Volume 16 Issue 1
January 2010
Voice of Hope
“Redeemed From the Enemy”
Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church
182 Hunter Street
Norcross, Georgia 30071
Dr. William L Sheals, Senior Pastor
Fulfilling the Great Commission
through the Printed Word
Established 1994
HMBC Publications & Marketing Dept.
Senior Editor Desiree’ Cherry
Associate Editor Lynn Bailey
Asst. Dist Mgr. Shana Finks
Finance Manager Faith May
Asst. Bus. Mgr. Margaret Rogers
Journalism Team Yvonne Gordon
Asst. Mktg Mgr. Vincent Harris
Staff Members Mother Margery Smith
Sharon Cherry
The Voice of Hope is the official
newsletter of Hopewell Baptist
Church. The purpose of the newsletter
is to provide informational news and
inspirational articles to the Hopewell
body. The newsletter is published
monthly and is distributed on the first
Sunday of each month following each
morning service.
The Voice of Hope is inspired by the
Holy Spirit to inform, educate and
inspire the Body of Christ. Christians
who believe in spreading the gospel of
Jesus Christ submit messages, articles,
and writings. The scriptural reference
for the newsletter is Hosea 4:6 My
people are destroyed for lack of
The Voice of Hope reserves the right
of reproduction and publication of all
articles in this newsletter. The views
expressed herein do not necessarily
reflect the views of the staff.
Articles are due the 12th day of
each month to be considered for publication in the following month's issue.
Articles may be placed in the Voice of
Hope mailbox located in the Information Center or sent via e-mail to
[email protected] Please
leave us a message at 770-448 5475
ext 139.
If you would like to see a particular
topic addressed or have contributions
you would like to have included in the
Voice of Hope, please contact us by email
[email protected]
We welcome and encourage your
opinions and suggestions. May God
richly bless you!
From the Editor’s Desk
Desiree’ Cherry
This year The Voice of Hope will bring you articles for the mind,
body and soul. The content will include things you should know to
enlighten the mind, articles on health and wellness to promote healing for the body, and stories of hope and encouragement to heal the
sin-sick soul. Like everyone in this country, we’ve made some noticeable cut backs. However, we will never fall short on bringing you the word of God. At Hopewell,
preaching, teaching, speaking and writing the word of God is our assignment as partakers of the
Kingdom of God. If you’ve always enjoyed our publication continue to do so. And with all our
hearts, we pray that this year will be the best one yet.
On a personal note, I’m excited about what the new year will bring. There will be new experiences and opportunities to serve God. I invite you to yield your will to the will of the Lord and let
Him prosper you. Though the world’s economy may be stalled, in God’s economy there is no lack.
Be recession-proof. Participate in God’s economy by giving to the Kingdom and working in the
vineyard. Below is my editor’s article for the month. I trust you will be blessed by it. Enjoy!
Everybody loves Marcy. She’s a pretty little girl that’s witty and smart beyond her
years. She’s always willing to offer a smile and a kind word. Today, Marcy decided to
cut across the field of flowers on her way home from school which she did quite often. Something caught her eye. It was the beautiful majesty of a butterfly. She crept
closer slowly until it was within her reach. She promptly placed it in an old jar with
tiny holes which she’d found at school today. Well, thought Marcy, the butterfly can
breathe in there. Wait! There’s another, she spied, and another. In all, she captured
seven small beautiful butterflies. Marcy had been at it a couple hours. Tired, she
headed home.
On the other side of the field, she greeted Pastor Rogers of the local parish.
“What’s that you have there Marcy?” he asked. “A collection of butterflies,” she replied. “May I see them?” he asked. “See,” she said as she lifted her jar up toward the
pastor’s face. “Beautiful,” he said “and what are you going to do with them?” he
asked. “Well, I don’t know yet,” she replied with a sheepish grin on her face. “How
long did it take you to catch them?” he asked. “Two hours,” she replied. “Sell them
to me,” said the pastor. “I’ll give you two dollars for each of them,” he offered.
“Deal!” she shouted and took the newly earned fourteen dollars while handing over
the fruit of her labor. As she began walking away she turned and asked, “What are
you going to do with them?” Opening the jar and giving it a shake, he said, “Set them
free, of course.” “But why?” she asked with a puzzled look on her face. “You just
bought them!” “I know,” said the pastor. “And therefore I can set them free.”
All too often, we are bound by the confines of our sins. Like butterflies captured in
a jar, we are lulled into believing that no one knows or can see our sins. But the truth
is that God can see our sins. Bound by our thoughts which falsely lead us to believe
that because God knows our hearts everything else we do is alright. But when we
sin, God knows that what is actually in our hearts is sinful. So there is no excusing the
act or thought of such behavior.
Being bound in a jar allows us the opportunity to see all that God has prepared for
us. But without God, we cannot obtain it. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came and
committed Himself to an unmerciful death so that we would be set free. Through
salvation we can be attached to Christ like a branch to a tree. For we have been
bought with a steep price for our sins. We have been REDEEMED!
So begin anew today with a mind that is stayed on Jesus. Learn of His ways and His
will for your life. Seek His face and God will show mercy upon you. Start the New
Year off right—with a made up mind on Christ!
Happy New Year!
Stay connected to Christ
Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
Inside Every Issue
Volume 16 Issue 1 Jan 2010
Ministry News
Birthday Scripture
New Members
Inside Front Cover
Editor’s Page
Back Inside Cover
A Word from the Bishop
Sunday School
Words of Wisdom
Something to Ponder
Just for Laughs
Back Inside Cover
When a Painful Loss Shakes Your Faith — pg 5
A Fresh New Year — pg 9
Thankful for Health — pg 6
Angel Food Ministries — pg 8
Prayer of Salvation
Contemporary Story
Church Events
Candle Lighting Service — pg 10
Papa’s Corner — pg 6
Angel Tree — pg 7
State of the Church Address — pg 10
Youth Christmas Program — pg 11
The Trial — pg 15
Kids Corner
Puzzle – Eutychus —pg 11
Prayer Closet
Valentine Shout OUT!
Shout it so the world will know “I love you!”
Make a Decision — pg 18
On The Wing of Prayer — pg 7
Are you ready for your blessings — pg 20
A message from Mother Margery Smith — pg 4
Redeemed-Bought with a price — pg 15
Fast for 2010 — pg 12-13
Feature Article
Counterfeiting Christianity Part 1 — pg 14
Voice of Hope
The Voice of Hope will list your special love message in our February issue. Say “I love you” to
your spouse, that special someone, your parents, friends etc. Just
submit your brief message of love to [email protected]
on or before January
12th, 2010 to qualify.
Thank you…
Jan 2010
Welcome to the following
new members who joined
Hopewell Missionary
Baptist Church
in December 2009
Jonathan Tubbs
Keiffer Miller
Trenell Hollis
Quentin Fennell
Charmagne Renea Sahota
Candice Tillman
DeJion Andrews
Yetunde Blount
Cera Andrews
Solomon Williams
Kimberly Andrews
Sharonda Jones
Ariel White
Howard Boulware, Jr.
Mardaeus Townes
Kyria Boulware
Kimberly Andrews
Amir Boulware
Dolmeshia Barr
Nigel Haynes
Tavante Gammage
Kita Burton
Chauncey Barr
cynthia Gray
Tony Gammage
Saliim Jones
Tisvan Barr
Vaughn Jones
Carlos white
Laylam Adolphus
A message from Mother Margery Smith
A wish for EACH OF YOU in the NEW YEAR is that you
may have . . .
Enough happiness to keep you tranquil;
Enough trials to keep strong;
Enough sorrows to keep you human;
Enough hope to keep you happy;
Enough failure to keep you humble;
Enough friends to give you comfort;
Enough faith and courage to banish depression;
Enough wealth to meet your needs; and
Enough determination to make the New Year better
than the last!
REFERENCE: The Klinknecht Gems of Thought Encyclopedia
. . . all those having birthdays
in the month of January from
the Voice of Hope and the
entire Hopewell Church
Birthday Scripture January 2010
Submitted By Margaret Rogers
Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of
my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Every time I turn around –
Words of Wisdom
He’s blessing me
Every time I turn around – By Mother Margery Smith
He’s blessing me
Every time I turn around –
He’s blessing me
Hallelujah! He’s blessing me.
Praise the Lord, all of my father’s
children! Bless His holy name!
