By Sheila L. Jackson
For a school assignment, my daughter’s
teacher asked parents to write their graduating seniors a letter of encouragement. And I decided to share the letter I wrote to my daughter with my faithful reading audience.
my beautiful Guna Bear,
Take this letter to college
for when you hit those low moments and need a reminder of your destiny.
have filled your father's and my life with so much joy. We’ve taken you as far as we can and given you the fundamentals
needed for a successful journey. Always keep God first in whatever you do and wherever you go. He is your ultimate help. Treat
others the way you want to be treated and always lend a helping hand to those in need. Your father and I have taught you about
the gift of giving from a child on up. Always give a hundred percent in whatever you do. Never look at failures as mistakes,
use them as lessons learned, and grow stronger because of them.
will be living on your own soon. Please never let your guard down. God has blessed you with the Spirit of Discernment. If
something or someone doesn’t seem or appear right, trust your instincts.
God has anointed you from the womb to do great and marvelous things with your life. Don’t blow it. No
matter how hard things seem, keep pushing your way through those rough places. God never promised that the assignments in
life would be easy, but that He would help you to pass them.
you were six weeks old, I wrapped you up in your blanket as we were preparing to leave for revival at church that evening. God spoke to my spirit and said, “He was going use you.” He didn’t reveal to me what it would be.
It’s time now, for you to begin listening for His voice and learn what your purpose is. I took a picture of you that
day and called it, Angel Wings, because your blanket was shaped like wings of an angel, sprouting out around you. I will treasure
that picture forever.
Proverbs 3:1-8 (King Solomon gives his son some fatherly advice). These
are some of my favorite scriptures. Follow them and live by them.
My son, do not forget
my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will
win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in
all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Your father and I love you
with all our heart and soul. Now it’s time for us to let you go. You have to find your own place
in this world. Your future is bright. Who knows, as a doctor of pharmacy, you can be the one to discover the cure for many
deadly diseases. Never limit your dreams and never stop dreaming. God has great things in store for you. There may be some
bumps and bruises along the way, but it’s nothing God can’t heal.
You have been a responsible
daughter, who never caused us any serious problems. We thank you. Don’t get caught up in the fast life of this world,
once you’re on your own. Continue to allow God to order your steps in the right direction. You have come this far by
faith; now allow faith to be your compass through your life journey.
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By Sheila L.
I decided to write this blog, because it amazed me at the many men and
women dealing with hurtful issues in the church. Whether it is rape, molestation, incest, adultery, or betrayal, these traumatic
experiences will hinder your spiritual walk. Most insensitive people will say, “Get over it, that happened in the past.”
But it’s easier said than done. When a person has been sexually and verbally abused, or even stalked in the church,
the event is traumatic.There is no magic pill to relieve the hurt, shame, and stress that it causes.
As I speak out about overcoming
adversities at women conferences, I began to see a large number of men sharing their stories of abuse in the church, as well. Victims of this nature will not come forward, for fear of being blamed
for what happened to them. No woman, man, or child asked to be abused, hurt, and treated like trash. As women, we are the
worst at pointing our fingers and blaming the victim for what happened. No one has the right to violate another person.
80% of rape victims
know their rapist; only a small percentage is raped by strangers. Rape doesn’t just happen in our homes, schools, or
place of business. Today, many are being violated in the very place we believe to be a safe haven— the church. The world
is a cold and cruel place, if we're not protected at church, where can we go to feel safe?
I heard a radio personality say that
pastors have no business counseling their congregation on such issues as marriage, incest, or rape. He went on to say, “They are not equipment to handle such in-depth issues. I agree with the radio
personality to a certain degree. Unless you have a PH degree in psychology/sociology to know the warning
signs of abuse, you are not qualified or equipped to council on such matters. There are many broken people sitting in
our congregations Sunday after Sunday turning to their leaders for help, only to receive uneducated and unspiritual advice.
I applaud those church leaders who have further their education on this subject, in order to better help their members.
How can victims overcome adversities such as these? Through prayer, seeking professional counseling, and know that
what happened to you, is not your fault. In I Corinthian 5, God left rules and regulations to follow when dealing with a sexually
perverted member of the congregation. Many pastors seemed to avoid this book. They make excuses and hide behind church protocol
to keep from dealing with such hard hitting issues, but know that God will hold them accountable for not getting
their parishioners the help they need.
To overcome adversities in the church,
educate yourself, your spiritual healing depends on it. Most preachers are concerned with packing the church pews each Sunday morning, building bigger sanctuaries, and lining their pockets with
money. Your feelings and interest are little or no importance to them. Get the help you need, even if it means moving to another
Click to view websites for help
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Sheila L. Jackson, Featured Guess on Shelia M. Goss blogsite
Shelia Goss-What do you want to do different in 2013 that you didn’t do in 2012?
Sheila Jackson- I plan to have my first Women Fiction novel completed and ready for submission to an agent
or publishing house in
SG- What song would you use as the soundtrack of your life and why?
SJ- I Made
It Through (My Testimony) by Marvin Sapp. I have faced adversities and setbacks within the last two years in my writing and
ministry, but I came through it all victoriously. And, I’m Every Women by Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston. With my busy
life, I have to transform myself into several different women to fit everyone needs.
SG- What television
show best describes your life and why?
SJ- I don’t have a favorite television show. But the movie
that best depicts my life is the African American cast of Steel Magnolia. Queen Latifah’s character, M’Lynn best
describes me. I wouldn’t stop at nothing to save my child’s life. The character she play, loves hard. I give my
all to my family and those around me.
SG-What’s your favorite quote & why?
