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Magazine November Issue 2008

A Greater Allen A.M.e. Cathedral of New York publication

Stewardship Through the Struggle

A GreAter AlleN A.M.e. CAthedrAl of New York publICAtIoN. 110-31 MerrICk boulevArd JAMAICA, NY 11433

Plus

Doing More with Less: Keeping the Merry in Christmas Financial Empowerment Series Breaking Free from Addiction Trimming the Fat A Penny Saved... Is a Penny Earned

The Honorable Reverend Floyd H. Flake, D. Min., Pastor The Reverend M. Elaine Flake, D. Min., Co-Pastor

Stewardship Through the Struggle

A.M.E.

Publishers

The Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake The Rev. Dr. Elaine M. Flake

Publications Committee

Gwen Nurse-Wright, Christopher Green, Margaret Wilson, Zakiya Jenkins, Patrice Gerideau, Terry Williams, Jeanette Wells, Nicole Ottley, Monique Scott

Editor-in-Chief

Rodeena Stephens

Editorial Director

The Rev. Carla Calizaire

Layout/Graphic Design

James Mayfield of Scribble2Web.com

Editors

Janet L. Reed Margaret Wilson The Rev. Darius Thomas Donna Atmore-Dolly

Contributing Photography

Nat Valentine

In This Issue

5 Feature Story: Stewardship Through The Struggle 6 Breaking Free From Addiction 7 A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned 9 Keeping the Merry In Christmas 12 Fashion Corner 13 Bake me a Cake First 15 Trimming the Fat 17 The Life of a Good Steward 20 Silent Tears 22 Financial Empowerment Series 24 Feasting in the Famine 25 For Parents: Reversing Financial Literacy

Copy Editor

Sis. Christina London

Editorial Assistant

Sis. Margaret Wilson

Section Editor

Sis. Zakiya Jenkins

Events Editor

Sis. Terry Williams

Book Review Editor

Sis. Patrice Gerideau

Contributing Writers

The Rev. Carla Calizaire The Rev. Alfonso Wyatt The Rev. Laverne Robinson Min. Brady Funn Min. Debbye Turner Bell Min. Joyce McKinley Min. Debbye Turner Min. Eugene Mitchell Min. Edward Jordan Sis. Doreen Holland Sis. Zakiya Jenkins Sis. Sharon Highland Sis. Maya Lawrence

Department

Teen Time 26 Teen Time: Can You Hear Me Now 28 Financial Tips Kidz Korner 30 Kidz Q&A 32 Quick Recipe What's New at the Cathedral? 34 Bible Study: An Ode to the Word of God

Printer

Compucolor Associates

THROUGH CHRIST is published quarterly by The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, a non-profit organization. 110-31 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, New York 11433, Phone (718)206.4600, Fax (718)526.1311, Toll Free (866) 346.1100, E-mail: [email protected], Website: www.allencathedral.org © 2008 The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. All donations to this ministry are tax deductible. THROUGH CHRIST magazine does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. For more information, call (718)206.4600, ext. 3094. Publishers: The Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake and The Rev. Dr. Elaine M. Flake. DISCLAIMER The financial articles herein are for informational purposes only and in no way constitutes investment advice. Before making investment decisions, you should seek the advice of a Professional, Financial Adviser, Consultant, or Planner. The Greater Allen Cathedral of NY does not endorse the services of the authors by publishing their articles. The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

A.M.E.

Stewardship Through the Struggle

We Greet You in the Name of Jesus Christ.

I

nlookingattheconditionofthenation;wecannotfindanyoneissuethatisaffectingmorepeoplerightnowthanthe stateofoureconomy.Manyhavesaidthatthisistheworsteconomiclandscapethisnationhasseeningenerations. Forthefirsttimeeverweareseeingmajorfinancialinstitutionsthreatenedwithbankruptcy.Thegovernmenthas hadtostepinandbailtheseestablishmentsout;andyetstillthousandsofjobsareeitherthreatenedorbeinglostat anunprecedentedrate. Manyfamiliesarefacinganewrealitywheretheyareforcedtochoosebetweenfoodandhousing.And, peoplearecomingface-to-facewiththenewpainfulrealityofanuncertainfuture.However,inthemidstofitall, asachurchbody,wearecalledtoholdsteadfasttotheWordofGodandthecallingonourlives.Wearestillcalledtobegood stewardsofthatwhichGodhasgivenus,eveninthemidstofthisturmoil. Rightnowthereisalotofexcitementbecausewe'veelectedthefirstAfrican-AmericanPresidentinthehistoryoftheUnited States.And,althoughwecelebratethesocialrelevanceofthiselection,weoughtnotmisshowPresidentElectBarakObama revolutionizedtheelectionprocess.Throughhiscampaign,heempoweredtheyoung,old,elite,disenfranchised,white,black, richandpoor--showingthemthateverylittlebitmattered.Wesawmanypeoplewhocouldonlyaffordtogive$5.00(orless) fundhiscampaign.Indoingso,theytaughtthenationthatcollectivelyasingledollarcanmakeahugedifference.Inatime ofeconomicbedlam,thisisacriticallessoninstewardship. Itisduringtimeslikethesethatourfaithandbeliefsaretested.LikethewidowatZarephath(foundin1Kings17:7)we mustmakeachoiceonhowwearegoingtorespondtothesetrials.WhenElijahfirstapproachedherwitharequestfromGod togivethelittleshehad--initiallysheonlysawherverybleakanddesperateeconomicsituation,andrespondedoutofdespair. Shesaid,"Iamgatheringafewstickstotakehomeandmakeamealformyselfandmysonthatwemayeatitanddie."The prophetinstructedherthatifshelistenedtotheWordofGodandservedHimfirst,Godwouldtakecareofher.Inresponse, shechosetobelievethisseeminglyridiculouspropositionandtrustGod.Asaresultofherobedience,Godhonoredherfaith andprovidedforherneeds.Likewise,wetooarefacedwithachoice.Thequestionis...whosereportwillwebelieve?Will wemodelourresponsetothesetimesaftertheresponseoftheworld,orwillweholdontotheWordofGod? WithinthiseditionofThroughChrist,wewillexamineourcalltostewardshipinourliving,lovingandfaith.Itisourhope andprayerthatasachurchcommunitywecanrespondtoadversitywiththesamespiritoftheApostlePaulwhenhesaid,"We arehardpressedoneveryside,butnotcrushed;perplexed,butnotindespair;persecuted,butnotabandoned;struckdown,but notdestroyed." Sincerely, TheHonorableReverendFloydH.Flake,D.Min.,Pastor TheReverendM.ElaineFlake,D.Min.,Co-Pastor

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

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Stewardship Through the Struggle

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FEATURE STORy

Stewardship Through the Struggle

T

By Bro. Michael Stephens

hecountryhasenteredintooneofthe most fragile times in history. The US financialsystemstillstrugglestostabilize theyear-oldcreditcrisis.Bankinggiantsare lookingforbuyers.Thegovernmentrushes tobailoutBearsSterns,FannieMae,Freddie MacandAIG.Stockstumbleasinvestorsare concernedaboutwhatfirmisgoingtofold next.Investorsrapidlymovedtheirmoneytogovernment bondstoplayitsafe.Inturn,therapidmovementmade thestockmarketdropmorethan600points.Theaverage familyhastodecidebetweenfuelandfoodasmoneyand resourcesbecomelimited.However,wemustbereminded that even when times are hard, stewardship is still the foundationofaChristian. Stewardshipistakingcareofsomethingyoudonot own.FinancialstewardshipisbasedonthebeliefthatGod isthetrueownerofeachperson'spossessions,andthat oneisaccountabletoGodfortheacceptablecareanduse ofthosepossessions.Inordertobecomeagoodsteward, youfirstmustunderstandthataChristianownsnothing. GodputusinchargetooverseewhatHehascreated. It is important to understand the theology of stewardship,thelackofunderstandingwillsurelybring strugglesinyourlife.Forexample,whenleasingavehicle, youhavetomaintainitandfollowalloftheguidelinesas ifyouownedthevehicle.Youarebeingastewardover thevehiclebecauseyoudonotownit.Ifthevehicleisnot maintained,therearepenaltiesinvolved.Itisthesame way when being a steward over God's possessions-you aretomaintainthemasifyouaretheowner.Ifyoudo notmaintainwhatGodplacedinyourlife,theremaybe apenalty.Often times we believe giving is above and beyondthecallofaChristian.However,givingisthe completionofGod'sdivineorder.Time,Resourcesand Talentarejustthreeimportantaspectsofaproductive ChristianwalkwithourLordandSaviour.

giveyouafoundationfortalent,butultimatelytalentisa gift.Thebeautyofhavingachurchhomeisthatyoucan useyourtalentstogiveglorytoGod.Unliketheworld which has protocol and politics, the church will allow youtouseyourtalentstoglorifyGod.TheGreaterAllen A.M.E. Cathedral has over one hundred ministries and clubs.Theministriesandclubswerecreatedtomeetthe needs of the body of Christ; and to allow us to operate withinourtalents. Resources Weareinthemidstofaneconomiccrisisandthestruggles seemoverwhelming.Butcompletion(wholeness)isthe hallmarkofaChristian.Godoperatesinadivinecircle. It'simportanttogiveyourresourcestoGodinorderto receivethepeacethatGodwillbestowuponyou.God's peacewillcarryyouthroughyourstruggles.Igiveto Godmyresources,inturnIamcompletewithGod--my circleisclosed,thereforenothingcanenter.Myresources arenotjustafinancialobligationbutarelationshipwith God. Time Time is critical in the life of a Christian. A Christian hastogivetimetotheworld(job)andthekingdom.IfI amagoodstewardovermytime,life'streasureswillbe bestoweduponme.IfIhavenorespectfortime,timewill becomemyenemy.AsaChristian,ImustmakesureGod getstheglorywithmytime.Inorderformytimetohave value,Godmustbeinthemidstatalltimes,andwhatIdo shouldhaveapurpose.Godunderstandsthatwehaveto work;however,agoodstewardshouldtrytoallowtime toworkforthekingdomasoftenaspossible.Godknows yourheartandwillgiveyoucreativewaystofindtimeto workinHiskingdom. Westillhavetobegoodstewards,eveninchallenging economic times. We have to be faithful to God in the midstofourstrugglesandremembertheimportanceof stewardship.EverythingweownbelongstoGod.Tobea goodstewardmeansusingthetalent,resources,andtime thatGodhasgivenuseffectively.Talent,resources,and time,aregiftsfromGodforwhichweshouldbethankful. Godhasblesseduswithgiftsthatweshouldnotonlyuse whentimesaregoodbut,alsowhentimesarebad.God allowsustostruggle,sowhenwecomeout­Hegetsthe glory.Asbelieversweunderstand,thatwearenotinthe strugglealone.remember,"Thebattleisnotyours,it'sthe Lord`s"(2Chronicles20:15).

