Family Quilt Newsletter

 

Table of Contents

A Note from Sherlene

Believer's Kingdom (Entrepreneurial Advice)

What's On the Menu? (Nutrition, Recipes, etc.)

Education Dialogue (Education, Child Care, Local School News)

Right (the) Rights (Politics, Top Stories of Minority News)

Wants/Needs (Sales, Bartering Advice)

Not Another Ripoff (Real Estate, Jobs, Announcements)

Hallelujah 'N' Amen (Church news)

With this Body, I Create (The Arts - Gifts and Talents)

Calendar Preview (Social Events, etc.)

 

Note: This newsletter is not intended to offend any religion, race, or person. It is not my ministry calling to convert anyone.

 

2007 Theme: Seeing Destiny Through the Revelations

 

July Edition

 

Greetings,

 

Please remember that your donations to this ministry is appreciated. It is helping to uplift the underserved population in communities. How many of you are planning a social gathering, or family reunion during the summer months? With what appears as an unending war, many people appear to be concentrating more on tighter budgets than spending on leisure activities. It is important to participate in external social functions. I am hoping this issue will provide you with affordable suggestions on making your next gathering successful.

 

Peace, unity, and love,

 

Sherlene Stevens (Gould), Evangelist

 

_Prayer for the Month_

For my non-Muslim readers, Muslims have group prayers five times a day. This is not the only time that Muslims can pray as many people believe.  During the next couple of months, I will be teaching on the many myths of Islam. If this is your first time reading my publications please go to my company website to learn more of the Islamic faith.

 

Morning Prayer for Guidance

Lord, I celebrate seeing another day. Thank you, Father. Guide me today, Holy Spirit so that I may glorify God (Allah). I pray in the name of Jesus for unity of believers. I pray for our judicial systems, and people of political persuasion in the United States of America. If I can help somebody then my living is not in vein. Amen.

 

Noon Prayer for Financial Guidance

God, I celebrate this mid-day hour. I celebrate it because the morning hours were blessed and productive. I pray for prosperity. I am achieving my goals and maintaining my financial budget that I have at this time.  My debt is slowing decreasing and my faith in you is quickly increasing. I am expecting godly abundance. I am gaining financial freedom. Amen.

 

Evening Prayer for Healing

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. When in the morning light I wake show me the path of love to take. Heal me from my burdens or conditions. I realize that healing may not come over night. Yet, I will remain obedient in trusting in you Father. If it does not happen tonight then I will still praise you in the morning.  Lord, I pray for any senior citizen who can not sleep because of pain in their body. Allow them to place their trust in you. Allow them to be thankful for tomorrow--when they will awaken in the land of the living (eternity) and no longer sleeping in their graves.  Allow them to ask the young people to help them when they are in need. Take away their pride, their jealousy, their envy.  Let them know that yes, they are getting older; they have a lot of wisdom that they can share with the younger generations. Amen.

 

_Education Dialogue_

A summer read: Gems from the Holy Quran by Buthanuddin Hassan

 

Allow school-age children to read a book of their choice, each day, during their summer or holiday vacation. Now is the time to decide whether you were satisfied with your child's academic year. Evaluate whether your child's academic year was successful. If not, there are other alternatives (i.e., private schooling, home schooling). If you can not afford private education, choose home schooling. Simply contact your local Board of Education, pupil services department, before you start. Most states require a 10 to 15-day advance notice before home schooling can begin. Be sure to request any information out of your child's current school file before exiting. This is also a must-do task if your child's school is closing within your community.

 

_Right (the) Rights_

Happy Independence, America! My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing ? The first observance of Independence Day was in Philadelphia, PA in 1877.  A Black Enterprise (2007) special report of the top ten cities to live in for African Americans included again, Washington, DC.

 

_Wants/Needs_

Family reunion resourceful information websites: www.family-reunion.com, www.myevent.com, www.reuniontips.com Source: Black Enterprise, May 2007.

