What is the message in your books that you want your readers to grasp?
Death changed my perspective on life, and moved me in the direction of seeking God. My Dad was a totally different man before he died. I knew at that moment that only God could change the heart of a man. I was misunderstood before I became a Christian, and even more so after becoming Christian. In order to clear up the misunderstanding about who I am, the Lord put it on my heart to share my life story with family and friends. They needed to see and to understand the brokenness, the hurt, the pain, the isolation, the loneliness that I had been dealing with my whole life, and no one ever took the time to ask or to be of any help, support or encouragement in my uniquely different personality. It was the supernatural love of God that mended my heart, changed my thoughts and opinions; He changed everything about me. Now, I can embrace being different, odd, and out of place, because I know Jesus loves me the way I am and wants to use my struggles in life to help others to see and to come into the everlasting love of Jesus Christ.
Are there other writers or speakers that inspire your own work?
I began Christian movies and documentaries. They helped mold my thinking as to what it really means to walk with the Lord. In 2014, I graduated to reading Christian-based postings and blogs. I took a special interest in faith-based issues that people are faced with every day: relationships, marriage, death of a loved one, depression, praying, forgiving, just to name a few. I have been very selective in the speakers and pastors that I watch on television. My most influential writers are Ray Comfort, Greg Laurie, Robert Morris, and Max Lucado. Not only are they writers, but they are also pastors and preachers. I was drawn to their style and heart-felt messages and writings – which include storytelling- that drew me into the story from the context of the Bible. It became so real and applicable to my life, that I have been able to share my faith more effectively, both non-offensive and truthful. Furthermore, it has been a model for my writing that speaks to the conscience and the heart.
Do you have another writing project and when will it be released?
I have another writing project called, “The Writing on the Wall of My Heart.” It is currently under review. The completion and release date are not yet known. I will share that it is the story of how secrets, lies and deceptions separated and ripped my family apart.
Did you decide to communicate in the written form to reach more people or were you just compelled to write?
Writing has always been therapeutic for me. When no one wanted to listen to me or was able to understand the struggles of dating, and my lack of communication with my Daddy, I began to journal my thoughts and feelings. From about the age of 25 to 28, poetic words flowed out of my heart like a fountain. Oddly enough, the season of poetry ceased after 3 years. I knew that my Dad’s heart change was a miracle from God. I knew my transformation is a miracle from God.
Repentance, the change of my mind and heart, is the greatest miracle that is no talked about in church. Other people cannot know about the miracle if I am not unwilling to share my life story. If I truly believe I am forgiven of all my sins – like the Bible promises – then what do I have to fear. What started out as just a friendly email conversation, evolved into a collection of poems and letters that I believe in my heart will draw people closer to God. My life is a testament of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness: the underlining theme throughout the entire Bible.
Have you ever faced criticism living a life a faith and how have you dealt with it?
In 2013, I gave up my career and sold my house I had in Texas, and moved back home to Arkansas. The Bible says the greatest adversaries are in your own family. Let me tell you that statement Jesus made is undeniably true. It seemed like all at once, my cousins, my aunt and uncle, and my niece all wanted to attack me. Now, granted, we did not speak to one another regularly -but on Facebook- that all came at me with so much hate. The Lord showed me, it was not them, but Satan was using them to attack my faith. I used this time, to read God’s word regularly, and watched Christian television. I did not – do not currently- watch secular television or listen to secular music. Making this choice alone offends many people. The Lord took the desire for these things out of my heart. I no longer want to listen to this music or watch these kinds of television programs. Most importantly, I prayed that the Lord would give me the words to say, would give me patience and wisdom and understanding to deal with all of these attacks. My sister thought she was smarter than I was. The Lord gave me a message to say to her (it is included in the book). My mom did not really believe I would move back home. She was in adulterous relationship that I had to address. My mom was the hardest and most emotional attack of my faith to deal with. I can say that Jesus has overcome all of these attacks! I can testify that it was not me, but the Love of Jesus working in me and through me!
What advice would you give to encourage readers in their own spiritual journey?
Here are the most important things to keep in mind as you continue on your spiritual journey:
1.) Find someone that you can trust, someone who is able to give you sound, biblical advice. In my confusion and doubts, I needed someone to answer the question “why” for me. I was not interested in your opinions and feelings, but solid truth made sense and was logical. The only truth that brings healing, clarity, confidence: this love is God’s Truth.
