Category Archives: Interview

Thoughtful Thursdays – How much do you know about the story of Abraham?

Thoughtful Thursdays – How much do you know about the story of Abraham?

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Today we have the privilege of meeting Dave Ramos. Dave approached me to ask me to review his latest book. Since I don’t do reviews I thought I would ask him if he would be interested in an interview. He said yes.

Welcome Dave.

1.  Tell me a little bit about your church background. How did you come to faith in Jesus?

I actually come from a Puerto Rican heritage, so I grew up in Pentecostal Spanish churches. However, my parents never taught me Spanish because they wanted to make sure I spoke English without an accent. I spent most of my early years thinking church was a complete waste of time because I couldn’t understand anything they were saying. As I got older I drifted from the faith until God got my attention during my freshman year of college. It was a crazy series of events but basically I felt God asking me where He fit into my life. At that time, He didn’t. So I dropped out of school and completely reorganized my life to make Him a priority.

It’s been quite an adventure but I’m very thankful God found me when He did.

2.  When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.

I’ve been interested in writing as long as I can remember. I won a few local writing competitions as a kid – just with short stories and essays. But it was always just a hobby. It wasn’t until God got a hold me during my college years that I saw my writing as a gift I needed to steward.

For me, writing is the one unique thing I can do to further His kingdom in this world and build up fellow believers.

3.  How and when do you spend time with God? Do you have a favourite devotional? What version of Bible do you use the most?

My writing time is an overflow of my time with God. I begin each morning by reading the verses I will be writing on. Then I go into 1 or 2 commentaries and read what they have to say about the verses. Afterward, I pray – asking God for wisdom, clarity, and to impact me with His truth. From there I write out the study for the day and then use that as a starting point to meditate on throughout the day. In addition, my fiancé and I do a Bible study together once a week.

It’s so essential to make sure you’re spending time with God alone and in the company of other people.

I don’t have a favorite devotional, but when I am having trouble praying I turn to The Valley of Vision – it’s such a beautiful, encouraging work. Favorite Bible version: ESV.

4.  What new project/s are you working on? Why do they seem important to you? Are you compelled to write or do you need to find inspiration? How do you deal with interruptions?

I am currently working on a series called Testament Men. It’s will be a set of 10 devotionals following the lives of Old Testament characters. The first three, Abraham, Jacob and Job will be out this year, and the rest will be releasing over the next 18 months. I chose this current series because I have seen that most Christians have a hard time understanding the Old Testament. It’s big and intimidating and most of the writing out there isn’t very user friendly. Thankfully, God has given me a knack for reading dense, confusing books and communicating them in an easy-to-understand way.

Honestly, I think every writer needs daily inspiration to write! But I don’t look at it like I have a choice honestly. This is what I believe God has called me to do and I so I will serve him as faithfully as a Pastor or Missionary would.

5.  What is one important lesson that Jesus is teaching or has taught you that has changed your worldview, your outlook, and/or your relationships?

Ever since I heard a sermon preached in Hosea 4:6 many years ago, that Scripture has really shaped my life. It says, “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Now, this verse isn’t saying that Christians are dumb or don’t want to learn. In the context of Hosea its saying that the Israelites have forgotten who their God really is.

They’ve forgotten the stories and blessings that shaped their nation. I think the same is true for the modern church.

We are bombarded by so many things that want our attention but we forget to invest in what really matters: knowledge of God – of who He is and what He is doing in this world. That is one reason I write about the Old Testament, I think that is one spot where people’s knowledge is lacking most. So if I can help fill in the knowledge gaps just a little, God can step in and do incredible things.

David Ramos

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David  is a Christian author and teacher passionate about communicating the life-changing truths found in the Old Testament. He has a degree in Classical and Medieval Studies and is currently finishing a Master’s in Religion (Biblical Studies) at Ashland Theological Seminary. When he’s not writing you can usually find David chasing down the newest food truck or helping his fiancé, Breahna plan their wedding (2016).

David and his library currently reside in Cleveland, Ohio.

Links:

Latest book “Climbing with Abraham” 

Website (Where people can sign up to get future books in the series for free): Dave Ramos 

Facebook page:

Twitter:

Thank you so much Dave for being a guest on Growing Through God’s Word. We pray for the best for you and for your books.

Tweetable:

How much do you know about the story of Abraham? Check out Dave Ramos’ new book called Climbing with Abraham. (click to tweet)

 

Thoughtful Thursdays – Who is Carol A Brown?

 

Thoughtful Thursdays – Who is Carol A Brown?

Today I am starting a new series to introduce you to some of my writer friends. Carol Brown has a new book coming out called Sassy Pants Learns about Strange Creatures.

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You can see with the picture below that Carol grew up with animals. She is pictured here with her brother Denny.

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I have given Carol some questions to answer about her life and her faith. Welcome Carol.

