My guest today is devotional writer, Rose Chandler Johnson. I was introduced to God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea before I actually met Rose on Facebook. Her thoughts inspired me then, but they especially do now that I’ve spent time with her.
Would you like a chance to win a copy of God Me and Sweet Iced Tea in a fair and random drawing? All you have to do is enter a comment below concerning this interview, along with an email address by midnight (CST) September 25, 2014. I will announce a winner on Friday, September 26,2014. Participation is limited to U. S. residents, eighteen and older.
We have a winner! Becky Bost has won Rose’s book and the bonus subscriber prize announced on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter. Congratulations, Becky!
Rose, what most inspired you to write this particular devotional book? Is it born of struggle? Blessing? Was it written over your lifetime or in a short period?
In a way, what I write has taken a lifetime of experience. It’s been born both of struggle and blessing. I’ve been writing since the seventies, and had my first articles and poems published in magazines in the 80’s, but only in recent years did it occur to me I could write a devotional.
When I made Jesus the Lord of my life, I started reading a devotional every morning. I continued that practice for decades, incorporating devotional reading in my quiet times with God. As a journal keeper, I write about personal experiences as I read and study God’s Word during my devotion times. One day the thought came to me I could turn those meditations into devotionals. I began writing them and sending them off for publication in The Secret Place.
After God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea was published, I read through one of my oldest journals. I came across an entry from 1979. I’d written a prayer in which I stated I wanted to write a book that was relevant and encouraging and would point others to the heart of God. I’d forgotten that prayer, but God hadn’t. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is an overflow of my relationship and love for the Lord. It’s a fulfillment of that written prayer from years ago.
For you is writing a passion, a calling, or both?
Writing is a passion, as well as a calling. I started writing after graduating college in ’77. Like I said before, I’m a journal keeper. My devotional writing is a way to communicate what I know about God. It’s more or less an overflow of what I experience as a Christian. I want to share that with others. I also write fiction and essays, but that doesn’t seem as vital to me as my devotional writing. My readers inspire me to continue writing devotions.
Each devotional ends with a sweet tea moment. How does a phrase garner this special position in your book?
The “sweet tea moment” is a time to pause and reflect on a meaningful truth gleaned from the devotion. Of course, it’s essentially the “thought for the day,” but I couldn’t resist using the analogy of a refreshing sip of sweet tea in keeping with the personality of the book.
Do you find that every day life moments are the very times in which we see God at work? Can you give us a recent example of this in your life?
Everyday life moments are the very times that we see God at work, but they are also the times we are called to shine His light into the situation at hand. As a mother, a grandmother, and teacher, I’ve spent much of my time with children. We must make a purposeful decision to practice God’s grace and Christian virtues. Patience is one that’s often tested. Recently I watched a little boy carefully and painstakingly tie his shoe. As I watched, I resisted the temptation to hurry him or take over the task myself, and when he stood and smiled at me, I thought of Jesus who stooped to wash the feet of his disciples.
Share with us the most meaningful truth one can glean from your book.
Christianity is more than a religion. It is a relationship with our triune God.
Many devotionals are written and sent to publishers annually, but few are chosen. What grabbed the attention of your publisher?
I don’t know that I can rightly answer that question. My publisher read several of my devotionals when I met with him at a writers’ conference. I sat quietly by. They caught his attention and he asked me to meet with him again later. I believe they appealed to him because they are practical, concise, focused, and relevant.
Do you have a publishing secret you’d like to share with other nonfiction writers?
For nonfiction, even devotionals, I read and research as much as I can to clarify the point I hope to make. This usually leaves me with pages and pages I’ve written about the subject. Then comes the hardest part of distilling it down to the essence of truth I want to convey.
It is a joy to know you better, Rose, and it is my hope many will read, reflect, and grow from your book.
Read Reviews and Get Links
“In fifty-plus concise, focused, appealing, and penetrating meditations on scriptural passages, this book offers in-sights and challenges applied to 21st-century American life. The voice is original, unyielding and gentle, guiding, asking the readers to turn from busy-ness to consider, confront, and appreciate God in ourselves, in others, and beyond us and to be able to bring the divine to our scattered, tormented, and troubled planet. This book is surely a true gift of the spirit.” — Dr. Laura Dabundo, Inspirational-Religious Judge for the 50th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards.
Rose Chandler Johnson has done what few authors do that write devotional books. She takes everyday moments and turns them into a life-changing lesson. In her book “God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments,” she draws you in and you want to sit for a spell maybe on the front porch with your own glass of sweet tea and reflect on how her words impact your relationship with the Lord. Rose speaks to the heart of the reader and captures the essence of what being a true child of God is all about. Her devotionals are not preachy, but, rather, give you hope and inspiration to face your day. So grab your glass of sweet iced tea and spend some moments with Rose and God every day. You’ll be glad you did! ~Brenda Chance
In the south, it is traditional to offer your guest the gift of a glass of sweet iced tea when visiting your home. Rose has given us a wonderful loving gift. She shares with the reader thoughts from her heart. God, Me,and Sweet Iced Tea is a book of devotions that provides us with thoughtful commentary and guidance for experiences we all share. I have read it like a chapter book, straight thu also I find myself just opening the book and reading a single devotion any time. The devotions are uplifting and heartfelt . I plan to keep this close by so when I need a moment to ponder, I will reach for this book. ~ G. S. Franz
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com, Walmart.com, and through your local independent book stores.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Rose’s devotional!