 

_Not Another Ripoff_

Landlords, please contact me to add your current listings in the unpublished housing list for families in need.

 

 

August Edition

 

Greetings,

 

Have we forgotten God who sent himself in the image of a human and goes by the name of Jesus? If we were to look in a mirror we would see that we are created in the image of God. Since our ancestors did not have enough faith to believe in God who we can not see, Jesus was their earthly picture (visual) to show that God is forever with us. Jesus is Lord. The Lord is God. Current generation of faith believers, God is always with us.

 

(Three circles with a name (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit) of the Trinity were placed as a visual.)

 

Notice that the circles could not be formed without God. Attempt to remove one out of your life, and you will find that you no longer have the divine unity of Jesus who gives us the Holy Spirit. The Islamic name for Jesus is Isa (pronounced "ee sah").  

 

Many have commented that they enjoyed reading the July publication, thank you. Your comments--good or bad--are appreciated. We will continue with the discussion in this issue.

 

Peace, unity, and love,

 

Sherlene Stevens (Gould), Evangelist

 

_Prayer for the Month_

Myth: Muslims do not believe in Jesus. A fact about the Islam faith: Muslims believe that Jesus was first a man and a prophet. The Holy Bible also identifies Jesus as being an ordinary man until he was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew, Holy Bible). In the Holy Quran Jesus' proper name is Isa. His mother is described as Miriam (for Mary). Muslims believe that Jesus has no power unless the Creator empowers.

 

Morning Prayer for Guidance

Almighty, I pray for the world. I will continue to light my candle for the ending of the war. It has been going on for more years then some may realize. I know that this war shall end at an acceptable time. Amen.

 

Noon Prayer for Prosperity

Lord, I pray at this hour for parents with school-age children. I pray for all youth in our country. This is their time to grow up spiritually, and to learn true faith believing principles for the kingdom. Amen.

 

Evening Prayer for Healing

Creator of the universe, heal nations that lack the basic needs. Heal lands that do not have enough for all of its citizens. Amen.

 

_Believer's Kingdom_

God said (Holy Bible), "Write the vision and make it plain.. for your people perish without a vision." So here is my vision plan for the immediate future __________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________.

 

_What's on the Menu?_

Serving sizes on labels: If the % daily value per serving is five percent or less, the food item is low in that particular nutrient. If the % daily value per serving is twenty percent or more, the food item is high in that nutrient. Serving sizes are sizes normally eaten by the average person who takes in up to 2,500 calories (all meals) per day.

 

_Education Dialogue_

Most local public school systems will begin their 2007-2008 academic year this month.

 

An article: Our Busy World

A father wanted to read a magazine, but was being pestered by his young daughter. To keep her busy, he tore a sheet out of the magazine that had a picture of the world printed on it.  He tore the picture into small pieces and said, "Here, now go into the other room and see if you can put this picture of the world back together again." A few minutes go by and his daughter appears in the room, and hands him the picture all correctly fitted together. The father was surprised and asked her how she was able to fit all those little pieces of the world back together again so quickly. "Ok" she said, "On the other side of the paper was a picture of Jesus, and once I got Jesus in the right place then, the world came out alright."

 

_Wants/Needs_

To reduce electric bills and physician bills remember to keep house temperature between 65-75° even during the spring and summer months when using a cooling appliance.

 

Poem: Windy Days Gives Us Balance

Author Unknown

When you're prepared spiritually, mentally, and physically you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? Faith believers secure yourself against the storms of life by the words of God. We just need to hold his hand to have peace in the middle of storms. 

 

_Scriptures for the Month_

(Holy Bible, King James Version)

Genesis 1:1, 26-28

Exodus 20:1-26

Matthew 22:32-46

Notice that  Exodus' point of view of I AM THAT I AM is repeated in future books and chapters.  The writers continue to repeat [God] "I am," "I am is Lord or I am is Lord your God."