  1. Tell me a little bit about your church background. How did you come to faith in Jesus?

Church background—as a kid we attended church when we had gas for the car. That was not every Sunday! When we left the farm and dad went into carpentry we attended more regularly and generally a church of the Baptist persuasion. In college I attended a C&MA and a Weslyn Methodist for a bit. Then I made friend with some Chinese Christians and ended up joining their fellowship until I met my husband and he took me off to seminary with him. Then we had to choose a denomination. We chose to affiliate with American Baptists. We felt we could find spiritual peers as well as social peers with that denomination. Now that we have retired and I have limitations, we tend to do house church.

Coming to faith in Jesus—My mom tells me that I accepted Jesus as Savior in Sunday School but I don’t have a clear memory of it. The clear memory is when Father God rolled back the sky one night and introduced Himself. Somewhere around the age of 10. The summer night was so beautiful—frogs, crickets and cicada singing their hearts out. An occasional Whip-o-Will called and the stars, like sparks, had burned holes in the velvety midnight blue sky. The smell of clover rode on a soft warm breeze. Every cell in my body was vibrating with delight and appreciation. And then the sky rolled back like a scroll…and there He was—just as delighted with me as I was with Him. That’s when the adventure began.

  1. When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.

I came into writing sort of backwards—several things like that in my life. I was an academic—I taught English Language at the University to speakers of other languages. That arena requires lots of papers and research so that is where I learned to write. But I never took any creative writing courses. My interests were elsewhere.

So when I was struck with MS in 1995, I began writing up stories and concepts as a way to keep my sanity during recovery. Four prophetic people came to me separately and said they felt I was to write up my experiences. It was to be a parable for the church. I documented lessons along the way but really felt in my heart that the Church did not want to hear me say, “MS sucks!” But I kept writing out of obedience. Then one day the Lord said, “We have a book.” I looked at my pile of disconnected snippets and said, “We do?” It took a long time to dig out all the MS from the manuscript but we did it—we had two books for adult readers. The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.

That process was so hard I told the Lord that I didn’t want to do any more hard books. He said, “Okay.” And promptly downloaded the Sassy Pants series! These are His stories. Yes, He used data from my own childhood, but He wrote the stories. So I hope your readers enjoy this sassy little pig as she grows up and learns the lessons we all need to learn! On the fly leaf is a disclaimer: Sassy Pants…an almost true story based very loosely on some facts!

Writing or being an author was never on my radar as a career choice. The Lord arranged events and opportunities in my life so I was prepared and had the skill set needed to intuitively turn to writing as something I could do when I was not well enough to do much of anything. I could still be myself–a teacher, but the Lord promoted me and now my classroom is global.

  1. What is the best thing you have written?

That’s hard to say. When people tell you that something you wrote saved their life—that’s pretty awesome! Maybe Through the Wilderness, the pathway to holiness which is in the publishing process. But then, the Sassy Pants Series is the best in the children’s genre! I really have a hard time picking!

Describe it.

The Wilderness is a memoir/devotional/spiritual adventure story! It chronicles the lessons and experiences the Lord orchestrated during my recovery from MS.

Tell me why you think it is the best.(so far)

Because the LORD commissioned it and I believe He is watching over it… because it is a word from His heart to the Church of today. He is the main character of each and every chapter.

  1. How and when do you spend time with God?

Every day in the morning. MS has created a visual disturbance called a “downbeat nystagmus.” My visual field slowly slides downward from left to right and then jerks back to center. Repeat, ad nauseum. Finally around 11:00 am it slows down enough that I can read and work on the computer. So from the time I get up in the morning until 11:00 am I spend with the Lord! It works well.

Do you have a favourite devotional?

Not really because of the trouble I have reading. I need it to be digital so I can enlarge the font to where I can see it. I generally limit myself to the Bible. Sometimes I will research different things and then meditate on them as well as on scripture. I type pretty fast and accurately so I will record the thoughts and meditations that come to me on the computer with my eyes closed!

What version of Bible do you use the most?

The NIV, but I also enjoy Phillips and Jerusalem Bible.

  1. What new project/s are you working on?

Right now my publisher, Lilly Maytree of Summer Island Press and I are working to get the whole series of Sassy Pants Learns out there to children. We will be going back and redoing the first two stories, colorize them and create new covers and who knows what all we will do. And then there are two, possibly three more books in the series. 1) Sassy Pants, 2) Sassy Pants Makes Amends, 3) Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures, 4) Who’s The Boss, 5) Sassy Pants and the Boss Hog.

Why do they seem important to you?

God has let me know that “He is very concerned about the children.” Giving a child a strong character is one of the most loving things we can do. These stories are my bit in doing that.

Thank you so much Carol for being a guest on Growing Through God’s Word. We pray for the best for you and for your books.

Tweetable:

Find out about the life and faith of Carol Brown, author of Sassy Pants. (click to tweet)

 

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Carol Brown says, “I started telling stories when I had enough brothers for an audience!” She has four brothers and one sister.

Carol was raised in a farming community in Iowa. A retired teacher, she and her husband reside in Grand Rapids, MI caring for her elderly mother. Carol enjoys nature, music, playing the piano, children, reading, writing and storytelling. Now she specializes in knitting sweaters and spinning yarns!

Links:

Website:  From God’s Heart for adult readers

To purchase Carol’s new book click on Sassy Pants Learns about Strange Creatures

Carol’s Blog:

Facebook:

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