Tag Archives: Spiritual Growth

Wanted Virtual Book Tour

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Personal Growth, Christian Living, Spiritual Growth

Date Published: April 4, 2021

Publisher: Clay Bridges Press

 

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From the outside world, the family was like any other. Within the walls of
the home was a completely different story. Set in a common suburban
neighborhood with extraordinary financial struggles and intense pressure
between Mom and Dad’s marriage. Divorce was imminent. Mom exhausted
herself to get her love from her husband until Dad’s desertion left
the family in ruinous chaos. Mom lost all self-control. Her temper flared
and the unwanted hatred for herself and Dad turned into rage, violence, and
unending terror towards the children. Poverty overtook us, malnutrition was
not uncommon, and unconditional love was an estranged enemy. Born into this
tragedy, I was two months old upon Dad’s leaving.

I take you on a narrative journey through my childhood. The rage,
devastation, and hatred are exposed to what really happened. However,
intertwined with this constant chaos is a spiritual awakening that brings an
amazing grace, freedom, and redemption. Nevertheless, every day was wrought
with surviving until the next. Yet, a close friend that I come to know, The
Peacemaker, the God who comes close to us and deeply entrenches Himself amid
each storm of life, made Himself known through the perils of my
upbringing.

From the jaws of death and fright comes a chilling, yet inspiring, story of
a child that thought of himself to be hated, deserted, abandoned, assaulted,
and worthless. A plan where Heavenly Father steps in, becomes my father and
friend, calls me son, and makes certain that I know I am Wanted.

Wanted paperback

 

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 EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

The Fierce Storm

I

 awakened in that cold, leather recliner in the hospital room, next to Mom. The wind rattled against the large window and seeped through the cracks of the windowsill on this chilly February morning. I pulled the blanket a little closer to my shoulders to cover my whole body. It had been a long night.

Mom had been brought to the hospital early yesterday because she complained of leg pain. I had delayed coming until around noon because I was annoyed by her list of complaints. When I arrived at her new residence, where she had moved just five days earlier, I was startled by what I found. Mom was on her queen-sized bed, apparently unable to move her right leg. It was all she could do to try to lift it. I checked her vital signs and asked her about pain. Everything seemed to be normal, except it clearly was not.

As I walked through her residence, I saw evidence of her long battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It had left its mark throughout the whole apartment, staining many of the surfaces in her home. The stench in her apartment wreaked, and the place where she had come to rest on her bed was unsightly.

Mom ached in what was obviously a prolonged state of pain. Quivering, she spoke in a somber and low tone: “My leg! Oh, my leg!” Yet, there was nothing definitively wrong. It baffled me until I gave up trying to find an answer and resolved to call the ambulance.

Now, I got up from the vinyl recliner and checked on Mom. I smiled at her. She smiled back and asked for me to look up. I followed her request, turning my head, and looking at the tile that spread across the ceiling of her hospital room. She seemed to be pointing to a specific tile, where she was clearly seeing something that was not visible.

“Look!” she said, “Furry, white kittens. They are looking straight at me.” Her smile was contagious, but my bewilderment caused my eyebrows to rise, and my eyes rolled as I tried to keep my chuckle hidden. Mom has gone nutty, I thought to myself. The moment stayed with me, though.

My wife and I had taken Mom in two years earlier. Her throat cancer had spread throughout her whole body. At the time, it looked as if her time was coming to an end quickly. The decision to bring her into our home was the hardest thing I had to do. To expose my children and wife to the narcissistic, self-absorbed, and controlling person that Mom was, and still is, stressed me to no end.

As the weeks and months passed with her living with us, her cancer stopped growing and the doctors went into a “watch and wait” pattern. Mom took it to mean her cancer was gone completely. This false narrative made her challenging to deal with when it came to facing other medical issues. Her IBS, only diagnosed two months before this hospital stay, was the cause of her constant diarrhea over the last couple of years.

