“Take it with obedience!”

We finally caught up with the lady who seems so hard to find (but she teaches publicly every Sunday and Wednesday and enjoys being around people). She comes highly recommended too by everyone we encounter. Everyone says we must talk to her, get to know her, hear her wisdom. When we ask why? They pause, stare, and say, “What is it that Equanimity does?” And we get it.

We were able to schedule Renee for an interview and photo shoot. She was very excited and happy to see us. We had a warm welcome from both her and her staff. Talk about love and laughter! Renee hugs a lot and laughs a lot! Hear her tell her story in this interview.

Lumbie: Who is Renee Hornbuckle?

Renee: Wow! That is a loaded question! [She laughs] Renee Hornbuckle is actually a 47-year old woman, originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. (So, I’m really a country girl!) I moved to Texas about 25 years ago. Actually, I was brought up in Little Rock and just wanted to fulfill my dreams and desires and so I moved to Texas. It just so happened that my best friend lived in Texas. She and her husband offered an invitation and said that if I ever wanted to come to Texas I would always have a home, the door is always open and the light would be on.  So, one day I hopped into my car and got on the road, drove, and showed up at her job and said, “I’m here!” From that moment on, I’ve never looked back.  It was tough for a moment because one month after moving to Texas my daddy passed away.  That was a big challenge for me because I am a Daddy’s Girl.  So, that entire situation, along with a few other life altering situations caused me to view life differently.  I realized then that life is what you make it!  If you get knocked down, it’s up to you to choose to get back up again!  You know, Renee really is the person that has always been interested in living life to the fullest, and that takes drive, commitment, dedication and discipline.  My life has had its share of ups and downs, but overall it’s been wonderful!  I think I’ve experienced that over the last 27 years. It’s been a long journey, but it’s been a great journey with a lot of battles, a lot of roller coaster, situations, you know. It’s been that way – Life happens and you go with the flow!

Lumbie: You are 47-years old and you look so great! You must take good care of yourself.

Renee: Thank you! I’m 47-years young (I will be 48 in January).  I believe that! I feel great! I believe that age is an attitude and a state of mind. I’m not ashamed of my age at all.   Really, I believe that! I’m the baby of 5 girls and my sisters sometimes have an issue with the fact that I boast about my age.  That’s because they’re a lot older than I am. But they will be okay because they really are proud of me. I think that over my life my parents were role models and my educators. My sisters were all great models for me as well. I think I learned something and I had the privilege to learn something from each and every one of them. I think my association with them has molded me to be the woman that I am today. My mother had me when she was 40. So, I’m the second generation child and I had the opportunity to grow up and be wise beyond my years because I was always around older people.  You can’t help but be wise when you are around wise people.

Lumbie: WOW! My mother had me when she was 43.

Renee: Oh my goodness! [She laughs] So, you too kind of had to grow up around older people.

Lumbie: Absolutely, I can relate to that. So, what does being on the cover of Equanimity’s 1st Edition mean to you?

Renee: I’m so excited! [She laughs] I tell you, it’s an HONOR! It’s a great honor! Especially, I’m honored to be on the cover of the 1st edition, because the 1st o f anything is the premier and the most important. I pray that I am successful in helping you to launch and succeed in achieving your dreams and visions!  So, I’m so honored and I’m so humbled!

Lumbie: Absolutely! You were highly recommended by many people. We are excited to photo shoot with you and actually put you on our cover. We think you’re beautiful not just outside, but inside as well.

Renee: My hope and prayer is that Equanimity does well and succeeds. It will be my daily prayer that Equanimity does great things.  And for the record, real beauty is first internal, and then flows over to the external. 

Lumbie: Thank you! We hope to connect and reach many people. You connect with many people yourself. What makes you the woman of Influence?

Renee:  You know, I believe that all of us, and especially women are influencers in all walks of life. And that word “influence” means that you affect, sway and impact people’s lives. And you can influence the lives of others positively or negatively. I think that we have a choice in how we impact and influence people. And we often allow our life circumstances to dictate to us who we are and to overwhelm us.  So, when faced with opportunities to influence, if we had a bad day or experience, we take it out on others;  if things don’t go our way, we complain; if something happens, we run; well I feel that we must take responsibility and recognize as the Bible states in Proverbs 18:21 (The Message) ..Words kill, words give life.  If we are to live by this principle that we must understand that we influence others positively or negatively by what we say and do.  How do you treat others?  What do you say to others?  You will leave an impact one way or the other.  What will your influence be?

