace be the baby in the air and she said no. They still.” And the Lord would say in my mo- wheeled me in a wheelchair to my seat CAP: But that’s a good thing because you ments of darkness, “Do you trust me?” and on the plane and to my hotel and I co- learn, you grow, and then you move on. I would say, “Absolutely NOT, no way. My hosted. Joy liked me and so whenever she SS: But I have grown in so many ways. baby almost died he’s in NICU, my best was gone she’d say, “Use Sherri.” Then I Because I run toward those things I fear friend is with another woman, there’s a got to co-host next to Star and she’d say, and have learned to rely on God in a new baby on the way- no, I don’t trust you, “You are really funny.” And it just seemed and fresh way every single day, more than NO. And I would lay in bed and I would people started liking me co-hosting and I ever have before. My very first sea- cry, I didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t I think I hold the record for want to change my clothes, co-hosting - I think I co- didn’t comb my hair, didn’t hosted 23 or 24 times. So wear a wig - it was awful! when they asked me, Rosie “I wanted to kill my husband and And every day the Lord O’Donnell asked me - and would say, “Will you trust I was terrified of co-hosting God said no, if you kill him then me? Will you trust me?” with Rosie - I was there for And I had gotten to the Rosie’s first fight and I was you’re going to prison and I said point where I said, “I’ve there for Rosie’s last fight. got nothing else to do but The very reasons I was I was willing to accept that call- trust you. Everything in scared to be on The View as a regular, because they had ing! I wanted to beat up the girl my life is falling a part.” And I started going to the been asking me, was because and Niecey Nash, one of my best comedy clubs and I started I didn’t think I was smart talking about this because enough and I didn’t think I friends, had to come to my aid.” that has always helped was funny enough, because me through what I’m go- they had already had co- ing through. I wanted to medians on the show, and I kill my husband and God didn’t like to debate people. I said no, if you kill him then knew my faith and I knew you couldn’t son I got into so much trouble with my you’re going to prison and I said I was shout on the show, “I love Jesus!” mouth - I was nervous and I used to have willing to accept that calling! I wanted The very things I was scared to do are- these scriptures -my prosperity scrip- to beat up the girl and Niecey Nash, one what Rosie liked. Rosie, the very first time tures -when I was living in California - of my best friends, had to come to my aid. I co-hosted, said, “I would like for you to ‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse... But women started coming up to me be on the show every day because I think he’s pouring out blessings, but, girl, my to tell me that they were going through you’re smart, you’re funny and I love your first year on The View it was all Psalms - the same thing and I had made them faith.” And I looked at Rosie and said, ‘Lord, the enemy is trying to tear my life laugh instead of cry. So when the people “You guys are crazy, y’all work my nerves, a part - you are my shadow...I was on the approached me about doing a show for no way!” When I was there her last day, floor moaning in prayer. I’m David, Lord, me they asked me what was going on in I think what they liked about me is that I’m in a cave with no clothes on. I don’t my life and I started doing my stand-up I tried to make light of it. Whenever think I’ve done a tithe or prosperity scrip- and they said, “We want to do this be- stuff happens that’s crazy, I want to make ture in three years! All my scriptures are cause it’s so raw and powerful.” Lifetime people laugh and I told Joy, ‘let’s pretend the wisdom of God confounds the world came and said, ‘we want to do it’ and I like we’re getting up from the table’ - it - You will never leave me nor forsake me, was absolutely floored that my laying in made people laugh and I think they liked where I am weak, you are strong! Those bed, my tears birthed a show that makes that I didn’t go around talking about what are my scriptures! people laugh and talks about healing, happened. And they kept asking me and I and talks about forgiveness. On my show said, no, no, no. And girlfriends who hold CAP: I know that’s right! That’s awesome! we’ve kind of sped up the forgiveness part me accountable, kept saying, “Sherri, you Tell me a little about your television se- -the other girl, we call her the Quiz-ho on 20 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 18. the show because she works at Quizno’s SS: I’ve said to Elizabeth, because Eliza- besides the Lord?” If I didn’t have Jesus Subs - but we show how we have forged beth is a Christian, “Girl, you know Jesus in my life and prayer, I don’t know where a relationship and how, Malcolm Jamaal is coming back! He’s coming back next I would be. Because there are just some Warner, who plays my husband -how he week at 3:45 - you know this so why we days when I got to get on my knees and wants to make his marriage work and re- arguing over this stuff ?” And she would I don’t even know what I’m praying for. I alizes he made a mistake and how I come laugh, and say you can’t say that! You can’t remember calling Niecey one time when through with the help of my girlfriends, say that when you have someone like I was fighting for custody of my son and which is what happened in real life. One Bill Mahr who comes on the show and going through the divorce and everybody character is based on Niecey, all my girl- thinks all Christians are crazy, you can’t told me I was not going to get custody friends gathered around me in prayer, let say certain things. So we have to do it in of my baby and the odds were against me cry and scream. You know you have a way that people can understand and you me. And I remember calling Niecey and some snot sessions when you are on the don’t want to sound crazy but you don’t saying, “I don’t know what a panic attack floor wailing and your girlfriends will want to deny who you are either. There feels like, but I’m having one.” And she be right on the floor with you and they are times when we go to talk about stuff said God will give you the blessing and just speak in tongues while you just cry I’ll just say, Lord, I am just scared today, the enemy will make it so you won’t en- out. I remember being in church and the I’m just plain flat out scared. You know, joy it and she prayed with me. I just have pastor was dismissing service and I was I would love to be Juanita Bynum and a real strong group of girls that when I like AAHHHHH (screaming) and all come out with something deep, you know call them and I don’t know what to pray my girlfriends, I just remembered being how some people open their mouths and they will pray with me. And there are only smothered in breasts! And pastor was like come out with some deep word - that aint about four of them and when I get to L.A. ‘don’t worry about what’s going on over never happen with me! NEVER! When I and I visit, I’ll link with them and we’ll there - just put your arms out, Sherri’s go- thought it was that’s when I said I didn’t have dinner and we’ll pray. So prayer for ing through something.” So my show is know if the earth was round or flat! I me...I always tell people if you give God based on that, but also how I’m moving thought everybody was going to be saved the time in the morning, he’ll give time forward and how I’m dealing with being that day and it was my first week! I could for you through the rest of the day. That’s a single mom and single woman, which say no wrong, I was a warrior! (laughing) what gets me through. If you ask me what is what I’m going through now, being a I pray and Elizabeth encourages me and gets me through - it’s my Lord and Savior single woman at 42. And I love that in when we’re going through stuff she’ll grip Jesus! the show I’m my own age, I’m a grown my thigh or I’ll grip her thigh and she woman, they don’t have me playing a 20 says, “Sherri, you only have to please an CAP: You’re definitely busy with your ca- year old. They tried to make me 20 and audience of one!” And that’s what I always reer and raising your son and so many of I said, “Y’all better quit!” Ain’t no 20 year remember when I get a little fearful I only us can relate as we wear many hats on a old going through this mess, this is grown have to please an audience of one. At the daily basis. But what do you do, just for woman stuff ! I think people will like the end of the day I look up and say did I do Sherri? What do you do for fun? show because it’s funny and it’s family. what you told me to do? SS: I love to karaoke. We’ve broken records at Lifetime with the show - we’ve got men watching the CAP: Exactly, and if I didn’t, thank you CAP: (laughing) really? show, and families, not just women. We for another chance! SS: Yes! because I can’t sing! I was on were the most watched comedy in the SS: Yes, thank you for another chance! Donnie McKlurkin’s show and I told him ten-year history of Lifetime. When I look My daddy watches every day and he’ll call that so many of his songs had gotten me at that I say that’s Jesus! Do you trust me and say, “You’ve gotta stop talking, telling through and he said maybe we can do a to do a Romans 8:28 All things work to- people you’re horny.” And I’ll say, “But, duet. I said, No, I will karaoke with you! I gether for the good of them that love me Daddy, that’s who I am.” And I’ll say, well don’t know why people think I can sing, I and are called according to my purpose, Lord, you know what I was trying to say! must look like I can sing! And I went to but that’s okay because even if you don’t, But honestly I stay on my knees. Those his church on New Year’s and he looked I’m going to do it! (laughing) days when I don’t pray are when I get in like he wanted to call me up on stage and the most daggone trouble! I was like, “you better put that karaoke CAP: Isn’t that just like God? Wonderful! machine on stage!” Cause I’ll do a mean How do you balance being a Christian CAP: Well, Sherri, a lot of women can version of “Never Would Have Made with the life of celebrity? Has it been dif- relate to you because you speak openly It!” I love playing Taboo and Charades. I ficult maintaining your principles in the about your divorce, weight loss struggles, don’t get to read anymore, but I used to business? and being a single mother. What do you read a lot. You know, my son and I we love SS: Oh, sure. Absolutely! It happens on think has helped you the most through to dance all day. I really enjoy being with The View all the time. We’ll have a dis- your struggles in life, what has given you my baby. cussion and I’ll be like, “Oh, Lord.” strength to overcome those issues? CAP: Yes, I’ve seen some of those mo- SS: Man, it sounds cliché to some people CAP: How old is he now? ments and had to pray for you and say, that are not believers and they may say, “Come on Sherri, you can do this!” “Are you going to say the Lord? What Continued on Page 38 SPRING 2010 | WOW! 21
