AlsoInside 2 4 9 - Apostolic Church of God
E D I F I C AT I O N • I N S P I R AT I O N • B O O K S • C O M M U N I T Y & O U T R E A C H • H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S • M I N I S T R Y • YO U T H
P U B L I C A T I O N
T H E
A P O S T O L I C
C H U R C H
G O D
J A N UA R Y 2014
Do not remember
the former things,
Nor consider the
things of old.
Isaiah 43:18, NKJV
Moving forward in Christ | New year, fresh start | Embracing a special needs child: a mother’s story
ACOG Support Groups Making a Difference
ast summer (yes, last summer), the Apostolic Church of God Prostate Support and Breast Cancer
Support groups participated in a walk to raise awareness and funds toward the cure of those diseases.
The groups are part of the Personal Services Ministry, led by assistant pastor Evangelist Ivory
Nuckolls. It’s never too late to share how our Personal Services Ministry is making a difference in the
lives of people in the church and in the community. Below are a few scenes from that day. Photos: Ted Evans
Dr. Byron T. Brazier
Darlene Dennard, Reginald Griffin
Samira Robinson, Sharon Prince
Church Office Assistant
Leonard E. McGee
LT ComDesign, LLC
Weekend. Brothers, join the
Brotherhood January 25–26,
as the men of ACOG kick off
the New Year with its annual
breakfast Saturday morning at
8 a.m. in the Banquet Hall and
its first [email protected] service of the year
Sunday afternoon in the Kenwood Sanctuary. The
speaker will be Dr. Brazier, and the cost for the breakfast is $10. Tickets can be purchased in Fellowship
Hall or online at acog-chicago.org. This is the year for
2 | The Cross&Crown
the men to challenge themselves to strengthen their
foundation and get involved. Note: the breakfast is for
men only; the service is for everyone.
Women of Faith Kickoff. Ladies, join Women of
Faith of the Sisterhood Connection Monday, February 3, at 7 p.m., in the Banquet Hall for its first fellowship in 2014. First Lady Evangelist Mary Brazier will
get the year started. She will be teaching on “Stop the
World, I Want to Get Off.” Sister Andrea Morris and
the Angelic Choir will be leading praise and worship
that night. Come and help the women celebrate our
first lady (it’s also her birthday!) and wish her blessings and many more.
The Cross & Crown is published
monthly by the Apostolic Church of
God, 6320 South Dorchester Avenue,
Chicago, Illinois 60637 ©2013.
All submissions are welcome and
will be reviewed for publication.
The deadline for advertisements is
the first Sunday of each month prior
to the month in which the ad will
appear. Submissions should be left
in the newsletter folder in the
ISSN: 1543-9712 Volume 11 Issue 10
Strivettes to Host Theater Night
L iving for Jesus
by Dr. Byron T. Brazier
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and
I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.
I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
John 10:14–16, NIV
s we prepare to take on a new day, a
new week, a new month, a new year,
no matter what obstacles we may
face, we must do so with our minds
and hearts set fully on Christ (Colossians 3:1–2).
Just when we thought we were over one hurdle,
we may find ourselves having to jump over
another one; however, as believers we have
hope in Jesus Christ, who is our bridge over
troubled waters. The Lord says, “I’ll give you new
mercies each and every day.” We can place our
hope in Jesus because He is the Good Shepherd.
Translated from the Greek word poimen, a
shepherd is one who tends, leads, guides,
cherishes, feeds, and protects the flock.1
Jesus the Good Shepherd
• He came to save us
• He guides us into all truth
• He protects us
• He makes provisions for us
• He fights for us
• He saves us from our enemies
Photo by Fred Brown
of a shepherd,
are often called
shepherds, as their
themselves to the care of their spiritual leaders.
But what happens when someone responsible
for the spiritual and/or religious well being of a
flock misleads his or her congregants through
false teaching? They are considered thieves and
robbers. False teachers are not the only ones (or
things) that can mislead God’s people. That’s why
it’s so important that we are so connected to God
(through constant contact with His Word and His
presence) that we discern the difference between
the real deal and an imposter.
Characteristics of Thieves and Robbers
• Cannot deliver on promises
• Try to draw you away from the power of
• Take advantage of your weaknesses and your
• Try to turn you from the path you are on
• Complain about everything
• Try to pull you into different ways
According to Scripture, a thief only steals,
kills, and destroys (John 10:10). The robber will
promise you nothing because it has no potential,
no possibility, no expectations, no future—it has
nothing. Christ will never forsake you. He is the
Way. When we follow Him, we Hear Him and
don’t hear the thieves:
very year, the Strivettes would host
“Dinner and a Play” at the church. It
was a scholarship fundraiser held the
opening night of the Fine Arts Guild’s annual
play. There won’t be a Fine Arts production
this year, but the show must go on. On
March 22, the Strivettes will host an evening
at ETA to see the original play Saviour? All
proceeds will go toward the Strivettes college
scholarship program, so you will be enjoying
a play and supporting the young people of
ACOG as they go to college. To purchase
tickets, see a member of the Strivettes in
the west Dorchester lobby near the kiosks
following Sunday morning services.
