I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the time I was a toddler. There was no specific aha moment, just a growing confidence in Jesus Christ as my only Lord and Savior. My mother took us to non-denominational churches, and I eventually moved as an adult back to the Presbyterian Church, which my family (Cherokee and Scotch-Irish) had been for generations. I was fortunate that God brought me to Himself when I was so young. I was spared from rebelling, which so many church-raised kids experience. My life, because of chronic illness, has been difficult. But God has remained faithful, and has used everything to mature me. Saying that, I still have a good ways to go!
2. What reason would you give as a claim for God’s existence?
Personally, my relationship with Him and His interaction with me is what compels my confidence in Him. And the sheer complexity of the universe, and our planet in particular, the interaction of so many intricate systems in our eco-system…makes it hard for me to even consider that it was all just serendipity. As for the Bible being the Word of God, the more I look at nature, the more I see an intelligence in it that mirrors the mind and spirit I respond to in the Bible. I don’t worship Nature, but I do see it as a likely creative effort of Jehovah, of Jesus.
3. Is there anyone in your life who inspires you to be a better person? If so, who and why?
Right now, I would say my friend Heidi. She has only been a Christian for 6 years and she exhibits so much spiritual maturity, so much understanding of God’s Word, has a fearless and intelligent dedication to reaching people with the Gospel of Christ, has endured incredible trials of faith with courage and patience, and yet is always transparent about her own battles with doubt and frustration…heck, I wish everybody had a Heidi in their life! Just watching her has humbled me and encouraged my faith in the power of God to transform a life. I thank God for her!
4.You come from an environment (liberal California) that does not seem to look favorably on Christian doctrine. How have you dealt with this?
Christians are not a minority here in California. The politics are liberal-dominated now, but the impression of California being a completely liberal state comes mostly from Hollywood and the wealthy in Los Angeles, both of which are highly visible to the rest of the world. Ronald Reagan was our governor at one time, and no one was more conservative than him. Personally, I don’t make a big fuss over those statements against Christianity unless they are directed to me, and then I avoid the us versus them/I’m right and you’re wrong attitude. I’m more interested in presenting the Gospel, living like Christ and encouraging people to consider Him. As far as debating theology with people who too often don’t even understand our position, I try to clarify it with gentleness.
5. What occupations have you had and what do you do currently?
I have a rather patchwork resume! I started out working for a childcare agency. I was for four years a writer/researcher/asst. editor at Thru the Bible Radio. Over a five year period I was the legal assistant at a firm of lawyers and worked in the Appeals department of NC Medicaid. And as an avocation, I worked for seven years part time at Carolina Tiger Rescue as a feeding team leader, tour leader, etc. At present I am retired because of illness, but I am active in my church in prayer and Bible study groups. I also am a member of one book club and a Jane Austen Reading Circle.
6. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”
7. You are an avid fan of Sci-fi and fantasy. Why do you feel the writers of this genre seem to paint Christianity, if not religion in general, with an unfavorable brush?
I don’t see this as a universal antipathy toward Christianity or religion. Each writer and producer is unique. And many Christians write or perform in sci-fi and fantasy productions. The power structures in Hollywood and New York do hold sway over the entertainment world and publishing. And both have agendas that are worldly and threatened by Christian doctrine. So yes, there is a promotion of negative attitudes. What astounds me is how often atheistic and agnostic writers will echo biblical themes without realizing it. I think this puts the lie to their anti-biblical stances.
8. Who is your favorite character in the Bible besides Jesus?
That is a really hard question. There are so many great characters! I admire Joseph, Daniel, Ruth, St. Paul. I’m a Barnabas, myself, my gift being that of encouragement. So I most identify with him.