  • 19. Christina Dixon Reconfigured Settings T here is no frustration quite like the aggravation you Let’s face it; He has configurations for the lives of all His feel when you find that the settings on your com- children. Yet, too often we come along, believing we know how puter have been changed without your permis- things should go, and change things to suit us. We are clueless sion. Such was the case for me when my husband about how much we’re disconnecting things. I can only imagine changed the USB location of my portable hard how frustrated God is with us at times. drive on my multiple USB hub. For my friends who are not tech Recently, I’ve been meditating on how my settings are being savvy, it was much like knowing that you put your favorite out- reconfigured. For years I worked a full-time job, while doing my fits in your closet only to find that someone moved them to the passion part-time. After being downsized I’ve gone to full-time basement or the garage without asking. entrepreneurship. What a change! Talk about reconfiguration. I Of course my husband’s intent was to help, but without real- had waited years for the opportunity to work my business full- izing the problems he was causing, he completely reconfigured time. Now, without the illusion of security my job had provided the settings on my computer. Consequently I was unable to lo- I have to really trust Him. I know that since I belong to Him He cate the paths of frequently used templates. Arghhh! His chang- will arrange things in whatever order He sees fit. Today, I know ing things created software connection issues which forced me that He is Jehovah-jireh, my Provider. Are you feeling me? I said, to uninstall and reinstall software packages. I spent almost 1.5 I know He is Jehovah-jireh! hours reconfiguring things back to the way I had them. Talk Maybe like me, your sense of security has been challenged as about irritating! God reconfigures your settings. If your heart screams out in frus- As I worked to figure out what had happened, I murmured tration because things are not where you left them, stop. Take a and grumbled prayers of irritation until it hit me, my husband deep breath. Remember that He is Jehovah-jireh. You are His. changed things unintentionally. It forced me to ask myself, “Am You belong to Him. As Sovereign Lord of your life He is free I this frustrated when God comes along and intentionally re- to configure and reconfigure your settings as little or as much configures my settings?” Here I was griping about how my hus- as He likes. Rest in the knowledge that He always knows what band’s inadvertent changes were made to my computer. Had I He’s doing. ever considered that in the beginning God had configured things to work a certain way only to have Adam and Eve reconfigure © 2010 Christina Dixon All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Chris- things in such a way that the paths to His Divine templates were tina Dixon is an author, speaker, and publisher whose life mission is the En- courage, Challenge, and Inspire. To contact her visit her website at www. disrupted so that mankind no longer had direct connection to or email God’s original intent? 22 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 21. INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SHAWNA M. HARRISON I BY LATONJA FLOWERS met Shawna, a 29 yr old author from Tennessee through social Sexual abuse, incest, drugs, violence, self- mutilation, these networking sites. A current trend are just one of the many life challenges writer Shawna of our times on how much things M. Harrison has experienced and overcome. MY TRUE change in media, social network- ing has proven useful in doing this inter- SOUL: EXPLOITED, APPREHENDED, AND view. I have to first say that in meeting BROKEN WITHIN is the new autobiography for this first Shawna I began to see just how much this beautiful young soul has overcome time author. In this memoir Harrison shares raw emotions and you would indeed think it hard not and graphic detail of a tumultuous life filled with nothing to feel broken hearted yourself if not for but hurt and pain, that was triggered by childhood sexual the redemptive measure we can now see victoriously working in this woman’s life. abuse from the three men who should have been in her life I believe this interview will be a redeem- for love and protection. ing seed for so many who feel they are alone dealing with past abuse. LATONJA FLOWERS: Shawna your LF: I can see how writing your book help is using what you went through to inspire book delves into a very serious subject to release the pain you went through, in others, when someone comes from an please tell our readers your inspiration for authoring My True Sou..l” were hoping to abusive background the healing process writing this book? also reach others? can take years or essentially a person’s SHAWNA M. HARRISON: God gave SMH: Writing this autobiography I had whole life, do you consider yourself fully me this book to write, I feel very strongly no one else in mind but myself, like I said, healed and if still ongoing how far in the that he knew that I needed to release all God gave me this book, because I have process are you? these emotions, thoughts, feelings, pain, never written anything in my life, except SMH: No I don’t think that I am fully discomfort, bitterness, self-mutilation little love notes back and forth in school. healed from my past pain, but I am very that I caused to myself. I needed to write I didn’t anticipate the response that I have much further in my relationship with this book for me to finally be able to heal, received from those that have truly been God now then before, I didn’t know him grow, release, and move forward with the inspired from my PAIN. at all throughout my emotional troubles. life that He has for me.... LF: Wow it’s a blessing to see how God LF: What would you say to someone in 24 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 22. the beginning stages of dealing with past struggle in this lifestyle, based on your LF:Yes I can absolutely see how impact- abuse? experience what would you say to them ing your book will be for those who have SMH: NEVER STOP PRAYING TO now? endured abuse in their past and I pray that GOD!!! Trust someone to share your SMH: We all have to answer for our own God will bless you more and more, en- story with, it will help to release it and get actions, whatever the sin may be, I can’t larging your platform to reach the masses! some counsel from someone you trust. nor will I judge. You have to walk your SMH: I thank you dearly! LF: I agree with you, it’s so important to own walk with God just like I am. What- Shawna’s story is one that should be trust in God even if you don’t know Him ever we are trying to walk away from, pray told because you will gain an experi- I encourage those reading to get to know to God for it, and keep that attitude of ence with her that through God and His Him... we should always pray in faith FAITH and EXPECTANCY promises we are victorious. Shawna cur- about everything and circumstance that LF: Amen!!! Many times gifts you find rently promotes her book with local and concerns us (Philippians 4:6, 7) knowing working in Independent artists are born national media and is available for speak- that God is faithful to keep those issues through adversity and pain, what advice ing engagements. we bring to Him. Speaking of God and to other Indie’s would you give on how to Contact: shawna_mytruesoul@yahoo. church what would you want church lead- stay victorious in their purpose and plan com. Visit her online at ers and Christians in general to know on for God? or how to counsel or be a friend to someone SMH: Stay focused on God and his pur- call 615-719-6797 whose survived sexual abuse in their past? pose for your life, that’s what I’m doing. ©2010 Latonja Flowers Latonja Flowers is a SMH: Be extremely supportive, patient LF: In terms of giving back and paying it dedicated wife, mother, indie apparel designer and and compassionate in there walk with this forward...what ideas do you have for oth- founder of HerSoul Business Group LLC an in- die community that recognizes independant artist pain. Not to look at it as some childhood ers Indies in using their gifts to give back who use their gifts in philathropic outreach. Visit issue that they/we should have gotten to the community and/or the world? her online over already. SMH: God allows us to go through LF: You are very open about your past, be- things to help others along the way, plus ing attracted to women and how you lived God blesses us to bless others.... so there a lesbian lifestyle. Many men and women you go!!! SPRING 2010 | WOW! 25
