Spotlight on Dr. Chavonne Stewart
Today, Dr. Chavonne speaks to us about intercession, advice for aspiring writers and books to add to your list.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I was born in Alabama but raised in Georgia. Both sides of my family have deep roots in Georgia; I am a true southerner. I am the oldest of 3; I have two sisters. I grew up in a loving devout Christian (nondenominational) and strict household. I remember delivering my Easter speech and memorizing the Psalms 23 & Psalms 100. In addition, going to church, education was very important in my family. Getting bad grades was not an option. As a child I excelled at spelling and math. When algebra came into the picture, my love of math ended. Since my parents were very protective, my sisters and I could only play with kids that lived next door. Because of those limitations we had to be creative and use our imaginations regularly while we played. I remember making hamburgers out of mud. Another memory that I have about my childhood is spending time in the kitchen with my big momma. I loved learning how to cook. One of my favorite things I enjoy doing and still do today is baking cakes.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: At the moment, Colossians 3:1-4 (The Passion Translation) is my inspiration.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: In October 2022, I attended a conference themed “Set Apart.” Those two words resonated in my spirit for the rest of the year. Finally, God spoke and said, “You are set apart.” When we are in Christ, we should look and act different. I Peter 2:9 talks about us being peculiar. Peculiar has many meanings. Distinctive is another way to think about my peculiarity. I am meant to stand out in a crowd. And, I am not being arrogant or boastful when I say that. My purpose is to be light; to draw others to Christ. My light cannot be deemed by choosing to sin. I am a representative of the Father in the earth, so my light has to shine bright. I have to stand out like a sore thumb. I am grateful for being different.
“When we are in Christ, we should look and act different.“
Profession/Mission: My professional life is two-fold. In my 9 to 5 role, I am the Director of Assessment and faculty member of a Christian university in the Atlanta Area. My passion is ministry and entrepreneurship. In 2022, I officially launched Watchmen International a prayer and global alliance. I refer to it as a “movement, not a church.” Our sole purpose is to watch and pray, always in Jesus’ name. In addition to leading a ministry, I am the founder/president of Global Leadership Techniques, LLC. Our goal is to prepare organizations and individuals through leadership training and development, so they lead authentically and thrive.
You have several books. One is, I believe, on publishing, several are children’s books and there is a book on affirmations and one on essays regarding depression. What inspired your journey as a writer? An incident, that I was an active participant in at the age of six, inspired my journey to becoming a writer. I remember as a kid having a vivid imagination. Even as an adult, my imagination can run wild. I believe having an imagination is important for all writers. I loved writing stories as a kid. After the incident occurred, I remember some time later saying one day I would write a book about the incident. As a result, my children’s books series was birthed.
What advice would you give aspiring writers? The advice I would give to aspiring writers first would be, do not give up on your dream. Dreams do not manifest overnight. My dream began at the age of six years old. An incident occurred in my life, at that moment I said as a kid, this will be a book one day. It took me 25 years to pen the manuscript and another 5 years to publish it. In 2014, I published The Adventures of Amilya Rose -The Lie; the first of 5 books. Since then, I was a contributor to 3 anthology series. I encourage you to connect with individuals who are doing what you desire to do. Finally, I would advise is to always keep a journal with you so you can jot down ideas/concepts as they come to you.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? If I wrote a memoir, the title would be very simple…“Smile.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I always knew God existed. But my first encounter was at a church conference. I believe I was 18 years old. The Holy Spirit came upon me and at that moment, I gave my life to Christ.
How would you describe Jesus? Jesus is not complicated; He is very simple to understand. He cares, He is compassionate, He is direct. Most importantly, His love is truly the greatest love of all.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? He is no longer my parents’ God. I have a deeper relationship with Him. Jesus is my Lord over my life. The biggest change anyone could ever make is to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Lord means He is the head, He is my greatest influence, and it is my desire to obey and move only at His guidance.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? My twenties were the darkest time in my life. I did not attend church. I ran from God, because at the time, I did not understand how I could have a relationship with Him. I saw God as one who scorns or punishes.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Staying connected with like-minded individuals. Hearing the Word of God not only in church but studying on my own. Reading other materials in addition to reading the bible. Some of the books I have read over the years, The Jesus Book by Michael Koulianos, There is More! by Randy Clark, The School of His Presence by Eric Gilmour, Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer by Dr. Myles Munroe, and Carriers of the Glory by David Diga Hernandez just to name a few. Making a conscience effort to live holy and righteous. Having that desire to not only please God but to have a deeper relationship with Him. Daily prayer and worship is essential.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Having time to read leisurely has been a challenge because of my role at work. I am a professor, so I have to read what is required of my students However, some of my favorite novels were Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, and While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing by Carolyn McKinstry. In addition to reading novels, a group of my friends choose a book to do a study almost every year. In 2022, we completed a study on the blood of Jesus. For our study we used two books with same title, The Power of the Blood by H.A. Maxwell Whyte & Marilyn Hickey. The study gave me greater understanding of the significance of Jesus’ blood that he shed on the cross. I have grown and gained a greater appreciation for the authority that’s in Jesus’ name.
Top three essentials: My top three essentials are self-care (pamper time), quiet time and time near water whether on a beach or cruising.
How did God speak to you recently? About two weeks ago, while I drove to work, I heard the Lord so clearly. He said, “do not underestimate the power that is within me.”
Hobby: reading, shopping, exercising, traveling, going to sporting events and the movies.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: To stay spiritually strong, it is important to stay connected with like-minded individuals. You should go to church regularly. God tells us to, “forsake not the assembly.” And most importantly, studying the Word and praying daily is how you can stay spiritually strong.
Favorite person in scripture? I am always touched by the story of Saul. He missed his opportunity because of disobedience.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? He loves unconditionally. He can restore a broken vessel into their full potential because he is the potter. I am His workmanship (masterpiece).
How do you engage with your community? One of the ways I engage in my church community is by feeding the elderly. I have also led prayer walks in my church community as well.
Favorite holiday? My favorite holiday is Christmas. Even though I celebrate Jesus 365 days of the year, that time of year seems to shift the attitudes of most people. Environments change, people become calmer, more family oriented.
A goal you have? One goal that I hope will come true if it is God’s will is to be able to incorporate my ministry assignment with my desire of full-time entrepreneurship.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Traveling to a new destination every holiday. This will give us an opportunity to experience God’s world.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? This is an interesting question, I had to really think about it. I would ask, is there anything I could have done differently while on earth?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: If I had to choose one thing to raise awareness about in this moment; it would be the need to intercede with all due diligence for our youth. I see how the enemy is trying to steal, kill and destroy the next generation of disciples/leaders.
What does your morning routine consist of? I start my morning by simply saying “thank you Lord.” I am always in a mode of worship, so I am singing whatever song God lays on my heart. Sometimes, I do not have a strong desire to intercede but I will pray the Lord’s Prayer. I prepare for work or whatever I have planned to accomplish for that day.
What is on your nightstand? Normally, I have a book, however, at the moment; I have a humidifier, box of kleenex and bottle water on my nightstand.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is an everlasting, fulfilling relationship, full of ups and downs; surrounded by unconditional love.
For more Dr. Chavonne:
Until next time, keep witnessing!
Great interview. Definitely screenshotting (is that a verb now?!) the book recommendations! 🤍 yes and amen to interceding for our youth. Praying the Lord’s will over your life and that, if this desire is from Him, He would grant you the opportunity to go full time into entrepreneurship! Blessings and Big Hugs!
– E // Her Renewed Strength Co.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, Erika! Yes to the verb 🙂 Thank you for reading!!