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Milk Eggs Prophecy – Debbie Kitterman

Milk Eggs Prophecy – Debbie Kitterman

Today I would like to welcome a new friend Debbie Kitterman. She is the author of a most interesting book called Milk Eggs Prophecy. That’s right – that is the name. Debbie explains in her book how it got that name. But I don’t want to give that away. You’ll have to read her book to find out. I did receive the copy of the book free from the author. But I love it.

This book challenges the way we understand the prophetic. God has given us the gift of prophecy and He intends us to make it a staple in our daily walk with Him.
MilkEggs coverfrontframe

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

I started attending church when I was 5 years old. My mother says I gave me heart to Jesus when I was 3 years old at a Christmas edition of a 5-day club. I actually remember attending the event even though I was 3, but I do not remember saying Yes to Jesus then. I probably remember the event because I was in love with Mrs. Young, she was a like a grandma to me and was the one who hosted it at her home.

I actually remember asking Jesus to be Lord of my life when I was 8 years old. – It was at a 5 day club in our backyard one summer. While I had my moments of rebelliousness when I was in high school and my early college years, I still attended church and it was my mother’s prayers, that my solid foundation I had built into me as a child attending church and my faith in God that has sustained me through the ups and downs of life.

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 started writing when I was a young girl. I would write short stories, poetry, and journal (diary) entries. I enjoyed the process of creative writing. I have a very vivid imagination and am a dreamer, which makes for good content. When asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I would answer, “That’s easy. A wife, a mother, and a writer!

However, my first year in college, I took a creative writing class and, let’s just say it was a very unpleasant experience. I ended up dropping the class and made a vow to never write anything again, I didn’t even journal. I did eventual begin to keep a journal again, but even though I had the desire to write, and thoughts about stories, I never did.

That is, until late 2007 when the Lord told me he wanted me to write.

It was a challenging and difficult process to begin to write again. I also received much healing through the process and completely forgave my college professor and the words she spoke over me many years before. At the end of the process, I had written a training manual to teach people how to hear God’s voice, therefore deepening their relationship with Him. The training manual led to my next book project Milk, Eggs, Prophecy – a healthy new take on the radically ordinary nature of prophecy. It also rekindled my passion for writing.

What is the best thing you have written? Describe it. Tell me why you think it is the best. (so far)

What is the best thing I have written? Wow, that is a tough one – I write all the time and while I have a book, a training manual, a journal, and symbol guide, as soon as I read this question, I immediately had a picture flash in my mind of the story binder I kept as a kid. One particular story came to mind about horses… I am not sure it is the best thing I have written so far, but it is funny that it immediately came to mind.

If I had to choose between all my projects that I have written, I would probably say my training Manual, Releasing Gods Heart through Hearing His Voice, is the best thing I have written. Why do I think that? Because since it was published in 2008 there have been several hundred people in different countries that have taken the course and utilized the book learning to recognize the voice of God in their lives. This book has also been published in Spanish. It is really excited to see something that God inspired me to write, bless, equip, and minister to others around the world.

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

I spend time having a conversation with the Lord throughout my day, but my all-time favorite way to spend time with Him, is through Bible Journaling. I recently discovered this creative and fun way to get in the word and see Scriptures like I haven’t seen them before. I delight each time God pours out a new revelation or insight to me, plus, I get permission to play with crayons, markers, pens, and other art supplies. My favorite version of the Bible is NIV – my Bible journal is ESV. Last year, I purchased The Voice Bible and have enjoyed reading from it as well. When I preparing teachings, or am researching, I personally like to look at different translations of the Bible because it helps me see more than I would from just one version. During the warmer months, my favorite spot for devotions is sitting outside on the small deck just off my bedroom. It’s peaceful and relaxing to sit anytime, but even more so when I am in the Word.

Milk Eggs Prophecy

What is your favourite scripture or scriptures and why? What is your thinking about memorizing Scripture? Do you have any tips for our readers on ways to memorize that work the best for you?

Wow – that is a tough question – I have a lot of favorite scriptures – just ask anyone who has listened to me teach, they are all my favorites. I mean the Bible is full of so many Spiritual Truths! However, one of my all-time favorite, life verses is Ephesians 3:20

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (NIV)

Ok, I will share one more – Romans 8 is one of my all-time favorite chapters in the Bible – Living Life in the Spirit! That’s what is all about. These verses in Romans 8:15-17 are especially important to me. I am a child of God and fear has no place in my life!