  • 23. J o A n n Fo r e I Have The Right To Remain Safe, But Do I Really Want To? T he tips of my fingers traced experience the wonders of the world? rights exhausts us. Deprives us. Cripples the cracked crevices of ar- Now here I stood. Awestruck. Tucked us. God longs for us to live free of these chaic stones. Stones which in a remote corner of the Coliseum among obsessions. Imagine, as Nancy suggests, harbored the silent wails nearly 2,000-year-old partial ruins. The how different our lives could be if we were of gallant gladiators and majestic yet oddly humble ruins of Rome. willing to say yes to whatever God has in wild beasts whose staged deadly combats The words of Nancy Guthrie, author of store, even if that means being out of con- served as mere public entertainment. Holding On to Hope, circled my mind. trol. My feet were planted on the grounds Two days prior to my European depar- The rewards of surrender are great. As of one of Rome’s most famous landmarks, ture, a friend had shared a link to Nancy’s I turned away from the Coliseum, God the Coliseum. Roman parables and poli- podcast ( kissed the sky with a double rainbow el- tics climbed from the storage files of my “God wants to show us what it’s like to egantly arched overtop the regal ruins. mind. Standing in the silence of the an- really live free of an obsession with per- The spectrum colors spoke to me of God’s cient amphitheatre, the atmosphere felt sonal safety,” Nancy encouraged. reliable promises, over 7,000 of them in thick, the carnage real, and the logic com- Nancy got it. She understood my His Word. pletely senseless. struggle—a divine passion blocked by I didn’t have to be afraid to come here. I’d dreamt of coming here for years. crippling fear. And Nancy knew that isn’t God promised. By faith, I had to accept it. From countless travel brochures, the what God intends for us. And once I surrendered my right and my silhouette of this colossal architecture She voiced what I denied. I was ob- need to be safe, God opened up a whole draped across the sky had beckoned me, sessed with my personal safety. Not a cau- new adventure. Imagine how much of the “Come.” tious self-awareness, rather a consuming world is a short ten-hour flight away. My deep-rooted, passionate desire obsession. I demanded my right to be safe. to see the world often pierced my heart, In control. And I avoided, at all costs, any Jo Ann Fore is a Certified Life Purpose Coach®. though, for I was afraid to fly. Even the environment which left me feeling out of Visit her at and www.sni- slices of Roman ruins couldn’t lure me control; such as flying in a jet, over the 4,500 miles away from the safety of my Atlantic ocean at an altitude of 30,000 home. feet for 10½ hours. Or could they? We struggle with surrendering our Over six months ago I planned this “rights” to God. Our right to be safe and trip, but not without cancellation insur- secure. Our right to be healthy. Our right ance. Almost daily, I wondered if I would to have our children live a good, long, pro- really go. Would I, could I, overcome my tected life. fear of flying? Just how bad did I want to However, the battle to maintain our 26 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 24. rfully Wde ! WO unny F concentration A Joyful ‘toon by Mike Waters © 2007 Michael D. Waters You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. – IsaIah 26:3 esv
  • 25. Chiku’ Griffin Celebrity Style Bride H ere comes the Bride! One of the most important days of your life is finally here. As you walk down the aisle with butterflies in your stomach and the overwhelming feeling of joy of becoming Mrs. Jones, you can do so with the total confidence of knowing that you have put your best foot forward with your Ce- lebrity-Style Makeover. Months of planning usually goes into making your dream come true. Make sure your Wedding Planner is well-informed of your vision for your wedding. Of utmost importance is the photo im- age album that will capture your vision forever, so make sure both you and your bridesmaids have the best possible beauty makeover. Celebrity Style Bride Makeover List: 1. Beauty consultation: Contact a health and beauty professional for consultation three to five month prior to the wedding. You will be provided with everything you need to know as well as sup- port along the way to look and feel like a celebrity bride on your wedding day. 2. Hair: Pre-styling for Bridal images. Planning the perfect hair- style with headpiece, whether you will be wearing your hair down or in a formal updo. 3. Skin: Taking care of your skin with a great skincare line is the best way to stay clear of any acne problems. 4. Make-up: Make sure your foundation is matching, your eye- brows are properly shaped and enough time is allowed for lash ap- plication 5. Body: Keeping your body healthy during your months of plan- ning and for a future plan of nutrition is key to having and main- taining the required amount of energy. 6. Undergarments: Instantly drop 2-3 dress sizes by wearing this garment and the Angel Bra. ©2010 Chiku- Griffin, Owner of ExpoStyles Hair Studio & Magazine, Cosmetologist/Health & Beauty Consultant,,, 28 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 26. Family Values WOW! MOM WOW: What is your greatest parental reward? Elva “Precious Love” Thompson: The smile on my children’s WOW: What is best advice given to you as a mom and what faces is the best advice you’d pass on to other moms? EPLT: Listen to your children (given to me). Talk to your children and be open and make them comfortable about being WOW: What is your greatest parenting challenge? able to talk to you about anything and everything. Have EPLT: When 2 of my oldest daughters were teenagers and boundaries set where they know that you’re their friend, as well now I have one teenager left with 2 more to follow. as mom (given to them). WOW: How do you balance church, family and home? ©2010 Tamara D. Davis, EPLT: Like clockwork! Sundays, I get everybody up. I call my oldest girls on the telephone to wake them up. I pick them up for church so that I can spend time with all of my children after we all attend Sunday service. We come back to my house, cook, watch a movie and enjoy our entire day and evening together. PROFILE: Name and Age: ELVA “PRECIOUS LOVE” WOW: How often do you take “me” time and what do you do THOMPSON (39) in your “me” time? EPLT: I take “me” time best in my bedroom. I have a prayer closet and I often go in there to talk to God and when I’m Residence: PALM COAST, FL (SOON TO BE done, I relax on my bed and I write letters to God and write ATLANTA, GA) poetry or complete my nonfiction novel that is currently a work in progress. My kids understand that when I shut and Children: 5, ages 6-21 lock my’s quiet time throughout the entire house and they respect that. They either watch TV in their rooms or have it turned down quietly in the living room. Occupation: Owner, Esquire Publications, Precious Hearts Foundation, Georgia Editing Service, LLC - WOW: How does having Christ in your life change the way you parent? EPLT: Tremendously! Without Christ in my life, I would Heroes: Jesus! have no life. I would not be a good parent. That is where my “me” time comes in at. I ask for guidance, wisdom, and To be featured in WOW! Mom, with a Tamara D. Davis at Goals: Continued success contact humble common sense in all that I do, especially in my parenting. demeanor SPRING 2010 | WOW! 29
  • 27. V a l e r i e H i c k s Po w e Stay Employed by Exercising Wisdom and Constraint A ll things may be right but after church service, when a woman in a either failed to filter the truth (as they see not all things are expedi- choir robe bonuses over and asks, “What it) with discretion or are in the planning ent: Powerful words, for did you think of my solo Mrs. Henson?” stage of doing so and are contacting me life and especially for the Before Mrs. Henson could fashion a re- for approval. There is usually hope for workplace. More familiar sponse the girl bellows her own question, the second group, which will be address phrases conveying the identical senti- “Mommy, isn’t this the lady who sings further in this article. However, the first ment would include: I Corinthians 10:23 like a squealing pig?” In all fairness to the group of frustrated souls generally arrives “Every thing is permissible but not every- child, she was just repeating what she had at my office in search of legal services to thing is beneficial. Everything is permis- obviously overheard. Moreover, the state- be performed quick, fast, and in a hurry sible but not everything is constructive”; ment was most probably true. However, for damages they genuinely believe were or perhaps “Just because it’s true does not there was nothing to be gained by reveal- the result of discriminatory conduct by mean you have to say it”. Surely there are ing that very painful fact. Children often their employer. Unfortunately, I am com- numerous other similar sayings floating fall victim to such errors in judgment, fre- pelled to inform them that the right to about, having been passed down from one quently carrying their parents with them, freedom of speech ends at the door of generation to another. Generally, such as was the case in the example. However, the workplace. Without exception, my phrases can be heard as an admonishment given proper corrective measures, ma- response is met with shock and amaze- to a talkative juvenile with bad timing. turity intercepts future indiscretions in ment, as evidenced by their glazed over However, these nuggets of wisdom are as most cases—in most cases being the op- stares and open mouths that if dropped applicable to the workplace as they are to erative phrase. All too often, seemingly an inch more would release the foot they the child who finds himself at the stinging reasonable adults either have not learned unknowingly stuffed in it just before be- end of grandma’s switch, receiving a stern or choose not to apply the lesson from I ing fired. The sound of the shoe hitting reprimand for blurting out the obvious Corinthians 10:23. When those indis- the ground is usually my cue to furnish at at the most inopportune time. Almost crete statements are made in the work- least a short lecture on not only employee everyone has either witnessed or experi- place, the result is almost always drama. rights but obligations as well. Notwith- enced such correction. Consider the case No less than three times a year I find standing the consistency of my audience’s of the little girl standing with her mother myself counseling individuals who have reaction, I am still staggered that people 30 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 28. are clueless to the fact that there is no constitutional right to tell your boss that she is a hypocrite; that is and still keep your job. This fact does not change even when the boss truly is a