Six Members of Florida Church Die from COVID…

Hello World,

Has your church opened its physical doors again? My church has although the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Although it’s being reported that most of those who are getting sick with the virus are unvaccinated, some are still wary about the vaccine. In fact, one of my Facebook friends said the vaccine is the mark of the beast!!! Can y’all believe it?!! Read below what has happened at a church in Florida, one of the reported hot spots for the continuing pandemic.

“Six people from a Florida church died from COVID-19 within 10 days. So the church opened a vaccine clinic during Sunday service.”

A Jacksonville, Florida, church turned into a COVID-19 vaccination site after six members of the congregation died from the virus within 10 days. Impact Church senior pastor George Davis said at least 15 other members of the church reported having COVID-19 and some were hospitalized.

Davis said none of those who reported a positive test traced it to the church. He said Impact Church still follows social distancing, offers hand sanitizer and asks worshipers to wear masks.

Read the rest of the CBS News article, written by Caitlin O’Kane, HERE.

Any thoughts?

From Marriage to Divorce to Remarriage, Pastors Royal & Kimberly McClinton Share Their Secrets To 35 Years of Marriage

Hello World,

It’s common knowledge that half of all marriages end in divorce. Recent figures have shown that divorce in the church is high as well. The failure of marriages not only leaves dreams dashed but it also leaves lives crushed. Having experienced divorce themselves – after 20 years of marriage, Drs. Royal & Kimberly McClinton, pastors of the Chicago-area church, Life in Christ Family Worship Center International, understand the challenges that couples face in keeping a marriage together. They also know with the help of the Lord broken marriages can be healed. Their own testimony of remarriage, after 4 years of divorce, is a testament to hard work, strong commitment and an unshakable faith. Now celebrating thirty-five years of marriage, they are inspired to help other couples “keep it together”.

“We have been counseling couples for years and decided to put what we’ve been sharing in a book, Bare Naked and Not Afraid: The Marriage Manual,” says Dr. Kim. “People were regularly encouraging us to share our testimony and they wanted us to write a book so that they could come back to the information from our counseling sessions or our Bare Naked and Not Ashamed Conferences. We also realized that we have a voice and if we can help others through a book, we wanted to do it.”

Initially, they pondered writing two separate books, but Dr. Royal believed it would be more impactful if they wrote a book together. He says, “In addition to people asking us to write a book, the Lord really impressed upon our hearts to share what we had learned – through our first marriage, our divorce and our remarriage. We want to help others through the hard times and the challenges that come in marriage. We also desire to help those who want to marry and those who are engaged. We want to make sure couples are aware of the realities of marriage; we told them the truth so that they aren’t surprised after the wedding is over.”

Apostles McClinton have chronicled the lessons they’ve learned through their marriage journey in Bare Naked and Not Ashamed. Throughout the book, the couple reveals the realities of marriage that few choose to delve into. Starting with God’s intention for marriage and focusing on topics like oneness and partner expectations, they provide tools for couples seeking to begin their journey off right. Conflict resolution and the acknowledgement of spouses’ strengths and challenges are mentioned, too, and they tackle that dreaded word, submission, explaining the true meaning behind it. One of the most powerful insights is the couples’ description of love – not the world’s definition of love, but the sacrificial, agape love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Their testimony of marriage, divorce and remarriage is one that is needed and is important to be shared in the church. Dr. Royal McClinton grew up in the church; he knew he was called to serve others from his youth. The son of a pastor, as a child, he had a strong desire to serve in ministry, helping others. Very familiar with the inner workings of the church, the Chicago native was the youngest of five boys and was ordained as a Deacon in 1989 at Bread of Life Church of God in Christ in Chicago, IL. Later he became a licensed minister and then in 2011, he was ordained pastor.

Prior to becoming the Senior Pastor of Life in Christ Family Worship Center International in Sauk Village, IL, he held a variety of positions including Bible Class Teacher, Sunday School Teacher, Fellowship Administrator, Board Member and Pastoral Armor Bearer. Dr. Royal has majored in Early Childhood Development at Chicago State University and obtained his Bachelor Degree in Theology; he received his Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Philosophy: Theology through New Life Theological Seminary/The Williams-Clemson-Davis Bible College.