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…(NIV)

Do you have hobbies, or sports that you are interested in? What is it about these activities that you like? Looking at your personality are these activities ones that God has brought to you?

Hobbies/Sports interest: I love the hunt for a good bargain and especially enjoy going to flea markets and antique shops. I have a passion for chalk painting furniture and being creative. For my birthday last year, I got a camera and it is a new hobby I am really learning and enjoying, which makes my family really happy, because, you see, I was always the person who would cut off people’s heads in my photos or end up with blurry pictures, but not anymore.

My favorite past time is going to the movies – when I need to refuel, you will often find me sneaking away to the movies. I love to play softball, in my younger years, I would play on several different teams and also fill in as needed on a few more. I have long since hung up my cleats, however, I do miss playing competitively though. Now, my fun sport minded-interest is CrossFit. I am not the fittest person in the gym, and I am pretty sure I am one of the oldest ladies there, but I have been doing CrossFit faithfully for the last year. This is huge since I really don’t care for exercise at all, but I LOVE Crossfit. I enjoy it so much, I get up and go to the 6:30 am class with my husband (and I am not a morning person).

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

I think the most profound lesson God has taught me, besides the revelation of His love for me, was when He spoke on little phrase to my heart during worship several years ago. It was after I had finished writing my training manual, Releasing God’s Heart through Hearing His Voice. I was getting ready to teach from it for the very first time –and during a time of worship with the Lord, He said, “It’s all about relationship!” I of course thought I knew what He was talking about, however, I really did not. God never speaks something to us without leading us to an understanding.

God has taken me on a journey of realizing that everything we do in our Christian walk with Jesus is all about Relationship. (tweet this)

Relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and then relationship with others. We can all have an authentic, real relationship with Him first and gain understanding of who He is. Then, we can share and spread that revelation with others who we are in relationship with. Even if that relationship is only for a minute as we stand in line at the grocery store, or those we are in relationship with for a lifetime.

Prayer:

I pray that each person reading this interview would be awakened to the powerful gifts the Holy Spirit has deposited within them. I pray that God would not only pour out His wisdom upon us daily, but that He would breathe afresh and new and give us powerful revelations of who He is. I pray that our spiritual eyes and ears be opened to receive all that God has in store. God speak to each one of us today, and thank you for your son Jesus who modeled so well what it means to have relationship with you as our Heavenly Father.

Milk eggs prophecy

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Debbie Kitterman, is an author, speaker, and the founder of Dare 2 Hear, a ministry training individuals in hearing the voice of God. She is also a licensed Foursquare pastor currently serving with her husband, Pastor John Kitterman, as Senior Pastors of Restoration Church in Lacey Washington. Debbie travels to churches internationally equipping the body of Christ.

Debbie is a breath of fresh air. She is a powerfully anointed woman of God, who ministers in the
prophetic with a down-to-earth teaching style and a wonderful sense of humor. She has a true servant’s heart, and is called to teach a deeper understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ by working to train and equip others in how to hear the voice of God.

 

In her new book, Milk Eggs Prophecy, Debbie refuses to perpetuate the myths and mystery surrounding prophecy. She opens the “closed” doors of the prophetic and invites you to sit down and get comfortable. She reveals her life experiences both good and bad, and shares the truths the Lord has revealed to her through his Word.

God is speaking… Can you hear Him?

Milk Eggs Prophecy on Amazon – click here.

You’re invited you to connect with Debbie on the following social media:

Website: www.DebbieKitterman.com  www.Dare2Hear.com

Follow Debbie’s blog

Like us on Face Book at: Dare 2 Hear

Twitter: @Dare2Hear and @DebbieKitterman

Instagram: Dare2Hear

Pinterest: Dare 2 Hear – Debbie Kitterman

Enter to Win a copy of Milk Eggs Prophecy by Debbie Kitterman (click to tweet)

You can buy your copy on Amazon.

You have a chance to win this marvellous book, Milk Eggs Prophecy, by entering below. If you have any questions or problems please email Janis.

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Peace for a Lifetime – Win a copy!

Peace for a Lifetime – Win a Copy!