2014 Spirit-Filled Devotional
series arrived in the
Saving Grace bookstore
last month. The SpiritFilled Journey: Weekly
Devotions for Growing
in God features exciting
changes that offer readers a whole new way
to engage with the Word of God, including
journal pages, target questions, and additional
Scriptures to encourage further study. Also
new to the “Journey” will be brown-bag
discussions. These small-group sessions
will allow readers to journey through the
devotional together. The sessions begin
Wednesday, February 5, in the Banquet Hall.
They will be held every Wednesday prior to
Bible study beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and
the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own
sheep by name and leads them out. When he
has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead
of them, and his sheep follow him because
they know his voice. But they will never
continued on page 15
January 2014 | 3
You Should Know: Linda Hobbs: Walking by Faith
by Jennifer LuVert
“A person’s steps are
directed by the Lord.”
Proverbs 20:24 (NIV)
has one of
ever see. That’s one of
the first things you’ll
notice about her. But
if you’ve ever had
the privilege to serve
alongside her, you’ll
know that she is one of
the most faithful servants you’ll run across in the
church, who stepped out on faith one day and
never looked back.
Born and raised on the west side of Chicago,
Linda is part of a very large family. She is one
of eight siblings that includes four girls, and
four boys. The west side plays a prominent
role in Linda’s life. Her husband, Anthony, was
also raised on Chicago’s west side. They were
married at The Christ Tabernacle church on
the west side. And Linda gave birth to their two
children at Rush hospital on the west side. So
when her mother-in-law asked her to go with
her to hear Bishop Arthur M. Brazier preach, she
agreed, assuming of course, he was going to be
preaching on the west side of Chicago.
Linda had no idea that Apostolic Church of
God was located on the south side of Chicago. “I
had never heard of the Bishop or the Apostolic
Church of God. Once I understood that Bishop
Brazier and the Apostolic Church of God
was located on the south side of Chicago, I
immediately thought, ‘Well I don’t care who’s
preaching, I am not driving to the south side of
Chicago.’” Linda says she only went to the south
side for a wedding or a funeral.
“But God had plans for me,” she concedes.
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope
and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Linda did attend Apostolic Church of God
with her mother-in-law. In fact, she never
stopped coming after that and has been a
member for 26 years now. “I joined the Apostolic
church in August of 1987. After I received the
Holy Ghost, my attendance increased; I start
coming two or three times a week for choir
rehearsal, youth group meetings, teachers’
meetings, and, of course, Bible class. I even
worked part-time 3-4 days a week in Youth
“I have traveled many places in the United
States and I have even traveled to Paris, France.
Nevertheless, the most precious trip I have ever
taken was the trip to the Apostolic Church of
God. It was at the Apostolic Church of God
where Bishop Brazier taught me about Jesus and
God’s amazing grace.”
Linda says that God’s grace “has ordered
each and every one of my steps…. The grace of
God has sustained my marriage for thirty-three
years…. It is the grace of God that blessed us
with two children. It is the grace of God that has
blessed my husband and me with three amazing
Linda also credits God’s grace for the success
of her small business, her ability to finish a
marathon 12 times, and her certification as a
Christian educator from Moody Bible College.
She is currently part of ACOG’s Systematic
“The most important thing that I know now,
because I started attending the Apostolic Church
of God, is that Jesus chose me, saved me, blessed
me, favored me, and has kept me by His amazing
The following people came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ or transferred their church
membership in November 2013:
4 | The Cross&Crown
Mark your calendars for these upcoming
New Members Ministry activities:
February 2: Right Hand of Fellowship
(RHOF) at 9:10 a.m. and 11:40 a.m. services
February 5, 12, 19, 26: Wednesday
evening New Members Class, 6:15 p.m.,
second floor classrooms. Please arrive early
and register at the kiosk on the floor prior
February 15: Saturday New Members
Class, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm.
Save the Date: New Members Conference,
“Rooted & Grounded,” coming in March
Got questions? Call 773.256.4204.
by Jacquelin M. Harris
by Reginald Griffin
Philippians 4:6–7: Be careful for nothing;
but in every thing by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your
requests be made known unto God. 7
And the peace of God, which passeth all
understanding, shall keep your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. ~Isaiah 43:18, NIV
ou have probably seen the Extreme Home Makeover show on TV. At the big reveal,
the recipients often cover their mouths in surprise and shout something like, “Oh, My
Goodness!” They are overwhelmed with disbelief that their old house has been transformed
into a beautiful home. They say many thanks to their benefactors and cry tears of joy.
That is how it is when we surrender our lives to Christ Jesus. His Holy Spirit gets on the inside and
cleans up our spiritual houses. The old skeletons in our closets, the baggage we held on to, the messes
we made in our lives and did not clean up, the bitterness and resentments in which we wrapped
ourselves—all of the things in our past that kept us from moving forward—are now in our past. The
song “Moving Forward” written by singer and songwriter Israel Houghton says it like this “... what a
moment You have brought me to? Such a freedom I have found in You…my past is over in you.”