My plight is that I challenge women to be people of influence, so that they recognize and take responsibility for those that they influence. So, as women of influence, we have a responsibility to represent God and do the right thing. I’m kind of old school, I’m 47-years old, but I have a very old spirit when it comes to wisdom. So, I approach things first from a Biblical perspective, then integrate it our everyday natural living.  So, as influencers, everywhere we go we have the opportunity to influence people, at the grocery store, the bank, on our jobs. When we leave their presence, we have to ask ourselves this question, “Are they going to be influenced negatively or positively?”

Lumbie: Renee, that’s a great thing! You can actually change someone’s life without being aware. Because in life, who you are, can have a great impact on someone’s life.

Renee: Absolutely!  And we don’t take enough responsibility for that, because when we walk into a bank, grocery store, TJ Maxx, wherever, we really are the light of the world. You have that responsibility to positively impact someone’s life and it just may be the thing they need for that day. It just may be! And it doesn’t have to be all spiritual.. Just one kind word may be enough to totally change a person’s situation. That’s why I challenge both men and women to be influencers in life. It’s that important! You never know when you are being used as the agent of change in someone’s life.  You must decide to be a positive influencer on this earth!

Dr. Renee Fowler

Lumbie: Do you have a life changing story to share? I think people would benefit from this.

Renee: Absolutely! Absolutely! You know I’m 47-years young. We can’t cover it all. There have been a lot of ups and downs. [She laughs sarcastically] But, I will say this: I think I went through my most catastrophic life experience approximately 5 years ago. The best way to capture it is: Have you ever been some place where it’s been up one day and things are going great? And literally the next thing it’s like the whole world is collapsing on you? That’s what my experience was. And through that experience, which was a very public experience by the way, I had a choice as to how I would respond. I could have quit, I could have given up, I could have run away, or even checked out on life literally, but because of who God created me to be, I knew I had a greater purpose.  I knew I had the responsibility to stand up and to let people really see the gospel message in action through my life; for them to see how God if He really is your true source can get you through ANYTHING, and I do mean ANYTHING!  I really believe that over these last 5 years of having to walk through this devastation [it was a devastation – very devastating and very public], I believe that through this devastation stage, I made that choice to stay on that road to where God had sent me and because of that, my message everyday is that people would see [HOPE] through my life message. My faith, trust, and belief in God is absolutely what pulled me through. My experience caused me to get to a place in God that I never envisioned before where I would literally have to put every ounce of trust I had in God. When you are faced with troubles and trials, the key to having strength to stand, endure and to overcome is found in relying totally and completely on God.  When you do that you are able to get up and live again.  We must also learn that as we go through storms and trials that if we just focus intentionally we will see a glimmer of light, of hope in the midst.  Somewhere there’s always a little bit of light shining through the darkness.  I was able to see that no matter how dark it got.  I also understood my responsibility as a public figure.  Especially when you’re a public figure, you have a responsibility in how you carry yourself and how you respond and represent yourself. You have to learn to hold on to God when everybody has turned away and people are walking away from you. You must continue to hold onto God when people no longer believe in you the way they used to and those that said they were for you turn again you.  But one thing you can always count on and hold onto – God. God is the only one that can give you strength when you just don’t know where you’re going to get the strength each day to go on.  Trust me, it works!!!!  God will never leave you or forsake you – He’s always got your back!

Lumbie: That can be very challenging! You are a very strong woman, Renee. Let’s talk about your prescription – The prescription that works. The first time we met face-to-face you talked in length about the prescription that works. 

Renee: The prescription that works is simple. Put God First!  Matthew 6:33 gives us the prescription.  Get His plan for your life, and then begin to enjoy a great life, get through things in life and deal with everyday issues.  You have to ask yourself, “What is my belief and foundation?” Then, you must work and develop your beliefs and establish a firm foundation.  I understand that life is not always what we want it to be because the enemy is very cunning and always eager to deceive you and trip you up. The enemy is always looking for opportunities to discredit us and to cause us to quit. But we can’t quit! Life happens! If you train yourself, then you know what to do. You can get through anything in life, anything! If you’re in a race, you have to let everyone know you’re in a race. But when you run it, you run it to win. In order to win, you have to be disciplined. You have to be trained, you must be developed. I really believe that this is part of our prescription. It’s not always easy and honestly there have been times over the last 5 years when I have almost given up, but I had to re-focus, re-strategize, re-energize, persevere and endure. And many times I was alone, but I had to make up in my own mind that in order to have victory that these were the things I had to be self-motivated to do.  I believe that people neglect the one thing in life, to simply endure.  The Bible tells us that troubles will always be around, so what are we doing to prepare?  When you are prepared, then you are able to deal with the issues and step forward as an overcomer and that is what makes you a winner! How you overcome and deal with the issues makes you a winner. We have to be willing to work each day and sometimes fight through whatever to be a winner.  For example, on the job when you’re given work, you have to do the job.  You are more effective if you are properly trained to do your job effectively.  So, the prescription is in your preparation of your belief [mine is in God], dedicating your time to what you believe in and studying it, and then executing what’s given to you.   People often ask, “How have I made it through?”  My prescription – “GOD”!