Holy Qu'ran translation

Surah II:62-67, 177, 255

Surah III:1-8

 

November Edition

 

Greetings,

 

We must remember our ethnic history so that we will not lose our racial identity.  Starting now until January 1, 2008, I would like for us to appreciate our diverse ethnic backgrounds.  There are serveral holidays where we can continue or begin family traditions. The month of December is not the only time that we can express family love.  I will also make the attempt to begin this activity.  This Thanksgiving, I am going to include some African or old ethnic traditions during the holiday dinner. On several occasions, I have suggested ideas to the older generation and their only reply, "we use to do that in the 60s, or I do not know why we do not do such and such any more." Let's all try to sit down at the holiday dinner table with our families and be the first to show unity behaviors. Yes, this would include family members that you have not talked to in a while, for some reason or another.  You may find that the family member is not so difficult to be around after all. You, decide to be the example of godly love.

 

Again, I am asking for you to consider including Kwanzaa in your holiday plans. Now until January 2008, I will be discussing the celebration. The ministry will also be recognizing Hanukkah and Christmas (all around the world).

 

Kwanzaa: December 26 - January 1, yearly. Kwanzaa means "first", or "first fruits." Kwanzaa was originally celebrated in Africa many years ago before slave trading began.  It is the time for unity of families, remembrance of ancestors, rededication to the values of the community, and showing appreciation for what one has.

Supplies needed: 7 candles (1 black, 3 red, and 3 green); 1 woven placemat, and 1 candle holder (for seven candles)

 

The black candle represents our "race." The red candles represents our "struggles." The green candles represent our future goals of "prosperity."

 

In regards to the poem, "Our Busy World," it took the father's effort to present a choice to his child. Our heavenly father allows us to have opportunities and choices, but it is up to humans to follow his instructions to have a blessed and fulfilled life. The example of the child creating an image of Jesus reveals to us that we need Jesus in our lives to complete our human processes. Do you have a problem that you can not solve by yourself? Why not pray to our Father? Tell God your challenges, and make sure to end your prayer by repeating, "in the name of Jesus. And, close your prayer with "amen." Always remember, readers, we are not to pray to Jesus. We are to pray using his name; asking him to pray and believe with us while sending a prayer in the atmosphere to God.

 

Peace, unity, and love,

 

Sherlene Stevens (Gould), Evangelist

 

Islamic myths or untruths series continued:

Myth: All Muslims wear a head covering. Fact: Not all Muslims wear the Hijad or head covering. Members of the Nation of Islam (U.S. Black Muslims) are asked to wear a head covering at all times, if possible. Currently, there have been disputes in other countries as to whether Muslim women should cover their heads. In the U.S. most Muslims practice by choice.  The goal of this head-covering practice is to focus not on a person's appearance, but the inner character of a person.

 

_Prayer for the Month_

Morning Prayer

Almighty, I pray for the world. I pray that the United States of America will remember that we are created from all differenty cultures of people - black, white, and many other racial identities. This is how our country's states were formed. I pray in the name of Jesus that we realize that all races can never be the same. In your word, God divided people into categories based on their abilities. We all do not have the same giftings or talents. We all will not pray and preach the same. Yet, we should be teaching the same principles that are clearly shown in your words. Guide us, Father, and we will continue to give you praise.  Africans kept dancing during the hardships of American slavery. God as I give you praise this morning, guide my steps.  Allow me to praise you using African rhythm of my African heritage. Surely, if my ancestors could praise you then I know that I must praise you through the good and difficulties of life. Amen.

 

Noon Prayer for Prosperity

In the name of Jesus, I have made it to this noon day hour. I will tithe. I will try to decrease my expenses so that I can increase my weekly tithes.  I will ask my family to make a special tithe, in our family name, this Thanksgiving. Amen.

 

Evening Prayer for Healing

Creator of the universe, heal nations that lack the basic needs of humans. Heal lands that do not have enough for all of its citizens. In the name of Jesus, I ask that you do not allow our homeless to be hungry during this time of year. I pray that they can stop by a church, temple, or mosque and be fed. I pray that all clergy will inspire younger members to visit mature adults in the community. Amen.

