Author Archives: grelanmuse

The Mission Continues in Houston: Post-9/11 veterans train to serve local communities

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Bravo Service Project participants

Special to Inside The Pew

Veterans from across the country are reporting for duty in Houston to begin the next chapter of serving their country: leading theirBravo Service Project participants communities at home. More than 80, post-9/11 veterans will gather in Houston Oct. 25-27, for a weekend of leadership training and community service as part of orientation with The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to serve their country in new ways.

These latest recruits will join more than 700 other post-9/11 veterans who have worked with The Mission Continues to navigate the transition to post-military life by reconnecting to their communities and their sense of purpose through volunteerism.

Houston residents may join The Mission Continues in action volunteering at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston on Oct. 26 and also witness all 80-plus veterans pledging an oath of service to the community before each returns home to spend the next six months volunteering with local nonprofits.

“Each veteran who volunteers with The Mission Continues is driven to serve others,” said Spencer Kympton, U.S. Army veteran and president of The Mission Continues. “With the support of engaged communities like Houston, we can empower veterans to have a positive impact here at home.”

As part of Delta Orientation, the new veteran recruits and Houston-area alumni of the program will team up with volunteers from Shell and Boeing, as well as project sponsor Benjamin Moore Paints to transform the campus of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School. The volunteers will rebuild the school’s bleachers, plant new gardens and landscape grounds, and remove an outdated performance stage. The site improvements will support the school in its mission to empower students of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.

“The Mission Continues’ veterans are living examples for our students that leadership, determination, and service to others offer a path to empowerment and success,” said Dan Walsh, interim president, Cristo Rey Jesuit. “We’re excited and truly honored to welcome The Mission Continues to the Houston community.”

Through their service experience in Houston and throughout their six-month fellowships at home, veterans learn to translate military abilities into civilian skills, gaining valuable work experience and pursuing a defined post-fellowship goal: full-time employment, pursuit of higher education or a full-time position of community service.

Additionally, The Mission Continues is launching a Houston-based veterans’ service platoon led by fellowship alumnus Brian Wilson. Wilson, a former U.S. Army medic, spent his fellowship volunteering with the Lone Star Veterans Association as the Communications Director and has since enrolled as a full-time student pursuing a degree in communications. As Houston platoon leader, he’ll recruit local veterans to support a mission addressing community challenges in the Houston area through monthly organized service events.

“My fellowship helped me reconnect to that same fire and passion that I felt while serving my country and I want to make sure other veterans have a chance to experience that – even if just for a weekend,” Wilson said. “We’re excited to start recruiting and identifying a long-term mission that will make a difference to people in Houston.”

GodSpeaks movement reveals billboard messages ‘signed’ by God

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GodSpeaks

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

Ministry on billboards is making a comeback.

GodSpeaks, a cross-denominational non-profit organization, is posting new messages “signed” by the God of the Bible on billboardGodSpeakss and other media throughout Ft. Lauderdale and beyond. Messages such as “I’ve been here all along. – God” or “Let’s pick up where we left off. – God” will give daily commuters and digital followers something to ponder outside of their busy lives.

After more than a decade of silence, GodSpeaks is making a comeback, a move influenced by current cultural trends. “Everywhere around us, people are searching for meaning and purpose in life,” shares Bradley Burck, director of GodSpeaks. “For many, God has never been an option.” According to a 2011 Lifeway Research Survey, statistics show that 46 percent of Americans never think about whether they’re going to heaven or not and almost 70 percent of Americans don’t read the Bible or any other religious texts on a regular basis.

“Our culture is in trouble. People are hurting, and GodSpeaks seeks to be a resource of hope and compassion,” Burck said. “Families suffer the effects of alcoholism; violent crime is rising in our cities; children are sexually exploited,” he continues. “GodSpeaks interrupts the hopelessness, through powerful and positive media, and offers God as the answer—because He is the One who changes lives.”

