Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Author Interview with Malinda Fugate about The Other Three Sixteens (book)

Let's welcome my author friend Malinda Fugate to the blog today!

She's here to talk about her book The Other Three Sixteens, that releases today (May 12)!

Malinda also has agreed to give away ONE signed, paperback copy of her book to the ONE winner of the giveaway contest that you can enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this blog post. Please remember that this giveaway contest is ONLY for United States residents because mailing books internationally is expensive.

Read my interview with Malinda below and remember to wish her a 
"Happy BOOK birthday" in the comments!

Interview with Malinda Fugate about her book, 
The Other Three Sixteens:

Alexis: Why did you write this book?

Malinda: The Other Three Sixteens began as a personal study, sparked by curiosity and, I’m certain, inspiration from the Lord. After memorizing and teaching John 3:16 to my church kids, I’d especially notice other three sixteen verses when I came across them. I wondered if this could be a unifying theme, and as I read, God revealed a deeper understanding of His love. If I was so blessed by this, I knew I needed to share it.

Alexis: What was your inspiration for sharing these words?

When something is exceptionally good, you gotta share! The more we examine God’s love, the more wonder we find. We can’t possibly keep such amazingness to ourselves.

Alexis: Who is your target audience for this book? Why?

Malinda: The Other Three Sixteens is written for everyday people. Sometimes, the advanced vocabulary of theology can be a barrier if we’re unfamiliar with the terminology. But the Bible is accessible for everyone, and the Holy Spirit helps us understand things we couldn’t quite grasp on our own. I hope this book inspires anyone who needs reassurance of how much God cares for them and leads to a closer relationship with Him.

Alexis: What is your book about?

Malinda: God’s love! The Other Three Sixteens moves through each book of the Bible examining various aspects of God’s attentive care for us, His precious children.

Alexis: What were the easiest and most challenging parts about writing this book?

Malinda: I think the easiest parts were 3:16s that were part of a story, because we naturally become invested in narratives. Other 3:16s required a little more examination to uncover how they related to God’s love, particularly in the books of prophecy that discuss ancient Israel’s destruction. But the thing is, God’s love is all over every page of His Word, so the love was there, too.

Alexis: How did you choose the title for this book? Explain its significance.

Malinda: The title sums up just what you find in the book, which is all the other chapter three, verse sixteens in each book of the Bible. At least, most books in the Bible are covered in my book because there are a few that don’t have a third chapter with a sixteenth verse!

Alexis: Why do you believe that John 3:16 sums of the Gospel message?

Malinda: The Gospel message is so amazing and deep that it’s not easy to simplify. Yet, when Jesus has a conversation with a Jewish leader named Nicodemus, He explained a big truth clearly in what is now John 3:16. God loved us so immensely that He gave Jesus to forgive our sins, resulting in our reconciliation with Him. Sure, we can go into lots of details – which is good and we should – but we have to start with the basics, just like Nicodemus did the night he talked with Jesus.

Alexis: What do you hope your book will teach people about God?

Malinda: I very much pray that the Lord uses the words in this book to speak personally to each heart, whispering just how much He treasures them individually. You are not just one in a big crowd of humanity. You matter so much to God that He goes to great lengths to actively love you.

Alexis: How much time did you spend writing this book?

Malinda: It took me about a year to write, but I am such an inconsistent writer! I’d go through disciplined periods of time writing multiple chapters, then weeks or more would go by before I had another page. Publishing deadlines, however, kept me moving at a fairly steady pace, thankfully!

Alexis: Did you ever want to stop writing this book? If so, what kept you going? If not, why?

Malinda: I can’t think of a time when I wanted to stop writing, though there were challenging moments. The whole process was enjoyable, to be honest, because it was like opening a treasure chest with each new 3:16. Each chapter was a fresh, new look at God’s love, which never gets tiresome or mundane.

Alexis: If you choose just one word, sentence or message from your book that you want people to remember, what would that be and why?

Malinda: God loves you, and that means so very much.

Alexis: Tell us about your faith journey. When did you decide to follow Jesus? Why? How has your faith in God impacted your life?

Malinda: I’ve been blessed to know Jesus since childhood. My parents and grandparents instilled a love of Christ in me until I was mature enough to understand and choose to follow Him on my own. But the bottom line is that God has proven tangible and active in my life. His Word is consistent and true. He has been my joy and my lifeline, and I could not function without Him. There are many stories I could tell of good times and bad, provision and lifesaving, but maybe that’s another book!

Alexis: In what ways do you hope that your book will stir the faith of your readers?

Malinda: I think our faith often consists of believing without seeing, and so we stop looking for the things that are visible. However, when we are paying attention, we see God and His love in many very real ways. Then we discover that He has been doing great things all along and we can trust all the things He’s promised to do. And when we realize how busy He has been loving us in so many ways, our hearts are overflowing with … Gratitude? Love for Him? Wonder? All of this and more? It really is indescribable.

Alexis: If you could sell this book to people using just one phrase, what would it be?

Malinda: God passionately loves you, and you’ll be amazed when you see how.

Alexis: What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

Malinda: You’d think I’d have a favorite with all this studying, but it’s actually made it more difficult to choose! And Scripture wasn’t designed to be isolated in quotable pieces, and the more I study, the more I see how it all fits together like a tapestry, each verse woven into the verses surrounding it. The passages that resonate most with me tend to change with the seasons of life. Right now, it might be 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 
Life seems to be turned upside down during this season, but we know just what to do.

Alexis: Complete this sentence: If I weren’t an author, I’d be _____________

because ________________________________.

Malinda: If I weren’t an author, I’d be finding some way to tell stories because I just can’t keep them contained!

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Malinda! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Malinda: I really do pray The Other Three Sixteens shines a light on how God so very much loves you. Thanks so much for this chat, Alexis!

Author Bio:

Malinda Fugate invites you to explore the various 3:16s in the Bible with her new book, The Other Three Sixteens (published by Ambassador International).

She serves full time as the Children’s Education Director at a Southern California church.

In addition to The Other Three Sixteens, Malinda has written Bible Time for Active Kids (an activities-based devotional) and The Pen and the Sword: Connecting With the Word of God (an interactive creative writing journal).

Malinda studied communications and theatre at Azusa Pacific University, then worked behind the scenes at the Los Angeles Salem radio stations, including The Fish and KKLA. She lives by the beach with her pup, Yoshi.

Blurb for Malinda’s book:

"For God so loved the world . . . "

Many of us could finish that sentence in our sleep. John 3:16 is a beautiful Scripture that neatly and simply sums up the message of the Gospel. But what do all the other 3:16s in the Bible have to tell us?

The words of the Bible weave a tapestry of love, particularly the love that our Heavenly Father has for His children. But a love so deep and so wide cannot be contained in one memorized phrase. It takes multiple authors of sixty-six individual books to begin to explore the mystery of God's care for us.

The Other Three Sixteens
by Malinda Fugate examines each third chapter and sixteenth verse in the Bible and invites a fresh, new perspective to help readers uncover surprises or remind them of forgotten truths of a faith that has become routine.

Through Genesis to Revelation, we can soak in its depth, wonder at its intricacies, and be moved at how much the Lord truly does lavish upon us. Together, we discover God's love under the weight of Eve's sin in the garden. It's there in front of Moses, burning in a bush that is somehow not consumed. God's love sits in the dark with Job, rebuilds a wall with Nehemiah, and encourages a young pastor named Timothy. Together we will find a deeper understanding of the way our Heavenly Father cares for each of us today.

Discussion questions suitable for individual or group use included.

Buy Malinda’s book on Amazon

*United States residents ONLY may enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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