The wealthiest and richest places on this earth lie in the graveyards and cemeteries all across this globe. In these graveyards,
lie the remains of people who never attained their potential in life.
This quote taught me to live life to the fullest
and if I fail while persuing my dreams, get up and try again. I want every gift and talent within me to be explored and used
before leaving this earth.
SG-What character in your new book could you most relate to?
Angelica, because she comes off as tough, but inwardly, she is vulnerable.
SG-Tell readers about your latest
SJ- Where Was God is a romance story with many twist and turns. Beaten and emotionally broken by
her mother after the death of her farther, Fayth Angelica Hope believed that God had forsaken her.
She swears off
love, drops her first name, and pour herself into her work as an investigative reporter. But fate has other plans for her.
CBN News sends their best investigative reporter, Angelica Hope, to uncover an embezzlement scheme at Spitzer Financial
Firm. There, she meets financial advisor Jasion McCoy. The physical attraction is strong, but they immediately clash when
she discovers incriminating evidence against him.
SG-What’s next for you?
plan to follow my passion and continue writing inspirational books and empowering women with uplifting messages at conferences.
I have several women fiction novels in the works that will be sure cliffhangers and thrillers for the readers who love romance
More on Author Shelia M Goss
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Only The Strong Survive In The
By Sheila L. Jackson
Writing is a gift
1. It has the ability to inspire
5. Spiritually and emotionally, change the one who’s reading your work.
Hundreds of potential writers give up before they obtain
success. Many best-selling authors share stories of how they were rejected again and again before seeing their names in print.
Determination is one of the key ingredients to making it as a writer. Giving up is a sure path to failure.
African American Authors such as:
●Tony Morrison, author of “The Bluest Eye”
● Bebe Campbell, “Your Blues Ain’t Like
Angelou, “Still I Rise”
●Alice Walker, “The Color Purple”
● Alex Haley’s, “Roots”
All have failed while pursuing their dreams as writers and
poets. But they kept trying.
No writer was born with a magical pad and pen in his or her hand that guaranteed them
a bestseller. For most, it has taken years to hone their craft on the road towards becoming an award winning novelist. Surviving
as a writer, especially an African American writer takes dedication, hard work, and an eagerness to learn all there is to
know about the art of writing.
We all have been there, starting strong only to run out
of gas before completing our manuscripts. Regroup and start over. Without the bumps and bruises along the way, you
will never reach your full potential as a writer.
We must be self-motivating. Our strength comes from the love of
the art of writing. Ambition and determination is our driving force. We believe, if one door closes another one has to open.
Failure is not an option for us.
Giving up may seem at times
the easiest thing to do when discouragement come creeping in. People will try to get in your way. They will tell you that
you are wasting your time. Never allow anyone to kill your dreams of becoming a writer.
Michael Jordan said, “I’ve
missed more than 9,000 shots in my life. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take
the game winning shot and miss. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.”
why we as authors’ succeed after receiving rejection letter after rejection letter.
Only the strong survive in this
literary world. No matter what is thrown your way, keep trying. Authors are not born overnight. It takes most of us years
to perfect our craft. If your manuscript is rejected, fix the problem and resubmit.
Use rejection as a motivational tool and not a stumbling block. And when you sign your first contract as a professional
author, you will know from experience, only the strong survive.
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Share your experiences on the topic with Sheila and viewers
Sheila L. Jackson
On television and radio, infomercials on weight loss,
are aired daily. To get the beach body you want for the summer, commercials and magazine advertisements begin popping
up during the holiday season. Slim and muscular actors/actresses are paid by sponsors to educate us on what to eat, drink,
and the best type of workout equipment to use. They make claims that buying these items will give you the same bodies, as
But, have you ever thought about what it takes
to get your spiritual man fit? It also takes the same, if not more dedication and effort to live a healthy Christian lifestyle.
Food and liquids are not the temptation in this plight. Sin, is the cause of a believer’s spiritual weight gain. The
negative things we partake of become stumbling blocks to our spiritual well-being.
What are the differences between physical and spiritual fitness?
A state of
physiologic wellbeing, achieved through a combination of good diet, regular physical exercise, and other practices that promotes
A state of spiritual wellbeing, achieved
through faith that comes only by meditating on the Word of God, daily. The study of His sacred word helps the believer to
become spiritually strong and fit to conquer any task set before them.
our physical bodies cannot help us with life’s challenges and struggles. There are invisible hurdles placed before each
of us that only spiritual strength can help us cross. Life, within itself is far more difficult than a marathon, because it
is ongoing. Only studying the Word of God can prepare us for this journey. The Hebrew writer advises us to lay aside every
weight, and the sin which so easily overwhelm us (Hebrews 12:1-2). Sin causes us to pack on the spiritual pounds.
Hatred, envy, prejudice, jealousy, malice, and backbiting are excess weights that prevent us from reaching our spiritual potential.
You are not alone in your spiritual weight loss quest.
The people you encounter and interact with from day to day struggle with the same challenges, as you. Only some are striving
to obtain a corruptible body (tone and sleek) that will return to the dust from whence it came. And Christian’s seek
to achieve a glorified body that will one day return to their heavenly Father.
can win this spiritual fitness challenge, but it takes ridding ourselves of things that will prevent us from doing so. Adultery,
evil thoughts, and sexual perversion, etc., no longer have to be the spiritual pounds keeping us from reaching our goals.
God’s Word has already given us victory over these obstacles in our lives. Like those who have taken the spiritual weight
loss challenge before us and rejoiced over their results, so can we (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Share your experiences
on the topic with Sheila and viewers
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