Greater Grace (Author Interview)




Greater Grace looks like a fantastic devotional book.  How did you design and pick your devotions?

For some of them I let the hymn inspire me to seek out relevant scripture and study it. For others I knew what passage of scripture I wanted to write about and found a hymn that fit well. I really wanted to go deeper than most devotionals that have a short bible reading and commentary that is focused only on that specific portion of scripture. Using the hymns to ground each devotion really helped me to think in terms of themes and God’s message to us regarding certain topics (ie. prayer, freedom, mission, grace etc) and seek to understand concepts holistically rather than be laser-focused on a few verses. I tried to include as much relevant scripture as possible in addition to the devotional reading in hope that readers would spend significant time meditating and reflecting on each devotion.


What will readers get out of your book?

I hope that readers grasp the fulness of God’s grace as they are invited to reflect on each hymn and the related scriptures. God’s grace is not just for salvation, it encompasses all the benefits available to us as God’s children- His love, wisdom, strength, rest, courage, freedom…the list goes on! The Christian life is so more than knowing some inspirational bible verses, listening to Christian speakers, and attending church programs. It's an invitation to know and walk with God and be transformed by His love. It’s a life of purpose and glory. Every time I open my bible and ask God to speak to me- He does, and it is changing my life. I want everyone to have that experience; not just in the hard seasons of life, but every single day.


What inspired you when writing Greater Grace?   

I was inspired by the poetry of the hymns and the timeless truths they declare. Some of them I have sung my whole life, some I discovered while writing this book. Hymns have transcended generations and cultures because they are so rich with the truth of who God is and what it means to follow Him. I thought they were the perfect backdrop for studying scripture with a fresh perspective.


When did you decide to become a writer and any plans to write similar books?


I can’t really pinpoint it. I’ve always loved writing, even in school. I’ve had the desire to write a book for years; just really wanting to share what God has shown me over the years through His Word. In November of 2018 I shared this dream with my sister while on a family trip. It was the first time I’d said it out loud. She really encouraged me to go for it. So I started writing. Even then I really didn’t consider myself “a writer”, but this book came together.
I do want to write more books that encourage believers in their walk with God. I’m not sure specifically what I will write about next.


When writing Greater Grace did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  

In the introduction to the book, I encourage the reader to “throw out their notion of what a devotional is”. A devotional implies a daily reading plan, but the fact is it’s unlikely that we can study the Bible in a meaningful way when we’re reading bits and pieces of it and only settling on a passage of scripture for a few minutes a day. With that said, if a devotional is too heavy, it’s easy for the reader to tune out and move on. I found it challenging to strike a balance between being approachable and instructive; encouraging and challenging.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I love to read. Right now I’m reading a lot of parenting books, because that’s the season I’m in. I also love a good mystery or psychological thriller.
I love cooking. There’s something very satisfying about making a meal and then enjoying it with family and friends.
I love making music. One of my favorite things to do is get together with gifted musicians and jam.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

Readers can connect with me on my blog thewholeheartedlife.blog, or on Facebook and Instagram @bethney.sj




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