Greetings from Sarah Sundin! It’s an honor for me to interview the very first Christian author I ever met, Kathy Collard Miller—she and my mother used to bowl together! Kathy is a multi-published author and a gifted speaker—I had the joy of hearing Kathy speak at a women’s retreat many years ago and was deeply touched by her words, her heart, and her humor. I know you’ll also enjoy hearing from Kathy today.
Kathy, please tell us about your book Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory.
Pure-Hearted encourages and inspires any Christian to evaluate the inner motives of her heart and surrender in greater trust for godly reactions. The reader will also become aware of the wonderful God-designed benefits, including joy, self-control, selfless love, security and satisfaction and other fruits of the Holy Spirit.
What inspired you to write this book?
All my books result from God’s own work in my heart for my sanctification and spiritual devotion toward Him. For years, as I saw how God was purifying my motives, I wanted to share with others what I’d been learning and how I was growing. That’s how the ideas for Pure-Hearted began to formulate in my mind.
What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
As I neared the end of writing the nine chapters, I reviewed the direction each chapter had taken and realized the overall theme pointed to Christians growing in exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I could see how each of the nine chapters referred to one of those “fruit.” So the tenth chapter is entitled “Surprise.” I was surprised the Holy Spirit had revealed the fruit that results from pure motives that I hadn’t envisioned in the beginning. It was a sweet little surprise.
I love that! I’m sure God was chuckling, waiting for you to discover that. What’s your favorite chapter in this book?
I loved writing Chapter 4: “Secure: Know Your Position in Christ.” One of the main themes of my ministry is women knowing who they are as God’s princess and daughter. Also, that she will know God’s love is unconditional. As a recovering perfectionist, I continue to grow less dependent upon performing correctly to know God loves me. In chapter 4, I examined reasons we actually sometimes favor being performance-motivated. Then I share six different biblical concepts of the assurance God wants us to have about His unconditional love. Those are found both in the Old and New Testaments. It’s really quite fascinating.
That sounds amazing! And so important in our performance-driven culture. And how do you share Christ in your writing?
In a very specific way I explain the Gospel and give an example of a prayer for receiving Christ at the end of my books, which are non-fiction. Or if it fits better, I’ll include it in one of the chapters. Of course since I write non-fiction, I’m speaking of Jesus and God the Father and the Holy Spirit all the time. I also represent Christ by being very vulnerable in sharing my struggles and my own spiritual growth.
Your vulnerability is one of your greatest strengths. Are there themes you return to again and again in your writing?
A significant one is hope. My first book, No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom shares the story of how God delivered me from being a child abuser. If there was hope for me in God pulling me out of that deep pit of anger, depression and suicide, there’s hope for all aspects of life for every Christian. So I want to infuse hope into every reader that whatever the topic of my book, God wants to empower her to grow deeper in that area.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
All the way back in junior high school. I’d always loved sitting at my roll top desk in my bedroom and handling paper. Then I got a typewriter, and then a Selectrix which could actually correct some mistakes with a special ink tape. Wow! I can remember buying a kind of butcher paper, a huge roll, which I scrolled through the typewriter instead of using multiple sheets. In high school I wrote an autobiography and also tried to write a novel titled “That Boy Rik.” I think I finished the first chapter. I didn’t really know what a writer did but learned a lot being in the newspaper class in high school.
But it wasn’t until after I became a Christian at age 18 and took a community writing class in my mid-twenties that I understood the possibilities. I sent off a query letter to Moody Monthly Magazine proposing my article, “I Don’t Really Want to Hurt My Child,” my story of how God delivered me from being a child abuser. They published it and I had swallowed God’s lure—hook, line, and sinker. I was smitten with writing. I’ve never stopped and now it’s over 40 years later. I never imagined what God had in store.
What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I teach two different women’s Bible studies, one a weekly group and one a monthly group. Both groups use my own published Bible studies from my “Daughters of the King Bible Study series.”
Also, my husband, Larry, and I are lay counselors who have appointments with up to fifteen individuals or couples a week. We have been doing this for over ten years. Although Larry and I are involved in the leadership of our church, we have people coming from many different churches in our area. That keeps us quite busy since we ask for two hours each appointment.
With a busy schedule like that, how do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I’m so blessed that I would rather be at my desk than just about any other place—except playing with my two grandchildren. I actually have to pay attention to God’s leading if He wants me to connect with other people. Although our schedule as counselors takes care of that a lot. So I’m drawn to my desk to write any time we aren’t helping someone.
Tell us about your favorite library memory.
That’s easy. My mother highly valued books and inspiring us kids to read. Every Saturday when my mom could have our one family car, we three kids would go with her to the Norwalk, California, library. She allowed us to roam around and explore. I loved pulling books out of their nooks and crannies to see the front cover and flip through them. Then of course, we would cart quite a few home and devour them during the week.
I also am thinking of how I’ve enjoyed a church library. For thirty years the large church I attended had a marvelous library. Quite large for a church. The church librarian loved to help me find what I needed for research for my current book project. I wish every church could have a library available. Whenever I’m at a church speaking that has a library, I give at least one of my books as a gift.
What a wonderful idea! Please tell us about your next project.
100 Questions God Asked in the Bible and What They Reveal about His Nature. I’m very excited about this project because I don’t think God’s questions are something we Christians generally pay attention to. But God and Jesus, of course, asked a lot of questions as He has been active in the lives of people through the ages. It started all the way back in the Garden of Eden when God called out to hidden Adam and Eve and asked, “Where are you?” Of course there are many more than 100 questions, but when we think about God knowing everything, it becomes very curious that He asked so many questions.
It does! That sounds like a fascinating book. Thank you for sharing with us, Kathy!
Writing for Him,