 

_What's on the Menu?_

Our bake fundraiser will now begin since it is cooler.  Please do not bake anything that will require a custard.  All proceeds will go towards the building fund and paying the outstanding debt that is owed to Centreville National Bank ($4,900).  Please contact me if you can donate your time, ingredients, or a finished product.  Give what you can to make this year's fund raising a success!

 

_Education Dialogue_

It is report card time for most of our students. At least once a year, parents should request to see their child's academic file. The academic file is used to identify your child(ren)'s academic history within schools. It is a permanent record that will be kept at your child's schooling district for ever (unless requested by another school or school closure). I have been told that even if a child transfers to another school, certain information remains at the initial school. Make sure you are aware of any documents--including IEP meetings, if applicable--in your child's file. 

 

_Right (the) Rights_

As a (former) clergy member (former United Methodist certified lay speaker) I can not tell you whether to vote Independent, Democrat, or Republican. I can tell you that no matter who we vote into office, we will see "change." Change does not come without effort. Remember our votes count.

 

_Wants/Needs_

A few of you have commented that you begin your holiday shopping during the month of November. Look for sales and ask the store manager if your favorite items are ever on sale before buying.

 

Suggestion: Write need or want next to each person's gift idea on your list before purchasing. Remember your promise to reduce your debt during 2007.

 

 

December Edition

Greetings or Assalamu Alaikum,

 

I am asking all readers to consider participating in the Kwanzaa celebration.  It is the end of 2007; this is the last Kingdom's Quilt for the year. At the end of this month all goals and aspirations, that we have desired, will have (hopefully) occurred. Our next year, 2008, should be a year of "beginnings."

 

I feel that God is not calling us to start new beginnings now. I believe that 2008 is the time to see real beginnings of our efforts in our 2007 goals. At this time, I do not believe everyone's expectations or goals have happened. Don't stop praying. Each prayer must have a little faith when talking with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When you are praying, you are also praying with those two. And when two or more are gathered in His name, then he comes into the presence of the praying group. We never know what the end will be; He alone knows our true destiny. He is the Creator who has created us all. He knows our beginnings and our endings.

 

I would like to apologize for the length of time that I took to discuss sermon topic, "Who is God Really?" I felt that it was important for readers to truly understand the message. I can truly say that you were patient, and allowed me to thoroughly complete the discussion. I thank you: God is the Holy Spirit and Jesus.

 

It is not my ministry calling to convert anyone. I accept Muslim believers as a religious group. This religious organization or ministry is an Interfaith discussion newsletter. It was designed by the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Since I teach principles or provide translations out of the Holy Quran, I have been labeled or called a Muslim. This description is okay with me. I hope that all of you will understand my mission. Not by words, but by my actions. I am sincere in my actions to embrace all...how about you?

 

Now, it is time to celebrate the prediction of a baby named Jesus and his birthday.  I pray that you will now have an understanding of the man; Jesus came to fulfill and save the world from eternal sin.

 

Sermon topic: Who is Sleeping in your Crib?

 

I want you to not think for a moment. There is no need, just do what I tell you. Are you okay?  If you had to describe the baby Jesus (Yeshua, Isa) sleeping in the manger, what would he look like? What racial identity would he be? Would he be the skin tone of your ethnic race? I have been asked thes questions time and time again over the years. Another question, is it appropriate to exhibit Jesus as African American, Mexican, or White during celebrations?

 

Our American history includes artworks of Jesus having blonde hair and blue eyes. Modern history shall not include the fact that Jesus was a person of color. Readers, is this ridiculous? This is one reason why I have this cultural ministry. It is important that we are able to learn, and accept the idea that people of other countries (outside of America) are mostly non-white. True friends should not feel uncomfortable if your Jesus is non-traditional or of a minority race. I believe white people are comfortable within their own identity. A lot of times, we as minorities, are insecure in what we believe is culturally acceptable or images that fit into the normalcy of everyday people in our country.