The original billboard campaign, developed in 1998 by anonymous donors, attracted the attention of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and was featured as the OAAA’s national service campaign in 1999. As a result, 10,000 GodSpeaks billboards were posted in 200 cities across America—no small feat for a project that started as a citywide campaign with a handful of billboards and a limited budget. The campaign garnered local, regional and national media attention from CBS, “Good Morning America,” and the “Today” show.

Building on past successes, the present GodSpeaks movement promises to be more far-reaching than the first campaign. In addition to billboards, every available type of media will be utilized to spread the messages, including real-time digital responses to natural disasters, social breakdowns and international events. Messages will be positive, relevant and timely, and, with today’s media capabilities, will speak to situations at the points of impact.

Since the 90s debut of the campaign, thousands have responded with heartfelt emails and testimonies of God’s working in their lives. Burck remains hopeful that the new messages, particularly given the viral nature of digital and social content, will make a difference worldwide.

“We believe if we stop people, for even a split second, to remind them that the God of the universe is real and that He loves them, values them and wants a relationship with them,” Burck shares, “That moment has the potential to help change their lives forever—the ultimate goal for GodSpeaks.”

The origin of each published message can be discovered in specific promises or truths from the Bible. The newly redesigned GodSpeaks.com website offers visitors a closer look at how the Bible verses and messages tie together. It also features short devotionals and lengthier blog posts that further explore message topics. The website directs visitors to partner websites and contacts who are prepared to answer questions about God.

Marschall: We CAN go home again

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Rick Marschall

By Rick Marschall
Special to ASSIST News Service

SWARTZ CREEK, MI (ANS)Many popular sayings that are regarded as embodying folk wisdom are, in fact, as crumbly as the fortuneRick Marschall cookies where they should stay. I have always been struck by how almost every handy, traditional capsule of folk wisdom is cancelled by another such time-honored saying. “Look before you leap”? But… “He who hesitates is lost.”

You can “roll with the punches” OR “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And so forth.

I recently thought the oft-quoted Thomas Wolfe aphorism, “You can’t go home again” when I did in fact visit the home in New York City where I was born, and the address in the New Jersey suburbs where I was reared. I drove from the Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference with my friend Shawn Kuhn, who was born in a different neighborhood of Queens. We were each a little surprised that our neighborhoods were clean, appeared safe, and had not fallen prey to real or clichéd urban blight: just the opposite.

Later in the week, with my sister Barbara, we visited the address of our adolescent years — I call it such because it was recently razed and replaced with what regretful “natives” like me are calling “McMansions,” ridiculous mini-estates on half acres. Most of the new owners likely suffer from the affliction common to parvenus, the Edifice Complex.

It was sad to see my home no longer there; our Village School boarded up; the town’s Swim Club closed and overgrown; an d the church of our youth condemned, doors chained closed, neglected.

However. Paging Thomas Wolfe: “You CAN go home again.” I understand that I am supposed to understand that the past is past, a rose is a rose, and all those other syllogisms. The more important facts relate not to whether our parents have died, or our homes have been demolished, but what value they had in our development. The important corners of our memories. Then, the question is not whether we can “go home,” but whether those “homes,” our foundational values, can, or should, ever leave us.

I will call someone else, George Santayana, into the discussion, and mangle his own famous aphorism: “Those who forget the past are not only in danger of repeating it, but of having no past at all.”

I recently quoted Theodore Roosevelt in this space: “Both life and death are parts of the same great adventure.” And we should be reminded that Wolfe’s adage refers to the emotions and our intellectual growth, as much as nostalgic real-estate tours. My childhood is not a house; it was spent in a home that stood there. What I am, or have achieved, as a man is no less real because my parents died after my formative years. The chapel of my affectionate memories is gone, all the more bitter because it stands as a skeleton; but my faith was not diminished because the doors are chained shut.

Indeed, the pasts we miss and the futures we distrust are seldom pieces of real estate or schoolrooms or, say, battlefields. They are of the mind, the intellect, of life-choices, emotions… in fact, the spiritual realm.

