Monthly Archives: April 2010

Marriage Rocks for Christian Couples

Marriage Rocks Book CoverMarriage Rocks for Christian Couples by Harold Arnold
www.haroldarnold.com

With the Marriage ROCKS method, Arnold challenges couples to establish and strengthen their relationship on a rock-solid foundation of:

  • Redemption — the rock of grace
  • Offering — the rock of sacrifice
  • Covenant — the rock of boundaries
  • Knowledge — the rock of power
  • Sacred space — the rock of worship

The book offers a twelve-step model for couples at all levels of relational intimacy, leading them on a journey to discover how marriage (1) develops the human capacity to experience the fullness of God’s love and (2) becomes a ministry through which to share God’s love with others. Designed for use by individual couples, with small groups, or in counseling contexts.

Purchase your own copy here.

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Making Noise About Your Business

Making Noise PictureBy nature, I’m normally a very quiet person. So when I first heard the concept of making noise in my business, I kind of hesitated at the thought. Why? Because I’m not a loud person and I don’t boast about my business.

Even still today, I don’t boast about it. However, I’ve learned how to ‘get out of the box’ per se, or get out of my own ‘harmful’ way of thinking. After all, I am in business and only what I do in terms of marketing will ever make a difference as to whether or not my financial goals are met.

I will say however, that I’ve become “LOUD”, LOL! Not verbally loud like shouting, but people know who I am and what I do because I’ve made myself visible.

Making Noise in An Already LOUD Environment

I use to think that there was no room for me! I felt like the market was already saturated with coaches, consultants and internet advisors, and who would want to listen to me?

I quickly learned that I am who I am — a unique individual with my own message, my own experience, my own way of teaching internet marketing and those who could relate to me and me only. Hence, I’m not in competition with anyone else! It wasn’t until I ‘got that‘ — the interview requests and speaking engagements began to roll in.

Making Your Own Noise

Get Loud About Your Business!Here are a few suggestions for making noise, getting out of your own way and do the things that people do for positive results:

1. Research a mastermind group or forum that offers practical solutions for your needs. Participate and ask questions.
2. Go to BlogTalkRadio.com and search for radio shows on topics related to your niche. Create a speakers bio, convert it to a pdf and request to be interviewed.
3. Get on facebook and twitter and talk, talk, talk! Be authentic in your message without trying to sell yourself.
4. Create free local workshops in your area empowering people with your how to do… [message]
5. Network with the other person in mind… take the focus off of self and be a sincere help to others (results: creates long lasting relationships, trust and referrals).
6. Hire a Coach/Consultant – a coach will help you strategically plan for profitable results; a consultant will teach you ‘how to’ implement your plan.
7. Consistently strive for personal growth: read, listen and apply positive affirmations every single day!

If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan“, write it down, define what it means to you and put it to action!

Remember, nothing EVER beats a failure… but a try!

Now get up and make some NOISE about YOUR business!

‘I’m just keeping it real’

Regina Baker is the co-creator of Wahmcart.com and Certified Business Consultant at ReginaBaker.com. She’s dedicated to educating the small business individual on how to do business by the book as well as teaching ecommerce solutions that will allow them to work smarter, not harder. Find out more about Regina at www.reginabaker.com


The Master Gardener and a Little Rose

Rose pictureThis poem was written in October 1997, just after I saw my mother for the last time on her death bed and attended her funeral. I was 17 and in grade 12 and had not seen her in 5 years prior to that due to the fact that I could not handle her mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia. My brother saw his birth mom for the first time that he could remember 5 hours before she died. I came back to school at Prairie Bible Institute and wrote this in a social studies class. I hope it blesses you. My life has been far from easy, but despite everything it has been beautiful in its own right. I am enclosing two copies because I am not sure what will be easier to access.

A little girl is like a rose
She slowly grows into a woman as a bud grows into full bloom.
When problems and struggles enter into life she starts to fade
Because she is lacking water, hope and love.
She looks to the thorns for keeping her upright.

There is another rose fully erect nearby the fragile blossom.
The upright rose sees the great pain for she was once a rose fading.
In her heart she prays for a miracle in this precious rose’s life something to give her hope,
The Master Gardener maybe?

One day the little dying rose sees the Master Gardener
He has marks from nail piercings in His hands and feet from saving other little roses.
The Master Gardener comes to the rose with a wonderful warmth and gentleness surrounding Him
It is genuine
The Gardener is just completely full of love.