In time the new house will get old and be in need of repair. The same happens to us as time goes on.
We suffer as the setbacks and disappointments of life get us down. That is when we go to God in prayer
and say as Israel does in his song, “I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead. Here to declare to you…I will
follow you forward.”
Making a Fresh Start by Livia Jenkins
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now
and make a brand new ending.” Anonymous
s we ushered in the New Year, no doubt our thoughts turned
to resolutions, new beginnings, and recommitment—another
opportunity to start over on the things we neglected or failed to
follow-through in 2013.
In addition to diet, exercise and perhaps kicking an unwanted
habit, the New Year was also an opportunity to rededicate ourselves
to the things of God—to read, study and pray more. Without these tools
our spiritual growth wanes, making it easier to put off what we should be doing
with regularity. As women and natural caregivers, we often assume responsibilities
and tasks that others could very well handle themselves to the detriment of our own
Christian development—potentially hindering us from staying the course.
It is indeed a blessing that we are not limited to January 1 to give ourselves over to
the things of God. His love invites us to the throne of grace 365 days of the year.
The New Year is certainly a fine time to commit to do better, but
know that you can have a fresh start with God whenever, wherever
and whatever the condition you find yourself in. Any day is an
opportunity to renew and refresh!
We seem to always find time to do what pleases us.
Let’s make time to do what pleases God. I would say,
don’t delay. But if you find that you have again lapsed in your spiritual commitment, don’t give
up and don’t give in! Remember, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never end;
they are new every morning and again and again all the day long” (Lamentations 3:22–23)
ne of the most dangerous
things the devil does to bornagain Christians is, through
anxiety, to take their minds
off God! This opens us up to the enemy’s
influence in ways we cannot see and/or
possibly imagine. Remember that the devil
was around before Adam, and he deceived
a third of the angels of heaven before man
ever was. The devil was—and is—well
practiced at what he does!
That’s why we are to be anxious
for nothing. Sometimes it’s hard, and
sometimes we miss the mark, but in Christ
Jesus we quickly recover! Therefore, we
are to keep our minds on God: praying
without ceasing, having alone time with
God daily, and keeping our minds on
things that are true, honest, just, pure,
lovely, virtuous, and of praise (8).
January 2014 | 5
Embracing the Gift
of a Special Needs Child
by Claudia Parker
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).
remember the moment I noticed my baby was different. The
house was a peaceful silent. My eldest, just three, was napping
in her room, my husband at work, and my four-week-old infant
was snuggled on my chest as I rocked her in the glider. Basking
in our bonding, I slipped my pinky into her tiny clutched hand
and began to repetitiously extend her fingers. Upon an intense
gaze, my heart accelerated as these fine motor exercises revealed not all of
her fingers were normal. Two specialists confirmed a diagnosis of a genetic
deformity called camptodactyly. It’s an underdeveloped tendon that causes
the finger to remain in a fixed position. It’s common in the pinky finger, but
in my daughter’s case it was her middle finger—on both hands.
Upon her second birthday, with peace in our hearts, we accepted the
advice of the medical professionals and allowed surgery on her right hand.
Despite the reputation of the plastic surgeon being the top in his field, her
surgery wasn’t successful.
I’d begun to notice other differences throughout her development as
well. She didn’t coo, sit up, roll over, crawl, walk, and so on, until much
later than my eldest. I got the “stop comparing, she’ll do ‘whatever’ when
she’s ready.” Being inexperienced, I listened but kept a steady eye on her.
When she turned eighteen months, I chose to follow my own instincts
and sought Early Intervention for an evaluation. A team of licensed
professionals coupled with a full medical diagnostic test confirmed my
suspicion of a global delay. Meaning, from cognition, motor planning and
speech, she’s 50 percent behind her peers. To ensure these delays weren’t
brought on by an underlining health condition, she had to undergo an
array of medical exams.
Initially, all results were normal. Normal. Maybe she’s just a little behind,
I thought. However, after a year of in-home therapy four to five times per
week we saw little change. Upon her third birthday in October 2013, she
could only say three words.
We returned for a second medical diagnostic test, this time with a
pediatric neurologist. He gave us a definitive diagnosis of childhood
apraxia of speech (CAS). It is an inability to utilize motor planning to
perform movements necessary for speech during a child’s language
learning process. The individual knows exactly what he or she wants to say,
but there is a disruption in the part of the brain that sends the signal to the
muscle for the specific movement. In adults, this condition is called apraxia
of speech (AOS), resulting from a stroke, brain injury, or progressive illness.
My baby wasn’t sick and had never been. We needed to understand the
cause and moved forward with genetic testing. Those results revealed a
mutation of the FOXP1 gene. This gene is essential to language and causes
dominant developmental disorders with characteristics of autism. To date,
there are only seven other reported cases of a mutation of the FOXP1 gene
in the world. They’re all children. The eldest is six. Because the condition
is so rare, there is little research available, no known cure, and no known
medication for treatment.