 

As United Methodist Christians, we learn of topics found in the New Testament (Holy Bible), and hardly hear sermons from the Old Testament or Torah (first five books found in the Bible written by Moses). The Holy Qu'ran (Islam) includes many verses of the Old Testament. Our modern generation of young people have hardly heard sermon topics from the earlier books. Both Testaments are important to faith believers. Everyone wants to hear about Jesus and not the sender. The Holy Bible and the Torah are written according to the process of the average literary work. In other words, you have to read the beginning to understand the ending. Yet, it is different than any other book because it is prophetic in its teachings of understanding human living. You think your life experiences are new? Read the Scriptures...The Bible reveals to us the beginning of life and what will occur unto the end of our time in this world.

 

Many of us believe we have an understanding of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When you ask certain ones, who is God? They really don't know him. How many songs do you sing that includes the word, God? Do you know that it is considered idol worshipping when you believe in Jesus, but do not accept God as your heavenly father?  You can not know Jesus, but do not accept God to. You can not know Jesus, the baby born on a cold day, without knowing who sent him.

 

It is not unusual to know people who are considered to have two fathers:  a real father, and another male who acts as a father in a child's or an adult's life. How many of you have a stepfather as a parent? Is this dating back to the fact that God had to bring a glimpse of whom he is to us (like he did with Sampson in the Old Testaments).  Is that why Muslims believe that there were several characters of Jesus?

 

The first perfect family--Adam and Eve--only knew one father. Like a good book, we can not read only or part of the Holy Bible without knowing the beginning. The beginning can only be found in the Old Testament (or Torah, Holy Qu'ran).  If God didn't change his meaning of old discussions in the new discussions (New Testament), continue to read and use such principles in our everyday lives. We are to obey his commandments (laws), and to learn truths as written.  A good example is the Book of Proverbs--old, but timely to the 21st century faith believers.

 

Jesus birth was prophesied in the Old Testament (see scriptures of the month). Who is sleeping in your crib? How many new believers know the history of the predictions of Jesus? The predictions confirm when he would be born and killed.  Jesus said in the New Testament that he did not come to change what already had been prophesied.  Jesus came to fulfill and complete what God had already promised.  Jesus is no longer a baby in a crib, and he is no longer on the cross. He sits at the right hand of God, in heaven, and he will be soon approaching Earth again, for the final revelations. Jesus, if for no other reason, I will celebrate your birth because you are part of the tribe of Judah (one of the twelve new, faith believing families; children of Israel).  Amen.

 

Poem: Dancing with God

Author Unknown

When I meditated on the word "guidance,"

I kept seeing "dance."

At the end of the word, I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.

When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.

The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music.

One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.

It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.

The dance takes serenity, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and

gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word, guidance.

When I saw "g:" I thought of God,

followed by "u" and "i." God,

"u" and "i" dance.

God, you and I dance.

As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life.

Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

 

Prayer 

    My prayer for you, today, is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you

on this day and everyday. May you abide in God as God abides in you. Dance together

with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season in your life.

D-A-N-C-E, for Jesus born of the tribe of Judah.

 

I wish to you and your family a very blessed holiday season, and a productive and prosperous New Year.

 

Sherlene Stevens (Gould), Evangelist

 

Hanukkah (Dec. 5 - 12)

Jewish holiday celebrating freedom to worship to the one living God: eight candles, one to keep lit during the lighting of each additional daily candle. Traditional colors: Blue, Yellow (Gold), and White

 

Christmas (Dec. 25)

Christian holiday celebrating the human baby sent from the one living God.

Theme: Dancing for Jesus: Our Savior (Saviour) from the Tribe of Judah

Traditional colors: Red, Green, White

 

Kwanzaa: (Dec. 26 - Jan. 1)

Kwanzaa means "first," or "first fruits." Kwanzaa was originally celebrated in Africa many years ago, before slave trading began. It is the time

  • for unity of families;
  • for remembrance of ancestors;
  • for rededication to the values of the community, and
  • for showing appreciation for what one has.