Even when we know this fact, whether we are filled with joy or anxiety, it is easy to forget: a most human part of our humanity. My heart currently grieves for the director of the writer’s conference Shawn and I attended, because she is beset by personal problems, health trials facing herself and family members, business challenges galore… (Please look for the website of Write His Answer Ministries and see the wonderful things Marlene Bagnull has done and is doing)

Christians know the Author all good things, and know who the enemy of our souls is, and who comes to seek, and kill, and destroy. Words are cheap (if I can cite another old cliché) but, being a frequent victim of discouragement myself, I feel qualified to remind anyone who will listen that there is a Larger Story. We cannot always see it. But we need to remember it.

“I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee,” Joshua 1: 5.

We call to our memories: we should summon the best of them. They call to us. And, whether our children live near or far, we should always be in the mode of calling them home too. Just as our Heavenly Father does to us.

Rick Marschall is the author of 65 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture”) to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children’s books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. Email Rick at RickMarschall@gmail.com.

Colbert: Fulfill the purpose God has in store for you

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Aimee Colbert

By Aimee Colbert
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Aimee Colbert’s book, “A Sense of Destiny: From The Prison To The Palace,” which is available on Amazon.com.

Your destiny is your discovery not your decision.

We all have some idea of what we would like to do with our lives but as Christians it is not our place to decide that our opinion mattersAimee Colbert more than God’s.

Our lives are a gift and we are put here in order to give our lives as a gift back to God. So once we understand that God created us for a purpose, it’s our responsibility to fulfill whatever purpose that might be. So when you find out that you have a purpose, it’s time to stop thinking about what you would like to do with your life to make money or to fulfill your desires for accomplishment in some other way. It’s now time to learn how to pursue your real purpose.

Fortunately, our true purpose is actually something that we would already want to do. It’s something that we are already doing hidden in what we do every single day. I feel that once we decide that we want to do something opposite of what God would have us do, we are living in rebellion to God.

Not everyone knows that they have a purpose but if you know that you have a purpose and you decide that you don’t care about what that purpose is or that you’re not interested in doing what God would have you do, I feel you are living in open rebellion to the will of God. What God wants you to do should matter to you if you say that you love Him.

Evangelist and author Aimee Colbert is the author of “The Irreplaceable Woman,” “The Drama Free Life,” “Dear Carlos,” “To Be A Man of God,” “Aimee’s Advice,” I’m Just Sayin’ Vol 1&2,” “You’re Stupid & Shallow So Stay Single Ya Dummy,” “The Irreplaceable Man,” and “I Survived,” which discusses the social issues that affect us all and that bind us together. She practices as a pastoral counselor in Fort Worth. Visit www.aimeecolbert.com.

Haviland: The perception of single fatherhood

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MattDaughter

By Matt Haviland
Special to Inside The Pew

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is theMattDaughterFeature heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.” –Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)

Be honest: when you hear the words “single dad,” what sort of image immediately pops into your mind? Do terms such as “deadbeat” top the list? Or, do you think of a man with solo custody of his children? Do you see them as equal to a single mom? Interesting topic, one I’m sure that many people do not think of regularly- but why not? Are there not plenty of men out there raising their sons and daughters, either by themselves or in a co-parenting situation? To help shed some light on the subject, let’s quickly cover four “point of views” that all add up to one very important question: Are we viewing single fathers the way we should be?

The World’s Point of View

Look, I am well aware of the devastating effect fatherlessness has had on this world. However, to place all single dads in the same category would be equivalent to stereotyping any racial or social class in a likewise manner. It just doesn’t work. Single parenting in any aspect is extremely difficult and those who don’t experience it think they know more than we do. Do not be deceived, however, God’s wisdom is infinitely superior (1 Cor 2:14, 3:18-19) and the Bible tells us that we really shouldn’t be shocked if others don’t care for us (John 15:18, 1 John 3:13).

Our Children’s Point of View

Any sort of single parenting arrangement must be confusing in some way to a child- because it is not God’s natural design and our  human nature knows it. Regardless of how we got here, as fathers, we are still called by God to raise our kids in Christ and to prepare them for adulthood (Psalm 145:4, Prov 20:7). Our kids need us to be there as their protectors and life leaders. A strong, authentic, and Christ-centered lifestyle will only be effective on them if we are truly walking that way and have found what it means to “be still”- even when all hell is breaking loose around us.