My husband and I felt, as with her hands, we could fix her, make her
“normal” if we worked with her, received more therapy sessions or just
prayed harder. However, we’ve come to realize she’s meant to be whom she
is. The geneticist confirmed this mutation occurred at conception. It was
purposed. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my
mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13–14, NIV).
Fearfully and wonderfully made, my daughter will be a teacher to the world.
God has revealed her abnormalities in stages to help us cope. First we
learned of her hands, then of her delayed speech. Gradually, we discovered
sensory processing disorders and motor planning problems. As her
mother, I continue to seek information to help her while advocating for
her needs and educating others with my findings. When I pray and ask the
Lord, “What do you want me to do? What do you want me to say, and to
Let us be a loud voice for our children. Help the world understand
their differences. Tomorrow, God may choose to perform a miraculous
turnaround, for we know He is able. However, today, we accept our reality.
I have a special needs child. It’s not what I envisioned, not a club I wanted
to join, but I embrace it with open arms. I trust His will for my life and my
family. I’m grateful He’s found me worthy to answer this call. God’s plan is
perfect, and in my eyes, so is my daughter. For I know the plans I have for
you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to
give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
Moving Forward by Sharon Prince
o matter how we plan our lives, we cannot plan every event in our lives. Life-changing events can be joyous
as well as devastating. In the midst of devastation, the question is not “Why me?” but “Why not me?” When
we believe in the promises of God, we know that devastation results in change but not the end. And in our
faith we move forward.
6 | The Cross&Crown
January 2014 | 7
Give Honor to Whom Honor is Due: Celebrating ACOG Veterans
The Veterans Ministry is just a few months old and already strong, but the dinner held last November to honor veterans was not a first. The first one was
envisioned by the late Bishop Arthur M. Brazier and held in November 2006. These snapshots are from the second veterans dinner hosted by the Apostolic
Church of God. More is sure to follow. Photos: Donnie Hampton
8 | The Cross&Crown
January 2014 | 9
Don't Miss It!
Following are some of the regular programs run
by the Destiny1212 Youth Ministry. Check the
Sunday bulletin for days and times.
• G.R.A.C.E. for teen girls 13 to 18 meets first
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.
• B.R.I.D.G.E.S. for teen girls 13 to 18 meets
first, third, and fifth Fridays, 7 p.m.
• PIVOT for youth 9 to 13 meets second and
fourth Tuesdays, 6 p.m.
• Lions of Judah for teen boys 13 to 18 meets
first, second, third, and fifth Fridays at 7 p.m.
• Young Brothers for Christ meets second, third,
and fourth Saturdays, 9 a.m.
• Young Sisters for Christ meets second and
fourth Saturdays, 9 a.m.
• T-Zone Café is every Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
• T-Zone is every Sunday at 12:00 p.m.
• Children’s Church is every Sunday (except
fifth Sundays) at 9:10 a.m. and 11:40 a.m.
• Un4gettable Encounters is second Sundays
at 4 p.m.
• College Prep, Tuesdays through Thursdays,
• Tutoring, Monday–Thursday, 6 p.m.
solution on page 11
Education & Careers
Resources for Teens
That’s My Teenage Son by Rick Johnson. Ever wonder what happened to your little boy?
What do you do now that he’s a teenager? In this follow-up to his best-selling book, That’s
My Son, Rick Johnson equips moms to guide their boys into responsible, mature adulthood.
Learn about your teenager’s emotional life, how to communicate with him, and influence his
Raising Responsible Teens in a Digital World by Brian Housman. How do you protect your
teens from negative influences without squelching their individuality? Brian Housman helps
you avoid unhealthy responses to teen culture, discover how your kids’ motivations are driven
by their values, and encourage them to engage their world with love and service. Includes
discussion guide. Previously titled Engaging Your Teen’s World. $5.99
The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively. Teens face social,
mental, and spiritual peer pressure every day, but it’s their parents who can influence them the
most! Learn the language of effectively communicating affection to your teenagers; discover
input that nurtures their sense of responsibility, spiritual identity, and security in Christ; and
develop boundaries that are enforced with discipline and responsibility. $14.99
* All book descriptions by Christianbook.com
10 | The Cross&Crown
It pays to check prices on
Smokers, ex-smokers: Should you be screened for lung
Looking for a warranty on your iPad? Then look
nnual low-dose CT scans are being
recommended for high-risk current and
former smokers, according to Johns Hopkins
At the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, they say
the goal of computed tomography (CT) is to detect
cancer early enough so it can be cured. The Task Force
finds that, today, 75 percent of lung cancer cases are
diagnosed only after the disease has reached an advanced stage or spread to other parts of the body.
The five-year survival rate ranges from 4 to 24 percent for people in these stages.
The five-year survival rate for people whose lung cancer was caught early was 77 percent.