Talent TalentisanextraordinarygiftfromGod.Studyingcan

Michael Stephens serves as the director of the Security Ministry, and supervising chairperson of the Men's Ministry at The Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York. Bro. Michael graduated from S.U.N.Y. Old Westbury with a Bachelors in Finance, and a Masters from C.U.N.Y. Queens College in Urban Studies. He is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Bro. Michael is the owner of Urban Capital Advisors, a real estate acquisition, development, and advisory firm. He is married to Vanessa.

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

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Breaking Free from Addiction

owcanIbeagoodstewardofmy bodyandbefaithfultoGodwhenI findmyselfstrugglingwithaddiction? Let'sbeginwithapracticaldefinition ofaddiction,whichmeanssayingyes whenwereallywanttosayno.The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 7:18&19"Iknowthatnothinggoodlivesinme,thatis,in mysinfulnature.ForIhavethedesiretodowhatisgood, butIcannotcarryitout.ForwhatIdoisnotthegoodIwant todo;no,theevilIdonotwanttodo-thisIkeepondoing." Thiscanbesaidofmosthumanbeings. Abetterunderstandingofaddictioncanbeachievedwhen welookatitinallitsforms,notjustthemostobviousabuse of drugs and alcohol. Over-eating, gambling, and sexual compulsionsarealsocommonformsofaddiction.Seeing addictionasawholehelpsfostertheunderstanding,compassionandempathyneededtohelpGod'speople. ThereareanumberofthingsthathavepreventedtheChurch from overcoming addictions. One example is the belief thatalcoholicsandaddictsonlyhavetogivetheirlivesto Christ to be freed from their addictions; and if a person needs more, there is something wrong with them. Many sufferandcan'tfindfreedomfromtheiraddictionsbecause they are locked in denial, or are ashamed to admit they haveaproblem.Theycometothealtar,timeaftertimefor prayer,andstillfindthemselvesreturningtothebehavior from which they so desperately want to be freed. Some believe their addictive behavior makes them unworthy of communionwiththeAlmightyGodandthattheywillnot

H

ByMin.EugeneMitchell

be accepted in the faith community. The Church has not alwaysbeenasunderstandingofaddictionasitcouldhave been; and as a result it is still a major problem in many of our congregations and communities. Consequently, manypeoplehavehadtoseekhelpoutsideoftheChurch. Thereare12StepProgramstotreateverytypeofaddiction knowntomankind.ItismybeliefthatwhentheChurch does not fulfill the needs of the people, the Lord will manifestHimselfoutsideoftheChurch.Asa"Christianin Recovery,"Iamoneoftheblessedones.Iwasledtoa12Step Program which helped restore my relationship with Christ and brought me back to the Church. I have heard preacherssaythatwedon'tneed12steps;butthisideology keepsmanyfromseekinghelp.Itistruethatmanyofus havebeendeliveredfromaddictioninstantly,butforsome, deliveranceisaprocess.Wearetransformedthroughthe renewingofourminds. Addiction, at its core, is a spiritual disease that affects every area of our lives. Recovery moves us from selfcenterednesstoGod-centeredness;andasaresult,wefind freedomfromaddiction.TheknowledgethatChrististhe centerofourlivesistheessenceofgoodstewardship. HereatTheGreaterAllenA.M.E.Cathedralwehavea Pastorandaministrythatrecognizesthisneedandaddresses itinapracticalmanner.Ourministryisfortheseasoned believerandthosecomingtobelieve.Weinviteyoutoour 12StepsforChristiansBibleStudyeachThursdayat7p.m. attheShekinahYouthChurch.Wepromisetokeepyour attendance confidential; and we continue to pray that our ministrydevelopsadditionalDisciplesforChrist.

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By Sis. Sharon Highland

O

A Penny Saved... Is a Penny Earned

causedhimtomakeseveralunwiseinvestmentdecisions withhisdiscretionaryincome(incomeaftertaxes,tithes, andexpenses).Theconsequencesofmakingdecisions withoutwisecounselyieldedpoorornegativereturns onhisinvestments.Thisexperience(andmanyothers) haveledmetoappreciatetheimportanceofindividuals needing to know the basic premise of investment solutionsbeforemakingadecision. There are many financial packages available in which to invest your discretionary income. All have very different benefits and should be vetted for appropriateness to meet your specific needs before investing. You substantially increase the probability of investment appropriateness if you have a basic understandingoftheirpurposeandbenefits.Because financial management is a personal issue with many variables,thisarticleisintendedtoprovideonlybasic information regarding some uses for discretionary income. Retirement Accounts Retirementaccountsarefundedfromsalarydeferral contributions. Whether pre or post-tax income contributionsareallowed,earningsgrowtaxdeferred untilwithdrawalinretirementaccounts.Distributions ofthedeferralsaregenerallyallowedtobeginattheage of59½orolderandunderotherspecificcircumstances. Distribution taxation is dependent on whether or not the contributions were taxed. The Internal Revenue Service(IRS)imposescapsonthepercentageofsalary deferrals.Namesofsomeofthemostcommonlyused retirement accounts are 401Ks, IRAs, ROTHs and 40(b)accounts.Insomecases,employersmatchupto acertainpercentofcontributions.Whateverpercentage theemployercontributesproducesanautomaticreturn. Matching contributions along with earnings growing taxdeferredmakeretirementaccountsveryappealing long-terminvestments. Because retirement accounts are long-term investments (greater than 5 years), stocks and bonds areappropriatefortheseinvestments.Stocksusually have the greatest long-term return versus other investmentswiththesameabilitytobeconvertedinto cash(alsoknowasassetliquidity).Stocksalsohave

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

neFridayafternoon,Imetwithanewclientwho advised me that he needed investment advice becausehisretirementfundandotheraccounts were inactive. He recognized that his current strategy would not help him realize his future goals; and this was a good sign to me. This seemedlikeasimpleclientcallandagreatreferral, soItookitwithnoreservationsonaFridayafternoonwhenother professionals were leaving or had left Manhattan to begin their weekend. Thismeetingturnedouttobeanythingbutsimple;anditreinforced whatIhaveobservedmanytimesinthepast.Darryl(nothisreal name)isareasonablyintelligentmanwithasignificantprofession andotheradmirablequalities;buthislackoffinancialknowledge

Sharon D. Highland is a Registered Investment Adviser and President of Barak Asset Management. She has over 25 years of investment management experience. Sharon loves to serve the Lord, is a Trustee of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of NY and serves other ministries in the church. God has blessed her with a wonderful husband Cortez, children, son-in-law and grandchildren.

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the greatest amount of price movement up and down (also knowasvolatility)intheshort-term.Tolowertheportfolio volatility,bondscanbeadded.Financialprofessionalsshould beconsultedtodeterminethetypesofstocksandbondsand stockandbondpercentagestoinvestintohelpyouachieve yourgoals. Savings Accounts Savings accounts are appropriate to fund short-term (unpredictableorlessthanthreeyears)goalssuchasvacations, homeandautomobilerepairs,andother"rainyday"needs. Appropriateinvestmentsforsavingsaccountsincludecash; money markets funds (MMFs); and certificate of deposits (CDs).Cashisthemostaccessibleoftheseoptionsandwill generate the lowest return. MMFs and CDs generally have dates when cash can be withdrawn without penalty. For plannedevents,MMFsorCDscanbeusedtogetaslightly betterreturnthancash.Savingsaccountsshouldbeentrusted withFDICInsuredentitiesandarecoveredupto$250,000 peraccount.Interestratesvaryfrombanktobank,soyou shoulddoyourhomeworkbeforedepositingyourmoneyto getthebestreturn.Banksshouldalsobeevaluatedbasedon convenienceandtheirotheravailableservices.

Goals,timehorizon,andrisktoleranceareotherimportant considerations.Itisprudenttomatchthetypeofinvestment withtime-horizontomeettheinvestmentobjective. Investing in Your Debt Usingyourdiscretionaryincometoinvestinyourdebtseems counterintuitive.However,usingyourdiscretionaryincome to reduce your debt can generate substantial returns. The costofdebtcancostanywherebetween10%and0%.The differencebetweenyourinvestmentreturnandyourcostof debtistherealreturnofinvestinginyourdebt.Asyoupay downyourdebt,yousavewhateverinterestyouwerepaying onthedebt. Tooptimizeyourpotentialreturnsondiscretionaryincome, youshouldconsultwithanaccountantandfinancialadvisor. "Wherenocounselis,thepeoplefail;butinthemultitudeof counselorsthereissafety."(Proverbs11:14)Whateveryou do,donotburyyourdiscretionaryincome,becauseyouwill notyieldanythingandyouwillbeliketheunprofitableservant intheparableofthetalents.Investandseekwisecounselors sothatyoucanbefruitfullikethegoodandfaithfulservants. (Matthew25:14-0)

Candlelight and Watch Night Services

Candlelight 2008 Sunday,December21stat5p.m. Watch Night Worship Services Wednesday,December1stat6p.m.and9:0p.m. attheCathedral Shekinah Youth Watch Night Service at10:00p.m.atShekinahYouthChurch

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

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A.M.E.

