“God is First in Our Marriage” – Brother & Sister Calvin Lemons, Jr. (Nichelle) – Lucas Temple Members
March 21, 2016 marked our 6th wedding anniversary. We actually met in 2008 at Lucas Temple. Being perfect strangers, we soon found out how much we had in common. One of the most important factors was that we were both focused on living for the Lord Jesus Christ first. We began dating shortly after we met. The fact that we were both taught and brought up in the word made our dating easier. We felt no pressure (outside of normal attraction) to go against our belief that sex is designed for marriage. After a year of dating, I proposed; and she said “Yes!” Our engagement only lasted for 3 months. Once we became engaged, our attraction grew stronger and our remedy for that was to follow what we had been taught and get married soon!!! We truly believe that God has been with us throughout our marriage. He continues to guide our relationship and the Word of God continues to be first in our marriage. After 5 years of marriage, we were blessed with our beautiful little girl, Kaleigh Nichelle, who we know is nothing short of a blessing from our Lord.
“A Test of My Faith”
Sister Vevelyan Turner – Augusta/Burke County Member
I give honor to God who is indeed the head of my life. I truly thank him for blessing me with his spirit. I have been a widow for almost nine years now, and God is the only one that has kept me. My desire has always been to be a good mother to my children and an example for others. For that cause, I didn’t do anything that I didn’t want my children to do that wasn’t right.
Being a widow at the age of 44, I was faced with many temptations. I can truly say God delivered me out of them all. When men approached me, I never let my guard down. I always assumed that they were only a test of my faith, and I felt that I didn’t need to be involved in a relationship because I didn’t want anyone to take my attention off of my children and God.
God blessed my husband to be a father in the home to the point that his discipline carried on after his passing. I didn’t have to worry about my children being disobedient to me or to others. I often thank God for the blessing because I escaped a lot of problems that children often cause in the home. I had to hold to what my husband had already taught them and sometime had to remind them that nothing had changed because their father wasn’t here. Now that they are all grown, I pray that the decisions that they make reflect the teaching of the gospel.
To this day, God still get the glory for the life he has allowed me to live.
God will Keep you BUT you have to desire to be kept – -
By Andria Murphy (Words of Life Member)
I am a daydreamer with a vivid imagination. – Idealist at its best. Here I was sitting with six of my siblings, in my parents’ room as my mom had called a meeting. The topic – ‘sex.’ Instantly there was an awkward shift in the room as a few of us were in our teen years. We were aware of the word itself, because of on television, or heard it from our peers, not parents. After the blundering silence, though I didn’t quite show it, she had my full attention. “Sex is a beautiful experience, God’s special creation for a man and woman, glorified and enjoyed to the upmost within a marriage.” Her soothing voice encouraged my daydreaming to unfold. There I was, literally on cloud nine, in an all-white flowing gown, saying I do to a handsome face and the heavens pouring its glory unto us. Dramatic maybe? Well yes, but I was in captivate by how beautiful a relationship sent from God could be. After selling me on how awesome the experience will be, she struck us with reality. “I understand I have a handful of kids, all with different personalities. Some of you will take my instruction and wait until marriage; others may choose to follow their own path. If in fact you decide your own route, I ask that you examine your partner beforehand.
Intercourse is emotionally, spiritually, and mentally charged just as it is physically. You will connect in more ways than you realize until it is done. There may be for instance a spiritual attachment you did not desire to be a part of life that you now have to battle. Almost as if like my heart was sealed, I made up my mind, I wanted to be honored by God. I choose his way. Fast forward ten years later, and my heart has still been sealed. I have been blessed with a courtship for over five years to a wonderful soul who shares the values of our commitment. Abstinence strengthens our relationship and communication. I see him for who he is without being fogged with sex, and as best friends, has brought us closer to God.
