Book Features

Sneak Peek of Every Place by Philonda C. Johnson

Every Place isn’t your typical book about entrepreneurship. It is Philonda’s beautiful and intimate testimony of how she overcame fear, developed a deeper relationship with God, uncovered her Master Purpose and transformed as a leader in her business. Every Place provides an exciting roadmap for Christian entrepreneurs who desire to design, build and launch their business God’s Way. Using the Biblical character Joshua’s legacy as a leader, readers will learn the essential tools and strategies required to experience breakthroughs and success in your Christ-centered business. Philonda pushes Christian entrepreneurs to be audacious and to S.L.A.Y. in their business: Seek God, Love God, Act for God and Yield Fruit for God. This book was written in honor of every brave entrepreneur that has struggled to find their Divine purpose and launch a business in alignment with their dreams. This book was written for you.

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You made it—you finally made it! You are the guest of honor at the fabulous bash thrown to celebrate the audacious decision you’ve made to pursue a life of abundance, power and liberty. When it comes to getting what you want out of life, the single most important thing to know is that God has already blessed your path. Joshua 1:3 says, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.” (NLT) Now, with the realization of this beautiful promise, all you must do is choose. Choose to construct a masterpiece life built on a deep understanding of the God you serve and your Divine purpose. I love to call this your MasterPurpose. Clarity about your MasterPurpose will impact how you will show up in the world and leave your mark as an Entrepreneur. When you decide to step out of your own way and into beautiful alignment with your MasterPurpose, all things are possible. This is a brave c hoice and not for the scared, timid or weak leader. It is a declaration to the world that you believe your life, purpose, message and talents are worth fighting for. To reach our fullest potential, we must train ourselves to have an audacious mindset, which frames how we perceive and respond to situations especially adversity. An audacious mindset is the defining factor between experiencing a life of abundance or scarcity. Remaining connected to your MasterPurpose requires a shift in your thinking and actions. It requires a deep and intimate relationship with God.

I yearn to be close and in the presence of God. The battle wounds and scars of life have taught me one important lesson. As I have matured as a believer, I have learned that I am nothing without an intimate relationship with my creator. For in his presence, all things are made new. More specifically, in his presence all believers have access to God’s peace, love, mercy and wisdom. Our close relationship with God activates our MasterPurpose, the Divine plan for our life. He shows us the desires of His heart for us and is the source of our own ambition. He inspires us to dream big and desire radical success in every area and level of our lives. Your MasterPurpose could be a ministry, an entrepreneurial venture, a book, a family or even a school. Your MasterPurpose births your entrepreneurial venture. It could be a book, a clothing company, a law practice or even a school. It is the idea you believe God has commissioned you to lead to benefit His people. We all have been called to be leaders of faith entrusted with an assignment to fulfill while here on Earth.

Philonda Johnson is the dynamic combination of successful entrepreneur and engaging speaker with valuable insight to share. Her mission is to help others fight for their MasterPurpose by empowering them to realize their Divine value and need for faith-fueled courage.

She is the Founder and CEO of The Leadership Playground, a development company that focuses on kick-starting the growth of a leader by focusing on the power of play, creativity and wholehearted living. She often draws from her background in Psychology and a decade of experience as an urban educator to inspire her coaching and leadership work. Philonda’s employment expertise is derived from serving 9 years as the Founding Principal of a successful charter school in Washington, DC. Philonda has a deep heart for and is dedicated to advancing women of color leaders, spirit-led entrepreneurs, and school administrators.

Philonda hosts her own motivational online radio show and podcast, The Audacity to Shine with Coach Philonda, and Every Place on her newly launched Network, the Brave Entrepreneur Radio Network. She is excited for the release her first major book, Every Place: When our intimacy with God transforms how we experience fear and launch our MasterPurpose Business. Philonda’s book will be released March 31st, 2017.

