Issue 8
August 2012
In This Issue
Couples Corner
Money Matters
In The Mix
Monthly Emphasis
GCT Career Corner

 
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Pick of the Month

Ben Tankard left the NBA court due to a career-ending injury. During this time of discouragement he went to a revival and life for him and the Kingdom have never been the same. While in service he sat at the keyboard; the evangelist anointed him with oil and thus began Tankard's journey to becoming the "Godfather of Gospel Jazz." The effect of the genre he introduced to the world comes as no surprise to Ben. He says it was inevitable that if he fused his love of music (particularly Jazz) and his adoration of God (by the way - he is the pastor of Destiny Center in Murfreesboro and Nashville, TN) great things would happen.

From his discovery of Yolanda Adams to his uncanny ability to form collaborations with a Who's Who list of the music world, he has also been dubbed the "Quincy Jones of Gospel Music." Never has that title rung more true than on his sixteenth studio album, "Full Tank." The project, released June 5 features music from legendary producer-songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The lead single, "Sunday Vibes," showcases Tim Bowman on guitar and has burned up the Watercolors station on Sirius XM since its release in May as the #1 most played song. The title cut boasts the legendary groove of saxophonist Gerald Albright.

Tribe of Benjamin ("Higher Groove") and Cynthia Jones ("Something About that Name") added their vocals to the project as well as Mark Kibble and Take 6 ("Black Butterfly").

"Morning Prayer" is a great accompaniment to daily meditation. It is just the background any music lover would bask in while communing with the Father.

I have two favorites on this project. The upbeat groove of "Smooth Wife: Smooth Life" puts me in the mood to hit the road with the windows down. "If I Only Had a Brain (Renewed Mind)" takes me back to my childhood as Ben plays with the famous melody from the famed scarecrow plea in the Wizard of Oz.

Full Tank is hands down Tankard's best project yet. It's good to know that despite the end of his professional career he is still racking up "wins" for the Kingdom!

Zacchaeus Hayslett
Contributing Writer

 
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Welcome! It seems like just yesterday that 2012 began; now summer is here.

Once again we have the privilege to greet you in our monthly Inspirer newsletter. Take your time and peruse each article because there is a lot of good information for you and yours. We have tidbits from many areas of ministry we know you will enjoy. So don't just scroll down to the end and look at pictures; you'll miss some very valuable information.

Our theme this year is "Embracing Perfection Through Passion." To us, EMBRACE stands for Empowering Ministry, Building Relationships and Advancing Christians Everywhere! In Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul expresses that God gave passionate ministry gifts "...For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..." I believe that the foundation of successful ministry begins with a true love for God and His people. Yes, where there is true Passion, there can also be Perfection!

Always remember, if ever you are in our area, we would love to have you and your family come by and visit with us.  

 

 

EMBRACE,

Bishop Brandon B. Porter
Senior Pastor www.bbporterministries.org

 

 

 

 
Couples Corner

Treasure Map?

We recently read an article about creating your own treasure map. While this is an activity with a primary focus on doing something for yourself, it would be interesting and fun to try this as a couple. The activity basically tells you to think about things you want in life. Think about what people you would like to meet, places you want to go and things you want to experience. It also advises you to add words of encouragement and inspiration, as well as your interests.

As individuals, sometimes we have different agendas for ourselves and our family. It is very easy to lose focus of the couple, the two that became one flesh. We work fulltime jobs, are involved in day to day duties, have extracurricular activities all over the place and even work in areas of ministry. With all those things going on, we still have ideas, thoughts and desires we want to fulfill with our spouses. But, because of all of the things we are involved in, we can't quite seem to find our way or may not even have the time to communicate the things we want...our treasures. A treasure map can help explain and even add a little excitement in the areas of interest from simply talking about them. This will also allow your spouse to know what you are thinking.

So what are the steps towards making this happen? Glad you asked...

First, have a conversation about when you want to start the process. Set a date for the both of you to sit down and discuss each other's desires and what you would like to explore together. Decide which of you will order the take out and which will order the dessert, etc. No babysitter, no problem! Send the children to their rooms and give them access to everything they would possibly need. This may not stop all interruptions, but it can minimize them.

Second, gather the materials needed to show your interests; such as magazines, scissors, tape or glue, colorful markers, a laptop, etc. You can find pictures anywhere, draw (do your best), write out your goals, print sayings and use pictures of yourself and your spouse.

Start creating your map! Remember, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21).

Be Blessed.

