THE INSPIRER

Issue 1January 2011
In This Issue
Inspiration
Living Single
Money Matters
Monthly Emphasis
Pick of the Month


A native Memphian who began his career with O'landa Draper and the Associates, Earnest Pugh has made his mark on the national gospel music scene with projects that show this worshipper's heart. His latest project Earnest Pugh LIVE: "Rain on Us" is his score.

Originally released in July 2009, it debuted on Billboard at #2 and stayed on the charts for 54 weeks. The title cut is still burning up the airwaves and has become a staple of many praise and worship ministries.

The 17 cuts on this project read like a Sunday worship experience. There is the introduction by Bishop Lester Love followed by an intense worship session including the title cut. After "Bless His Name", hold on for "The Sundoe" a praise break for every saint.

A sermon (of sorts) ensues during "Elder Pugh Exhorts". Then, we go to church with gospel greats Vanessa Bell Armstrong ("My Rock") and Richard Smallwood ("Healing"). The call is made to lay it all at His feet during the 'Pugh-version' of last month's featured artist Kevin Davidson's, "God Wants to Heal You". And finally, the "Prophetic Benediction" by Rev. Dr. Grainger Brown.

See what I mean? A true worship service; an experience you don't want to miss! If you don't have it already, be sure to add Earnest Pugh LIVE: "Rain on Us" to your music collection.

Zacchaeus Hayslett
Contributing Writer

 
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Welcome & Happy New Year! It seems like just yesterday that 2010 began; now we are navigating through the beginning of 2011.

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 The World Around You"! Jesus said in Mark 16:15 "...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel..." Each of us is strategically placed where we are but we must have discernment in order to see the needs of those around us. This year, I challenge you to be the light of your community!

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

 

 
Inspiration

PRAISE GOD ANYWAY

By Judy Ibezim

Some people value family more than the treasures of this world. Others say that God is more important than family or treasures, especially since He lives in our hearts. Matthew 6:21 says "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". I praise God for my family and also for allowing the true and living Savior to reign in my heart.

3John 1:2 states " Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. That's right; God wants us to prosper. But we can't lie, steal and kill someone else to be prosperous.

Prophet Todd Hall once said that some people don't want you to praise because they want to live off your stuff. It's sad but true: some people want you to die so they can bask in the treasures of your labor. But a real praiser isn't going to die before he gets what God has promised. I don't know about you but I believe I am about to give birth to what has obviously been lying dormant inside of me for years and fulfill my God-given purpose. I speak this into existence. He never said it would be easy especially since it wasn't easy for Him. But, He did fulfill His purpose in the earth and so can we.

It seems that someone or something is always trying to distract us from fulfilling our purpose in exchange for material gain. But, we must consistently meditate on the question Jesus asked in Mark 8:36, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?". God sees us as His "treasured possession" and He wants to be more precious to us than our first love (from "Intimacy With God"; Deuteronomy 7:6; Exodus 19:5). It's not a hard concept but because of our sin nature (I Corinthians 2:14), it does take diligence and consistent prayer for us to grasp the notion of giving our all to God, just like He gave His all for us (John 3:16).

When we praise God, we demonstrate how much we appreciate His mighty acts. David says in Psalm 139:14: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knows right well. Come on and help me praise God anyway!


Purpose Filled Life

By Shana Bibbs Hampton

Everyone has a purpose when you look beyond the surface
You'll see that your life is an extraordinary masterpiece, an Oscar wining testimony
Don't think that you are living just for you
But to help someone else who is going through
Never believe that you are just an average person; never view your life as burdensome
You're a work of art, a purpose-filled vessel, over flowing with the love of God in your heart
Even though your purpose isn't clear for all to see, its okay to be different, be bold, participate in your destiny
Purpose-filled living is an honor and privilege; to be chosen of God, He did pay the ultimate price
Live at your fullest potential, answer the call.
You have purpose and with God you will never fall
Be vigilant in all that you say and do; doubters feel that your purpose isn't for you
Greeting people with a kind word or a smile is part of your purpose, even if it isn't your style
It's a blessing to have purpose, this much I know to be true
To have purpose is remarkable and it sure looks good on you
Stay focused, walk with your head held high
You are purpose-filled, living life to the fullest
A winner, living abundantly for Jesus Christ

 
Living Single

Here After


During a time when everyone is making resolutions that are bound to lengthen and enrich their lives, I am compelled to talk about death. Are you prepared? Everyone needs to thank God for making it through another year, but we also should consider WHAT IF I don't make it through this one - especially those of us who are single.

As a single individual, there is no spouse to handle things as you would like and who wants to burden their mother or father with those kinds of decisions? But as a single parent it is even more imperative that things are in order because your child's/children's future most likely depends on it.

My grandfather taught me well. His example of estate planning made these actions second nature for me. I recently updated my will. For more than a decade, my funeral has been paid for. I have selected my casket, made final preparations and I have about 11 more monthly installments on my burial plot.

While all of this may seem morbid, it is - at least to me - one of the most loving things I have done for my boys. If something happens to me, they will not have to worry about my final arrangements. Just pick a dress, take it to the funeral home and set a date.

There will be no arguing over inheritance. And because I know my boys - I will control how much and how often until they turn 23.

Taking care of business entails much more than just who gets what. Somewhere (i.e. in a couple of safe places) should be details of your personal information - including pet and financial data. You should also select an executor for your estate and a guardian for minor children; make final arrangements and officially document a living will, power of attorney and estate distribution.

I said all of that to say this: while we are getting our souls ready for the here after, let's not forget to take care of the business in honor of our loved ones who are "here after" we're gone.

 Emma Devine
 Contributing Writer

 
Money Matters

Money Has A Purpose



Every country operates with a money supply which includes different forms of currency. In the United States the currency is the dollar; while in most European countries the recognized currency is the euro. Despite the currency type (dollar, euro, lira, peso, etc.) it is imperative for us to recognize that all money has purpose. According to Dictionary.com purpose is defined as "the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used; money is defined as "any circulating medium of exchange, including coins, paper money, and demand deposits". Now that we know the definitions of purpose and money it becomes easier to decipher why God allows us to be managers of money.

The income we obtain from our jobs and the financial increases we receive in our lives follow a path directed by God, just like the footsteps He has ordered for each of us. Psalm 37:23 states "the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD..." Even though everyone's money will take a different journey, we have to remain cognizant of each dollar's purpose and how that dollar should be allocated. The purpose of the first 10% of our income/increase is to be paid as tithe to the church and an additional amount allocated for offerings. Every dollar we have left over is strategically purposed for fulfilling the needs within our households, including paying off debt.

Since money is a medium of exchange used to reap the benefits of goods and services we can clearly see it is not inherently bad. Although money is not a problem on its own or when it is used for its intended purpose, it can become an issue when it is no longer viewed in its simplistic form. In 1 Timothy 6:10 the Bible reads "for the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." This passage of scripture dictates that "the love of money" is the problem, not money itself. Therefore we should not love money but we should seek God for the purpose He has dictated for each dollar we spend. Have you asked God for your money's purpose? If not, ask Him so that His purpose for the money He has allowed you to manage will be fulfilled.


 Tamara Smith
 Contributing Writer


 
Monthly Emphasis: Purpose

Psalm 95: 1-3

O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to Romans 8:29-30, 35, 37

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 

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