Doing More with Less: Keeping the Merry in Christmas

By Min. Brady H. Funn III

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

John 3:16 NKJV

For years, even as an adult,oneof my favorite things to do around the C h r i s t m a s holidays is to watch the Christmas animatedspecials. Many of us are familiar with "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer." Then there are the cartoons: "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "A Christmas Carol," and "Frosty the Snowman."Thesearejustafew,andareconsidered the classics of the Christmas cartoons. But

Brady H. Funn III is the Minister to Men for the Men's Ministry of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York. He has a Bachelors degree in Organizational Management from Nyack College and is currently working on his Masters of Divinity at Drew University. Minister Funn has 20 years experience in the banking industry and specializes in structuring effective budgets that reduce debt. He and his wife of ten years, Georgia, have their own real estate investment corporation 248 Sherman Avenue Corp.

oneofmyall-timefavoriteanimatedChristmasspecials, whichhelpedtochangemylife,is"HowtheGrinchStole Christmas."Forthosewhohaveneverseenthiscartoon classic(itwasalsoaBroadwayproduction),itisabouta greencreaturewhodespisedanythingthathadtodowith Christmas; and how he pretended to be Santa Claus and stoleeveryChristmasdecoration,everypresent,andeven thepreparedChristmasdinnerfromthetowncalled"Whoville"whileeveryonewassleeping. TherewasoneparticularseasoninmylifewhenIwas going through one of the toughest financial hardships I'veeverexperienced.Iwasalmostunabletopaymycar note;Iwasbehindinmyrentandfacedthethreatofbeing evicted.Ihadtoeat"LittleDebbie"cakesanddessertsto supplementmydinnerbecauseIcouldnotaffordfood.It was a rough time, and needless to say, as the Christmas holidayapproached,Ihadnomoneyforgiftsforanyone. AsChristmasloomedIbecameincreasinglydepressed, and each passing day I became more tense. "How am I goingtotelleveryonethatIcouldnotgetthemanything?" wasthequestionthatplaguedmymindanddeprivedme ofmanynightsofsleep.Ididnotknowwhattodo.So,I turnedonthetelevisionandtheGrinchwason.Ihadseen thisChristmasspecialdozensoftimes;butthisnightitwas asifIsawitwithadifferentunderstanding.Throughthis simplecartoonGodhadamessageforme.

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

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This was the year that I finally `got it.' I watched as theGrinchstoodtriumphantlyonamountaintopwithall that he stole from the Whos in Whoville and waited for themtoawakefromtheirsleeptomajordisappointment, griefanddespair.ButtotheGrinch'ssurprise,thewhole towngatheredinthesquareinthecenteroftown,joined handsinacircleandbegantosing`WelcomeChristmas.' As I watched this, I began to cry. As the tears flowed, my depression lifted and my tension began to break. I understoodmorethanIeverhavethatChristmaswasnot aboutthepresentswegiveandreceive,butaboutthegift ofChristandGod'swonderfulloveforeachofus. The next day I called my friends and family and told themIcouldnotaffordtobuyanygifts.Theyappreciated myhonestyandsaidthattheyunderstood.Asamatterof fact,afewofthemconfessedthesamething,anditturned outtobeoneofthebestChristmasesI'veeverhad. `Doing More' is actually extending the love of Christ toeachother.`WithLess'iscomingtogetherwithempty hands (without gifts) and embracing each other in love. After all, what gift could we possibly buy that is equal totheloveofourSaviorJesusChrist?Ibelievethisseason of economic hardship has been designed by God to callGod'schildrenbacktothebasics;toremindsomeof us...thoseofuswhowillhear...thatChristmasisallabout Christ.Christyesterday,Christtoday,andChristalways! I could speak to you about budgeting properly so you canaffordmoregifts.OrIcouldsuggestshoppingatthe outletsandlookingforsales.ButIbelieveGodisspeakingtoyourheartaboutyourmostpreciousgiftandmine-JesusChristourSavior.JesusChristisChristmas. Enjoy Christmas. Share the love of Christ with your familyandfriends;it'sthemostpreciousgiftyoucanever giveorreceive.ShareyourstoriesaboutChristmas,and spend quality time with each other. Listen to your children'sdreamsforthefuture.CelebrateourwonderfulSavior.And,ifyougetachance,checkout`HowtheGrinch StoleChristmas.' IpraythatthisChristmasisthemostblessedyou'veever had...andmayGodblessyouwithmanymore.

R E A D I N G R O O M A D U LT S THE SECRET THINGS OF GOD

by Henry Cloud

In 2006, author, Rhonda Byrne added her theory of how life works to the mix of New Ageism in an attempt to explain how to be happy. The theory of the law of attraction has been around for a good long while, and Byrne decided to give it some momentum. For quite a time, the stir surrounding this 198-page volume seemed as though it would never die. Committed saints of God, those of us who believe in Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Light, held our breaths as another attack on our faith welded its way into the hearts and minds of those who still haven't realized that the Bible is the only Book we need. Even some well meaning and unaware Christians began whispering "secrets" to all who would listen, failing to remember that Bryne's book is just a theory: "a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact" ("http://www.dictionary.com). However, God remained faithful to His believers and sent an answer to the Secret by way of well-respected Christian author, Henry Cloud. In "The Secret Things of God: Unlocking the Treasures Reserved for You," Cloud reveals the time tested truths that are realistic and practical, i.e. they work because they are derived from an established law: "a commandment or a revelation from God" (http://www.dictionary.com). One note of caution to discerning Christians, the book does not make an argument for or against Byrne's book. Cloud simply restates the truth as revealed in the Word of God. In his obedience, he has given us a much need reminder that God is still on the throne. The book title comes from 1 Corinthians 4:1, which states, "So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God." (NIV)

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FASHION CORNER

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A

By Sis. Zakiya Jenkins

Aswetransitionthroughtheseasonsthereare several pieces that we should give attention to and one of the main ones is outerwear. Yes,it'strue;theselectionofjackets,coats, capesetc.isjustasimportantastheoutfit, shoes & accessories for both men and women. Irecentlyhadthe"joy"oftryingtofind theperfectall-weatherjacket;andImustsaythiswasatask. SoIwantedtogiveourreaderssomehelpfulthingstolook forwhenshoppingforanytypeofjacketorcoattosuittheir needsthisseason... Try to find an item that: - hasalining(removableisbest) - hasahood(removableisbest) - has a hood with a drawstring or snap closure air-vents (whenneeded) - hassnapsorazipperasopposedtobuttonsortoggles - hasdeeppocketsorpocketsthatclosewithasnapor zipper - isasuitablelengthforpantsandskirts - hasversatilestyle,suitableforwork,churchandplay - providesaninsidepocketsuitableforsmallitems(i.e. Wallet,iPodetc.) - hasall-weatherprotection - hasaremovable(fur)collar Allofthesemaynotbeofimportancetoyou,butitmay provide you with some helpful ideas to keep in mind whileshoppingthisseason. Men,itisequallyasimportanttomaketherightdecisionswhenchoosingouterwear.Overcoatsthatremain staplepiecesinyourclosetfromyeartoyearshouldbe a basic car-coat (which is single breasted and usually hitsabout5'fromyourshoulder)oraPea-coat(which providesthesamelength,butwhosebuttonsaredouble breasted). No matter the material, these styles can be wornwithanythingfromjeanstosuits.Outerwearsuch as Bomber, bubble/down or motorcycle jackets and

Sis. Zakiya Jenkins is a Graduate student at Brooklyn College; she has her Bachelors in Communications/Media Studies from Queens College. She is an active part of the Communications Ministry and an employee at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York.

trench coats, and so on may be appropriate for someoccasions,butareusuallylessversatile. Colorsareequallyasimportanttokeepinmind whenbuyingyourwintercoat.Menusuallywearbasicearth tones(i.e.grey,black,brown,beige,navyblueetc.).These colorsarealsoidealforladies,especiallyifyoudon'thave a lot of variety when it comes to your outerwear. For the womanwhohasthebasiccolorsalreadyandislookingforan overcoatthatmakesastatement,solidcolorssuchasrouge, mustard, burnt orange, and bordeaux are outstanding hues. Even combinations such as black and white, tweeds and prints,etc.,(inanylengthsuitabletoyourshapeandattire) arewonderfulpatternsthatwillmakeyoustandoutinany crowd. Besuretokeepinmindthesehelpfulhintssothatthejacket/coat can be worn from fall to winter with ease.And as always...happyshopping!!!

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

Stewardship Through the Struggle

A.M.E.

By Min. Joyce McKinley

F

Make Me a Cake First

inancial Hardship makes it increasingly more difficult for persons to meet their financial obligations.A cloud of financial uncertainty looms over families as they fear thelossoftheirhomesand/orthelossofjobs. Familiessufferfinancialinstabilityasaweak economythreatenstheverynecessitiesofour lives. People are living from paycheck to paycheck constantlychallengedwithnothavingenoughmoneytopay

Min. Joyce McKinley is a member of the ministerial staff of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York. She also serves as a Discipleship Ministry Facilitator, the Women's Ministry, the Trustee Board and is a member of the Board of Directors for Allen Christian School. Minister McKinley earned a B.S. in Organizational Management from Nyack College where she graduated with honors. She is currently a student at the A.M.E. Ministerial Institute where she is pursuing ministerial ordination. She is a Sales Manager for Continental Airlines and the proud parent of two sons, Reverend Terrance and Bro. Timothy McKinley.

the bills. People wrestle to pay the mortgage, put food on the table, and gasoline in vehicles. These are uncomfortable and uncertain times. How does one continuetogiveGodHisfinancial portion in the midst of economical hardship? What is the answer when people have reached their wits end andfeellikethereisnothing lefttogive,butGodcallsHis peopletodomore?Eveninthemidstoffinancialuncertainty, I am confident that if God's people activate faith, areobedient,andgiveGodwhatisrightfullyHisfirst,He willnotonlyworkmiraclesinthelivesofHispeople,but willprovideeveryneedaccordingtoHisrichesinglory! 1Kings17:8-16,tellsaheartfeltstoryofaneconomically disenfranchisedwidowwhostrugglestoprovidethedaily needoffoodforherandherson.Godsendstheprophet Elijahtoengagethepoorwidow.WhenElijahcomeson the scene, the widow is gathering sticks for firewood. History tells us that widows were notorious for being in poverty.Elijahasked,"Pleasebringmealittlewaterina cup,thatImaydrink."And,asshewasgoingtogetit,he calledtoherandsaid,"Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand."IimaginethatElijah'srequestmusthave trulytakenthiswidowbysurprise.Howinsensitiveofthis mantoaskforfoodfromapoorwidowwhoobviouslyis inastateofeconomicdespair.Thewidowreplied,"As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die." Her response confirmsthatshewasnotonlypoor,shewasdesperately poor.Shewasliterallypreparingthelastmealforherself

