Monday, March 27, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday!


EMMA

God is so good, NO he's great and greatly to be praised. God has blessed me to raise two children and they will both be in college this year, Praise God.

It was not always easy but we kept the faith. We were homeless twice, our car was repossessed, I was laid off a job, but look at God.

I've heard our trials come to make us stronger. Mine came to help me to trust God more and not look to man but to keep my eyes focused on the hill from which comes my help and all my help comes from God.

He has made ways out of NO way. He has turned my tears into joy. When I think about all he has done for us, my soul gets happy. I'm tearing up right now, I can't even see, the tears are just flowing. We've come a mighty long way! Holy Ghost, thank you, Jesus!

All I can say to anyone is to read your Bible, pray, and continue to seek God. It's not always going to be easy but it's worth it. I feel like shouting!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Shawn


SHAWN K. SUTTON

Shawn K. Sutton, also known as Minister SKS is an awarding winning Hip-Hop Gospel Rap Artist and motivational speaker. 

Growing up without a Father, (His Father passed when he was 3 years old) Shawn was introduced to gangs in the City of Chicago at a very young age. After joining a gang, Shawn would be introduced to a fast life of drugs and gang violence. Fast forward to age 17, Shawn was facing 25 years to life. It was at this moment he realized that there had to be a better way. But, he was stuck in the lifestyle he had grown to love. By the Grace of God Shawn would get off with a “slap on the wrist” and probation. This experience left Shawn searching for a better way. 

However, he was seeking deliverance from a lifestyle in his own strength. As a result, he would begin to take prescription drugs with an attempt to overdose and end his life. After this suicide attempt was unsuccessful, Shawn would attempt to once again try suicide by driving his car off of an embankment. It was during this attempt that Shawn had an encounter with the “Most High God, Jesus Christ” who would share with Shawn that the plan He has for his life was far greater than the one he was experiencing! It was this Supernatural experience that would turn Shawn’s pain into poetry. His poetry writings would soon lead to hip-hop rap.

His trouble did not end there. A few years later, he would be entered back into the prison system where he would spend multiple years. It was during this time frame he would meet a prison minister that would encourage him to try God for 30 days! The minister would share with Shawn “stop looking to change yourself and allow God to change you”. Armed with this advice, Shawn found a new love for God and his award winning song “I Won’t Turn Back” was written.

Since that time Shawn travels the country speaking to schools and church congregations about the dangers of gang violence and learning to live beyond the boundaries of despair and hopelessness. He shares with others the same grace he was given at the lowest point of his life.

In 2005 he released his first single “Holy Drive Bye”. In 2003 he was nominated for Best Hip-Hop single of the year through the Holy Hip-Hop awards. And in 2016 he won Blockbuster Best Hip-Hop Artist of the year at the Block Buster Showcase.

Shawn will be releasing a new single “Stay” in March of 2017 under First Choice Gospel Records. You can also catch his internet radio shown on Way network at http://waynetworktv.net/sksradio/.


Contact information:


Facebook:  Keith Sutton


Twitter:  #sksshawn


Instagram:  sksbrotherskeeper


For Booking:  Alternative Marketing & Management Group (313) 618-8791 or 404-551-8371

Check out Shawn's new single for your listening pleasure: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5r2nHKeiKCrTGlPY0lnOEJ6Y1U/view

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday




Linda

My Lord and savior Jesus Christ, always steps in on time.

I was living in Government housing and was a single parent with my twins.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I felt like my world was crumbling before me. Thoughts of dying were so real. The economy was at its worst in that time. People losing small businesses, losing jobs, and homes.

I was determined to leave something for my children. I purchased a home, got myself out of government housing, and became cancer free. Living and loving the journey of life; God continues to bless me.

Trust God in all you do. He makes ways when you don't see it. Believe in God always! I am now Cancer free and am counting my blessings. 


Amen.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Christal



ABOUT THE ARTIST

CHRISTAL CARTER

Christal Carter is the founder of Evolution Business Alliance which includes an expansive network to connecting entrepreneurs with the right resources to help their businesses grow.

Before launching Evolution Business Alliance Christal held various positions; helpdesk technician, field technician, business development specialist and corporate trainer. These positions helped her discover her passion for training and business. Her passion for training was launched while working at US Department of the Treasury. There she ran the Information Technology & Learning Center. After learning more about training and development she became an IT Corporate Trainer, traveling around the country to work for various clients. Some of her previous training clients and employers include DEA, US Department of the Treasury, Kaiser Permanente, BellSouth and Georgia Motor Vehicle Administration. Christal has also taught faculty and staff at Northern Virginia Community College and North Carolina A&T.