The Master Gardener goes to the little rose and tenderly lifts up head,
“Never will I leave you, nor forsake you, little rose, you are very precious to me.”
He then reaches down and gives her the fertilizer she needs;
Suddenly she blossoms and shines for the whole world to see.
The other rose just sits and watches in awe.
She knows the little rose will never be the same.

The Master Gardener turns and notices the other beautiful rose,
“Well done my good and faithful servant, I have heard your prayers, continue praying.”
The Master Gardener then leaves the vicinity of the roses,
But he is always close by when they start to droop.
Each little girl, no matter what has happened to her, is a beautiful rose.

By Belinda (Belle) McKenzie, October 1997
Written in memory of her beautiful mother, Betsy McKenzie,
And in memory of the parents of students from Prairie Bible Institute, who passed away in 1997.
We miss you dearly!


Power In Persevering

Tony Clinkscales PictureAntonio Clinkscales helps you find perfection in an imperfect place

How many churches have you attended or visited in your lifetime? How many times have you left a particular church or even thought about it? Whatever you may be going through at this moment in your life, there is a reason there is a church on nearly every street corner – the inner strength you need to make it from day to day lies within the right one [church]. For many, the “church” is perceived as a sacred structure where one seeks a spiritual being greater than oneself. The edifice, itself, is not perfect. The perfect heavenly house is not sought in a building made of brick and mortar but rather in flesh and blood says author and preacher Antonio Clinkscales, who describes the path to the perfect church in his inspirational book, How To Find The Perfect Church (Kingdom Publishing Group, Inc.; $15.99). Perfection and church are synonymous (Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 5:27) when you are not looking through earthly eyes. Perhaps you are looking for flawlessness in all the wrong places especially when perfection is staring you in the face.

“Finding the perfect church is a spirit-led process that allows you to, over time, find liberation, peace, and serenity in knowing that God knows, God cares and God is working things out on your behalf,” says Clinkscales, a 40 year-old minister in Virginia and the founder of both Restoring Souls Ministries and Whole Armour a mentoring organization for young men. Clinkscales uses his own personal struggles with finding the perfect church to illustrate many challenges we have or may encounter along our spiritual journey. Clinkscales openly shares his early church experiences through adulthood in hopes to enlighten and empower people to begin the search today for finding what Jesus Christ will be seeking on Judgment Day!

I was determined to find what was missing in my life in order to fill the emptiness inside. For many years I masked my true self knowing somewhere deep within remained divine purpose and a better life. I discovered through trials and tribulations that worldly pleasures, more money, and climbing up the corporate ladder were not the perfect places towards wholeness, purpose, and fulfillment. My inner strength to endure came as a direct result of my recommitment to God and obedience to his voice. Pressing through day-to-day obstacles allowed me to comprehend that God permits adversity to enter into my life to bless me rather than curse me. While searching for direction I sought the church for refuge. In many instances, the place where I thought I would find direction actually led me astray. Thus, I blamed some people within the church as well as the church as a whole. My solution was to leave the church, but the resentment and pain still festered in my heart which hindered me from reaching my spiritual destination. It was at that moment that God instructed me in my spirit to write my church story down on paper. Writing your church story opens the doors for God to enter into your situation and begin the healing, forgiveness, and deliverance process towards wholeness. God wanted me to write it down on paper because I had excluded God, the master fixer, from the healing process. Everyone has a church story even if one has never stepped foot in a church, the reason why one does not believe in the regular fellowship of the saints, is, in fact, one’s church story. Too often we attempt to deal with situations ourselves without God’s input. We must trust God and his providential will for our lives.

The next step is defining what a perfect church is. Meaning, “We fool ourselves into thinking that we’ve arrived at the perfect church and that life is ideal when we have found the perfect pastor, the perfect choir, or even the perfect pew.” Not to be misunderstood, leaving your current place of worship next Sunday is not the solution but rather you should be motivated to find a place of worship where you can be free to praise, worship, learn, mature, and serve God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24); ultimately, figuring out God’s plan for your life in order for you to walk in your divine purpose. Didactic sermons, angelic-like choirs or friendly members aid in positioning us to hear from, God, but they aren’t what we are seeking along our journey towards the perfect church. Then, inner strength increases when you remove the hindrances to finding the perfect church such as pride, unforgiveness, and lying. According to the word of God, pride, unforgiveness, and lying will quickly turn God’s ear and hand away from his people. These issues reside in your heart and until you begin to prepare a clean heart for God to reside, then the perfect church will continue to be just church with no power, fulfillment, or transformation. Along the journey Clinkscales found favor and stability whereby he no longer stumbled off the path of righteousness by every unfortunate turn of events in his life because he was ready to Test The Spirit. Testing the Spirit is the step for purposeful living in all aspects of your life which keeps you continually moving towards your spiritual goal. Finally, after years of searching, Clinkscales arrived at his expected end – the perfect church. Being a willing, available, and able vessel for God to use for kingdom building is just cause for celebration. Arriving at this perfect place within an imperfect world is a tremendous accomplishment in which you rightly deserve to dance and shout in victory.