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and her son with the expectation that theywill soon die. Thewidowisatherwitsend.Itappearsthereislittlehope. Elijahtellsher,"Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake [bread] from it first, and bring it to me; and afterwards make some for yourself and your son."Ienvisionthewidowponderstwoquestions."Isit notpresumptuousoftheprophettoaskmetofeedhimfirst beforeIfeedmysonandmyself?"And,"HowdoIfeed theprophetfromthelittlethatIhave?"Thisisatruetestof faithforthispoorwidow.Notonlyisshescramblingtofeed herownfamily,butElijahaskshertofeedhimfirstfrom thelittlethatshehas.Atthiscriticalpointinthewidow's life, she cannot see beyond her immediate circumstance. In1Kings17:14,Elijahdeclares,"For thus says the Lord God of Israel; The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth." The widow activated her faith and walkedinobedience.Sheproceededtomakealittlecake fortheprophetfirstthenafterwardsshemadebreadforher family.Asaresultofherfaithandobedience,Godworked amiracleinherlife.TheLordnotonlyprovidedherdaily needoffood,butHefulfilledHispromisebymultiplying thewidow'sflourandoilsothatherhouseholdwouldeat formanydays! Dailywefacefinancialupheavalsaswetrytokeepthe roofoverourheadsandfoodonthetable.Westruggleto paytithesandofferingswiththelittlethatwehave.Howdo westretchthelittlethatwehavelefttosupportaStewardshipCampaign?Theanswerisbyfaith.Itisthroughfaith thatwefirstgivetoGod'shousethentrustGodtomeetthe needs of our house with what we have left. Hebrews 11: 1,"Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." AsChristians,itisimperativethatweunderstandthatif theenemycangetustofocusonourcircumstanceaswesee it,thenwecannotoperateinourfaith! Duringtimesofeconomicstruggle,Do not fear. Thistoo shallpass.TheHolySpiritgivesuspowerandcouragetolive withoutfearandwalkintheassuranceofGod'spromise.2 Timothy1:7,"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."(NKJ) We must have faith and trust God, not just with our finances,butwitheveryaspectofourlives.Donotallow whatyouseeinthenaturaltokeepyoufromthepromisesof God.BelieveGodforthosethingsunseen.Proverbs:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."(NKJ) Be obedient. Be obedient in this season of increased stewardship. Give to God's house first what is rightfully

His. John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command."(NIV) Undoubtedly, these are very difficult times, but how meagerareourfearsinlightofourmagnificentGod,who thewomanin1Kingscametoknow,whenHeturnedher littleintomuch!

R E A D I N G R O O M A D U LT S A P P R O vA L A D D I C T I O N

BY JOYCE MEYER

As Christians, we are taught in the Word to think more highly of others than ourselves. We are also taught to do things in love and with excellence. We are admonished to live in peace and harmony. These are fundamental principles of our faith, but where is the line between loving our neighbor as ourselves and living to please others. In her book, Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone, Joyce Meyer provides some much needed advice to those who suffer from the need to please disease. Meyer takes a look at the root causes, spiritual and mental, and provides Biblical guidance on breaking this stronghold, offering hope to readers. So for those who want to move past the idol worship of others' opinions to living for God's approval, Meyer's book is a needed addition to your library.

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BySis.DoreenHolland

W

Trimming the Fat

When we think of stewardship, one of the first things we think ofismoney.Truthfully,anything thatweareentrustedwith,thatisin ourcare,wearestewardsover.The Bibledeclaresthatweshouldprosper andbeingoodhealth,evenasoursoul prospers.Therefore,weareresponsible forourbodiesandmustbegoodstewardsoverthem. Most of us already know what we should do to live a healthier life. Our doctors, families, the media and our scales are among the many reminders that it is time to dosomething.Yet,mostofusfeelthatwelackthetime, discipline and the motivation to get started. (Ask yourself thisquestion,"isthereabodyrepairshopforhumans?"If youranswerisno,thenyouunderstandtheimportanceof takingcareofyourbody). Likeanythingweeitherhavetodoorwanttodo,astrategy andaplanmustbemadeinordertogetthere.Sowheredo youstart?

Sis. Doreen Holland is an AFAA Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Fitness Coach at the Jamaica YMCA. Doreen teaches senior fitness for SNAP Senior Center and is also an instructor for the Allen Fitness Ministry. Doreen is a faithful member of the Allen Liturgical Dance Ministry.

What are your fitness goals? Is it to lose weight, tone andstrengthen,rehabilitateaninjury,improveyouraerobic capacity or improve your well-being? Answering these questionswillhelpyouidentifythetypeofphysicalactivities or exercise regime you will need in order to do to reach yourgoal.Howlonghasitbeensinceyoulastexercised? Whatkindofphysicalactivitydidyoudo?Didyouenjoy it?Whatmadeyoustop? Itisimportanttoanswerthesequestionsbecauseitwill giveyouabetterpictureofwhatworkedandwhatdidnot. Once you have answered the above questions, you are nowreadytolayoutyourplan.Remember,allgoalsneedto haveastartdateandananticipatedendingdate.Setashort termgoalonacalendarat4weeks,8weeks,and12weeks fromyourstartingdate.Noteonthecalendarthedaysyou performedsometypeofphysicalactivityandwhatyoudid. Thiswillgiveyouavisualaccountofyourconsistencyand willletyouknowifyouareontrack. Nowdeterminehowmanydaysperweekyouwillexercise, along with when and where. Look at your schedule and makeanappointmentwithyourselfanddon'tcancelunless itisanemergency.Nowthisistheareawheremostpeople say"Idon'thavethetimetoexercise."Thetruthiswedo, butwedon'trecognizeit.Weautomaticallylookforalarge blockoftime.Thisisnotnecessaryunlessthatisapartof yourgoal.Wehavetoseeitasanecessityandnotachore. Considerthis:Godasksusfor10percentofourincome asatithetowardHisstorehouse.Applythissameprinciple whenitcomestoyourhealth.Forexample:Park10minutes awayfromyourdestination.Yourwalkthereandbackwill totalapproximately20minutesofwalking.Marchorjog

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inplaceorlieontheflooranddosomecrunchesbetween commercial breaks while watching television. That's another20minutesofactivity.Investinapedometerand seehowmanystepsyoucanmakebytheendoftheday. Startsmallandaddontimeasyourscheduleallows.Every littlebitcounts. Todeterminehowhardyouwillhavetowork(levelof intensity)againassessyourgoalalongwithyourphysical capabilitiesorlimitations.Calculateyourmaximumheart ratebysubtracting220­yourage.Your"trainingzone"is yourmaximumheartratexyourdesiredlevelofintensity. (220­Yourage=maximumheartratexlevelofintensity) For the best weight loss and aerobic endurance results, usuallythe"trainingzone"isbetween65%-85%ofyour maximumheartrate.Andyourphysicalactivityshouldbe approximately20­0minutesinyour"trainingzone"to 5daysperweek. Once you have started your plan you may wonder how longyouwillhavetocontinue.Youhaveheardthatittakes 21daystodevelopahabit.Idisagree.Ibelieveittakes21 daystodevelopaplan,21weekstodeveloparoutineand aminimumof6monthstomakealifetimechange.Itmay takeseveraltriestoattainyourgoal.Butthemostimportant thingistokeeptrying. There are so many barriers that come up against us on adailybasis.Thesebarriershinderusfromattainingour goals.Takethetimetoconsiderthethreetopbarriersthat interruptorstopyoufromgoingfurther.Identifywhether they are internal (thoughts, perceptions and beliefs) or external (work, family, weather). Your strategy to keep going will be to change your perception to eliminate the barriersortorestructureyourenvironmenttocontrolit. Goodnutritionandexerciseareimportant.Togetherthey keep you balanced and will ensure a positive outcome. Everyone'snutritionalneedsaredifferent.Checkwithyour doctorornutritionistbeforechangingyournutritionalintake. Keepyourselfinformedwiththenecessaryinformationyou needtoreachyourfitnessandnutritionalgoals.Thereare plenty of reliable sources on the internet to help get you startedandkeepyoumotivated. Lastly,allofusneedsomesupporttomakethenecessary changesinourlives.Callagoodfriend,orapositiverelative toholdyouaccountable.Andifworkingoutathomejust doesn't work for you, find a personable fitness center or supportgroupthatprovidestheprofessionalhelpyouneed toreachyourgoal. Remember, you are only one step a way from being a strongerandhealthieryou.

R E A D I N G R O O M A D U LT S DAUGHTER OF CHINA

BY C. HOPE FLINCHBAUGH

We often hear about the persecution our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering in parts of the world where there is no freedom of religion. At times as we struggle to live out our faith in our very secular society, we may take for granted our privilege of being able to practice our faith here in America. Author C. Hope Flinchbaugh put pen to paper in order to give a face to the struggle of those who are willing and often times have to die for their belief in Christ Jesus. Told through the eyes of 19-year old Kwan Mei Lin, Daughter of China is a fictionalized account of religious and female oppression in Communist China. The reader follows the novel's female evangelist as she constantly risks her life in order to practice and share her faith. The audience walks away with a better understanding of Christianity in China, a deeper compassion for those suffering for their right to live for Jesus, and a fuller appreciation for the religious freedom we have here in America.

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The Life of a Good Steward: Much More Than Giving

steward portfolio should be an updated will that makes a benefactor'sintentionsandpreferredassetdistributioncrystal clear. It is important to also have a signed health proxy andpowerofattorneydocumentsforindividualsnolonger capableofmanagingtheirpersonalaffairs. Beingagoodstewardalsomeansnotwastinghardearned money through shameless spending binges and senseless creditcardabuse.Ifyouareindebt,itisincumbentuponyou toseekdebtcounselingorotherformsofestablishedrelief (thisdoesn'tmeanrefusingtopayyourbills).IfyourFICO (credit rating) score is consistently low and dropping, then takeconcretestepstoraiseyourscoreoverthecourseofa year.Allofthiswilltakediscipline,sacrifice,andaresolute desiretonotbenaggedbycreditorsdayandnight. Healthinsurance;extendedcarepolicies;annuities,mutual funds; IRA's (Individual Retirement Accounts); 401k/401b accounts;pensions,taxdeferredbondsCertificatesofDepositorChristmasSavingsClubareallsolidfinancialtoolsthat helpgoodstewardsmanagetheirpersonalfinances.TheLord doesnotdesireforHiscreationtolivepaychecktopaycheck; orpassivelyallowpersonalfinancestobeindisarray. Wesuggestthatyoubegoodstewardsofthatwithwhich theLordhasblessedyou.Scriptureremindsusabouttheman withthe5talents(Matthew25:14-0)whoinvestedwisely andreapeddoubleofthatwhichwassown.Iadmonishyouto dothesamesothatitmaysaidtoyou`Welldone,goodand faithfulservant!Youhavebeenfaithfulwithafewthings;I willputyouinchargeofmanythings.'

A.M.E.

