Archive for January 2014

Man of Honor: Supt. C. A. Stevenson, Sr. (2 of 2)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise– “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.-Ephesians 6:1-4

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Supt. Charles A. Stevenson, Sr., obeyed this scripture, which made it easy for his children to obey it. He could easily win a “Father of the Year” award! He has been able to prioritize where other pastors have failed. He taught us that God is first, and family is second. The church should complete the trinity of our lives. Actually, he taught us so many lessons about life that his sayings have been shared with countless friends and colleagues.

His touch has been so effective and far-reaching that he has been given the name that God chooses for those He uses to do His will – Servant. Preaching the gospel with such power and conviction, he has been called the “preacher’s preacher” and earned the nickname, “Son of Thunder.” Supt. Stevenson is the Founder of the former Choudrant Church of God in Christ, now Progressive Church of God in Christ.

Furthermore, he is the Founder and Senior Pastor of the Bethel COGIC located in Monroe. He also serves as the Pastor of the Epps COGIC in Epps, Louisiana. Not only does Supt. Stevenson serve in the local churches, he has also served in many capacities at the church’s state level. He is currently the District Superintendent of the Progressive Community District, First Jurisdiction of Louisiana. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Superintendents.

Supt. Stevenson is a firm believer in lifelong learning. He graduated from C. H. Mason Bible College and served as the Dean of the Monroe Chapter for nearly 35 years. In addition, he has a Certificate of Continuing Education in Theology from Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He is also supporter of the Interfaith Ministry, which led to him being the first African American pastor to preach in a Jewish synagogue in Monroe.

He is also known as an excellent husband, father, and grandfather. Since he taught his children I Corinthians 11:1, all of them work in the ministry. One son is a pastor, and the other son is an ordained elder. One daughter is a missionary, and another is a psalmist. His youngest daughter, yours truly, is a prophetess. As proud as he is of his children, we are equally proud of this Man of Honor!

His oldest daughter was unavailable for the photo.

His oldest daughter was unavailable for the photo.

Will you join us in prayer for God to continue to bless and keep him?

10 Awesome Accounts to Follow on Twitter

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Jorge Rivas reported, “Twenty-six percent of black internet users surveyed said they used Twitter, compared to 14% of white users and 19% of Hispanics.” I am relatively new to Twitter, and I am amazed at the millions of people who tweet! How long have you been on Twitter? With all of my commitments to social media, deciding on who to follow can be overwhelming. My interests vary, and I am not just hungry for knowledge. I am ravenous!

Having a list of experts to follow has certainly helped! I don’t think it matters whether you are a newbie or experienced. A suggested list can help navigate through the treacherous waters of confusion. I know that it takes teamwork to make dreams work; so, I am also networking. Twitter can also broaden your horizons by exposing you to experts that you may not have considered following.

From a young millionaire to a pastor, I am endorsing 10 awesome accounts to follow:

1. Farrah Gray @RealFarrahGray
Profile: Author & Self-Made Millionaire. Dubbed by Oprah as an all-star with priceless advice.
Followers: 177K

2. Entrepreneurs@TheSuccessKing
Profile: I Quote & Share Articles About Entrepreneurs, Motivation & Success
Followers: 286K

3. BlackGivesBack.com@BlkGivesBack
Profile: Established in 2007, [it] is the premier site on black philanthropy!
Followers: 6,719

4. Inc.@Inc
Profile: Everything you need to know to start and grow your business now.
Followers: 779K

5. Earvin Magic Johnson@MagicJohnson
Profile: No profile is given. He tweets about sports, business, and life.
Followers: 1.92M

6. DoSomething.org@dosomething
Profile: …movement of 2.5 mil young people making the world suck less.
Followers: 678K

7. Slate@Slate
Profile: Politics, culture, technology, business, news, and commentary.
Followers: 752K

8. ReShonda Billingsley@ReShondaT
Profile: I write books. Lots of them! 28 so far…
Followers: 8,099

9. Claire Zulkey@Zulkey
Profile: Much write. Very blog. Such Zulk. Wow.
Followers: 4,716

10. Joel Osteen@JoelOsteen
Profile: Daily inspiration to help you live the life of victory and abundance…
Followers: 2.36M

Who do you follow on Twitter? Please comment.

