Friday, September 30, 2016

Words of Faith: Ralene's story on hope, healing, and believing in God

You Were Meant to Be
A Words of Faith story by Ralene Burke

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb."
~Psalm 139:13 (NKJV)

People often ask me when I started believing in God or when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. It’s hard for me to answer because, in many ways, I have always believed. I don’t really remember a time where I didn’t. Sure, there were times I rebelled or backslid, depending on what term you want to use, but I never stopped believing.

I couldn’t. It wasn’t in me. Why?

Because my very birth and survival were a miracle doctors couldn’t explain.

When I was born, I had a tumor in my neck. In a matter of hours, the tumor swelled to the size of a grown man’s fist in a newborn baby’s neck. I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t breathe.

The hospital life-flighted me to a bigger hospital. The doctors told my parents that, without surgery, I was going to die. And, even with surgery, there would only be a 50 percent chance I would live. So, at only two days old, I underwent surgery to remove the tumor.

Afterward, I was flown in a helicopter across the country. Recovery followed with three months in the hospital. The doctors were sure that I would be mentally and physically handicapped. They were so sure (95 percent sure, if you want the number), they tried to convince my parents to put me in a state facility where people would be better equipped to take care of me. Of course, my parents refused.

From the day I was born through those first several months, there were so many people praying for me…So many people just pouring out their hearts, asking God for a miracle.

In the months after I left the hospital, my delayed development picked up quickly. By the end of my first year, I was pretty much on track with most other one-year-olds.

"From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you." ~Psalm 71:6 (NKJV)

Today, you wouldn’t notice too many of the side effects of that surgery. Yes, there was some nerve damage. It paralyzed my left shoulder muscle, my left vocal cord, as well as a few others minor nerves. The one thing most people notice is my raspy voice from only using one vocal cord. If people are around me longer, they might realize I’m limited on how much I can lift and on shoulder movement on the left side.

No mental challenges, though. Unless you count my penchant for taking on too much. Or listening to the voices in my head—I mean, writing fantasy stories.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”~
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

It is by God’s grace alone that I am here today. It’s by His bidding that I have come so far and done so much more than the doctor’s ever anticipated. I remember, upon my high school graduation, my mom and I sent cards to the three hospitals involved with taking care of me at some point throughout my birth and recovery.

God is the Father of Miracles. He calls us to His side, invites us to join in the journey WITH Him. How do I have faith in a fallen world? How can I not? I look around and see all that He has done in the lives of so many people—and it is good.

Author bio: 

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, was published as a 4-part serial! 

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . . 

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Words of Faith: Heroism, the world's standards and the Call of God

The Core of a Hero
A Words of Faith story by Terri Reed

"For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ~Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

I think heroism is not an easily defined state by this world’s standards. We look at the media and see athletes touted as heroes. We see activist being named a hero for their work and we see actors called heroes for roles they play. We look to what’s happening in the world and see men and women dying in battles that are meant to free others. We see firemen, policemen and others in professions where they risk their lives for the safety of others. There are schoolteachers who give everything they have so a child can learn. There are doctors who fight to save lives, to find cures to disease and who help to make life more bearable. There are parents struggling to hold onto their families in a world where division is the norm. There are people struggling to overcome addictions and children struggling just to survive.

Are any of these less or more heroic than another? Who is the judge? We each see life differently and individually define our heroes.

As a Christian, I look to the Bible for examples of heroism. Men and women obeying the call of God on their lives against adversity and persecution. I look to Jesus Christ as the ultimate hero. The One who I could only hope to emulate.

As a writer, I try to make my characters heroic. Sometimes that means big actions that require bravery and sacrifice. Sometimes small actions that can only be seen by the reader such as acting in spite of misgivings, overcoming fear to love or to help, moral integrity, and facing one’s flaws to become a better person. If our characters don’t grow and change, becoming more heroic as the story unfolds, the integrity of the story is comprised and becomes insipid.

From his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell defined a hero as someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.