Lumbie: WOW! That simple?

Renee: It’s that simple!

Lumbie: It really takes you and your determination. You have to tell yourself, “This is what I want to do to succeed in life.” If you look at something negatively, there is no way you’re going to do it. 

Renee: Right. Half of the battle begins in the mind. Therefore, you have to learn to literally take every thought captive, analyze it, and bring it into alignment with God’s word.  It can be challenging. I’ve been cured of multiple sclerosis. I focused on the fact that Jesus healing was mine.  I have made it through storms in life. I focused on the peace in the center of the storm and trusted God to calm the storm.  Again, people always come to me and ask, “How do you do it?” Well, half of the time it’s your perception – it has to do with how we view things. We have to think positively.  I choose to view the Word of God as my guide, my instruction manual which gives me the strength and positivity and right perception to overcome anything!

Lumbie: Tell me something that you’re so passionate about, the language breakthrough and why is it so important?

Renee: Remind me, what was I talking about on this? [She laughs]

Lumbie: Well, you once said it’s important to be able to speak multiple languages.

Renee: Yes, I remember that subject. I’m a very strong advocate of education, empowerment, and training. I believe that for people to succeed and achieve great things in life that they desire, they have to see what is necessary for them to achieve that success.  Always purpose to be the best in whatever your field or area of expertise.  We know for a fact that, in some industries, your ability to make a greater income goes up if you’re bilingual. If you’re able to speak say three languages, your income can increase greatly. And a lot of times we don’t really prepare properly for those things.  For example, when I was in corporate America, my co-workers that could speak multiple languages were able to travel internationally and not use translators and, of course, they made more money. I travelled internationally and had to use a translator and it cost the company more money, so I made less.  Sometimes we don’t make connections with other cultures because we don’t understand them. This is a language barrier! So, speaking more than one language is very important.

Lumbie: You are right! I speak three languages fluently. I wish I knew more languages than that because I still feel that it’s not enough.  I just don’t feel the balance! Now, do you think it’s important to have a balance in life? What advice do you have for Equanimity readers about staying balanced?

Renee: First of all, with your ability to speak multiple languages you’ve already increased your value!  You go girl!

Okay, Life Balance.  Life balance, spiritual and natural, is very important. A lot of people are out of balance. I’m an advocate for Life Balance.  I love teaching it.  We need it!  I think a practical application of common sense would really help in bringing balance to our lives.  The Bible tells us to get common sense in life.  Sometimes it can be as simple as just saying, “No”.  A lot of people just don’t know how to say “no”. This is very challenging for a lot of people. You’ve got to have a limit otherwise you’ll burn out. Life has lots of stages that require you to balance. An example of that is kids, when they are young and when they are old. They go through different stages and you have to learn to adjust your life balance to accommodate the various stages of their lives.  This is a good example of learning to be adaptable and applicable in life. I’m glad you came up with this magazine and the name says it all – EQUANIMITY  – bring into balance your life, work on your mental and emotional stability, meditate and be calm to start your day, then execute the plans and purposes that God has for you!

Lumbie: Renee, what a delight! It excites me to listen to you talking about the prescription that works. You are truly a woman of influence!

Renee: Thank you so much for the opportunity.  I am proud, honored, and humbled to share my prescription with the world! I am flattered to be on the initial cover of your premier magazine! My prayer is that God brings you to the expected end with great success for what He has for you.  And that millions of lives are empowered by your visions and dreams!  Blessings to you!  Thank you!

Previous articleSpiritual Leadership In Church Growth
Next articleHelp? How Do I Handle My Crisis?
Dr. Renee Fowler is a Senior pastor, Community Leader/Advocate, Best Selling author, International speaker, Single Mother, Strategist (life/crisis/church), business executive, entrepreneur, sorority member, Founder of The Life Empowerment Training and Development Institute, CEO of InSight Consulting and Founder of Rachel's House (transitional living for women and families in crisis), Women of Influence, Inc. and Destiny Empowerment Enterprises, Inc. You can also watch her weekly on #drReneeSpeaks (click on emPOWERmentTV). After a successful corporate career, she successfully transitioned into the faith based and nonprofit sectors, while still pursuing entrepreneurship, as well as, sitting on numerous community boards. Overcoming many trials and a life altering scandal, she has used her difficulties as fuel to propel her to greater purpose in which she has developed creative and life changing systems, messages and tools that promote how to bounce back and live a victorious life! Dr. Renee is passionate about equipping people to fulfill their greatest purpose.