She incorporates her professional expertise, personal trials and life triumphs into every presentation and conversation to have a transformational impact. She can connect with and inspire her audience. Philonda can weave her training goals into a beautiful story that makes key concepts sticky and actionable. Her energetic and audacious approach is refreshing, honest and leaves the audience ready to achieve their goals. Her mission is to help others fight for their MasterPurpose by empowering them to realize their Divine value and need for faith-fueled courage.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Breathe for Me by Terri Whitmire


Title: Breathe For Me

Author: Terri Whitmire

Genre: Christian Romance

Publication Date: October 1, 2016

Rating: 5 Stars=Non-Stop Page Turner

Tara Fowler strives for a normal life in Breathe for Me by Terri Whitmire. This a book that will capture you from beginning to end. She is a young woman dealing with a verbally abusive mother who suffers from alcoholism. She is also a young woman without any parental guidance, so when she makes a pass at her English teacher, Simon Grace everything changes for her.

Tara is finally able to move past the embarrassment as she enters into college were she meets Marcus Stallings. Marcus is a God-fearing young man who teaches Tara about Christ, love and how to have a healthy relationship, which is a turning point in the story.

Breathe for Me is a touching and captivating evolution of a young woman’s transition into a fulfilling life, allowing to overcome her past and learning to forgive. I enjoyed taking this journey with Tara’s character especially after she met Marcus and for how she finds the strength to handle her mother, Maggie. I love this author’s writing style and can’t wait to read the sequel. I definitely recommend Breathe for Me to others.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.

Reviewed by Teresa Beasley

Meet The Author

Meet The Author: R. Stanton Tucker

r stanton


 Tell us about yourself.

Tucker: Let me first say thank you for this interview and commend you on your efforts to elevate authors. I am a family man, and I love my family dearly. When I am not writing, I spend a good bit of my time with them. Family, for me, is quite extensive. They inspire me in many ways. LaShanda, my wife, is its crown jewel. She unselfishly loves and encourages me. I am truly blessed..

Additionally, I am a man of faith. I do not say that lightly. Faith, for me, has nothing to do with religion rather a relationship with Yahweh [God] and service to others. I am working diligently to be a hearer and doer of our Father’s will and following the pattern of His messenger Yahshua [Jesus], Son and Servant of God.

Like all believers, I am in God’s classroom. None of us are really scholars, rather students at various stages in our relationship with Him. As a student, I am continuing to rehash past materials, digging deeper into the Bible, and allowing God to use daily experiences and encounters as my laboratory to learn of Him and His will. God through time, prayer, and reading and re-reading scriptures has provided me with some spiritual revelation. Studying has helped me to connect the Old and New Testaments, and led to researching historical references. Strabo’s Geography, Book XVI, Chapter h2, for example, sheds some light on Paul’s physical description being associated with an Egyptian revolutionist in Acts 21:38.

Life is rewarding.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

Tucker: I had no intentions of writing this book. God was dealing with me on a spiritual and personal level. I began to take notes and before I knew it, I had over a hundred pages of notes. Wherever I was, day or night, I took notes. Of course, I read the Bible and questioned what I thought I knew, and searched for answers to lingering questions and new ones. That is why I noted I was God’s secretary in the “Acknowledgement.”

Although the book is available, marketing and visibility are challenges. This is a part of the process, especially for books that are not published by the large publishing houses. They have the command of so many outlets and resources to influence readers. I am thankful for AAMBC and other similar outlets from authors to share the book with readers. The process is a blast and an education I value.

What genre is your book?

Tucker: The genre is Christian Living.

 Why Success Is Your Birthright God’s Success?

Tucker: There is not a short answer. First, life resembles a roller coaster. It consists of countless moments that make us smile, laugh, cry, and ask for Divine Intervention. Life’s beauty, however, gets lost on our disappointments and hurt. We all have emotional and psychological scars from those difficult moments. Some have wounds that have not begun to heal. How do the hurt and hurting bounce back? The book takes the reader on an inspirational journey to bounce back from life’s difficult moments using the biblical Joseph Story as its basis. Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success challenges us to look at those not so great moments as legos to a better tomorrow. More importantly, it reintroduces some and introduces others to God [Yahweh].