Photo of the Week: Unfold Life’s Dreams

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Our dreams can make or break us! Today, I heard about a young man dying this weekend. He did not display any signs of illness, but his life ended on a typical Sunday evening drive. While I didn’t know him, it saddened me. I reflected on his family as well as on life/death.

We are given an opportunity to live and make our dreams come true. It is up to us to determine whether we fulfill our destinies (or not). Soon, someone else’s sojourn will be over. I pray that all of us will fulfill our dreams before our time expires. Peace.

What are you doing to make sure that your dreams unfold? Please comment.

Man of Honor: Supt. C. A. Stevenson, Sr.

If you work in the ministry, chances are you will need to be ministered to at some point. Brian Fulthorpe wrote, “A Duke University study found that eighty-five percent of seminary graduates entering the ministry leave within five years and 90% of all pastors will not stay to retirement (Kanipe, 2007, n.p.). This study also found that the North Georgia clergy attrition rate ran as high as 90% for those having served 20 years or more.”

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I am extremely proud and thankful for a pastor, Supt. Charles Allen Stevenson, Sr., who has endured for 50 years in the ministry. We celebrated this momentous occasion last weekend. I doubt that I could really indicate how special of a moment it was for me. See, my pastor is my father. My siblings and I have been on this journey with him for our entire lives. Many preacher’s children have a hard time, but my father has made it easier for us.

We are grateful for a God-fearing father, who practices what he preaches. Before he became a pastor, Charles A. Stevenson, Sr.’s early years were full of experiences that developed his leadership skills. In junior high, he participated in oratorical competitions. In high school, he was a 3-sport star, sang in the choir, and played in the band. After graduating from high school, he attended Grambling State University.

God blessed him to graduate in the upper 10% of his class. After graduating from GSU, he started an excellent career with the government. He became the first African American supervisor at our local Social Security Administration and paved the way for others. When God told him to become a full-time pastor, he obeyed. He says that he has never regretted it because God has always made a way for him.

Proclaiming the gospel for 50 years, many souls have been saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost under his ministry. The favor of God has afforded Supt. Stevenson to minister in very unique local, state, and national (including Alaska) settings. Watch the video below as he preaches God’s Word. It is my pleasure to recognize Supt. Charles A. Stevenson, Sr., as the Man of Honor for January 2014! Next week, you will learn more about this man of God.

What do you think about the honoree? Please comment.

Three Reasons You Were Born

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Destiny. Purpose. Providence. These are all words that are related to our future. Motivational speakers, preachers, and educators use the terms frequently. Why? Too many people don’t recognize or understand why they were born. That confusion leads to people spending years doing things that delay them from becoming what they were born to do.

When you realize why you were born, life has more meaning! I know that I was born to teach and help others. Not only am I effective at teaching subject matter (English, computer, Bible), but God has also helped me to change lives. The purpose of this blog, my Facebook pages/group, and my new non-profit foundation is to enlighten people. I was made for this!

Why were you born? This is not a biological question because most readers are mature and know the fundamentals of life and death. However, this is more of a philosophical question which means that your opinions will play a great part in how you respond to the question. Religious or spiritual beliefs are likely to impact most responses.

If you are not a Christian, I suppose your answer would be based on the science of life. Since I am a Christian, my answer is based upon my spiritual beliefs. First, I am convinced that you were born because you were chosen by God. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a person’s birth, God determines who shall live (or die).

You were also born to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. All of us can do something to contribute to the world, but the key is discovering our purpose. Finally, you were born to live a life of reverence for God. When your journey is over, you will have to answer to Him. Before your journey ends, make sure you know why it began!

What were you born to do? Please comment.

Photo of the Week: Dr. M. L. King, Jr.

