Christian Writers Fellowship publishes ‘God Speaks’
Lifestyles Editor — On Wednesday, June 19, the Christian Writers Fellowship of Western North Carolina in Waynesville celebrated the publication release of their first collaborative book, “God Speaks: Devotional Responses to Every 3:16 in the New Testament.”
God Speaks was written, edited and published entirely by the Fellowship, which meets the third Wednesday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m. at Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Clyde.
In 2009, Lucy Adams and Maureen Miller co-founded the Fellowship after attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and leaving inspired by their interactions with other passionate Christian writers.
Now in its fourth year, the Fellowship has grown from three to 20 registered members working to “support and encourage one another as writers in the Christian faith and to share ideas,” Adams said.
During the summer of 2011, Adams remembers reading John 3:16 in her Bible during her prayer time and being struck by the power and meaning she found packed within this widely quoted Bible verse - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Believing John 3:16 to be the cornerstone to God’s word, Adam’s curiosity and open heart encouraged her to continue reading all the other 3:16 entries in the Bible. Only six books in the New Testament do not contain a 3:16.
“One day I became interested in what Matthew, Mark and Luke had to say,” Adams said. “Those 3:16 gospels were surely as magnificent as the more familiar one in John. When I had gone through Revelation, I felt led of the Lord to write my responses.”
And so she did.
Yet, after writing six responses, Adam’s felt writing devotionals was not her “true calling.”
Instead, she turned to her Christian Writers Fellowship and, at the next monthly meeting, passed out slips of paper to all the members, asking them to “Stop-Look-Listen to the 3:16’s” and write down what God was saying to them.
The result was “God Speaks,” a collaborative book which contains two devotional responses to each 3:16 in the New Testament written by two different Fellowship members, followed by a page for readers to write their own response to each verse.
“Reading the word of God is very important, but responding to the word of God is more important than reading it,” Fellowship member Denise Loock said. “God says ‘Let my spirit speak to you.’ The Holy Spirit spoke to us and we jotted down our response and we want our readers to do the same.”
Loock, who is also Adams’ neighbor, served as editor for “God Speaks,” compiling members’ responses into a cohesive manuscript. Professionally, she is a freelance writer and assistant editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in Raleigh and the founder of Dig Deeper Devotions, an online Christian website.
Contributing members’ responses to each 3:16 in “God Speaks” are heartfelt and personal. Fellowship member Diana Jurss’ published a response to John 3:16, which recalls her immediate, panicked reaction at the possibility of her son joining the military. The Bible verse helped her recognize her gratitude toward family members who are sacrificed to serve their country just as God sacrificed his Son to save humanity, she said.
God Speaks also contains one entry, a devotional response to Acts 3:16 submitted by Bruce Wayne Glover, which is particularly close to Adams’ heart.
Glover, one of Adams’ Christian writer friends, is serving time in a Florida prison and reached out to her to have his response included in the book.
In his honor, Adams and the other Fellowship members hope the proceeds from “God Speaks” will go toward buying additional copies of the book to give to other prison inmates.
Fellowship member Chris Yavelow, of Asheville, published the book through his publishing company, YAV Publications. An award-winning musical composer and author, YAV has published nearly 25 books, particularly in the field of computer music, and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of WNC in Fletcher and the Asheville Christian Writers Group.
“And wouldn’t you know,” Yavelow said, “when God Speaks came off the printer, it weighed exactly .316 of a pound.”
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God Speaks sells for $9.95 and comes with a complimentary copy of the New Testament.
The book can be purchased online at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com and InterestingWriting.com or locally at Blue Ridge Books and Carolina Readiness in Waynesville, the new Lake Junaluska Bookstore and Café at Lake Junaluska and Grateful Steps in Asheville.