On another occasion, Campbell defined two different types of heroic deeds. One, he said, is the physical deed, in which the hero performs a courageous act and saves a life. The other kind is the spiritual deed, in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human life and then comes back with a message (a lesson, a gift, an idea) to share.

I like this because it broadens the scope of heroism and suggests that each and every one of us can be a hero in our everyday lives. Through faith nothing is impossible. I pray that we all would look for ways to be heroes in these turbulent times.

Author bio: 
Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publisher’s Weekly Top 25, Nielsen’s BookScan Top 100 and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine and Romantic Times Magazine, finaled in RWA’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, ACFW’s Carol Awards contest. 

Connect with Terri:
Snail mail - P.O. Box 19555 
Portland, OR 97224

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review: Gentle Like Rain

Gentle Like Rain
by seasoned, romantic-at-heart author JoAnn Durgin is a true treasure! I enjoyed this story completely and read it in only two days.

The heroine Isabella is loveable and relatable. The hero Sidney Prescott is dashing, romantic, resilient and his love for Isabella made my heart smile.

The most memorable moment for me as the reader was to experience a breakthrough in Sidney’s journey to Jesus Christ. I loved it when he was so excited about his first prayer spoken to God—a prayer that came from his heart and was natural, not forced—that he rushed to Isabella’s store and scooped her up in his arms, spun her around and shared his delight in the Lord. It was adorable and true to real life situations where people first come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, Redeemer, and Friend.

JoAnn, the author, made the goals/motivation/conflict for each character clear from the start and revealed their heart’s desires gradually as she moved the story forward with sensory details at the perfect pace.

Like any good story, Gentle Like Rain is not told without conflict. Isabella and Sidney had their own personal issues. Sidney’s journey resembled a mid-life crisis where he wonders if he chose the right path for his career and fears that he’s missing out on what really matters in life. So he goes to Evergreen in Maine to visit his sister Caroline. Her story starts in JoAnn’s previous book, Heart’s Design and for the full picture, I’d recommend you read it. But long story short, Caroline found true love when she moved to Evergreen and she married him. His name is Seth and at the time of Sidney’s visit, it was only six months after Caroline gave birth to her first child, an adorable baby girl.

JoAnn does a delightful job of portraying the close bond between family in this story but she keeps it real. There’s still conflict and fights that are expected in any family. However, they don’t last long and apologies are made as everyone holds their bond as family over anything that would try to keep them apart.

Another memorable moment for me as a reader was discovering why JoAnn named this book Gentle Like Rain. But you’ll have to read it to find out for yourself! *smile*

This story was not only near and dear to my heart but it was beautifully told! I would like to see this story made into a movie. It’s worthy of five-stars!

*The author provided Alexis A. Goring (founder of "God is Love" blog) with a complimentary copy of Gentle Like Rain in exchange for an honest review.

Author bio:
USA Today bestselling author JoAnn Durgin is the author of the beloved contemporary Christian romance series, The Lewis Legacy Series, including Prelude, the prequel to the series. 

Her other novels include Whisper to My Heart, Catching Serenity, Heart’s Design, Gentle Like the Rain, Love So Amazing and Love So Divine (The Wondrous Love Series, Books 1 and 2), Perchance to Dream, Echoes of Edinburgh, and the popular Starlight Christmas Series. 

Next up in 2016 are By Grace Draw Near, Book 3 in The Wondrous Love Series as well as the highly anticipated Pursuit, Book 8 in The Lewis Legacy Series. JoAnn loves to hear from her readers! Please feel free to contact her:



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Interview with Cheryl Martin, author of "Distinctly You" (book)

Today, we have a special guest. She's a high-profile broadcast journalist, speaker, communicator and author with a passion for helping women and inspiring audiences. Cheryl Martin is her name and she's here to talk about this book:

Here's what Susan, a reader of Cheryl's book, had to say about it: “Cheryl, I heard you speak on Life Today and ordered your book Distinctly You during the program. God has used many books to help and to heal me but Distinctly You was the timeliest tool He has ever given to me. I had been struggling under jealousy and comparison because I was raised that way. And right as it came to its highest peak yet in my 50 years of living God showed me His answer, "Distinctly You". I have recommended it to numerous friends already. This collection of personal stories along with the biblical accounts has brought healing, much learning and a tool for me to use to help others… Many women need this tool of freedom. God Bless You, precious sister. Susan”

Now guess what? Today, you, my dear blog readers, have the distinct honor of hearing from Cheryl Martin as she's talking about her book Distinctly You in this author interview. 