You’re at high risk for lung cancer and should be screened if you:
• Are a present or past smoker who’s quit within the past 15 years
• Have a smoking history of at least a pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, or
three packs a day for 10 years
• Are 55 to 79-years-old
Age is a factor. The National Lung Screening Trial, using CT, enrolled more than 53,400 men
and women between ages 55 and 74. All were current or former smokers. Former smokers included
only those who quit less than 15 years before the start of the study. Subjects received either a chest
X-ray or a CT scan every year for three years. At the eight-year mark, the study was stopped when it was discovered that 20 percent fewer
people in the CT group died of lung cancer than those in the chest X-ray group. The CT lung scans
clearly saved lives in the study population.
A mistake: ignoring a 401(k) with a previous employer
ne major retailer charges $180 for
two years of extended coverage on
an iPad. That’s more than one-third
of the $499 purchase price and that
is a bad deal. AppleCare+ costs $99 for two years
of protection against accidental damage from
handling with a $49 deductible. Square Trade’s
two-year coverage for $99 with no deductible
covers unlimited incidents up to the amount
paid for the device.
Good advice. They say young savers should follow one of three options. They can leave the money
in the previous employer’s plan. Roll it into a new employer’s plan or roll it into an individual
What a former employer will do. Some will simply roll a balance of $1,000 to $5,000 into an
individual retirement account. Some will send you a check if the amount is $1,000 or less. And still
others will deposit the money into a new plan or 401(k) if you leave it for just 60 days. Then the
IRS will assess early withdrawal penalties.
eople in their 20s and 30s change jobs more often than those who are settled in their
careers. As they gain more experience, they are more likely to be lured by a paycheck that’s
somewhat higher, or a more specific job in their field. Defined pensions are rare today, so it’s
important to think about retirement savings at an earlier age.
Cashing out. Some people are tempted to use the proceeds of their 401(k)s when they change jobs.
They want new furniture or a car. But it’s a poor choice for two reasons. First, they’ll have to pay
income tax on their contributions plus a 10 percent penalty for withdrawing early.
Second, they fail to think about what that money would amount to in the next 35 or 40 years. At
T. Rowe Price, financial planner Stuart Ritter says, “Setting aside small dollars today is like planting
small seeds. After a year or two, it doesn’t look like much, and too many people take out the roots.
But the seeds you’re planting when you’re young turn into giant redwoods.”
January 2014 | 11
Books & Music
Forgiveness: Finding Peace Through Letting Go by Adam Hamilton
In the small but poignant book on forgiveness, Adam Hamilton asserts
that there are four primary relationships in which we need to receive
or extend forgiveness: our relationship with God, our relationship with
spouses or romantic partners, our relationship with parents and siblings,
and our relationship with everyone else. In other words, forgiveness plays
a key role in every relationship we have, that is if we’re to lead healthy,
spiritually prosperous lives. “Forgiveness is essential to our lives. Without
it, no marriage can survive, no family can stay together, and no society can
be sustained.” $14.99
Finding Peace by Charles Stanley
Do you want to live a life free of anxiety, regret, and fear? You can when
you take refuge in Christ and remember that God is always in control.
Charles Stanley lists five essential beliefs for having a peaceful heart: God
is absolutely sovereign, God is your provider, God made you the way you
are for a purpose, God has a place where you truly belong, and God has a
plan for your fulfillment. $15.99
Depending on Jesus (Gospel Lights Bible Study Series)
The 12-week study focuses on the faithfulness of Jesus. It’s ideal to do as a
personal study or with a friend. Its premise is that Jesus provides what we
need to face every challenge we may face in life. Each lesson takes about 60
to 90 minutes to complete and features reflection questions. With weekly
topics such as “True Power,” “True Peace,” “True Riches,” “Our Armor,
“Our Praise,” and “Our Deliverer,” you will walk away from this study with
a stronger resolve to cast all your cares upon the One who cares for you.
In Pursuit of Wholeness by Wilfred Graves Jr.
When we feel empty, like something is missing, we often look for
wholeness in human relationships, in professional success, in monetary
and/or material gain—but we soon discover that those things alone are
not enough. God alone is enough for us, and He is greater than anything
in this world. In this book, Dr. Wilfred Graves shows readers what the
pursuit for wholeness looks like, defining our true source for life, security,
and well-being. $16.99
The Spirit-Filled Journey: Weekly Devotions for Growing in God
It’s here, and you don’t want to bypass this one. The third installment in
the Apostolic Church of God devotional series, The Spirit-Filled Journey:
Weekly Devotions for Growing in God veers from the daily devotional
track, offering weekly readings. But it also has new features, including a
focus question, target Scriptures, and journal pages, designed to engage
readers and encourage further study and greater application. Available in
hardcover and paperback, The Spirit-Filled Journey: Weekly Devotions for
Growing in God is available in the Saving Grace bookstore. $10/paperback,
Love Never Fails by Micah Stampley
Award-winning artist Micah Stampley has released his fourth album. For
a complete review of this album, check out the blog thegospelguru.com.
All titles are available in Saving Grace Book Center, 773.256.4113. Prices are subject to change.
