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Mission of Hope 2016 Book Club    
*Email Comments to mohministry@AOL.COM  



  • Pastor Samuel Stowers (MOH) 
  • Odis C. Stowers (MOH Senior Pastor, Virginia
  • Doris Donely 
  • Min. Chris Lee (South Carolina) 
  • Chenesha Johnson 
  • Daniel Thomas 
  • Latasha Thomas 
  • Kim Salisbury 
  • Juanita Evans 
  • Nykeah Lee 
  • M.J. Walker 
  • Pauline Lingard


                                                      “SCREEN DOOR”
                                          BY: SHARON SMITH, AUTHOR

Sharon Smith reaches deep down and recaptures the torturous times of her childhood growing up in Harlem, New York. From kindergarten through high school, her experiences accelerated her awareness of life’s unyielding challenges. She met the hard and bitter reality of becoming an outcast. Concurrently, her family was shattered by alcoholism, poverty, and physical abuse. As her mother traveled the country, Sharon became the substitute mother for her sister and three brothers. She endured adversity and hostility in 1960s Harlem public housing projects.

Entering her teenage years, Sharon met with even more abysmal poverty and despair. Her health compromised, compounded with family issues, Sharon longed and prayed for acceptance and a better life. Despite all of the challenges, she decides to return to the religion of her youth. She began to seek God’s guidance and the meaning of love in her life. With prayer and reading of the Scriptures, Sharon found salvation and contentment.


As she tells her tumultuous early childhood story, filled with years of ridicule and contempt from her peers, which tore at her self-esteem and self-worth, we begin to see her life unfold, the little girl guarded behind the protection of God’s screen door.

 RISE      By:  Trip Lee 


Society says youth is a time for carefree self-expression, but Trip Lee says God has called everyone to RISE from slumber, above low expectations, and to live for the risen King.

The world tells us that our early years are to be irresponsibly enjoyed rather than devoted to meaningful pursuits. We’re told that responsibility and commitment are burdens to be put off as long as possible. And so, most of us spend our youth in a sad state of slumber-sleeping in on life until we’re forced to get up. The problem is that life has already begun. It’s happening right now. And God has called you to live it.

In this powerful book, Trip Lee argues it’s time to wake up and RISE, to live the way we were created to live. Young or old, we’ve been called to live for Him. Right now. Young believers face the same problems as older Christians, but they feel them in unique ways. RISE addresses those core problems in an engaging, profound, and life-changing way.

Don’t just sit there: RISE!




January – February

 “Destiny” Step Into Your Purpose,  Author: T.D Jakes


DESTINY: Step Into Your Purpose

Destiny Steps 6 CDs

#1 New York Times bestselling author T.D. Jakes teaches readers to find order in the steps of life and have the courage to say yes to destiny.

We all have a destiny.  Finding the courage to drive past the challenges, pains, and even the shortcuts of life to deeper purpose of living is to thrive in one’s divine destiny.  Most people have sensed destiny pulling them to just the right place or person.  Whether it is the spouse you meet, or the children you bear, or the promotion you receive, everyone has a purpose to pursue.  Sometimes it is understanding our destiny that helps us accept what on the surface appears to be failure.  In, DESTINY, T.D. Jakes shares insight to help readers play the roles they were designed for.

Expanding on his #1 bestseller Instinct, Jakes reveals that instinct is the first step to the destiny that awaits.


  • Pastor Samuel Stowers (MOH) 
  • Odis C. Stowers (MOH Senior Pastor, Virginia
  • Doris Donely 
  • Min. Chris Lee (South Carolina) 
  • Chenesha Johnson 
  • Daniel Thomas 
  • Latasha Thomas 
  • Kim Salisbury 
  • Juanita Evans 
  • Nykeah Lee 
  • M.J. Walker 
  • Pauline Lingard 





 Pauline Lingard: (Pauline is one of the first to finished the book.)

Most important points I’ve began to adapt into my lifestyle, is to refrain from being closed minded and small minded. “A closed mind will always manufacture life paralysis” (Jakes Pg. 190). That small perspective would keep me stagnant and not aware of how much greater I can be in life

You are a champion when you overcome adversity and go back to what you were doing before” (Jakes Pg. 4). I began to believe that if I haven’t gone through this phase, I wouldn’t have become healthy, I wouldn’t have been able to fight off a disease that my doctor said I’d have all my life. There is a reason for everything that happens in your life.

Steer away from danger, be mindful of those who leave you behind to never let them back in. Don’t ever look back. Keep the past in the past.  And most importantly, you cannot “go through the Door of Destiny without passing through the Hall of Haters.”

With that being said, I will never remain comfortable. Each obstacle and hardship is there to strengthen me. All I need to do is take on the challenge and Push Through!.


 Junita Evans:

It has been said that many who have great accomplishments saw that person they became in themselves before they actually grew into that person. I fully agree with that statement.  Because before I became a teacher or artist, I thought and dressed the part. It was always in my mind.  It was only when I put action by obtaining my degree  did it come true.  In order to accomplish anything you have to sincerely want it.