Guess what else? She wants to giveaway one copy of her book to one of you! Enter the book giveaway contest by filling out the Rafflecopter widget's form below then proceed to read my interview with Cheryl. God bless you! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Cheryl Martin about her book, Distinctly You:

Alexis: What led you to write Distinctly You?

Cheryl: I wanted to encourage women to stop fixating on what they are not or do not have and instead, develop their God-given uniqueness. I believed that sharing my journey and my God-stories would inspire them to become ALL God meant them to be.

Alexis: What message do you want your readers to take to heart?

Cheryl: Every woman has a God-given distinction, but on this journey called ‘life,’ we experience attitudes and actions, “blockers” to our distinction. To counter these “blockers,” we must activate “builders.” I mention in Distinctly You, twelve of each.”

Alexis: What do you think of the 3 Cs: comparing, competing, and coveting” that we as women fall victim to? How can we overcome that pitfall?

Cheryl: I like to say that those 3C’s lead to 3Ds: discouragement, discontentment, and depression, and they are deadly. You cannot win when you are consumed with any of the 3C’s because they can prevent you from developing your strengths and distinctions. There is always going to be someone smarter, prettier, younger, and more talented.

We need to remember that someone else’s greatness will take nothing from our God-given distinction. When we believe this, we will applaud and affirm another woman and her giftedness.

We can overcome the 3C’s by remembering that it’s God who determined our talents, looks, and assignments. We exist to glorify Him. He will reward us based on what we do with what we’ve been given. We can get the same commendation as someone multitalented or more beautiful or smarter when we do our best.

I have learned much by studying the great attitudes of John the Baptist, Jonathan, and Elisabeth in the Bible. They applauded the “higher” positions appointed to Jesus, David, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. There was no competition or rivalry. They recognized the sovereign hand of God in choosing whom He would exalt.”

Alexis: Thank you for writing this book. You share your personal stories of the battles you faced in life. In what ways do you hope that your heartfelt transparency will help women readers?

Cheryl: I am by nature a private person, but I believed God wanted me to share my internal struggles with self-acceptance and doubt at certain times in my life to encourage other women. So many times, people think that those who have experienced a certain level of success don’t have to overcome their fears and rejection. So many times, we as women find it difficult to verbalize what we are feeling and experiencing and how we really see ourselves. We don’t open up to anyone about our dislike of our body image or skin tone, or height or weight. I decided to share things I’d only talked to God about because I wanted other women to know I’ve been there and there is a way to breakthrough to freedom and fulfillment.

Alexis: What were the challenges of writing “Distinctly You?

Cheryl: I actually had a lot more material than I thought. I needed to rely on God’s wisdom to know what to keep in and what to take out. Also, it took awhile to get a publishing contract. I had these concepts in my heart for more than seven years, but in God’s perfect timing, the book was picked up by a publisher (Bethany House) that was excited about the project. How the book came to be could easily fit into the premise of what Distinctly You is all about…that God has a distinct path for all of us and He desperately wants to lead us on the best course for our lives.

Alexis: What tips can you share with us to help us discover our distinct God-given purpose in life?

Cheryl: I believe that studying the 12 “blockers” and the 12 “builders” covered in the book will provide great insight on what is holding any woman back from her destiny. All might not apply to each reader, but you can identify the actions and attitudes that need to be discarded and those that need to be developed.”