Everyone possesses unending power to endure life’s most difficult circumstances. Persevering during tough times increases your power to become more in life. When you are no longer satisfied mentally, physically, or spiritually with where you are – that is the supernatural power you need to stay the course towards the place where God would have you to be. Clinkscales describes the steps to finding the perfect church as follows:

1. Dedicate or rededicate your life to God
2. Write your church story
3. Define the perfect church for you
4. Remove the hindrances
5. Test the spirit
6. Celebrate where God is leading you

Reverend Antonio “Tony” Clinkscales, is a native of South Carolina and the youngest of three sons of Dr. William Clinkscales, Sr., and Juanita Clinkscales. He is a dynamic preacher, teacher, inspirational speaker, and author who is passionate about drawing people into a closer relationship with God. Reverend Clinkscales is the founder and CEO of Restoring Souls Ministries, Inc., an organization that, through the biblical scripture Psalms 23:3 “he restores my soul,” leads people to wholeness. In addition, through this ministry, Reverend Clinkscales is the author of the thought provoking and inspiring new book How To Find The Perfect Church.


The Enemy Between my Legs

The Enemy Between My Legs Cover“THAT GIRL IS TOO GROWN” ……..

“WHY IS SHE ALWAYS AROUND GROWN MEN?”……..

“STAY AWAY FROM HER – SHE GONNA BE PREGNANT BEFORE SHE IS 16”….

“WHY DOES HE ACT SO FEMININE?”

Those are some things we make the mistake of saying before we really get to understand why the teen or child is acting out.

In “The Enemy Between My Legs” Stephanie L. Jones sheds  light on why so many teens are promisicous and why they behave the way they do.

This book is a great resource in starting the healing process if you have been abused. Stephanie shares warning signs that parents, teachers and caregivers can look for. Her abuse started at just 5 years old.

“To think I had my first sexual experience at only 5 years old is unimaginable. I often wonder what I knew at five. Could I recite my ABC’s without singing them? How far was I able to count? What was my favorite dolls name?” says Stephanie in the book

A few chapter titles include; “My Innocence Stolen”, “Protecting the Ones You Love” and Families Under Siege – Consequences of Sexual Abuse.

“The Enemy Between My Legs” by Stephanie L. Jones also deals with why abusers don’t tell. What are the reasons they keep silent?

This book is filled with resources that will help take you from

V-I-C-T-I-M to V-I-C-T-OR as well as books,  sites and places to go for assistance.

( Book Info )

Purchase the book here

Visit www.stephanieljones.com

A must read for everyone.

Meet Dorothy Wilkes

Dorothy Wilkes Photo ANutritional Products by Ardyss Life
New Jersey/New York Area
www.ardysslife.com/healthyyou

Dorothy resides in New Jersey

Her hobbies include worshipping the Lord and spending time in His presence; Reading Life Changing Books; Visiting new places and countries; Eating different cultural foods; Learning about Bonsai; Dancing

She joined the Friendz Network because as women, we need to see each other as sisters and we have so much to share. We need to empower and build each other up. We need to know that as one of us progresses we all progress! I will be able to do this in the Friendz network!

Dorothy Thompson-Wilkes, is a woman who is always striving to achieve her dreams regardless of obstacles. God is at the head and center of her life and she can do nothing without Him. The third daughter of missionary parents, she learned the importance of accepting differences and using them as stepping stones to benefit others. She is an entrepreneur who loves education. She is a co-business owner of over three different enterprises in the areas of Health & Wellness, Non-Profit Management & Resource Development and Real Estate Investing. She has lived in Australia, Trinidad and Jamaica and visited Spain, the Canary Islands, and New Zealand.

After seeing her Dad suffer from renal failure, diabetes, hypertension, strokes, congestive heart failure; and amputations. Dorothy investigated the impact of prescription medications. She learned from many trusted sources (“What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Health could be killing You”) that medication only removes the symptoms not cure the disease. He died September 2008. Her passion to have people become healthy is the driving force for her Health & Wellness products through Ardyss International.

Seeing the lives of men and women change is important.