Secondly, our humanity is fading. The sacredness and respect for life is continuing to dwindle. Much of this is fueled by society’s fascination and obsession with self and materialism. This is worldwide and crosses all demographics. This intoxication has closed eyes, hands, minds, and hearts to the emotionally, physically, and financially hurting. There is a willingness to exploit the vulnerable, children, women, and seniors. Everything is negotiable – one’s integrity, dignity, and body. Murder continues to be excusable in the name of political interest, pseudo-bravado, “It is my body,” and God. The blurring of right, responsibility, and morality, particularly God’s standard, are inextricably linked to our fading humanity. Narratives are created and recreated to suit personal moods. Sadly, this has made its way into the corporate organizations and buildings called churches. There are those who misrepresent God and His Son, The Christ, through hustlerism and attempts to augment the Gospel to be congregational and society friendly. This is the salt losing its savor. (Matthew 5:13)

What is God’s standard?

Tucker: God’s standard is similar to the parents-children relationship. Parents have expectations for all their children in an effort to nurture responsible adults. Relationship reinforces and supports those expectations. When the children do not meet those expectations, the parents communicate their concerns and reiterate what is expected. There are times when grounding, time outs, suspending privileges, and the like are employed to get their attention and nudge them back on track. Because the parents are displeased and have taken action, does that mean they love their children less? Quite the opposite. They love them more. There are times children are adamant about opposing their parents’ expectations. Peer validation empowers them to feel their actions are reasonable. The more the children challenge their parents’ expectations, the more normal it feels. Parents are faced with compromising, walking back their expectations, or standing firm in love and continuing to nurture in hopes their children will get back on course. What does this have to do with God’s standards you may ask?

God’s standard is His expectations for us. Meeting His expectations lend to eternal life, not eternal damnation. It is not His Will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (paraphrase II Peter 3:9) His standard begins with loving and serving Him unconditionally. Loving Him is accepting His Son, Servant, and our Elder Brother as The Christ. Yahshua [Jesus] gave us the blueprint to worshipping God and loving one another. Does God love us any less when we do not meet His expectations? Absolutely not! He is displeased and desires a repentant mind and heart, and commitment to His standard. Opposition to His expectations is called sin. That is not a popular word. Its detractors prefer expressing one’s self or exercising ones independence. It is appalling because sin implies something is taboo, forbidden. Democratic dialogue postulates nothing is taboo and everything is negotiable, especially with the right spin and public sentiment. A number of professed clergy and Christians have entertained those notions. They deceive themselves and others. Though all wobble with God’s expectations, believers work fervently to resist sin and repent when they stumble. Are we perfect people? Far from it. Every believer has a past and every non-believer has a future. We too are working daily toward eternal life. We wrestle against thoughts, feelings, and actions inconsistent with God’s standard. Adulthood and democratic dialogue do not give us a license to do whatever we think or feel.

Is life as a believer boring?

Tucker: Of course not. Believers are like everyone else. We go to the movies, enjoy a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, eat a slice of pizza, shop at the malls and boutiques, laugh, cry, appreciate nature, and love ourselves, family, friends, and everyone in between. God’s standard lends to a more enjoyable and less chaotic life. Life as a believer is fulfilling. Our lives are faced with challenges. Do we stumble at times? Sure. None of us is stumble free; however, believers are committed to resisting sin – a commitment not without challenges.

What lessons can we grasp in the 21st century and after from this book?

Tucker: Man is not central to the universe, no matter our discoveries or the latest gadgets. God is the central force in and to the universe. His standard of right, responsibility, and morality minimizes life’s unnecessary conflicts and chaos. Life is not about what we have or do not have but our relationship with Him and one to another. To love is to have a service agenda. Imagine if we measured success by the lives we encouraged, engaged, and assisted. Material success would not be an obsession.

What do you hope this book accomplishes?

Tucker: I am glad you asked that question. Success Is Your Birthright God’s Success is a spiritual and inspirational expedition. My hope is that people will read it and start to re-evaluate their relationship with God, and others. Many believe in a religion void of a relationship with God and people. These cherry-pick what they will or will not adhere to and engage in selective service to others, if at all, all the while calling themselves Christians or something else. Reading this book will somehow inspire them in a profound way.

