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Health challenge tests a pastor’s faith and resolve

pastor-400t"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

– Isaiah 53:5; King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition

Pastor Levy Conley comes to mind when I think of being tried and tested in faith.

Rev. Conley lives by Isaiah 53:5. He has trusted in God for more than 53 years and has stood firm in believing and delivering God's word to numerous individuals. His wife of 43 years will tell you that her husband was a humble pastor who would give his last dime to help those in need, often putting them before his own family.

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Steve McQueen: The ‘12 Years a Slave’ interview

12 years a slaveArtist and filmmaker Steven Rodney McQueen talks about his latest film, "12 Years a Slave," which recently won the People's Choice Awards for Best Film and Best Director at the Toronto Film Festival.

Kam Williams: I've loved all three of your feature films, this new one, and "Hunger" and "Shame" as well. They are so different from each other and yet quite remarkable and memorable, each in their own way.

Steve McQueen: Thank you. Well, I do my best. I'm just happy that people are responding to the films as positively as they are. To be honest with you, it's one of those things where we're just happy to get them made. When you get to make something, you always hope people will go and see it. And we're very, very pleased by the response to "12 Years a Slave." It's kind of humbling and remarkable.

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Women and retirement investing

CharlesSimsJr-160Career opportunities for women have expanded greatly over the last couple of decades. Yet during their lifetimes, women still earn less money than men, primarily because they take time off from their jobs to care for children or aging parents.

Women also have longer life spans than men, so they may need to fund additional years in retirement with fewer financial resources. One study found that the average retirement savings for a woman aged 65 to 69 was about 22 percent less than that of a man of the same age.

Given the challenges, it's understandable that women are 42 percent more likely than men to express concern about having enough money for retirement (according to a 2012 survey). Focusing on saving for the future and managing retirement plan investments wisely could help many women improve their retirement prospects.

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Where is the money? Don’t overlook the MAAG

CarleeMcCullough-160Business start-ups challenged by the need for funding should not overlook the Memphis Area Association of Governments – MAAG.

According to its website, MAAG was created to facilitate and support activities that stimulate economic and community development in the community.

Revolving Loan Fund

MAAG – in addition to serving in a supporting role for governments and non-profits – also provides loans through its Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). A tool specifically targeting small and medium-sized businesses, the RLF is used to "promote expansion and job retention" by offering gap financing.

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Advice for queens and kings of procrastination

LucyShaw-160LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: In your last article you talked about goals and things we may do to block reaching them. You mentioned procrastination and that is my biggest problem. Can you say more about it? – The Queen Of Putting It Off

Dear Queen: Don't despair. Not doing is just the flip side of doing. You have the power to be the queen of the one you choose, moment by moment. Sometimes, not doing is as important as doing. The truth is that we all know when we need to choose a different way of being. That still, small voice speaks to us and relentlessly tries to move us to the best choice.

Recently, I was making a purchase on line and did not complete it. I got an email from the vendor reminding me to complete my order. It was cute and said this:

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