THE INSPIRER

Issue 5May 2010
In This Issue
Inspiration
Youth Corner
Holy Matrimony
Money Matters
Living Single
Words of Wisdom
Pick of the Month

He's only been in the gospel music industry for seven years, but his music has touched us so deeply that it seems like he's been on the scene much longer.....and he keeps getting better.

Born and raised in Arkansas, Pastor Norful (Victory Cathedral Church, Chicago, IL) returned to his "home away from home", Memphis, to record his fourth project: Smokie Norful Live. This album is full of great music, melodies and messages.

Already on the charts are "Justified" and his rendition of the Commodores hit "Jesus is Love" with R&B sensation Heather Headley. My favorite two from the project are the humbling "Dear God" and "No One Else" (GCT's Praise Team turned me on to this one).

There's a little bit of everything for everyone, including a contemporary piece with Tye Tribbett and a foot stomping tune that takes you back to the little country church.

Your music collection is incomplete without Smokie Norful Live.

Zacchaeus Hayslett
Contributing Writer

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Welcome! 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 will miss out on some very valuable information.

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

Sincerely,

Bishop Brandon B. Porter
Senior Pastor www.bbporterministries.org
Inspiration
 
God's Chosen

By Shana Bibbs Hampton

What a mighty man of God you will be. I see you shining so bright in God's divine glory, untarnished, without blemish, because God has chosen you to be a part of His plan. How honored you must be to know that out of the millions He created, He chose you. He didn't want the most popular or the most likely to succeed; He wanted you - the one who is imperfect, who has fallen short of His glory. Yes you, the one who feels unfit for the job.

If only you knew how many souls you would win for Christ. God patiently waited for the right time, pruning you like the thorough gardener He is, to ensure you would produce the fruit that shows beneficial change. So many are lost, but you will show them that there is only one road, only one way to be free.

This will not be a simple task but in God's eyes, everything counts. He has an eye for your wise and willing heart that He adores so much. He chose you to encourage His people, to let them know that when all hope is gone, He is there. Indeed, I am proud of you. When you gaze in my eyes, the reflection you see is that of a King. As you grow in grace, always thankful, sit back and watch God work a wonder through you.

Youth Corner
 
Prom and Graduation Time

Each year major life changes occur for teens on prom and graduation night. Both events are meant to be remembered, full of fun and moments of extreme celebration. But each event can also be equally dangerous. According to the National Highway and Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA), automobiles are the leading cause of deaths among teens. Use of alcohol and dangerous playful behaviors are attributed to these increased statistics. Teens experimenting frivolously with sex, drugs and alcohol can also lead to life altering consequences. These so called 'fun activities' result in physical attacks, pregnancies, STDs, sexual assaults, overdoses and sometimes even death. One incident is all it takes for these momentous occasions to become tragic.

Good communication between parents and teens result in reduced risk-taking behaviors. The method of a parent's communication is vital for success. Here are a few suggestions for a safe night:

(1) Discuss and clearly communicate rules and expectations (i.e. no drinking & drugs) and consequences for carelessness and negative behavior
(2) Devise and discuss an agenda that includes curfew
(3) Know transportation methods
(4) Do not rent hotel rooms or party rooms
(5) Stay up for return home

A safe, fun night is the result of teens taking active roles and making strong commitments to their futures. Here are a few tips for teens:

(1) Communicate openly and honestly with parents
(2) Know and understand parent's rules and expectations. If something is unclear, ask for clarity; don't assume
(3) Develop and discuss your agenda with parents, including any after parties or meals
(4) Develop a buddy system, watch out for friends
(5) Develop a mutual emergency plan with a designated adult
The right plan for "the night" assures a non regretful tomorrow. Congratulation class of 2010!

Contributing Writer: Linda Bolden, Coordinator
Scholarship /Teen Preparedness

 
Class of 2009 and 2010

IT'S GRADUATION TIME! All Greater Community Temple members who have graduated and are graduating please provide us with your information. Each year, the GCT scholarship program holds a Graduates Dinner, celebrating all who have graduated in the current academic year. We want to include everyone! Age is not an issue; in fact it is an example of commitment to education.

High School graduates, you may be eligible for a church sponsored scholarship or other awards. Applications will be available on May 15, 2010.

Members are asked to make a donation to the 2010 Scholarship Fund by marking your envelopes. Scholarship. Specialized awards can be set up by departments, auxiliaries, families, school alumni, fraternities and sororities.

Please submit your name and information to the GCT Scholarship program. Contact the church office or lindabolden@hotmail.com.

Contributing Writer: Linda Bolden
Scholarship Coordinator

Holy Matrimony
 
You Don't HAVE To Be Right

Being right is overrated. Let me say it again, "Being right is overrated!" The first time I heard these words were from Elder Glasper about 8 years. He stated that most arguments would end or at least be minimized if we simply resisted the desire to prove that our spouses are wrong, and that we are right. He then went on to say if we would just learn to seek out a peaceful resolution, then God would be glorified and not the enemy.