While working with these clients, she developed what could be considered the “ultimate business resource store”. Evolution Business Alliance is a company that focuses on the needs of business owners and new entrepreneurs. This company allows Christal to use her passion for business and training to help others reach their destiny as business owners. She is a Business Consultant who specializes in assisting start-up and struggling business owners with business operations and resource acquisition.

Christal Carter is a native of Washington DC but raised in Prince Georges County, Maryland. She graduated from Central High School, attended Prince Georges Community College and Strayer College. Christal served in the DC Air National Guard for 10 years. She is the mom of son Christopher, who she calls her miracle baby.

Christal believes that it is her destiny to help others successfully reach their destiny of entrepreneurship. She loves opportunities to work with business owners.

Email:  
Christal@evolutionbusinessalliance.com
Website:  www.evolutionbusinessalliance.com
Facebook:  
www.evolutionbusinessalliancenetwork.com Twitter & Periscope:  @christalc29

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Petals

Shedding the layers we call life, I'm blessed to have an outlet to share my thoughts.  It's important to me to be able to do what I love; write and express.  I'm starting this blog to record my feelings, open the door to conversation, and to enhance my creative process.  I welcome you to join this journey with me as I take my next steps.

Last week, I took pictures of roses my husband gave me; they'd reached the end of their lifespan.  As I took them out the water, I realized just how beautiful they looked and I couldn't part with them.  I'd never seen roses die with the same beautiful designs they had when alive.  

Beautiful in appearance, I decided to take pictures of them individually.  I needed to record just how beautiful they were in death, as they were in life.  As I picked them up, some of them started shedding their petals.  Trying to preserve them as they were before my touch, I realized that as delicate as my touch was, I had no control over them shedding parts of their life, no longer needed.

This process got me to thinking about how we all have petals in life.  We live and we die.  We shed petals by having the past.  The death of the roses made me see that there's beauty in death, something I never imagined possible.

As I come to age 51, my fear of death is beginning to diminish.  I'm finding a peace there, I never thought possible.  I'm realizing that death, even though it's a sad occasion, there's a certain beauty that's preserved and a certain level of peace in knowing that our loved one has gone on to a better place.

I'm looking at life with new glasses.  My vision enhanced.  I'm seeing things for the first time.  Maybe that comes with age, maybe maturity.  What I do know is, there's no maybe when it comes to where I've come from, where I am, and where I'm going.  

Shedding my petals, allows me to reflect and become a better me.  My walk is different, my heart is softer.  My tolerance is enhanced times ten, and my ability to forgive surprises even me.  I recognize that one day, I too will reach the end of the road so I strive to have my petals be as productive, loving and spiritually connected as I can have them be.   I look forward to hearing those words..... "well done, thou good and faithful servant".

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday



My Testimony on
Trusting GOD!


Often time’s people see your glory, but rarely do they know your story. We live in a time where you tell people only what they need to know and let them come to their own conclusion about what they think they know.

Many know me as Mr. Expect Greater, but I was not always Mr. Expect Greater! My journey began in 2006 after a mutual divorce, which I found myself, blaming myself for all that went wrong, and I was unsure about my future. I knew what I wanted to do, but did not have a clue on how to do it. Even after talking to my Pastor Friends, and hearing the same thing repeatedly…trust GOD! Not only was I newly divorced, but also my favorite uncle had passed and I had to do the eulogy. Now, I have all of this going on, and all I can hear is trust GOD!

As I look back at this time, I realize that faith is not faith, until it is all you have left!

When you hear GOD speaking to you, and HE is pushing you toward your purpose, you cannot be afraid, as I was, and not go. I was afraid for so many reasons, and all of them had to do with my belief in myself! It was not until GOD sent my current wife (Shonda) to me, a woman who I had known for eleven years, and yet did not truly know her for those eleven years. We were good friends, who got on each other’s nerves but could depend on each other for support and council.

After all, I had been through, I got up enough nerve to ask Shonda out, and on November 11, 2007, we had our very first date and on October 10, 2009, we were married. She had to make sure I was divorced before she would even consider going out with me!

I’m newly married and just started Pastoring a church, but something was missing! GOD was still pushing me to my true purpose and I knew that I had more in me. Although I loved being a Pastor, there was something missing, and GOD was not going to let me rest until I obeyed HIS direction for my life. I worked for a nonprofit organization where I was able to work with teens on a daily basis, helping them overcome the many challenges they endured in their lives, but something was still missing! I remember the day that I got the notice that my job was ending due to cutbacks in government grants, and although I was still Pastoring, now I found myself without a job, and a new wife to support…now here comes the purpose! As a Pastor, you get fulfillment out of helping people, but when GOD is pushing you to your purpose, that fulfillment goes to another level and fear of the unknown sets in.

