Saturday, April 25, 2015

Meet Lacha' Mitchell-Scott

Welcome back for another great author interview.  Please welcome Lacha’ Mitchell Scott. I just happened upon this wonder author and I was blown away by her book called, Speak of the Devil. I had to take my time in reading this story. It gave a message that warmed my heart. We all have that family. We all have our own internal issues and if we just hold on to God and His unchanging hand, rejoicing comes.  Meet Lacha’.

Lacha’ is finally living her dreams of being a writer which were birthed through her love of reading. Growing up you could always find her curled up with a good book. Lacha’s love of words, writing papers, short stories and poems were her favorite in school. She practiced her craft and always put her passion into the assignments given. Lacha’ self-published her memoir, Cancer, The Silent Storm, Destiny’s Child book series Volumes One and Two. As of February 2014, she was signed to the Urban Christian Imprint of Urban Books, owned by Best Selling author Carl Weber. Lacha’ is married with four beautiful daughters and one grandson. Being a two time Breast Cancer survivor has opened many doors for Lacha’ to bless women with Inspirational Speaking where sharing her testimony bloomed in her ministry. Lacha’ has been keynote speaker at women’s conferences, revivals and youth conferences, inside and outside of North Carolina.

In 2012, God’s Girls Rock was birthed. Lacha’s vision of starting a mentorship for all girls ages eleven through age eighteen came into fruition. Lacha’ has been featured in Women’s Essence Magazine, Back to Eden Magazine, Peace in the Storm Publishing Interviews, Urban Christian interviews and many internet radio interviews. She has had the pleasure of co-authoring in Never Would Have Made It~ anthology with Tranquil Moments Publishing, Have A Little Faith~anthology edited by Best Selling Author Vanessa Miller and A Reflection of Me, an anthology by AAMBC Publications Presents. All which are published works and available anywhere books are sold. Lacha’s vision for her writing is that it will enlighten all readers to the goodness of God in spite of the trials we have to endure in life. It is her prayer that her writing will inspire other readers who have a dream of becoming a published writer to pursue and take hold, so that their voices can be heard through storytelling.

Lacha’ also is the Founder/President of Victorious Ladies Reading, book club where there are 10 active members. They meet every other month face to face to discuss the book club read chosen by one of the members. In 2015 VLR is putting together a women's conference for the purpose of empowering each woman to the next level.

Lacha’ is a recurrent Breast Cancer survivor. Diagnosed in 2003 at the age of thirty-two, caused Lacha’ to advocate for others with cancer. She has been provided many platforms to share her story and was even highlighted in the Durham Herald Sun for a Mother’s Day article as she battled cancer alongside of her then ten year old daughter.

Lacha’ is currently the Senior Pastor of No Greater Love Christian Church under the leadership of Overseer and founder Apostle Arlene S. Chavis. She has a heart for the youth/women’s ministry.  Lacha’ has worked with the youth ministry, prayer warrior ministry, trained, facilitated workshops, conferences and have taught other leaders within the ministry and was head minister during her membership at NGLCC. She has also taken classes in the Christian Education program at Shaw University.

Her favorite scripture is Romans 8:28 – “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose.”

I asked Lacha’ a few questions and here is what she shared.

Why did you want to become an author? My love of reading as a child sparked my interest in writing. As a child I didn't have an outlet, so I took to writing my feelings, thoughts and dreams down on paper.

What do you enjoy most about connecting with your readers? I absolutely love the interaction with readers who receive the message behind the words. It's a blessing when someone tells you that your story has inspired, or reminded them of what forgiveness is and the importance of family.

What two pieces of advice would you give to someone wanting to become an author? Two pieces of advice I would offer are to read, read, read, and to study the literary business.

What do you do when you are not writing? When I'm not writing, I'm reading or jotting down ideas for my next stories. I love to spend time with my daughters and grandson.

What is your writing process and when do you do most of your writing? My writing process includes but isn't limited to; having recording tools with me everywhere I go. When an idea drops into my spirit I want to make sure that I don't forget anything that may be useful for my novel. I do most of my writing in the evenings, when I can steal away and be the most productive.