Alexis: Complete this sentence: At the end of the day, I am _________________________because ________________________.

Cheryl: At the end of the day, I am thrilled that I committed my life to Jesus as a child because this relationship has shaped my life. I have no regrets that I made Him my Savior and Lord.

Author bio: 
Cheryl Martin is a professional speaker, communications expert, and the host of Excellent Living, a weekly radio broadcast offering practical and relevant principles that assist women in making wise choices. Cheryl Martin was the popular moderator of Lead Story, a Sunday news analysis program on Black Entertainment Television (BET). The show brought together some of the top African-American journalists to discuss the major national and international news events of the week and interview top newsmakers. 

During her tenure at BET, Martin was a news anchor and also reported and produced several half-hour specials for the network: “The Legacy: Dreaming and Living Success,” an inspirational look at successful African Americans and the parents who inspired them to excel; “Mission in the Hood,” a look at initiatives by Black, inner-city churches to curb violence and strengthen the family, and “Passage to Democracy,” a chronicling of Martin’s visit to South Africa to cover the historic first all-race elections.

She is the author of the books: Distinctly You: Trading Comparison & Competition for Freedom & Fulfillment and 1st Class Single: Rules for Dating & Waiting God’s Way.
Connect with Cheryl:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Interview with Candee Fick, author of Dance Over Me

Please welcome Candee Fick to the blog today! Candee is the author of Catch of a Lifetime which is available now. 

Today, she's here to talk about her new novel, Dance Over Me, which is releasing today AND she's giving away one e-book copy of her book, for your Kindle! Enter the book giveaway contest by filling out the Rafflecopter widget below. Then proceed to read the interview with this super talented author! :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Interview with Candee:

Alexis: Danielle Lefontaine is a strong, unique and powerful name. How did you think of it? Tell us about the woman behind the name. What does she look like? What are her flaws? Her strengths?

Candee: I picked this name for my character for the strength and bit of elegance it implies, but also because it contrasts with her birth name (and nickname) of Dani Barker. She’s a survivor with a persistent streak to find and be reunited with her baby brother, but after her experiences in foster care, she’s also afraid to rock the boat. When bullied, Dani won’t stand up for herself because she still doesn’t want to get pegged as the troublemaker and find herself looking for a new home. Yet, despite her longing for a place to belong, Dani’s an extremely talented dancer and singer. Her talent makes her stand out in the crowd while her straight brown hair and brown eyes help her blend in.

Alexis: Danielle seems like a captivating character. Describe the research that you did to write this book. Did you visit New York and watch a show on Broadway?

Candee: Since her birth mom’s favorite song was “The Lullaby of Broadway,” Dani always felt a pull toward that direction that was solidified once she started dance lessons. However, she’s never been to New York or Broadway…and neither have I. Yet many of the plays performed on local stages were once on Broadway so I found it an interesting twist to bring the big stage to the local setting. There are two plays performed during the time period of Dance Over Me and I watched both of them in person at a local dinner theater in addition to countless YouTube videos and a looping soundtrack in the background when writing.

Alexis: What role does Danielle’s long-lost brother play in this story? What’s the significance?

Candee: Her long-lost brother is a symbol of sorts of her longing to belong somewhere. She once had a happy, loving family and yearns to regain that emotional stability and connection again. So while she’s looking for her brother, she’s also discovering that ideal stability and connection in her personal relationship with God and then with the hero and his family. Often the very thing we think will fill the gaping hole in our heart or bring satisfaction doesn’t. Dani also feels a sense of unfinished business since she had promised her dad to always look out for her brother but circumstances made it impossible to do that. She’ll need to trust that God has been watching over them all along and working behind the scenes.

Alexis: What is it about Danielle that makes a cast member jealous?

Candee: Did I mention that Dani’s got talent? Well, during the audition, the company diva’s boyfriend not only complimented Dani on her fancy footwork but seemed to flirt with her while reading dialogue from a scene. The diva not only feels her position as star could be threatened but makes it a personal mission to keep the boyfriend’s attention. But remember, Dani doesn’t like to rock the boat and wants to fade into the background…which could make it seem like she’s hiding something.

