Monday, April 7, 2008

Someone You Should Know!

· What do you know about ministering and teaching young women?
I have been teaching teenagers now for over eighteen years in the church. I was mentoring young girls even before I started teaching in the formal setting of the church. I started with my own nieces by beginning a Bible study for them to help them find answers to life’s questions. This is something I feel God has called me to do and I enjoy making a difference to those I touch.

· Why/When/How did you start writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Writing started for me as a child to help me through the difficulties in my own life. I found a place of refuge in my writing. I felt I could give my feelings a voice that would not die. Over the years my writing has changed, because God has developed my understanding and my abilities.

· What is your typical day like?
I am a busy mother. I take my girls to school, if my husband does not handle that job. I then sit down each morning to prepare my Words of Encouragement, which is a daily word from the Bible distributed via e-mail for those that are working on jobs. I am a student, so I am either reading assignments or preparing papers. In between that time, I exercise, prepare meals, wash clothes and do the other things that moms do. No matter how busy my day gets, however, I still like to take time to pray, read my word and hear what God has to say to me.

· How many books have you written and where do you get your ideas?
I have written three books and a series of books for younger children, however only Fearfully and Wonderfully Made is the first book in print as of January 2008. I am beginning the production of my second book, Broken China Makes a Beautiful Mosaic and hope that will be available in 2008 as well. I have produced a few plays for the Langley Avenue Church of God where I attend. I get my ideas from life itself. I think sometimes I see things differently than others. I can look at a tree uprooted by a storm and see a message about humbleness. The tree tried to stand strong against the storm and because it did not bend, or humble itself it was uprooted. So I find my ideas everywhere, isn’t God everywhere?

· How do you research your books?
Once I have an idea about something I look to see what information I need. In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made I needed statistics so I looked for survey companies that did research on my subject matter. If it is a story about the word of God, I take the time to study so that I am accurate in what I say or write.

· Why do you write Christian books?
I believe this is a gift that God has given me so I want to give it completely back to him. The very first book I began to write many years ago was not a Christian book. As I was writing that book, I began to feel a sense that this was not what I should be doing. When I stopped and asked God, what are you trying to tell me? This question came to mind, “Would this be something you are proud to put your name on as a Christian?” I had to say no, so I hit the delete button even though I had almost finished that novel. I have never looked back.

· How long did it take you to write this book?
This book was written over a thirteen week period of time because it was originally written as a Sunday school lesson. The process of changing it from a lesson to a book took a few months.

· Aren't all Christian books the same?
I don’t believe so. Even if different writers are writing about the same subjects, God has a way of allowing each one to bring something new and different. It’s the same with preaching. Several people can preach the same scripture and you can get something different from each one.
Return next week to read more of this interview.

Words of Encouragement

Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. – Joshua 3:9-11

Walking over on dry ground. Listen to God’s instruction. This is an old writing from several years ago, but I felt it was worth sharing again. It's from the book of Joshua 3:9-17. I have it listed in my journal as "Spiritual steps to walk over on Dry Land".

In verse 9 Joshua tells the children of Israel, "come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God". The first thing we must do to get through our problems is listen to the instruction of the Lord. It's when we don't that we make our situations worse. We will never know how to handle things if we don't go to the source (God) and find out what it is and what's the correct way to move.

It is in the time of going aside, or coming to listen that we are encouraged about the journey ahead. Joshua tells them they will know that the living God is among them because he will drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. This is their proof that God is in the midst of them, he will remove all the different forces that would stand against them coming in and possessing what is for them. God wanted to eliminate these other nations because they were the worshippers of many other gods. The Hittites called their pagan gods, “the thousand gods”.

If we look at the history of the people of Israel we will see that some of these nations were not removed, not because God could not do it, but because they went back and intermingled with them. They married themselves to some of these nations and therefore lost the purity of what God wanted to be in them.

What does that tell us today? God is calling us to come and listen to how to walk through this life to the other side. He wants us to know that he is before us, just as the ark was before the children of Israel. He also wants us to know that he will remove all the spiritual forces that would want to come and dwell among his people. We however must not go back and intermingle with these forces or we will allow the enemy to have a stronghold on our lives.

I pray for us today that we would set ourselves aside so that we can hear the words of God. We will not be able to make this journey until we do the first thing, which is to hear the word of the Lord and what his instruction for us is. This is step one to walking over on dry ground.