Happy New Year to you as we greet the year 2010 together. O how sweet it is to be here. The Father has
granted us the privilege of ushering out the year 2009.
Many things occurred during last year’s reign. Because
we are blessed to wake each morning in our right mind,
we possess a bank of memories. If we compare our bank
of memories to a bank account, we realize that our life
account is stored in our memory. You may withdraw the
contents of a bank account, but your bank of memory is
as secure as a vault. It keeps a running account of those
things that affect or has affected our lives. Our mind registers incidents that occur, whether good or bad, happy
or sad (and anything in between). Life is a conglomeration of experiences. Do you remember a song entitled
“Precious Memories”? As the writer’s lyrics indicate. O’
how they linger – feelings of joy and happiness verses
those of anxiety, disappointment, and sorrow. Songs are
capable of lifting our spirits, encouraging our efforts,
and/or dampening our outlook on matters that concern
us. There are songs, however, that we can use as a rebuttal against negativity. The dictionary explains the
word rebut: to refute, especially by offering opposing
evidence or arguments. When your problems become a
burden “Take your burden to the Lord and leave them
As you square your shoulders and bend your knees
regarding your situation, be aware that you are following
in Jesus’ footsteps – “There is a cross for everyone, and
there’s a cross for me.” “In everything give thanks; for
(Continued on page 22)
Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
Christ, the Fulfillment:
Evidences of Jesus as
Submitted by
Dr. Vincent E. Harris
Happy New Year! This month’s (January) adult international Sunday school lessons give us five lessons on the
evidences of Jesus as the Messiah.
Lesson 1: (Matt. 3:1-6, 11-17) Recounts the baptism of
Jesus and the voice from heaven proclaiming Him
God’s beloved son.
Lesson 2: (Matt. 4:1-11) Deals with the temptations in
the wilderness. Three times Jesus turned aside those
challenges by quoting from the same book of the Old
Testament. When Satan left the scene, angels were
waiting to minister to Jesus.
Lesson 3: (Matt.9:27-34; 11:2-6) We examine the evidence of Jesus’ wonderful works. He restored sight to
the blind, cast out demons, and did many awesome
Lesson 4: (Matt. 11:25-30) We see the evidence of His
prayer life. He talked freely with God the Father and
invited us to do the same.
Lesson 5: Our final lesson (Matt.13:54-56) for the month
examines how some people can examine all the evident for Jesus as the Messiah and still reject Him. It is
not so much that cannot believe as it is that they will
not believe. As we study this month’s lesson, let’s
keep our focus on the overall theme: Christ, the fulfillment. He is the fulfillment of all our needs!
Source: Sunday School Superintendent. Winter Quarter. Union Gospel Press,
Cleveland, TN.
Debra Barnes-Homer and F.
Levecque Flewellen
slipped rings on each other’s finger and made a promise for life.
It gives us great pleasure to announce that we were married in
a private ceremony on Thursday,
the thirty-first of December 2009
Mr. & Mrs. F. Levecque Flewellen
Grief Support Ministry
When a Painful
Loss Shakes
Your Faith
Submitted by Alberta Jenkins
This dilemma is not restricted to a
romantic relationship. It’s often the
experience of believers in God after
the loss of a loved one, especially
under sudden or particularly tragic
circumstances. Whether a believer is very religious or
just matter-of-factly sure that God exists, convictions
about God’s love and caring are shaken. The loss is immense. Someone precious is gone; so is the comforting
faith in a comforting security of faith in a benevolent,
loving God.
If you were accustomed to regarding faith as an unchangeable framework that supported every aspect of
your life, you may be considerably shaken. If in the past
you could not understand how everyone could possibly
doubt God or God’s goodness, you may feel strange to
be in that position now yourself. If others see you as a
person –perhaps even a role model-of faith, you may
feel hypocritical for letting them continue to think that.
• Be open to redefining faith. Many of us were taught
that faith means knowing, or at least have access to,
all the right answers, even to thorny questions such
as “why did God let this happen?” You have probably
heard the standard answers: Our trials have a positive purpose: God wants us to mature through trials. They make us stronger and better. Good always
comes out of evil; gain comes from loss. Undeniably,
those outcomes happen very frequently. But
“always” may seem too much of a stretch. The idea
of good or gain coming from your loss may seem both
impossible and insulting to the memory of the loved
one you’ve lost.
We do not need to see exactly how the path we’re on
will lead us through the forest in order to trust that it
will do so. We can survive painful losses and stumbling
blocks along that path without fully understanding why
they are there. Changing familiar and comfortable ways
of seeing faith is not easy. But growth almost always
requires change –in fact, it’s nearly the same thing.
• Communicate your doubt. As business consultant
George Gates has pointed out, “The enemy of hope
(Continued on page 22)
Voice of Hope
Jan 2010
Thankful for Health
Submitted by: Annesha Lovett
We have so many things to be thankful for this year.
As we celebrate CHRISTmas and prepare for 2010 let us
remember to thank God for good health. Whether we
ate healthy and exercised this year or have goals to improve for next year, it is God who has kept us through it
all. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 reads, "Do you not know that your
body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom
you have received from God? You are not your own; you
were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your
body." Good health is an honor and a privilege. We cannot take it for granted. Health includes mental, emotional, physical, social, but most importantly spiritual
well being. As you make plans for the coming year,
don’t forget to honor God with your body!
Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Wash your hands often. To avoid getting sick and
spreading germs to others wash your hands with soap
and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
Stay warm. Cold temperatures can cause serious
health problems, especially in infants and older adults.
Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers of loosefitting, tightly woven clothing.
Manage stress. The holidays should not take a toll on
your health. Keep a check on over-commitment and over
-spending. Balance work, home, and play. Get support
from family and friends. Practice time management.
Keep a relaxed and positive outlook.
Watch the kids. Keep a watchful eye on your kids
when they’re eating and playing. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy), and other objects out of
kids' reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for
children who are choking. Make sure toys are used
Get check-ups and vaccinations. Exams and screen-
Jan 2010
ings can help find problems before they start. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Ask what vaccinations and tests you should get based on your age,
lifestyle, travel plans, medical history, and family health
Fire Safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months.
Keep candles away from
children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Don't
use generators, grills, or
other gasoline- or charcoal-burning devices
inside your home or garage. Install a smoke detector
and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test them
once a month, and replace batteries twice a year.
Handle and prepare food safely. As you prepare holiday meals, keep you and your family safe from foodrelated illness. Wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid
cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from readyto-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the
proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. Do not
leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.
May God continue to bless and keep you!
On the second Sunday of the month
Bishop Sheals host ‘Papa’s Corner’
where he invites all the children prePapa’s sent during the service to come down
Corner front and sit around him as he share
words of wisdom, impart knowledge
and just plain love on them. He often;
asks for participation from the youth, sometimes to sing
a song, recite something or expound on what was just
taught. As usual, they brought the comedy in their sincerity. But today was a little different; the Bishop read
prayer requests some of our middle school children had
submitted. He only read a few but they were enough to
bring tears to your eyes. Most requests asked God to
stop family members from fighting, drinking and cussing.
These behaviors are now being learned by the next generation and so the cycle will continue. Families in America are under attack. These children recognize that there
is no peace, thus no happiness in their homes and asked
you to intercede on their behalf. Don’t fall asleep on the
job. Pray for our youth, their parents, and the future of
our nation. Thanks, dbc
Voice of Hope
2009 Angel Tree Program
“Angels Are Always There –
Giving From the Heart”
By Yvonne Gordon
What a joy it is to give
and to receive! And the biggest gift is Jesus! That
seemed to be the premise
of the evening. On December 13, 2009, approximately fifty-five families
made their way through the
doors of Faith Hall at Hopewell Missionary Baptist
Church. Most were non
members, who were there
to receive their gifts and
celebrate the birth of
Christ. Hopewell servants, along with those who amiably shared in the gift-giving, served and united with the
families over a scrumptious meal as one big family at
Christmas time.
First Lady Patricia Sheals graciously extended a warm
welcome to the crowd. Mistress of Ceremony, Minister
Kathy Young, did a marvelous job in pumping up the
Christmas cheer, pulling in a host of participants. As she
passed her mike around to the different tables, we
found that, most people were grateful for family and the
love of family.
Songs were sung, the Ministry performed…and the
puppet show was a colossal hit for the kids and adults.
