NBBA Toastmasters Member (Not By Bread Alone) President's Distinguished Club

James G. Houston

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Growth of a Man - Autobiography

This book is about my family and my journey as a youth. We come from very humble beginnings. Although I lost my parents early in life, I look up to my older brother. He was a very good role model. He told me, as a young teenager, that if I worked hard in school, completed it, and was willing to work hard, that I could be anything I wanted to be.

After college, I joined my brother in law enforcement. We both worked in that industry for 20 years and both moved up the ranks. We were dedicated officers. Three years ago, my brother passed away from a heart attack.

My sister challenged me to write the book. I always hated writing before, and it was my weakest subject in school. I was motivated and inspired to write the book for my brother, who was the oldest male of 6 brothers and sisters. The two females are the oldest and I'm the third brother of five. We lived in the projects growing up, and it was kind of rough.

At the time my brother challenged me to achieve my goals, I guess I listened to him and always listened to him. That made life easier. I never did drugs or indulged in anything like that. Coming up this way made me work hard, and it all came from following his lead. I owe a lot to my brother. All our siblings felt the same way; he was all of our best friends.

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Food for Thought - Multiple Topics & Concerns (Politics, Injustices, Prosperity from Church)

I wrote this book for the people who expressed how much they liked Growth of a Man. Many readers said the book made them laugh and cry, and that it was very relatable. It was inspired by a multitude of things, including my oldest brother's nervous breakdown.

In the black community, we do not talk about mental illness like we should. It is kind of like a taboo subject. I got my brother to talk about it a bit, which is covered in the book's first chapter. My best friend had a family member that suffered from mental illness. Although we all knew it was not something we talked about. Looking back, it would have done us both some good to talk about it. It never happened, but I wondered why it didn't happen. Was it shame or what?

In other chapters, I discuss the president, elections, and other political topics. Another chapter focuses on churches. I wanted to make sure that what I wrote about churches was factual. 

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There are some church leaders that use the word of God for their own advantage, rather than spending time leading the congregation in the ways the Lord taught in the Bible. The Lord spent more time speaking about this type of sin than He did teaching about Heaven and Hell. I wrote the book to start a conversation.

Part of the conversation deals with the divisions in today's society. It is a shame that we do not sit down at the table and talk about things. People are treating each other in such disrespectful ways. If we do not do something and communicate in better ways, it will not get any better.

In my book, I talk about possible solutions. Some leaders say it's not important to vote, that everything is pre-determined and they just want a face to go with their agenda. My view is that it is not pre-determined, and it is essential to vote. With respect to minorities, the right to vote is essential to protect all other rights.

These types of issues are very important and vital to people. Part of the reason I wrote the book was to bring awareness to some of these concerns.

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