Linda P. Kozar
Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer

Greetings from Davalynn Spencer in unseasonably warm Colorado! It’s my pleasure today to visit with author Linda P. Kozar about her new devotional book, Sweet Tea for the Soul – Down-home Devotions to Comfort the Heart (DaySpring 2018).

Welcome Linda. Tell us a little about your book.

These devotions give a fresh look at life offering calming reminders of God’s grace, and a southern wink at our busy lives, reminding us why we are blessed.

Linda P. Kozar

Linda P. Kozar

What inspired you to write this book?

I love to start my day reading through the Bible and finding one thing to focus on. Sometimes, God narrows my attention in on a particular Scripture. Other times, I follow interesting rabbit trails. But regardless, I always wind up doing a bit of research and writing down my thoughts, which inevitably transform into devotions. This time with the Lord is essentially, my devotion time. So, I was surprised when a wonderful former editor of mine who works at a different publishing house, contacted me in May and wanted to introduce me to an editor at DaySpring who was looking for someone to write Southern-themed devotions with a touch of humor. I sent him some samples. They loved the samples, and offered me a contract. Then, in December, I was offered a contract to do another devotional, and I was happy to say yes. My daily time with the Lord turned into two books to share with others, and I could not feel more blessed. I thank God that He would be so tender toward me to consider me for this work. Read More →

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Girl Talk/Guy Talk: Devotions for Teens by Jesse Florea and Karen Whiting
Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from stormy, in-the-midst-of-rainy-season Mount Dora, Florida. Today, I have the privilege of sharing an interview with my friend and fellow author Jesse Florea. I know Jesse through serving on faculty together at various writers conferences. I know you’ll find him as fun, engaging and inspiring here on our CAN blog as he is in person.

Welcome, Jesse, and congratulations on the release of most recent book! Please tell us about it.  

Girl Talk/Guy Talk: Devotions for Teens focuses on different aspects of teen life to help guys and girls better understand and communicate with the opposite sex. Stories, checklists, quizzes, fact-based news and skill-building tips will encourage and equip young girls and guys to relate to each other in God-honoring ways.

Jesse Florea

Jesse Florea

Read More →

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Maureen Pratt Author PicHello! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly CAN blog. This time, some thoughts on writing the devotional.

The devotional is intensely personal, but can also provide tremendous support for many. I've experienced this first-hand. When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I suffered from a number of life-threatening symptoms. None, however, was as confounding as the non-life-threatening phenomenon of lupus brain fog, which is much like looking at the world through a pea-soup fog on a chilly day. It isn't permanent, much like those clouds of fog, and it doesn't cause changes in the brain, per se. But it does make memories slippery at times, and frustration quick to rise.

Faced with a horrible diagnosis, I turned to prayer, Scripture, and reflective meditation on what I had read and prayed about. Only, I would forget what I had read and prayed about. Frequently. I finally bought a spiral-bound notebook and started writing down what I read and prayed about. A year later, I looked back at the now-full notebook and wondered, "Could someone else benefit from what's in here?" Then, I prayed. And then, I called my agent. A few years later, my book "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness" was published and has been reaching readers like myself, patients of chronic pain & illness, ever since. Such a blessing!

Writing the devotional is a highly personal pursuit, fueled by insight and inspiration born from experience. Not all experience needs to be that of the writer, but ideally each devotion should be linked to a "ripped from real life" instance in someone's life. I liken writing a devotional to being a "spiritual reporter," combining life's events with the place God takes within it all.

As they are extensions of our faith, devotionals spring from Scriptural reflections. Reading Scripture regularly and listening to the passages resonate gives the right context for the meditations you craft for each topic. I also spent much time in an empty church, sitting quietly, reading passages, then sitting quietly again. The waters of the Word can refresh us whenever we partake of them, but they truly nourish us when we let them soak into us completely.

Devotional structure will be unique to each project, but ideally each project does have a structure, an arc, a way in which it builds and carries the reader through to greater insight, comfort, or encouragement. At the same time, devotionals are often read in pieces, and not linearly, so the author needs to keep this in mind (avoid referring to a previous devotion, for example).

Writing "Peace in the Storm…" was exhausting for me, but what motivated me to keep going was the thought of my audience. Each day, I prayed for and thought of someone who would read what I was writing, someone who was suffering with or from the particular problem, or asking the particular question, that I addressed in the devotion I wrote that day. Keeping the reader close to mind and heart enables the words to flow as from a friend to a friend, a very effective and empathetic voice.

Blessings to you!

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/

 

 

 

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