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Spiritual Warfare
7 Bible Points for your life journey
Wear the Coat of Many Colors
May/June 2022
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Spiritual warfare
Spiritual warfare
Woman in armor

by Ruthven Phillip/Maintain principled purchasing power in the midst of rising costs.

A working partnership, successful at curbing violence, expands nationwide.

Spiritual Warfare

by LeeAnne Assing/Set up your testimony as you walk in faith.

by William Smith/Recognize prayerful power in the battles against Satan, sin and self.

by Angel Cohill/How to let your faith in God work in your personal and public dilemmas.

by Randy Maxwell/God is going to interrupt your regularly scheduled life, with special intercession.

by Ivor Myers/Free others bound to racist ideology.

President Biden Decorates Civilian Volunteers Calvin Rock, and Prudence Pollard.

House on fire
Someone crying



by Carmela Monk Crawford/POWER LUNCH



by Donna Green Goodman/PLAYING IN THE DIRT





by Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbury/HEBREWS 2:18

the group holding their awards
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July 1962 Message Magazine Issue Cover
“Growth is a patient thing. No anxiety can hurry it. No care can hurry it. All about us, in a clamorous world mad with the urge of speed, growth goes on, imperceptible, divinely unhurried, paced by the slow patience and wisdom of God. We can feed growth. With potent minerals, we can give strength to the roots of the pink bud burrowing blindly down into the dark soil. But we cannot hurry them. Slowly the taproots of the bud, and of the soul, go downward, into the dark, seeking the foundation which will give them strength to stand against wind and rain. There must be sun for growth. But there must be darkness too: the deeps of the earth away from prying eyes, the deeps of pain and sorrow, bereavement, struggle despair. Sun alone is not enough. There must be rain and tears, blackness and light, that the bud may open, reach skyward, that the soul may burgeon, grow up—up—up.”

Message, July 1962, “Growth” by Ida Elaine James

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.
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6 Ways to Shape Your New Start
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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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Power Lunch

in Manuel Miranda’s character, “Sonny” in the musical “In the Heights,” is sensitive to the power imbalance between the haves and have nots. His Washington Heights immigrant community is scraping by. As part of the immigrant working class, he notices societal structures at work around him and against him. For once, he muses (in a crazy fantasy about winning a mere $96,000 in the lottery) he would do something about it.

eye on the times
Person standing in front of large clock in clock tower

When Prayers Left Public Schools

an old black and white image of a teacher leading her young class in prayer
By Leslie Watson Wilson

opining about the evil taking place in public schools, it’s not unusual for it to be attributed to when prayers led by public school personnel became illegal in public schools.

In 2008, Joseph Kennedy, a High School varsity and junior varsity football coach in Bremerton, Washington started praying with his players before and after games. He would also take a knee and pray at the 50-yard line with his players at the conclusion of each game.

Black from the Past
Dr. Wangari Maathai
Green Belt Champion
By Carl McRoy
A headshot portrait photograph of Dr. Wangari Maathai smiling

r. Wangari Maathai was born on Apr. 1, 1940 in Nyeri, Kenya. In 2004, Maathai became the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in environmental and economic justice. In 2005 she was one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” In 2006 she was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development, and the list of her awards goes on. In the effervescent eloquence of Carl Carlton, she was “A Bad Mama Jama.

Dr. Maathai’s concern for poor farming communities led her to connect the dots between Earth care and existential issues of food, fuel, clothing, gender inequality, disease, and warfare. Her organization, The Green Belt Movement, was responsible for planting over 30 million trees in a massive, international reforestation campaign. However, as she said in the following excerpt from her Nobel lecture in 2004, they weren’t sowing ordinary seeds:

optimal health
The Plant-Based Lifestyle
Playing in the Dirt
Photo from
By donna green goodman
a garden shovel and dirt in it

epending on where you live, it’s time to play in the dirt. We Southerners tend to get out there around Easter time—taking that annual leap of faith by planting seeds of foods we love to eat! I cannot tell you the joy you feel when you pick that ripe tomato or cut into that sweet watermelon or pour a cup of peppermint tea. The sense of accomplishment that you actually grew something that you can actually eat is “UH-MAZING!”

When you look at the Gospels in the Bible and read the story of the Sower, you notice that when he sowed the seed it fell on a variety of ground—stony, by the wayside, among thorns, and the good. The success of the seed and harvest depended a lot upon the soil. Getting there, however, can take some work.

John and April Nixon

Conflict Resolution’s Biggest Enemy

Let’s be honest; most of us think conflict is an altogether negative word. We picture clenched teeth, rolling eyes and hot tempers. We hear feet stomping, doors slamming and raised voices. None of these things bring warm fuzzies to our minds so we dismiss all conflict as harmful, detrimental and damaging.