In your opinion, what’s the measure of successful writer?

Tucker: A writer is already a successful. To produce a product, particularly as self-publisher, is success. Unfortunately, book reviewers, the media, and some bloggers tilt toward celebrity names and large publishing houses. Many good writers’ works consequently do not get the attention warranted. We all want to be on someone’s bestsellers list; however, we all will not due to the aforementioned bias and the limited advertising dollars. Success, for me, is measured by ones perseverance.

Any tips for upcoming authors?

Tucker: Let me say every person is an author or has the capacity to be one. The keys are listening to the voice inside yourself that says, “I can” and developing your creative process. Too often, we try to imitate someone else, his or her writing style, and process for developing a manuscript. My writing technique is to write whatever comes to mind then piece it together later. This may be considered laborious to most; but it allows me to be comfortable and creative.

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Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success takes us on a spiritual, emotional, and inspirational expedition, prodding and challenging us to think, feel, and explore. This expedition forces us to appraise or reappraise our views, values, and traditions as well as misinformation shaped as truth.

The biblical Joseph Story is the basis for this expedition. Never before has this story been told with such passion and conviction. Those familiar and unfamiliar with this story come away with a profound perspective. Joseph becomes more than a biblical personality. The author cleverly brings him to life by paralleling our experiences with Joseph’s personal roller coaster. We, then, associate him with ourselves.

As Joseph’s biography unfolds, his difficult moments become very apparent. His character stands up and out, during those moments, instilling uncompromising hope. Within the storyline, there are several, simultaneous threads weaving this tapestry – success, coping with life’s roller coaster, God, humanity, and religion.

Society focuses on success’ smallest facet, materialism. Tucker broadens our concept of success. Success, here, is an inclusive, selfless attitude that celebrates common everyday feats of courage, love, common kindness, respect, and perseverance. Its linchpin is God.

God’s desire for relationship with us is profound. Relationship is measured by His standard of morality, right, and responsibility. Relationship with God hinges on loving Him, and “love thy neighbor as thyself.” To love yourself is to love and serve others. There lies our humanity.

God’s success is central to relationship, not religion. Tucker offers a compelling revelation on this sensitive topic. This text lays that foundation by distinguishing between the Christian and believer. “The Christian focuses on the religion; the believer focuses on relationship. Simply, the difference is, the former is a concept; the latter is a commitment.”

Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success is a captivating appraisal, making it hard to put down. We discover life’s beauty and the confidence to bounce back from life’s unpredictable moments.


Success Is Your Birthright (God’s Success) by R. Stanton Tucker is the first book I have read by this amazing and most talented writer. He brings a book that is not just inspiring to read but one that will leave an imprint upon his readers forever. Success is a loose term that can be described by both indivduals and society in different ways. Yet, this beautifully told guide leads readers onto a journey in exploring what really matters and what they are doing now versus what they should be doing with their lives. Success is defined as not letting life’s many curves balls throw us off from achieving our dreams. That meaning we should try our very best to be the best we can be. If we can do that then no matter what, we will be successful and successful in God’s eyes too. This is not a biblical guide telling you to give up your sins and pray but it does have some very wise sayings from the Bible throughout to lure reader’s into a long moment of wondering what they are doing and what they will do next. Each chapter is realistically well-written in a way that allows readers to follow a self-journey of hope, love, and a confidence that they would not normally find. R. Stanton Tucker’s book takes not only our minds but our hearts and very souls deep into this rollercoaster ride that will keep readers coming back from time to time. I have found this to be a great read, and I highly recommend it to all.
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Book Features

Excerpt Friday: Giant Killers by Steve Lawson



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It seemed a lopsided battle. On one side, a small shepherd with a sling and five stones. On the other, a heavily armored ten-foot giant whose taunts and challenges immobilized an army of seasoned warriors.

The story of David and Goliath has become an almost universal underdog story; but in reality, Goliath never stood a chance.

