Welcome to the midway point of 2014! Can you believe that six months have passed already? I can’t either. Now that we’ve arrived at this point in the year this is the perfect moment to do a self-assessment.
Where are you? Are you closer to your goals? Closer to God? Or have you already given up, given in, and grown frustrated in all your striving because you have not yet seen a result. Now is not the time for that now is the time to make your petition known to God. Now is the time to reassess your goals and make sure that they are aligned with Christ’s will for your life, “for no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” say Psalm 84. Of course that means if we haven’t received what we have sought after we must make sure that what we want is good and that we are walking uprightly.
So, as you mark your calendar with an x or whatever it is you do to count the days I ask you, Where are you? Where are you in your walk both in the spiritual and the natural? What do you have to do to get where you want to be? There are six months left in 2014 to get there. Let’s Gooo!
This Tuesday the Neophyte Author had the opportunity and privilege to appear on a segment, “SisterGirlfriends” on the Sharvette Mitchell Radio Show, During the show we discussed why I write fiction for the renewed mind and the characters in Born at Dawn.
If you missed it please take listen by clicking on the link below. Post your comments and questions here and remember to support these other women of God as they spread the word of God.
“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Mordecai spoke these words to Esther after asking her to get the king to do something about the decree issued to murder all the children of Israel in the land. I keep hearing these words each time I look at the images of the mothers in Nigeria crying and begging an unstable government that is apparently incapable of protecting their people from terrorist to bring their daughters back.
Approximately two weeks ago over two hundred Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school. Reports have been made that some of the girls have already been sold into marriage or sexual slavery. Generally, I steer clear of politics and I have never undertaken any type of project related to anything that looked political, but this isn’t political this heart breaking. I can’t stand by and watch this happen and I hope that you feel the same. While our Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the U. S. will help support the Nigerian government in getting these girls back home; he has not explained how and when this aid would come. They can’t wait.
I don’t know Kerry and I don’t Obama. Even if I did I doubt that I could have reached them fast enough to help these girls, however I know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and I know that He is concerned about whatever concerns me. I believe that we have been prepared for a time such as this.
Please join me in a three day fast for the safe and speedy return of these girls.
The fast would begin tomorrow, Sunday, May 4th-Wednesday, May 7. During those three days let us lift our voices to the Lord Jesus Christ and watch Him move on their behalf.
If you would like to join me please post your prayers in the comments section and be sure to share this with your friends and family until there are at least two hundred people fasting for each one of these girls.
If you aren’t going to join me please share and repost this anyway.
Don’t forget to Pre-Order Born at Dawn TODAY!
April 26th-May 1, 2014
April 26th Larry Toombs Gospel Radio Show Call (646)478-0999 to chat with Nigeria LIVE!
April 28th Weaving Stories of Faith, Hope, and Love
April 30th Michelle’s Book Stop
May 1st UC His Glory BookClub
Boy or girl. Adult or child. We have all pursed our lips together or practiced raising our eyebrows in an effort to ensure that we give good face in any photograph being taken of us. For Shaw Bernard giving good face comes so naturally that she is now molding the next crop of models and actors at Strut Modeling House, Brooklyn’s Premiere Modeling School. As CEO of Strut Modeling Shaw Bernard demonstrates that at the end of the day it isn’t just about what on the outside that counts.
This Monday she shares with the Neophyte Author the importance of having a backup plan, self-confidence, and how to stay rooted and grounded when you are successful.
How did you get your start in the industry?
At the tender age of fourteen (14) people started suggesting that I should consider modeling because I was standing at almost six feet (6’0) at the time. I had no idea how to go about pursuing that and neither did my mom. Eventually, I started getting connected with people in the industry, (makeup artists, hairstylists and photographers) who wanted to work with me. I enjoyed the experience and everything that I have learned has been very beneficial in the operations of my very own modeling school.
With your stunning features and portfolio you could easily just be a model–what led you to step behind the camera to groom future stars?
Being just a model is unrealistic, at least for me. Unless you are a super model, you should always have something to fall back on, especially since longevity in the industry is very few and far. At this stage in my life I am concerned with building a brand, and not just being seen as a model. I am extremely passionate about modeling and I also feel compelled to empower young people. So, starting Strut Modeling House was the perfect combination of my two loves.
How do you manage to maintain your sense of self in an industry that is focused on the image or appearance of things rather than reality?
