Meet the authors of His Grace is Sufficient… Decaf is Not:
· Sandra D. Bricker is a best-selling, award-winning author of laugh-out-loud fiction for the inspirational market.
· Loree Lough has won awards for nearly all of her 80+ books, and she has millions of novels in print.
· Trish Perry’s motto is “True Love. Real Laughs. Pure Fiction.” And her award-winning novels live up to the promise.
· Cynthia Ruchti is a radio personality and critically-acclaimed novelist with a penchant for writing stories of hope-that-glows-in-the-dark.
HOW DID YOU ALL BECOME INVOLVED IN WRITING THIS DEVOTIONAL TOGETHER?
LOREE: After I was invited by my dear friend, Sandie (who'd asked me to participate in Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry), how could I say no!
TRISH: Sandie had invited me to work on an earlier devotional, Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was thrilled when she asked me if I wanted to contribute to Decaf !
SANDIE: I knew a good thing when I experienced it! The same with Loree. We worked on the first one, Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry, and I was excited to bring her and Trish both back into the fold. Cynthia is the newcomer to the group, and she rounded us out perfectly.
CYNTHIA: Sandie and I met at a writers’ conference a few years ago and felt an instant heart connection, the kind that has the Lord’s imprint on it. I don’t know about Sandie, but from that moment sitting at the dinner table with her, I had a desire to serve on a writing project with her someday.
WITH FOUR AUTHORS INVOLVED, WHAT WAS YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
SANDIE: Summerside asked me to serve as a sort of team leader on these books, so the creative process is always preceded by a season of organizing. We chose our scripture verses, had a big conference call where we met with the editors, the representatives at OCRF (Ovarian Cancer Research Fund) and a marketing professional. Once we were all on the same page, it was a pretty smooth process to stay on theme and write our individual devos.
CYNTHIA: Sandie knows the importance of blending a detailed organizational system with the leading and/or redirection of the Spirit. She made sure we each knew our responsibilities and deadlines, when to flex and when to hunker down, despite challenging schedule obstacles.
TRISH: Once we each choose our verses and make sure we don’t overlap each other—and it’s very cool that we never have—I take each verse on its own and read the entire chapter within which it nestles. Sometimes that reading provokes some inspiration, some application, but at the very least, it gives me a much better feel for the context and intent of the verse.
LOREE: Like most Christians, my day begins with moments of prayer and thanksgiving, during which I petition the Lord on behalf of family and friends who are ill, struggling financially, having a hard time with a spouse or a child. While I was still in that "praying state of mind," I went to the computer and asked the Father how I might share my own definition of grace with those who'd read this devotional.
THE THEME OF THIS DEVO IS GRACE. WHAT DOES “GRACE” MEAN TO YOU?
CYNTHIA: It will take me “to infinity and beyond” to fully understand the subject. That’s one of the reasons this project appealed to me. Every day I sat with a word count deadline and the prayer, “Lord, help me see Your grace at work around me. Then help me express it in words.”
SANDIE: I often joke that I am the poster child for the concept of grace. It’s been an intimate conversation between me and God for the whole 25 years of my salvation, but I have to say that this last year in particular has been a huge lesson of grace in action. I was more ready to write on this subject this year than any other.
LOREE: We humans are a silly, self-centered lot, born in sin and raised to believe that we must earn what we get out of life… So it's strange, trying to understand this notion that grace—salvation, forgiveness, mercy, and love—is a gift from the Father…that we can't earn!
TRISH: Grace means deliverance from my frailties, from my sinfulness—not necessarily deliverance from the consequences of that sinfulness, but eternal deliverance that means He still loves and accepts me. And He always will. Whenever I feel guilt or shame start to crawl back over me for some mistake I’ve made in the past, I remember the amazing grace the Lord has promised me and demonstrated to me.
EVERY ONE OF THESE DEVOTIONALS HAS BENEFITED THE OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH FUND. WHY?
LOREE: Why OCRF, when there are so many worthwhile organizations to choose from? For one thing, ovarian cancer—"the copycat disease"—mimics a wide variety of physical maladies, and, because the symptoms are vague and rarely accompanied by pain, women don't know to tell their doctors to test for it. And since the test isn't a routine part of gynecological visits, it can go undetected…until it's too late for surgery or treatments to be effective. Our beloved fellow author, Sandie Bricker, had stage three ovarian cancer that was discovered quite by accident while surgeons were performing another procedure. I thank the Lord daily for that happy accident, because Sandie is an ovarian cancer survivor.
CYNTHIA: It was through this series of devotionals that I first learned about the work of OCRF… Everything I’ve heard about them tells me it and its leadership have the heart, the diligence, and the passion to make a difference in the fight against this devastating disease and the families and friends it affects.
TRISH: I had an aunt who lost her life a mere month after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Since then, I’ve met a number of other dear women who have survived but struggled so hard against it—or are still struggling. My friend, Diann Hunt, one of the authors of Bad Hair, is fighting it a second time now, and her attitude and grasp of faith in the midst of this onslaught are amazing and inspiring.
SANDIE: Diann is truly one of my greatest inspirations in life, too. For me, I can confidently say that ovarian cancer is one of the toughest competitors I’ve had in life. The people at OCRF understand that battle, and they’re committed to fighting for all of the other women who are facing down the same demons.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR EACH OF YOU NOW? WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON THESE DAYS?
LOREE: By the time this devotional is released, the novel I'm writing now will have joined it, and "The First Responders" series (all 9/11-centered stories for Abingdon Press) will be complete with From Ashes to Honor, Honor Redeemed, and A Man of Honor. At the same time, my third "Love Finds You" title (also for Summerside/Guideposts), Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina, will be available. And shortly after that, For Love of Eli, one of first books in Abingdon's "Quilts of Love" series, will join them.
TRISH: Next to be released is a novella collection called The Midwife’s Legacy (Barbour Publishing), which includes my novella, Labor of Love. And I’m working on numerous projects after talking with editors from five different publishing houses over the past week. Exciting, mind-blowing times!
CYNTHIA: I’m working on the final months of a novel that’s tugging at me emotionally as I write it—When the Morning Glory Blooms. It releases in 2013 from Abingdon Press. Before that, in the spring of 2012, a new novella collection from the Door County Christmas team of authors (Eileen Key, Rachael Phillips, Becky Melby, and me) will release from Barbour Publishing—Cedar Creek Seasons.
What a fun interview. I'm actually second devotional book in this series for part of my devotions each morning. I'll move on to this one soon.
Thank you, girls, for the peek into your lives.
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His Grace is Sufficient: Decaf is Not (A Devo for Women on the Go)
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