M

ByTheRevAlfonsoWyatt

"there was a certain rich man who had a steward; and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, `what is this I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship because you can no longer be a steward." luke 16b:1-2 (rSv)

MywifeandIhavebeenamember ofAllen for nearly 0 years, and over that period of time we have witnessed the spiritual and financial growth of the church as we have also been blessed to grow spiritually and financially. Overthesameperiodoftime,the church, under the extraordinary leadershipofPastorFloydFlake,experiencedthelaunchof severalmajorStewardshipCampaigns.Onecanlookaround theneighborhoodandseehowthecongregation'sstewardship givinghashelpedtocreatehousingforfirsttimehomeowners,educateyouthatAllenChristianSchool;presentbusiness opportunities for entrepreneurs, and provide holistic social services. A past article in The NewYork Times stated that at that particulartime,thepredominatelyAfricanAmericancommunities of St.Albans, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Rosedale andSpringfieldGardenshadahigheraggregateincomethan thesurroundingwhitesuburbs.Icancertainlyattestthatthis isdirectlyattributabletothelast0yearsthatPastorFlake has skillfully woven a message about community building throughhomeownershipwithinalloftheStewardshipCampaigns.ThecongregationrepeatedPastor'sadmonitionthat weshould"investinappreciatingassetsandthatweshould ownthehomeandleasethecar."AllenmembersheededPastor'sgoodstewardmessage,andwhilegivingsacrificiallyto thechurch,theywerealsoabletopurchasehomes(including me)inunprecedentednumbers. Beloved,likewise,wearecalledtobegoodstewardsover personalfinances.Giventhepresenteconomicvolatilityon WallStreet,itisimperativetohaveaviablesavings;lifeinsurance;investments;andpension/retirement"nestegg"that youwillnotoutlive.ThereputedfutureinsolvencyofSocial Securitymaybeaninconvenienttruthtoemployeesrelatively newtotheworkforce.Therefore,itisnecessarytohavean alternativeplan. It has been said that there are over 40,000,000 people in Americawholackanyformofhealthinsurance.Thisstaggeringnumberdoesnotincludepeoplewhohaveinadequate healthcareplans.Nooneshouldwillingly,orregrettably,be forcedtogamblewithhisorherhealthbyhopingtheywill notgetsickorinjuredinanaccident.Includedinthegood

The Reverend Alfonso Wyatt, member of the Allen Cathedral ministerial staff is a writer, poet, mentor, seminary adjunct and public theologian. He has designed innovative workshops, seminars and retreats for couples, youth workers, lay and ordained clergy. Rev. Wyatt is the Chair of NY Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, 21st Century Foundation Trustee, and Vice President of the Fund for the City of New York.

R E A D I N G R O O M A D U LT S THE COMING FINANCIAL REvOLUTION

by Buck Stephens

In these tough financial times, every bit of sound advice about money counts. However, Christian author, Buck Stephens, takes it one step further by delving deep into the Word of God to pull out principles designed to shift one's consciousness about money. At the intersection of prophecy and prosperity principles, Stephens provides practical solutions to financial troubles. Building on the Parable of the Ten Minas from Luke 19:12-27, Stephens outlines keys to true abundance through what he terms "Stewardship Theology." A term he contrasts with "Poverty Theology" and "Prosperity Theology." He challenges readers to take ownership of their finances instead of depending on gimmicks to do the work for us. The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

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ByTheRev.CarlaCalizaire

Silent Tears

U

there are so many silent tears that leave an indelible mark on the hearts of many--tears that only you and God know about.

nfortunately,wearesowelltrainedtowearourhappy masksthatwemaynotevenknowjusthowclosewe aretoourbreakingpoint.However,itisthatonelast thingthatcanserveastheproverbialstrawthat"breaks the camel's back" that reminds us how out of control things really are. For many parents, both single and traditional,thatbreakingpointhascomeintheformof

The Rev. Carla Calizaire is an itinerate Elder at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral. She currently serves as a discipleship instructor and Co-leads Journey's: the ministry for separated and divorced woman. Rev. Calizaire resides in NJ with her two sons, Jayson and Christian.

the"R"wordthatnoonereallywantstosay-"recession." But for others, whether you call it that or dressitupinaboxwithashinyredbow,the realityisthatinthecurrenteconomicsituation manyofusarelosingourjobssocompanies can make their Wall Street numbers or stay afloatforanotherquarter.Wearelosingour homes because we got caught in the whole sub-prime meltdown, while others of us are livingonepaycheckawayfromdisaster.We doallofthisadornedwithafakesmileonour face because we are too ashamed to ask for help. Forthoseofuswithchildren,itisevenmore complicated because of the fear and/or guilt associatedwiththethoughtofnotbeingable toprovideforourchildren.So,whatdosome ofusdo?Wetrytopretendthatthingsarethe same;andeverythingisgoingtobeokay...for thesakeofthechildren? Unfortunately, when the lights go out and thestillnessofthenightsetsin...itisoursilent tearsthatkeepuscompany.Thetearsscream "HowcouldIhavegottenintothissituation? WheredidIgowrong?WhatamIgoingto do?Howmuchlongercanwelivelikethis? Godwhereareyou?Fromwherewillmyhelp come?" The silent tears are probably the most painfulbecausetheyleavestainswherefew can see. They are being held captive deep within by pride, fear, regret, and hurt. So many people who thought "this could never happen to me" are facing a new reality, as former six-figure income earners now find themselvesoutofajob.Manysingleparents who were barely making it find themselves one step away from poverty. And, many traditional families who thought they had attained"theAmericandream"arewakingup toanAmericannightmare. Where Do We Go from Here??? Myfirstthoughtisprayer.I'mnottalking abouttheprayerformannatofallfromheaven; butonthecontrary,theprayerthatyouwillnot

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losesightofGodinthemidstofitall.Yousee,inasociety where, in some cases, religion has become about what we cangetfromGodversushowwecanworshiptheLord,many aretemptedtoquitthisjourneycalledlifeatthefirstsignof trouble.WeoftenbecomemadatGod,madatourselves,or madatthisworldandarereadytogiveupanddie. The thoughts of leaving this world can become quite enticing in the midst of adversity. So, I encourage us all to stay in steadfast prayer for our minds, our families, our friends, and even our places of employment. The reality isthatpeopledorashthingswhenpushedagainstthewall, soweneedGod'scoveringnowmorethanever.Yousee, oftentimesthechoicesofotherscanhaveasdevastatingan effectonourlivesasourownchoices.Thecleaningperson loses his/her job just like the CEO when a business goes under;....sopray! Secondly,wemuststopandtakeanhonestassessmentof our situation. There is an old adage that says, "Ignorance isbliss."Althoughthatmaybetrueattimes,ignoranceof our financial situation and how we got into it will not get us out of it. So, we must do the due diligence of sorting though our finances. Even if we are currently not in a financiallychallengingsituation,weshouldstillhaveaclear understandingofoureconomics.Ifwearedoingwell,wecan probablyidentifywastefulspendingandincreaseoursavings forarainyday.Ifweareonepaycheckawayfromoralready inabankruptsituation,thenthisisagoodopportunityforus tosortthroughourrecordstodeterminewhatwehavetogive up and/or what we can save. Going through our financial recordsmayalsoprovideustheopportunitytoassesswhere we went wrong, so next time we won't make the same mistake. Lastly,this exercisemayalsoprepare us to have informedconversationswithpeopleorgroupsthatmightbe abletohelpus. When we find ourselves struggling to make it, we need tobehonestwithnotonlyourselves,butalsoourfamilies. As parents, we often try to protect our children; however, they may be part of the problem. Maybe we can't afford thoselessons,thosesneakersoreventhatpackofgum.And if we are really a family, then all members must take the responsibilitytohelpeachothersurvive.Therealityisthat eventhoughwemaythinkwearedoingagoodjobkeeping everythingtoourselves,familymemberscanusuallysense whensomethingiswrong--nomatterhowyoungoroldthey maybe. Soratherthanhidingthesituation,weshouldhaveanopen and honest conversation with the entire family so together wecanworktoidentifypossiblewaysout.It'shealthier andabetterlessononresponsibilitywhentheentirefamily is part of the solution. The answers are different for each family.Forsomeitmayinvolveteenagechildrengettinga jobtocontributetosomehouseholdbills;whileforothers, itmayinvolveyoungerkidstakingonadditionalchoresto freeparentsupsotheycangetapart-timejob.Yetforother families, the solution may involve everyone cutting their

spending, conserving energy to lower bills, and/or cutting downonfast/junkfoods. No one Solution... Thereisnoonesolutiontothesedifficulteconomictimes. However,itisimportanttoknowthatyouarenotaloneand yourtearsdon'thavetoremainsilent.Althoughitistrue thatitisalwayseasiertogetintotroublethanoutofit,you shouldknowthathelpisoutthereifyouwantit. As part of our commitment to the church body and community, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral will be offeringprogramstohelpguideyou,nomatterwhatyour economic condition may be. If you are in the midst of foreclosure, just lost your home, finding yourself living paycheck to paycheck, saving a small amount, dabbling withinvestmentfundsorareprospering.....wewillhavea programdesignedjustforyou.Itisourprayerthatyouwill allow God to use this ministry to sow into your life. We want to be good stewards of our internal resources as we ministertoyou.

R E A D I N G R O O M A D U LT S M O R E T H A N j U S T T H E C AT C H

b y D a v i d Ty r e e w i t h K i m b e r l y D a n i e l s

On February 3, 2008, according to NFL player, David Tyree, God showed up at Super Bowl XLII. For those who watched the history-making catch, Tyree did the seemingly impossible with his faith and determination to give God the glory. For Tyree, it was a miracle. In More than Just the Catch, Tyree not only re-tells the events of that day, but he also shares his testimony of how God spared his life through his period of reckless and life-threatening behavior. One of the most important and touching aspects of his autobiography was the moment his mother prayed for his deliverance from demonic possession and eventual conversion to Christianity. Tyree's honest yet humbling story speaks to the miraculous and saving power of Christ Jesus.