Who are a few of your favorite authors and why? Lutisha Lovely- I've been reading her work from book one and she as well as Renee Daniel Flagler, Jacquelin Thomas, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Pat G'Orge Walker, Vanessa Miller's work has solidified my desire to want to bring stories to life. E.N. Joy, Rhonda McKnight, Pat Simmons and many others writing's bless my soul and I want to birth stories of enlightenment, redemption and healing in my writings.

What other gifts do you have besides writing and Pastoring? Hmm, I would have to think really hard about that- lol. Actually I'm a motivator by nature as I lean on the trials God has brought me through to be a living testimony for many. Every new challenge excites me because I'm always pushing myself to achieve greater.

What are you working on now? I'm working on edits to Up Pops the Devil, which will be released on November 24, 2015 with Urban Christian. I'm working on a submission as we speak, but will have to hold out on the details at this time. I have a young adult series, Destiny's Child, that I'm still giving birth to. So expect the Kindle and paperback versions of the 2nd volume to be released this Fall. :)

Thanks so much for allowing me this time- to share my passion and my work with you.

Excerpt of Speak of the Devil:

Refreshed after a cup of hot tea, Serena went into her study to check her flashing voicemail. It had been nearly a week since the last time she was able to spend any time in her office. Serena was the head of a twenty-four hour prayer line and was thankful for her team of seasoned intercessors. They worked the prayer line faithfully and most of the times without obstacles or issues. In the beginning she ran into many hurdles and there were bumps in the road, but with extra patience, prayer and tender loving care, Serena was able to weed out those who wanted to be a part and get rid of those who were there with insincere motives.
Her mother, Pastor Crystal Sampson, told her that it was mighty strange that so many people showed interest in the ministry when it was first announced six years ago. She had great insight and cautioned Serena on how to handle the group without causing offence to them. She let Serena know up front that it didn't take a little bit of nothing to make folks leave the church. The phone rang before Serena could hit the button on the answering machine to play back her messages. The red light blinked on and off furiously, but the messages would have to wait.
“Praise the Lord, Prophetess Sampson speaking.” Serena had to concentrate on the pronunciation of her words to keep from straining her voice as her throat was still sore.
“Serena, child is that you?” Crystal sounded worried.
“Yes, Pastor it's me.” Serena rolled her eyes up into her head. She answered the phone too quickly and if she had a chance to think about it before answering, she would have let it roll over to the already full voicemail.
“What in the world is going on with your voice? I've been calling you since after church on Sunday to see how the conference in Atlanta went, but Amina kept telling me that you weren’t available, or were in the shower, or sleeping. Are you two okay over there?” Serena’s mother’s voice boomed through Serena's earpiece.

“Mommy, it is well. I’m just really tired and I appreciate the wisdom that Amina possesses to know that I need rest and peace. The last thing I want to do is have a conversation, plus my throat has been bothering me. You know how taxing it can be to minister three nights in a row. It's an exhilarating, yet draining assignment. Women were delivered and set free so mission accomplished. Mother, the atmosphere changed immediately upon the heartfelt worship of the people." Serena gave Crystal the quick version.
"Are you feeling better today? God really must have used you because I can hear it in your voice. Girl, I know you inside and out and you sound like you're sick. You musta overdosed on the Holy Ghost, down there in Atlanta." Crystal laughed at herself. "Mama always knows when something ain't right with her children. The intercessors had also been trying to get into contact with you. I guess they grew tired of trying to reach you and resorted to calling Sister Edna. Evangelist Curry didn’t hesitate to let her know that she'd left numerous messages on your voicemail, but you hadn't returned any of her calls. You know Sister Edna is ill equipped at handling matters of the spirit and you know what she does when she can't handle an issue. She buzzed me in my office up to fifty times a day. It didn’t matter that I had counseling sessions booked every hour on the hour. She doesn’t have any problem reminding folks that she is just the administrative assistant you know?" Crystal droned on and on in Serena’s ear.
"Mommy, please." Serena didn't feel like hearing all of the issues that she was sure that awaited her on the busy voicemail. "What was the issue they were having?" Serena asked.
"Oh, chile something about someone joining the ministry. I can't remember the young woman's name, but I quickly told Evangelist Curry that she would just have to wait until you return to church. That's the reason I placed you over that ministry, so folks can stop coming to me seeking direction on every thing." Crystal fussed.

