Focusing on the spiritual dimension of women, award-winning authors Linda Clare and Kristen Johnson Ingram will release their first book together entitled, Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World, August 1 from Revell. Below is a Q & A perspective on the book from the authors for you to consider printing in full or incorporating into your features, reviews and interviews. For more information on Clare or Johnson Ingram and Revealed (0-8007-5935-4, $12.99, paper), please visit: www.RevellBooks.com or Christian Activities Book Store.
“Let’s Talk” about Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World –
A Conversation with Revell Authors Linda Clare and Kristen Johnson Ingram
How did you develop the concept of a spiritual ‘spa’ or ‘retreat’?
The concept wasn’t ours to start with, but when our editor suggested the “spiritual spa,” we liked the idea and thought it might be an obvious way to reach women who are frequently bombarded or barraged by “makeovers” in the media.
“This book is a guide to a spiritual makeover, but not in an atmosphere of self-indulgence or faux chic. God’s idea of transformation targets you as a whole person, in a setting more like a quiet retreat than a noisy salon.” (Revealed, p. 15)
Can you explain the difference between a “makeover” vs. true transformation?
Makeovers typically use cosmetics, clothing, haircuts and even plastic surgery, working from the outside in. God does do makeovers, but he transforms a woman from within by starting with the spirit, and eventually that change shows itself to the world. There is a need for a beautiful heart and attitude, not just a beautiful body.
How can women experience freedom and what is the cost of this freedom?
John 8:36 says, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” Freedom in Jesus Christ was expensive to him, but a woman’s freedom is grace, and therefore free. All she has to do is accept the spiritual beauty Christ offers in order to experience true freedom and joy in Him. This will free her from the “paper doll” prison, where a woman thinks her value is in how she looks and what she can accomplish.
How can readers discover a deeper spiritual dimension?
Every stage of spirituality is risky. The way to seek a deeper spiritual relationship is through silent prayer, intimacy with God, and more surrender than you’ve ever imagined. Readers can open themselves to spiritual possibility and risk-taking with God.
What was your main purpose in writing Revealed and how is it different from self-help books?
Revealed is a spiritual guide, not a how-to book. We don’t tell readers how to be more effective in business or to become a better wife, or new ways to study the Scripture. This book is designed to liberate its readers, to show them more of God than they may have known, and even let them see biblical women in new ways. We offer some exercises and activities as a way of acting out new life, but we’re not telling any reader what to do or how to do it. We trust God’s love will help women allow God to change them and invite them into His presence, where they can experience Christ’s help.
How can readers keep the transformation process going?
The reader needs to realize the process of growth in Christ is an individual journey. A woman may need to reach outside her comfort zone at times, while letting a longing for Christ take her over. In addition to one’s own prayer and meditation on the Bible, readers may find help in their spiritual transformation by reading books on spiritual life and prayer, fasting, meditating, praising God, or even attending conferences or events with a spiritual focus.
How does Revealed address the topic of healing?
We don’t offer pat answers on this topic. We know that God heals emotions, relationships, broken hearts, loneliness, and sinfulness. But, we also realize that “God isn’t going to wave a magic wand over our lives.” (Revealed, p.229) However, Jesus is our only guarantee. He’s the warranty for our spirits, who never expires, and we should rely on him no matter what we face.
Although Revealed is geared towards women, what does it have to offer to readers of the opposite sex?
Pastors and husbands can gain valuable insight into women’s spiritual lives, and see how men sometimes help perpetuate the stereotypes through expectation and tradition. We hope that male pastors will read Revealed, because it talks about women’s real issues, not crafts or cooking or child rearing. Ultimately, we want the focus to be more and more on God until our lives are centered on him.
How did you gain a heightened awareness of God’s presence and the need to reach more deeply into your own spiritual lives?
At age fourteen, Kris experienced a powerful spiritual awakening and started on an unsteady climb toward the heart of God.
Linda’s childhood experience of spending months in a Shriner’s hospital for children, a thousand miles from her parents and in physical distress, made her turn to the little Bible that she kept under her pillow.
We both wanted more and as we found it, we wrote about it. Some of those writings are in our next book, Making Peace with a Dangerous God (Revell, 2006).
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