Through the nutritional Products alone she has seen diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis dramatically decreased with medical doctors decreasing dosage! The reshaping garments have brought women and men down 2-3 dress sizes in 10 minutes without diet, surgery, exercise or pills! She has personally gone from a size 8 to a size 4 in three months…wearing the garment and using her nutritional products.

She wants to connect with anyone with a dream to prosper and be healthy which include business owners, Stay-at-home Moms/Dads, and Churches. Everyone who desires to be a part of the recession-proof wellness industry!

Meet Miriam Holt

Miriam Holt Picturewww.saintscommunitycogic.org

Miriam lives in Chesapeake, VA.
Her hobbies include writing, reading, and computer surfing.

She joined the friendz network to stay in touch with the issues that women have and to advertise programs that will motivate, inspire and help women to live the good life promised them in God’s word.

She has been married for 27 years to Pastor Darryl E. Holt, (Saints Community COGIC) Mother of two adult sons; Brandon and Alex Holt. She graduated from Norfolk State University. She is an entrepreneur, workshop facilitator, mentor, business trainer in the field of administration. She’s also the President and Founder of “A Sister’s Heart Ministry”. She is presently the President and Founder of Frontline Media Group; a printing and graphics business that not only specializes in the printing and design of wedding, funeral, and all special occasion programs, but also caters to the printing & specialty items for reunions, church functions and more.

She wants to connect with women, teens, and ministry leaders.

Infidelity, Do You Stay or Walk Away?

A Nicole Photo 5Every time we turn on the tv, there is a story about another spouse being cheated on? Or it’s the same story with more partners surfacing which affects the loyal spouse even more. From feelings of hurt, disappointment, denial and even anger, when a spouse has an affair it makes the spouse at home take a look at themselves like never before. Initially, you begin blaming yourself – maybe you didn’t cook enough, gained some weight or was too independent or something else. You begin to go through in your mind many reasons it happened which at the end of the day, you are at the root of what happened.

For those of you reading this article understand there is a battle that is going on in your mind. Let’s face it, it all starts in your mind and that is the same place that it can be stopped as you prepare to handle the cards that you have recently been dealt. This last weekend, I went to see “Why Did I Get Married Too” by Tyler Perry and there it was on the screen as if Mr. Perry had been watching my life. Lo and behold this character “ Pat” played by (Janet Jackson) was a successful author of the book, ” He Cheated, So Now What?” In reality, I’ve authored a book with a very similar title ”So He Cheated, Now What?”

Oftentimes, people pattern their lives after what they see on the big screen. In “Why Did I Get Married Too”, Pat (Janet Jackson) provides tips to trusting your spouse that brings some interesting dialogue amongst the characters in the movie, especially Angela, (Tasha Smith ). “So He Cheated, Now What” offers steps to healing and restoration after an affair. This book is written to help women rebuild the love and trust. Real and raw emotions are revealed in order to help someone else that might be suffering alone and behind closed doors.

The number of people committing infidelity seems to be rampant at this time and what you are not hearing is how do couples survive after the affair. How does the wife forgive the husband that committed infidelity or that husband forgive the wife. In “So He Cheated, Now What”, readers will get insight into a marriage that survived an affair.

Whether or not you decide to stay in your marriage after an affair should be weighed very carefully: (1) Consider the reason why you are staying – is it so the other woman cannot win; (2) Is it just for the kids and then once they are gone you are out of there; or even (3) Because you have heard from God and are being obedient to his leading you because he knows the BIG picture.

If you choose to stay, ensure you follow these beginning three rules:

(1) Forgive and do not throw it up in the spouse’s face that committed infidelity.
(2) Recognize that rebuilding trust and your relationship is a process, it will not happen overnight.
(3) Communicate truthfully what your feelings are.

“Regardless of who commits the infidelity, what happens in your marriage is between you and your spouse. When you bring in outside people, you tend to get the worldly view on how to handle a situation. Being a STRONG woman of FAITH, I look forward to that daily guidance from God. I don’t take it for granted, yet appreciating it more and more. As you are preparing to make decisions about your marriage, think about the BIG picture and what you want to accomplish long-term” says Cleveland

Nicole Cleveland is the author of So He Cheated, Now What a survival guide to overcoming an affair in your marriage. Nicole is available to speak at your marriage workshops, retreats, youth groups or even nonprofit event and you may contact her through her website at www.nicoleonline.com.


