"[S]eek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33). This scripture has become very real to me. In the spring of 2001, I gave my life to Christ after hitting what I call, rock bottom. I was at a place in my life where I would stand in front of the mirror and see a stranger. I had begun doing and saying things that I never imagined of myself. I found myself making one mistake after another, thus adding guilt on top of guilt. I did not like myself, and many times contemplated suicide. Yes, me a woman with two bachelors degrees, a masters degree, good credit, a loving family, and a promising career with the state of Ohio. I was suicidal. But God had placed two beautiful guardian angels in my life my children and I couldn't bear the thought of leaving them behind without a mother.
I hid my distress very well, thus neither friends nor family knew how emotionally unstable I was. Hidden beneath my smile and outgoing personality was a woman bound by depression, suffering from low self-esteem, and overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy. Though I had grown up in a Christian church all my life, I still had a misconception about what it meant to be saved. First, I thought that anyone who claimed Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior led a very boring life. There appeared to be so many church rules and regulations it seemed like there were more don'ts than dos. By nature, I act silly and love to laugh, so I was scared of committing to Christianity because I thought my life would become even more miserable than it already was. Second, I didn't think I would have what it took to adopt Christianity as a lifestyle because Id seen others try and fail. Plus, my resume of sins seemed a lot worse than those who had successfully led Christian lifestyles. I thought surely they had not sinned to the extent that I had. I began attending church on a sporadic basis, but that was about the extent of it.
Despite my inconsistent church attendance, God was still imparting powerful messages into my life and unfolding the truth about Himself. One Sunday a friend invited me to attend church with her and I found that I could no longer deny the need I had for Jesus in my life. I asked Him to forgive me of all my sins and to save me. Since that day, I have never looked back. Among other things, Ive learned two very important lessons:
1.) Being saved does not equate to living a miserable life at all. I have more joy now than I had before. Truth be told, I probably act sillier now, too. 2.) Anyone who's willing to submit to Gods Holy Spirit can be successful in living a Christian life! There is absolutely nothing in this world that God is unwilling to forgive us for. Knowing this has freed me from the guilt of my past sins.
Many people have asked me how I began writing. For as long as I can remember I've always enjoyed writing poetry, but the idea for SOUL MATTERS wasn't laid on my heart until I started seeking God for my purpose in life. Initially, I rejected the idea of writing a novel. I knew I could write poetry, and even plays if need be, but I thought novels were out of my league. I had tried writing another story once, but later abandoned the idea after the first two chapters. After several failed attempts to make SOUL MATTERS a play instead of a book, I finally submitted to Gods will and began writing this novel.
I thank God for all of the support I received from my husband, and several close friends and family members along the way. Even though I had loads of encouragement, the key to my being able to successfully complete SOUL MATTERS was having a pure heart. I wasn't seeking fame or fortune. My deepest desire was to write a realistic, entertaining story that shared a message about God with others. When I started writing, I had absolutely no idea how it would get published. I didn't even know there was a market for Christian fiction. Still, I stepped out on faith and invested time and money into a story that kept pressing on my heart. Once I did, I saw God open doors of opportunities that I never imagined.
Whether you're a Christian or non-Christian, SOUL MATTERS was written with you in mind. I hope you enjoy and are blessed by the content found within its pages. Thank you for allowing me a chance to deposit something positive into your lives. May God continually bless you!
About Yo Productions
Yo Productions began in the mind of its founder and CEO, Yolonda Tonette Sanders, years before its launch in May 2008. Yolonda had a desire to include theatrical productions in her writing credits in addition to books and poetry. With the encouragement of family members and friends, she started Yo Productions, LLC, a theatrical entertainment, literary services, and independent publishing company. Yo Productions is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association.
The Literary Services Side . . .
Yo Productions offers proofreading, editing, and writing services for individuals and businesses. In addition, we host a variety of writing workshops designed and facilitated by Yolonda to meet specific needs. Please review our list of services and let us know how we can assist you!
The Theatrical Entertainment Side . . .
The first stage project produced by Yo Productions was SOUL MATTERS, based on Yolonda's debut novel, published by Hachette Book Group in 2005. It premiered September 26, 2009 at the Capitol Theatre in Columbus, OH with a full house of attendees! Yo Productions continues to plan additional performances of SOUL MATTERS and other projects. While we appreciate those who have enjoyed our works thus far, we remain mindful that our purpose is not just to entertain. We strive to deliver messages through our performances and we have established the "Open Arms" program to reach out to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to attend our productions.
The Publishing Side . . .
Since 2005, Yolonda has had the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of talented writers who have had trouble getting their work published. While Yolonda feels very blessed to have landed contracts with major publishing houses, she also understands the frustration felt by those who have been unable to get the attention of a traditional publisher. Thus, in 2015, Yo Productions expanded its services to include publishing. We are not a subsidy publisher. Our authors do not pay us to produce their books. We are a small, independent company that operates under a traditional publishing model. We focus on both digital and print releases. Paperback copies of books are available through a print-on-demand service and are accessible to over 38,000 retailers, including online sellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you're interested in submitting your work to Yo Productions for consideration, please check out our submission guidelines.
Other Aspects of Yo Productions . . .
There are a variety of writing and publishing workshops offered through Yo Productions. In addition, Yolonda hosts FREE write-ins from time-to-time around the city of Columbus to help others set aside time to work on their projects. Yo Productions has established several programs aimed at serving those in our community, including Open Arms (mentioned above), Book Drop, and Yo Pro Cares, which was developed specifically to work with nonprofit organizations.
For bookings, call (614) 452-4920 ext. 3 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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