Speaker of the evening, Minister Vanessa Brooks,
brought forth the message. She asked “Do You Remember When?” In paraphrasing, she asked, “While in your
struggles, do you remember when God saved so many
different people in the Bible? For example, he saved
Daniel in the Lion’s den. Do you remember how he
healed so many of them? For instance, the Lady with
the issue of blood.” She asked, “Do you remember
when He saved you in your different circumstances and
came to your aid in the past?” In summary, “Don’t give
up but wait on God”, she said. She quoted, “Don’t tell
God about your circumstances, but tell your circumstances about God.”
Two ladies accepted the invitation for prayer and salvation. The angels were rejoicing! Two other ladies
stepped forth with powerful testimonies. One had been
homeless with her children, but God has given them a
big house. One lady lost two of her children in an acci-
Voice of Hope
dent, “but God took them home, away from troubles
they could face,” she said. Both ladies were grateful that
God is restoring their joy.
The planning committee of the Mercy Ministry was
introduced. It was evident they were diligent in making
this event happen. An expression of gratitude went out
to them. We also acknowledged the many volunteers
who gave their time and talent, and to all the Hopewell
members who gave to the Angel Tree families. Based on
the atmosphere and the smiles on the faces of the kids
and their parents, it was all worthwhile. The families
marched out, some to have free pictures taken and all to
receive their gifts. It was a joyous time!
Enter the New Year
“On the Wings of Prayer”
Submitted by Mother Margery Smith
Just close your eyes and open your heart
And feel your worries and cares depart,
Just yield yourself to the Father above
And let Him hold you secure in His loveFor life on earth grows more involved
With endless problems that can't be solvedBut God only asks us to do our best,
Then He will "take over" and finish the restSo when you are tired, discouraged and blue,
There's always one door that is open to youAnd that is the door to "The House of Prayer"
And you'll find God waiting to meet you there,
And "The House of Prayer" is no farther away
Than the quiet spot where you kneel and prayFor the heart is a temple when God is there
As we place ourselves in His loving care,
And He hears every prayer and answers each one
When we pray in His name "Thy Will be done"And the burdens that seemed too heavy to bear
Are lifted away on "the 'Wings of prayer."
Jan 2010
Please support our Angel Food Ministry.
For more information contact Rosa Wright in the church front office.
Balanced nutrition and variety with
enough food to feed a family of four
for a week
1.5 lb.
2 lb.
2.5 lb.
2 lb.
1.5 lb.
Choice Beef Roast
Baby Back Ribs
IQF Split Chicken Breast
Mac & Beef Dinner Entrée
Fully Cooked All White
Meat Breaded Chicken
Breast Patties
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1 lb. Bratwurst with Cheese
1 lb. Frozen Sliced Carrots
1 lb. Frozen Whole Kernel Corn
8 ct. Frozen Heat & Serve
Buttermilk Pancakes
10 ct. Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
3 lb. or 4 ct. Large Russet Baking
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
Dozen Eggs
Processed to eliminate the eight top serious allerFor Seniors or People on the Go!
Ten perfectly seasoned, nutritionally balanced, fully cooked gens: Peanuts, Soybeans, Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustacea,
Tree Nuts and Gluten (wheat, rye and barley). Great
meals—just heat and serve. Each meal has been developed
for children and adults!
with the dietary needs of senior citizens in mind, and contains
3 oz. of protein, a starch & two vegetables or fruit.
Chicken Cacciatore with rice, cauliflower & lima bean/corn
Fettuccini Alfredo with Brussels sprouts & zucchini
Salisbury Steak & Gravy with cauliflower, peas & carrots
Breaded Fish Sticks with wild rice, corn & peas
Chicken & Noodles with corn, Brussels sprouts
1 lb.
1 lb.
1 lb.
1 lb.
1 lb.
Breaded Chicken Breast Fillets
Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets
Breaded Cubed Steak
Breaded Chicken Wings
Breaded Chicken Tenders
Battered/Breaded with water, white rice, brown rice,
modified tapioca starch, flax seed, sugar, salt, spices,
dehydrated garlic, spice extractives and oleoresin paprika.
Breading is pre-browned in Canola oil.
Spaghetti & Meatballs with corn, peas & carrots
Chicken Teriyaki with rice blend, sugar snap peas & carrots
Meat Lasagna with green beans & cauliflower
Chili with Beef & Beans with corn/red peppers & peas
Cheese Manicotti with green beans, peas & carrots
Desserts: Assorted Cookies, Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Cup,
Pineapple Fruit Cup, Peach Fruit Cup, Orange Juice, Fruit
Six pounds of the finest quality seafood
assortment available.
2 lbs. Jumbo Lightly Breaded Shrimp –
Bakeable (42-50 shrimp)
1 lb. Oven Baked Stuffed Flounder with
Crab Stuffing - 4 stuffed Flounders
(4 oz. each)
2 lbs. Tilapia Raw Fillets
(2 - 1 lb. bags per box each bag contains
3-4 fillets which weigh 3-5 oz. each)
1.1 lb. (17 oz.) Oven Ready Crab Cakes
5 crab cakes (3-4 oz. each.)
***Specials may be purchased with or without the purchase of a Standard Box above***
7 lb. Assorted Meat Grill Box
2 lb.
Ribeye Steaks (4 x 8 oz.)
2 lb.
Pork Roast
1.5 lb. Lean Hamburger Steak Patties (4 x 6 oz.)
1.5 lb. Italian Sausage with Cheese
5 lb. Assorted Meat & Chicken Combo
2 lb.
Sirloin Steak Strips (4 x 8 oz.)
1.5 lb. Bacon Wrapped Beef Fillets (4 x 6 oz.)
1.5 lb. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fillets (4 x 6 oz.)
10 lb. Battered Boneless Wing Box
10 lbs. Boneless Battered White Meat Chicken Breast
Chunks/Boneless Wings
Orders Due:
Distribution Day:
January 18th, 2010
January 23rd, 2010
*Please note that some host sites have earlier order deadlines.
Please contact your local host site for information. Visit our website
to locate a host site near you
7 lb. Premium Meat Box
3 lb. T-Bone Steaks (4 x 12 oz.)
2 lb. Boneless Pork Chops (4 x 8 oz.)
2 lb. Gourmet Flavored Chicken Breasts
1 lb. Italian Flavor (2 x 8 oz.)
1 lb. Honey Mustard Flavor (2 x 8 oz.)
Premium Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box
Large Golden-Ripe Pineapple
3 lb. Combo Pack (Washington State Red Delicious Apples,
Granny Smith Apples and Tree-Ripened California Oranges)
Large Tree-Ripened Ruby Red Grapefruit
Large Premium Haas Avocado
1 lb.
California Carrots (Cello Bag)
3 lbs.
North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
2 lbs.
New Crop Red A-Size Potatoes
2 lbs.
Large-Medium Yellow Onions
1 head Large Green Cabbage
1 (8 oz.) Package New Crop Georgia Shelled Pecan Halves
Package Wiley’s Sweet Potato and Yam Seasoning
AFM January 2010 Fruit & Veggie Recipe Sheet
Angel Food Ministries Reserves the Right to Substitute Any of the Above Items Due to Availability, Cost and Quality. We Accept Food Stamps (EBT).
Angel Food Ministries is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to USDA, Director, Office of Civil
Rights, Washington, DC 20250-9410
Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
The Marriage Covenant Ministry
A Fresh New Year
By Desiree’ Cherry
‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
and be united to his wife, and they will become one
Genesis 2:24
Many people look upon
January 1st as an opportunity to begin anew. We
start off by making declarations of change with great
vigor and rejuvenation. But
all too soon we fizzle out
and revert back onto what
feels comfortable or familiar – doing things the way
we always have. Although
we may not be satisfied
with the results, we plod
along as though everything
is alright. Well change will
never come unless you modify something. Perhaps your
reluctance to change is fear of the unknown, frustration
from past actions or behaviors, lack of how to begin, lack
of commitment to the process. In this article I will offer
you suggestions of how to begin your ‘Fresh New Year’.
Marriage appears to be the toughest relationship we
have, when in fact it should be the most comfortable.
It’s usually tough because of a lack of communication –
everybody’s talking but nobody is listening. It should be
the most comfortable because of the intimacy you share
which should lead to a greater level of trust and respect.