Author Spotlight: Jill Eileen Smith, Romancing the Old Testament
by Sharon Prince
ill Eileen Smith is an author who brings to life the love stories of the Old Testament. Readers are transported into
a Bible-based fictional story set in the social structure and religious traditions of the Old Testament. In her series
The Wives of King David: Michal, we read of David, a servant to King Saul, and his love for the king’s daughter.
In Abigail, we read of David, a fugitive on the run who encounters a wise and beautiful woman who becomes his
wife, and in Bathsheba we read of an older and sadder King David who sins to make Bathsheba his wife.
The other series of Jill Eileen Smith is The Wives of the Patriarchs, which gives us the story of Sarai, the wife of
Abraham; and Rebekah, the wife of Isaac. Smith’s latest edition to this series is the story of Rachel, the wife of Jacob
(release date is February 4, 2014). Fellow authors agree that this series is a page turner. Harvest of Gold author Tessa
Afshar says Rachel is “a faithful portrayal of the story of Jacob and his two wives” that “will make you feel the agony
of two sisters in love with the same man. Jealousy, betrayal, heartache, and deceit cannot prevent the invisible hand of God from leading His people
inexorably toward the fulfillment of their destiny. Smith has the knack of making her fiction feel truly authentic to the world of the Bible.”
If you love reading the stories of the Old Testament, or if you are an avid reader of romance, you will find the stories of Jill Eileen Smith spell bounding
and difficult to put down until you reach the end.
12 | The Cross&Crown
Dream It! Do It!
Museum of Science and Industry • Chicago, Illinois
Happy New Year
Martin Luther King
L.I.F.E. Classes Begin Day, Church Closed
Based on the 1853 memoir of the same name,
this Oscar-nominated film is set in the preCivil War United States, and tells the true story
of Solomon Northup. Northup, a free black
man from upstate New York, is abducted and
sold into slavery. During his 12 years of forced
enslavement, he faces cruelty at the hands of a
malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses. Watch the film,
then join what’s sure to be a lively discussion. Children under the age of 17
must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $5. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.;
the film begins at 7 p.m. For more details, visit dusablemuseum.org or call
773.947.0600, ext. 255.
Prayer, 9 a.m.
SAT – SUN
If you’re a Walt Disney fan, you will enjoy this presentation by Marty Sklar.
An “Imagineering Ambassador” responsible for much of the magic families
enjoy at Disney theme parks, Sklar will share highlights from his 54-year
Disney career, where he led the creative development of EPCOT Center,
Disneyland Paris, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Not included in the regular
admission, this event requires a separate ticket: $15 for MSI members and
$19 for non MSI members ($7 for children 3–17).
12 Years a Slave Screening
DuSable Museum • Chicago, Illinois
Women of Faith. Calling all women—join Women of Faith Monday,
February 3, at 7 p.m., in the Banquet Hall for its first fellowship of 2014.
ACOG’s first lady, Evangelist Mary Brazier, will get the year started,
teaching on “Stop The World, I Want To Get Off.” The night will be
extra special because the women will be celebrating Evangelist Brazier’s
birthday. Sister Andrea Morris and the Angelic Choir will lead in praise
and worship that night.
Marriage Enrichment Weekend. Covenant Partners
Marriage Ministry presents “Couples Got Talent:
Marriage Enrichment weekend.” It’s February 14–16
at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook. This weekend
promises to be full of electric energy, a high level
of laughter, fun, fellowship, intimacy, and spiritual
enrichment for every married couple that attends.
Whether you’ve have been married for one week or
fifty years, your marriage will be impacted richly.
Register for the event in the bookstore or online at acog-chicago.org
through Sunday, February 9. The cost is $55 per couple. For overnight
accommodations, contact the hotel directly at (800) 228-9290 and
mention the Apostolic Church of God marriage retreat to book your room
at $94 per night, which include a breakfast buffet. If you want to volunteer
or be a part of the talent for the event, please contact Evangelist Yolanda
Williams at 773.256.4184 or [email protected]
MBS YOU Matter. Much Afraid is the main character in the classic best
seller Hinds’ Feet on High Places, written by Hannah Hurnard. When we
experience disappointments, it can cause us to be afraid to love and trust
again. On Thursdays, from February 27 through April 3, join Mind, Body
& Soul’s YOU Matter sessions with Evg. Nettie Ratcliffe, as we travel on
a spiritual journey through difficult places, learn to overcome fears and
finally mount to the “High Places” with the Good Shepherd. Habakkuk
3:19 says, “The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like
hinds’ feet, and he will make me walk upon my high places.” The sessions
are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Registration is $15
for the entire 6-week session and begins today! The book can also be
purchased in the bookstore.
Men’s Prayer Line. Power-up with other brothers uniting in Spirit-filled
prayer by phone. All brothers are encouraged to call (605) 477-2100
and enter access code 530356 for faith-activating prayer for 30 minutes
every Tuesday Night at 10 p.m. and/or Wednesday Morning at 5:30 a.m.
Sponsored by the Brotherhood Kyttaro Fellowships (BKF). E-mail [email protected]
acog-chicago.net to request more information.