Today is Thoughtful Thursdays and it is my pleasure to welcome Lisa Murray author of Peace for a Lifetime. As I read her book I know that if you haven’t found peace her words certainly will help you discover it through our Lord Jesus. I am praying to have the ability to remember Scripture like Lisa does.

Peace for a Lifetime Lisa Murray

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

I was born and raised in the church. My mother and father were both active, my mom being a Sunday School teacher for over 50 years. I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 13 yrs old at a youth camp in North Carolina.

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 used to love to read. Never thought of myself as a writer. In my teens and twenties I was a lyricist and singer in the Christian music industry. I found I had a deep love for words. How powerful they could be in our lives.

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?

My latest project is my book, Peace for a Lifetime. It is important to me because of its message. I want the body of Christ to experience the healing and wholeness that is available to them through Christ, both spiritually and emotionally. I find inspiration through what is happening in my life as well as what is going on in my clients’ lives.

Peace for a Lifetime

What is the best thing you have written? Describe it. Tell me why you think it is the best. (so far)

Hopefully my book. I love writing my blogs, but felt God clearly directing me to write this book. My heart and my passion is to help people. To walk with them. To see them healed, freed, strengthened, and encouraged.

You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. (click to tweet)

Peace for a Lifetime

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

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, is my favorite, along with Jesus Calling. I use NIV the most, but also reference others as well. My quiet time is usually first thing in the morning when all is quiet and before my workday begins. After I read and pray, I usually like to spend several minutes in solitude, as my book details.

What is your favourite scripture or scriptures and why? What is your thinking about memorizing Scripture? Do you have any tips for our readers on ways to memorize that work the best for you?

Probably between Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 29:11. I love them because they speak of God’s love and intentions toward me. They comfort me and give me both strength and peace for my journey. I grew up memorizing Scripture for Sunday School, for VBS. By the time I was 12yrs old, I had memorized the books of the Bible both forward and backward. I studied music most of my life – I’m used to memorizing things. I repeat the verses. I write them down. I visualize them on the page. I focus on the meaning and sound of each word.

As a writer, time is important; quiet is important. How do you find that quiet time to reflect and write?

Finding time is the hardest part. Usually I set aside time in the mornings. That’s when I feel the calmest, the freshest, the most connected to what God is speaking to me.

Do you have hobbies, or sports that you are interested in? What is it about these activities that you like? Looking at your personality are these activities ones that God has brought to you?

I don’t really like sports, though I can enjoy thoroughly going to a game. It’s definitely not a passion. I love beauty. Wherever I can find beauty, whether through cooking, travelling, art, architecture, music, people, that’s what I get passionate about.

Peace for a Lifetime

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

How He is perfectly in control. I find the greatest peace in releasing my agenda, my need for perfection, my worry, and settling into the plans He has for me. That is enough. That is peace.

What is one deep desire that you would like God to fulfill for you? What Scripture could you find that could help you accomplish that goal?

To be a grandmother. I was never able to have children of my own, but I raised a stepson. Jeremiah 29:11.

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In her new book, Peace for a Lifetime, Lisa Murray shares the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace.  Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Lisa discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with herself, God and with others, and she passionately shares her breakthrough in this timely, well-written, book.

Through Lisa and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long.  You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine.  You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow.  You can experience peace —for a lifetime!

Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.  You can read more of Lisa’s articles at www.lisamurrayonline.com  You can also follow her on Facebook: Lisa Murray, or on Twitter: @_Lisa_Murray.

Today you have a chance to win a copy of Peace for a Lifetime. Runs for five days. Come back and enter again and again.

Please enter the Rafflecopter below. If you have any questions or problems, email me at Janis.

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DOWNLOAD MY FREE EBOOK – LIVING LIFE ONE WORD AT A TIME

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Kimberley Payne – The Inside Scoop

Kimberley Payne – The Inside Scoop

Today I have the privilege to interview one of my best friends, Kimberley Payne. Kimberley and I met on the grounds of the Bible Conference Centre in Guelph in 2004. I was attending my first Write! Canada Conference. Kimberley wanted people to join her fit breaks. I loved that idea. I joined and enjoyed learning to do quick exercises to help the stress of a conference. See how much fun we have!