How has this study affected my thoughts about me?

This study has helped me really take a look at myself in a new way.  It helped me become aware of what God says is possible for me can liberate me to do the things he has planned for my life

Are you willing to allow a new truth to be planted in your mind to replace past experiences?

Reset works well for me.   I am ready and willing to open up my heart to the leading of God.  I have to ask myself- What am I willing to pray for, work for, risk for and sacrifice for.  After all who would not want a God-inspired future.! 

  • What changes would I like to make?

    I want to change some of my busyness.  I want to continue to work on my relationship with God

  • Where am I now?

 Job/Career – Teaching Artist, Counselor, and Mentor

 Ministry–   I am a part of the feeding ministry, and the Arts and Worship Ministry.  Teaching in various other ministries

  •  Where do I see myself?

Job/Career – The owner of a facility that provides Professional Counseling,  and Career & Motivational Coaching for Young Adults and those  Seniors who want to  ENCORE in their career and life.  It is all a part of Ministry.

 Ministry – I see myself pursuing a degree in Ministry.  Then working in the capacity that God is leading or calling me to.


Kim Salisbury:

I was immediately convicted while reading chapter two, section: “More Beyond What You Can See Right Now”.  This time when searching for how the passage applies to me it was in a negative light.  I was guilty of limiting my oldest daughter from pursuing her dream of working internationally. due to my fears of her living so far away and the potential danger someone can find themselves facing when living outside their home country

After reading this chapter, I felt compelled to apologize for not being more supportive.  Her response was that she thought I didn’t believe in her and that I didn’t think she possessed the abilities she would need to make her dream a reality.  Wow!  That was not what I thought at all. 

A few weeks later she came back to me and announced that she was hired to teach English in China for a year. She is scheduled to leave June 22nd.  Boy, she wasted no time. I guess all she needed was my blessing and the green light.  I’m trusting God to keep her safe, to bless her with a positive experience and to bring her home safely on the appointed time

Latasha Thomas:

We must have personal triumphs in our valleys that make us able to lead others out of their own valleys. How can one teach another how to swim if they themselves have never been in a body of water?

As we are in black history month, I am reminded of the struggles that Frederick Douglass faced. He was once a slave- but he soon became self educated. His mind was then opened to more possibilities-liberation. Douglass pushed beyond the barriers of slavery by running away and pursing the abolitionist movement and eventually leading the calvary for suffrage rights for blacks and women. His life is a testimony of how we too should give back once we have overcome our obstacles. In the words of Douglass, without struggle, there is no progress.




Pastor Sam

Finding a place; your place to work out your destiny and the discovery of your calling is so huge. The book says “Your place of expression is destiny.” I guess for me that was my first church home The Church of the Bible Crusaders. It was a place I could explore not only my gifts but through service.  In a loving, encouraging environment, discover other gifts, and talents I didn’t know I had.



 Juanita Evans

“I also used to be bound by a survivor’s mentality. Then I read a quote that said that you become what you think about most of the time – Earl Nightingale. I read a book by James Allen; Mr. Allen offered a powerful message that can be summarized as stating that “there is no more powerful and toxic defect of character than fear.”  Fear can distort one’s vision, corrupt one’s actions and convince anyone that he or she is a victim of circumstances… and as a man or woman thinketh so is he or she. “



 Juanita Evans

I am great at time management.  I prioritize the important things in my life.  Priorities guide me to stay on course to Destiny.  However, I haven’t fully mastered the skill of how to prioritize my relationships. I have to break away from unhealthy people and relationships and pour into relationships that pour into me. T.D. Jakes emphasizes this fact stating, “To move from survival to success, we must begin by investing in what invests in us.”

 Juanita Evans

…”Reading this book has caused me to do some serious soul searching and praying, and being true to myself when answering self-reflecting questions. Reaching my unique, divine purpose and destiny is a process.  There will be many steps to take on this journey. I will take every step with passion and joy because there is more.”



 Pastor Sam

(Page 61- paragraph 1) “Prioritize what’s Important for You to Fulfill Your Dream.”  I was plagued with thoughts of how often I didn’t listen to people deposited in my life and suffered for it. So his urging to dismiss certain people guidance caused me to me pause.


Then when I reviewed the chapter, I realize that it was covered in an earlier section on (page 58) “Prioritize Your Relationships,” identifying your confidants, constituents and comrades.  Prioritizing accordingly resolved my dilemma. My parents have always wanted the best for me even if we didn’t always see everything the same way. They will always be counted among my greatest confidants.”

*Thank you Juanita for your input, and I pray that the others in the book club would share their thoughts and experiences with the group.

 (I have listed below all who said they would join us on the journey in reading “Destiny”)

Please fill free to visit the Mission of hope website:


Some of these thoughts will be posted.



Focus—–decide What Deserves you.  Loved this chapter for reasons others may not fully comprehend. 


My first memorable quote:

            “Differentiating between who you are and what you do is critical for your well-being”


 Speaks to me of the focus needed to advance to our destiny as this books writing promise is predicated upon. How many of us have lost ourselves in our job, other people or religious affiliations and don’t  notice till we find ourselves steeped in depression and feeling lost because we failed to learn the lesson your not necessarily what you do.


