Our Featured guest for In The Living Room with Pastor Danyelle is the one and only Chaplain Eunice Johnson. Chaplain Johnson, whom I refer to as Mother Johnson, is a graduate of Sabine Valley Business College and has furthered her education at Centenary College, C.H. Mason Bible College, and at Northwestern State University. She also holds a Master of Arts in Psychology and Christian Counseling from Louisiana Baptist University. Chaplain Johnson was certified as a Clinical Chaplain for the state of Louisiana in January 2003, and is the first African American female chaplain at Louisiana State Health Science Center in Shreveport, Louisiana.
This wonderful woman of God was the wife of the late Deacon James Johnson Sr., the mother of five children, and now has twelve grandchildren. Her legacy includes Director of the Save the Youth, Inc., chartered member of the 1965 pioneer group who pioneered, administrated, and received a grant in the amount of $40,000, for the first Head Start Program in Caddo Parish, fourteen years of employment at the Social Security Administration as a Service Representative, and so much more.
I am so honored to introduce to you this dynamic, Spirit filled, ambitious, and tenacious Woman of God and Woman of Purpose.
Hello Mother Johnson, I am so happy to have you sharing with us today. You’ve done so many great things here in the city and I would just like to go back to the beginning with the one thing you’ll forever be remembered for here in Shreveport…The Save The Youth Choir. Why did you leave it and how did that decision affect you and your purpose?
I was asked to resign, not because of any wrong doing, but my leader wanted me to serve in another area and not be involved with music anymore. Of course, I was heart broken and I didn’t think I could live. Music was my world and it had seemed like my world had come to a complete stop. I know you wouldn’t remember but I’d served in the Music Ministry for over twenty five years, traveling across the United States with bus-loads of children, workshops, musicals, seminars, recordings, State choirs, National choirs, community choirs and now to change my course at the height of my career. You can just imagine how I felt.
What was one of your most memorable moments as a Minister of Music?
The greatest thrill in my life was when I stood before a one thousand adult voice choir accompanied by an orchestra and directed them under the anointing and power of the Holy Ghost. This choir included only about five minorities and showed me that God can move and use me regardless of the ethnicity of those who would be blessed by my talents. The city buzzed for months about this electrifying celestial event, and it is still one of my most memorable moments.
What were your thoughts? I know I would have been devastated to be in such a place of comfort where I felt I belonged, only to have someone to move me.
My first thought was, would God want me to not use my talent and gift? After all, He’d given them to me to use for His honor and glory! Nevertheless, this was a test of my obedience. God was moving me from my comfort zone and into my divine purpose. I had a distinct lesson to learn and if I didn’t get it, I am sure that I would have had to take the test again.
Do you believe that God has a way of guiding us to our purpose by allowing us to experience change and unfamiliarity?
I believe that God closes doors and one by one, He closed some doors in my life. I need you to understand that the more doors He closed, the more focused I became. Not only that, I began to seek God for guidance as I moved into unchartered water. And all of this ushered me into accepting the call on my life, which is the beginning of me walking in my purpose.
What questions should our readers ask God if they are trying to find purpose for their lives?
I believe they should ask a few questions starting with: Who am I? What’s my purpose? Where am I going? And how am I going to get there? Then they should ask themselves: What are my goals in life? What are my assets? And what is my self-worth? I believe that self evaluation gives you the opportunity to recognize your potential. I also believe that the 21st Century woman must know who she is in God and also what validates and/or substantiates her as a woman. In other words know what supports or qualifies you. You are not a woman just because of your female gender, you’ve got to know what it is that stretches you from just being a female and carries you into the position as God’s Daughters.
Mother this is awesome. I believe that women are finding it so hard to find purpose because we don’t know who we are. We are constantly fighting what the world says we are.
Today’s woman has been hard press to find a balance between the Biblical views of what it means to be a woman and the secular challenges confronting her. When God created each one of us, He had purpose in mind. You are purposed and you have a purpose! Although, there is a season for your purpose, and if you allow your season to pass, you may not have another opportunity. That’s why I challenge each and every one of you to stir up the gifts in you; stir up the talents in you!
Daughters, as long as Satan can keep you purposeless, unfocused, side-tracked, or in neutral, then he’s happy because you are defeated as a woman who walks in her purpose. Stop conversing with the gossipers, and get away from the Sap Suckers. These are people that attach themselves to you like a leach and extract all the spiritual energy right out of you with negativity; leaving you busted, disgusted, and in a state where you can’t be trusted.
Mother that was great! If there was one last testimony that you would tell God’s Daughters who will read this feature, what would that be?
God can do anything but fail. When my husband died, I had no resources. For three years I had to shut down everything to care for him; at the age of forty-eight, with two children yet at home. Then I found myself with no job, no money, and no husband.