hypocrite. Nev- ertheless, I convey the information not to correct the current state of circumstances, but to hopefully prevent the same from occurring in the future. As stated earlier, I also encounter people who while still employed, toy with the idea of engaging in speech that can quickly land them in the unemployment line. For those willing to understand that freedom of speech in the workplace can be costly, there is hope and help. Re- cently, a young woman approached me with the intention of retaining my legal services but happily for her, realized that she would be better off retaining me as a career coach instead. The young woman was understandably frustrated with the office politics of her workplace. It seems that she was counseled by a member of senior management for being inexplicably abrasive to a coworker. There were two obvious problems with the counseling: the management official could not iden- tify what the “abrasive” conduct was; and his line of supervision did not include my client or the complaining employee. Although it was apparent the manager’s involvement had more to do with his rela- tionship with the complaining employee than it did with correcting a legitimate personnel issue, his authority still war- lesser alternatives are available. Litigat- apply the essence of I Corinthians 10:23 ranted respect. ing lawsuits are expensive in the best of “All things are lawful for me, but not all Accordingly, my client had little to circumstances, litigating a case from the things are beneficial…” gain and a lot to lose by offering an un- ranks of the unemployed takes the defini- calculated response. She certainly could Valerie Hicks Powe is an Attorney, Author, tion of expensive to a new level. Indeed, have complained that the manager’s con- Corporate Trainer, Career I advised the young woman regarding al- duct was just plain unfair. The problem Coach, and Popular Radio ternatives that subtlety revealed the error with that assertion is there is little legal Talk Show Host. She is the of the manager’s ways, while at the same founder of a Management protection for unfair conduct in the work- time avoiding the risk of appearing insub- Consulting Firm, Esquire place. She could have also alleged race ordinate. Being open to advice, she not Management, which offers discrimination, since among the three only retained her job, she left the indelible training and consulting so- people involved she was the only African impression that through her diplomatic lutions for the Workplace. American. That too presents a problem, As a former senior trial skills she was more than equipped to deal in that other than her race there is no attorney with the Equal with office politics at even the highest evidence that the manager’s conduct was Employment Opportunity Commission, Valerie level. The manager, who counseled her intended to discriminate on the basis of has over a decade of experience assessing and de- for being inexplicably abrasive, eventually race. Moreover, her complaints could veloping Not-So-Common solutions for common offered an apology. workplace problems.. Join her Fan Page on Face have been met with further discipline, up Things could have turned out quite Book at Workin It Out With Valerie. to and including termination. Such action differently had my young client insisted on the part of the company, could make a on the litigious approach. Consequently, very strong case for unlawful retaliation, she maintained her job and increased her however, bringing a lawsuit for the same level of respect because she was willing to might not be the best thing to do when SPRING 2010 | WOW! 31
  • 29. K e y s t o D y n a m i c B i b l e S t u d y The Third Day Phenomenon: Moses’ Story Read Exodus 19 BY BARBARA ARNOLD move forward. He wanted to glimpse the listen to you.” Fervent approval from oth- The clouds looked plump with wool as God who had caused the water in the big ers provoked more comments. “Don’t let they wrapped themselves around the up- river to turn to blood and frogs to jump God speak to us; He could kill us,” shout- permost heights of Mount Sinai. Moses into Egyptian beds. ed a young man, his finger stabbing at the gazed out at his people, scurrying this Just as the ram’s horn was blown, and mount. The voices of hysterical people way and that on the barren region below Moses waved his hesitant people forward, began to blare above the rumble from the the mount. Women at nearby pools of the earth shuddered beneath their feet, mountain. spring water were washing ankle length and rocks rained down from the trem- “Don’t be afraid of God,” Moses pleaded garments dirtied by weeks of harsh travel- bling mountain. The combination of fire, after he had at last silenced them. “God ing conditions. Hours earlier, Moses had smoke, lightning, and thunder, along with is only testing you; just fear God, and you explained that they had a mere three days the earth quaking, horrified Moses’ peo- won’t have to be scared.” But they would to prepare for their God Yahweh’s visit: ple. The multitudes stepped back; moth- not listen. “Wear clean clothing,” Yahweh had com- ers clasped babies, children like Yoseph So the Lord came down upon the manded. forgot about bravery and grasped their mountain in fire. Its smoke ascend- As their garments were being washed, mothers’ legs. Many people shrieked in ed like the smoke of a furnace, and the men and boys, dressed solely in loin alarm. All--without a word of discus- whole mountain quaked violently. When cloths, picked up rocks to create tempo- sion--came to a common decision: they the sound of the trumpet grew increas- rary boundaries before the Mount from would not go up that mountain. ingly louder, the Lord called exclusively which Yahweh would reveal Himself. Moses’ exasperation at his people’s for Moses. Then Moses climbed up the Some of the youths caught sheep and reluctance to travel up the mountain mountain to meet Him, on that third day. goats nibbling away at tufts of grass and churned within him. Their reaction was *** herded them away from the lower ar- frustrating, since they had witnessed the The Lord saves Abraham’s son from eas of the mountain. Moses was aware horrific plagues Yahweh had displayed in being sacrificed on the third day. On the that any man or animal that approached Egypt to deliver His people—ten plagues third day, Joseph’s prophecy to the baker the mountain before the ram’s horn was that had the purpose of establishing Yah- and the cupbearer was fulfilled. Esther blown on the third day would die. Moses weh’s power above that of the Egyptian stands before the king, on the third day, surveyed all the Israelites preparations gods. The thunder and lightning that and saves her people from annihilation. As the third day dawned, six year old now alarmed them had, two months ear- Jonah, on the third day, is spit up by Yoseph stood as close to his mother as he lier, exploded across blackened skies, an- the great sea beast onto dry land. Mo- could, without looking like a baby. Just nouncing Yahweh’s presence at the Red ses climbs up Mount Sinai, on the third two years earlier he would have stuck his Sea. The sea had opened wide to expose day, to meet with God. All these narra- head under his mother’s garments while dry land for Moses’ people to tread on, tives confirm that God does phenomenal thunder, lightning, and streaks of fire only to pound closed over pursuing Egyp- acts, which are often redemptive, on the exploded from the mountain in front of tian soldiers. “Why would his people be third day, and these acts prepare us for the him. Yoseph was sick with disappoint- frightened of the God who had set them third-day resurrection. As Paul said, Jesus ment as well as terror. Moses had brought free?” Moses wondered. “was raised on the third day according to the multitudes to the foot of the moun- “People,” Moses cried out, choking the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). tain to go up and meet with God, but the with a despair that clawed at his heart. ©2010 Barbara Arnold. Barbara Arnold is a storm seemed to be holding things up. But the people interrupted him. “You wife and a mother of four grown children. He wondered why his mother wouldn’t speak to us, Moses,” one yelled out, “We’ll 32 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 30. In the Kitchen with Sandi Ingredients: 1 banana 4 strawberries 1 kiwi Sliced almonds (optional) Method: Step 1. Peel and slice the banana and kiwi. Step 2. Wash the strawberries and slice them. Step 3. Layer the kiwi, banana and strawberries in a bowl. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top if desired. Kiwi Strawberry Banana Splice Send me an email at and let me know how you are enjoying the recipes. My Recipe for Life vegetarian cookbook with music to cook by Philip Michael Thomas is available for $19.95 including shipping and handling at (Photographs by Philip Michael Thomas) SPRING 2010 | WOW! 33
