Christian Fiction Trail Blazer – The Chocolate Pages Show- Featuring Stacy Hawkins Adams and Tia McCollorsApril 4, 2008
(From the speech “March on Washington”)
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed; ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day, even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.”
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today¼I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with the little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.”
“This hope is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the south with. And with this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”
“…And so let freedom ring, from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring¼And when we allow freedom to ring – when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
My story as told in Black Pain by Terrie M. Williams –
After my business (the family business Perry Marketing Group) closed in 2000, I went into a deep depression. I thought I would snap out of it. I kept myself busy and tried to act like things were normal. Though the bankruptcy was humiliating, what was worse was the denial to my spiritual self.
I didn’t give myself time to grieve and express the anger, regret and disappointment I felt.
Consequently, I spiraled into despair. I could not wake up before noon and kept the blinds closed all day. I overate. I avoided friends.
But I did go to church. I put on my “church face” and went. No one knew the depth of my despair – until one day guest minister preached and asked if anyone in the audience felt like they were at the end of their rope and on the verge of suicide. If anyone was, she asked them to come forward so she could pray for them.
I was in such state to denial that I thought to myself, “Surely I can’t embarrass myself and go down there. What would people think?” The Holy Spirit then spoke to my heart and reminded me how much He loved me, and it didn’t matter what other people thought. The minister was sent to get me out of myself and come to JESUS FOR REAL.
I quit the internal debate and ran to the altar. I cried and the minister prayed for me. When I went back to my seat, instead of peculiar stares, I got nothing but hugs and love. That was my breakthrough day. I just needed enough light to see my way at the end of my tunnel, and that day God sent a flashlight looking for me. I’m so glad He did.
Wow. 2007 was proclaimed the year of the “Open Door” by spiritual leaders across the land. As we shouted over this Word, also note what scriptures says comes with an open door: “…and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). I don’t think any one would have expected all the turbulence that erupted in major ministries this year. It looked like the devil was playing pinball with mega-ministries this year and put it on display for the world to see.
But I hear the Word for 2008 loud and clear – this is our year of VICTORY! Yes, doors were opened with great opportunities along with great opposition. But God is faithful and He wants to reassure us that He has not forsaken us and always to remember that He is the source of victory.
No matter what didn’t come to pass in 2007 or what heartbreaks happened, it’s a new day and we’re going after things a new way!
When there are difficult times – know incredible things are on the horizon. It’s always darkest before the dawn – so don’t give up. Keep fighting. Know we win in the end. It’s in the Book!
We were born to win! So it’s time we act like it, talk like it and walk in it. We were birthed with a purpose and hand-made by God in His image.
Though I’ve gone through some trials this year, I’ve learned these hard times actually made me stronger. Once I passed through the valley, I experienced my greatest breakthrough on the other side. With every new level, there was a new “devil” waiting in the wings to steal my destiny – but I was wiser and stronger with each test I went through because I really believed that:
– I was more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
– I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13)
– God was perfecting all that concerns me (Psalm 138:8)
– Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
God equipped us all with the tools to win the battle and the war if we just keep going and don’t throw in the towel. As my pastor, Dr. Stacia Pierce says, “Don’t quit it until you get it.” A dream delayed in not a dream denied.
Here are some strategies to keep a victorious attitude all year and remain undefeated:
1. Don’t panic, worry or complain. Set your mind and keep it set on victory. When things seem to skid off the tracks, minimize the situation and maximize your time with God. The Word says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). God is bigger than your problem; greater than your issues. 2008 will be great if we keep the faith. Fear will die and courage will flourish when you take time and get alone in the presence of God. It’s hard to complain about the minuscule when you’re in the presence of the omniscient, omnipotent God. Enter into His rest; trust Him. God promises in Isaiah 43:2-3: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God.” You can’t worry and worship at the same time. So make it a habit to worship God with all your heart – He loves you.
2. Embrace your calling, claim your dream & define your goals. Be serious about success and don’t compare yourself with others. Finding and fulfilling your own destiny is victory. By honing in on your own God-given gifts and talents will prevent you from being side-tracked by envy and jealousy which opens the door to negativity and adversity. Real winners keep their heart pure and focus on achieving more, doing more and reaching for more so they can live their dreams and make an impact on others. Winners are mission-minded. Run the race that God called you to run.