KImberley Payne leading class with -Janis-Cox

Welcome Kimberley:

Kimberley Payne author

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

I grew up in the Catholic Church, baptized as an infant, participated in the sacraments of communion and confession, and attended a Separate grade school and high school. I believed Jesus to be my Saviour. However, it wasn’t until the darkest time in my life in 2001 that I gave my heart to Jesus and decided to make Him my Lord as well. He is my best Friend, my Rock, my Salvation.

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 kept a journal when I was young; not a diary, but usually wrote about my travels and family vacations. As a teenager, I wrote poetry–very dark, exploring my lonely and suicidal thoughts. I also wrote fiction for my girlfriend—stories about our dating adventures.

However, I never thought that I was creative. I compared myself to my brother, who is an artist, and found myself wanting. Writing came naturally for me so it didn’t feel “special”.

As an introvert, I believe God gave me the gift of writing to help me process my thoughts and express myself on paper better than I ever could verbally. Writing was my companion.

What is the best thing you have written? Describe it. Tell me why you think it is the best. (so far)

That’s a tough one. I like my devotionals as they share what I’ve learned from and about God. He works through everything (including dreams, snowmobiling, and raising children) to teach me about His nature and character. Devotionals come naturally for me; I’m just sharing what I’ve learned and so they are closest to my “voice”.

Kimberley Payne Think Snow

I also like my children’s books. Trees of the Book shares a biblical story through the eyes of a tree. Each of the 7 trees “talked” to me so quickly that the book practically wrote itself. The tough part was all the research involved.

Kimberley Payne Trees of the Book

I really like my fitness books too. I’ve taken a difficult subject with lots of confusing and conflicting information out there and written easy-to-follow, inspirational, educational programs. I’ve received lots of positive feedback telling me that they are encouraging.

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

I like to spend time with God on my prayer walks.

Walking combined with #prayer author Kimberley Payne’s favourite. @FitForFaith (tweet this)

I also pray on my bike rides. God surrounds me in the beauty of nature and it feels right to praise and worship Him.

Kimberley Payne prayer walks

I don’t have a favourite devotional although I’ve read many. I usually receive at least one new devotional for Christmas every year.

I use the New International Version (NIV) Bible most often. I like to read The Message for a more contemporary look at scripture. Although I know a lot of people who love the original King James Version, I’m not a big fan of reading it.

What is your favourite scripture or scriptures and why? What is your thinking about memorizing Scripture? Do you have any tips for our readers on ways to memorize that work the best for you?

Philippians 4:6-7New International Version (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I think it’s very important to memorize Scripture but must confess that I haven’t been diligent in doing so.

A tip I could offer would be to write the verse on a cue card, and then draw something beside each line as a trigger to remember the line.

As a writer, time is important; quiet is important. How do you find that quiet time to reflect and write?

I’m at a stage in my life where I can find quiet in the evenings when my husband is busy “playing” in the garage, and my children (now young adults) are working, doing homework, or watching television.

I also have decided to fast my computer and my television on Sundays. I “unplug” from electronics and “plug” into God.

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’m happy to say that my to-do list of books I felt an urgency to write has been completed. I have other ideas percolating but nothing is a “must” at this point.

I’m now more focussed on marketing and sharing the materials I’ve created with the world. I write as I’m inspired but they are usually shorter pieces.

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

Stewardship comes to mind. I am a steward of my children, my body, my finances etc. God has given me these to take care of but ultimately they are His.

Kimberley Payne’s goal in life is to be a good steward. (tweet this)

I want to hear God tell me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

What is one deep desire that you would like God to fulfill for you? What Scripture could you find that could help you accomplish that goal?

That my family love and serve the Lord. My daily prayer is for my husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, and my extended family to be saved.

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

If you would like to end with a personal prayer that would be great too.

Dear Lord, I thank You for the giftings You have given each and every person. I pray that we would use these talents to glorify and honour You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Kimberley Payne

Kimberley Payne picture

Kimberley Payne is a motivational speaker and author who writes to encourage women in both fitness and faith. Her goal is to inspire women to glorify God with healthier lifestyles. Kimberley is happily married and lives with her husband in a village east of Toronto, Canada where she hikes and bikes. 

 

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Thoughtful Thursdays – How Can God Give us the Desires of our Heart?