  • 31. S o l o m o n ’s C a f e Featuring the Works of Wendy Reynolds Solomon’s Cafe is dedicated to the art of the written and spoken word. Sit back, relax and grab your favorite coffee, tea, or latte and be blessed by this month’s lyrical artists. To have your poetry published in WOW’s Solomon’s Cafe poetry section, please email us at info@ 34 34 WOW! |SPRING 2010 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 32. Shine Sunrise This is your time- So shine. Be all that you can be. Shine your light bright with all your might and the I see the Sunrise- a start of a brand new day- whole world will see A chance to seek God’s face- A chance to get things What you’re made of and Who you believe in right. My opportunity to let the important people in my So spread your wings and begin to fly. Don’t you life know they are loved, appreciated and valued. A dare let the time pass you by. chance to wipe away a tear from the eyes of a child; Don’t be afraid to shine. Don’t be afraid to shine. A chance to give away a smile and a kind word to a stranger since we never know what someone may be Some have tried to hold you down because they going through; A day to consciously and purposely fear your light. forgive and not be moved when someone angers me They are afraid that when you’re around, theirs purposely. won’t be so bright. So they’ve hurt your heart in many ways in an Yes, I see the Sunrise- a new day of mercies- a new attempt to make you go dim day of miracles and challenges. New opportunities to But you just keep trusting in God- keep pressing work on my Goals and dreams My Dreams! A new time ahead and those people. Well, don’t worry about to follow my purpose with passion; A day to live by ‘em. the standards and values which govern my life. A day to meet new friends- my divine connections. Another You have so many gifts within and a purpose to opportunity to reach Higher Heights as I am renewed fulfill. in the spirit of my mind. This is my chance to be em- You don’t have time to mess around with insecure powered, enthused and innovative. A day to teach and people whose friendship and love are not real. be taught. Time to take some risk and believe that I am Don’t worry about what people say or when they well able to beat the odds- well able to overcome- well try to get in your way. able to possess my land. There’s a greater work to do. Yes, the Sunrise- a break of a brand new day! Time for Each and everything you’ve been through has me to be a tonesetter- an example. My opportunity to brought you to this day- show someone else a different view out of a different All the ups and downs- the good and bad- even the window- creating doors of opportunities for myself as times you thought you’d lost your way. well as for others. The joy you’ve felt, the tears you’ve cried- The best days of life and days you wished you had Here I am Rising to meet the Occasion. Spreading my died. light as an Eagle spreads its wings until it reaches im- The friends you’ve lost- the friendships that last- measurable heights! Spreading my light like that of the The dreams of your future and the pains of the sun- Overcoming darkness. Bringing warmth and em- past. bracing all who stand in its presence. Here I am Ris- ing--- Simply because I am suppose to. You’ve learned that the life that you live is not just for you. It’s something that you give to help others make it ©by Wendy M. Reynolds through. When you shine, you show others how to shine as well. You help them unlock the doors of their prison cell. They will be free to fly as the butterfly or soar on eagle’s wings. Shine your light to the glory of God above. Shine your light and show the world Love. Just shine. Don’t be afraid to shine. © by Wendy M. Reynolds SPRING 2010WOW! 35
  • 33. Words to Live By Holy Vice T BY CANDIE A. PRICE just have this or that, I could cope.” We look to vices in our times of trial instead his morning I awakened want something else to numb the ago- of to the victory we have in Jesus Christ? to the controversy brewing nizing sensation we feel as a result of our I love the entire book of Ephesians. over legalizing marijuana situation. The problems or the issues won’t Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus to to help get the city of Los seem to go away so we want something encourage the Gentile believers in their Angeles out of its financial to dull or lull our senses into compliance. faith. It was important for him to let them crisis as reported on the Today Show. It There are also times when we feel de- know that they were no longer enemies was suggested that this legalization would void of confidence, of reassurance, and we with God, that they were a part of his also help other cities across the nation re- give in to our reality. We feel hopeless and family now that they had put their trust ceive revenue from the taxation of legaliz- apathy sets into our spirit – we just need in him. He prayed for their strength, for ing marijuana, which would certainly ease something to hold on to as we sink into their increase of love and faith! There some of the financial woes many cities the pit of despondence. I can’t speak for would be times in their lives when they are now facing. I’m sure this debate will you, but there are certainly times in my might be tempted to go back to their old continue for an indefinite period in the life when escaping sounds like a perfect habits, their old ways, but he reminded future as it is certainly not the first time solution! There was a time when I thought them that there was a power (dunamis) it has been raised. However, my message that a perfectly rolled joint was going to already in them as believers! We have to is not about the legalization or non-le- help me to get away from it all, only to remember that that power is already in us galization of marijuana. The controversy realize that after the high the problems – working within us! We all struggle, we moved my thoughts to another arena. I were still there and all I gained from the all deal with what seems like insurmount- began to think about the many vices we, experience was an insatiable need to eat able issues at times, but the only vice that both Christian and non-Christian, gravi- an! Before you get too high and mighty is worth gravitating toward is the Holy tate toward in our lives, mostly to escape about that admission, many of you might Vice – God’s Breath – His Word! Drugs some reality, better deal with reality, or to not have reached for a joint, but maybe won’t help us, alcohol won’t soothe us, sex confirm a reality. your vice was alcohol or some other sub- won’t liberate us, shopping won’t satiate us There are times in all of our lives when stance and your escape kicked you back – only God’s Word will truly satisfy. I pray we would just rather escape the realities to reality with a hangover or a habit! Still for you as you deal with whatever you are that exist for us. Some of us are experi- not on your street yet? Maybe your vice going through – but as Paul states it is encing serious financial problems, have was shopping and it knocked you back also my wish that you are strengthened rocky relationships with spouses, children, into lucidness with a debt you STILL through the Spirit in your inner man, friends, etc. We all would like to just “get can’t pay! that you would know Christ’s love that away.” We’d love to sit in a hot tub on a Regardless of your method, all of us surpasses all of your issues, that you are secluded, exotic island and escape from it at one point or another have resorted to filled with the very fullness of God and all! The Calgon commercial of long ago vices to help us make it through some that God is glorified through the power just won’t do! Calgon can’t help us, bubble tough circumstances! It’s been over 25 that is already working within you. baths won’t suffice, the soft music and years since I’ve even seen a joint, but have candles just aren’t doing the job! Then I picked up other vices as a child of God? c/ Candie A. Price there are those of us who’d just like to be Now that some of us have moved past the able to better deal with reality. “If I could big 3 – drugs, sex and alcohol, do we still 36 WOW! |SPRING 2010 36 WOW! |WINTER 2010
  • 34. 14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[c] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abun- dantly above all that we ask or think, ac- cording to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 SPRING 2010 | WOW! 37 37 WINTER 2010 | WOW!
  • 35. SHERRI SHEPHERD Continued from Page 21 accomplished, what’s next? What have behind disfellowshipping, I think, is that you not done that you want to do? because you have only associated with Je- SS: My son, my little miracle, is four and SS: I would love to do more films. I just hovah’s Witnesses your whole life, once a half years old. He was born at 25 weeks finished Precious and I love doing drama. you’re excommunicated they are not sup- - five and a half months - he almost died posed to talk to you, so now you are thrust and the Lord did a miracle in his life at CAP: That was an excellent movie. into this world that you don’t even know the last hour! They said he would have SS: It was and I hope it shed some light and it kind of makes you come back, they cerebral palsy and mental retardation and on some issues like mental illness. It was a call it coming back home, and you come that little boy is smart as a whip and he’s blessing to be a part of it. I would love to back home into the truth and they lift a little fighter! do a romantic comedy. off that ban and treat you like they never stopped talking to you. So they told my CAP: What’s your favorite scripture and CAP: What leading actor would you like two sisters and I that we couldn’t talk to why? to be paired with? my dad anymore. So I just felt like, that SS: My favorite scripture is Philippians SS: You know what I would love to do? ‘aint love – my sisters did it and my father 4:4-6 - supernatural peace! I always ask I would love to do a film and explore the broke down and cried, but I couldn’t do for supernatural peace because I need whole “Cougar” thing. I’m out here and it and that’s when I became disillusioned peace in my life. In doing The View - I I’m 42 and I don’t know what it is about with being a Witness. I never felt like I understand that people will often take these little young boys who are fascinated had a relationship with God, it was al- things out of context and will hate you for with older women. I’m like go get a 19 ways a bunch of rules. If you were learn- the stand you take. Joy reminds me all year old what are you messing with me ing something in Alabama at the King- the time, as soon as you open your mouth for? I just plucked some grey hairs out! I dom’s Hall they teach you the same exact you’re going to lose half the audience. So know you’re momma, we went to school thing in Hawaii - it came down from the no matter what I say people are going to together! Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society in hate me for it. If I say I tapped my son’s New York -which was always confusing butt, they will hate me. If I say I bought a CAP: Exactly! They still have Similac on to me because I didn’t understand how a fur coat cause I was trying to help some- their breath! bunch of men could tell you what you’re one, they will hate me. So I need peace SS: (laughing) I could help you with your supposed to learn. and I need God to validate me. ‘Cause it homework and you want me to submit to It was very hard for me to go to church, can hurt. When you do The Jamie Foxx you?? So, I would really like to explore the though, after I gave up being a Witness Show and funny movies everybody loves whole Cougar phenomenon. That would because I felt like I was going to go to hell. you, but as soon as you open your mouth be a lot of fun. We were always taught that Christian and say you love the Lord, whew!!