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Lights, Camera, Rays!
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March/April 2022
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Lights, Camera, Rays!
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March/April 2022
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“We trained more than 1,000 women in ministry to celebrate our cultural inheritance and to preserve, process, and pass on this unique legacy.”
Dr. Cynthia L. Hale
“We trained more than 1,000 women in ministry to celebrate our cultural inheritance and to preserve, process, and pass on this unique legacy.”

by Ruthven Phillip/Why you need regular check-ups to determine your wealth.

by Edward Woods, III/Dr. Cynthia Hale sheds some light on what it means to be a ray of sunshine in a dark place.

by Addison Gill/Taking care of the engine that makes you run.

by Errol Stoddart/Words and faith can defeat the debilitation of negativity.

by Sarah Buckland/A reflection on beauty queen Cheslie Kryst’s life and my own breakdown.

by Craig H. Newborn/Ever doubted the credibility and the accuracy of the Bible? Here’s a study that will stir your faith..

by Ivor Myers/The human race was made to reflect the glory of God.

by Manndi DeBoef/It’s time to take them off.

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Walking on clouds



by Carmela Monk Crawford/THE BOOTS


by Carl and Malachi McRoy/DR. DAVID JONES PECK

by Donna Green Goodman/WOMEN AND NUTRITION





by Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbury/WHAT JESUS SAYS TO THE BURDENED

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Dearly beloved
circa April 1952 Message issue cover
“Your days are in His hands. That which perplexes you will one day be made clear. That which you cannot comprehend of trial and of sorrow will then be explained. You shall understand and know that He in His love for you has allowed them that you may make Him your all. You shall know that from the tangled skein of your life He has wrought a beautiful web of art.

One time, when a small child, I was very ill. My mother held to my lips a very bitter medicine. I turned my face from it, but still she held it to my lips, gently but firmly urging me to take it. Love was in her voice. She knew what I did not know: that only this could bring healing to me—and that I was her dearly beloved.”

Message, circa April 1952, “His Plan” by Inez Brasier

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.
Media That Takes You Higher
This is new day of listening and reading. I pray that each book, tune, or app will make an impact in your life as it has in mine. Please let us know by emailing me.
cover of We Need More Clouds by Lynnett S. Wesley
We Need More Clouds
Lynnett S. Wesley

Lynnett S. Wesley is the author of her first book, We Need More Clouds. When you remarry or enter a partnership that includes children from a previous relationship, blending families can take adjustment. We Need More Clouds is a story about a blended family’s vulnerability, transparency, and love. This book is great for every family. It gives encouragement to families to look up to the clouds and find a story in each formation.
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Call 1-800-456-3991 Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time for subscription information or address changes. MESSAGE (ISSN 0026-0231) is published bimonthly Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec.

© 2018 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, U.S.A. Address editorial correspondence to MESSAGE MAGAZINE, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046-1565 U.S.A. All subscriptions are prepaid. If you did not order MESSAGE, it is being sent as a gift from a friend. You will not be billed. To subscribe, mail payment to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. or call 1-800-456-3991. Subscription price: one year, $19.95 U.S. currency; single copy, $4.00; overseas, add $10.00 per year for postage. Prices subject to change without notice. Periodicals Postage paid at Nampa, Idaho and additional offices. Vol. 87 No. 5 Sep/Oct 2021. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Statements in this issue attributed by an author to other speakers/writers are included for the value of the individual statements only. No endorsement of those speakers’/writers’ other works or statements is intended or implied.

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The Boots

on’t ask me where I heard the story, but one motif remained lodged in my memory: the winter boots. Perhaps some compelling reasons are pushing that mental note to my consciousness now.

I remembered that the scene took place during early stages of the Jewish holocaust of the 20th century. German Nazi soldiers, having invaded Poland, forced Gerda Weissmann and her Jewish family out into the streets to meet their fates in concentration camps. On that sunny, spring day—before soldiers sundered this family, never to see each other again—the girl’s father insisted that she wear her ski boots.

Young Weissman trudged thereafter through death and labor camps. At length, she found herself driven in a 350-mile death march throughout Germany toward Czechoslovakia with 4,000 other women prisoners. Their captors did everything they could to avoid their being discovered and freed by Allied forces. Yet, through the march, deprivation, executions, starvation and cold, she had her boots.

eye on the times
Person standing in front of large clock in clock tower
Wrongs Against Voting Rights
The best hedge against the loss of your vote is vigilance.
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Unseen Histories
By Leslie Watson Wilson

here are some who were and are willing to restrict the ability of other Americans to participate in the most fundamental right as a US citizen. Those persons celebrated the successful use of the antiquated filibuster to mark what they believe to be the end of the legislative road for the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in this Congress.

