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WSSN Stories

Pastor and Grammy-Winning Gospel Artist Smokie Norful to Release First Book

take_the_lid_off_cover_imageWhen the pressure of life seems to boil over—and it does for everyone—Pastor and Grammy-winning musician Smokie Norful has one piece of advice: take the lid off. This concept was inspired by watching his grandmother make her signature dish of sweet rice. When the heat got too high, the pot began hissing and boiling over, like it was about to explode. His grandmother would remind him the only way to avoid an eruption is to remove the lid. Similarly, the only way to avoid an emotional overload is to take our own lids off—that is, to stop being trapped inside ourselves and instead look to God and his grace to show us the strategy for becoming all he intends us to be.

This is the premise behind Norful’s new book Take the Lid Off: Trust God, Release the Pressure, and Find the Life He Wants for You (Thomas Nelson, September 5, 2017). In Take the Lid Off, Norful—who is the founder and pastor of Victory Cathedral Worship Center, a congregation of 5,000 members with three campuses in the Chicagoland area—outlines four steps that help us to relieve the pressure and draw closer to God in the process:

  1. Look Inward, experiencing the cleansing of forgiveness and the power of God.
  2. Look Outward, seeking for others to experience the joy of living for God and have the best God has to offer.
  3. Look Upward and marvel at God’s love and strength to accomplish his purposes.
  4. Move Onward, devising a strategy to accomplish all God has put in our hearts to do.

Norful, through detailed explanations and relatable examples, guides readers in understanding that, when you focus on these four steps, the pressure of life goes down, you gain peace and perception, and things work out much better in the end. By working to “take the lid off,” readers can become the people they were created to be.

To underscore the message of Take the Lid Off Norful is partnering with his long-time label home, Motown Gospel, to release a digital-only album titled Nothing Is Impossible. The twelve-track project, available September 9, 2017, features some of Norful’s most beloved songs of encouragement and inspiration, including “Still Say Thank You,” “No One Else,” and “Run ’Til I Finish.”

For more information, visit www.TaketheLidOffBook.com.

 

The California Legislative Black Caucus Calls Out the Charlottesville Event for What It Is, Pure Racism

Over the weekend, three people were killed and at least 34 were injured in a hate rally of several hundred right-wing extremists on the campus of the University of Virginia. The stated intention of this white nationalist rally was to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, general of the Confederate Army, yet it was fueled by white supremacy ideology.

“The crime that took place in Charlottesville was one of domestic terrorism. It is the manifestation of the racial divide that we still face in our country that is fueled by fear and hatred of groups whose skin color, religion, or views do not match theirs,” said Assembly Member Chris R. Holden (AD-41), Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. “The Ku Klux Klan’s, or white nationalists’, atrocious message is a painful reminder that we have great work to do to unite this nation.” 

President Trump addressed the “Unite the Right” protest under the guise that “many sides” were responsible for the violence that ensued. However, the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) believes that the rally and the crime represent racism in its purest form.

Following the violent conclusion of the Charlottesville rally, Texas A&M has canceled their “White Lives Matter” rally which was scheduled for September 11th featuring white nationalist Richard Spencer. California Universities have been targets in the past for white nationalist rallies. 

“The California Legislative Black Caucus stands against bigotry, divisive rhetoric, and complicity.   We ask that the California universities and colleges remain united for peace, equality, and inclusion because there is power in diversity,” said Holden.

San Bernardino Native Serves in Japan Aboard Forward-Deployed Ship

Janeth Delacruz Garcia 

Janeth Delacruz Garcia

By Chief Petty Officer Bill Steele, Navy Office of Community Outreach 

A 2014 Los Altos High School graduate and San Bernardino, California native is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.

Fireman Janeth Delacruz Garcia is an engineman aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy engine man is responsible for the maintenance of diesel engines, high pressure air compressors, lube oil purifiers and main reduction gears on the Germantown.

“Right now, I do a lot of testing of oil and fuel samples from the diesel engines,” said Delacruz Garcia. “I never would have thought I would be working in this field when I joined the Navy.”

With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the U.S. has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.

“Our alliance is rooted in shared interests and shared values,” said Adm. Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Command Commander. “It’s not hyperbole to say that the entire world has benefited from the U.S.-Japan alliance. While our alliance helped stabilize the region after the Second World War, it also enabled the Japanese people to bring about an era of unprecedented economic growth. And for the last six decades, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have worked side by side with the Japan Self Defense Force to protect and advance peace and freedom.”

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

“This is my first command, the work environment is very respectful, they’re all very supportive and communicate well,” said Delacruz Garcia. “Serving in Japan is great, it’s one of my dream places to serve.” 

Sea duty is inherently arduous and challenging but it builds strong fellowship and esprit de corps among members of the crew. The crew is highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

“I’m the first to serve in the Navy in my family,” said Delacruz Garcia. “It’s a huge commitment, I don’t think I could have done it without their support.”

The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part a long-standing commitment.

“The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Harris.

Fireman Janeth Delacruz Garcia is an engineman aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy engine man is responsible for the maintenance of diesel engines, high pressure air compressors, lube oil purifiers and main reduction gears on the Germantown.

“Right now I do a lot of testing of oil and fuel samples from the diesel engines,” said Delacruz Garcia. “I never would have thought I would be working in this field when I joined the Navy.”

With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the U.S. has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.  

“Our alliance is rooted in shared interests and shared values,” said Adm. Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Command Commander. “It’s not hyperbole to say that the entire world has benefited from the U.S.-Japan alliance. While our alliance helped stabilize the region after the Second World War, it also enabled the Japanese people to bring about an era of unprecedented economic growth. And for the last six decades, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have worked side by side with the Japan Self Defense Force to protect and advance peace and freedom.”

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

“This is my first command, the work environment is very respectful, they’re all very supportive and communicate well,” said Delacruz Garcia. “Serving in Japan is great, it’s one of my dream places to serve.” 

Sea duty is inherently arduous and challenging but it builds strong fellowship and esprit de corps among members of the crew. The crew is highly motivated and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

“I’m the first to serve in the Navy in my family,” said Delacruz Garcia. “It’s a huge commitment, I don’t think I could have done it without their support.”

The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part a long-standing commitment.

“The U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Harris.