Alexis: The hero in your story is Alex Sheridan, also a strong name! What was your inspiration behind creating this character? What’s he like personality-wise? Briefly detail his strengths, weaknesses, and character flaws.

Candee: Alex represents stability with a solid family around him as well the family-owned business where he gets to use his musical talent and marketing education. He’s got a fun sense of humor, dimples, a lock of hair that keeps falling over his forehead, and an unwavering dedication to those he loves. He’s living his dream and now wants someone to share it with. Perfect, right? Except that he’s afraid to take a risk with his heart. He’s torn between wanting a life partner who loves the theater and fearing that the bright lights of the stage will steal her away. Mostly because he can’t imagine ever leaving home.

Alexis: Where is the dinner theater that Alex helps his family run, located? Why did you as the author, choose that kind of backdrop?

Candee: Like I mentioned before, a dinner theater was a fun way to bring a taste of the big stage of Broadway to a smaller town setting. It’s almost a juxtaposition between our big dreams of glory and our need for a safe place of security. This particular fictional theater is located in Fort Collins, Colorado about an hour north of Denver and is loosely based on a compilation of three semi-local dinner theaters. While I wanted the freedom to invent my own layout of the facility for the story purposes, I also wanted to create a place where other theater-goers from other states could feel at home.

Alexis: What is it about Danielle that captivates Alex?

Candee: Alex recognizes talent and a similar sense of humor, but is captivated when he catches a glimpse of Dani’s heart for God on the day he arrives early for a rehearsal. In that moment, he realizes that she performs for the love of the dance and to use God’s gifts rather than a desire for fame or notoriety. There is nothing more beautiful than humility and Alex knows he’s found the other half of his heart.

Alexis: What is it about Alex that makes Danielle’s care about him?

Candee: While her first impression is that he’s cute…and tall, she’s also skittish because he is the Director’s son and she doesn’t want it to appear to others (like the already-jealous diva) that she’s trying to get on the Director’s good side through his family. However, as Dani spends more time bantering with Alex during rehearsals and she sees him interact with his grandmother and cousin, the fear fades. And then she catches a glimpse of his faith in God which seals the deal. Alex is the total package.

Alexis: Why does the glamour of the stage captivate Danielle’s heart? How did show business become her passion?

Candee: The first seed was planted by her birth mom singing about Broadway and then nurtured through learning to dance. But show business became her passion in high school during a drama class when she first stepped into the life of someone else on stage. After foster care and years of trying to find a place to belong, it was refreshing to walk in someone else’s shoes for a change. She found her niche in musical theater because she could also use her love for music and dance. She also loves the way she can help audience members leave behind their own cares for a few hours during a show.

Alexis: What were the most challenging aspects of writing this book? And what was the most rewarding?

Candee: The most challenging part was making the tap dance parts seem real since I haven’t received any formal training in dance. However, I had been part of several shows including large-scale Passion Plays so I drew on that theater experience to bridge the gaps. The most fun part of writing this book was the banter between Dani and Alex because those two could really get going faster than my fingers could fly. But the most rewarding part was weaving in Dani’s faith journey and the realization that God was her true stability and had been working behind the scenes of her life.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember about Dance Over Me?

Candee: The title came from a song, “Amazed,” by Phillips Craig and Dean that mentions how God dances over us while we are unaware and goes on to say how amazed we are at God’s love. I want readers to feel a similar amazement at how God works behind the scenes in our lives and to recapture that sense of awe at the depth of His love as illustrated by Dani’s story and her relationship with Alex.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Candee! Any closing thoughts?

Candee: Thanks for having me today! It’s been a lot of fun talking about Dani’s journey. The good news is that there’s more to come from The Wardrobe Dinner Theatre. I’m working on the sequel right now and already plotting how to redeem the diva in book three. Folks can sign up for my newsletter at and get updates about future books.