Today we welcome Bonnie Jean Schaefer. What a delightful story of God’s grace, and His delight in helping us achieve our dreams.

Thoughtful Thursdays – How Can God Give us the Desires of our Heart?

The Dragon Collector - Bonnie Schaefer

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

I grew up in a Christian home and came to know Jesus at the age of four. As I listened to my mother read the Bible to me and my three older sisters before bed that night, I realized something important: I was a sinner.

I may have only been four years old, but I knew right from wrong. I knew it was a lot easier to choose to do the wrong thing than to do the right thing. I knew when I did something wrong, I got in trouble. I knew my natural tendency was to tell lies to cover my mistakes. I knew my natural tendency was to be impolite to those in authority over me. I knew my natural tendency was to be selfish rather than look out for others.

So when I heard that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23),” I knew that verse was talking about me. I had sinned. That meant I had fallen short of God’s glory.

When I heard that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23),” I knew I was deserving of death but wanted God’s gift of eternal life.

When I heard that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6),” I understood that believing in Jesus was the only way to experience that eternal life and see the kingdom of God.

When my mother finished reading the Bible that night, I asked her what I needed to do to be saved.

She sent my sisters to bed and sat down with me with her Bible open. She made sure I understood I was a sinner in need of God’s forgiving grace. She made sure I understood that salvation comes by grace through faith, not by anything I do.

I told her I understood and wanted to ask God to save me. We thus knelt side by side along the couch, and she prayed with me as I asked God to forgive me and save me.

Then something wonderful happened: God saved me! The instant I asked for salvation, I felt His presence wash over me. I felt different. Renewed. Alive. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but now I realize that presence I felt was the Holy Spirit.

He came to reside in my soul at that moment, and He has never and will never leave.

I was still a sinner, but now I was a sinner saved by grace. My sin nature still lived in me, but now so did God in the person of the Holy Spirit. Now I was equipped to fight my sin nature, and the battle between my fleshly desires and my Godly desires is a battle that will rage within me until the day I die.

As I fight that battle, I have learned to structure my life in such a way that allows me to stand strong in Christ.

I do that by making seeking Him, serving Him and sharing Him my number one priority in life.

I find great comfort, joy and delight in living for God and obeying His commandments. I am far from perfect and still get derailed from time to time. I have made more mistakes in my life than I care to admit and have disappointed my God in ways that break my heart to recall.

But I serve a gracious, forgiving, loving God. He made me. He saved me. And he gave me gifts to use, dreams to pursue and people to love along the way.

That’s what makes life fun. Seeking God. Serving God. Sharing God. And loving others.

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.

Back in high school, my friends, sisters and cousins had definite ideas about what they wanted to do with their lives; I was clueless. My secret dream was to be a writer who ran her own business, but that wasn’t practical or logical. No one had ever told me I should be a writer. I knew no writers. And the women in my family pursued normal careers like teaching and nursing.

I didn’t want normal.

That’s why I chose to major in Bible in college. Rather than use those years to prepare for a practical career I didn’t really want, I figured I would prepare for life by establishing a solid foundation of faith through studying the Bible.

Yet months from graduation, I faced a black hole of uncertainty about my future.

What kind of job was I going to find with a degree in Bible?

School had been my safety net. As long as I had classes to attend, I didn’t have to face my future or the fact that I had no practical skills to use to find a reliable but boring job.

Once I graduated, though, I would have to endure reality and that sick feeling that I couldn’t be who I wanted to be: a writer. At least that’s what I thought until I attended one of my Bible classes in February. That day, my professor discussed the difference between Dreamers and Doers:

Dreamers dream about what could be done.
Doers make things happen.

I wanted to be a Doer. I wanted to believe in the power of my dreams, in the possibility of turning them into memories. But I couldn’t. I was just a Dreamer doomed to imagine great things but keep them locked inside. Because the key to release them didn’t exist.

Although I started to tune my professor out at the depressing realization that I was a handicapped Dreamer, my professor wasn’t done. She recaptured my attention by quoting Psalm 37:3: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

God wanted to give me the desires of my heart? Was that true?

How could that be? I had taught myself to be practical and logical and rational about life. I had taught myself to believe I needed to ignore my passions in order to please God. Now I learned that God wanted to give me the desires of my heart? How could this be true?