3. Fight back, be bold and very courageous. Your dreams are worth it. Know that battle is only temporary and we win when we fight using the weapons God has provided us: soak up the Scriptures so you can consistently confess the Word and declare victory over your situation; fasting to sharpen your spiritual sensitivity to hear God’s voice; get rid of offence and walk in love and forgiveness; sow seed expecting a miracle because the law of reciprocity works; and praise God before you actually see the victory. That’s proof of true belief.
4. Get wisdom, knowledge and understanding. The more you know, the more you grow. Readers are leaders. Study the champions. Read about great men and women. Meditate on biblical heroes like Joseph, Paul, David or Esther. Stay inspired. Create a prayer circle. Listen to godly advice from mentors. Ignorance can be deadly. “My people are destroyed from lack on knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Continually expand your mind and learn from good books.
5. Give God time to work. Stand firm, stay strong and be patient in the process. Promotion follows adversity. Expect it. Get your eyes on the bigger picture. Feed your faith and don’t lose hope. Life is a marathon not a sprint. Be tough; avoid the victim mentality when you get weary. Visualize success and keep faith photos of your goal before you. Patience is a weapon. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
6. Stay focused. Your battle deserves your full attention. We only lose because of broken focus. Eliminate distractions and toxic people from your life. You’ll be sure to get the victory when you keep your focus and full of joy. If we just learn to outlast the enemy, we win. When the enemy sees you are more determined than he is, he’ll back down and you’ll move forward into greater realms of victory.
The key is to stay the course with God. Endurance is rewarded – always. “With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” Psalm 60:12
Shoot me an email and I’ll send you a list of great books that will keep you on track to reach your dreams and walk in victory in 2008 and beyond – firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Eagan Dedicates Her Life to
Leading Christians to “The Wealthy Place”
Many people in the country are wringing their hands trying to figure out how to survive in the current struggling economy. But, Catherine Eagan is trying to help people become part of God’s thriving supernatural economy.
It’s a revelation that Eagan received in God’s perfect timing as retiring baby boomers are trying to figure out how to manage their wealth, younger people are just beginning to learn about finances, and others are discovering for the first time that retirement is no longer an option.
“In this time, people are going through a lot of different challenges,” said Eagan, a member of Word of Faith Christian Center. “It’s important to have a kingdom objective. We’re getting more in debt. The message of building wealth challenges all of us to build wealth so we can have financial the wherewithal and establish the Kingdom of God whether you’re young or old.”
Eagan is an entrepreneur, ordained minister and a former Vice President and Private Banking Officer, with a 25-year financial background.
She said the foundation for tapping into God’s economy includes giving and receiving, purpose, seedtime and harvest, tithes and offerings, and God’s principles. This opens the door for budgeting, debt elimination, credit repair, insurance planning, investment planning, and estate planning to affectively fall in line with proper instruction that can be found in Eagan’s book, “Dominating Money: Tapping Into God’s Supernatural Economy.”
“From a Biblical standpoint God wants us to provide for our family, our children, and our children’s children,” Eagan said. “There’s a difference between riches and wealth. Riches can come overnight through the lottery, but that doesn’t mean you know how to sustain it. Wealth is for the kingdom of God and … the greater good of humanity and society. Henry Ford wanted to provide a vehicle for people to ride in and came up with the process of mass production. When people meet the needs of others on a mass scale it lends itself to wealth.”
Eagan has been doing this in her own life through a balanced combination of informational clubs, books, and other merchandise and services that she sells, in addition to a 40-city Wealthy Women Seminar Tour and weekly teleseminars that she has offered for free. The tour has blessed more than 3,000 women across the country and the teleseminars draw 100 to 200 participants each week as far away as Canada and the Caribbean. She wants to make sure there is no excuse for Christians to not reach the “wealthy place” where they have successfully learned to dominate in the areas of business and finance.
Other books she has authored with her husband, Dr. J. Victor Eagan, include “How to Discover Your Purpose in 10 Days,” “How to Determine Your Motivational Gift,” and “The Character of Success.”