There are so many circumstances and situations that render us or cause us to feel powerless and hopeless. However, we can take courage in the fact that God has all power and is well able to keep us and protect us. Not only that, He is able to keep your mind, heart, and spirits and all you have to do is focus on accomplishing His will and divine purpose for your life. God will also give you the strength to avoid behavior that is spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically destructive to you. All you have to do is trust and depend on God. Little did I know that when God was closing doors earlier in my life, He was positioning and setting me up for the most rewarding career that I could ever have. And what is most exciting is the fact that I know that I am walking in my purpose.
You can email Chaplain Eunice Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or to find out more about her ministry visit Word of Deliverance Family Life Church in Shreveport, Louisiana.
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
Friend, the first question that comes to mind is who the heck is Janese Dixon and how are you two associated?
She is the fiction writer inside me. (smile) I have always loved writing, but life sidetracked me. I looked up and I had a family and worked at a job that made me miserable. Years later, I started my company. Working with authors and publishing professionals ignited a spark in me to write again.
I know personally that you've helped a lot of people with their book ventures, tell me, how did you finally muster up enough FAITH to write your very own book?
I closed my eyes and jumped. No, in all seriousness, it was a hard decision. I had full faith in the story that I created, however, I'm still getting accustomed to my role as an author. I had people around me that kept encouraging me to move forward. After praying over my decision, I decided to move ahead and I haven't looked back. (Well, I looked back but I didn't stop...)
I'm going to get to Black Diamond but before I do, I just want you to tell the audience a brief testimony as to how you've arrived in this place...as author and as a book promoter.
I'm here because I don't accept things as they were. I truly believe in the call that God has placed over my life. I am meant to use my life to help others. I am meant to use and share the gifts that God has given me. At one point in my life I went to a job that physically made me ill. I would wake every morning and think "God why am I doing this to myself?" He told me to stop being comfortable and do something about it. Many years later, I am the CEO of my own company. I'm published. And if it's His will I have a lot more in me to do.
Now to Black Diamond, girl how did you come up with this storyline?
I had a dream about Marc Fulton and Camille Blackwell. I could see them and feel a strong connection between them but I couldn't hear anything. I woke up confused. Thankfully, I started keeping my writing journal by my bed. I write, or sometimes sketch, out my dreams. I moved on but that scene continued to haunt me. One day, I went to a coffeehouse and start handwriting the scene and describing the characters and that was the beginning of Black Diamond.
I myself, had never heard of black diamonds before this book and it made me quite interested. How long did it take you to research this particular diamond and what made it the focal point of your book?
I researched it for a couple of weeks, but I needed to expand my research because I wasn't finding something that truly captured me. I still loved the stone and the story behind it. However, it wasn't enough to carry a story. Once I broaden my research to the diamond industry, I decided to use conflict diamonds as the focal point.
Of course I like many other readers look for every day situations in the books that I read so I would like to address the interracial affair in the book. As an African American woman I typically would expect to read a book concerning a black male in an interracial relationship, so what made you stray from the norm making a sister the object of a white male's affection?
Honestly, it just happened. Kind of. I spent a couple of months getting to know my characters. My life is extremely busy, as a result, I usually only write on my stories a few days a week in the outlining stage. While exploring my characters I discovered that he (Harold Donovan) was totally infatuated with her (Ashanta Kenani). And what's not to love. We are beautiful women and I've seen men of all races fall for Black women because of our strength. He was no exception.
After Black Diamond, can we expect more from you?
I'm writing my second novel Intoxicated. I am also working on a nonfiction project that is close to my heart. I plan to reveal it later in the year. I will tell people now. Get ready. It is life changing. Working on this project has changed me and I can't wait to see the lives that will be impacted by the work that we (you and I) are doing. Definitely stay tuned.
About Black Diamond
Camille Blackwell, an undercover FBI agent, poses as a jewelry purchaser in an international diamond trading company in hopes of identifying the domestic players in a vicious rebel group suspected of trafficking conflict diamonds. The Bureau requests CIA renegade Marc Fulton's assistance with sweeping international intelligence to identify the major rebel organizations with the finances and stateside connections strong enough to evade criminal prosecution, despite Camille's objections.
Their attraction is instant and tense; both resolve to focus on the case. But when Camille receives an encrypted memory stick from a murdered co-worker Marc may be the only person she can trust.
Black Diamond is the eagerly anticipated debut novel by Ja'Nese Dixon. True love, like black diamonds, is rare and precious but when murder and a persistent criminal threaten a frail relationship, will love triumph?
About Ja'Nese Dixon
Ja'Nese Dixon writes fiction novels for readers yearning to escape and disappear into a good book. Ja'Nese's debut novel, Black Diamond is scheduled for release in June 2010. She resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband and their two children. For more information visit http://www.janesedixon.com. * * * * Black Diamond by Ja'Nese Dixon Virtual Book Tour is organized by Nia Promotions, a marketing company that assists authors and publishers with using web-marketing strategy to market and promote books on the internet. Follow Ja'Nese's tour at http://bit.ly/blackdiamondvbt.
Danyelle Scroggins author of Not Until You're Ready presents: In The Living Room with Pastor Danyelle the place where you'll fine the testimonies of God's Daughters.