Author bio: 
Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Book blurb: 
Danielle Lefontaine, a fledgling actress raised to the lullaby of Broadway, searches for her long-lost brother and her place on the stage, but a jealous cast member and numerous fruitless leads threaten to drop the curtain on her dreams and shine a spotlight on her longing for a place to belong. Meanwhile, Alex Sheridan is living his dream except for someone to share it with. When Dani dances into his life, he hopes he’s found the missing piece to his heart but fears the bright lights of a bigger stage could steal her away. Will the rhythm of dancing feet usher in their deepest desires or leave them stranded in the wings?

Connect with Candee:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Words of Faith: Zillah's story about God's healing power

The Prayer of Faith
A Words of Faith story by Zillah Williams

A few years ago I was struck down by depression—not just low spirits but a debilitating and prolonged bout of fear and gloom. It was this problem that led me to learn about faith—specifically, what James in his epistle calls The Prayer of Faith: “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” (James 5:15) NIV.

Until then, my understanding of faith had been similar to that of the dad in Adrian Plass’s book The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ (1987). If you have read the book, you will remember that his wife and son discovered him one day concentrating hard on a paper clip, “willing” it to move.

The teaching of the late Canon Jim Glennon showed me that “willing” myself to be healed was not faith. For twenty years, he led a healing ministry at St. Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. During that time, the Cathedral was packed for the Wednesday night healing services. The teaching that he gave at these services was written up and distributed to members of the congregation. Gradually, through reading copies of these weekly talks, I came to understand what faith—the Prayer of Faith—really means. Jim Glennon didn’t simply tell people what to do, he explained how to do it.

His teaching was basically this: know the promises of God; receive the promise that fits your situation; thereafter, thank God for the answer.

It’s really so very simple. Jim would say, “You have what you accept” and “Believe it before you see it.” As Oswald Chambers said: “Seeing is never believing.”

Through Jim Glennon’s teaching I took the words of 2 Timothy 1:7 as my promise for healing from depression—“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (KJV). I spoke the promise over to myself constantly—and I mean constantly—for I don’t know how long, until the depression left me.

George Müller, the German evangelist and man of faith who provided homes for hundreds of orphans in England during the nineteenth century, operated entirely by faith. He never begged for money to feed and clothe his orphans. He simply made his needs known to God and trusted Him for provision. And the provision always came.

Jim Glennon learned to trust God in the same way as George Müller did. It was about twelve months after he began the Healing Ministry at St. Andrews Cathedral when a group of young people in the congregation offered themselves for missionary service overseas. Jim was impressed and told God that he, too, was willing to go to the mission field. He was spoken to by the Holy Spirit who told him his job was to “learn how to pray.” And that is what happened. He learned the secret of the Prayer of Faith and spent over twenty years teaching others. At the end of his ministry, he said: “Let your problems enable you to trust, not in yourself but in God, and make it a way of life. It is simple. It is straightforward. You will have to persevere, but it will work for you in the same way as I have found it worked for me and for many, many others.”

Through accepting God’s promise that He’d not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind and unceasingly thanking Him for it, I was gradually healed. Exactly when the healing fully occurred, I’ll truly never know, but heal, I did.

Author bio: 

Zillah was born in England, emigrating with her parents to Australia in her early teens. Before she took up writing Zillah was a librarian in Sydney. 

Now she is a writer and also engages in proofreading and copyediting. She has written articles for Christian magazines, five novels for young adults and, in 2015, a romance novel called I Only Want to Dance With You, published by Elk Lake Publishing.

She is interested in the healing ministry of the church which led her to compile and edit a book of sermons by the late Canon Jim Glennon of St. Andrews Cathedral in Sydney—Healing is a Way of Life.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Interview (Part III) with Courtnaye Richard, author of "Identified" (book)

Welcome Courtnaye Richard again to the blog! She's here to share final words about her book Identified and to give us a glimpse into her purpose and passion in life.