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Financial Empowerment Series:

Stewardship Campaign Tranforming a Community... Be Part of the Legacy

I

nAugust 2008, Rev. Elaine and I introduced the 2008 "Transforming a Community" Stewardship Campaign to The Great Allen A.M.E. Cathedralbody.Aspartofourcommitmentto the community, and in recognition of the current economic crisis that our nation is experiencing, we want to include a financial empowermentcomponenttotheoverallcampaign. Thefinancialempowermentserieswillprovidefreeclassesthatwillhelpaddressmanyofthechallengesthatpeople inthiscommunityandacrossthenationareexperiencing. It is our prayer that the financial empowerment portionoftheStewardshipCampaignwillprovideeveryone with appropriate information to not only address your current economic needs, but also position yourself for futurefinancialsuccess. Nomatterwhatyourcurrentsituationis,ourfinancial leadershipteamhasdevelopedaprogramtrackthatwill helpyougettothenextlevel.InHosea4:6Godsays, "Mypeopleperishforlackofknowledge."Wewantto ensurethatinthiscornerofZion,God'schildrenarenot sufferingbecauseoflackofinformation;butratheryou arethrivingandmaximizingyourpotentialandbecoming great stewards of that with which God has blessed you. Indoingso,wecanworktogethertostabilizefamilies andourcommunityasawhole. Sincerely, Dr.FloydH.Flake

Tithing and offerings Tonjola Cole and Min. Eugene Mitchell Everygoodstewardmusthaveagoodgraspofthecentral principles taught in God's Word about handling money. This is where to start. Learn everything you wanted to know about tithing and offerings, but were afraidtoask. Budgeting Minister Brady Funn Becausecreatingabudgetissoimportanttoachieving financialgoalsandstayingonthepathtogoodmoney management, we have developed a simple home budgeting class we know you will love. You'll earn all thebasicsofhowtotellyourmoneywheretogoevery month,ratherthanwonderingwhereitwent! Let's Talk About Investing Deborah Allen and Valerie Mitchell The#1fearofAmericansisnothavingenoughmoney tolastthroughretirement.Peoplearelivinglongerbut notsavingandinvestingliketheyshould.Areyouon trackwithyourretirementgoals?Let'slearnthefundamentalsofinvestinginthismarket. What is your credit score with God? Johnathan Eger and Sherry Williams Powerfulcreditanddebtmanagementstrategiesfortoday'sinformedconsumer:avoidthepitfallsofthecredit cardindustry,learnwhatlittle-knownfactorsraiseand loweryourcreditscore,knowthestatutorylendingrules whereyoulive,usingcommon`cents'indifficulttimes. Canyoulivewithoutdebt? Real estate Investing in today's market Bill Jones Thetop5thingstoavoidwheninvestinginanunsteady market.Knowtheinsandoutsofresidentialfinancing, homeequity,ratelock-ins,first-timehomebuying,and muchmore.

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Min.DebbyeTurnerBell

Feasting In The Famine

T

o this day, I don't know how I ended up in a situation IfeltIcouldn'tgetoutof.Iwasworkingastablejob, prayingandreadingmyBible,andworkinginministry.It was payday for my household employees (all who needed their paycheck from me more than I needed mine), and I didn'thavethecashtopaythem.WhenIcamehomeonthat fateful payday with no money for the employees, I sat in mycarinthegaragecrying.Icouldn'tfacethem.Iprayeddesperately, "Lord,IneedyouRIGHTNOW."Idecidedtoopenthemail,reallyasa waytoavoidgoinginside.Thereinthestackwerethreeunusualenvelopes.AsIopenedeachofthem,Irealizedthattherewasacheckinall ofthem.IgottaxrefundsthatIdidn'tknowIhadcoming.Andgetthis; the total of the three was exactly what I needed to cover my employee payroll!Yes,eveninthefamine,Godisfaithful.Hisfaithfulnessnever fails.(Psalm89:) It'sveryeasyrightnowtofocusonallthebadnewsbombardingus-failingbanks,foreclosedhomes,defaultedmortgages,andfallingstock

Minister Debbye Turner Bell teaches and preaches the gospel around the country at churches, women's conferences, and youth events, delivering a message of hope, deliverance, and intimate relationship with God. As a part of the ministerial leadership at The Greater Allen Cathedral, she serves in the Discipleship Ministry as an altar minister, minister on the follow-up Chapel prayer team, and a teacher of the "That We May Believe" discipleship class. Minister Bell works full-time as a news correspondent for CBS News and as television host of the investigative show, "48 Hours on WE". Recently married, Minister Bell lives with her husband in New Jersey

markets.ButJesus'disciplePetershowsus theimportanceoffocusingonJesusduring thestorm(Matt14:28-2).AslongasPeter hadhiseyesontheMaster,hewalkedonthe water.Histroubleswereunderhisfeet.But theminutehetookhiseyesoffoftheSavior andstartedfocusingonthewaves,hebegan tosink. We must keep our focus on Jesus. He is whereourredemptionlies(Luke21:28).FocusonHispromisesforyourlife.Focuson His past faithfulness. Focus on His ability to work miracles, no matter what craziness ishappeningaroundyou.Aswedo,wecan feastonthefaithfulnessoftheFather,even inthetimeoffamine.Psalm7:saysthat we can "feed on His faithfulness." When doubtstartstocreepintoyourmind,meditateonthesescriptures: Lamentations :22-2 says, "Through the Lord'smercieswearenotconsumed,because Hiscompassionsfailnot.Theyareneweverymorning;GreatisYourfaithfulness." Psalm18:2says,"TheLordismyrockand my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength,inwhomIwilltrust;myshieldand thehornofmysalvation,mystronghold." Jeremiah9:18says,"ForIwillsurelydeliveryou,andyoushallnotfallbythesword; butyourlifeshallbeasaprizetoyou,becauseyouhaveputyourtrustinMe,"says theLord. Remember, God is faithful ALL THE TIME. He does not change, so His faithfulness in the past is proof that He will be faithful now and in the future!As the old hymn declares, "All we have need of, His handwillprovide." Focusonthat.Believeit.Walkinit.Or asPeterdid,walkONit!

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Stewardship Through the Struggle

A.M.E.

For Parents: Reversing Financial Illiteracy

By Sis. Sharon Highland

F

Earn $1.00 $100.00 $1,000.00

inancial education for many adults came throughobservationofourparents'management of household finances. Oftentimes, there is no family discussion relating to the matter other than a curt response to a request forsomethingwewant.Thisbehaviorhasbeen passed down from generation to generation, leavingfinancesas"adultbusiness."Theresult ofthisbehaviorisfinancialilliteracy. Withbankruptcies,foreclosures,andrepossessionsincreasing,itistimetomakepersonalfinancialmanagementeducationapriority.Wemuststompoutfinancialilliteracy. Therearesimplestepsyoucantakeathometobeginthe process.Theimplementationofthesestepswilladjusthow childrenthinkaboutmoneyandgivethemanewappreciation for budgeting, saving, and planning. Proverbs 22:6 "Trainupachildinthewayheshouldgo:andwhenheis old,hewillnotdepartfromit." TeachingourchildrentobeobedienttoGod'sWordshould be the priority in every aspect of life, including financial management.Financialmanagementbeginswithobedience tothecovenantoftithesandofferings.Childrenshouldbe taughtassoonastheybegintoreceiveand/orearnmoney, thatatenthbelongstotheLord.Todemystifythetenthcalculationthefollowingchartisprovided: Understandingthatearningsarenotalwaysperfectlyround asdepictedinthebelowchart,teachyourchildrentousethe followingformulaonacalculator:Earningsx0.10=Tithe. Many children today receive the latest electronic games, clothes,sneakersandotherreveredmaterialthingswithout everearningthem.Theysimplyaskanadultintheir"vilTithe $0.10 $10.00 $100.00 Earn $5.00 $500.00 $5,000.00 Tithe $0.50 $50.00 $500.00

lage"andtheyaregrantedwhattheyhaveaskedfor.Trainingchildrentoearnwhattheywantcanbuildpositivework ethics.Conversely,nottrainingachildtoworkcanresultin theirruin.Proverbs21:25"Thedesireoftheslothfulkills him,forhishandsrefusetolabor." After they have earned their money, children should be taught the discipline of saving. Instilling this discipline canbreakthecycleofbeingoverextendedindebt.Debt isoftentheresultofpeoplewantingimmediatepleasureor gratificationandnothavingthepatiencethatsavingteaches. Theaddedbenefitoflearningpatienceisanotherbonusof savingforafuturepurchaseorgoal.Toencouragechildren to save for what they want, parents can add an incentive suchasagreeingtomatchtheirsavings.Thisissimilarto the401KPlanswithcompanymatching.Thisearlylesson ofmatchingcontributionscanincentivizechildrentoadopt similar savings plans as adults; which is an investment in theirfuture. Trainingchildrenearlycanpreventthedestructioncaused by lack of knowledge and establish the behavior of good stewardshipinthefuture.Parentsandguardiansarecharged with teaching and exemplifying the Biblical principles of tithing,working,savingandinvesting.ThebenefitofdoingsowillmanifestitselfintheGodfearing,faithful,and responsibleadultstheyaredestinedtobecome. Thebenefitsofdoingsowillmanifestitselfinthefaithful, Godfearingadultstheywillbecome.

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A.M.E.

TEEN TIME

Stewardship Through the Struggle

By Min. Edward Jordan

signmentseveryday,friendsaskforfavorswhenevertheyare inneed,parentsconstantlyrequireyourunconditionalobedience;butyou,youstillaren'tfulfilled.Youhavebagsunder youreyesbecauseyoucan'tsleepatnight.Yourgradesfluctuateasyourmoodtagsalongfortheride.Youfeelokayin Churchsometimes;andwhileyourspirituallifemayappear tobehealthy,youstillfeelthatthereissomethingmissing. Andtheworstpartofitallis,nooneseemstobeawareof,or evenunderstandyoursituation. The reality is that you may not be experiencing this exact situation.HoweverIbelieveyouwillagreethatstrivingto be who God has created you to be, being obedient to your parents, trying to fit in, and trying to find your true self in themidstofitallisadifficultstruggle.Itisnoteasybeinga Christianteenlivinginthe21stcentury;anditdoesn'thelp thatpeopledon'tseemtounderstandthat.Yourparentsseem tobrushoffyourstruggle,andtheministerseemstoalways tellyouitwillworkout.Evenyourfriendsseemtobeincapableofcomprehendingyourstruggle.Youfindyourself, asifinaTVsitcom,standingstillwhileeveryonepassesby, notnoticingthatyou'rescreaming,"Doesanyoneunderstand whatIamgoingthrough?Cananyonehelpme?" WellIhavegreatnewsforyou!Thereisonewhoknowsall aboutwhatyouaregoingthrough.Heknowsallaboutevery temptationthatyouhavehadtofaceandeverytrialyouhave hadtoendure.Heunderstandsthestrugglesyouarehaving, tryingtodotherightthingandstayoutoftroublewhenpressuredtodosomethingtotallydifferent.Whoishe?Youask. HisnameisJesusChrist,ourLordandSavior;andHeknows abouteverysituationandeverycircumstancethatyouhave beenin,arein,andmightgetinto,inthefuture.TheBible

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York 26

Can you Hear Me Now?