Eagan’s reason for doing everything she does is so that God’s people realize that wealth is for them, despite their current or past financial situation. Even someone who doesn’t have any money can go from 0 to wealth.
“John Johnson asked his mother to sell her furniture,” Eagan said. “She sold it for $500 and he started Ebony Magazine. John Rockefeller was a high school dropout, but he pursued business. Oprah Winfrey had nothing, but … now she owns Harpo production. God’s raising people who are going to be world changers.”
More life-changing, kingdom-building principles will be disclosed at the Kingdom Millionaire Intensive and Vision Gala in Boca Raton, Florida. For more information, or to register, call (561) 338-0009 or log onto www.catherineeagan.com.
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PR in Gospel Music By Phyllis Caddell-M
Music professionals recognize that a well-conceived, well-executed publicity plan is a valuable and integral part of an artist’s career schematic.
Publicity and recognition are vital for a number of reasons, not least of which is the state of competition in the music industry. It exists in every aspect of the business: the competition is stiff for radio air time, TV slots, and the public’s purchase dollar for concert tickets and recorded music.
A well-rounded publicity approach can be tremendous in cutting a path through competition. Exposure in the print and electronic (TV) media, for example, can favorably position the artist and thus enhance product sales. Similar publicity can also boost the volume of business at a recording studio or provide information that may incline an artist to sign with a particular label.
Recognition is a key element. Consumers who have only been exposed to the music of a new artist via radio, for example, are normally not that eager to go out and buy the CD. But if the same consumer has also read about the artist in their local newspaper or national magazine, they are often much more prone to make that all-important purchase decision.
Building up a “psychological imprint” of recognition and familiarity is imperative in developing a new artist. It’s also essential to the longevity of an established artist’s career. Similarly, public perception that is enhanced by media exposure can help define a “great” record label or an “in” studio – separating them from the pack.
The viewpoint and insight provided by feature articles in newspapers, magazines, and TV talk show appearances play a crucial role in other ways. Information about an artist’s musical, social, spiritual, and political outlook can be of immense interest to a fan or consumer and again can lead to a buying decision.
Media exposure can also be valuable for non-performing and corporate clients. Recording artists cannot be expected to have an interest in a particular producer or songwriter unless they’ve read about the person in some way. So publicity in trade and technical publications as well as entertainment publications offers a vehicle through which people on the production side can reach their market.
To generate a significant amount of good publicity a well-crafted press release distributed to a media list will rarely be enough. That is only part of the process. Just as the salesperson cultivates a territory, for PR the environment is studied and preconditioned, the approach carefully developed. And like sales, you have to tell the consumer what you’re going to tell them, tell them what you want them to hear, and tell them what you just told them.
A message to be received under the best of all circumstances must be presented to an audience ready and willing to hear it, well stated and with enough consistency and follow-through to make certain that its impact and effects register.
In order for your publicity efforts to be consistently effective you must have the eye, ear, goodwill, and current phone numbers of media outlets.
In addition, integrity and ethics play are a major factor. No matter how bad you want to be on the cover or the featured story in a publication, never fabricate the truth or manipulate a situation to where it could be interpreted as a bribe. Ethics and integrity are rarely assumed, and the nature of the media is to be wary of those who ask for coverage. Getting around this is simple but it comes with time. Your job is made significantly easier when your ethics and integrity are beyond condemnation. This status comes from you having created relationships with the media and from building a reputation.
Information is an essential PR tool. You cannot effectively disseminate and manage information if you do not have the right information. Before embarking on an effort to publicize, you must know where and how you fit into an overall plan; what, if anything, else is being presented relative to the same subject (advertising, direct mail, promotional literature); and what, if anything, has been or is being done within your genre that might affect your publicity efforts.
Bottom line – exposure through publicity leads to increased business and revenue.
Phyllis Caddell is CEO of Pc Public Relations & Management, Inc. launched in 1995. She is the author of “Do-It-Yourself Publicity: For Those Too Cheap Or Too Broke To Hire A Publicist,” and the DIY Publicity Newsletter. For more information go to www.phylliscaddell.com
My colleague and friend. Buy her book. It’s a blessing! Pam Perry