I often tell people, when you are under the right spiritual covering, GOD will begin to open doors of unbelief. I was happy and comfortable where I was, but GOD was still pushing me to greater. In a turn of unfortunate/fortunate events, I found myself without a church to Pastor, but a strong praying wife! We began going to her church, and that is when GOD began to pour into me through Bishop Kevin L. Long. Each Sunday brought about a change in my life that I only heard others talk about, but now I was receiving it on a major level.

I was unemployed, no church to Pastor, but I knew what it meant to trust GOD! I was at a point where I was ready to give up, and go find a regular job, but GOD was still pushing me to purpose! I had made up in my mind that I was going to tell my wife that I am giving up on my dream, and getting me a job, but GOD had me in the right place, and the right time, and under the right covering! Elder Tim Grier prophesied two words to me straight from GOD, and he said to EXPECT GREATER! That was the hour, the minute, the second that Mr. EXPECT GREATER was born. When I fully understood where GOD was pushing me that is when GOD began to use me. GOD took all the pain and frustrations that I had endured and gave me a voice to help others to EXPECT GREATER in all they do. That voice has allowed me to write an award-winning book, and travel throughout the country inspiring and motivating audiences of all ages. Moreover, the greatest blessing is to have my wife right beside me enjoying what GOD has purposed me to do. 

So if you want to know my testimony, ask me why I EXPECT GREATER!


Edward L. Surratt

Website: www.iexpectgreater.com
Email: revratt@gmail.com
Phone: 980-202-2947
Facebook: Edward L. Surratt
Facebook: I Expect Greater
Instagram: @iexpectgreater



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Titus



ABOUT THE ARTIST


TITUS

Blending Classic Soul, Contemporary R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop music, Titus has created a musical style that has an appeal over all the major musical genres of American music including Christian Music and Gospel. With his amazing raw talent, his passionate conviction, his self-discipline, and his uncompromising trust in Jesus Christ, Titus reveals the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and its transforming power in the hearts of those who believe in Him (Jesus Christ). 

If there are two words to describe Titus and his music, they would be “transparent” and “honest”. He uncovers his pains, his struggles, his love, his joys, the lessons he learns, and the decisions he makes in his life through his music and testimony. His faith and passion are expressed through his songs with such heart and realness that anybody who listens can't help but to feel it and be moved by it. And that is what makes him different from many of the other great artists in the music industry. While many other gospel artists are encouraging people with general topics like "You Can Make It", "The Lord Will Provide" or "The Lord Will Be There Right On Time", Titus explicitly details how he lives as a Christian by exploiting the most intimate areas of his life with his music. Whether it is his relationship with his wife or his past struggles with various sins, there is no area of Titus' life that his music will not expose to exemplify how he has learned to live out the love that he has for his master and savior, Jesus Christ. 

Additionally, God has given Titus an amazing vocal instrument to effectively convey the truth of the Gospel through his music. He controls a "natural" vocal range from 1st tenor to 1st soprano and he uses this incredible vocal range with the delicacy and skill of a true master. When he sings you can feel his very heart and soul. He's the kind of artist that brings about those goose bumps every time you hear him sing. It is simply amazing to see this in action when he performs in front of an audience. God has given him the uncanny ability to arrest the very hearts and minds of his listeners for the moment in time that he has in front of them. And Titus seizes every one of those moments to plant the seed of God’s word into their hearts. 

Titus has been singing across the country and in Atlanta-area venues for over 15 years. Over the course of Titus’ 22 year music career, he has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Gospel greats like Vicki Winans, Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers, Deitrick Haddon, Babbie Mason, Canton Jones, Sunday Best winners Y’anna Crawley and Tyler Little and most recently Regina Belle-Battle during the Hawk's MLK Day Celebration halftime Show in 2016. 

Titus resides in Duluth, GA with his wife, daughter, and son where he serves as the founding pastor of Rivers of Living Water Church. 


Titus Musical Services 
770-609-SING (7464) 
www.TitusMusic.us 
BookingTitus@gmail.com 



Monday, March 6, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday


The Narrow Road
by 
Christi Polk

Exactly one year ago on February 1st, I went in for a mammogram after discovering a lump in my breast. After the mammogram was inconclusive I had an ultrasound and then a biopsy. Exactly 11 days later on February 12, 2016, at 10:30 am I got a call from my doctor, “Christi, it's cancer”. She went on to tell me that she is sorry and that the next step was for me to contact a surgeon, a radiation oncologist and an oncologist. She said so much more, but it all sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher.