Don’t be mistaken, it has not been easy thus far. I’ve had days when I struggled with my self-esteem. I dressed differently than most girls; preferred sneakers over heels, my conversations were about poetry, basketball or old school cars. I was weird, and at times in high school discouraged for my walk. Relationships failed because of my commitment to a holy life. There were nights when I cried, afraid I was alone in the world. Today, I can say I am thankful because God revealed his love to me during those times, making room for others who shared my values. Encouraging myself, sometimes daily, I am reminded that I AM! I can do all things! I am worth the wait! I am worth heaven! Success was meant for me! Abstinence is possible and I can do it, because I am doing it by the grace of God! Listed are a few pointers I learned along the way
* You are as I am Human!! Feelings will come! Temptation will be in the midst! Be motivated, be encouraged! Even if you have not stayed the course in the past, you are breathing, still alive! Surrender all; God will make all things new
*Strive for a Pure Life! Not just physically but spiritually. Grow in grace and knowledge, read your bible, talk to God, walk after righteousness!
* Surround yourself with a support system. I have family, friends, pastors and loved ones who I can run to in the midst fighting temptation
* To remain true, some habits must change. Your soul has no room for sexually charged music, or lengthy sexually conversations with your partner. This includes certain scenes within television shows. Be transformed in the renewal of your mind
*God will keep you, but you have to desire to be kept!
*You can be of the world but not in it! God created you to stand out. Embrace your walk with Christ; you are peculiar, embrace the beauty of such
*If you are single, learn to love yourself! Travel or volunteer. A relationship does not mean all things become easy, just as sex does not automatically equate with love!
Lastly, you are a child of the king! Joint heir of the most high! Remember that the pure in heart shall see God and he will never leave nor forsake you. In each moment, hold your head up and stand tall. If need be, with eyes on God, adjust your crown.
With Love, be blessed
For the Race is not given to the swift or strong . . . . by Sister Karina Boyd (St. James Member)
The Lord has blessed me with two beautiful daughters that have a desire to be athletes while maintaining a desire to live by what they have been taught over the years. At the age of 9 years old, my youngest daughter Alexia approached her father and I sharing an interest in running track & field. During try outs, the coach was amazed at her ability, but had reservations about how she would be able to run track in a skirt. I told him, “Don’t worry; the skirt will not keep her from doing what she needed to do.” Knowing that there is strength in numbers, I was not going to allow my baby to participate alone, her older sister Katera had to join the team as well.
At the time, I knew that this may be tough to go through, but as their mother I knew that it was my job to make this possible and to support them in their interest, especially if it didn’t conflict with our teachings. To make sure that they blended in, but let their light shine, I began sewing their skirts making sure that they matched.
My daughters have walked away from events with their feelings hurt and at times in tears, but have kept enjoying the sport. They’ve endured being laughed at, pointed at, and overlooked many times, all because of the skirt. Prior to races, they can hear their competitors say with a humorous tone “is she running in a skirt”. It is after the races that my daughters have gained their competitors respect, as being a fellow track & field athlete despite their uniqueness.
As their mother it has been tough hearing all of the negative comments from both children and adults, but it has also been rewarding to have people approach us with words of encouragement. Over the past 4 years, we’ve made some wonderful friends and have been able to share our testimony of why we conduct ourselves as we do. Young ladies and mothers alike have requested that I make them or their daughter’s skirts to compete in. Recently, a fellow track Mom told me that her daughter looks up to Alexia. The mother explained that her daughter told her that she knows why Alexia runs so fast- “it is because her skirt has magic powers.”
Katera and Alexia have run track and field for the past 4 years during which time; there have been many challenges, but much more successes. Since beginning the sport, at least one of them has been invited to participate in the National Junior Olympics each year. We have traveled to Michigan and South Carolina to compete, and have been invited to Texas and Florida. They are constantly recruited by other track clubs, which all say that the skirt is not a problem. Some have offered to specially make skirts to match their clubs uniform if we decided to run with them.
We humbly give all Glory to God for all that he has done!
Come visit every Monday in the month of April for a new testimony.