But I believe there is “a divine purpose behind the wrongdoings and schemes of men.” I believe Genesis 50:20 (paraphrasing), “what man meant for harm, God intends for good,” and certainly Romans 8:28, “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called for His purpose.”

Black from the Past
Dr. David Jones Peck
Youth Activist
By Carl McRoy
A headshot portrait photograph of David Jones Peck grinning

avid Jones Peck was born in 1826 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to Sarah and John C. Peck. John Peck worked as a barber, wigmaker, and an African Methodist Episcopalian minister. Rev. Peck was also an abolitionist who was friends with William Lloyd Garrison and active with the Underground Railroad. By 13 years-old, David Peck caught the activist bug from his dad and served as president of the 40-member Pittsburgh Juvenile Anti-Slavery Society.1

David later helped break down barriers as the first African American to graduate with a medical degree from an American medical school in 1847 from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. Of course, he had serious obstacles to overcome. He could only attend Rush after white students voted to approve of him. The challenges continued after graduation, such as when he was removed from an auction for medical books because of his complexion.2

David Peck soon married and began his practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but abandoned it after being whiteballed by other doctors in the city of brotherly love. Next, the Fugitive Slave Law threatened the liberty of every Black American, even those born free like Dr. Peck.3

optimal health
The Plant-Based Lifestyle
Women and Nutrition:
What’s Your Legacy?
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By donna green goodman

he longer I live, the more convinced I am of the impact of healthy food choices on overall health. And, I’m reminded of scriptural references from our Creator, that seem to support that concept:

  • the test of Adam and Eve around appetite/desire
  • the provision of fruits, nuts and grains as God’s original dietary for man
  • the addition of vegetables after sin
  • the allowance of flesh consumption, when the earth was bare because of The Flood, with specific restrictions around unclean animals and consumption of blood and fat
  • the temptations of Christ around bread
  • the fasting of Christ when tempted
  • the reference to what we eat, drink or do glorifying God
  • the leaves of the tree which are for the healing of the nation.
John and April Nixon
The Challenge of Radical Acceptance
Acceptance may just be the most important factor in any human relationship. It is something everybody needs and we will do almost anything to obtain it. We have all seen people get hazed, bullied or even peer-pressured into doing something we think is insane just so they can be accepted by a group of people in the end.

“It is virtually impossible for people to [listen] unless they believe the other person understands, respects and accepts them for who they really are,” says author, relationship expert John Gottman. Acceptance is the foundation for all human relationships and if it’s missing from your marriage the results could be deep hurt, resentment, and even contempt.

We’d like to challenge you to move past the baseline act of acceptance to something deeper and more meaningful called Radical Acceptance, one of the four pillars of total intimacy.

Financial Health Assessments
Why you need a regular check-ups to determine your wealth.
By Ruthven Phillip
I were to ask when was your last health checkup or physical, you would probably point to a timeline between one month and twelve months ago. Health checkups have become a regular part of our nomenclature. Spouses compel each other to go; siblings expect it from each other, and friends push us toward our obligatory annual physical examination. Conversely, no one seems to care—or maybe they don’t know—how you’re doing financially or economically.

Why should they be in your business if you drive the best cars, wear the best clothes, live in the best neighborhoods? They may not appreciate that you’re but one paycheck away from not being able to fulfil your monthly obligations.

If you told someone that the results of your physical revealed elevated hypertension, their Christian response is to prescribe a list of foods, and they may even pray and fast with you. However, when you are paying the minimum balance due of thirty-five dollars a month on your $7,500 credit card debt, no one is sounding the alarm.

Dr. Cynthia Hale smiling
By Edward Woods, III
creating a movie, it is typical for the director to state on set, “Lights, Camera, Action!” When it comes to ministry, Dr. Cynthia Hale reflects the light of Christ, on and off camera, in providing a ray of hope to her congregation, colleagues, and the community.

Starting the church with a congregation of five in her living room in 1986, Hale through the power of the Holy Spirt, grew the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia to more than 5,000 members. In identifying the secret to her success, she acknowledged that keeping the personal touch whether face-to-face, or in live services has always made the difference.