Apostle Kimberly McClinton, Pastor of Life in Christ Family Worship Center International, was also raised in Chicago.  Raised by a mother who was a practicing Pentecostal and a father who was a committed Catholic, faith was a major part of her life. A lover of Word of God, she enjoyed sharing the Bible with others. She was licensed as a minister in 2001 at To God Be The Glory Ministry. Like her husband, she’s held numerous positions in the church including Church Administrator, Choir President, Section Leader, Praise and Worship Leader, Bible Class Teacher, Youth Teacher, Fellowship Administrator, Board Member and Trustee. In addition, she is an ordained Prophetess, Apostle and Pastor.

She launched Pure Life Bible Institute, an accredited Bible college, offering degrees through the Midwest College of Theology and attended Chicago State University and DePaul University. She is a recipient of Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Philosophy: Theology through New Life Theological Seminary/The Williams-Clemson-Davis Bible College. An entrepreneur at heart, she is the owner of both Completely Yours Events and Stationery and Earnest Ease, LLC. Dr. Kim is a singer/songwriter, having released her debut CD entitled, Restored, in 2018. She holds the positions of Board Member for ReFresh Global, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Psalmist Raine Ministries.

Together, Dr. Royal and Dr. Kimberly McClinton aim to stop divorces in their tracks.

Any thoughts?

Becoming a Mother Over 40 & Beyond…Janet Jackson isn’t the Only One…A Mothers Day Testimony & Miracle…

celeste

Hello World,

Editor’s Note: I originally published this blog post on Mother’s Day 2016, but for the benefit of my new subscribers, I decided to publish this blog post again because a miracle never gets old. Additionally, C. Celeste Marshall will be sharing her testimony on a radio program tomorrow, May 10, 2021. See those details at the end of the interview…

Last month when Janet Jackson announced she was postponing her tour to focus on creating a family with her husband Wissam Al Mana, my friends and I via text (our easiest way to communicate in our busy lives) speculated on whether Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty was indeed with child at 49 years old (now our speculation has been confirmed) and whether being 40 or older is too old to become a mother.

Below are a few of our responses:

“It is weird.”

“It’s a miracle. If that is her dream. My friend just had a baby at 48. Not planned.”

“My grandmother had my mom when she was around 40. My aunt around 44. I had my son at 41. Let her story be a leap for womankind. She has led a fabulous life and is now embarking on a new journey.”

So Janet Jackson isn’t the only one who has defied the odds. That is the testimony of C. Celeste Marshall, a college friend who struggled with infertility for 10 years before finally giving birth to her son Terry Simeon Marshall in August 2013! Celeste recently released her book “Memoirs of a Barren Woman” Below is my interview with her about her journey to motherhood and her new book!

When did you get married, and did you want to be a mother when you first got married? Tell me about your desire to be a mother.

My husband, Todd, and I got married in 2001.  We were immediately ready to start our family.  During this particular time, we had a few nieces that I was very close to and we played the parent role for them at times.  My desire to become a mother intensified as I saw them grow and several months had passed and nothing had happened for us.

How and when did you find out you were “barren” or couldn’t conceive children? How did you husband respond?

After almost a year into our marriage, with no success, my doctor at the time felt that it was time to see a specialist.  A few days following this appointment, I remember getting the call at work.  The news was devastating, and work was not the place to receive it.  I was told that I would not be able to have children.  The doctor suggested that I have several female organs removed and that my best chance would be to try in vitro.  My husband responded in a very supportive way and tried to act like it would be fine if we weren’t parents, but I knew that his desire to be a father was just as strong as my desire to be a mother.

Why did you keep believing you would be a mother one day although you were told you couldn’t have children? Did you ever have any miscarriages? What were you doing for those 10 years?! Did you consider adoption?

In 2006, while recovering from my first surgery (fibroids and endometriosis), God led me to a scripture in II Kings.  It was II Kings 4:16.  It read, “this time next year you will be holding a son.”  I anticipated the day that I would be able to say that I was pregnant because I had never had a positive test before.  I never had any miscarriages because time after time I was always told that I would not be able to even conceive a child.  I had received a prior promise from God in 2004.  So during this time of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, I fasted and prayed about my desire and His promise.  After several years passing and my “this time next year” not happening, I mentioned adopting to my husband but he was not open to it.  I knew that it was my spirit settling and trying to rush God’s hand.

When and why did you decide to fast and pray and what was the result? Tell more about it.