This is one of the reasons why so many couples avoid conflict with every fiber of their beings. After all, who wants to adopt something that seems harmful? So we embrace avoidance instead. Yes, avoidance is probably the biggest factor in unresolved conflict. But what if we told you the road to total intimacy leads through conflict, and that if we can learn to face it head-on, we would be much more connected with our spouse?

Inflationary Faith
Maintain principled purchasing power in the midst of rising costs.
By Ruthven Phillip
ne of the most covered topics in the news today is inflation. Economists define inflation as “a decline in the purchasing power of a given currency over time.”

It can also be described as the rise in the general level of prices, which means that a unit of currency effectively buys less than it did in prior periods. If you have recently filled your vehicle with gasoline or visited the supermarket, inflation is no longer some abstract or obscure economic theory. It’s a pragmatic and practical global experience impacting our daily lives.

Because of inflation, you now put thought into your commute or travel experience. Because of inflation, you now list and order your grocery needs by priority. Because of inflation, so many of your financial decisions have changed.

Preachers and OGs
A working partnership moves to expand its methods nationwide
Charles Harrison (center) rallies the troops to help protect their community, and yours.
A working partnership moves to expand its methods nationwide
harles Harrison is a man of God, wears a collar, and walks the streets at night with the “OGs” of his Indianapolis community. The Indy Ten Points Coalition (ITPC), of which he is the president, curbs violence. Comprised of 13 black, Christian churches, as well as clergy of a diversity of faith practices, the group has been perfecting their methodology since 1999. Together they’ve garnered national attention, and the intrepid, yellow jacketed volunteers are impressively effective. They measure their success in days, or even years, without a homicide and decreases in violent crimes. Baltimore, Maryland, is one of more than a dozen urban areas reaching out to them for guidance. They’re seeking funding to expand.

These texts enrich your resolve.

7 Bible Points for Your Life Journey

These texts enrich your resolve.

Rising arrow
By LeeAnne Assing

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6, NLT).

Why do we find ourselves stuck on the wrong road? Perhaps it’s because we want to carry baggage from our worldly living onto the path of life. The path of life, however, has a “no baggage beyond this point” check point.

This baggage, I know, sometimes contains that which comforted you in the darkest times of your life. It had you feeling so alive while you thought you were so empty and dead inside; alcohol, drugs, premarital sex, gambling, partying, toxic relationships, pride, etc. It’s hard to think about leaving this baggage behind, especially when you don’t know what will give you the “comfort and relief” you’re used to. But I can tell you, from personal experience—because that is the only way I can relate this—it is hard, and basically impossible, to carry that baggage and try to carry God in our hearts too.

Spiritual Warfare
female knight holding sword with lightening storm behind her
Photo-illustration by square1studio
By William S. Smith
letter A dropcap
man addicted to crack desperately tries to free himself from his destructive addiction but cannot overcome. A husband and father who is in a bitter dispute with his wife is now looking at losing his entire family. He feels hopeless and discouraged with nowhere to turn. A Christian mother sees her daughter drifting into the dark side with a male she knows is not good for her, but the more she says against him, the closer her daughter draws to him. What can she do?

Spiritual warfare operates on many fronts in our day-to-day activities and relationships. Three enemies work consistently to separate us from Jesus, hinder our spiritual growth, and bring us to ruin in every area of our lives. These enemies are: sin, self, and Satan.

Let Your Faith Fight for You!
By Angel Cohill
Your victory is in your ability to believe.
The main ingredient for success is your faith.
This is a spiritual battle, and it is not yours.
This battle belongs to the King of Glory, and
“Who is the King of Glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle” (Psalms 24:8, KJV).
It’s safe to assume that most people don’t know the implications of, or techniques for, spiritual warfare. While many of us may believe in God, we don’t know how the power of God works in our lives. We may know Satan exists as our mortal enemy, but we do not know or believe that God has equipped us to defeat him. If it is truly your season for breakthrough, you can’t walk into it without the power of God and His word, and the faith to move forward.
Power to Get in Good Trouble title
Photo by Luca Nardone from Pexels
By Randy Maxwell
hen the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come. Satan can no more hinder a shower of blessing from descending upon God’s people than he can close the windows of heaven that rain cannot come upon the earth. Wicked men and devils cannot hinder the work of God, or shut out His presence from the assemblies of His people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim His promises.

Revival comes only in answer to prayer—prayer that disturbs the peace of paralysis.

Dragonspeak: The Race Crisis in America title
Part Eight - Series Conclusion
By Ivor Myers
ust as God sent Moses to deliver the captives from the house of bondage, so His plan is to send people with the gospel, a message of deliverance, to those bound on the plantation of racism.