Mom had always been a very difficult woman to be around. My motives in taking her in were to give her a home, a genuine family atmosphere, something she rarely experienced in her life. My intention was also to take care of her every need, no matter what it would cost us. Unfortunately, the cost was much more than I imagined, but not financially. Rather, the weight of Mom’s presence in our home came to be a very heavy burden.

When we moved Mom into her own place five days ago, her exhausting, controlling nature within our home finally had its end. We found this beautiful apartment that she could call her own. She was happy, as was my family now that she had her own residence.

The doctors ran all kinds of tests to determine Mom’s condition while she was in the emergency room. All the tests were negative. However, two things caused the doctors to move her to a room where she would stay overnight: Her chest x-ray came back, showing a dark circle within her lungs, and her blood pressure and heart rate were quite low. So, they kept her in the hospital to keep an eye on her. Otherwise, they would have been ready to release her. With that assurance, the doctor had expressed hope that she would be going home soon. His words brought me calm in this uncertainty.

Sleeping in that recliner had made my back sore. Yet I sat in it again now and reflected on Mom’s startling choice from yesterday. While in the emergency room, I had stepped away to grab a bite to eat. A record-keeping assistant had come in to gather information from Mom, who had been fully cognizant and answered all his questions amiably. He was gone by the time I got back to her room. She had summarized the visit with these words, “He asked if I wanted to be resuscitated if my heart stopped. I told him no!” She had spoken in a quiet, confident, almost eerie tone. Now the words repeated themselves over and over in my head.

My daydreaming stopped. Looking over at her, I saw that Mom had fallen back asleep. Her vital signs were still well below normal. I was getting concerned, but took it all in stride, trusting the doctors every step of the way.

My mind wandered again. I began to reflect on the third reason that I had brought Mom to live with us. Many had questioned my decision. Nevertheless, I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I wanted her to experience the same spiritual awakening I had. I wanted the same for all those I knew and met, especially for my family. My heart was hurting for Mom, both for her frail state now and for her broken heart all those years ago.

Yet, she was not the only one who pained my heart. My story is just a story, I mused to myself, like any other. Yet, I knew it was so much more. I had been wrestling with writing my family’s narrative for six years now. Nevertheless, as Mom lay in that bed, the need had become very apparent and even more urgent that I finish what I set out to do.

The storms of life are vicious and ferocious at times. I wanted my mother to have peace as I have come to intimately know it. For that matter, I long for anyone who struggles with the tortuous nature of this life, with the storms that seem to have no end, and who does not know peace, to know there is freedom, a way out, and life on the other side. It is why I must tell my story…

 

About the Author

R. Dale Watkins

It is with obedience and brokenness that I present my life’s journey.
I owe much gratitude to my wife, children, siblings, friends, and many
others as they helped in this project of love.  The trauma and
destruction of my broken world have compelled me to lead others out of
darkness and into His Glorious light.  You can learn more
hayahbooks.com.

 

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Dreamsmen Tour

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Christian, Spiritual growth, Christian inspirational

Date Published: Nov 24, 2020

Publisher: Clay Bridges Press

 

The body of Christ is in a great state of emergency. Many people are
unknowingly operating under the deceptive influence of the spirit of
Jezebel, and as a result many are unprepared, misplaced, and dead to the
spiritual assignment for which God built them. The good news is that God is
aware, and He has sent special agents—Dreamsmen—to combat this
spirit face to face. The bad news is that God’s agents must first get
past the religious walls that Jezebel has set up against them inside the
church.

Dreamsmen: The Final Combat brings the awakening that ministry leaders need
to recognize the deceptive hand of Jezebel and to acknowledge the dream as
one of God’s powerful weapons against her. This firsthand account
seeks to alleviate the Dreamsmen’s fight in the body of Christ and to
demonstrate the power of God-given dreams so that both leaders and sheep
begin to walk in the fullness of who they are called to be. Using her
incredibly powerful experience with dreams and interpretations and
eye-opening accounts of real-life ministry, Senior delivers a powerful
message that sets the stage for the final battle between the deadly spirit
of Jezebel and the “Dreamsmen.” Senior gives Dreamsmen all the
ammunition they need to become who they are called to be.