Our Point of View

Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can forget who we truly are sometimes? God’s Word tells us that we are hand-stitched and perfectly created for His good works (Gen 1:26, Psalm 139:13-14, Eph 2:10). News flash: God doesn’t make mistakes! When we begin to view ourselves through spiritual eyes rather than our natural, we position ourselves to get a glimpse of the only point of view that truly matters.

God’s Point of View

If we truly believe that Jesus is with us always and we can do all things through Him- then our victory has already been secured. Others may choose to put labels on us or be quick to judge without all of the facts, but as one single dad so perfectly put it, “Just because she left me doesn’t mean He will too.” Brokenness may hurt when it’s fresh, but it is only when a wound is left unattended that it can become infected. God does not see us as the world sees us; He doesn’t even see us as we see ourselves sometimes. Hold fast to His Word tonight, knowing that in Him, all of those promises are “Yes” and “Amen.”

So, going back to my original question: Are we viewing single fathers the way we should be?

Matt Haviland is the founder of “A Father’s Walk” single dad ministry and the author of the book, “A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resources for Single Fathers.” He currently lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., is the co-founder of the Grand Rapids Single Parenting Expo, and is a single dad to a beautiful little girl himself.  For more information on the ministry and how to form a single dad small group in your own church, please visit www.afatherswalk.org.

*Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on Crosswalk.com on Aug. 22, 2013. Republished with permission.

 

Acid attack on Catholic priest part of ‘a series of assaults on churches and church leaders’ in Zanzibar

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Father Anselm Mwang'amba displays his terrible injuries.

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

SURREY, ENGLAND (ANS) – A Christian human rights organization is deeply troubled by an acid attack on an elderly CatholicFather Anselm Mwang'amba displays his terrible injuries. priest in Zanzibar on Sept. 13.

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a news release that the incident, the latest in a series of assaults on churches and church leaders in the semi-autonomous archipelago, highlights a worrying deterioration in freedom of religion or belief in Tanzania.

Father Anselm Mwang’amba was attacked as he left an Internet cafe in the historic Stone Town area of the Zanzibar capital, and is currently hospitalized with severe burns to the face, neck and hands.

CSW said according to a local report, while inside the cafe Father Mwang’amba received a call from an unknown number and was doused with acid as he exited to answer his telephone.

The assault on Father Mwang’amba is the fourth major attack on a Christian leader in Zanzibar since December 2012, when a Catholic priest was wounded by unknown gunmen.

Local Christians report receiving threats via text message or in leaflets naming church leaders who have been targeted for assassination, and in some instances referring to a prospective date.

In February, the murder of a Protestant pastor was followed a week later by the killing of a Catholic priest.

In addition, CSW reported, at least 20 churches have been looted and either burnt or demolished, allegedly by supporters of the separatist religious movement Uamsho (Awakening). Perpetrators of religious violence are never brought to trial even when identified or caught in the act, and police investigations are generally extended indefinitely.

In a comment to CSW on the attack on Father Mwang’amba a local Christian speaking on condition of anonymity said, “We are asking the international community to intervene in this issue. Christians do not have any protection. In this environment we live in so much fear of what will happen to whom tomorrow.”

CSW has also received reports of increasing discrimination on the Tanzanian mainland and an inadequate official response to religion-related violence.

The family of a Pentecostal pastor beheaded in March in violence that erupted in Geita after the Muslim community objected to the opening of a Christian-owned butchery are still awaiting justice.

Christians complain of the inequitable application of public order regulations designed to maintain religious harmony, including discrimination in the granting of permits for open-air meetings and new media outlets.

In May, people died and more than 60 were injured when the inauguration service for a new Catholic Cathedral in Arusha was bombed in what the Tanzanian president described as a “terrorist attack.”

Daniel Sinclair, Communications Director at CSW said in the news release, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Father Mwang’amba, who we wish a speedy recovery. These threats and attacks targeting church leaders and church buildings are in violation of the Tanzanian constitution, which provides for freedom of religion or belief. If left unchecked, religious violence will ultimately undermine national cohesion. CSW calls upon the Tanzanian authorities to take decisive action to tackle rising extremism and prevent impunity from taking hold in any part of the country.”