At first I disagreed because I thought just the opposite; that proving my point or that being right was of utmost importance. So bowing down (as I thought back then) when I knew I was right was not about to happen. Prior to hearing this, I had always been a very opinionated person and could argue or debate with the best of them, especially if I knew without a doubt that I was right. I'm talking about the head/neck shaking, finger in your face kind of debating. Come on ladies, if men can't relate, I know some of you can. You know we can roll our head, neck, eyes, and fingers with the best of them. Hello, somebody! Whew! I just had a flashback. I thank God for Jesus! However, the more I listened, the more I realized the Holy Spirit was speaking.

The man of God began to quote several scriptures such as, God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, and about how God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble and if we would simply humble ourselves before Him, He would exalt us in due time. So you see, proving our point is no longer necessary. If we would just humble ourselves, resist the "need" to be right, and allow HIM, God would work that thing out for us. When confusion arises, that's our first sign that God is not in it. When you see the enemy rearing his ugly head, bind the enemy and start praying quickly, then hold your peace. Why? Because once words exit your mouth, you cannot take them back. And contrary to the nursery rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me"; words can cut like a knife and cause wounds that may take months, if not years to heal.

So when you sense a disagreement is on the horizon, somebody has to be the mature, humble one and seek out a peaceful resolution, even if it means you don't get to prove you're right. Sometimes that takes walking away, humbling yourself, seeking peace now and dealing with it at a later time. We are to seek peace, not confusion. I truly believe the only person who gets the glory in the midst of confusion is the enemy...so don't give him any.

The next time the enemy stirs up confusion in your home, resist him, humble yourself, pray quickly, bridle your tongue, and let it go for the sake of peace. After all, being right is truly overrated. Trust me; we can accomplish more on our knees than we can with our mouths any day!

 LaKesha Calhoun
 Contributing Writer

Money Matters
Pay It Forward



A dear friend lost her job right before the holidays last year. It was a total shock and boy was she hurt. Despite the financial reverse this incident presented, she has still found ways to bless others. A few weeks ago, I'd asked her do something for me. When I asked her what I owed her she said, "you don't owe me anything, I'm just paying it forward". I was tremendously blessed, not just because she makes the best chicken salad this side of heaven, but because she was giving of herself, without expectation of anything in return, despite the apparent lack in her life. Her only request for payment was that I pay it forward.

In 2000, the movie Pay It Forward debuted. Written by Jim Beaver, the son of a minister, this film has come alive through people such as my dear friend. The plot: a Social Studies teacher challenges his students to think of a way to change the world. One student, Trevor, decides he would pay a favor forward, rather than back, by doing something nice for someone he didn't know as payment for a nice deed done to him. He only chose three people and made a difference in the lives of thousands. This kid took the golden rule to a whole other level and with little effort, changed the world.

Our leader often says that we are blessed to be a blessing. If we truly lived by this concept, there wouldn't be anyone living on the street or eating from garbage cans. It's probably human nature for us to bless those that bless us. What if we did like Trevor and blessed someone that we didn't even know, simply to be a blessing?

In the 20th chapter of Acts Paul bids farewell to the elders of Ephesus. He shares the wisdom of God and in verse 35, says: "I have shewed you all things how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." This is the scriptural basis for paying it forward. While money certainly matters, so do good deeds. Since that day, I have tried to honor my friend by paying it forward, every chance I get. I'd like you to help me starting today. Can I count on you?

 Stephanie Hill
 Contributing Writer


Living Single

Don't Worry - Be Happy!


As Christians we sing about joy, preach about joy and - yes - even shout for joy, but what about happiness? Have we forgotten about being content along the way? There's no denying that happiness is based on circumstances and has the potential to come and go. The circumstances of believers, however, should be governed by holy principles and, therefore, are expected to yield positive results. I'm no fool; I know EVERYTHING isn't going to be perfect but "our good days should outweigh our bad days". Don't make a bad day out of those things that really aren't that bad. There's a silver lining to be found in most situations.

So what you're still single; be happy you're not in a bad relationship! So you didn't get the promotion; well, the bonus you're about to get is more than your raise would have been. You had a flat on the way to church? Be happy that you could afford AAA. I recently came across a scripture that presents happiness as a key to one of God's many rewards for us. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 reads "There is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil - this is the gift of God." This passage encourages us to be happy and to leave this world better because we were here. If we focus on these things then God's promise is sustenance and fulfillment. WHAT A BARGAIN!!!! Our faith and trust in God is all the more reason not to have the worries of the world so "hakuna matata"!

 Emma Devine
 Contributing Writer

Words of Wisdom

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
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