How You Can Be A Ray of Hope
by Patrice THOMAS Conwell
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Christians we have the example of Jesus Christ for combatting racist views and prejudicial biases. He showed us that relationships are key to fostering Christian love. And love is key to erasing biases. Below are practical ways that individuals can start the process of developing relationships with those outside of our cultural, denominational and ethnic circles:

Black Man’s Wealth

Taking Care of the Engine That Makes You Run

Interview with Joshua Anthony

A portrait photograph of Joshua Anthony smiling
By Addison Gill
In typography

recent years the rise in stress, depression, and anxiety, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, caused us to learn more about mental health awareness. With all of these factors in mind, it is good to know that there are mental health care professionals ready to help where they can. One of those individuals is Joshua Anthony.

Anthony is an alumnus of Oakwood University, Meharry Medical College, and Northeastern University. He graduated from medical school in 2015 and is currently completing his residency in psychiatry at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. A biochemistry major at Oakwood, Anthony knew that he wanted to be a doctor but never imagined he’d be in psychiatry.

A Resilient Mindset Begins Here
Photos by Joice Kelly from
By Errol Stoddart
hat is resilience? I think of a basketball that bounces on the court and keeps bouncing back up because it is resilient. Unless a hole causes the air to leak out, it doesn’t become deflated and stop bouncing. Every time it’s pushed, dunked, slammed, or bounced, it comes back up. The harder you throw it down, the higher it bounces up.

In a Psychology Today article, “What Is Resilience?” Jennice Vilhauer, the Director of Emory University’s Adult Outpatient Psychotherapy Program, evaluates what it means to be resilient:

Antidotes for Anxiety
By Sarah Buckland
tear came to my eye when I read of the tragic suicidal death of Cheslie Kryst in January. Although I never knew Cheslie, something about her story resonated with me. Perhaps it was her ambitious aura, or her intellectual achievements at such a young age, or even her curly locks much like my own. Kryst was a beautiful and precious soul that had exuded much in public life but battled to achieve balance internally. Had I not been surrounded by Christian support systems, and not been personally grounded in Christ, I thought to myself, this could have very well been me.

I have had struggles maintaining a balanced perspective in career pursuits and valuing others’ opinions that all led to anxiety, moodiness, and health breakdowns in my past, even as a Christian. In parallel, digging beyond Cheslie’s tragic headlines, stand as a stark reminder to me of the importance of seeking fulfilment, purpose, and joy in Christ alone.

As I perused the description of Kryst’s Instagram page, I saw the post “God first.” This led to me wonder: What could have led this successful youth who acknowledged God to make this life-ending decision?

The Silver Lining

Ever Doubted the Credibility and the Accuracy of the Bible? Here’s a Study that Will Stir your Faith.

By Craig H. Newborn

he Bible’s trustworthiness as the inspired word of God is a matter of considerable significance to Christians. It is not uncommon for even deeply committed Christians to find themselves dismayed by attacks on the Bible’s credibility.

The Bible book of Numbers is one target of such critical attacks. The large numbers cited in the Book of Numbers have caused many critics to dismiss those figures as highly improbable. An in-depth article in the Nelson Study Bible clearly presents the challenge.

Dragonspeak: The Race Crisis in America title
Part Seven text
By Ivor Myers
he book of Genesis tells us that “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

According to this verse, God did not make a man in his image, but mankind—the human race—to reflect his image and likeness (Genesis 1:28). He made the human race. Not races, but race. One race. This one race was to reflect the image or likeness of God.

So what is the image or likeness of God? The prophet Ezekiel caught a glimpse of the “likeness of the glory of God.” In this vision, Ezekiel “saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:27-28).

Get Unrealistic title
By Debleaire Snell
have developed a robust conviction that I think is transformative for the body of Christ. Your life, marriage, work, health, and money will shift radically when you become more unrealistic.

One of the greatest issues facing God’s contemporary church is that we have become too realistic. We have tried to make faith pragmatic. We try to merge radical faith with common sense and the two are unequally yoked.

Every Joseph-like dreamer, every Daniel-like visionary, has to fight off the constant appeals for them to “be more realistic.”