More often than not these elements are missing or
weakened in the marital setting. In this ‘Fresh New Year’
we want to make some positive changes toward a more
favorable outcome. We want to begin to make a fresh
start, to wipe the slate clean of past mistakes.
Below I will give you a measurable way to determine
which areas of your marriage require immediate change.
You should begin the process there.
When God designed the marriage covenant, He did so
with the intent that this special commitment between a
man and a woman would be more important than any
Voice of Hope
other human relationship. In Genesis 2:24 God instructs
us to leave our parents when we marry. This sets the
standard for where to begin in restructuring your marriage. In a marriage, both spouses have moral obligations to God and to each other to protect their relationship from being violated by people or things of lesser
importance. We cannot allow our jobs, children, parents,
friends, recreational activities, or anything else take
precedence over our spouses. Many problems and failures in marriages today are the result of misplaced priorities.
We all make mistakes. Even the Bible acknowledges
that we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of
God (Rom 3:23). With this in mind think about your past
indiscretions; offer a sincere prayer to God then take
your spouse by the hand; look them in the eye and repent. To repent is to acknowledge the wrong you’ve
done, apologize for your part and take action to change
your ways and not repeat these offences again. An honestly sincere apology will go a long way in mending a
broken heart.
No matter what else is said about marital relationships
communication is the key to a fulfilling and rewarding
union. When communication is awry it’s followed by
frustration, which leads to manipulation that turns into
aggravation which is followed by confrontation. Did you
know that the difference between and argument and a
conversation is the inflection of your voice? The moment
you raise your voice the conversation ceased and the
confrontation began. When we communicate in confrontation mode – nobody is listening. We are each trying
desperately to get our point across. It is vitally important
that we recognize the level of frustration building on
either spouse’s part and desist in the topic for now. Ask
your spouse to stop and pray with you; invite the Holy
Spirit into your discussion and call on Him with brief
prayer whenever you realize you’re off the path. Good
communication can be a marvelous thing but it requires
real work and active listening. When a statement is not
clear ask your spouse to clarify it and seek an equitable
compromise. Learn to listen with your heart as well as
your mind.
Return to ‘Courtship 101’. When you first began to
date, you worked hard at impressing your spouse. Planning was key to the success of the courtship. You
(Continued on page 17)
Jan 2010
December 6, 2009
State of the Church
Address 2009
Desiree’ Cherry
By Yvonne Gordon
Hosted by Hopewell’s Music, Arts &
Media Ministry, the Candlelight Service at Hopewell in December 2009
was a celebration…a memorial service
with high praise! The service spread
wings like an eagle, flapping over the
congregation as they were giving glory
to God in the highest. For many years
this has been one of the tradional events of the Christmas
season, in all it’s splendor, with each congregant lighting a
candle at the altar…a memorial in honor of loved ones who
have gone ahead to be with the Lord—a very somber event.
This time it was positively different. Not only did the congregation take time out to remember our loved ones, including
those from our Hopewell family, but to know they’re at
home with our heavenly Father, and that we will see them
again, we celebrated!
The Inspirational Choir rendered a special dedication song
of remembrance called “Going Home”, as Debra Herring
called the names of Hopewell members who left us in 2008
to be with Jesus. The congregation also had the opportunity
to call out names of others, who are now with Jesus. Then
the praise was on!
Hopewell’s Praise & Worship Ministry lead the congregation in the glorious and most inspiring Christmas carol, “Oh
Come Let Us Adore Him”. The little children of the Shield of
Faith Choir sung “Away in the Manger”, and the Inspirational
Choir continued to set the atmosphere with “Peace and Favor Rest on Us”.
Hopewell’s Mime Ministry performed a rendition of “Now
Behold The Lamb”, and people were in and out of their
seats, rocking, clapping…simply praising God. The group’s
performance was heart-felt and appeared full of the Spirit. I
believe the devil was angry. In the beginning, a musical
stumbling block tried to stop them. They had to bow out for
a moment due to technical difficulties, but after offertory
prayer, they were back and ready to behold The Lamb. It
was wonderful, “Emmanuel”, as sung by the Shield of Faith
Choir…as always, was so meaningful…a reminder that God is
with us. The congregation then had the awe-inspiring pleasure to watch Hopewell’s Signs of Faith Ministry in action.
This humbling ministry is obviously assigned to the hearing
impaired. They signed to “Oh Holy Night”. It was a beautiful
thing to watch.
Christmas carols didn’t stop there. The old familiar sounds
of the Temptations bellowed sweetly as the Men of Faith
(Continued on page 17)
10 Jan 2010
This year’s annual ‘’State of
the Church Address’ was themed, Advancing the Kingdom of God with Excellence. The meeting began as others of the past, but almost immediately you could feel
the intensity of the message to come in the air. Within
the confines of Bishop Sheals opening speech we were
admonished to come together as one for Christ and being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united
with the same spirit and intent on one purpose. Our
mandate is to become a great church physically and
more importantly spiritually. We must advance the vision, while being directed by and employed by the Holy
Spirit with dunamis power. We understand that attendance is down but we will strive for spiritual quality not
congregational quantity.
The major goals for 2010 are the same as last year:
Spiritual Maturity, Active Evangelism and Financial Freedom. But in order to advance the Kingdom in 2010 we
will commit to the following:
1. Evangelism – We must actively promote evangelism in a mighty way by encouraging congregational
participation in our evangelistic efforts and Global
2. New Website – Pastor Sheals announced that we
have enlisted a professional to re-vamp our website. Mrs. Patricia Sheals will head this project.
3. New Direction – Pastor Sheals invites all leaders to
stop wondering aimlessly around the mountain
and cross over into the Promised Land. He encouraged leaders not to murmur but to be proactive in
their efforts for Christ.
4. The Academy – Advancing the Kingdom is higher
learning. We must step up to the plate and support the academy. Its success is our success. It’s
our school, let’s keep it going.
5. 1Kings 19:18 Leave this movement with a vision of
Spiritual Advancement. We are called to action as
a remnant of seven thousand of God’s people
moving into greatness.
We will begin this great movement with fasting and
prayer. Min. Veta Blanding outlined the plan to lead the
church forward in fasting and prayer as we begin the
new year. (See instructions within this issue.)
Pastor Sheals detailed the plan to retire the church’s
debt. He strongly encouraged his leaders to do likewise
with their own personal debt.
(Continued on page 16)
Voice of Hope
Youth Christmas Program 2009
Desiree’ Cherry
Awe-some! Is the word I’d use to describe the wonderful Christ-Day Celebration as performed by our youth. As I sat
in Faith Hall on Sunday, December 13th taking in the manifestation of God’s Glory in all the beautiful children; I became
overjoyed. The very thought of all those children giving their best to us as they honor the Lord our God made my heart
pant in joy. The actors were great, the dancing angels were heavenly divine, and yes, we applauded in laughter at the
smallest member of the Mime. There were moments when we sighed and others
when we erupted into laughter – everything you’d want your program to be. It was
simply delightful!
The show was gratifying and well orchestrated by the youth department’s leaders.
Thanks for serving God in this magnificent way and focusing on the real reason for the
season. JESUS.
Photos courtesy of Sonya Perry
Voice of Hope
Jan 2010 11
Bishop William L. Sheals
Sunday, January 3rd – Sunday, January 10th, 2010
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table
before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Sun. Jan.3
Prayer of Consecration
7:30 am and 11:00am Service
Prayer for peace and rest in your
mind, your body (healing), your home,
neighborhood and this world
Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down.
DAY 2 Mon. Jan. 4
Prayer of Cleansing and Renewal
(Monday-total fast if possible)
Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul.
Fri. Jan.8
Prayer for prosperity in your family,
the church and in the community at
Psalm 23:5 My cup runneth over
Tues. Jan.5
Prayer for Bishop Sheals and Family
All leaders, their Families and Your Family
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd.
Sat. Jan.9
Prayer of affirmation, believing that
all you have prayed and fasted for will
come to pass.
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me.
Wed. Jan.6
Prayer for our President and Family
Our Leaders, Our Nation, Our World,
Local Govt. The Wars, Our Soldiers and all
Psalm 23:4 For thou art with me.
Sun. Jan.10
Prayer of Thanksgiving
7:30am and 11:00am Service
Prayer and fasting enables us to be empowered by the Holy Spirit and allows His anointing to break the yoke that binds.
