Thank you for joining us today, SHIRLEY.
Can you share who first introduced you to the LOVE of reading?
Probably my Mother. She taught my sister Nancy and I, the youngest of five girls, to read with Phonics. I hated it but it was a discipline that has endured my entire life.
Who influenced your decision to become a writer?
This was never a life-time goal, but over the years I’ve learned that I have certain talents and have been developing them over the past few years in some of my personal interests. My Mother brought all five of her daughters to church all the time as we grew up. I knew John 3:16, but somehow I missed something very important. I assumed the heaven is a free gift for everyone. I believed in God, but I never knew that I had to BELIEVE God, take Him at His Word, confess that I am a sinner and needed a Savior. This is all very important to me now because I missed it and I’m quite certain that a lot of other people missed some very important details as well.
Over the years we all discover something that we’re good at. My talent is as an admin who is good at organizing. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. This just came naturally to me.
Why did you decide to write devotionals?
I’ve been attending Bible studies since 1980 and over the years have been encouraged to journal my walk with Christ. I had tried a number of formats but no format ever lasted very long until the economic problems that millions of Americans experienced in the past four years. About ten years ago I had purchased a journal from a friend and finally pulled it out to journal at the end of 2008. I completed the journal in a month and I wanted more. I had finally found something that worked for me, but it was over. So I asked God what he wanted me to do, first, because of finances and, second, because I finally enjoyed journaling.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
My favorite part is finding the verses. The first year I had no idea how to accomplish this task. I asked God where to look to find verses for my Bible Bites series. I spent a year in two books: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers; and Search for Significance by Robert McGee. Because of the need for a wide variety of verses for so many different topics, I’ve also purchased a number of books with selected verses by topics.
I finally got the “brilliant” idea to just read my own bible and developed the skill of reading scripture and selecting those verses that can easily apply to journaling that I will be able to categorize by topic.
Once verses are categorized, they must be arranged for the audience, with a beginning that leads to a topical conclusion.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
Each paperback journal is small enough to fit in a purse, backpack, pocket or briefcase. There are two pages for prayer requests and each journal is a specific theme with over 50 scriptures, one or two for each day for journaling. I’ve been journaling in this format for three years and have developed the habit of combining scripture and my prayer requests.
There are four journals to start:
MEET GOD AND HIS SON
THE WOW FACTOR
GOALS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESS
AMERICA, LAND THAT I LOVE
What inspired you to write it?
My mother took all of us to church regularly as we grew up. Nancy and I attended Awana during our middle school years but after high school and college I rarely attended church. Once my first daughter was a year old I felt compelled to return to church at the age of 31 and accepted Christ three years later.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
What is up next for you?
Continue to add more verses to my list, sort and catalogue according to topic, set the verses in order and I hope to publish additional titles in 2013.
Do you have anything else to add?
Four years ago I was quite anxious due to finances and the economic situation in the U.S. I am more disciplined in reading my Bible and much more confident about the future because of three years of Bible Bites journals under my belt.
Thank you for spending time with us today, SHIRLEY. We wish you much success.