First things first, I have to give credit to my relationship with God now. Prior to that, I did fall prey to pressure of the industry standards to the point where I did not even feel adequate to model anymore. Now, I understand that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and no one can fit me into their box of what is considered beautiful. I also have a ton of love and support from my husband, relatives, and close friends. They keep me grounded and constantly remind me that I am capable of being anything I want to be.
Since you run a specialty business how do you manage to turn a profit during difficult economic times?
Fortunately because what I do can translate into an academic atmosphere, I receive contracts from schools and non-profit organizations to teach modeling as a way of enhancing self-esteem and building strong characters. When things are not progressing as I would like them to at my studio, I have those other outlets to keep me a float. My studio is 1100 sq feet so I also rent it out for various events and that covers the bases as well. Needless to say, I am able to capitalize on many different levels.
The fashion industry has gotten a bad rap when it comes to embracing the beauty of African-Americans, have you found that to be true? If so, what does it take to make an impact in an industry that isn’t always accepting of African-Americans?
100% yes. I have personally encountered situations where they blatantly expressed no desire to cast black models, or agencies saying to me “you’re not what we are looking for.” I believe that doing the work I do at Strut is a step in the right direction of change. I expose my students to the industry and teach them about having self value, the importance of perseverance, and to never let anyone discourage them by projecting their own insecurities on to them. The industry is the way it is because not enough people are standing up for the injustice. Since the desire of many is so strong to make it as a model, they compromise at all costs. Personally, I am not interested in doing so, which is why I am making my own path.
What advice would you give to any woman who desires to be “more than”?
Women should know that they are more than, rather than desiring to be so. It is important to have self-worth and surround yourself with others who value you as well. A woman who is more than lives according to her own rules. She is not confined to the limitations placed on her by others. The first step to knowing that you are more than is embracing who you are, the good, bad, and indifferent. Believing that there is no one else like you. And lastly, a more than woman should not be afraid to stand out from the crowd despite when others are playing it safe.
If you’d like to learn how to give good face and strut down the sidewalk or catwalk like a pro with Shaw Bernard please visit:
If you know a woman whom you believe should be featured in More Than Monday please feel free to nominate a woman by sending her information including where she can be reached at to the Neophyte Author at nigerialockley@hotmail,com with “More Than” in the subject line.
I’m taking this show on the road and I just had to share the news with my people. I will be at the National Black Book Festival in Houston, Texas on October 23-25, 2014.
Houston might not be the country, but it’s new territory and I’m certainly taking my God, His love, and open arms with me to receive all that He will bless me with as I venture forth with my budding literary career. I plan to share the gospel of grace and God’s unfailing love, my testimony, and my debut novel Born at Dawn.
I pray I gain new friends, new readers, and supporters.
I’m growing and I’m going to see the glory of God revealed in all that I do.
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Last week while aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook news feed I stumbled upon a post about how much published writers make. Based on the data, according to the Digital Book World 2014 Survey the financial forecast for me is bleak. However, as I type this post right now everything in me is echoing, “Not so.” You see for me there is something that I cannot and will not accept. Failure. Not an option. Whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that because you do not earn a certain amount of money from your writing you are a failure, but my goal is not to be broke and the God I serve is rich in houses in land. He delights in blessing His children. Why should I accept earning less than what He is capable of providing?
The first thing I want to use my writing for is to glorify God that is not equivalent to earning $1000 per year. The word clearly tells me (and you) that our gifts will make room for us in this world. So, don’t shake your head at this post and say, “That girl has gone completely mad, she ain’t making a dime.” I believe God. I believe He made the patriarchs rich and I believe He is the same yesterday and forever. Therefore, failure. Say it with me, “Not an Option.”
I don’t know what the forecast for success for you is in your field of industry, but I am sure the odds are stacked against you or there is someone always telling you what you cannot do. They’re wrong. When I set out to get my book published someone said to me, “I don’t know why you’re doing this. You’re not going to make.” I was crushed and at the same time invigorated. Those words hurt, but the Lord filled me with something sweet and I’m going to share it with you today. The Lord inspired me to respond to that person’s unbelief by saying, “Even if you don’t believe in me don’t you believe in my God?” I dare you to say that your naysayers and the dream-killers in your life who always have data and facts to share. The fact is God is greater than statistics. The fact is prosperity is a part of his plan for us. The fact is with God all things are possible, including me earning more than what that survey says.