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Excerpt 

Leaders, it is time that we begin to educate the body of Christ on the power of the Dream. While writing this book, my husband turned on the radio to hear a pastor openly announcing over the airways that God no longer speaks through dreams. This was a leader, a leader with followers. So, what could this line of teaching do to a Dreamsmen’s assignment? A Dreamsmen’s ministry? How receptive will his members be should a Dreamsmen need to approach them with a message from a dream. How receptive will he be? Such a statement could not be any further from the truth. This is a true demonstration and wake-up call that it is time to execute and enforce the training that prepares the body of Christ to revere, respect, and receive again the power of God’s dream. It’s time to become a part of a Dreamsmen’s upbringing and not a Dreamsmen’s fall. Let us set an environment conducive to the healthy emergence of the Dreamsmen assigned to keep the body free of the influence of Jezebel. Let us all begin to take part in our own win.

Dreamsmen standing book

About the Author

Rachel Senior is Co-founder and Pastor of Kingdom Empowerment Center in
McDonough, Georgia, alongside her husband Michael Senior. She is also
founder of She Builds Women’s Leadership Conference—a kingdom
platform for building female leaders in business, the marketplace, and
church. Rachel is also the founder of The Bethel Center, Inc. a nonprofit
organization dedicated to the holistic development of the at-risk population
of female youth. One of Rachel’s recent achievements for the Kingdom
is the establishment of Dream Talks, an educational platform, which includes
dream workshops, dream training books and materials, and live media
broadcasts designed for the 21st-century dreamer and the body of Christ
preparing for the message of God through the dream. Rachel is mother to six
remarkably talented children, and she loves every minute of being a
parent.

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Flawed but Fabulous TOUR

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Embracing a Better You

Christian, Spiritual Growth, Christian Mentorship

Date Published: Nov 24, 2020

Publisher: Clay Bridges Press

 

Have you ever noticed that you are a greater cheerleader for others than
yourself?

Imagine what you could accomplish if that same energy you applied to
others’ success was used on you. In our Christian walk, sometimes we need a
reminder of our internal tools. One of our greatest tools is to allow faith
to conquer fear. This book is meant to challenge all the negative images and
thoughts we often have about ourselves.

It will encourage readers to envision and take advantage of opportunities
to promote a different outcome. In this book, the reader will be challenged
to participate in self-reflection and deal with the hard issues, because
avoidance is never deliverance. Know what you can handle and how to deal
with it in a positive way. No matter how many bruises, scars, or flaws,
there is a “fabulous” within you waiting to come forth.

 

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Excerpt 
God is an awesome God who desires for us to be made

complete. Sometimes, the scars of life will have us fake it

until we make it. Everything in life happens for a reason.

Scripture reminds the believer that “to everything there is a season”

(Eccles. 3:1). You are not what you experienced. The most important

thing you can remember is to use your experiences as opportunities

to learn from them. Embrace the better you by building off your

experiences. Maybe you planned on completing your education, but

the credit hours and grades did not work out. Or perhaps you have

been trying for a position with your company and cannot seem to

get the yes you have been waiting for. Did you know that the last

no does not mean no forever? There are countless professionals who

will share their stories of repeated failures before they got it right.

The point is that even if it does not work out the first time, that

is no excuse to quit. Let me challenge the better in you by saying

this: it is okay to try again.

About the Author

Michelle Best grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, under the leadership
of her grandfather, the late Bishop F. C. Barnes. She has worked in the
healthcare industry for more than 19 years and holds an MBA in project
management. Currently, Michelle is a faithful member of Monument of Praise
Ministries in High Point, North Carolina, under the leadership of Bishop
Kevin A. Williams. She serves on the minister’s staff as well as praise
& worship leader and a member of the choir. She enjoys any activity she
can find to do.