I thank God that at the time of receiving this news, I was already saved and was a member of a church, Free Chapel, where fasting is literally one of the church’s foundations.  My pastor teaches it often and each year our church does an annual fast which has become a global practice for many denominations at the beginning of the year.  I had seen the results of fasting and praying in my own life and also in the lives of others in the church.  It is a powerful tool often overlooked in the Christian world.  I challenge anyone to try it for themselves.  When you abstain from food and replace it with the Word of God, there is an intimacy that comes only from fasting.  There are several types of fasting.

What was your “life-changing decision” after your fast?

My life-changing decision following a specific three-day fast in 2012 was to cancel a surgery, which would have been my 3rd during this 10-year period.  The doctor wanted me to have a full hysterectomy, but by the time the pre-op had rolled around, we had agreed on a partial hysterectomy.  It never felt right in my spirit because I knew my body had to be whole in order for God to fulfill His promise. However, my doctor deemed it necessary, but following that three-day fast, and hearing from God on 12-12-12,  I canceled the surgery completely.

How and when did you discover you were pregnant? Were you scared during your pregnancy after all that happened to you? Why or why  not?

I was back at work from Christmas break, and I knew I was “late” but really thought that it was stress related since I had spent most of the Christmas break caring for my niece who had broken her ankle.  I took an outdated pregnancy test at work of all places.  I had them everywhere because I always anticipated each month…..hoping…..praying…..waiting……When it came back positive I was elated and scared at the same time….when you read the book you will know why 🙂

What was it like to finally give birth to your son? When was he born? How old were you when he was born?

My pregnancy was good, but the delivery was a battle.  And when I say battle, it was a spiritual battle! He was born in August 2013.  I was 40 when I found out I was pregnant, and I delivered him when I was 41.marshall

Do you have any final words of advice for would-be mothers who are having difficulty having children or who are ready to give up? What about fathers who are married to women with these challenges and desperately want to be father too. Any advice for them?

I tell everyone not to put God on a timetable.  We have in our minds by what age we should do this, this and this.  If we are truly in line with Him, and we seek Him daily, then we have to trust Him with the desires of our hearts.  When so much time had passed for me, I started changing my prayer…for God to remove the desire and He never did.  I knew what He had promised me, specifically a son, but satan is real and while God had given a promise, satan took advantage of any weakness and tried to steal my promise from God.  However, each year, as I would fast and pray, God would always confirm His promise to me, but of course I grew weary in waiting, but I stood on His promise and His Word: specifically II Kings 4:16.  And to the husbands of barren wives, never make your wife feel “less than, inadequate, or insufficient.”  Because these are the word satan would whisper to her.  satan often tried to remind me that the one thing a woman was created to do, I could not do…I felt broken at times, but I know that God does not make mistakes.

book

Why did you decide to write “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”

My book was truly written out of obedience.  I never desired nor imagined that I would write a book.  After I had my son, I started getting invitations to give my testimony and what I realized is that God used my household for the basis of this testimony but He did not intend for it to stay there. I believe that my testimony if for anyone believing God for anything.  We all have a “barren” area in our life, male or female.

Was it difficult to write and publish “Memoirs of a Barren Woman?”And what has been the response?

 The book was not difficult to publish so to speak because God led me to the right resource the first time I inquired.  However, I had no idea about all of the editing.  There was so much back and forth for several months, actually over a year.  I started questioning what I had started because there was just so much delay.  But even in delay, I tell you God is working…putting things together.  The number of people who have reached out to me since reading my memoir to tell me the impact that it has had on their life spiritually has been overwhelming.  Young, old, male, female, single women, even women with children have commented on how my book has impacted their life in some form.  I look forward to sharing it on any platform God gives me.

Below is a video of Celeste giving her testimony at her church Free Chapel:

To find out more about C. Celeste Marshall or contact her, go to her Facebook page. Click on this link to buy her book.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers, but particularly to mothers who are 40 years old and over! And see this poem written by C. Celeste Marshall in which she includes how she will be sharing her testimony on Monday, May 10.

This poem that I’ve written is the harsh reality of so many women, on this Mother’s Day. I pray for those that desire…

Posted by C. Celeste Marshall on Sunday, May 9, 2021

 

***Again, just be sure you see this, C. Celeste Marshall will be on radio station WGTJ Glory 97.5 FM/1330 AM at 9:05 am. Following the community focus segment with Ms. Millie Miller of Get Out Stay Straight/ Restorative Ministry, she will be sharing her testimony.

Any thoughts?