He added, “It is vital that the Government of Zanzibar effectively addresses attacks on the local Christian community, offers protection to all who are under threat, adequately compensates churches that have been looted or demolished, and ensures that inciters and perpetrators of religion-related violence are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

For further information, visit www.csw.org.uk.

 

Security is heart of Halres’ highly successful organization

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Phrantceena Halres

By Phrantceena Halres
Special to Inside The Pew

Phrantceena Halres is owner and CEO of Total Protection Services Global, is a full-service, privately held company headquartered inPhrantceena Halres Charlotte, N.C. The company provides a comprehensive scope of high-threat/close proximity safety and security services for the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure including nuclear power, coal and other energy generating plants, new plant construction sites and certain government facilities.

According to Halres, “We’ve been in business for 11 years, and we understand the importance of each component of the security shield – from screening and recruiting to training and deployment. Each component demands thorough understanding, excellent planning and flawless execution by smart people. That’s why we’ve chosen to acquire the skill sets within our organization to match the needs of every aspect of the security equation.

“We do much more than just furnish security personnel – we also train them. The only way to penetrate that business is to hire security professionals.  Many of our specialists are from the ranks of the United States military, various law enforcement agencies, the nuclear security industry and government security services.”

Why did you create your business?

“I created TPS because I wanted the freedom to create what my father understood and honored during his life, and that is to help protect this country and our people.  I suppose you could say, I am serving my father through this life purpose, and teaching as many people as I can touch the importance of national security and those that work for it and are protected by it.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“Deuteronomy 28 (entire chapter): ‘If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out …

“Psalm 91 (entire chapter): ‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

“My gifts will make room for me and bring me before high priest (this one is my daily mantra).”

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?

“Know who you are!”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“It’s really a challenge for me to talk about my person.  I view myself as a server, and my life as service. Interesting about the business, though, is that I’m the first and only African American woman CEO ever in the world that leads a highly specialized nuclear safety and protection services company.”

Learn more about Total Protection Services Global at http://total-protections.com/.

Review: Spiritual love tested, unfolds in ‘Under A Withering Sun’

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Under A Withering Sun small

By Tonya Andris
Inside The Pew

We’ve all been taught not to read another person’s diary.

In the case of author Chaka Heinze, reading someone else’s diary is the premise for an inspirational romance novel about two youngChaka Heinze college students. The pair’s quest for earthly love and spiritual love unfolds through Heinze’s epistolary writing.

Published through Christian book publisher Athanatos Publishing Group, Under A Withering Sun ($14.95 USD, Athanatos Publishing Group) introduces readers to Regina Leeman, who struggles emotionally after the sudden death of her parents and twin sister.

To mask her pain, Regina volunteers to teach a creative writing class to young teens at the “Wreck” for the summer. Her good intentions are tossed in a tailspin when she develops feelings for a handsome, yet persistent, basketball player, Damion Martin. Among her struggles, she feels guilty for falling in love while on the four-week volunteer project. The challenge Regina consistently encounters is her inability to appear complete to others. She feels she needs to be complete for God to love her. She believes Damion shouldn’t have feelings for a young woman like her because she has “issues.”

Heinze daringly challenges readers to see the quest for God through the eyes of a backslider and a doubter of Jesus Christ. In fact, theUnder A Withering Sun best part of Heinze’s spiritual novel is that it is not sugar coated. As the novel progresses, the reader sees the bumpy progression of the characters’ quest for Him. At one moment, Regina discloses, “At one time I’d lived among the faithful, but life had conspired to carry me far off the path. Now I existed in a kind of spiritual limbo.”

Heinze’s presentation of Regina’s story fits well with the mystery and congruency of the novel. Furthermore, Regina’s triumphs and struggles become realistic in the mind of the reader and the journal entries lend credibility to the narrator. This writing style is featured in many novels, including The Color Purple by Alice Walker and Bridget Jones’ Dairy by Helen Fielding. The author’s talent for writing shines in her use of a lesser-known narrative choice.