As soon as class ended, I went home and read the first six verses of Psalm 37 over and over and over again. They were real. These words were actually in the inspired word of God.

My gracious God wanted to give me the desires of my heart.

Which made perfect, logical sense. If I was seeking Him, then I would want what He wants. My desires matched His when I was committed to following Him.

My greatest desire was to be a writer. I realized I could, with God’s help, make that happen. I could do what I dreamed.

I could be a DREAM DOER.

Following graduation in June 1999, I started my first novel. And because I was working toward becoming a writer, I had no intention of settling into a real career.

So while writing and rewriting that book, I worked a series of jobs to survive: carpenter, customer service representative, sales associate,  substitute teacher, softball coach, camp clinician, fitness center coordinator, volleyball coach, babysitter, secretary, waitress, freelance writer and teacher.

I also made some dumb mistakes with credit as I “invested” in books, courses and seminars to learn more about writing and business. I learned a lot, but I didn’t do much with my knowledge. Yet I held back. Hesitated. Refused to go all in and give my all in pursuit of my dreams. Life as an employee made more sense, even if I was hopping from one job to another.

I finally took a leap of faith in May 2008 when I published The Dream Doers and the Summer of Secrets on Amazon via my own publishing company, Dream Doers Publishing.

My book was an immediate flop.

I didn’t believe in myself, my book or God enough to market it. I didn’t feel qualified to be an author or publisher even though it was the calling from God that weighed heavily on my heart.

I felt more like an imposter. No one had hired me to write. This wasn’t my job. I was teaching at the time. That’s how I ought to earn my paycheck. Not by writing.

I could have trusted God and channeled my knowledge and passion into marketing that book. Instead, I stopped writing and came close to letting my dream die. Chasing my dreams had gotten me nowhere and left me deep in debt. How depressing!

Teaching also depressed me, so I quit that job and spent the next year or so picking up odd jobs wherever I could to stay afloat.

Staying afloat soon became problematic. By September 2009, I was on the brink of financial disaster and feeling lost and aimless and worthless.

That’s when I landed a job at Starbucks.

I intended to work there for six months while stabilizing my finances and getting back on track with my writing. After six months, I would magically find a way to make a living as a writer and would be able to quit making coffee.

Things didn’t exactly go as planned.

I wasn’t earning a huge paycheck even after I was promoted to shift supervisor in January 2010, so stabilizing my finances took much longer than six months.

As a matter of fact, things got worse before they got better.

Relentless calls from angry creditors made my life a living nightmare. I had dug too big of a hole for myself and simply couldn’t catch up on two of my accounts. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom in the summer of 2011 that I was finally able to get control of my financial situation.

Once I bottomed out, my situation began improving. For the first time in my life, I was earning enough on a consistent basis to remain current with all my bills and not utilize credit for anything. I was still on the verge of broke, but my money woes no longer dominated my thoughts. Since I was free to think about things other than financial stress, I started writing again.

In January 2012, I began writing short stories. One of those stories prompted an idea for a novel. It was a fantasy novel featuring dragons, which was a far cry from the sports novel I published in 2008. I found I enjoyed writing in a different genre and published The Dragon Collector via Kindle in June 2014.

Even though I prayed for God’s blessings, I expected my book to live in oblivion the way my first book did, especially since my marketing plan only involved a few posts to Facebook.

Within a month, however, The Dragon Collector was the #1 bestselling book in its category and remained in the top ten for three straight months.

People I didn’t know were buying it and reviewing it and sending me emails about how much they loved it. Better yet, I was earning money as an author. I was living my dream!

I can’t explain the success of my book in any other way than to give God credit for every single sale. He was showing me that I was on the right track. That this is the work He wants me to do. That when I follow Him, I’ll be rewarded.

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

I meet with God every morning after breakfast. I have a hymnal at home, so I start by picking a few songs at random and singing to God. Then I’ll pray and open His word (I use the NKJV) to the passage I am studying that day.

I generally pick a book of the Bible to study, and right now I’m in Hebrews. I like to go deep when I study, so first I’ll meditate on the Scripture and talk to God about my thoughts regarding His word. Then I’ll read through three different commentaries, taking detailed notes in the process. Afterwards, I’ll spend time journaling my reactions and analyze ways to apply the lessons I’ve learned that day to my life. Once I finish journaling, I’ll wrap up my devotional time by praying.

