FAQ

How did you get started writing? 

When did you started writing books?

Where did you get the idea for your new Day-votions™ book series?

You were a newspaper colulmnist for ten years. What kind of cloumn did you write?

You co-authored a best-selling series with four other women. How did that come about? 

What did you want to communicate in your book, At Home in My Heart, Preparing a Place for His Presence?

What was your inspiration for your best-selling devotionals Daily in Your Presence, Intimate Conversations with a Loving Father and Daily in Your Image, Reflecting the Character of Christ? 

Tell us about the devotional series, you wrote called, 40 Days in God’s Presence: a Devotional Encounter.

What other things have you written through the years?

What advice can you give to beginning writers?

How did you get started writing? 

I have always loved to read, and words have always fascinated me. English was my favorite subject. My eighth grade English teacher challenged us to write poems for entry in the High School Anthology of Poetry. I did, and my first poem was chosen and published at age 13. I knew I loved poetry and could rhyme easily, but I did nothing more about writing until later.

At college I chose to major in Larry (my husband). It wasn’t until after our first baby was born a few years later that I decided to try writing again. My first attempts at writing were greeting cards. I sent out scores of rhyming greeting card verses and sold some. I was hooked. I took a writer’s correspondence course which opened up all kinds of possibilities: magazine articles, devotionals, newspaper columns. I found I could write and sell these pieces and thoroughly enjoyed them.

When did you start writing books?

I think I’ve always been writing a book—in my heart and in my head. But God had some work to do in my life before He allowed me to write my first book, a marriage book I co-authored with my husband. After going through some diffiulties, God developed a passion in our hearts for encouraging couples in marriage, so we received marriage enrichment leadership training. We wanted something to leave in the hands of the couples who attended our retreats—something they could take home and work through and enjoy together, so we wrote Marriage Toners, Weekly Exercises to Strengthen Your Relationshippublished by Revell. In it we encourage couples to work together in fun, communication exercises that will build intimacy in their marriage.

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Where did you get the idea for your new Day-votions™ book series?

I love to “play” with words, and I love to encourage others, especially through the writing of devotions. Several years ago I wrote part of a children’s devotional series for Warner Press called “Do-votionals.” Later on, I began doing some word play of my own and came up with the title “Day-votions”–which would convey the idea of daily devotions.

It wasn’t until a few years later, however, that I began to develop and then trademark the name for a new devotional series. My agent took the idea to Zondervan, and the rest is history. That new series is due out in Spring 2010: Day-votions™ for Women, Day-votions™ for Mothers, and Day-votions™ for Grandmothers. The subtitles fit the content: Heart to Heart Encouragement. I’m very excited about this new encouraging, devotional series for women of all ages–in all stages of life. 

I call every book God allows me to write a “God-thing,” because He has to do it. But this series truly was a God-thing. I had a deadline of four months to write the three books. Literally, I was crying out to God daily, “I can’t do this, but God, You can!”

These devotions relate true stories from my own life as a woman, a mom, and a grandmom, and from the experiences of others, along with biblical examples, truths, and applicable prayers. Like my other devotions, I included simple truths to live by–called “Day-Briefs”– in these books. It’s my prayer that women, moms, and grandmothers will find help and strength for every circumstance in these inspirational devotions. Some are lighthearted and humorous; others more serious.

Whether single, married, young, or old, women can identify with these stories and biblical truths, finding spiritual encouragement for day-to-day living. My prayer is that these books will help women draw closer to God, who in turn, will help connect the dots to more meaningful relationships with others. I LOVED writing these books.

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You were a newspaper columnist for ten years. What kind of coulumn did you write?

I wrote a devotional column called “The Quiet Place,” using home, family, events, and things around me to weave weekly homespun content for my readers.

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You co-authored a best-selling series with four other women. How did that come about? 

Soon after moving to East Texas, I joined a writer’s group where I live. The five of us spent time together each month reporting, critiquing, and encouraging each other with stories from our own lives and families. One day we came up with the idea of writing a book to encourage other women. We ended up using a play on words and wrote Courage for the Chicken Hearted, Humorous and Inspiring Stories for Confident Living and Eggstra Courage for the Chicken Hearted, More Humorous and Inspiring Stories for Confident Living.

Those books sold over 200,000 copies, including the ones published in a hardback collector’s edition by Guideposts, and both have been translated in Korean. In those books we shared humorous and poignant stories from our lives as moms, wives, writers, and women who found wings to fly confidently in fearful situations familiar to every woman.

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What did you want to communicate in your book, At Home in My Heart, Preparing a Place for His Presence?

I call At Home in My Heart my “heart” book—the book I always wanted to write. It started out as a book on simplicity, then kept changing several times. When I moved into my home in East Texas and was settling down to redecorate my home, I knew how God wanted me to package the material I had been wanting to write.

In this book, published by Promise Press (Barbour), I wanted to encourage women to make a place of warmth and intimacy in their hearts and homes for Christ—to know Him better, and to let their lives be a reflection of the beauty of Christ. When Jesus went back to heaven, He promised to “prepare us a place in Heaven.” I wanted to share with women how they, too, could prepare a place for Christ in their hearts and in their homes—a place where His love could be felt and seen, not just by family members, but by everyone they meet. To do so requires a complete redecoration of heart and home.

It’s written for women, from a woman’s perspective—with plenty of practical decorating tips on how to make visual reminders in their home as well—touch points where they can meet God at every turn. I used stories from my life and wove an imaginary conversation throughout with Jesus, the Master Designer, as He walked through reminding me of His faithfulness in the past—and encouraging me to remember His lessons for the future.