Anotherdaybringsanothertask,anotherrequestthatyouhave tofulfill.Itcansometimesappearthatastheworldcontinues togo`round,wefailtokeepupwithit.TeachersgiveyouasEdward Jordan is a seventeen year old senior attending St.

Francis Preparatory High School. There he runs track, and participates in other extra curricular activities. Upon graduation, Edward desires to focus his undergraduate studies in architecture and later hopes to attend seminary. Edward is an upcoming minister and youth ambassador and serves under the leadership of Minister Din. E. Tolbert Youth Pastor of the Shekinah Youth Church. There he is also a New Membership Youth Instructor, and Youth Officer.

Stewardship Through the Struggle

A.M.E.

evenremindsusinHebrews4:15thatJesusisintouchwith therealityofwhoweare.Heknowsabouttemptationand struggle, because He went through it Himself. I urge you toremindyourselfofthiseachandeverytimeyoufeelasif theweightoftheworldrestsuponyourshoulders.Remind yourselfthatyouarenotalone,andthatthereissomeonewho understands just what you are going through. When your parents,teachers,peers,andevenfriendsmaynotappearto understandyourstruggle,Jesusknowsallaboutit! However,therearesomanymoregreatthingsaboutthisSavior! Not only is He aware of your struggle, He also cares andwantstohelp.Andthisisthegreatestnewsofall!HE CAN!HetellsusthroughHisword,"Castyourcaresonme, becauseIcareforyou"(1Peter5:7).WeareevenfurtherencouragedthatGodhasthepowertodoanything,evenmore thanwemaythinkof,orcanevenimagine(Ephesians:20). InotherwordsHecanhelpyouwhenyouaretemptedtodo

thewrongthing.Hecanhelpyouwhenyouarefeelingtired andlackthedesiretodoyourschoolwork.Hehasthepower tostrengthenyouwhenyouareweak,makeprovisionswhen it appears as if you have nothing, and most of all, He will providethelove,supportandencouragementthatyouneed throughout this entire process. In addition, God promises that He is available for more than this particular season of yourlife.Heisn'tamagicgeniewhowillonlygrantyou three wishes, but rather God assures us that He will never leaveusorforsakeus!(Hebrews1:5) Soyouaskthequestion,doesanyoneunderstandme?And theansweris,YES,JESUSCHRISTDOES!Heknowsall aboutyourlife'sstruggles,Hewantstohelpwithyourlife, Hecanhelpyouwithyourlife;butmostofall,Heshowsyou howtoreceivethathelpandmoveforwardandlivetheabundantlife!SoseekHim!He'swaitingtohearfromyou!

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A.M.E.

TEEN TIME

Stewardship Through the Struggle

Finance Tips

T

By Min. Brady H. Funn III

wothingsI'msureyouyouthhaveheard talkedaboutoverthelastfewweeks;the electionandthefinancialsituationofour country,andnowtheworld. So what does this have to do with you? Let'stalkaboutit.Sincethisarticleisabout financialtipsforyou,we'llsticktothe financialsituation. Whenthestockmarketdropsasithasoverthelastseveral weeks,thereisarippleeffect.Ifyou'veeverthrownarockin alakeorpoolofwater,youmusthavenoticedhowacircular wavemovesoutfromthespottherockwentinandcontinues toexpandseveralfeetawayfromthepointofentry.Likewise, thesearesomeofthethingsthatareaffectedwhenthestock marketdrops: ·Businessesbegintofail;especiallythosewhohave investedheavilyinthemarket. ·Banksbegintofailandgooutofbusiness. ·Otherbanksstoplendingmoneytoconsumers;thosewho stilllend,increaseinterestrates. · The unemployment rate begins to increase because of failedbusinesses. ·Mortgagesarealmostimpossibletoget,noonecanbuya home. ·Noonecansellahome,sincebuyerscan'tgeta mortgage. ·Peoplebegintousetheirretirementplanstomakeends meet.Peoplestruggletopaytheirbills;ontime,oratall.

How does this affect you? ·Onedayyouwillapplyforajob. ·Onedayyouwillwanttopurchaseahome. ·Onedayyouwillberesponsibleforpayingbills. ·Onedayyouwillwanttostartaretirementplan. Understandthateverythingthatishappeninginthefinancial markettodaywillaffectyourfuturetomorrow.Understand thatyourparentsandguardiansaregoingthroughoneofthe toughestfinancialtimesinthehistoryoftheUnitedStates;so rememberthisasChristmascomes-pleasebeunderstanding ifyoudon'treceiveallthatyouaskfor. You need to know what's going on so that you can be prepared before you become an adult. Do you know that a savings account is one of the most valuable investment accountsyoucanhavetoday?Manyadultswhohavenever savedmoneyareregrettingmorethaneverthattheydidnot. Sometimesoursavingsaccountistheonlythingthatkeepsus fromlosingallwehave. Iamspeakingtoyouasmature,intelligentyouthwhoplan tobecomewiseandsuccessfuladults.Youmustbeginyour successnow.Payattentiontothenews;readthenewspaper and keep yourself informed. Ask your parents questions about how this will affect your future. And please...begin savingnowsothatyoucanbegintodisciplineyourselfasa youth. Remember$5amonthis$60ayear-it'snottheamount, it'saboutmakingsavingagoodhabit.Don'twaituntilyou becomeanadult;anddon'tmakethemistakethatsomany adultshavemadebynotsaving.Yoursavingsaccountmight saveyouandyourfamily,yearsfromnow.

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Stewardship Through the Struggle

A.M.E.

Ask the Teens

How can I use my talents to serve God? IcanshowpeoplethatGodcanbeinmy musicanditcanstillsoundgood. -Age16 Icanpray. -Age16 IplaybasketballsoIcanusethattalent toplayatmyabilitiesofshootingand handlingtheball,whileusingthosegifts thatGodhasgivenmeandI'mvery thankfulofit. -Age16 BybelievingGodandtrustinghimand seekinghiskingdom. -Age15 Singinginchurch. -Age16 Icandraw,Idopoetry,I'mveryknowledgeable,goodteacher. -Age15 IcanusemytalentstoserveGodby usingtheminapositiveandproductive waytospreadthewordofGod. -Age16 What additional responsibilities can I take to help my family during these tough economic times? Stopaskingforstuff. -Age16 Turnoffthelightswhennotusingthem. -Age16 TodohardworkinwhateverI'mdoing, pray,anddowhatittakestohelpmy familysucceed. -Age15 GoingtochurchandprayingthatGod helpsyouwithyourproblems. -Age15 Makemyselfbetter.Helpmyparents more.-Age16 Sleepinsteadofusingelectricity. -Age15 Icanmakesuremybrothersandsisters arewelltakencareofwhilemymother isatwork. -Age16

READING ROOM TEENS

LETTERS TO A yOUNG SISTER

by Hill Harper

My Pledge of Service byMayaLawrence HowdoIserve? HowdoIplease? WhatshouldIdoforyou? WhatshouldIdoforme? ShouldIfollowwhatyousay orshouldIgomyownway? HumbleandmeekaretheskillsI mustpossess toshowyoumygratefulnessaboveall therest. Iwillserveandtrustyouwithall myheart; thenfromyouIwillneverdepart. Youmakemehappy sothereisnothingelseIcando. Youwillmakethesunshine inthedaysthatyoubless IwillserveyouLordandnothingless. Iwillserve andIwillplease anditwillstillbebeneficialtome. ThebestIcanbeisforyouLord andeachdayIwillserveandlove youmore.

ActorandAuthor,HillHarper,brings togetherana-listofrenownedand influentialwomenandmenlike MichelleObama,BlairUnderwood, andBishopNoelJonestospeakto theissuesthatyoungwomenface intoday'ssociety. Usingtheformat ofanadvicecolumnviaanswersto questionsposedinemail,Harper's bookofferswisecounseltoyoung sisters.Theadvicegiven,although notnew,istimely,practical,andauthentic.Thisbookisafollow-upto Harper'sLetterstoaYoungBrother: ManifestYourDestiny.

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A.M.E.

KIDZ KORNER

Stewardship Through the Struggle

By The Rev. Laverne Robinson

Mine, Mine, all Mine! H

ey Kids! Did you ever see the Warner Brotherscartoon"Mine,Mine,AllMine!" starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck? It teachesusallaboutbeinggreedy,stingy,and guardingourtreasures.DaffyDuckfindsa hidden treasure and tries to hoard it all for himself. The ending is hilarious, and will keep you laughing and talking about the effectsofhoardingourtreasures. Allofusatsometimeoranotherhavebeentakersratherthan givers.Weliveinaworldthatisselfish--whichsometimescauses ustoonlythinkofme,myselfandI.Wewanttobenumberone. Selfishnessconsumesanddestroysus!That'swhattheBiblesays The Rev. Laverne Robinson is a member of the Allen Cathedral Ministerial Staff, serves as the Children's Minister at the Shekinah Youth Church and works for the New York City Public School system. She is married to Bro. Carlton Robinson and they are the parents of Rochelle, Brian and Brandon Robinson. The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York 30

inITimothy,Chapter6,verses9and10.Godwantsustobegivers andnottakers.Ourgivingisareflectionofourloveandobedience toGod. If you had lots of money and could get anything you wanted, whatwouldyoubuy?Canyouthinkofsomethingthatyoucould neverbuyevenifyouhadallthemoneyintheworld?TheBible tellsusaboutarichyoungrulerwhohadlotsofmoneyandowned manythings;buthewantedsomethingthatallhismoneycouldn't buy.ReadtheGospelaccordingtoMatthew,Chapter19,verses160tofindoutwhathappenedtothisrichyoungrulerwhovaluedhis richesmorethanhisrelationshipwithGod.Hetoohadthementality ofDaffyDuck,"Mine,Mine,AllMine!"Itisn'tthathavingriches iswrong,buthisrichesblindedhimtohisrealneed. Wearechallengedtoexamineourattitudeofgivingsothatwecan becomebetterstewardsofthatwithwhichtheLordblessesus.We donotwanttoblockourblessingsbyhoardingourtreasures.God wants 100% of our lives, our relationships, and our possessions. TheBibletellsusthatifwewanttofollowJesus,weneedtolove Himmorethananythingoranyoneelse.