 

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The Butterfly Blueprint Tour

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How to Renew Your Mind and Grow Your Faith

Christian, Spiritual growth, Christian mentorship

Date Published: Sept 22, 2020

Publisher: Lucid Books Publishing

 

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Have you ever found yourself doing the same thing over and over again
without realizing it? Are you spiritually stuck, wanting a deeper
relationship with God but not sure how to get there?

 

In The Butterfly Blueprint, Stephanie Miller uses each stage of a
butterfly-egg, caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly-to show you five ways to
grow your faith. By examining how your past shapes your perspective and
understanding of the value of authenticity and accountability in
relationships, you will learn how to identify and address your spiritual
blind spots that are hindering your growth.

 

Stephanie opens up her own journey of transformation while providing
practical steps you can implement to see real progress in your spiritual
life.

 

●      Your purpose will become clearer.

●      Your relationships will grow deeper.

●      You will create a new perspective to share
your story with others.

 

You were not created to remain a caterpillar your entire life. Let God
change your perspective so He can transform you into the beautiful butterfly
He made you to be.

The Butterfly Blueprint trade paperback

Excerpt 
Life is all about perspective. We hear all the time that perspective shapes our reality, but I believe our perspective is our reality; we know no other reality than this. We are subject to how our personal biases, beliefs, and emotions influence our perceptions.

In graduate school, I worked under a very well-known cognitive psychologist for my thesis. As a graduate student, I had the opportunity to learn more about cognitive psychology, the study of how our thoughts are influenced by many things and how they lead to our behaviors and actions.

The argument could be this: Do we have a choice when it comes to our reactions or responses, or are they things that happen spontaneously and that we cannot influence?

 

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About the Author

 Stephanie Miller, M.A., is a certified personal growth coach, writer, and
speaker. Currently living in Colorado, she is the wife of a busy Army
dentist, and mom to a strong-willed toddler and sweet baby boy. Together
they enjoy going on hiking adventures. Her ministry, Butterfly Beginnings,
specializes in helping those who are spiritually stuck by catalyzing change
through connection with the Holy Spirit. She seeks to encourage women and
challenge them to grow closer to God and in community with each other. Her
past published works include I Am Enough in Christ, a workbook and
devotional. Connect with her at www.butterflybeginnings.net.

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Worth the Struggle Tour

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Christian, Spiritual growth, Christian mentorship

Date Published: Sept 15, 2020

Publisher: Clay Bridges Press

 

Worth the Struggle is designed to help followers of Jesus Christ become
more aware of how living life with purpose relates to achieving their
destiny. This is an encouraging spiritual handbook based on the
author’s journey through personal transformation to live life with
purpose. The author shares how she learned that struggle is an integral part
of the process of finding purpose and fulfilling each person’s
destiny—what it truly means to walk by faith, not by sight. Worth the
Struggle presents profound insights about how you too can walk by faith in
the reality that “this is the day that the Lord has made” and
gain a new way of seeing destiny.

 

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Excerpt 

Rejoicing and being glad is a form of worship in support of coping more effectively with adversities, struggles, or challenges. Being glad and rejoicing in the day the Lord has made is not limited to an emotional reaction but is a response to who the Lord is by his grace and through revelation. “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9). My prayer is for the grace of God to help people understand the role of the wrapping paper, so that we may understand who Jesus is in the process of discovering our destiny.

About the Author

Dr. Althea L. Phillips, a native New Yorker, is a mother of eight children
and a grandmother of ten. Her academic studies include a bachelor of science
in nursing from Liberty University, a legal nurse consultant certificate
from Kaplan University, a master of science in nursing from Walden
University, and a doctorate of nursing practice from Walden University. Dr.
Phillips currently resides in South Chesterfield, Virginia. Her most recent
published book, The Need for Transformation, focused on the transformative
influence of and journey to the presence of God.

 

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