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The other day my son decided to lock the door to my work room. I was angry and frustrated because it was the week of two upcoming events and I needed my supplies. What made things worse was I didn’t know where the key to that room was…long story.

I felt defeated which caused me to wait two days before I made an actual effort to do something. The night before I needed to get access to my supplies I decided to ask my dad for help. He brushed me off and told me to call a locksmith.

That night I was determined to pick the lock, but I was unsuccessful. My only options were to call a locksmith or face my fear of heights by getting a ladder to climb through the room window. That following morning I was determined to face my fear to get inside that room. As I walked outside the front door I was greeted by my dad who asked me where I was headed. I told him what I was planning to do and with the help of my youngest brother he ended up climbing the ladder for me to get into the room.

Won’t He Do It!

That week I learned it is with that same determination we are to pursue our God-given dreams. My dad came through for me because he saw the effort I made to “get my stuff” and many times God does the same with us. God has always come through for me when I allow my faith to be greater than my fears.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. – James 2:17

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View More: http://marjoriedatuin.pass.us/wodlineWodline is a mompreneur, wedding planner and savvy startup specialist who loves the Lord and is passionate about empowering young people to follow their dreams.

Website:          www.wodlinehippolyte.com

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“You’re from the hood, you’ll never amount to anything” was one of the many phrases I’ve heard when I was younger. Yes, I am from Newark, New Jersey, an area known to be filled with much violence. Yes, I was considered a statistic. Yes, I was looked down upon and was thought to die by the age of 18. Yes, my environment had many negative influences on me. But, you know what? God had bigger and better plans for me. He kept me safe. He protected me. He guarded me. He allowed me to encounter a variety of people with authentic spirits who have walked with me during this journey. It amazes me how God has transformed my life to what it is now. I give Him all the praise and glory.

I am here to illustrate to you today that no matter what your past or present may look like, God has better plans for your future! What the enemy has meant for harm, God has intended for your good. Never let anyone tell you you’ve fallen so far from God’s grace. Never let anyone tell you, you cannot change for the better. Most importantly, never allow anyone to keep you stagnant. All you need to do is be bold enough to make the most important decision in your life. What decision you ask? The decision to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Speaking from experience, I guarantee He will open your heart, mind, and sprit and elevate you to another level! It’s not about what man says to you or perceives you to be, its about what God says about you. Be well. Be thankful. Be positive. Be blessed. Most importantly, be ENCOURAGED! 

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ElvisGyanElvis Gyan currently serves as one of the Young Adult Leaders at Christ Church. In addition, Elvis works at Montclair State University as the Coordinator of Transfer Experience/Adjunct Professor. He has received is received a Bachelors in Biology, Master in Org Leadership and Higher Education, and is set to pursue his Masters of Divinity Fall 2015 at Alliance Theological Seminary.

Facebook: Elvis Gyan

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/Mrgyan1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/1_more_phase

The I in Relationships
Relationships are inescapable. In world of 7 billion people,1 we spend our entire lives in a repetitive cycle of forming, nurturing or ending relationships. Some are good, some are bad and some are just “ehh ok”. But no matter the status, our lives exist in relationships.
When relationships are healthy, we thrive. However, when our relationships become unhealthy, we are deprived. Scripture tells us that, “bad company corrupts good character (1 Cor. 15:33).” This verse tells us not to hang around “bad company” because they corrupt the “good character” that Christ is forming in us. While this is true, there is another meaning that strikes closer to home.
 
What corrupts healthy relationships is not only the bad company of others, but also the bad company within one’s self!
We can’t ignore the “bad company” in our genes, family, and everyday lives. It’s easy to deflect on others what we are reluctant to identify in ourselves, but we need to stop deflecting and start reflecting. 
Here are two lessons that I learned.
 
1- I was created for relationships. Relationships were not created for me.
In a world that is so individualistic, Christ calls us to a higher standard than self-service. He modeled REAL relationships with His family, His disciples, His enemies, and people in society. In each relationship He didn’t come expecting to be served, but rather to serve in hopes that many would be won to the good character of the Father (Mk 10:45). 
 
2- I grow into a better me when I am in a healthy relationship with you.
We are called to “love one another” as Christ has loved us (Jn 13:34). This kind of love is not of convenience, but rather a free-willed choice. Healthy relationships thrive best when we freely choose love and sacrifice our pride. We are always transformed for the better, when we love through Him.
So take time to reflect on your existing relationships and the bad company that may be hindering all the good God wants you to enjoy.
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RuthJoseph2015Deaconess Ruth Joseph is an emerging young adult leader at Christ Church. Most Sundays, she can be found at the West Campus helping to lead worship or at the altar joyfully dancing during worship. Whether it’s on or off the altar, Ruth has a heart of worship that extends beyond just singing. She is a 316 person that is committed to service (passing love on), as a Community Service Coordinator, Life Group leader and a Bible Study Facilitator for the Quest/College & Young Adult Ministry. Last June Ruth it was an honor to have one of our very own be ordained into the Deaconate Ministry. (Deaconess) Ruth welcomes the opportunity to continue to model 316 within the walls of the church and beyond.

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