After venturing onto the Conventional Track and being told of my “Only Options” which consisted of Chemo, Radiation, and Surgery, I met with the 4th and final Oncologist which attempted to ridicule me for considering going Holistic. She called me “Foolish” and “Emotional” and ask me why would I not want to “Follow the TREND” and further ask me why would I want to take the “NARROW Less traveled ROAD” rather than the “WIDE WELL TRAVELED ROAD”. Once she was done with her ATTEMPT to demean me and the “QUACKS” I was listening to, I boldly expressed to her that “I DO NOT follow trends and I choose to take the Narrow road”. God spoke to me in that moment and gave me confirmation and courage to proceed on the journey that He has for me.

I thank this Doctor for unknowingly speaking the word of God to me. (Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.) 

This is MY JOURNEY. That day my life changed FOREVER. All I can do is thank God for all that He has shown me, taught me, and how He is using me. My journey has just begun, so PLEASE do not feel sorry for me, for God is using this time in my life to show me His works and do works through me for others. I am far from perfect, yet I am healthier than I have ever been in my adult life. I have lost over 50Ibs by changing my diet to nutrition and how I view food. My focus is not being "cured", my focus is what God told me to focus on, and that is being healthy. Healthy in the spirit, body, and mind. I struggle daily with being in balance with each of these areas of my life, but God's grace is sufficient.

The cancer diagnosis for me was a wake-up call. A wake-up call as to how I was living my life and how the past hurts, disappointments, rejections and deep-seated unforgiveness, bitterness and yes, hatred had wreaked havoc on my health. The diagnosis was a catalyst that took me on an emotional awakening to my past. As a young child, I had a very keen sense of disinterment of people and situations, way beyond my years or what I could fully understand. But the earliest memory, which was the root of my emotional traumas that eventually grew into a tree riddled with self-destructive branches and limbs, was rejection from my Dad. 

The memory is so vivid, it's as though it happened yesterday. I was four years old, and my mother, brother and I were at a Juneteenth celebration. My dad was not there with us, however, he too was there. This I know because as I was running around the park, I heard his laugh which got my attention. As I searched for where it was coming from I saw him and a woman that was not my mother walking hand in hand. I called out to him, “DADDY!” And his response towards me, changed my thoughts and feelings of myself, for years. When I called out to him, he and the woman that he was with (who later became my step-mother) turned towards me, and she asks him “is that little girl is talking to you?” His response was “NO”. He grabbed her hand and walked her away, leaving a four-year little girl vulnerable, hence opening the door to the spirit of rejection to enter, that ultimately dictated my future relationships and lack of self-love, as well as self-destructive behaviors, insecurities, and fears. That broken little 4-year-old girl grew into a broken woman, full of toxicity and feelings of being picked over and not being good enough. I lived in a state of “fight or flight”, waiting for the rejection, expecting it, because it was my worth. But GOD!

Years of these negative emotions eventually manifested with a cancer diagnosis. I know this is true because God, piece by piece, has revealed this to me. He has revealed to me how years of toxic thinking has controlled my life, robbed my joy and sabotaged my peace, hence suppressing my immune system and destroying my body's cellular structures. Yet, He is able to use it all for His glory! Replacing all of the toxic emotions with Gods Love has been the source of my continued healing of mind, body, and spirit. As I stated, this is My Journey, and it has just begun. I chose the holistic approach because that is what God put in me. And that is what God wants me to share with the world. I ask God years ago to use me in a mighty way....Here I am.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Crystal




ABOUT THE ARTIST


CRYSTAL MARCH

Crystal March is a North Carolina resident by way of New York.  Crystal is the owner and co-creator of Amina’s Hair Bows Galore & More.



http://www.aminasbowsandmore.com/.  Seeing the importance of having a female minority owned business, Crystal is teaching her 7-year-old daughter and co-creator, Cheyenne Amina, on how to make and sell hair bows. 

Realizing the need for genuine handmade products for females and males of all ages, Amina’s Hair Bows was launched in 2013 to be the source for customers to purchase authentic handmade hair accessories, men’s accessories and other handcrafted and crocheted items. 

Over the last couple of years, Amina’s Hair Bows Galore & More has broadened their product range to include:

·   Hair Bows and Loopy Puff pins for special causes (ex. Autism, Breast Cancer Awareness, etc.)

·   Lapel Pins (ex. for special church services, memorials, etc.)

·   Hair Bows and Bowties for various sporting events and teams (ex. Superbowl, NFL, NBA, NCAA, etc.)

·   Brooch pins for Sororities and Bow ties for Fraternities as well as school colors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

·   Personalized crochet baby blankets

Recently, Amina’s Hair Bows Galore & More has received multiple requests from various local boutiques to showcase and sell Amina’s product range in their stores.  

Amina’s Hair Bows Galore & More’s Specialty is making what the customer wishes.  We take pride in customizing our products “Just for You”.









Follow Amina’s Hair Bows Galore & More on Social Media:
www.facebook.com/AminasHairbows/
Twitter: @CrystalAnnMarch
Instagram: @CrystalAnnMarch