Contributing Writer: Elder Darius and Latisha Clay
 
Money Matters

Reaching for the Dream

In life, people strive for many things. We educate ourselves to expand our intellect. We groom ourselves to expand our social circles. We look for jobs that expand our pockets. We even teach our children to gravitate to the best things that life has to offer. What motivates us to obtain these things?

Much in life is uncertain, but one thing is for sure. We want to live the dream! The problem is that our dream has one central focus: spending money. While obtaining money is necessary to establish a way of life, holding onto it is what maintains that way of life.

  

 

 

Consumer spending benefits the economy, true. But, an individual need not go broke making their contribution to society. In doing so, they become a burden on that same society when sudden poverty strikes. Imagine millions of individuals making this same mistake. The impact radiates throughout the nation; increasing credit risk from loans they now cannot afford to pay, increasing jobless claims because they lost their jobs when their cars were repossessed, increasing Medicare claims because they lost health insurance when they lost their jobs, and so on.

We are not islands unto ourselves. Our decisions impact the world around us. So, while you are reaching for your dreams, please take into consideration that your decisions impact us all.

Live responsibly!

Sis. Ramona Coe,
Contributing Writer
 
In The Mix

Current Events

Harvard College has provided assistance to students who need help in meeting their education expenses for over 350 years, enabling them to seek out the most outstanding scholars in the world and open their doors to students of exceptional ability and promise, regardless of their financial circumstances. Over 60% of undergraduates will receive an estimated $172 million in need-based Harvard Scholarship aid in 2012-13. Just in the past five years they have increased financial aid by over 70 percent, enhancing their program to ensure the affordability of a Harvard education even in these challenging economic times. They understand that the thought of financing four years of college can be a daunting prospect for anyone, and they are eager to help families understand their financial aid programs and assist them in finding ways to meet college costs.

All of their financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need - there are no academic, athletic or merit-based awards, and they meet the demonstrated need of every student, including international students, for all four years. They invite anyone to explore their web site for a detailed description of all aspects of our aid program, including the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative for low and moderate income students, under which families with incomes currently below $60,000 are not expected to contribute to college costs. Beginning in the fall of 2012, financial aid will be further expanded for low income students, when this income level will be increased to $65,000.

Home equity or retirement accounts are not considered as resources in the determination of a family contribution, and aid packages do not include any loans. A typical student may receive over $150,000 in Harvard scholarship assistance over four years and the majority of students receiving scholarship are able to graduate debt-free. The program continues to be generous for students across the economic spectrum, with more than two thirds of those receiving scholarship assistance coming from families with incomes greater than $60,000.

They invite prospective students and their families to complete a Net Price Calculator to receive an individual estimate of their scholarship eligibility and cost of attendance at Harvard. To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making less than $60,000 a year visit Harvard's financial aid web site at: http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/ or call the school's financial aid office at (617) 495- 1581. EEO Office, Richmond, VA

Contributing Writer: Sis. Beverly Parish
 
Monthly Emphasis

Excellence

The monthly focus for August is excellence. According to Dictionary.com, excellence is the state or quality of being exceptionally good. It is an action or characteristic in which a person excels. Excellence is also superiority. We all have a desire to be exceptionally good at things in life. There are many instances in the Bible where excellent people are described as our examples. God is the author of being exceptionally good. Psalms 8:1 says, "O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, who hast set thy glory above the heavens." God is excellent because He is superior above all things and He has perfect character and love. For instance, Hannah desired to have a son and made a vow to God, saying she will lend the man child to Him for His service for this child's life. Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son and she lent him over to the Lord. The Lord didn't stop there because in 1 Samuel 2:21, He visited Hannah and she gave birth to more children. God is exceptionally good.

When Jesus was 12 years old, He stayed in Jerusalem with the teachers after the Festival of the Passover ended, asking questions at the temple courts. "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man," Luke 2:52. Jesus grew up and became our only salvation in a sinful world and gave us the gift of eternal life. Hebrews 10:11-12 says, "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God." Jesus showed us His superiority and His goodness by offering His body once to take away sins. You are not too young or new in the faith to live exceptionally good for God. In order to be excellent, you have to work at it. Most importantly, we must look to God for being excellent because only He can cause us to excel.

Why not ask God to help you become excellent for Him?

Contributing Writer: Minister Sylvester Person
 

GREATER COMMUNITY TEMPLE'S mission is to impact its community through evangelism, discipleship in order to change the world. We are committed to developing the believer in their faith of the Lord Jesus Christ through the consistent and systematic study of God's word. We exist to celebrate God's presence, to demonstrate God's love, to communicate God's word, and to educate God's people.

Bishop Brandon B. Porter
Senior Pastor