Mark 9:17-29
And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb
spirit; 18And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth
away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. 19He answereth him, and saith, O
faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him unto me. 20And they brought
him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 21And he asked his father, how long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 22And ofttimes it
hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us,
and help us. 23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24And straightway
the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25When Jesus saw that the
people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee,
come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he
was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he
arose. 28And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him
out? 29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
12 Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
Isaiah 35:3 With this news, strengthens those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees.
Luke 6:38 Give and it shall be given unto you…For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
This fast will begin with a prayer of consecration and end with a prayer of thanksgiving.
Monday is the only day that a total fast is requested if possible. Please fast according to your health limitations and restrictions.
When a total fast takes place, please drink water.
For the remaining days (Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun) please fast accordingly: refrain from any sweets, caffeine, carbonated beverages, fried foods, etc. Please make water your primary beverage and stay away from foods that are unnatural and prepared with unnatural ingredients. Also refrain from unholy conversation, unholy activities or communication. We are also fasting
unnecessary and unclean communications through the use of technology (e.g. social networks, texting, cell phones, twittering,
telephone, television, etc.).
Please ask your children to participate in these activities and fill their time with prayer, acts of encouragement, acts of kindness
and words of encouragement.
DAY 1 Sunday – This is the first day of our prayer and fast; a day of consecration and sanctification meaning to set ourselves
apart to be used by God. Thank God in advance for all that He has done and is going to do with us and through us.
DAY 2 Monday – Total Fast if possible. Please pray that God will forgive, cleanse, renew and restore you. Focus on your spiritual
well being first and fill your day with prayer and scripture. This is important!
DAY 3 Tuesday – Please pray for the pastor and under shepherd of this church/his wife and family. Pray for all leaders in this
ministry and their families. Pray for your family. On this day, please write a card or letter and mail or give it to the person(s) that
you are praying for to encourage, uplift and inspire. Address for leaders: Hopewell Baptist Church, 182 Hunter Street Norcross, GA
30071 c/o the leaders name. We are asking that everyone participate in this activity.
DAY 4 Wednesday – Please pray for our President/his wife and family. Send a card or letter to him to encourage, uplift and inspire him. Include your name and Hopewell Baptist Church on the return address. We are asking that everyone will participate in
this activity. We want to bombard the White House with letters from believers letting our President and leaders know that we are
praying for them.
There are other ways to contact the president such as email, etc. but please mail a letter or card to the following address below:
The White House, President Barack Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
I stress: On the return address, please print: Your church name, Your name, HMBC Address (as listed above in red)
Locate the address of a service member in Iraq and Afghanistan and send them a letter or a card to show your support and appreciation.
Remember to mention the names of our service member’s in prayer (e.g. enlisted men, police officers, firefighters, etc.).
DAY 5 Thursday – Please pray for healing. Call, write a letter, send a card, visit someone, and prepare a meal for someone that
needs encouragement in this area. We are asking all to participate.
DAY 6 Friday – Please pray for prosperity for your home, your church and community. Call or write a letter, give a gift to someone that is in need. Recommit to tithe, to give to others, to share your time and talents at your home, your church and your community. We are asking all to participate.
Day 7 Saturday – Please rejoice and speak positive affirmations out of your mouth. Witness to someone that you know is not
saved. Contact a friend and witness to them and invite someone that has not been to church to come share the gospel of Jesus
Christ. We are asking all to participate.
DAY 8 Sunday- During your prayer and fast time, I am sure that we will give thanks to God for all He has done and is going to do.
On this day, we will end our fast in prayer and thanksgiving corporately for all His wonderful blessings.
Note: Remember if you are not praying, then you are simply dieting. This is a great opportunity to include your entire family. Write
down your requests, your prayers, scriptures and instructions that the Lord is speaking to you. Please remember to pray God’s will,
remember to read and study His word and allow your heart to be filled with joy and joyful expectation.
Smile a lot and worry none!
May God Bless You
Min. Veta Blanding
Voice of Hope
Jan 2010 13
Counterfeiting Christianity
Part 1
By Lynn Bailey
Where is the Church in the 21st Century? That’s a valid
question especially considering the ever-increasing erosion of the moral fabric of our society. What is the
Church doing to combat the move towards
freedom from religion?
What is the Church doing to combat the war
on Christmas and all
things Christian? What
is the Church doing to fulfill the Great Commission?
(Matt. 28:19-20)
Though the questions are simple enough, the answers
may not be readily apparent. Reason being, the Church,
the universal Body of Christ, does not operate like a
body. It does not think with one mind—the mind of
Christ. It does not speak with a unified voice. And it
does not act like one body—a collection of cells working
in concert to sustain life. Instead, the Church operates
like a federation, a collection of member organizations
united only in their claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Since the Christian community spans multiple continents, countries, cultures and demographic communities, some differences are to be expected. However,
most of those differences should revolve around simple
matters such as styles of worship (e.g. dynamic/spirited
versus conservative/buttoned-down services). The differences should not revolve around fundamentals of the
Christian faith (e.g. the Holy Trinity, the Bible, sin, redemption, salvation, baptism, virtuous living, the rapture, eternity). To be certain, God is not the author of
confusion and Jesus is the Prince of Peace. So, it must
surely grieve the Lord’s heart to see so much confusion
within His church. Yet it persists. And the fact that it
persists begs the question, Where are Christians in the
21st Century? Where are the people who genuinely seek
to emulate Christ? Where are the people who genuinely
seek to do the will of God? Where are the people who
desire to please God the Father despite the cost or consequences? Perhaps those questions must be answered in
order to answer the question, Where is the Church in the
21st Century?
By definition, Christians are people who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as Savior
and Lord. Professing faith in Christ entitles believers to
experience an intimate relationship with Him. That relationship further grants believers certain rights and bene-
14 Jan 2010
fits including but not limited to the following: access to
God the Father, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, eternal
salvation, citizenship in Heaven and guardian angels. In
addition, a relationship with Jesus Christ entitles believers to share joint-heir status with Him. It gives them
power over all the power of the enemy; and, it gives
them the right to be called by His name. (For reference,
see John 14:6, John 16:7, John 3:16, Luke 10:20, Psalms
91:11, Galatians 4:7, Luke 10:19, Acts 11:26.)
Bear in mind, the aforementioned items represent the
tip of the iceberg where Christians’ benefits and blessings are concerned. With so much at stake, it’s easy to
understand why so many people want to be Christians.
However, entering into a relationship with Christ is
analogous to exchanging marriage vows with a fiancée.
The life-changing experience should not be entered into
lightly. It should only be entered into after much consideration. Furthermore, it should only be entered into
with a sincere desire to become like Christ. Accepting
salvation half-heartedly or practicing Christianity for superficial reasons may only serve to dilute the Body of
Christ. It may, in effect, counterfeit Christianity.
According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, to
counterfeit means to imitate or feign; to make a fraudulent replica of something of value. Each year, the US
government spends millions of dollars pursuing and
prosecuting individuals who traffic counterfeit US currency because circulating fake money dilutes the value
of the dollar. Left unchecked, such activities could completely upend the US economy and effectively destabilize the global economy. For similar reasons, companies
spend millions of dollars each year fighting piracy—
creating inferior “knock offs” of designer clothing/
accessories or creating “bootlegged” copies of CDs and
DVDs. Companies pursue and prosecute purveyors of
pirated products because the existence of inferior goods
in the marketplace dilutes legitimate brands, infringes
on their market share, threatens their profitability and
ultimately jeopardizes their companies’ viability. Not
surprisingly, counterfeiting anything is considered a despicable crime. But for all its evils, nothing is more deplorable than counterfeiting Christianity.
What does it mean to counterfeit Christianity? Counterfeiting Christianity may be demonstrated in various
forms. It can be demonstrated by imitation or by dilution. We’ll explore the two methods in the following
The clearest example of counterfeiting Christianity by
imitation can be found in the scriptures. In the book of
Acts, the sons of Sceva tried to cast out demons by imitating acts performed through the Apostle Paul. The
(Continued on page 16)
Voice of Hope
The Trial
Author Unknown
After living what I felt was a 'decent'
life, my time on earth came to the end.
The first thing I remember is sitting on a
bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court
house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in
and have a seat by the defense table.
As I looked around I saw the 'prosecutor.' He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me. He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen.
I sat down and looked to my left and
there sat My Attorney, kind and gentle
looking man whose appearance seemed
so familiar to me, I felt I knew Him.