I may only get through a few verses a day, but that hour or so of focused time with God is the best part of my day.

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’m working on a novel, The Dragon Hunter. It’s a sequel to The Dragon Collector, and I’m almost finished writing it. I originally wanted to have it done by this past January, so it has taken me much longer to complete than I anticipated.

When I wrote The Dragon Collector, no one expected anything from me. I had no fans (other than family), and I wasn’t sure if I was any good at this writing thing or not.

Now I have fans. People I don’t know are expecting another good story from me, and feeling that pressure paralyzed me. What if the sequel wasn’t as good as the original? Or could it be better? Could I improve?

I wanted to get it done but struggled with developing a writing routine. I would go for weeks or months at a time without working on it, but avoiding my work ate at my conscience. When I finally decided to get serious about being the author I’ve always dreamed of being, I created a schedule and determined to stick to it whether I felt like writing or not.

Now I’m hooked on the writing process and enjoy being disciplined enough to sit and write at the time I have scheduled to sit and write.

I work at Starbucks in the afternoon and evenings, so that gives me my mornings to write. I set aside two-three hours a day to work on my book: right after my devotions and before my workout.

As a single woman, I don’t have a husband or kids demanding my attention, but I still have plenty of distractions in my life that can easily derail me.

It took me a while to develop the discipline I needed to develop a writing routine.

I found that recording my time and words written during that time helped me focus my effort and stoked my competitive nature. I like seeing consistency and improvement in my performance, and tracking my results each day shows me what I am doing well and what needs improvement.

Do you have hobbies, or sports that you are interested in? What is it about these activities that you like? Looking at your personality are these activities ones that God has brought to you?

I’ve always been an athlete. I thrive on competition and grew up playing softball, then added both volleyball and basketball once I started high school. In college, however, I dropped back to just playing softball.

Needing some sort of competitive outlet after college, I began running races. Once I ran my first marathon, I was hooked on the sport. I love challenging myself to run faster or farther and have completed numerous 5k’s, 10k’s, half-marathons, marathons and even ultra-marathons.

The best part of running is the opportunity it gives me to think, pray and develop story ideas.

And I love running so much that I even wrote a book about it. It’s entitled Why 26.2? and chronicles my journey from non-runner to four-hour marathoner.

Tweetable:

Find out how Bonnie Schaefer found the desire of her heart. (click to tweet)

Bonnie Jean Schaefer

Bonnie Jean Schaefer

Bonnie  grew up in a loving Christian home with two amazing parents, three older sisters and a younger brother. She’s been an athlete from the moment she first learned to throw a ball and enjoyed playing softball, basketball and volleyball in high school as well as softball in college.

After college, she found a way to channel her love for competition and sports into running and has completed a plethora of races ranging in distance from 3.1 miles to 26.2 and beyond. Now her passion for sports is outmatched only by her love for Christ and enthusiasm for writing.

She writes fantasy fiction in the mornings and works as a Shift Supervisor at Starbucks in the evenings. She writes under the pen name of D.K. Drake and is currently working on book two of The Dragon Stalker Bloodlines Saga.

When she’s not running races or writing about dragons, she loves hiking, staying active and just being outside.  She hopes to someday experience grand adventures like an African safari, backpacking in Australia and sailing on the Nile.

But life’s little adventures are fun, too.  Like eating at a new restaurant.  Playing a new sport.  Meeting new people.  Visiting a place she’s never been before.  Adventures are all around her every day; discovering them is what makes life fun.

She has a beautiful black dog named Jetta and lives with two of her sisters in the great state of North Carolina.

Blog: DragonStalkerBloodlines.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dragonstalkerbooks/

Links to Books on Amazon:

The Dragon Collector

Why 26.2?

Why 26.1 - Bonnie Jean Schaefer

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:

Twitter

Live Interview on Canoe FM

Live Interview on Canoe FM

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On June 28th I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lorraine McNeil on Canoe FM.

I had a delightful time. We talked about Tadeo Turtle, my artwork and my faith. Her exuberance took me right out of my shell. What a joy it was!

Now I will warn you that you have to listen to a bingo announcement before my interview – small town, you know.

I hope you have time to listen to it: Canoe FM Interview – Janis Cox