2.) Be prepared for the truth to hurt your feelings. The Lord used my younger brother to help me see the light. How is that possible, you may ask? God uses what is weak in this world to confound the proud. I was very arrogant and conceited. I had to be knocked off my high horse. I had to be humbled so I would be able to receive and accept the truth. My brother never said that I was wrong or that I should stop doing something. It was the truth that made so much sense that it convicted me, and I made the decision to accept the truth and stop.
3.) Make some new friends. Find some real Christian friends that will encourage you, support you, listen to you, invite you to new places and invite to a Bible-believing church.
4.) Give God your heart-felt apology. Admit you are a sinner and worthy of Hell. Recognize that you have offended and broken His Commandments. Accept Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation and eternal life. Be humble and willing to turn away from your life and follow God’s way of life.
5.) Be willing to make some sacrifices for God so you are able to establish an intimate relationship with Him. Be willing to give up friends, television, music, that distracts you and keeps you away from God. This change does not happen overnight, but have an open heart and mind about these things. Ask the Lord what you need to do to get closer to Him. I promise He will show you.
6.) Read God’s Word and be prepared from the attack of Satan. When you live your life as a Christian, life does not get easier, but it gets harder. The best protection and defense against the enemy is reading God’s word daily. Yes, I know, it is hard to just pick up the Bible and start reading it. I have been there. I suggest starting with the Book of John (I am actually doing a Bible study on the Book of John, and posting the videos on Facebook). In addition to reading the Bible, find one that includes commentary and explanations. It helps you understand what it says, what it means and how it applies to your life.
7.) Understand that your life is not about you, but all about Jesus. The question is how can you live a life that honors and glorifies God in all that you do? Your friends may talk about you; your family may abandon you; co-workers may mock your faith; Even with all the opposition, remember that Jesus is well-pleased. He is always with you, and never leaves you.
Start an active prayer life. It is life line to God. It does not need to fancy, just talk to God like you are talking to your friend. God wants you to speak from your heart, even things you have not told anyone, tell God. He is always ready to listen to you. Allow Him to fight your battles for you. Take it to the Lord in prayer. He will answer the call, you have to believe and have faith that Jesus will do everything He says that He will in His time, not ours.
Besides The Bible, where do you recommend readers start with their own journey?
I recommend “Way of the Master” by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron; Max Lucado has an amazing reference book called, “The Devotional Bible”; “Four Keys to Effectively Share Your Faith” by Greg Laurie; “Faith Commanders” by Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard. My favorite web site visit for resources is www.livingwaters.com.
How can readers discover more about you and you work and keep in touch?
I am primarily on Facebook. On my personal page, you will find a wealth of videos I made, along with other videos that will also help you on your spiritual journey: https://www.facebook.com/edukateacademybooks
In addition, there is my book page: https://www.facebook.com/EpistlesOfARepentantHeart
Excerpt from What Does a Christian Look Like?: Epistles of a Repentant Heart
The most profound idea that was presented: “would you go back and change anything about your past?” As I sat and pondered on this question, it was revealed to me that all the heartache, the pain, the mistakes I made led me to this point in my life. Everything that happened in my life had to happen the way it did so I would come to Christ!
Many times in our lives, we often ask, “Why me, Lord, why is this happening to me?” God is most glorified in the storms of life, the times in which seem to be unfair and scary and painful is when God can reveal and manifest Himself in such a way that there is no doubt it is God!
Each of us desires to be loved, wanted, and accepted by others. The truth is we cannot depend on or rely on people to love us the way we need to be loved; make us feel wanted and accepted the way we deserved to be loved. I always knew I had Daddy issues which directly impacted my relationship with every other man I got involved with. Most importantly, the broken relationship with my Dad was the barrier that hindered my relationship with God. From the time I was 3 until 25, my relationship with my Dad with a constant battle. I never felt loved or appreciated. I always felt like the butt of every joke and nothing that I did was ever good enough. As a child, I was overly sensitive, but as a young adult I became arrogant, sarcastic, conceited, a “hot head” to over compensate, and to mask the brokenness I felt in my heart.
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