Serena felt a sermon coming on, so she spoke up before Crystal came back with more to say, "Tell me about the service, did any souls get saved Sunday? I will deal with the intercessors and the prayer line before the day is out. I may need for Evangelist Curry to stay on call the rest of this week." Serena wished that she could just crawl back into her bed, pull the covers over her head and go to sleep. 
"Oh my, God showed up and showed out today, daughter. Judah Praise Team was in full effect and it didn't take long for the anointing of God to saturate the place. The Holy Spirit showed up and showed out, like always. It just blesses my soul to see God's people free in Him." Serena's mother went off on a tangent and she knew there would be no stopping her mother until she got tired. 
"Mommy, did anyone get saved today? It seems like that would be the case since the spirit was so high. Cutting her mother off from replying, Serena continued talking, "How could the anointing be strong and no one got saved?" Serena was aggravated as her passion was seeing folks get saved. The highlight of the service for her was someone surrendered their life to Christ.   
“Serena, you know you can’t make people give their lives to Christ, so to answer your question no. No one received salvation today,” Crystal said in a huff. Serena listened to her mother go on and on about everything from Sister Tasha's short dress and how she wished the child would put on more clothes, to Mother Jenkins hollering and crying throughout the service because her baby boy, Jody, had gotten shot hanging out with the gang. Serena had to put her mother on mute for a moment, happy not to have needed to respond to anything she was saying. She called out for Amina to bring her two aspirin and another hot cup of tea. She tried to stay focused on the conversation going on the other end of the phone, but realized her mother was on mute when she called Serena's name to make sure she was still on the line. "Serena? Are you still there? Did you hear what I said? Child, you must be tired, I hope you can get it together before Friday night prayer," Crystal said. 

Serena had accidentally pushed the mute button on the handset with her chin. “Mommy, I'm sorry, my mind is really full and I am trying to nurse my throat.” Serena wished she would have let Crystal know that she wasn’t feeling well at the beginning of the call. “Can I call you back tomorrow evening to let you know if I will be able to make it for prayer on Friday evening?” She hoped that her mother would be okay with that. Crystal didn’t like the idea of her daughter not feeling well, but couldn’t act as if she was too concerned because that would cause Serena to shut down. It was no secret for those who knew them that their relationship was strained, but Crystal hoped that would change before it was too late. She was also concerned about Amina who was being groomed and trained in the prophetic ministry.  
The two of them stuck together like Frick and Frack. When you saw one, you saw the other. When one was absent the other would be also. They were like Siamese twins joined at the hip. Crystal knew that the ministry would feel the prolonged absence of the two most effective and anointed intercessors at Abiding Savior Christian Community Center. “All right sweetie, please let me know as soon as you are feeling better. We have missed you in your absence. I will put you on the prayer list and also will solicit prayers from the pulpit. I love you and I’m here if you need me, ya hear?”  