God calls those whom He has delivered already from the plantation of the slave master. Some have been bound by the crops of addictions, of abuse, of hopelessness.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-17, KJV).

Faith is Not a Superpower title
By Debleaire Snell
e must stop treating faith like a superpower. Jesus set the standard for faith so that it would be attainable by all.

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

Jesus recognized how difficult it was for His disciples to believe. He expressed that because they had “so little faith” that He would actually adjust the results of what tiny faith could produce. He makes the threshold for the miraculous, low and attainable. He says that if you have faith the size of a “mustard seed”—which is the tiniest of all seeds—the result would be that mountains would be displaced at our request.

Family taking a group selfie
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.
Redemption in slab font
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).
The Experience Logo
The Experience Logo
The Feeling of Our Infirmities
“We have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but One that hath been in all points tempted like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15, R.V.).

“In that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, KJV).

The Feeling of Our Infirmities
“We have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but One that hath been in all points tempted like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15, R.V.).

“In that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, KJV).

Jesus Wept painting by by James Tissot
“Jesus Wept” (Jésus pleura) by James Tissot, courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum
A Reflection
Take heart, all who feel alone and defeated.
From Ellen G. White’s Education, “The Teacher Sent From God,” p. 78, 79. **

hrist alone had experience in all the sorrows and temptations that befall human beings. Never another of woman born was so fiercely beset by temptation; never another bore so heavy a burden of the world’s sin and pain.

“Never was there another whose sympathies were so broad or so tender. A sharer in all the experiences of humanity, He could feel not only for, but with, every burdened and tempted and struggling one.

“What He taught, He lived. ‘I have given you an example,’ He said to His disciples; ‘that ye should do as I have done.’

Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbery
The Experience Study heading
The Experience Study heading
hebrews 2:18
Hebrews 2:18 getting broken down
Reference: Strong’s Concordance
Red – Jesus, his attributes
Green – Promised gift
Brown – Sin, Trouble, Hardship
the bible with art added to the pages
  1. What about this verse stands out to me?
  2. How is this different from the life I live now? Read 1 Peter 5:7.
  3. How does this passage challenge me? Read 2 Timothy 2:12.
  4. What does this passage say about Jesus? How do I see Him working? Compare Jude 1:24.
  5. Assess myself. What am I missing in my life that God wants me to have? See Philippians 3:21.
  6. Is there someone else who could use this in their life? How would I share it?
Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbury is an elementary school teacher and crafter who writes from Columbus, Ohio.
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What’s the Message, Season 3: Ep. 4
What’s the Message, Season 3: Ep. 4

I Had a Stake in the Story

Interview with Clare Coss, playwright and librettist of “Emmett Till A New American Opera”

“I was a student at LSU in Baton Rouge, when Emmett Till was lynched.

I woke up at dawn one morning and I just felt this kind of spiritual mandate to write about Emmitt Till, and how could I as a white woman enter this story, and that role of the teacher came into my mind—a person who cares, but who’s silent. And it’s kind of what Martin Luther King Jr. said:  that the greatest tragedy is the silence of good people. So I wanted to give an arc to this character from where she cares, but is silent, to where she takes a first step towards the responsibility and speaking as a teacher to her students.

Maybe it was [my friend, famous writer and feminist poet Audre Lorde] who told me that ‘you know, black people  don’t like other people telling their stories. And, you know, people like you might think you understand that but you don’t, and you never will.’ So I thought, how can I write about this as a white woman?

Because I felt like the impact in the Emmett Till murder had an impact on my life, I felt that this was part of my story. And when I approached writing the play, my conviction was that this tragedy is a shared tragic history of our country.  White people as perpetrators and witnesses of white supremacy, have a stake in this story. Everybody has a stake in this story.”

Bless and Be Blessed
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Berean Outreach Ministry Center
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Recognized for Service typography
the group holding their awards
p dropcap
resident Joseph Biden, through the Low-Country Rice Culture Project, issued the annual Volunteer Service Awards in a late March ceremony in Washington, D.C. at the Army Navy Club. The Volunteer Service Awards are the nation’s highest honors for the often unrecognized men and women who work for the good of the community.

This year’s award recipients included Brigadier General Terrence A. Adams, a six-time commander who currently serves as the Special Assistant for Cyber Effects Operations, based at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Also acknowledged was Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, the current president of The Links Foundation, Incorporated. Dr. Prudence Pollard, a vice-provost at Oakwood University, a Seventh-day Adventist HBCU in Huntsville, Alabama, was recognized for her particular contributions around health. Pollard was instrumental in the development and completion of the Community Health Action Clinic, and mobile food service, both aimed at providing services and healthy foods for underserved and resourced areas.

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