The corner door flew open and there
appeared the Judge in full flowing robes.
He commanded an awesome presence
as He moved across the room I couldn't take my eyes off
Him. As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, 'Let us
The prosecutor rose and said, ‘My name is Satan and I am
here to show you why this man belongs in hell.' He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and in the
past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible
perversions that were once in my life and the more he
spoke, the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't look at anyone, even my own Attorney, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.
As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about
me, I was equally upset at My Attorney who sat there silently not offering any form of defense at all. I know I had
been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my
life - couldn't that at least equal out part of the harm I'd
done? Satan finished with a fury and said, 'This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there
is not a person who can prove otherwise.'
When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might
approach the bench. The Judge allowed this over the strong
objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward. As
He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His
full splendor and majesty. I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior. He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge,
'Hi, Dad,' and then He turned to address the court.
'Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I
won't deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wages of
sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished.' Jesus
took a deep breath and turned to His Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, 'However, I died on the
cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has
accepted Me as his Savior, so he is Mine.' My Lord continued with, 'His name is written in the Book of Life, and no
Voice of Hope
one can snatch him from Me.
Satan still does not understand yet.
This man is not to be given justice, but
rather mercy.' As Jesus sat down, He
quietly paused, looked at His Father and
said, 'There is nothing else that needs to
be done.' 'I've done it all.'
The Judge lifted His mighty hand and
slammed the gavel down. The following
words bellowed from His lips. 'This man is free. The penalty
for him has already been paid in full. 'Case dismissed.'
As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and
raving, 'I won't give up, I will win the next one.'
I asked Jesus as He gave me my instructions where to go
next, 'Have you ever lost a case?' Christ lovingly smiled and
said,' Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them has received the same verdict as you, ~Paid In
'You must stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead,
tell the storm how big your God is!'
Bought with a price $0.00
If my life was a credit report
and I was trying to obtain
salvation based on my score; I
wouldn't get it. My history
shows that I've been delinquent in praise, past due in
prayer, my worship has been in collections and I've
missed a few payments (tithes) or only paid half
(you know how we put $20 in the basket and feel like
we've done God a favor). Not to mention that my debt
(sin) to income (blessings) ratio is too high. BUT I thank
God that I was able to file bankruptcy (repentance) and it
cleared me of all of my debt (sin).
Now I have a co-signer (Jesus) whose score is FLAWLESS... Not one blemish (sin) on his report. So now, I
QUALIFY for EVERYTHING! Most importantly I've inherited eternal life and I didn't
have to put one penny
down. All of my closing costs
were covered when Jesus
laid down His life for me!!! I
hear that my future home
has all of the upgrades too.
Hardwood floors? Please! I'll
be walking on gold!
Thank You Lord for Your unmerited mercy, grace & favor.
Author Unknown
Jan 2010 15
(Counterfeiting Christianity — Continued from page 14)
(State of the Church Address 2009 — Continued from page 10)
scriptures state, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews,
exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had
evil spirits (in) the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we
adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there
were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the
priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and
said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And
the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and
overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that
they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts
19: 13-16)
As in this case, the consequences of counterfeiting
Christianity by imitation can be dire for individuals. Similarly, counterfeiting Christianity by dilution can be
equally dire not just for individuals but for the entire
Body of Christ. As with currency or products, counterfeiting Christianity may be devastating to the Body of
Christ. Left unchecked, it will shake, if not completely
undermine, the very foundation of the Church.
How do we dilute the Body of Christ? The number of
ways in which we dilute the Body of Christ includes but
is not limited to the following: 1) by adopting the ways
of the world; 2) by compromising our values and beliefs
especially in an effort to be politically correct; 3) by
shirking our responsibilities as disciples of Christ; and 4)
by ignoring sin or tolerating sinful behavior (by Christians) particularly in an effort to gain popularity or
wealth. While this list is in no way comprehensive, it
does show how/why there is so much dissension and
discord within the Church. And the longer it persists, the
more devastating its effects on the Body of Christ.
In recognition of outstanding service and commitment
to the service of the Lord, awards were given. For service
over and above the call of duty in 2009 awards and certificates were offered to outstanding persons or ministries that embody pure servitude. This year there were
more categories and recipients. The actual awards were
absolutely beautiful. The list of recipients was extensive
and not available at the time I completed this article, but
I will publish those awards and their recipients in our
next issue. However, the coveted ‘Cross of Nails’ award
was bestowed upon two recipients this year – The Ushers Ministry and the Transportation Ministry. Certificates
of recognition were handed out and we were asked to
continue to think outside the box in the advancement of
the Kingdom of God.
A presentation by Brother Stephon Lee was given regarding our personal finances. ‘Living Debt Free during
the recession’ is the theme for his yearlong training,
guiding and mentoring plan for our financial freedom. All
are invited to participate for self improvement.
In conclusion; Pastor Sheals boldly stated that we will
feed 5,000 hungry souls for Christ by delivering them
from the bondage of debt.
I don’t know about you but I am inspired to do my part
in the advancement of God’s Kingdom. The movement
has begun so let’s heed the call and accept the challenge
to provide nothing less than excellence to the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
Thank you Pastor Sheals for applying yourself, guiding
your people and adhering to the dunamis power of the
Holy Spirit.
The Prayer Closet is a new column dedicated to prayer requests and testimonies of God’s victories over our adversities. You may submit a brief prayer request for intercessors and prayer
warriors to collectively petition God on your behalf. All submissions must be received no later
than the 12th of the month to be considered for print in the following month’s publication. Keep
it brief, there is no need for full disclosure. Submit it to [email protected] Your
submission may be edited.
James 5:16 pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has
great power as it is working.
Just wanted to say thank you Lord! I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of follicular lymphoma cancer. It was detected in my colon. I went on a 49 day fast and when I went back to the doctor and had a PET scan there were only 2 small low grade spots found. I had a bone marrow test and it came back negative
and I had an ultra sound and it detected nothing. Thank you Jesus!!! I will go back in a month for my follow-up Pet-Scan. I
just want to
thank God for my healing. I have faith and believe that when I go back the test will show no cancer. I pray that God will
continue to BLESS PASTOR, his family and the church. Thanks
Submitted by Gladys G. ***
I have been unemployed for 20 months. Lately it seems that a lot is going wrong in my life. I know that it is spiritual warfare but I’m not sure I’m strong enough to win. I’m in a second apartment that I may lose shortly. I believe in the power of
prayer. Please pray for me. Sandy ***
16 Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
(A Fresh New Year — Continued from page 9)
planned where you will go, what you would do and even
down to what you will wear. You were on your best behavior; opening doors, holding the chair, offering compliments and other such words of affection. But now that
you have reached your comfort zone you have begun to
take one another for granted – the romance is gone.
But when God instructed man to "cleave" unto his
wife, He knew that the secret of staying in love is hard
work. God's command in Genesis 2:24 is for a man to
passionately pursue his wife and to enthusiastically cling
to her for the rest of his life. If you will make the decision
to return passion back into your relationship with vigor
and diligence, you will find that it is a labor of love with
satisfying results.
Marriage is a complete blending in which all things
previously owned and managed individually are now
owned and managed jointly. Anything in marriage that is
not willingly submitted to mutual ownership and control
will lead to division and problems. People have divorced
because of their self-centeredness and unwillingness to
yield material possessions one to another. They refused
to surrender their money, time, family, children, careers,
sports, education, future plans, or other aspects of their
lives, causing damage to the trust and intimacy of their
Marriage is designed by God to be a place of deep intimacy and "oneness." For this to be possible, we must be
completely surrendered to our mates and not hold anything back. We must strive to be one as God intended –
in our mind, body and soul in order to achieve wholeness. The total sharing of our lives brings intimacy and
fulfillment in marriage.
In the beginning, God intended marriage to be a place
of total "nakedness," physically, mentally, emotionally,
and spiritually, without fear or shame. This is the condition Adam and Eve enjoyed in Genesis 2:25. They were
completely exposed before God and before one another.
In that condition, they shared themselves totally in an
atmosphere of intimacy and openness. That is God's picture of a perfect marital relationship.