Serena agreed to anything her mother said because she was more than ready for the phone call to end. “Yes, I promise that I will call to let you know either way.” Before releasing the phone call, Serena had one burning question. “Um, mother, had Brother Nathaniel Jackson been in service this past week? I haven’t heard from him since before I left town for the conference.” Serena waited, hoping her mother would tell her something about the man who had been unsuccessfully trying to court her for the last three months. They'd gone on a few dates and she liked him more than she would admit to anyone. “Brother Nathaniel?” Hmm, let me think. You know we have so many new members that I am not good with names.” Crystal laughed out loud, however Serena didn’t find any humor in what she said. “Mother, he’s the nice looking brother who stands six feet seven inches. He kind of puts you in the mindset of Idris Elba. You can’t miss him. Nathaniel is such a distinguished looking brother with the smooth bald head that looks like he has it spit shined before church each Sunday." Serena felt her tempature rising as she leaned back and sighed softly. “Oh yes, Brother Nathaniel, now I remember him. Serena, are you sweet on him or something?” Crystal asked her daughter in surprise.  
“Why would you ask that?” Serena closed her eyes wishing she hadn't brought him up.
“I’m asking because if you have any interest in that brother, you had better keep your eyes open. Yes he’s been at church since you left, but trust me when I tell you that all of your single sisters haven’t been delivered from the ideology that church is the spot for a hook-up. The difference is that they think it's okay, as long as it's done within the confines of the church walls. Hmmph, a holy hook up is what I hear it's called now adays, but back when I was a little girl, it was called pimpin' in the church.” Crystal said with her tone laced with disgust.

“Pastor, don’t be so dramatic. I was just wondering if Nathaniel had been in church while I was away. God showed me that He has greatness in store for him. The Lord also revealed to me that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing on assignment to destroy his destiny. Women who are operating in the spirit of Jezebel are trying to blindside him by flaunting themselves in his presence.” Serena felt the energy she had on reserve zapped from her  just by talking about Nathaniel. She felt the spirit of jealousy and desire rising up in her flesh so she took that as her cue to end the conversation before her carnal nature betrayed her heart.  
Serena finally said her goodbyes to her mother and dropped her head on her desk. Her temples throbbed as she heard her mother’s voice in her head telling her to watch out for Nathaniel if she wanted a future with him. Serena had become complacent believing that he would just follow her around and sniff up under her forever. Serena admitted to herself that she’d been acting stand offish. She tried pretending that she wasn't into Nathaniel as much as she was, to protect her heart from having to possibly repeat the past pain she barely got over.

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Be Blessed

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Check Your Attitude

How many times have you lost your temper and thought to yourself, I need to check my attitude? I have to check mine everyday. Some things just get me all worked up and for no reason. A driver cuts you off or nearly runs you off the road, what is the first thing that you do or say? The lines in the grocery store are long and the sweet little older woman at the checkout is searching for something in her large purse. You are in line to order your lunch with no time to spare and the cashier calls for the manager.

You are not alone. I am not a very patient person and trust me God allows many opportunities for me to learn it. I also get frustrated when I have to repeat myself and God again is showing me that sometimes it is needed. We all have attitude issues and we all have the ability to check those attitudes with Gods nudging.

A bad attitude is always followed by many things like pride and self entitlement to name a few. The longer our unchecked attitudes linger the more we block our blessings. I don't know about you, but I desire to have all of my blessings, don't you?

Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT says this, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.

If anyone should have an attitude it would be Jesus. He was born to die on the cross for us. He was verbally and physically abused. Just writing this part gives me the chills. Abraham should have had an attitude when Sarah his wife was taken from him, he kept it together and he prayed.
So why then do we as God's children not understand that our attitude will determine our course in this life. Our attitude directs what comes to us and what remains elusive.

1 Peter 3:2-5 NLT says this, Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together with the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don't be selfish, don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Jesus came that we might have life. He walked and talked never with an attitude of self-righteousness, but of God and his unconditional love for us all. We must always examine ourselves and our motives. We must have a like mind and a like heart. We must stay connected to the one source that will give us strength, power, and a calmness that will surly speak louder then the words we can say. God's word if filled with the love story for our lives, how to live, how to talk and most of all how to pray. Praying will no doubt change a bad attitude.

I encourage you to watch for the signs that your attitude is not like Christ and when you catch it stop, breath, and give God praise. Ask God to search your heart and to point out to you the areas in your attitude that need to be checked and actively work daily at making that much needed attitude adjustment.

Be Blessed

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book Shout - Outwitting The Devil by Napoleon Hill

Every individual has the power to change his or her material or financial status by first changing the nature of his or her beliefs. Napoleon Hill 1938

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a reader. A childhood friend calls me, the woman who reads millions of books.  I love a good book and I am excited about an excellent book. Outwitting The Devil by Napoleon Hill is an excellent book. and I am only half way complete. I am a strong believer that if one is absolutely unhappy with their life in its current state, change is possible. If not, then thus will remain in a crabs in the barrel mentality.

