Thursday, September 1, 2016

Interview with Courtnaye Richard, author of Identified (the book)

Welcome my new guest Courtnaye Richard, author of Identified, to the blog! She's here today to visit with us and tell us about her new book! She'll be here a few more times because this interview is a short series with today's guest post being Part I.

Every day that Courntaye visits to talk about her book, she's going to talk about something new related to it. Today, she's included an extra bonus: you have the chance to WIN a copy of Identified! Simply fill out the form in the Rafflecopter widget below then proceed to read the interview. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Interview (Part I) with Courtnaye Richard, author of IDENTIFIED:

Alexis: Tell me about the heart-shaped thumbprint symbol on your book’s cover. Why did you want that there? What is its significance?

Courtnaye: I love that you asked that question. The heart represents so much! The thumbprint is all about being identified and making our mark in this world for Jesus Christ before He returns. In the natural sense, our thumbprint signifies who we are. It identifies us. But spiritually, it makes a strong statement that says, “We are loved by God and identified through the blood of Jesus” (that’s why it’s red). It also represents the love that we should have for one another as we walk out our purposes (I talk more about this in the book in detail).

Alexis: What does it mean to be “identified” as a child of God?

Courtnaye: It means that we have been saved through believing in Christ…that God sent His only begotten Son to die a shameful death on a cross to save sinners like you and me, and so many others. Being identified in Christ also means that we have been marked by the Holy Spirit and now His power lives in us. As identified daughters of the King, we have amazing power to do great things to advance the Kingdom of Heaven. The themed Scripture for the book is actually, Ephesians 1:13 which says, “And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.” Once we KNOW who we are in Christ, that’s when we can walk in a God-confidence and begin to move forward in what we’ve been called to do on this earth.

Alexis: In Chapter One of your book, you said, “…Too many people are beginning to lose sight of who they are right now.” What do you mean? Explain.

Courtnaye: We are living in the last days and the Bible warns that there will be a falling away, before Jesus returns. We’re definitely seeing that happen in our time and generation. People are beginning to fall away from the faith. And many are beginning to get caught up in the things of this life and world, unfortunately. When this happens, it begins to steal away the affection from God. Colossians 3:2 tells us, “Set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth.” We have to stay focused and continue in the faith. Paul said, “I kept the faith…I finished the race that God set out for me.” We have to do the same. Now is the not the time to be losing sight of who we are. We are IDENTIFIED women in Christ, and we need to proclaim and stand firm in that truth at all costs. Before I close this statement, I have to say that some long-time believers are now beginning to question if Christianity is really the only way to heaven and they’re now open to other ways. It’s a global struggle. And I believe that’s why this message is so timely. I believe this is why God wants to remind His people who they are and to stay awake in these dark times. We need to be moving forward, not backwards.

Alexis: Your book gives a faith-based spin on what it means to have an “identity crisis.” In a few words, explain what this type of identity crisis looks like and let us know if it’s possible to avoid it (then show us how).

Courtnaye: Gotcha! An identity crisis is an “all-of-a-sudden” change and/or form of confusion that begins to take shape against who you really are. It’s as if, one day you wake up and you don’t know who you are anymore or you’re suddenly uncertain about things…you enter into an identity crisis. It can also take the form of low-self-esteem, comparison, low self-worth, self-condemnation, lack of confidence, or it can go as far as wanting to become someone that you weren’t created to be.

Alexis: What does it mean to truly know that we are who God says we are and not believe negative labels given to us by the world?

Courtnaye: We have to take God at His Word and believe what He says about us. We are IDENTIFIED in Him. No one else knows us better than He does. And we have to own His words over what the world says about us or what people say against His truth. We have to make that declaration to ourselves. A great example would be to speak the Word out loud over yourself. You can speak it in your car, living room, bedroom, prayer closet and say, “I am a child of God. I am His masterpiece. He knows the end result. I am chosen. I am called by Him. I am loved by God. He is for me and not against me. And I have a purpose and He will fulfill it.” You have to speak life over yourself…especially when the fiery darts are being thrown at you from every direction or when negative words or doubt try to penetrate your mind and heart. That’s when you have to hold up your shield of faith as an IDENTIFIED warrior in Christ and believe what God’s Word says above all else. I talk about this in my book in detail as it relates to conquering spiritual warfare.

Alexis: When did God place this message on your heart? Paint the picture of that day then explain why you wrote it as this book.

Courtnaye: The Lord placed this message on my heart to write IDENTIFIED in March of this year (2016). Actually, I’d already started writing a book about something else. Until one day, as I was writing the front and back cover text of that particular book, God shifted me. It was really a supernatural experience. Reason being is because as I was typing, I looked over to my left and my Bible was opened to Isaiah 55:8. It read, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways, declares the Lord.” And that’s when I thought to myself, “Oh, oh! I feel a God-shift happening.” I knew it! I knew He was changing my plan as a tradeoff for His plan. So I went with the shift. And here we are.

Alexis: Why did you choose to cater this book to women?

Courtnaye: Good question! I believe it starts with the calling. God called me to minister to women about 13 years ago and He prepared me in so many ways for this time to write this book. Again, I would’ve never thought about writing it, but He knows what His daughters need to hear in this season.

Alexis: What is the main message that you hope your readers will remember?

Courtnaye: I pray that the women reading this book will receive the message that God wants them to truly know who they are in Christ right now, and to begin preparing themselves to move forward in what He has predestined them to do (in every way). I also pray that they will know that they were created for such a time as this. This book is not only about identity and walking in your purpose, but it’s also advancing the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s has an evangelistic message within it, because it’s time to share Christ all over this world! And God wants to use His daughters to get the job done. Jesus is coming back soon, and we’ve got to be ready from the inside out. With that being said, it’s time to know and live like we are IDENTIFIED.

~*~
Author bio:
Courtnaye Richard is a Christian writer, blogger, speaker, and founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye (a ministry especially designed to help women grow in their daily walk with the Lord, live out their purpose, and be ready when Jesus Christ returns). 

She's all about real life, real talk, and real faith! She posts a weekly blog every Monday @ 7:30 a.m. on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org, hosts a “LIVE” call on 1st Tuesdays, and shares a weekly Two-Minute message with her audience every Wednesday.

For more info, please visit www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org.

Also, be sure to "Like" her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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