Stewardship Through the Struggle Do you love your Playstation, new sneakers, new bike, IPOD, cell phone, computer, family and friends more than God? God wants100%ofourtime,talents,gifts,love,andpossessions;not becauseit'sourdutytogiveHimourall,butinresponsetowhatHe hasdoneforus. What has God done for you lately?Many of us struggle with our homework, loneliness, parents, finances, and friends because wehaven'tgivenGod100%.HowmuchtimedoyougiveGodin worship,service,tithes,andotherresources?Ifwereceive$10.00 for allowance,we are required to give back to God $1.00;if we receive$20.00forallowance,wearerequiredtogivebacktoGod $2.00.HowmucharewerequiredtogivebacktoGodifwereceive $0.00?Dothemath!(Answer:$.00.)Towhommuchisgiven, much is required. The Old Testament teaches us that10 percent wasrequiredofeveryonebylaw.IntheNewTestamentwearenot underthelaw;however,wearecalledtogivefromourheart,togive fromwhatwe'vebeengiven. GodcallsustobefaithfulwithwhatHehasgivenusevenwhen itdoesn'tlooklikewe'llhaveenoughlefttobuythatspecialtoy, thatdeliciouscandybar,oranicecreamconewhenchurchisover. WemusttrustGodandacceptthechallengetogive,evenwhenit hurts.Nopain,nogain.Godismoreconcernedaboutyourattitude andheartingiving.Beacheerfulgiver! Christmasisquicklyapproaching!Whatawonderfultimetogive giftsduringtheChristmasseason.Giveofyourtimetothosewho arelonely;givetimeandgiftstothesickandshutin;givegiftsto childrenwhoarelessfortunate;givegiftstothehomeless,feedthe hungry.Whenwegivetoothers,weoftenfindthatwehavemoreto give.Wereceivemanyrewardswhenwegive,wefeelgoodwhen wehelpothers,andwebecomegoodfriendswhenwecareenough togive.Butmostimportant,wepleaseGodwhenwegivetoother people. WhynotofferthegiftoflifeduringthisChristmasseason?Jesus isthereasonfortheseason!Jesuswasagivernotataker.Hegave Hislifesothatwecanhavelifeeverlasting.Jesusisafreegift. Whatmakesagiftagift?It'soffered,it'sfreeandit'saccepted. It'suptoustoofferthisfreegifttootherssothattheytoocanexperiencethelove,joyandpeaceofGod. Whatdoesitprofitamanifhegainsthewholeworld,andloseshis soul?(Matthew16:26)AsChristiansandgoodstewards,it'sbetter toberighteousthanrich.GiveofyourbesttotheMastertoday! Attitude of Giving: G-Generously(2Corinthians9:6)GivebacktoGodaportionof whatHe'sgenerouslygiventoyou. I-Individually(2Corinthians9:7)Prayaboutyourgiving,Ask Godtousewhatyougive. V-Voluntarily(2Corinthians9:7)Givingshouldbesomething youwanttodo,nothavetodo. e- Everything without credit. ((Matthew 6:1-4) Give in secret, withoutbringingattentiontoyourself. Pray:Godusemygiftstodogoodthings!Helpmetobeacheerful giver.Letmenotbeselfishinmygivingofmytime,talentsand money. Help me not to adopt the Daffy Duck attitude, "Mine, AllMine!"AMEN.

A.M.E.

Ask the Kidz

What gift(s) can I give to others during this holiday season that doesn't cost any money? Icanpraywiththemiftheydon'twanttopray­age7 Iwouldgiveyoufreeschoolsupplies­age7 IwouldliketodressmylittlesisterandIwouldliketohelppeople ­age6½ Iwouldhelppeoplewithgroceriesanddolaundry­age6½ Bygivinghugstopeople­age7 IcangiveloveandsupportandrespectandIcanalsoprayforthem ­age11 Icancookforsomeone­age11 Icangivemysupportandcare­age11 Icangivepeoplelove,makeacard,hugs,kisses,kindness,support, respectandprayforthem­age11 IcanspreadtheWordofGodandprayforpeople­age11 IcanhelpthemfulfilltheirdreamsandgivethemtheWordofGod ­age11 What special gifts/talents did God give me? Godgavemeatalenttowalkandtalk­age7 Godgavemeaspiritandasoul­age6½ Hegavemelife­age7 God'sspecialgiftisthatHeforgivesmysins­age7 Icanwrite Ihavethegifttowalk,talk,breathe,runandact­age11 Icanact,drawandfixthings­age11 Icancook,loveandshare­age11 IhavethegiftofsharingtheloveofGodwithothers­age11 Ihavethegiftofcookingfoodwithoutburningit­age11 IcanmakeartisticpiecesandIcanbereallymusical­age11

Carmel Apple Cider Recipe

Ingredients: 10ouncesapplecider 1fluidouncecaramelcoffeesyrup 1fluidouncecinnamoncoffeesyrup whippedcream caramelsauce Directions: Step1: Heatthecideronthestovetoporinthemicrowave. Step2: Addflavoredcoffeesyrupstohotciderandstir. Step: Topwithwhippedcreamandadrizzle ofcaramelsauce. Step4: Curlupinfrontofthefire Step5: Enjoy!

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A.M.E.

Stewardship Through the Struggle

Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

Ingredients: /4cupbutter,softened,1cupsugar,1largeegg,1tsp.peppermintextract,1/2tsp.vanillaextract, 21/4cupsall-purposeflour,Redfoodcoloring Directions: Step1:Preheattheovento75degrees.Inalargebowl,creamthebutterandsugar.Addtheeggandbeatwell.Stirinthepeppermintand vanillaextracts.Graduallymixintheflour. Step2:Dividethedoughinhalf.Coloronehalfwithredfoodcoloringandleavetheotherhalfplain.Rolloutatablespoonofreddough andatablespoonofplainuntiltheyareeach6to8incheslong.Twistthemintoacandycane,pinchingtheends.Repeat. Step:Bakeonanungreasedcookiesheetfor8to10minutes,oruntilsetbutnotbrown.Makesabout25.

READING ROOM KIDZ GOD KNOWS ALL ABOUT ME

b y K a t e To m s

THE jESUS STORyBOOK: EvERy STORy WHISPERS HIS NAME

by Sally Lloyd-Jones

God Knows all about Me is a wonderful book for younger audiences, which reiterates the message of Psalm 139. The illustrations compliment the light and giggly tone of the message of God's love for His little ones. Kate Toms has created a new classic for primary audiences.

With words by Sally Lloyd-jones and illustrations by jago, The jesus Storybook: Every Story Whispers His Name traces the presence of jesus Christ through the Bible. From Moses to David to Daniel to the New Testament, where the Word becomes flesh, Lloyd-Jones explains it all to young audiences, including the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Through excellent story telling, she demonstrates how the whole Bible, from beginning to end, whispers His name and His undying love for us. The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York 32

Stewardship Through the Struggle

A.M.E.

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

A.M.E.

Stewardship Through the Struggle

AnOdetotheWordofGod:TheImportanceofBibleStudyat

TheGreaterAllenA.M.E.CathedralofNewYork

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. (Psalm 119:18, NIV) Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your Word. (Psalm 119:37, NIV) Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. (Psalm 119:2, NIV) InPsalm119,anOdetotheWordofGod,thePsalmistremindsushowtopursue,meditate,andloveGod.Wediscover thewaytocaptureGod'sattentionandsingmelodiesforHispleasure.WediscoverhowtobelikeJesus.Wediscover howtocommunewiththeHolySpirit. BelowisalistofopportunitiesforBibleStudyatTheGreaterAllenA.M.E.CathedralofNewYork: BIBLe STUDY LeADeR(S) DAY TIMe LoCATIoN

Women TheReverendM.ElaineFlake, Monday D.Min.,Co-Pastor (January2009) Men MinsterBradyFunnIII, Monday MinistertoMen HourofPower MinistersonStaff Tuesday DiscipleshipClasses DiscipleshipMinistry Tuesday Bi-Lingual TheRev.EugeneHarrison 2nd/4thTuesday HourofPower Min.MichaelGittens Wednesday Mid-WeekWorshippersTheReverendHallieFoard Wednesday Children's TheReverendLaverneRobinson Wednesday Shekinah MinisterDeanTolbert Wednesday Pastor'sBibleStudy TheReverendFloydH.Flake, Wednesday D.Min.,Pastor OldTestament TheReverendLoisB.Stewart Thursday RecoveryThrough MinisterEugene& Thursday Christ SisterValerieMitchell YoungAdultMinistry TheReverendTerrenceMcKinleyFriday SinglesMinistry MinisterMichael& Friday SisterValerieGittens MarriageEnrichment Brother&SisterDebraMiller Friday

7:0p.m. TheSanctuary 7:0p.m. TheChapel Prayerat6:0p.m. 12:00Noon TheSanctuary 7:00p.m. TheCathedral; AllenChristianSchool 7:0p.m. ShekinahYouthChurch 12:00Noon TheChapel 6:00p.m. TheSeniorCitizen'sBuilding 7:00p.m. TheCathedral 7:0p.m.. TheChapel 7:0p.m. TheSanctuary 7:00p.m. 7:0p.m. 7:00p.m. 7:00p.m. 7:0p.m. AllenChristianSchool TheCathedralorShekinah TheSanctuary TheCathedral,GreatHall TheCathedral

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

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Stewardship Through the Struggle

A.M.E.

TheReverendsFloydandElaineFlake andTheGreaterAllenA.M.E.CathedralofNewYork Congratulate President elect Barack obama

PresidentElectBarackObamaandFamily

The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

5

Broadcast Schedule

ListentoGod'[email protected]://www.allencathedral.org Cable/SateliteBroadcastonTVOne,orTheWORDNetwork. WeeklyTelecast TVOne­Sundaysat9:00a.m TheWordNetwork­Sundaysat9:00a.m. WLIBRadio-Sundaysat9:00a.m. MonthlyTelecast LocalTrinityBroadcastingNetwork PraisetheLordNewYork CheckyourTVlistingsforschedule StreamingFaith LiveWorship Sundaysfrom6:0a.m.until2:00p.m. 24HourBroadbandNetwork

ContactUs 110-1MerrickBoulevard,Jamaica,NY114 (718)206-4600 www.allencathedral.org Non-profit org. u.S. postage PAID Jamaica, NY permit No. 172

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