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Religion

Free your mind of the ‘struggle bubble’

Dear Lucy: I read your article last week where you told the lady to change her thinking in order to help herself get well. How are you supposed to do that when the facts are staring you in the face? The rent has to get paid, food has to get on the table and the car breaks down, the light bill is due, I'm sick and I still have to go to work. These are facts! I just don't know how they can be ignored.

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What Jesus-jokes tell us

Did you ever hear the one about Jesus being Mexican? Well, he was bilingual; he was constantly harassed by the government; and his first name was Jesus.

Or, perhaps Jesus was Irish? He loved a good story; he never kept a steady job; and his last request was for a drink.

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‘Tyranny’ of the moment and the search for life

Dear Lucy: I have been having a lot of physical problems for a year. I was so afraid of what it might be that I didn't go to the doctor. I also didn't have the time or the money. I was busy just trying to keep my head above water, pay the rent and feed my kids. My mother died from cancer and I have always been afraid I would too. I ended up in the emergency room last week and now I know that my fears were right. The doctor talked to me really bad about being so stupid and not going to the clinic to get checked out earlier. I feel sick, stupid and scared. Tell me something, anything to help!

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Dr. Thomas maps future after Memphis

pastor-Frank-ThomasWhen Dr. Frank Thomas announced this past summer that he was stepping aside as senior pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, he noted that he had "suppressed the call to teach for many years in order to serve as a pastor."

Now its clear where Thomas, who began leading Mississippi Blvd. in 1999, will heed that call. He has been appointed to the Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis, Ind.) faculty and as director of a new institute that will be part of the seminary's new Center for Pastoral Excellence. He will become a professor of homiletics.

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The story of ‘white’ Jesus

"How is it that a Jewish prophet from the Roman era ran so explosively into the American obsession with race that his image has been used to justify the worst atrocities of white supremacy as well as inspire the most heroic of civil rights crusaders? The Color of Christ explores the ways Americans gave physical forms to Jesus... and how they remade the Son of God... time and again into a sacred symbol of their greatest aspirations, deepest terrors, lowest actions, highest expressions, and mightiest strivings for racial power and justice.

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‘Things’ don’t feed the soul

Dear Lucy: I lost my job last year. I have found another one but it pays a lot less. I have downsized my life and seem to be managing OK. Except that my house is now full of stuff I buy at the dollar store or thrift shops. It's all I can afford but I just can't stop myself. It has become like an addiction. I get this urge to go buy some cheap junk and when I get home with it I already have two or three. I feel better at first and then I feel stupid. I take up a hobby and go crazy buying supplies for it that I never really use. I need to stop and I don't know how. It's like I am thirsty and can't get full.

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‘Pimps posing as preachers’ draw author’s wrath

"If you are a single black woman regularly attending church and tithing, or you are a woman with children that accompany you to church, please open your mind to the expressed dangers within the walls of your house of worship, because far too often, black women go to church to pray to God, and black men are there to game on, feed on and prey on them like predators...

"The ills suffered by women in black churches under patriarchal philosophies of male superiority are shocking. Throughout the pages of this book are real stories about churches and the pastors that run them.

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‘So what is this disorder all about?’

Dear Lucy: I share office space with a lady who is driving me crazy. She does good work on the job but this has got to be the junkiest person I know. I consider her a true friend but I refuse to ride in her car, eat at her house or try to find anything on her desk. She's not exactly unclean, just doesn't pick up or put up and everything around her turns into chaos. She is not a hoarder or depressed and is basically a fun person. Even when she straightens up, within days it's back to chaos. How can I help my friend?

– NP

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Yolanda Adams: The “How Sweet the Sound” interview

Yolanda AdamsEver since her debut with "Just As I Am" in the late 1980's, Yolanda Adams has triumphantly carried the torch for contemporary gospel and inspirational music via a dozen glorious albums. Here, she talks about her life and career, and about hosting Verizon's "How Sweet the Sound," the country's most prestigious gospel music celebration and competition. Now, in its fifth year of celebrating the community and the power of gospel music, "How Sweet the Sound's" national finale will be staged at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Nov. 4.

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Don’t let your ego block a gift from your soul

Dear Lucy: There is this creepy guy at work who is always trying to give me advice. If I go into the lunchroom he sits beside me; if there is a meeting, he sits beside me. He is always telling me things that I need to do to be more successful or get ahead at work. The problem is that he is not liked by anyone and frankly he needs to take his own advice. He's not making passes, just getting on my nerves! I don't want to blow up on him. How do I get him to go away?

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From Hollywood to hell to Heaven

denisematthewsEvangelist Denise Matthews, former lead singer for the group Vanity 6, will headline an evening of testimonies, ministering and musical performance at Gethsemane Garden Church of God in Christ on Saturday (Oct. 20).

The doors of Gethsemane will open at 4:30 p.m. for the event, which is set to get started at 5:30 p.m.

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‘Old Lady,’ trust your intellect with young ’uns

Dear Lucy: I have been trying to get my grandchildren to come in from school, do their homework, eat dinner and go to bed on time and get up on time for the next day. I have tried everything I know and they still half do their homework, snack on junk, act crazy when it's time to go to bed and don't want to get up in the morning. They are seven and 9 years old and I have had custody of them for just 6 months. I have tried threats, punishments, giving them treats and rewards. Nothing seems to work. I don't want to be too hard on them because they have already had a tough life before coming to me. I am a widow and I don't really mind having them in my home. But maybe I'm just too old for this. Any ideas?

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Lecture focus: African-American Women writers and the Bible

Dr. Katherine Bassard, a leading scholar in African-American literature, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and an ordained minister, will present the Naseeb Shaheen Memorial Lecture at the University of Memphis.

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