(laughs) churches were from Satan so I definitely CAP: That’s so funny. Okay, one more wasn’t going to go to church because I CAP: That’s so true. I’m going to bor- question that I had forgotten to ask ear- thought it would explode. I talk about this row a question from one of my writers be- lier. How was the transition from being in my book a lot, I talk about my relation- cause I think it’s a phenomenal question. raised Jehovah’s Witness to becoming a ship with God and how I found him, but Knowing what you know now in your life, Christian? How did that come about? it really came about because there was a what advice would you give the teenage SS: WOW! We were raised Christian - guy I met on the bus and I was in such Sherri Shepherd? my grandmother was Baptist, but then darkness because I didn’t have God. But SS: WOW! Man, I wrote it in my book my mother became Jehovah’s Witness isn’t it amazing when you don’t have God and I think I would give myself permis- when I was about nine or ten up until I in your life that God always has you, he sion to say, No! No is a powerful word and was 17. And that was really hard because has his arms around you? I never prayed, when you’re a teenager you don’t realize all of a sudden we went from celebrating I just felt like I was one of the walking the power in the word no because you’re Christmas to nothing! dead. I didn’t pay my bills because I scared to say no. I wrote a lot of stories in thought Armageddon was going to come my book because I was scared to say no CAP: And birthdays, too, right? and I talk about in my book that I went to and didn’t give myself permission to say SS: Yes, and birthdays to celebrating jail because I never paid my bills. When I no and I got into a lot of trouble because nothing and only being able to hang got tickets I would put them in the glove I wanted to be liked. I gave up something out with Jehovah’s Witnesses. My dad compartment because Armageddon was that was so precious to me at 14, my vir- felt that his marriage wouldn’t work so going to come - well Armageddon never ginity because I listened to other people he became a Jehovah’s Witness, prob- came and I went to jail! But I started go- and didn’t have the sense to say no. So if ably the biggest regret of his life. He was ing to church because I was so distraught. I knew what I know now - back then I very unhappy – he questioned the Wit- My mom was dying from diabetes, my would have been saying no a lot! And I nesses a lot and finally when I was about sister was not doing well, and I remember would have said, I don’t care if you don’t 17 they said to him,” we have to close the getting on my knees and saying I don’t like me! bible on you because you’re just not go- even know who I’m praying to but I want ing to learn.” So they disfellowshipped to die can you help me? And not three CAP: With all the things that you have or excommunicated him. And the theory days later I was at the bus stop and a guy 38 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 36. sat next to me. He said, “How you do- as a comic was talk about sex ing?” and I was like, Please, Negro, leave and be nasty but I don’t do me alone!” We got on the bus and there that anymore! Hopefully was a very nice old lady, and this is how you’re always growing - much darkness I was in, I always tell this and the two words that are at women’s conferences -don’t judge a per- left - it used to be 15! I only son - just because he was nice to the old have these two little ones. I lady I said I think I might give him some. have this amazing relationship And at that moment when I was look- with Jesus Christ that I never ing at him like, you know what I might had that I love and he has give you a little bit because you were nice forgiven me for my sins to that lady he looked at me and said, and I know that he “What’s your relationship like with Jesus loves me! Christ?” I was like, WHAT? (laughs) And I remember that there was a church that CAP: Please we used to pass on the bus all the time, leave any infor- West Angeles Church of God in Christ, mation about Bishop Charles E. Blake and I said, Oh, your book or I go to that church West Angeles.” And other projects he said, “I go to that church, too.” And that you’d I said, WHAT? and from the whole bus like to make ride he talked to me about Jesus. And it known to went from “I’m going to give him some” our readers. to him talking to me about Jesus and that SS: My I should go to that church. And I did. I book is went a few weeks later, it didn’t blow up. called Per- God has a sense of humor because mission coming from being a Jehovah’s Witness to Slips, Ev- going to a Pentecostal church where folks ery wom- are running around the aisles, the drums an’s Guide never stop playing and they are shouting to Giving Herself in a language that I had never heard of in a Break - in that book I’m my life - that is the church that God sent very real, I talk about hav- me to get saved! WHAT??!! From being ing diabetes and how God a calm Jehovah’s Witness to a Pentecos- spared my life and how tal - God loves to laugh! So that’s how I I had to tell prayer war- became a Christian - I still got in trouble, riors not to pray that God I still went to jail, I still got evicted, my would heal me - because and is available as a speaker for womsn’s retreats car got repossessed - but you know what, I through the diabetes he saved my life and and conferences. Candie is married to Rev. Arthur had a hope! I had a light at the end of the it makes me watch every thing that I put Price, Jr., pastor of the historic Sixteenth Street tunnel because God was going to protect in my mouth. If God took away Diabetes Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL and they are me and see me through - I had to suf- right now I’d be at McDonald’s right now the proud parents of two teenage girls. Contact fer for the consequences of not paying my - I’m not lying. I tell people if you don’t Candie at For more information about her writing, go to bills but I still had a hope that no matter want to hear me talk about God, you can what I was going through I could get on put the book down, but any time I can say my knees! But that was 1993, girl! that I love Jesus, I’m going to do it. When I talk to my friends who are still Jehovah’s Witnesses and they are leading CAP: It has been so much fun talking to these double lives, being able to separate you, Sherri! their religion from what they do - and I go, SS: Thank you, it’s been wonderful talking who I am is who I am. When you see me to you! on The View -I make mistakes - there’s a couple curse words that I still haven’t been For more information about Sherri Shepherd go to able to get out of my daggone mouth, I talk about I’m horny...but God loves me. Candie A. Price is Editor-in-Chief of WOW! And at the end of the day I’m always on Magazine and the author of First Lady: The Real Truth, A Practical Approach to an Ambiguous my knees going, Lord, I’m sorry! What Role, He Restoreth My Soul and Soulfusion. She I used to do when when I was on stage is currently a student at Beeson Divinity School SPRING 2010 | WOW! 39
  • 37. Open Heart Speak LIFE!! “ BY TEX WEST life into me and made me believe that I that they would sit with all eyes turned You think you something girl, was special and could do anything. Com- toward the back entrance of the church don’t you? Let me tell you some- pliments and words of encouragement (as they fanned the latest funeral home thing, you ain’t never gonna mount flowed like water from her mouth and my fans, in symphony) when it was time for to nothing.” Those words seared a thirst for validation were quenched with us to march down the aisles (choir anni- mark in my head and scorched my her words. I constantly tried to exceed any versaries, usher board anniversaries, birth- spirit like fire. I was four years old when expectations that she had for me. I quickly day club celebration…we marched for I started to understand what those words learned that if I did well in school: happy any occasion!). Even when I wasn’t a part meant and was confused as to why my faces, stickers, hugs and smiles of ap- of anything going on, I would still sneak mother said them. Anger was the most proval followed. I grew up hearing people in church and hide because the sounds of prominent feeling that I remember as describe me as ‘the smart one’; I was no my Grandmothers choir, the Pastors aides a child. I never believed her words but smarter than any of my other siblings- I meetings and the closed-door deacon I was angry because she spoke as if she was just hungry for approval and my ap- board meetings were the warm sounds believed them. I loved my mother dear- petite could only be satisfied outside of my of my surrogate home. God placed won- ly and I know that she loved me. After home. My church was literally in our back derful people in my life that accepted me many years of conflict, prayer and a fi- yard. I knew down to the minute when just as I was but constantly reminded me nal breakthrough in forgiveness- I was an event was scheduled at church. My of what I was to become. As I’ve got- able to see my mother differently. I was baby sister and I became fixtures of the ten older and find myself reflecting and able to understand that hurt people, hurt church. We joined every club, choir, com- evaluating my choices. I’m thankful for people. Nonetheless, her words were like mittee and organization that would let us every situation and circumstance that the a sword that inflicted deep wounds that in. My home church modeled the love of Lord has allowed in my life. As a child, have since been healed with scar tissue. God in my life. The aisles were full of sur- I refused to accept the negativity that was I’m blessed because school and church, rogate mothers, fathers and grandparents. spoken and lived out in front of me. It the lighthouses in