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You’re fam here.
Message is the oldest, black, Christian magazine in North America whose longevity is owing to its critical function of sharing the message of redemption, relationship, and readiness.
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We believe that God, recognizing how irretrievably broken our lives and world would be following the influence of the enemy’s lies, sent His Son Jesus in whom we are created anew. He has promised the total righting of everything that is wrong in this world. Seek Him. Reach for Him, and He will in no way cast you aside. He wants you to know Him, and assures that He will be there when you look for Him. No matter who you are, this opportunity is for you.
Relationship in. slab font
We’re here to operate as a set of His hands and feet, to come alongside all who preach, teach, and work with this good news. We fight against the destructive effects sin has had on us, the personal, systemic and perpetual division that plagues this world. In particular, we target and counter the false narrative of who God is. Together we affirm His image found in the black mind and body that has so often borne the brunt of brutality and untruth. Together we seek to align with God’s Kingdom at work in the here and now.
Readiness in a slab font
Finally, we prepare for that day when all of God’s people reunite with Him in person. That preparation includes a complete opening of our minds and hearts to Him, allowing Him to do the work of getting us ready. We’re reading His word with an open mind, seeking the special blessing of the Spirit especially on His Sabbath, and we eagerly watch for His return!
Let’s walk together, fam.
To receive personal Bible studies, pray with someone, talk with a chaplain or find a church, reach the Message Resource line: 1-855-God-Cares (1-855-463-2273).
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Rest for Your Souls

Wooden shackle

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:25-30, (NLT)*.
A Reflection
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
From Ellen G. White’s Ministry of Healing, “The Touch of Faith,” p. 71, 72.**

enderly He bade the toiling people, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29.

In these words, Christ was speaking to every human being. Whether they know it or not, all are weary and heavy-laden. All are weighed down with burdens that only Christ can remove. The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6.

Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbery
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What Jesus Says to the Burdened
“Come unto me…,” it is a gentle prompting from our Savior with a beautiful gift—a promise of rest, should we choose to comply. Why do we have such a hard time following this command? Why are we so stubborn that we don’t take Him up on His word when such great benefit awaits us? His yoke is easy and light! Are we too busy trying to work it out ourselves? Are we thinking that resting means giving up? Do we believe a Christian life means pulling our weight? I pray that you will examine your current position in your study of this verse. Ask yourself whether you are experiencing His “rest” today.
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Did you catch this?
What’s the Message, Season 3: Ep. 1
Debleaire Snell, new Speaker/Director of Breath of Life Ministries, and the Senior Pastor of Oakwood University Church, (Huntsville, Alabama) spoke to the challenge of pastoring and mentoring young people on the campus of this Historically Black University (HBCU).

“One of our goals is to make the gospel of Jesus Christ a lot more simple, and we want them to know that the gospel is a lot more attainable. For a lot of our young people, the gospel feels too scientific, it feels too ethereal. Too many of our young people are walking around wondering if they can experience God. It seems as though that is something reserved for ‘the elites.’ We want to make it clear is that Jesus gospel came near. The whole salvation narrative, is not about a people that deserve God’s goodness, it’s about a great God that show grace for undeserving people.

So that it’s not something that they see as a theological concept, but something that is personal. It’s not until salvation is personal that it is lasting.

So, I’m praying that I can take what I received, pour it forward into the next generation, to help them settle, come to some conclusions…

Even people that don’t really accept Jesus or receive Christ into their lives until their older—their one regret and their only regret about serving God is that they’ll say: ‘man, I should have done it sooner.’

My prayer is that we can raise up a generation of young people that gives the best years of their lives to Jesus—their 20s, early 30s, where they’re strong and spiritual, and they realize that they’re not missing out on anything. So that when they are 45, 50 60, they’re not looking back on their lives with this lamentable regret saying ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda,’ but no, you can look back with a full cup, a sense that the mission is near complete because you’ve done what Christ has asked you to do.”

Bless and Be Blessed
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The Masks We Wear title typography
By MaNndi DeBoef

occurred to me how much masks affect our daily lives. I am not talking about the masks we are forced to wear in modern days to protect ourselves and others from Covid. I am talking about the elusive everyday masks we put on to hide our true personas from the world.

I wear a mask every day. Again, not the cloth mask required of my job, nor the mask of makeup I refuse to leave the house without. I am talking about the invisible mask I put on every morning before facing the world. The I’m fine, everything is fine, my life feels like it is falling apart, I am anxious, worried, stressed, but I don’t want to deal with it, so I will just pretend it does not exist mask.

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