January 2014 | 13
1. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of ___ and Persia
6. Joshua said, ____, O Lord GOD (Joshua 7:7)
10. Here and now I give ___ of my possessions to the poor (Luke 19:8)
14. into your ___ and kneading troughs (Ex 8:3)
15. A ___ answer turneth away wrath (Prov 15:1) KJV
16. not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all ____ (Acts 19:26)
17. From the ___ to the greatest, all are greedy for gain (Jer 6:13)
18. a small round thing, as small as the ____ frost (Exodus 16:14)
19. that anointing is ___ , not counterfeit (1 John 2:27)
20. His name shall ____ for ever (Ps 72:17)
22. the ___ shall tread out no wine in their presses (Isa 16:10) KJV
24. and do good, and ____, hoping for nothing again (Luke 6:35) KJV
25. them that pass by securely as men ___ from war (Micah 2:8) (KJV)
26. reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were ___ (1 Sam 11:9)
29. Andrew, ___ Peter’s brother (John 1:40)
31. in the month of ___, the second month, he began to build (1 Kings 6:1)
32. portable housing (Heb 11:9)
34. hundred shekels of silver, and a ____ of gold (Josh 7:21)
38. stagger (Isa 28:7)
40. with each of you as a father ___ with his own children (1 Thess 2:11)
42. or add to a human covenant that has been ___ established (Gal 3:15)
43. ___ the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas (Acts 4:6)
45. the sound a sheep makes (Isa.34:14)
47. we sailed to the ___ of Crete, opposite Salmone (Acts 27:7)
48. David said, Call me ____ the priest, and Nathan (1 King 1:32)
50. God created great ___, and every living creature (Gen 1:21) KJV
52. judge for a bribe, her priests teach for ___ ___ (1,5) (Mic 3:11)
55. and if a son, then an ____ of God through Christ (Gal 4:7)
56. Wail, all you ___ of wine (Joel 1:5)
59. O Heshbon, O Elealeh, I ___ you with tears (Isa 16:9)
63. they made braided chains of pure gold, like a ___ (Ex 39:15)
64. treasures in heaven, where ___ and rust do not destroy (Matt 6:20)
66. the next morning the men ____ an oath to each other (Gen 26:31)
67. will not God bring about justice for his chosen ____? (Luke 18:7)
68. Isaac loved ____, because he did eat of his venison (Gen 25:28)
69. five, ___ ___ twenty days (3,2) (Num 11:19)
70. a bull from your stall or of goats from your ___ (Ps 50:9)
71. Go, sell the oil, and pay thy ____ (2 King 4:7) KJV
72. a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his ___ (Prov 16:9)
30. was in the ____ that is called Patmos (Rev 1:9)
33. Bel bows down, ___ stoops low; their idols (Isa 46:1)
35. if the spots are ___ white, it is a harmless rash (Lev 13:39)
36. But when I stumbled, they gathered in ___ (Ps 35:15)
37. The great temptations which thine ____ saw, and the signs (Deut 7:19)
39. Diligent hands will rule, but ___ ends in slave labor (Prov 12:24)
41. hewed stones, ____ with saws, within and without (1 King 7:9)
44. one of them opened his ___ to get feed for his donkey (Gen 42:27)
46. My soul ___ for God, for the living God (Ps 42:2)
49. about midnight the shipmen ___ that they drew near to (Acts 27:27) KJV
51. cries out against me and all its furrows ___ ___ with tears (3,3) (Job 31:38)
52. Surely the nations are like ___ ___ in a bucket (1,4) (Isa 40:15)
53. Aaron answered. You know how ___ these people are to evil (Ex 32:22)
54. very good figs, like those that ___ early (Jer 24:2)
57. and drink with him after he ____ from the dead (Acts 10:41)
58. When he prophesies, his own parents will ___ him (Zech 13:3)
60. there is ____ that doeth good, no, not one (Rom 3:12) KJV
61. when the ___ comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh (Gen 47:24)
62. She treats her young harshly, as if they were not ___ (Job 39:16)
65. like a shelter in a vineyard, like a ___ in a field of melons (Isa 1:8)
1. the lizard, and the snail, and the ____ (Lev 11:30) (KJV)
2. for he commandeth ____ the winds and water (Luke 8:25) KJV
3. cleanse the lepers, raise the ____, cast out devils (Matt 10:8)
4. Blessed are you when people ___ you, persecute you (Matt 5:11)
5. like the ground, like ___ ___ to be walked over (1,6) (Isa 51:23)
6. among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ____ (Isaiah 44:14) KJV
7. The traitor betrays, the looter takes ___ (Isa 21:2)
8. Bring my sons from ____ and my daughters (Isa 43:6)
9. chose five smooth stones from the ___ (1 Sam 17:40)
10. But the LORD ___ Pharaoh’s heart (Ex 10:20)
11. the prophet of today used to be called ___ ___ (1,4) (1 Sam 9:9)
12. her people are ___ and their tongues speak deceitfully (Micah 6:12)
13. A ____ witness will not go unpunished (Prov 19:5)
21. So he ___ their days in futility (Ps 78:33)
23. And Israel vowed ___ ___ unto the LORD (1,3) (Num 21:2)
26. Nehemiah the governor, ___ the priest and scribe (Neh 8:9)
27. unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been ___ with (Jer 3:2) KJV
28. I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of ___ (Amos 1:5)
29. first the ___, then the head, then the full kernel (Mark 4:28)
14 | The Cross&Crown
The classified advertising in The Cross & Crown is a free service. The deadline for ads is the first Sunday of each month. All ads will be placed in
the first available issue (typically the month following the Sunday you submit your ad). At the church’s discretion, The Cross & Crown reserves the
right to not print any ad for any reason. Classified advertising in The Cross & Crown does not necessarily imply the endorsement of the church.