  • I stress that work is a means to obtain funds to hopefully pursue what your dreams and Destiny is 
  • If your blessed, that your job is your passion, you should give God glory everyday for that blessing. The rest of us continue to work as unto God while pursuing your Destiny.


My second quote: however speaks to my personal experience…


Develop habits that can release you from fight mode and give your mind and body a much-needed break.”

As soon as I read this it tugged on my heart and took my mind back five years to Cornell presbyterian hospital where I stayed recovering from a pontine stroke. Which left me  fully paralyzed on my left side from head to toe. In my fight to see, walk and talk again my rehab instructors stressed that as hard as I was working to restore my capabilities I needed to rest just as hard. They stated some patients suffered set back due to lack of rest to recover.
So resting was a big part of my recovery.

I believe we need to be sure that we set aside time to rest and relax regularly. In this fast paced society we can lose focus and effectiveness due to lack of rest. So set aside some me time as often as you can.


 Let me hear your opinions. When was the last time you really relaxed and how did it effect you.

Pastor Samuel Stowers


Inconsequential  –  in-con·se·quen·tial. –  ˌinkänsəˈkwen(t)SHəl/

adjective, not important or significant.  “they talked about inconsequential things”


Vitriol  –   vit·ri·ol. –  vitrēəl,ˈ –  vitrēˌôl/  noun


1.  cruel and bitter criticism.  “her mother’s sudden gush of fury and vitriol”




“For Destiny’s Sake, Do You!”

  “Invest in doing you and don’t have a cheap attack.”

Know your value and don’t shy from taking care of your dreams. It would be horrible to have lived a life void of any fulfilling moments.
Your worth it. INVEST!

We took a vacation to Florida, with 3 families together. It was the most expensive vacation and the best one we had. My wife agrees as our children, now grown, were old enough to appreciate Universal Studios but young enough to enjoy Disney World. We loved it. It solidified for me that being a father was a huge part of who I am.


*Email one of your the favorite moments you believe taught you something about you.

Pastor Samuel Stowers



  • Opulent. –  op·u·lent. –  ˈäpyələnt/  adjective

ostentatiously rich and luxurious or lavish. 

“the opulent comfort of a limousine” 

  • synonyms: luxurious, sumptuous, palatial, lavish, lavishly appointed, rich, splendid, magnificent, grand, grandiose, fancy; 
  •  Accoutrements – ac·cou·tre·ment- əˈko͞odərmənt – əˈko͞otrəmənt/ 
  • noun.   plural noun: accoutrements.  additional items of dress or equipment, or other items carried or worn by a person or used for a particular activity.


“the accoutrements of religious ritual”



“Maybe it’s Time for a Reset”


  • “Many who have great accomplishments saw that person they became  in themselves before they actually grew to be that person”


  • This chapter starts off challenging how we see ourselves in our minds eye.

                I would like you to take a moment and email me “who” or “what” you would be if you had no limitations…..


  • When I was young I never saw myself as a preacher. I wanted to be an athlete but now that I’m older I can say ‘with no limitations’ I would want to be nothing less then a successful preacher and Pastor! (For real) helping others come to and grow in the kingdom of God.


  • What about you? What would you be with no limitations?

     “Are you willing to allow a new truth to be planted in your mind to replace past experiences?”

  •  How has this study effected your thoughts about you, and what changes would you like to make?_______________________________________________________________


Acquiesce – ac·qui·esce – akwçˈes/ 

verbaccept something reluctantly but without protest. 

“Sara acquiesced in his decision” 

Admonish – ad·mon·ish – ədˈmäniSH/


verb –  warn or reprimand someone firmly. 

“she admonished me for appearing at breakfast unshaven” 

synonyms:     reprimand, rebuke, scold, reprove, reproach, upbraid, chastise, chide, berate, criticize, take to task, read the riot act to, rake/haul over the coals;

More advise or urge (someone) earnestly. 

“she admonished him to drink no more than one glass of wine” 

synonyms:     advise, recommend, counsel, urge, exhort, bid, enjoin;



Pastor Samuel Stowers

Like failing to explore our gifts in essence hiding them, we also hide things that we went through…Things that if shared may help or inspire others in their life situations.

 The Bible declares…

Revelation 12:[11] And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

 By the blood of the lamb… Jesus handled that

The word of our testimony… That’s our part of the equation.

 Are there testimonies we are holding back that might help someone going through the same thing?





Everybody has felt trapped in a situation they’ve outgrown


I know I was on a job waiting to be promoted because I felt it most be obvious to everyone around I should be promoted. As time went on I got frustrated waiting. So I went to my boss and asked why I hadn’t been approached about a promotion and he said he didn’t know I was even interested in being promoted. Since then I have be in a leadership position and at times people approached me in the same way and I have adapted a saying to people I train, make sure you toss your hat in the ring if your interested in being promoted, let someone know don’t just assume they know your interested many have been past over for this reason.