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Dr. King was a brilliant man! His legacy as a leader for all people should never be forgotten! We can learn many things from him by reading and learning his quotes. To learn them means that we will apply his lessons to our lives. I most admire his responses to hatred as well as his goals for economic empowerment. Read more about lessons we can learn from Dr. King.

What is your favorite quote by Dr. King? Please comment.

How Does Fasting Work?

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If there is one thing that every believer learns, it is that life with the Lord is a constant process – where the Father molds us through His Spirit! One way to become better engaged in this process is through prayer and fasting. Each year, my church members go on a 21-Day corporate fast (beginning January 1st and ending on January 21st).

There are many types of fasts as well as many benefits. We have been fasting (first meal after 3:00 p.m.) and making other sacrifices (such as certain TV programs, sweets, etc.). The purpose of this fast is to crucify the flesh, walk in the power of God, and ask God to deliver people. We hope to provide spiritual comfort, inspire, and harness the power of prayer.

Some local churches are open for prayer for an hour-Monday through Sunday-at various times. All are welcome to join this time of consecration, prayer, and fasting. Those who are not able to join in prayer at a local church are encouraged to pray during those hours at home or where you are. We trust that God will show Himself in a mighty way!

Have you ever been on a fast? I can testify that our sacrifices honor God, and God honors our sacrifices. If you cannot fast due to health issues, you can still pray. Tap into The Source, and God will answer you. If you have financial problems or simply want a better relationship, praying and fasting will help at any time.

If you are new at this, consider some suggested daily prayer requests.

3 Excellent Webinars in January 2014

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Have you ever signed up for a webinar, Web-based seminar? I have learned quite a bit from webinars, and I would recommend them to anyone. One benefit is that you can learn from the comforts of your home. Another benefit is that some of the best webinars are free! If you want to learn more, read “Things You Need to Know About Webinars.” Here are some webinars that Money Management International is offering this month:

Put your debt on a dietRegister
Start Time: 1/16/2014 2:00 PM
End Time: 1/16/2014 3:00 PM
Time Zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Do you want to get out of debt faster? This free webinar will show you how to pay off debt by using our Fast Track Payoff Plan. You will also learn how to free up additional monies by using the Step-Down Budgeting Plan.

Creating Wealth-Register Next Week!
Start Time: 1/20/2014 7:00 PM
End Time: 1/20/2014 8:00 PM
Time Zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Want to check some major life goals off your list? Lofty financial goals such as putting a down payment on a home, funding a college education, or retiring can be within your reach if you put one important concept into practice: make your money work for you.

Managing income and expenses-Register Next Week
Start Time: 1/24/2014 2:00 PM
End Time: 1/24/2014 3:00 PM
Time Zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)
After participating in this free webinar about managing your income and expenses, you will have an understanding of how to assess your financial situation, set financial goals, create a budget, and commit to a savings plan.

Source: Money Management International

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo of the Week: Think Positive!

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According to Buddha, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” I might disagree with many of his teachings, but I have to agree with him on this. Our thoughts, positive or negative, dictate our actions. In addition, the way we think determines whether we will succeed or fail.

I consider myself a thinker, and I try to anticipate things before they occur. I recently read that is actually one of the “6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers.” Read more to improve your thinking skills and increase your opportunities. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people started to think positively?

Video of the Week: Real Estate Investing

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Should you invest in real estate? I have always been interested in real estate; I even considered becoming a real estate agent. I was not convinced that I could convince enough people to buy homes and still earn respectable commissions. So, I have frequently recommended that my father invest in real estate. He he had too many reservations, and I thought I didn’t have enough money.

I understand his reservations, but 2014 is considered the year when the real estate market will rebound. While location is considered the most important thing in real estate, having the right knowledge is crucial! Watch the video to learn more about real estate investing. The narrator, Brandon, offers excellent tips and dispels some myths. The video is simple and easy to understand; I hope it helps you.

What do you think about real estate investing? Please comment.