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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.


SBVC’s Gresham Art Gallery to Showcase Local Artistic Talent

Sapira Cheuk

Sapira Cheuk

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) is proud to present Sapira Cheuk and Andrew K. Thompson’s two-person exhibition, Grey is the Color of Theory, in the Clara and Allen Gresham Art Gallery, opening August 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Andrew K. Thompson

Andrew K. Thompson

The exhibition, Grey is the Color of Theory, will compare two dynamically different art practices that share visual similarities. The exhibition will showcase how art made from different mediums and motivated by different concepts can share stylistic commonalities. This exhibition will showcase the capacity of style and value to unify and create conversations across divergent mediums and themes.

The opening reception for Grey is the Color of Theory will be held on August 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The gallery is free to the public and is located at 701 S Mt. Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino. Please check out the Clara and Allen Gresham Art Gallery’s website for more information at www.valleycollege.edu/artgallery.

About the Artists:

Sapira Cheuk’s work revolves around issues of the body and women’s sexuality. Her practice incorporates traditional Sumi Ink painting techniques and geometric elements to depict the complexity of the subject and corporeality. Cheuk has taken part in over 50 exhibitions, including those at the Orange County Contemporary Art Center, Riverside Art Museum, Rochester Contemporary Art Museum, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Robert & Frances Fullerton Museum of Art. She received her BA at University of California, Riverside and MFA from California State University, San Bernardino.

Andrew K. Thompson lives and works in Riverside, California. Thompson holds a MFA degree from the California State University, San Bernardino, and a BFA in Photography from the Academy of Art, San Francisco. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States including exhibitions at the AIPAD Photo Fair, Klotz Gallery in New York, Gallery 1/1 in Seattle, and two recent solo shows at the SRO Photo Gallery at Texas Tech University and C.A.C.t.T.U.S. Long Beach.

Next Dimension University Celebrates Decennial Commencement with Banquet and God Awards


LOS ANGELES, CA- Dr. Joel McLeod, Chancellor of the Next Dimension University, an accredited Bible College, with campuses throughout California and extension schools throughout the USA, is pleased to announce the 2017 Decennial Commencement and Awards Ceremony Weekend.  This year marks ten years of academic excellence at N.D.U. The Commencement will be held Saturday, August 19 at 2 p.m. at West Angeles Cathedral located at 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles.  The Commencement is free and open to the public. 

Dr. Kenneth Ulmer, of Faithful Central Church, will give the commencement address, and Dr. Michelle Corral will give the official “Send Off” address.  NDU will be honoring local and International gospel greats, Warryn and Erica Campbell and Teddy and Tina Campbell (Mary Mary), Donald Lawrence, Vanessa Bell-Armstrong, David Hollister, Bobby Jones and more; honor will also be bestowed upon other ministry leaders such as: Apostle Beverly BAM Crawford, Apostle Jean Perez, Apostle Felix Larsen (from Botswanna, Africa) Dr. Margaret Douroux, Apostle Sarah Morgan, Apostle Venissa Jackson, First Lady Patty Shipp, Bishop Roger Thomas, Bishop Kevin Truitt, Bishop Curtis Kelley, and from the Netherlands, Apostle Evelyn Kuwoe and Howard and Danielle Taylor.

Other notables include: Kevin Nash, Vickie Mack, Reginald Utley, Paul Jackson Jr., Nate Watts, Sharon Takaha, Linda Johnson-Hayes and Nwannia Lyles.  

Special music by Beau Williams with the NDU Choir.  Lastly, we want to acknowledge and honor Mary Virginia Jones, a grandmother that served 33 years incarcerated and was faithful to God, studying the Word of God, believing her release was in God’s hands.

After the commencement, there will be a formal banquet: “The Black, White and Gold Gala” at the LAX Hilton. The Black, White and Gold Gala will be held at the LAX Hilton 5711 Century Bl. LA 90045.  Guest Speaker will be Dr. Beverly BAM Crawford.  This event will include The God Awards.  Recipients will be presented their Awards by special guest, to include Dr. Joel McLeod, the NDU Chancellor, Dr. Evelyn Saucer, Dr. Evelyn Reason and Dr. Rose Parker and other distinguished presenters.

NDU Alumni and Past Honorees, included Fred Hammond, Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, Yolanda Adams, Randall Cunningham, Judge Mablean, Janet’ Dubois, Judy Jacobs, Bishop Noel Jones, Cecil Murry, Jack Hayford and more.  

Red Carpet will begin at 12 noon on Saturday for the Commencement, and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night for the banquet.   

For more information and for Banquet tickets; contact Dr. Evelyn Saucer, e.saucer@yahoo.com 951 567-9716.  For Press Conference, Interviews and Media credentials, contact Dr. Rose at drrose.ndu@gmail.com 909 528-8350. 

For information about Next Dimension University call 888 206-4344.  Visit our website at www.nextdimensionuniversity.com.