Tell us about the One Year® God’s Great Blessings Devotional.
I write memoirs, not romances. But God’s Great Blessings shakes me out of the memoir box. It’s a One Year® devotional—a daily guide--published by the Christian publisher Tyndale House for its One Year®brand. As a devotional, it invites readers to journey through 52 virtues that God promises to bless. In every way, it was a life-changing project. A life-changing project, for sure. For example, I’ve been married 35 amazing years, so to write this book, I explored virtues such as love, commitment, forgiveness, persistence—topics that matter deeply to readers of romance, but also changed my own life.
How did you come up with ideas for the One Year God’s Great Blessings?
I’d received a One Year® Bible from my publisher, Tyndale, as a Christmas gift. But for several reasons, I didn’t open it for an entire year. Then after a tough year of ups and downs, I opened that Bible and tore into it—looking for a way past burdens, but finding instead God’s path to blessings. That path, to my surprise, was paved with virtues. Godly virtues—such as wisdom, compassion, honesty, listening, loving, persistence, modesty. Did you know that modesty, according to the Bible, is what God blesses to make women beautiful? Or when we don’t give up, pursuing godly dreams, God blesses us with His power?
I started taking notes on what I was learning on virtues and blessings. Soon I had enough material for a book proposal—which Tyndale House accepted. Before long, I had enough material for a book. My aim was to explore the virtues God blesses. That’s what makes them great blessings. Tyndale loved the idea and I plowed into the topic. As a woman and a Christian, I truly enjoyed writing and developing this book.
Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this book?
Lots of Bible research. But I enjoy that. So every day, I was digging deeper into the Bible. Then once the devotional was finished, I worked with different editors at Tyndale to double check facts and scripture references. A lot of work, yes. But so rich! In fact, for romance readers, the Bible is a great story of God’s love for His world. But it also teaches us the secrets to loving each other.
So if you want to learn about romance, read Solomon’s Song of Songs in the Bible. If you want to know how to stay happily married, read the Book of Proverbs. If you want to know how to survive infidelity or get over jealousy or find the right mate, read the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. Talk about true romance. There’s no better book. So doing Bible research was truly an empowering joy.
What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading the One Year God’ Great Blessings Devotional?
To reach for higher character. To aim to grow better not bigger. These days, everybody seems to want to be a star—a celebrity, and rich and famous. Or they want to marry somebody rich and famous. That’s not a goal. That’s a nightmare.
But the Bible promises a lifetime of spiritual wealth—wisdom, love, joy, peace and much more, all priceless blessings—when we seek a path of virtue not money and fame. So I pray readers will be blessed by this journey as much as I was blessed by making the effort to write and finish it.
As for women readers, I pray they will learn that the love they are seeking can be found, not by chasing after a man, but by chasing after God. He wrote the book on love.
Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?
They matter. Everybody wants to be accepted and acknowledged. For me as an author, the main thing to know for myself is that I put a lot into this project and, in return, got back a priceless bounty of blessings.
So I’m better. I’m wiser. I’m stronger. A popular gospel song says the same thing. My prayer is that others will grow even more by journeying through God’s Great Blessings. Any woman who grows deeper in just one virtuous character will see her life change for the good. Seek to be more loving in a godly way, for example, and you will “find life, prosperity and honor,” says Proverbs 21:21. That’s not a promise from me. That’s a promise from God. That’s not just exciting— that’s worth the reading!
One Year God's Great Blessings Devotional
Want half a blessing? Or God’s best? Award-winning author Patricia Raybon dares to pursue God’s greatest in her new One Year® devotional, God’s Great Blessings. Join her search for the enriching secrets of a bold Christian life, exploring 52 biblical values and virtues that God blesses not because we’re good but because He’s God. This path is uplifting, challenging, sometimes surprising but always transforming. Get on board with our Blessing God for the life-changing journey.
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