Mr. Hill writes from a deep desire to do things differently than the way they were being done in the early 1900’s, and he did. The great depression then and the economic down turn today, it is the same. Millions of people laid off, homeless, depressed, and stressed. Tired and weary of doing the same thing day after day and not seeing results or even happy with the results.  All are looking for the big break.  

I am convinced that no matter the trials we face we do have a strong capacity to make a change. As I write this blog, I am on a road to being an entrepreneur. I started a business plan in 2006 for a bookstore and with the recent down turn in brick and mortar stores, I am excited about the opportunity. Reading this book increases my excitement. Reading this book I am also reminded that the devil does not want me to lean on God and use my faith in God to see my dream come to reality. Many live their lives believing that all of the apparent good things that come into their lives are blessings from God. What many fail to understand is that the devil is the orchestrator in many of those so called blessings and God is allowing it to teach us discernment. However, if one is not aware of the many tricks of the enemy one will have no idea on how to be positioned, armed, and protected. God’s word, our obedience to Him, and right thinking is that ultimate position and protection.

The adversary does not want us to think for ourselves and he surely does not want us to believe in a God that created heaven, earth, and every moving thing in it.  Because he himself was positioned next to God, he thought himself to be equal if not higher than God and was tossed out of the Kingdom. The adversary will use what he knows against you and cause you to think that it was God or some other source. This book will give you a look into the mind of who he is, what his real mission is, and what he uses to divide and conquer. It is an absolute must read.

Below is a few pieces from the book that is powerful and worth pondering on.

May we all make an inventory of our blessings in life. And give thanks for every gift that we have been given. I know that when I am at a low point in my life, I force myself to think of my family and friends and the blessings they have brought to my life. It is the quickest path up and puts my temporary setbacks into perspective. Napoleon Hill 

Fear is the tool of a man-made devil. Self-confident faith in one's self is both the man-made weapon which defeats this devil and the man-made tool which builds a triumphant life. And it is more than that. It is a a link to the irresistible forces of the universe which stand behind a man who does not believe in failure and defeat as being anything but temporary experiences. Napoleon Hill

I encourage you to invest in yourself and get this book. Read it. Study it and take it in.  If you know God’s word then you will no doubt see exactly what Napoleon Hill so eloquently shares.  A priceless gem that will change your life. To God be the glory.

Be Blesse

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Everyday Ressurection

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke chapters 23 and 24, John 18 and 19.

Truly it is a sad but also joyous occasion and rightly so. Though today is Resurrection Sunday, we should be mindful to live this day not only today, but everyday. We should celebrate the great I Am, everyday. We should bow down with humility, awe, and reverence not only today, but every day.

The words that Jesus spoke on that cross was meant to be remembered throughout eternity. The words Jesus spoke as he walked to and fro should be remembered when we wake and when we lie down. As far as the east is from the west, we should remember. North from the south, remember. 

God is about to resurrect some things in your life. He is going to prepare you and position you, just as He positioned himself on earth in the man form of Jesus Christ. He positioned himself from heaven to earth, from earth to cross, from the cross to the grave, and from the grave to the sky. All of this was for a purpose. His purpose and God has a purpose for you.

I encourage you to take this time to reflect on the Resurrection and what it truly means to you. Is it just another ritual or is it a meaningful, heartfelt, and glorious day to remember all that Jesus died for? That he was beaten, whipped, and flogged? That he carried the very cross that he would give his life on? Yes, he gave his life on that cross for you and for me. Jesus died for our sins so that we would not have to. Is this another day to just show off the latest fashion or hairstyle?

Are you amongst the many who only attend a church service on this day? If it is good. I encourage you to consider a surrendered relationship, continuous fellowship, and Bible study.

Let this Resurrection Sunday be reflective in you everyday because God is with us and for us, everyday.

Be Blessed