my life, guided me It amazed me how they would readily wasn’t that I was especially strong-willed, through the sometimes dark and cloudy jump up in thunderous applauds over the stubborn or special but it was because of days of my childhood. I entered kin- reciting of the simplest of Easter poems, the words of encouragement from others. dergarten as a shy and withdrawn child or flipped over and under the pews for the Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the pow- who had a wonderful teacher that spoke Junior Choir’s off-beat songs or the way er of life and death, and those who love it 40 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 38. will eat its fruit.” With our tongues we you ( Jeremiah 1:5)? Life isn’t fair but we thing special in store for you! I can see you have the ability to cause someone to soar have a fair and just heavenly Father who doing great things!” with the eagles or to crush their very be- sent His son, Jesus to atone for all of our Phil 4:8 NIV ‘Finally, brothers, what- ing. Negativity is contagious and creates wrong-doings by us against us and against ever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is a toxic environment for its inhabitants. It Him ( John 3:16). Capture all of those right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, is so easy for us to let down our guard and negative thoughts and labels and bring whatever is admirable - if anything is ex- allow the weapon of our tongue to speak them into submission to the obedience of cellent or praiseworthy-think about these death or negativity to others. Speaking Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). If you didn’t things’…. and Speak Life! life is intentional. know before, now you know. With every ©2010 Tex West Tex West resides in Grand How many of us, as adults, are walking new breath is opportunity and choices. Prairie, Texas in ministry with her husband, around with baggage (in my case, duffle Will you choose to believe what God has Minister Gerry West of West2West Ministries. They have 3 sons Michael, Mitchell and Micah. bags) from negative words spoken to us said about your life? She is a member of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship un- as a child that left it’s mark? Were you From the words of Ms. Shrives and der the leadership of Pastor Tony Evans. Tex is the told that you were: stupid, fat, skinny, too Ms. Gunn from Brown Summit Elemen- training facilitator for OCBF’s Children’s Min- light-skinned, too dark, good hair, nappy tary, “ You’re as smart as a whip, you can istry. She also has a special place in her heart for hair, bald, poor, good for nothing, worth- be anything that you want to be.” Women’s Ministry. By profession she is a Director less, ugly…Did you accept the labels? From the words of my entire surro- of Nurses, by passion she is an educator, equipper Maybe you didn’t have a surrogate sup- gate mothers of Locust Grove Baptist and encourager. port system or maybe no one told you (Ms. Ella, Ms. Charlene, Ma Ada, Ms. how you were fearfully and wonderfully Emma, Ms. Lois, Little Mama, Ma Dor- made by God (Psalms 139:14). Did no othy, Aunt Betty, Ms. Esther and Mama one tell you that before God created the Cindy-- “Look at you, Baby! You’re some- foundations of our world, He had knew thing else…I tell you; God’s got some- SPRING 2010 | WOW! 41
  • 39. WOW! Teenz BY DEAQUELYNN E WILLIAMS mpowered Living is life lessons what will help you live a better, empowered life. Take time to read, medi- tate and put into practice these words of wisdom and you’re guaranteed to see change! Remember, there’s only one YOU and you have only one life to live, so live it to its fullest [ John 10:10]. Choose You. When you find yourself in a bad situation or in a relationship that causes you to compromise who God has created you to be, then it’s time for you to put yourself first. By that I mean, do whatever it takes to assure that you will have the best life free from mistreatment, misfortune and abuse. Say to that situation or that person, “I choose me!” Be Fearless. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith to pursue your life’s dreams, goals and as- pirations. God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, love Empowered Living for Teens and of a sound mind. Whatever He puts on your heart to do, do it. Wherever He leads you to go, go there. Whatever He tells you to say, say it. If you feel fear coming on, ask God to remove all fear and to also give you the grace to be fear- you are not fully being yourself. The worst lightening practice. less. thing you could ever do is duplicate some- Exude Confidence. Be confident in Be Accountable. You must be ac- one else. God made you a unique, one of who you are. When people tell you things countable for your actions as it relates a kind, gifted treasure. No one is like you like, “You think you’re all that.” Smile and to your life’s dreams, goals or even your in all the earth. You have something very say, “Yes, I do think I’m all that because New Year’s resolutions. Find a friend, a special within you to offer the world, but I am a creation of God the Most High, mentor, a spiritual adviser or whoever we will never see it s long as you are try- made in His image, for a specific purpose God leads you to who will hold you ac- ing to be someone else. Let the real YOU - fearfully and wonderfully.” Them remind countable for your actions. Remember, shine through! them that they are “all that” too! It’s okay accountability is centered on honesty. Be Quiet. Spend times being quiet. to exude confidence. Never let anyone So be open and honest with whom you Just sit in a quiet place in complete silence make you think or feel otherwise choose as your partner and allow them to and listen to the voice of your inner spirit. Be Friendly. The Bible teaches in Prov- be open and honest with you. Be sure to have a pen and paper to write erbs 18:24 that in order to have friends, Be Authentic. People know when down everything you hear. This is an en- we must first be friendly. Are you friend- 42 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 40. ly? Do you go over and beyond to be Don’t just desire to help, do help. it’s important for you to present your best friends with the people in your life? Re- Choose Love. Love does not hurt you. at all times (especially when you’re meet- member, what you give to others, it shall Love does not neglect you. Love does not ing someone new). First impressions are be returned back to you. So, be friendly. put you on hold for something or some- lasing and you’ll never be able to take Lend a Helping Hand. Be giving, com- one better. Love always looks out for you back that one moment, no matter how passionate and caring then make yourself and put your best interest at heart. Love much you try to make up for it. Keep it available to help others. Devote a portion not only takes time for you, but love also real, but do it in the spirit and class of ex- of your time and energy to help those “makes” time. Love is you, love is others, cellence. After all, you are a child of the who are hurting spiritually, physically and and Love is God! Most High God. emotionally. Show feelings of empathy Keep it Real & Classy. First impres- and sympathy for the sufferings of others. sions are only made one time. Therefore, SPRING 2010 | WOW! 43
  • 41. Ginger Smith W ebster’s Dictionary gives several defi- nitions of the word “climb.” One of the definitions is...”to grow upward.” Very few people (in the natural realm) are real mountain climb- ers. Most people are not willing to put themselves through the training it takes to be one of the elect few. If you think about it, most people are content to stay where it is’s chal- lenge. However, there is also no growth. Without the trials and sufferings of “the climb” there could be no glory or joy of victory in reaching the top. A climber trains and pushes himself a little harder and longer each time he pursues his vi- sion. The scrapes, bruises, broken bones, fatigue, and sometimes sheer exhaustion is all part of the experience, though not the most remembered when you reach the top. When the peak is finally reached, all you have gone through to get to the top is “just part of the training.” Now, in the spiritual as well as the natural, as you get closer to the top, the air begins to get thin. You will need oxygen to sustain you. (Your spiritual oxygen is the breath of God.) You also need special food and water. He will be your spiritual food and drink. He will only take you as high as you have prepared to go and are willing to go. In the natural, no one ever pulled or pushed a climber to the top kicking and screaming. He is driven by his vi- sion. Though the journey may be more difficult than he thought it would be in the beginning, he keeps pushing himself. He is also coached and cheered on by those who have gone before him...”You can do it...just a little higher now...don’t give’re almost here.” In the spir- itual, victory (God) waits for us at the top of the mountain. HE calls out to us, “You can do it...just a little higher now... don’t give’re almost here.” Part of the glory of the climb is taking a look back at how far you have come and the trials you endured to get there. The Let me interject a short story. There have been numerous people who have Climb asked me HOW I keep what God did for me 13 years ago (deliverance and healing from major clinical depression, panic at- tacks, fear of death, 250 anti-anxiety pills 44 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 42. a months, the hurt of sexual abuse, etc.)