Under A Withering Sun is Heinze’s first full-length novel.  As a side note, the novel is also available on eBook (Nook and Kindle) for $4.95.

Always a writer at heart, Heinze dabbled in poetry and storytelling from an early age. While attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, she penned a column for the college newspaper and was recognized for abilities to write short stories in a contest sponsored by the university. She also received a JD from the University Of Nebraska College Of Law.

Learn more about Heinze and her novel at http://awitheringsun.com/

Tonya Andris is features editor and book reviewer for Inside The Pew. Contact her at pewnews@aol.com.

NAEIR redistributes corporations’ unsold products to nonprofits

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Feature

By Gary C. Smith
Special to Inside The Pew

Gary C. Smith is the president and CEO of the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR). The nationalCongressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), NAEIR president and CEO Gary C. Smith, and  former Congressman Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) take part in discussion at NAEIR headquarters. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is a gifts-in-kind type organization that solicits donations of excess inventory from American companies and redistributes a wide range of materials to its membership base of approximately 12,000 nonprofits, schools and church organizations throughout the country. Smith, who has served as president and CEO since 1993, is the son of NAEIR’s founder Norbert C. Smith.

Why did you create your business?

“Over the years and during the course of business dealings with a wide range of companies, many of them major corporations, Norbert C. Smith, a business executive and entrepreneur, observed that there were millions of dollars of unsold products, in perfectly good condition, simply collecting dust in warehouses or being sent to landfills.

“He founded NAEIR in 1977 as a means of capturing this material and making it available initially to schools across the country. NAEIR was the first organization of its kind; serving as a middleman between American corporations and nonprofits, schools and churches throughout the U.S.  It is the leading gifts-in-kind organization in the country and has received over $3 billion dollars in donations of inventory since its founding.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“‘Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.’ – Psalm 31:5 (NKJV).”Gary C. Smith

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?

“Never give up! Keep listening to others (customers, employees, and friends). The answer will be revealed. Listen more than you speak.”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“I’m a recovering alcoholic. No slips for 28 years (February 1985)…with the help of the Lord and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous).”

Visit their website at www.naeir.org and NAEIR’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NAEIR. The organization’s toll free number is (800)-562-0955.

Smith on entrepreneurship: Crawl, walk, and then run

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Paula Smith, author of “Easy Steps Learning Series,” participates in the agape Christian Center Back To School Bash in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 10. East Steps gave away school supplies, calculators, and ITUNES gift cards to visitors.

By Paula Smith
Special to Inside The Pew

Paula Smith is founder of Providing Leading Solutions, LLC — a company that specializes in Microsoft© technology solutions,Paula Smith, author of “Easy Steps Learning Series,” participates in the agape Christian Center Back To School Bash in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 10. East Steps gave away school supplies, calculators, and ITUNES gift cards to visitors. leadership and professional training, and curriculum development for Microsoft products for a global society. PLS is a Microsoft© Partner. Smith is the author of “Easy Steps Learning Series,” a series of books that provides Microsoft training in Outlook 2010 and PowerPoint 2010.

Why did you create your business?

“I created my business to help and train others in the area of technology.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 (KJV).

Share the best advice you can with an entrepreneur.

“The best advice I can share with an entrepreneur is you have to set goals or reset your goals even when you miss them and do not get discourage but lessons learn and build upon it to strengthen you. Sometimes you have to crawl, walk, and then start running with an unstoppable mind.

“When challenges happen, do not get discourage. Just change your focus into positive energies and divine strategies to get through them. You may have to re-position yourself geographically, but never fear the unknown and never fear to be successful! Great leaders endure. Be empowered, encouraged and enlighten!”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“I am an ordained minister, and I enjoy working in the ministry, the arts, cooking, song writing, geek gadgets, and technology.”

Connect with Smith at http://www.easystepslearningseries.com. Both training manuals are available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. E-reader versions are also available. She is also on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Know a Christian business owner we should feature in  the Pew Business Spotlight? Email suggestions to pewnews@aol.com.