By God’s design the nakedness of marriage would include every area of our lives. Physically, we are to enjoy
our bodies together sexually with optimum pleasure and
oneness. Mentally, we are to share our thoughts with
one another without fear. Emotionally, we should be
able to share our feelings without being rejected or embarrassed. And spiritually, we should be able to pray and
Voice of Hope
worship together in the most beautiful and intimate
Make a commitment to create an atmosphere of
transparency for your relationship. True transparency in
your relationship will allow love and intimacy to find
their deepest and most beautiful expressions. Seek
God's forgiveness daily for your sins. Guard your tongue;
not to speak ill or harsh words to your spouse. None of
us are perfect; but we can be forgiven by the blood of
Assess your relationship. Determine which area to begin the transformation. Discuss each section with your
spouse to see how you will begin.
Remember to:
• Prioritize that which is most important to your
marriage as designed by God
• Repent for your part in any wrong doing or hurt
feelings in your marriage
• Strive to be a better communicator – is it more
important to be right or be married
• Don’t forget the passion – return to courtship
101 and begin to date your mate all over again
• Relinquish your hold on material possessions – it
is true; you can’t take it with you
• Become nakedly transparent before God and
your spouse – remember honesty is the best
policy as you work together in rediscovering the
love you have for each other.
As you begin the New Year, make a commitment to
work at your marital relationship as never before. With a
willingness to obey God's commandments, a bit of hard
work, you can live in a marriage where love and satisfaction are the rule and not the exception. The year 2010
can be the best year of your marriage, and it can keep
getting better and better!
Stay connected to Christ
(Candlelight Service — Continued from page 10)
Choir crooned “Silent Night”. The falsetto and baritone
vocals of the lead singers brought the congregation to its
Dancing to the music from the combined choirs was
the Hallelujah Dance Ministry. The dancers gracefully
flowed, leaped and twirled up and down the aisles, some
carrying victory flags, waving in the air. They paid tribute to the King of Kings.
Finally, the flames from candles standing tall at the
altar were smothered and Bishop Sheals made final remarks. Quoted by an unknown author, “Yes, Christmas
in heaven happens every day”.
Jan 2010 17
Something to Ponder
Minister Bobbi Tait
Following God and
believing in his son Jesus, is a decision to be
made. Choose this day
who you will serve God
or Satan? You have a
God given free will to
choose Heaven or Hell?
Your choice, brings
you to eternal life or eternity burning in Hell?
This is the most important decision you will have to
JOSHUA 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the
Lord choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods which your fathers served that were on
the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in
whose land you dwell, but as for me, and my house, we
will severe the Lord.
The decision that you make will have lasting consequences. God guides us with our big decisions. Psalm
23:3 Will you make your decision today?
Romans 10:9-10(NLT) If you confess with your mouth
that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by
believing in your heart that you are made right with God
and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are
It is your duty as a Christian to tell someone about Jesus. If you’re not a Christian you need to make a decision
Some of us have tried every-thing, but have never tried
Jesus. Give Him a chance. He never fails. Won't you try
Him...? God is about Love and He is the answer to your
every problem.
Proclaiming God's Word with
Power and Authority
18 Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
Let’s Pray in 2010
If you’re looking for something to do this year and you want to commit to serving God, we
would like to invite you to be a part of our team at Atlanta Live - Channel 57. Atlanta Live is a
Christian television production that airs nightly from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Each night, prayer
partners from the metro Atlanta area, volunteer their time and talent to pray for the viewers
who call in. Last Year we received 19,925 calls and 305 people accepted Jesus Christ as their
Lord and Savior. As a servant of Christ, this community outreach program, allows us to use
prayer as a tool of evangelism. If you are an intercessor, prayer warrior, love to pray or want
to increase your prayer life this is the place for you. Matthew 9:37-38 says “the harvest truly is
plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will
send forth laborers into his harvest.” We are praying for the laborers to come forth in Jesus
For Additional information please contact Minister Dana Tillman @ 678.615.3125.
Thanks and remember Prayer Changes Everything!
Voice of Hope
Jan 2010 19
Are you ready for your blessing?
By Perry A. Williams
By Victoria E. Sellers
"Now Jabez called on the
God of Israel, saying, "Oh that
You would bless me indeed
and enlarge my border, and
that Your hand might be with
me, and that You would keep
{me} from harm that {it} may
not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested."
1 Chronicles 4:10
Most people today are familiar with the Prayer of Jabez
and how he dared to ask God to bless him indeed. Many
of us may have memorized and even recited Jabez's
prayer in hopes that God would likewise respond to our
prayers and bless us in a like manner.
Many of us have asked God to do something extra ordinary in our lives but we don't have the capacity to handle
or properly manage what we've asked for. We've asked
God to pour out rivers of blessing upon us but only have a
cups capacity. If God were to give us what we've asked
for much of it would be wasted. God will never give us
something that we are not ready for.
There may even be some who have been preparing
themselves for expansion but have forgotten God in their
preparation. You can't build a barn big enough to hold
what God can pour out. Only God knows the measure and
integrity of the container needed to possess His blessings.
However, I believe one of the major reasons many of
our prayers have not been answered is because we have
forgotten or simply do not understand a principle that
Jabez understood. This principle is: "God blesses those
who have prepared themselves to be blessed".
When Jabez asked God to bless him indeed, he was asking God to do something neither He nor anyone around
him had experienced. He asked for something out of the
ordinary and supernatural. Recognizing he did not have
the capacity to handle such a blessing, He petitioned God
to provide him with the necessary capacity by expanding
his borders. Jabez said, God bless me indeed, but don't
forget to correspondingly increase my ability to handle
what You are going to do. This is the key to experiencing
God's abundance in your life.
What have you asked God to do in your life? Do you
believe that God will answer you? Are your preparations
adequate and in line with what you've asked Him for?
Have you included God in your preparations? I believe if
Jabez were here to share with us the key to experiencing
abundance in our lives he would say: First, believe that
God will bless you, and second, be prepared for your
blessing before it comes.
20 Jan 2010
I remember the day when I made the choice.
I shook hands, received hugs and saw the people rejoice!
I went to a room for instruction and prayer.
I sat with others listening to a few people share.
When the instruction was over and it was time to depart,
I was still overwhelmed by the feelings in my heart.
My mind was still filled with the events of the day.
They continued to play as I drove the expressway.
There was an Orientation I was scheduled to attend.
I wondered what it would be like and if I would make a
new friend.
Do I need a new outfit, should I buy something new?
No, on second thought, what I’ve got will have to make
Well, Orientation day finally arrived but, there was nothing to dread.
It was a memorable day with-- food, fun, fellowship and
helpful teaching instead!
I’m adjusting well and pressing my way because of a
good foundation.
But, there are times that, I must fight loneliness and hold
to my future expectation.
I will trust the Lord for an increase in friends and a ministry where I can belong.
I will acknowledge the Lord, He will direct my path and
as I wait, He will make me strong!
Will you reach out to those who are just like me?
Will you show them love consistently?
It takes time for a person to become understood.
But when you show the love of Christ, you’ll both feel
PLEASE REACH OUT to me because, I now belong to this
local assembly. Surely, you must know who I am by
now: A NEW MEMBER! [1 Corinthians 12: 12-26]
Voice of Hope
Just for
Quote of the Month
January 2010
Little John the Baptist
"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is
the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And who ever
welcome’s a little child like this in my name welcomes
me. "
Matt. 18:4-5
When praying don’t give God
Instructions; just report for
Johnny's Mother looked out the window and noticed
Him "playing church" with their cat. He had the cat sitting quietly and he was preaching to it.
She smiled and went about her work. A while later she
heard loud meowing and hissing and ran back to the
open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub of
water. She called out, "Johnny, stop that! The cat is
afraid of water!"
Johnny looked up at her and said, "He should have
thought about that before he joined my church!"
Smile, it gives your face something to do!
Voice of Hope
Hopewell Health Ministry
Ask-a-Health-Question Drop Box
The Hopewell Health Ministry announces the August
2009 Kickoff of ‘Ask–a- Health-Question’ drop box. Do
you have a health related question that you’ve always
wanted to ask, but did not have the time, opportunity or
possibly resources to make a doctor’s appointment?