Supplies: Seven candles (1 black candle, 3 red and green candles), one woven placemat, and one candleholder.

 

The black candle represent the "African American race." The red candles represent "human struggles." The green candles represent future "goals or prosperity." Use the black candle to lite an alternating red or green candle, daily (for seven days). The woven placemat is the symbol of African tradition.

 

Day 1: Unity

Light the black candle. Gather family to begin celebration.

 

Day 2: Self Determination

Light a red candle. Learn an African tradition or create a new family tradition.

 

Day 3: Collective Work

Light a green candle. Do something productive with family or a friend.

 

Day 4: Cooperative Economics

Light a red candle. Create future financial goal strategies for the coming year.

 

Day 5: Purpose

Light a green candle. Plan future goals, share or donate.

 

Day 6: Creativity

Light a red candle. Dance or do something involving the fine arts.

 

Day 7: Faith

Light a green candle. Have a feast to conclude celebration.

 

_Believer's Kingdom_

Some of you may have doubts or fears about new situations or opportunities.  I'll give you an example of what I mean, I started this ministry in April, 1997: I didn't even know how to start an external ministry outside of my attending church activities (United Methodist) or of distributing a community publication. I just knew that I wanted to fulfill what I felt was a need in my local community.

 

I went into ministry with desiring no financial gain. I wanted to share knowledge about diversity. Do you know some people are hesitant about using my services because they are free to the general public? They are afraid of kindness and something for free. God's philosophy is it is better to give than to receive.  Yet, some of these same faith believers will request assistance from our government. Or is that the issue or the relationship challenge against my independent business? Ministry is a business. What I really want my aspiring entrepreneurs to understand is there are going to be challenges. You must keep your determination to accomplish your goals. Satan or the Evil One desires for all faith believers to have NO faith. He knows that he only has permission to try to create conflicts and confusion in our lives. After all, (isn't it true) faith without works is what? Dead. I tell you this ministry is very much alive. I believe that I have enough faith for us all. I pray that your businesses will succeed in 2008.

 

The Disciple's Cross

 

Christ is in the center (John 15:5; 15:10).

At the top of the cross, there is prayer (John 15:7): Ministry of Service

At the bottom of the cross, there is the Word of God (John 8:31-32): Ministry of Teaching/Preaching

On one side of the cross, there is fellowship: Ministry of Nurture

The other side of the cross, there is an opportunity to witness (John 15:8): Ministry of Evangelism

 

Deny (Luke 9:23)

Follow (Matthew 4:19)

Cross (Luke 14:2)

 

_Right (the) Rights_

I pray that there will not be any closings of minority businesses in 2008. We need all businesses to make the American economy thrive in this century.  A dollar knows no color. However, it can make one prosperous in possessions.

 

_Wants/Needs_

Remember, your promise to reduce bills during 2007.

 

Poem: More Precious Gift

Author Unknown

There are precious gifts at Christmas which one can give to all-

The gift of love so tender though the cost is very small.

This love will lighten Christmas more than a candle twinkling bright,

more than electric bulbs on the treetop giving out its glowing light.

There are other gifts at Christmas which can show that we care.

There is the warmth of understanding and this need is everywhere.

So when you give your gifts this Christmas, give hope to all men (humankind), my friend:

Give faith and hope and charity for these gifts never end!

 

Instruction: Place poem on your Christmas tree.

 

Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy New Year!

 

 

_Scriptures for the Month_

Holy Bible - King James Version

Old Testament

Genesis 3:15; 12:3; 17:19

Isaiah 7:14

Numbers 24:17

Micah 5:2

Psalms 45:6-7; 102:25-27

Hoshea 11:1

Matthew 1:1-24; 4:1-10

Romans 15:1-21


Holy Qu'ran translation

Surah 2:105-109; 2:112-113; 2:148

Surah 3:44-51