In “Giant Killers,” emotional intelligence speaker, consultant, and author Steve Lawson identifies the five vital emotional and social skills David possessed: identity, discipline, graciousness, action, and hope. When combined with the power of God’s grace, these strengths made it possible for David to defeat Goliath, build a mighty army out of social rejects, and establish the greatest kingdom in the history of Israel.

We all face giants in our lives, if not as literally as David did. But like David, we can overcome any challenge, seizing with confidence the opportunities God places in our path. “Giant Killers” teaches you how to do so, providing a foundation on which you can build success after success. It all begins with you-and your willingness to trust in God’s grace.



He was just one man. One man standing in a valley, facing an army of thousands of seasoned warriors on a mountainside who were trembling in fear. Sure he was almost ten feet tall. Sure his armor alone weighed more than any man facing him. But still … he was just one man! Compared to the strength of an entire army, he was insignificant. But still they hid. For almost six weeks, one man brought an entire army to a standstill.

In 1 Samuel 17, David walked into a mess. He was sent by his father to take some food to his brothers serving in Israel’s army. When he got there, he found the entire army cowering in fear from one man—Goliath. Israel was at war with the Philistines, and each army was camped on opposing hills with the intention of doing battle in the valley between them.

Before the first battle, a nine-foot-nine-inch giant named Goliath walked out and challenged the army of Israel. If someone came out to fight him and won, the Philistines would be Israel’s slaves. If Goliath won, Israel would be slaves of the Philistines. This went on for forty days with Goliath issuing his challenge and taunting the frightened soldiers. But then David showed up.

It’s a familiar story. David, a young shepherd (approximately sixteen years old), was sent by his father to deliver food to his brothers. He heard Goliath’s taunt and volunteered to fight him. Word got to King Saul, who argued that David had neither the skill nor the experience to face Goliath, but David prevailed. Saul tried giving David his armor, but it was too big for him. So, armed with a slingshot and five stones, he ran out to face Goliath. On his first try, he hit Goliath in the head and knocked him out. He then took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head, at which time the Philistine army fled. Israel then chased them down, defeated them, and the battle was won.

We all have giants in our lives: issues holding us back, immobilizing fear, intimidating opportunities, attitudes and life experiences keeping us from moving forward (guilt, insecurity, broken relationships, apathy, passivity, etc.). These issues become our glass ceiling, keeping us from reaching our full potential. A young mother struggles with insecurity and fear and seems unable to make even the simplest decision. A corporate executive has marriage and financial problems keeping him tied up in knots, hampering his productivity and focus. A small church feels God calling them to plant other churches, but the enormity of the task is daunting.

Giants come in all forms. Some are obstacles, internal and external, blocking our forward progress; and some are opportunities, desires, and dreams, threatening to overwhelm us. And we wonder if we’re up for the task. The question is; How do we face them and ultimately conquer them?

Giant Killers is rooted in the studies of emotional intelligence by Dr. Reuven Bar-On[1] and Daniel Goleman.[2] Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how well we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, make decisions, and handle stress. These concepts, when combined with the power of God’s grace, will enable believers to not only overcome any obstacle, but will prepare them to seize opportunities as well. What better place to see this played out than in the life of King David as he faced Goliath and led Israel.

So if you want to take on the giants in your life, then read on and let’s explore how each of us can become a giant killer.

[1] As described in Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book, The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success (Mississauga, Ontario: Wiley, 2011).

[2] Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition (New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group, 2012).



steve lawson

A former small-business owner and church planter, Steve Lawson recently stepped down as the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Greenville, Texas, to focus on his writing, speaking, and leadership training activities.

He holds a doctor of strategic leadership degree from Regent University, a master of divinity degree from The King’s University, an MBA from Amberton University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Texas.

Lawson owns Leadership Transformation Inc., providing emotional intelligence training and consulting to organizations of all sizes. More information on his consulting services is available at An avid blogger and writer, Lawson is available for speaking engagements in churches, seminars, and conferences. You can contact him at

He and his wife, Karen, live in Greenville, Texas. They are the parents of three grown daughters.

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