Well, the Hopewell Health Ministry and Parish Nurse are
here to serve you by assisting you with health related
questions and concerns. Please drop off your health
questions/concerns in the Information Center Health
Drop-Box (forms are located next to the box). The box
will be checked weekly and you will receive a prompt
and caring response. Plus, participants who submit
questions will be entered into a raffle for a free gift! We
look forward to sharing the love of
Jesus as we assist you with your
health needs! III John 1:2 reads,
”Beloved, I wish above all things that
thou mayest prosper and be in
health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Jan 2010 21
(When A Painful Loss Shakes Your Faith — Continued from page 5)
(Words of Wisdom — Continued from page 4)
is isolation.” It’s wise to include other peopleincluding God.
There’s no need to stop praying or worshiping until
you have everything sorted out. Your relationship with
God is no different than any other: The key to resolving
difficulties is communication. Honest prayer arises from
reality of here and now. “I’d like to believe in your goodness, your love, and all you have revealed. But I have
problems and doubts about it. That kind of prayer will
not get printed in a devotional booklet, but it’s brimming
with honesty and sincerity.
God respects such prayers.
Doubt, confusion, dejection, and anger appear over
and over in the Psalms. The man who pleaded with Jesus on behalf of his son admitted up front that his faith
was imperfect: “I do believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark
9:24). But words are not always needed for prayer. Simply sitting quietly and letting God look into you, hurting
from your loss, is an excellent prayer in itself.
Confiding in others is helpful-if they are more concerned that you find peace than that you believe exactly
as they do. Opening up to a bereavement support group
has helped countless people who were devastated over
losing a loved one. Be open to others’ experience.
• See the positives you still have. If you saw your love
one as a gift from God that was and still is true. Replay treasured memories that will live as long as you
do. These, too, are gifts. The pain of your loss testifies to their value. All the beauty and wonder you
ever saw in the world is still there, difficult as it may
be to see at the moment, and is a communication
from God. A loved one’s death is only a temporary
good-bye. All faiths speak of an afterlife of endless
joy, a basic part of which is reunion with loved ones.
• Take heart. An often-quoted prayer by Thomas Merton contains the lines, “I do not see the road ahead of
me. I cannot know for certain where it will
end.” You, too, cannot know where the doubt that
afflicts your grief-stricken faith will take you. Take
heart in knowing that for many “doubting believers,”
their very uncertainty was the way of arriving at a
firmer, stronger, consoling faith.
this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thess
5:18) Thankfulness should characterize the Christian life
in every circumstance, not thanks for everything but
thanks in everything. As you study the WORD of GOD,
you find a comforting thought Psalms 119:105 – “Your
word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ask
the Savior to help you, He will carry you through.
As you know, I like to use the phrase “the King’s Kids”.
It depicts ownership, and establishes family relationship.
It bespeaks love, which provides protection; it stretches
the word protection to its limits. We are protected from
hurt, harm and danger – seen and unseen. This does not
mean that we are sheltered from life’s challenges totally.
Jesus experienced every challenge that we would be
faced with while here on earth. The highway to heaven
is not free of bumps in the road, or of unexpected detours. I like to think of Psalms 91:1 “He who dwells in the
secret place of the Most High shall abide under the
shadow of the Almighty.” In the secret place: the person
who trusts in God is the one who lives close to Him. The
title Most High emphasizes God’s majesty. One of the
dictionary definitions of shadow is a mirrored image or
reflection. Most high is parallel to the term Almighty, a
translation of the divine title Shaddai. Together the
terms Most High and Shaddai speak of God as a mountain like majesty, in whose presence there is a “secret
place” or a shadow.
I’m sure that you have a passage of scripture that you
like to refer to as well. Have you decided in your heart,
how you will ‘Give of your best to the Master’ in the year
2010. Keep in mind that as a man thinketh in his heart,
so is he. Phil 4:7 “and the peace of God, which surpasses
all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.” Will guard imply that the mind is
in a battle zone and need to be protected by a military
guard. The peace of God operated in the same way: to
protect the mind from external corrupting influences
and to keep it focused on God’s truth. No one knows of
our destination in this New Year – 2010, but God. He
knows the connection between what we plan and what
will actually be. I hope, trust and pray that you have decided to follow Jesus, NO TURNING BACK.
Our next Grief Support meeting will be held on Monday, January 18, 2009 at 7:00PM – 8:30PM in the Ministry’s House Room #1. For more information, please call
Footnotes and scripture reference are from NKJV
Study Bible.
22 Jan 2010
Voice of Hope
A Word from
the Bishop
Walking by Faith
“The Just Shall Live By Faith.”
Hebrews 10:38
Walking by faith is not easy.
When you make up your
Bishop William L. Sheals
mind to trust God the odds
are usually stacked against
you. Remember Noah? When he built the ark there
had never been rain! And the outcome isn’t always
what you expect. Walking by faith doesn’t mean
your problems suddenly evaporate. Sometimes faith
doesn’t change your circumstances, it changes you
by giving you the tenacity to hang in there when the
check doesn’t come in the mail, the doctor says, “it’s
malignant,” your spouse asks for a divorce, the kids
are running amok, or the place you’ve worked for 30
years closes its doors. Faith gives you the fortitude to
endure these things, confident that God is working
on your behalf. “Faith is being sure of what we hope
for and certain of what we do not see. This is what
the ancients were commended for (Heb 11:1-2
NIV)”. So walking by faith means:
1. Trusting in the faithlessness of God;
2. Following in the footsteps of ordinary people
who did extraordinary things;
3. Using your faith, because it’s the currency of
When the Bible says, “The just shall live by faith,” it
doesn’t mean little sporadic bursts. No, it’s talking
about a lifestyle! Anybody can go the first few
rounds in the ring; it’s when you’re knocked down in
the ninth that you need the faith to get back up and
keep fighting. When the plane you’re flying encounters turbulence you don’t throw away your ticket or
bail out, you sit still and trust the pilot. So discount
your circumstances, dethrone your doubts, and start
walking by faith!
Come visit us at Hopewell, where “the word of God
is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path.”
Psalm 119:105
Voice of Hope
Prayer of Salvation
A personal relationship with God begins with an event Jesus
called a new birth (John 3:3). When we are born spiritually into
God’s family we become His children and members of His spiritual kingdom.
To begin this personal relationship, take these steps:
Admit your need. We come into this world physically alive
but spiritually dead – missing out on the quality of life for which
God made us. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of
the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23), “There is none righteous, no,
not one” (Romans 3:10), and “The wages of sin is
death” (Romans 6:23).
Realize what God has done for you. God loved us enough to
send His own Son into this world to rescue us from the devastating effects of our sin (John 1:1-14; 3:16). Jesus died in our
place, offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice, He paid for the
least–and the worst–of our sins.
Personally believe and receive God’s gift. No one is saved by
trying to be good. We are saved by trusting in Christ. The Bible
says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you
can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a
reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can
boast about it.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT).
God loves you – no matter who you are, no matter what your
past. God loves you so much that He gave His one and only begotten Son for you. The Bible tells us that “…whoever believes in
him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus laid
down His life and rose again so that we could spend eternity
with Him in heaven and experience His absolute best on earth.
If you would like to receive Jesus into your life, pray the following prayer out loud, with feeling from your heart and believe in
Heavenly Father, I come in Jesus name to You, admitting that
I am a sinner. Right now Lord, I choose to turn away from sin,
and I ask You to cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I believe that
Your Son, Jesus, died on the cross to take away my sins. I also
believe that He rose again from the dead so that I might be forgiven of my sins and made righteous
“Knowing Christ
through faith in Him. I call upon the
died-that’s history.
name of Jesus Christ and confess Him to
be the Savior and Lord of my life. Jesus, I
Believing He died
choose to follow You and ask that You
for me-that’s
will fill me with the power of the Holy
Spirit. I declare that right now I am a
child of God. I am free from sin and full of the righteousness of
God. I am saved in Jesus’ name. Amen
If reciting this prayer was an honest expression of your heart,
you have entered into a personal relationship with God. If you
prayed this prayer to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior for the first time, please get connected with a church. We
are not recruiting for Hopewell but for the kingdom of God.
However, you are welcomed to stop by and worship with us at
182 Hunter Street, Norcross, GA 30093. We have two Sunday
services 7:30 AM and 11:00 AM under the leadership of Bishop
William L. Sheals. You may contact our church office for additional information at 770-448-5475.
God Bless You. . .
Jan 2010 23
Sunday Services: 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p. m.
Join us for Wednesday Bible Study 7:30 pm
Voice of Hope
24 Jan 2010
Voice of Hope