Reminder: It's not too late for you to WIN a copy of Identified! Visit Part I of Courtnaye's interview and enter the book giveaway contest by filling out the Rafflecopter widget in the blog post. Here's the link,

Enjoy this final installment of this three-part interview with Courtnaye!

Final Interview with Courtnaye Richard about her new book, Identified:

Alexis: Inside Out with Courtnaye is a unique name for a blog. What does it mean?

Courtnaye: Great question! Let me break it up to better explain it. The words “Inside Out” are all about allowing God to change us from the inside out (from the heart). The Scripture that I use as well is Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” And my name was added to bring in that relatable aspect. I’m called to women, and women are relational. So I prayed about it and named it Inside Out with Courtnaye.

Alexis: What or who was your inspiration in making your mark as a blogger?

Courtnaye: Honestly, I have to say that God inspired me to become a blogger. At first, I didn’t even know what blogging was, until my husband mentioned it to me one day that I should start writing one. I was clueless. But I researched how to do it, and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Alexis: You’re also a speaker. Tell us about the topics you cover. What demographic of people are you trying to reach? Explain.

Courtnaye: Yes. I cover topics such as servant leadership, mentorship, walking in your purpose, knowing who you are in Christ as it relates identity, how to write and blog for God, and personal and spiritual growth as a Christian woman.

Alexis: Share a bit about your personal life. Who is Courtnaye Richard? Where were you born? What were your parents like? Do you have siblings? Are you married with kids? What role did your family play in making you who you are today?

Courtnaye: I am a woman who LOVES God! He is my life. And I’m so grateful that He called me to become His daughter. I am originally from New Orleans, Louisiana (born and raised), but I now live in Texas (outside of Austin) with my wonderful husband and three children. I have two sisters. I would have to say that in particular, my parents played a major role in making me a strong woman. They taught me how to handle myself when life gets tough through example and during my child-rearing years. I really appreciate and love them for their parental training.

Alexis: You wrote a book! What message are you hoping to send as readers turn the pages of Identified?

Courtnaye: I pray that as the women read through the book, that it ministers directly to them in a way that they know that God is encouraging them, training them, and equipping them to truly know who they are in Christ as they walk out their purpose. But also, that they will sense the passion and the urgency that we need to make our thumbprint in the world by sharing Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world…before He returns. We’ve got work to do.

Alexis: What is the passion that God’s placed on your heart and how are you fulfilling it?

Courtnaye: I have a passion to help women all over this globe to grow in their walk with the Lord, equip them to do what they’re called to do, and be ready when Jesus comes back. I’m fulfilling this passionate calling through blogging, writing, speaking, videos, my monthly LIVE chat on Facebook every 1st Tuesday of the month (Inside Out with Courtnaye Facebook Page), social media posts, and by sharing Christ with others as the Holy Spirit leads.

Alexis: If you were not a speaker/writer/encourager, what would you be and why?

Courtnaye: I don’t know. Because I believe that I’m walking in my purpose as a speaker, writer and encourager. And I’m grateful to God that He’s shown me who I am and what I’ve been placed on this earth to do. I love it!

Alexis: What has been your most memorable—and teachable—moment in life thus far?

Courtnaye: To love deep, even when it’s hard. I had to be taught that and I also learned it from experience. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. And it’s what God called me to do…love.

Alexis: What keeps you going on days when life seems rough? How?

Courtnaye: Going into my prayer closet. When life gets rough, I run to God. He’s the One who can truly help me through it. He comforts me, strengthens me in ways beyond me and He just reassures me through His Word and His presence that He’s here for me. He shows me in supernatural ways that He’s with me in the fire.

Alexis: Complete this sentence, "I want my legacy to be _________________________because _________________________."

Courtnaye: “I want my legacy to be that I helped women come to Christ and grow in their walk with Him. And I hope and pray to see them one day on golden streets. Because for me, that’s living life on purpose. That would be a great legacy.”

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Courtnaye! Do you have any closing thoughts?