■ E&E contractors Inc.—Veteran owned and operated company specializing in
electrical heating and air conditioning. Now hiring installers and service
technicians. Call 773.238.0195 during the day or 773.619.1864 in the evening.
■ Avon—To buy or sell Avon products, contact Berdena, your independent Avon
rep, 773.805.1434 (V), 773.374.1663 (F), [email protected]
■ Lola’s Flowers and Gifts—Beautiful floral arrangements designed with you in
mind. Place your order for a hand-delivered gift today. Featuring plants, flowers,
gift baskets, gifts & funeral work; two & four-piece packages available. Call
■ 71st & Francisco—clean, quiet 2-bdrm/1-bath apt in two-flat brick building w/
living room, eat-in kit., dining area, hrdwd flrs., CA, laundry room, patio in
backyard. Garage available upon request, $875/mo., utilities not included. For an
appointment, call Mrs. Veal at 312.912.3059
■ 70th & Artesian—2-bdrm/1-bath garden apt. w/living room, kitchen, bath, CA,
sec. sys., laundry room, garage avail., utilities not included, $650/mo. Call Mr.
■ Near 79th St.—1-bdrm apts. w/hrdwd flrs in safe, secure building, $580/mo. and
up, heat included. Call Dave at 773.858.2171 or James McNeil at 773.431.8390.
■ 10235 S. Vernon—newly dec. 2-bdrm apt. in well-kept building on quiet block
w/living room & dining rooms, new window blinds and ceiling fan, $950/mo. +
sec. dep. Call 773.933.1916.
■ The Insurance Professionals—providing competitive prices and the most
innovative coverage in auto, homeowners, renters, life, professional liability, and
business insurance. Now offering health insurance. For a free quote, call Michael
Nunn at 312.278.0099 ext. 101, or e-mail [email protected]
■ McCarthy Ford—Looking to buy a new car? Stop by McCarthy Ford, 11400 S.
Pulaski Rd, Chicago, and ask for sales consultant Louis Minter or call
■ Hyde Park—lrg 2-bdrm co-op, assessment includes basic cable, 24-hr sec.,
maintenance, heat, water, gas, and taxes. Parking also avail. Near Lake Shore Dr.,
public transp., and more. Board approval req’d. Call 773.255.5405.
■ 82nd & Dorchester—brick bungalow priced to sell at $69,900. Call Sandra at
Professional Brokers Realty, 708.921.0723
■ Mature professional female has single family home with private room for rent to
female, $500/mo., utilities included, near public transportation, available
immediately. No pets. Call 773.512.4424.
Living for Jesus, continued from page 3
follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they
do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:3–5, NIV
As we move forward this year, let’s be determined to follow Christ,
setting our hearts and minds on Him and staying focused, especially
when life’s obstacles threaten to derail us. We can overcome the threat of
defeat in our lives by simply changing the way we think and what we say:
• Talk about the things the Lord has done
• Give God praise
• Lift up the name of Jesus
• Give God the Glory
The Lord makes things work out for us (Romans 8:28). When we
remember what He has already done for us, recalling His goodness
and mercy and their constant pursuit of us (Psalm 23:6), and when we
remind ourselves that our Good Shepherd will never leave us nor forsake
us and is always watching over us, we can move forward with hope and
assurance that victory is ours, particularly as we live for Him.
This month’s column is a recap from Dr. Brazier’s sermon “I Want to Live
for Jesus,” preached December 22, 2013. Get the complete sermon on CD or
DVD in the Saving Grace bookstore.
New Spirit Filled Life Bible. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 1976, p. 1461.
“Still Standing” was the theme of Watch Night 2013, and for the
second consecutive year, the saints recorded their testimonies.
Photo: Donnie Hampton
January 2014 | 15
Apostolic Church of God
6320 South Dorchester Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637
CONNECT WITH US!
Next Issue’s Theme: Everlasting Love
ACOG SERVICE TIMES
9:10 a.m., First Service
11:40 a.m., Second Service
4 p.m., Afternoon Service
10 a.m., Daytimers Bible Class
1 p.m., Prayer
7:30 p.m., Bible Class
7:30 p.m., Intercessory Prayer
Sundays, 8 a.m.
WCIU/TV, Channel 26
■ Cable stations may vary