? and knew exactly what to do, not know- are depending on US to help them, to I heard it described in a very simple way ing EXACTLY WHERE the rat was. lead the way, to help pull them up when one day a few years ago. I have preached He had to get above the line or “level of they are week. Sometimes we all get hit to people about staying above where the oxygen” where he couldn’t breath on his with something unexpected and need enemy cannot reach you. Stay in the cleft own. He hurriedly strapped on his oxygen help from someone who has been on of the rock, where God’s Glory can cover mask and pulled the wheel back as hard that “ledge” before, and we can tell them you, and to keep your ears tuned to HIM. and fast as he could. When he got to a that they can make it! WE HAVE TO Your eyes and ears must be kept fixed and level that the “noise” stopped, he leveled KEEP GOING. WE HAVE TO HELP sharp at ALL TIMES and HE WILL out the plane, took it back down to a safe THOSE WHO CANNOT HELP KEEP YOU! level, and took his oxygen mask off. He THEMSELVES. Years ago there was a pilot flying a listened with careful hearing, listening We must all go through the glory as plane at an altitude that he had always for ANY unusual sound. There was none. well as the sufferings of Christ, but in the been able to fly safely at. At this altitude, THE RAT WAS DEAD and the plane end it is most definitely worth it! Keep he needed no oxygen due to the height at as well as the pilot was saved. The pilot’s training and keep climbing! I will leave which he was accustomed to flying. Sud- quick thinking had choked the life out of you with this thought; Paul, the Apostle, denly, the pilot heard a strange noise that the rat (the enemy of his flight). That is a was looking back over his life, where he he was not accustomed to hearing on his somewhat crude and simple story about had come from, when he said, “I have usual flights. However, due to his training, staying above the “line” of the enemy, but fought a good fight, I have finished my he was able to discern it to be a rat. It had I am fairly sure you will NEVER forget course, I have kept the faith. somehow scampered into the plane and the moral of the story of The Rat and the even worse, into the cockpit wall of his Aviator! plane. He recognized the rat was chewing You see, when you are climbing your on the electrical wiring of the aircraft. If mountain, and the air gets thin and you the rat could not be found and destroyed, need the “Breath of God” to keep you go- there was certain to be a malfunction and ing…you must remember, there are peo- possible, even probable death to the pilot. ple still on the ground or still climbing The experienced aviator thought quickly up their own personal mountain. THEY The brightest spot of all is that at least I can write down my thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, I’d absolutely suffocate. —Anne Frank Writing (through my Write Where It Hurts pain) made me a believer that putting pen to paper Writing as a Healing Tool is one of the best resources we have, as humans, for healing. If you still suffer from the fallout of emotional wounds, your ability to accomplish God’s —Alice Wisler purpose for your life is hindered. However, the writing process coupled with biblical If I can write things out, I truths offers a divine prescription for healing these past hurts. can see them, and they are not trapped within my Join other soul-wounded women on an extraordinary healing journey. Write Where It own subjectivity…they Hurts is a guided course, taught by Certified Life Coach Jo Ann Fore, which helps are, I think, my free women reconcile a painful past with God’s purpose for their lives. psychiatrist’s couch. —Madeline L’Engle The course is available for individuals both online or through personal coaching sessions, as well as group teleconferences. (No writing experience is required.) Visit I believe if more women or email for additional information. understood that writing can act as a catalyst for healing long-held hurts, Connect with our Facebook community today. more of them would do it. Real women with real issues. And free daily writing —Janet Thompson prompts to start your healing journey. SPRING 2010 | WOW! 45
  • 43. WOW! Books Don’t Quit in the Pit F BY TYORA MOODY God’s Proven Track Record of or this issue of WOW! Magazine, I’m happy to in- troduce readers to Danette Joy Crawford. Danette is Rescues from the Pit a powerful evangelist with a refreshing message of hope and encouragement. If you feel like you’re in a pit, relax. You’re not the first person Her television ministry, Joy in the Morning with to find yourself looking up from within what feels like a deep, Danette Crawford, is broadcast weekly into over 165 million dark hole. In the Old Testament of the Bible, we read about a homes nationally. She has also been featured on ABC, CBS, guy named Joseph who found himself in his own pit—literally! NBC, the 700 Club, Living the Life, TBN, Paula White Today, For Joseph, that pit looked like a dark dead end, but it was truly as well as in numerous newspapers and magazines. a pathway to the palace—a direct route, at that. (See Genesis Danetteand her publisher Whitaker house has allowed 37:5–36; 39; 41:14–44.) WOW! Magazine readers a sneak peek inside her latest book In the New Testament, we read about the apostle Paul, a re- release, Don’t Quit in the Pit: Power to Turn Any Situation spected Jewish leader who became a Christian, won souls for Around. Jesus, and consequently found himself in his own pit. Paul’s pit On any given day, we find ourselves on a peak, in a pit, or was in the form of a ship tossed in a raging storm. Everybody somewhere in between. We’d love to remain on the peaks of wanted to jump off the boat, but God told Paul, “Don’t abandon life—those times of extreme joy and gladness. Unfortunately, ship—you’ll come through this!” (See Acts 27.) though, a lot of people spend too much of their time in a pit, You see, being in a pit is a situation common to all people— whether it’s a pit of emotional despair, financial hardship, mental male and female, rich and poor, young and old. I want to en- anguish, physical pain, or something else. What’s even more un- courage you today—don’t abandon ship! Yes, your pit may seem fortunate is that many people park in the pit and never get out. overwhelming. Yes, you may be in the midst of the biggest storm Discouraged and defeated, they decide to remain where they are of your life. But I can promise you that it’s temporary. When you instead of determining to escape their pit and climb the next trust your Father God and obey Him, He will guide you out of peak. Don’t allow this to be your fate! You can’t afford to park in the pit. This, too, shall pass. the pit. Your life—and your ultimate destiny—depend on your determining to trust God and get out. 46 WOW! |SPRING 2010
  • 44. Grab Hold of the Word— to the rope of hope by believing the Word of God. God had giv- en him a promise, and he believed it! He didn’t deny the facts; he Your Rope of Hope faced them and dealt with them in a powerful, fruitful way. The facts exist in the natural realm, but the truth—God’s Word—ex- Both Joseph and Paul needed a rope of hope to climb out of ists in the spirit realm. The truth always outweighs the facts. And the pit. Their rope of hope was the same one that’s available for when we place our hope in the truth, as Abraham did, our faith you—God’s Word. The Bible provides a map to guide us out of can change the facts! any and every pit that we find ourselves in. Psalm 34:19 says, I am living proof of this truth, but it was a hard lesson to “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD de- learn—one that brought me through many personal “pit stops.” livers him out of them all” (NKJV). In other words, we all will Or, maybe I should say “pit pauses,” because I had to be deter- experience “pits” in our lives—they’re inevitable—but we can es- mined not to remain stuck in the pits. My prayer is that this cape when we grab hold of the rope of hope and determine to book will encourage you to make your times in the pit tempo- climb out. rary seasons. Maybe you are in a financial pit, an emotional pit, a health pit, a relational pit, or even a spiritual pit today. I want Read It, ’Cause you to be determined never to quit in the pit, but always to grab You’ll Need It! hold of the rope of hope—God’s Word—and make your way to the palace. I travel a lot by car, but I don’t like to use a GPS. So, I always To find out more about Don’t Quit in the Pit: Power to Turn study a map before I leave to go somewhere. If I don’t study Any Situation Around, visit Danette online at http://www. the map beforehand or refer to it during my trip, I’m almost guaranteed to get lost. Arriving at my planned destination is as easy as reading the map, but I have to read it—I can’t automati- ©2010 Tyora Moody Tyora Moody loves to read cally absorb knowledge of the route. And the same rule is true and write Christian Fiction. You can find her over regarding our map out of the pit. We have to read the Word of at where she features “AA truth—the Bible, which is our map! John 8:32 says, “You will Literature that Edifies the Soul”. She often finds know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The truth on its herself trying to juggle various hats on her short frame. Those hats include being a writer, online own doesn’t set you free; it’s the truth that you know that sets book promoter, graphic designer, and “momma” to you free. two spoiled cats. Follow her journey to publication The good news is that every pit has the potential to be tem- on porary because the Word promises that God will deliver us from every affliction. The rope of hope—God’s Word—will never dis- appoint us. “Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23). Isn’t that a precious promise? We have a Friend, our wonderful Father, who never lets us down. When our hope is in Him, we are never dis- appointed. When our hope is in another person, a paycheck, or a situation, the day will come when we are disappointed. But when our hope is in the Lord, we will never be disappointed. I think of the Bible story of Abraham and Sarah. This couple had waited years and years to have a baby. Abraham knew that his body was now too old, and he’d never met one woman who had conceived a child at Sarah’s age. Besides, even when Sarah had been younger, she’d been barren. But Abraham didn’t hold on to the facts in front of him. He held on to a rope of hope that God had thrown him, and, at one hundred years of age, he was still hanging on! Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had prom- ised. (Romans 4:18–21) Wow! Against all hope in the natural realm, Abraham clung SPRING 2010 | WOW! 47
  • 45. Check us out online! www. WOW! Magazine Delivers Inspirational Stories Encouraging Topics Empowering Messages 48 WOW! |SPRING 2010