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What was your inspiration for your best-selling devotionals Daily in Your Presence, Intimate Conversations with a Loving Father and Daily in Your Image, Reflecting the Character of Christ? 

I have always loved God’s Word. My thirst to know God began as a young child when I would faithfully memorize Scripture and read His Word. As a young mother, that thirst grew to an overwhelming passion to know and experience the intimacy of God on a deeper level. I read; I prayed; I journaled; and I listened, recording daily both my prayers to God and His thoughts to me. From that discipline grew another passion: to know and understand His names and His character. From times of testing, trials, sorrow, and joy, through family seasons and personal ministry challenges as a minister’s wife, to praise sessions with the Lord—my pen has recorded the impressions from God and His Word—His personal “rhemas” to me through all those years. The Daily in Your Presence series, as well as many of my books grew out of these humble beginnings.

I took those journaled notes, God’s whispers and impressions in my Spirit, and my desire to know more about His names and character and began searching and writing more. Somehow I wanted to communicate God’s unconditional love and faithfulness—and all that His names and attributes can mean to us personally. I prayed specifically, researching carefully His Word, that everything that came “From the Father’s Heart,” would be true to Scripture.

The 366 Simple Truths I wrote in both books are also all original. Many came from my greeting card and poster files—things I had written and journaled years before, as the Lord would impress me. Others were new—and a challenge to write. I am a firm believer that nothing is ever wasted. God prepares us sometimes years before He actually uses us or the things we write in a particular way.

The entire book is like a private worship experience between one person and God, and was born out of a heart of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all He has done for me. I probably have had more cards and letters from people around the world who have read this book and how it has encouraged them than any other book I’ve written. Before it went out of print, it sold over a 100,000 copies. I’ve never forgotten Sherwood Wirt’s words, “Write about Him!” I know the success of this book is because it is all about Him!

I was delighted when Barbour released a beautiful journal, a gift edition of Daily in Your Presence . Many have written to tell me they are keeping a legacy of their thoughts for their children or grandchildren in this book. Others say they have journaled in it through times of difficulty and have drawn closer to God through these intimate times of focusing on His names and attributes.

I first wrote a small part of Daily in Your Image as a desk calendar, again, from those journaled impressions as I listened to God’s Spirit, and DaySpring published it twice (as In His Image). Later, I expanded it, and Barbour published it as Daily in Your Image. It has a similar format as Daily in Your Presence, but contains 366 devotionals that focus on character attributes we want to mirror in our own lives. The entire devotional is based on choosing, with God’s help, character qualities that say to others: this one belongs to Christ. The two devotional books go together and make great, affordable gifts for any occasion.

Although both of these books are now out of print, I hope to see them republished in the near future. I do still have limited copies of the Daily in Your Presence Journal available on my book page. I also wrote a set of 732 questions (two per devotional) for personal or group study for the Daily in Your Presence material. You’ll find it as Daily in Your Presence Study Questions, and it is available only on my website as an e-book download. You will find the Daily in Your Presence devotions also available on crosswalk.com, and you can sign up to have those delivered daily to your e-mail address there or on my home page.

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Tell us about the devotional series you wrote called, 40 Days in God’s Presence: a Devotional Encounter.

These books actually originated from my daily quiet times on many mornings. As I journaled again, I began to see a pattern of characters in Scripture who had encountered God–and who seemed to really enjoy their relationship with a holy, faithful God.

I’ve discovered that many people don’t really understand what it means to enjoy God or to live in communion with Him—to truly experience His love. Some people may even wonder if we’re even supposed to enjoy God. But motivated by these characters–and my own personal relationship with God–in this “devotional encounter” series, 40 Days in God’s Presence, and 40 Days in God’s Blessing, I’ve tried to help readers walk through the pages of Scripture and into the hearts of other believers who actually encountered God. As readers explore the lives of these very real people, they can come face-to-face with the God who loves all of us–and wants to bless us–more than we can possibly think or hope or imagine. 

It’s my prayer that these books, first published by Warner Faith, (now FaithWords) will take readers on an adventure—a journey they will want to repeat—one that will surprise them, and one that will help them enjoy and draw even closer to our awesome God.

What other things have you written through the years?

You can read my PROFESSIONAL BIO to see the various kinds of things I’ve written. I’ve sold scores of greeting cards, meditations, posters, magazine articles, gift products, calendars, even sayings for mugs, magnets and bookmarks. For greeting cards and other gift-type products, I usually sell the verse, and the publisher decides where and how they want to use it.

I have even written Bible Study curriculum, promotional letters, copy ads—whatever an editor would pay me for early on. I’ve contributed to several book compilations and have written much of the material in several well-known devotional books like In the Garden with God and Christmas with God and three Guideposts books. You can see a complete list of other books I have contributed to here. I still write greeting card verse and various other things, but my primary concentration now is authoring books and speaking/teaching.

What advice can you give to beginning writers?

Hm, that sounds like the makings of a great blog…(watch for it soon). But for right now, I’d say, “Write Now.” Write about anything, everything, write your heart. Write about what you love, what you’re passionate about, but just “do it!” Journal often, stick ideas in a folder, start a blog. Become familiar with the “big three”:  Persistence, Patience, and Perspiration. Be willing to start small, and let God grow your talents. Attend a good writer’s conference; join a writer’s critique group, and don’t be afraid to learn by asking questions. Ask God to direct your paths and to open doors. If He’s in it, you’ll find them opening–always on His timetable.

And that’s all I have to say about that…right now.

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If you have questions about my writing, you can submit them to me at rebecca@rebeccabarlowjordan.com.

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About Rebecca