Let’s Talk Inc

Lets Talk Inc LogoWelcome to Let’s Talk Inc. We are a non-profit organization providing services to aid and educate the women and youth of our communities. We’re here to listen to you.  Don’t forget to check our events and list of programs. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

We welcome your support! Your aid will allow us to continue empowering individuals and improving our communities. We are currently requesting support in the following areas:
• Financial contributions
• Fund development
• Marketing & Public relations
• Mentoring
• Information Technology

Let’s Talk Inc. is a community based 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in Virginia Beach, VA. We offer programs and services throughout Hampton Roads and Western Tidewater. Let’s Talk Inc. is a certified program of competency and creative skills enhancement. The commitment of Let’s Talk Inc. is to assist individuals in recovering their sense of self while developing a sense of integrity and enhanced self esteem through creative pursuits.

Turn it Around

Kim Tolbert PictureThere was a time when I turned my back on God. Imagine me, a mere mortal having the gall to turn away from the Creator of All Things, The Giver of Life. But, it happened to me and continues to happen to people everyday.

For six long years I couldn’t “see” God because of being disobedient. I knew he was there, but I felt that he was ashamed of me and didn’t love me anymore. I often thought that my trials were like that of Job during the time that he was persecuted and lost everything. However, the difference was that Job was a righteous man and was being persecuted for God’s namesake. I, on the other hand, probably got everything I deserved.

From 1991-1997 darts and arrows stabbed me from all angles. It started with my mother, who was my best friend dying suddenly of a stroke, congestive heart failure and an aneurysm. Secondly, my husband left me and my then 4 year old son, because after 8 years he decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. I lost a government job of eight years which led to my financial ruin. I lost my house, cars and had to file for bankruptcy. If that was not enough, during the time I was estranged from my husband, he refused to pay child support which was $225 a month. When I had the child support court ordered, he was so mad that he concocted a home made bomb, sent it to my son and I through the mail, in hopes that we would open the package and it would kill us. He did 13 months in prison and the government agency he previously worked for, rehired him after he was released.

During this time, I had left the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses after being a part of it for 20 years. Though my husband had abandoned me, we were not divorced. I felt that since my husband initiated it, he could pay for it. Anyway, not being divorced, I began to date and fall in love with someone and began to have relations with him. Even though this person was the only person I had been intimate with, other than my husband, God still looked down upon me for committing fornication. The church ostracized me and my son so that we had nowhere else to go. If you can’t go to church, where can you go? They even went as far as to oust my son from the Jehovah’s Witness run daycare.

During court sessions for bankruptcy, child support, domestic violence attack and lost job there was no one to encourage or support me. I was all alone trying to raise my son. I felt that my life was over; and I was often told that” your son is paying for the sins of his mother.”

Job 22:23 says: “If you return to the Almighty you will be built up. You will remove iniquity far from your tents”. But, even though I kept hearing God’s voice saying “Return to me”, I was so weak spiritually, ashamed and felt that I was at the “point of no return”.. For six long years God kept asking me to come back to him. He kept sending people to me and putting reminders in my path. He kept asking me to return, but why? Was I worth salvaging? The years progressed and I was still walking in a spiritual daze, couldn’t read the Bible, was still not attending church. Not finding fulfillment in anything, just wanted to give up on life, if it hadn’t been for my son.

God kept redirecting me to different jobs until I met a dear man and his family who invited me to church. He didn’t “cram” the bible down my throat, but gave me bits and pieces so that I could digest it. Pastor has often said that “you may be the only bible that somebody will see”. Because of his example and the way he lived his life, I was helped to see that God never turned HIS back on me.

When I made the decision in 2004 to accept Christ as my personal savior, shortly afterwards, I had a heart attack, flat lined and made the decision to stop straddling the fence if God would spare my life so that I could care for my autistic son. My new church family rallied around me, took care of my son, provided meals on a rotating basis, but most of all loved and prayed for me. Doctors call me the “miracle woman” and don’t know how I survived, but I do. I tell people every time I get the chance, I have even told strangers in the grocery store!

My walk with God and Christ is a lot closer today than it ever was. I continue to try to improve upon it, daily. God blessed me with a government job that surpasses any job I have ever had, I started my own greeting card business and am able to give a testimony on how HE has used me to write words that comfort and sustain people. My son is growing up to be a fine young man, and has defied the odds in school and life, despite a disability. What’s dearest to my heart is that he loves the Lord.

It amazes me how God is using me to witness and talk to people. Me? Imagine that! My former friends see how I have changed for the better, which is a testimony in itself.

Even though I have not accomplished all I have to do in the work of the Lord or in my personal life, by turning back to God, HE is giving me back what I lost. But, the best thing HE gave me back…was my life!

Kim Tolbert is a strong autisim advocate and author of the the book, “Waffles Everday“. Listen as we discuss Autism, raising her son as single parent and her new book.