Courtnaye: Yes! I would like to close it out with a prayer. I pray that every woman reading this interview and my book, “IDENTIFIED” will be all that God created them to be and that they will be salt and light in this dark world, because the world needs it. I also pray that we will all do our part to advance the Kingdom of Heaven, before Jesus comes back. It’s time to stand up and be identified as daughters of the Most High God and live life from the inside out, in Jesus name, Amen.


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, hosts a “LIVE” call on 1st Tuesdays, and shares a weekly Two-Minute message with her audience every Wednesday. 

For more info, please visit

Book blurb: You have been created for such a time as this! Don't doubt it. Don't waver. Just believe it! There is no one on this earth that can do what God has called you to do. He has a plan for your life and He is getting you ready to fulfill it. 

I believe that we are living in a time like the Book of Acts. It's time to spread the gospel like never before! But first, we have to know who we are in Christ and understand the power that lies within us. Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Our world needs a Savior and God is raising up His Kingdom daughters to help get the job done!

This book will help you...

• See the urgency and importance of knowing who you are and walking in your purpose in these last days

• Identify and give you practical tips on how to utilize your God-given gifts & talents effectively

• Get the momentum and motivation you need to operate in your purpose successfully

• Recognize and handle spiritual attacks quickly as you move towards doing what God has called you to do

• Conquer doubt, insecurity, and fear

• Be equipped to carry out God's plan for your life

• And so much more!

Jesus is coming back soon! And it's time for you to rise up and make your thumbprint in the world for Jesus Christ as an IDENTIFIED warrior in the Lord! It's time for Kingdom business!

Buy Courtnaye's book via Amazon or Barnes & Noble 

Connect with Courtnaye: "Like" her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Testimony: What God Taught Me

Okay, it's almost midnight and I am sleepy but I had to get out of bed to bring this message to you. Here's my testimony:

I was lying in my bed, trying to sleep but not being successful because my mind was focused on all that's wrong with the world. My mind also started focusing on my own issues and experiences that were upsetting. I felt the frustration of feeling like God is silent and asking Jesus Christ why He continues to let these horrible things happen in this world.

It was to the point where I told Jesus (talking/praying to Him): Why am I here? What's the purpose of my life? I am not okay. I am NOT OKAY!

After five minutes of venting to Jesus Christ (through talking/prayer), my anger simmered and I was silent. It was then that I realized that a song was playing in my head. It was a song that I had not heard or thought of for months. But it was just what I needed as the opening lyrics played in my head. Guess what the opening lyrics to the song are? "It's okay to not be okay."

The song "Exhale" is sung by Christian music artist Plumb. It took me being silent and still to realize those opening lyrics were looping in my mind for what must have been at least two minutes only I was too upset to hear it. But when I became still and silent, God spoke to me through this song. He let me know that "It's okay to not be okay/This is a safe place."

Hebrews 4:16 tells us to come boldly before God's throne of grace so that we may find help in time of need. So my venting session was more like a bold and honest prayer to God and He answered me. He told me "It's okay to NOT be OKAY." God is not afraid of honest prayers. He invites us to be open and real with him (but still respectful because He is King of the Universe). His Son Jesus Christ knows our pain and He knows exactly what we go through because He lived on Earth and experienced our pain. *Read Hebrews 4:15

Only Christ truly "gets it" and He's for us! He is our Advocate and Mediator before the throne of God. When we pray, it's important to end our prayers to God with "In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen." *Read John 14:13-14 (KJV).

God cares all about you and He's there for you no matter what. I woke up when I realized that God just spoke to me through the opening lines of this song "Exhale" by Plumb and I knew that I needed to share this revelation with you. But before I got out of bed, God spoke to my heart with this thought, "Remember what I taught you in Montana?" Instantly, I remembered how God told me through the words of my insurance agent (after my car crashed) before she became silent in order to focus on processing my claim. Before she went silent to focus on it, she told me "Even though I'm silent, I'm still here." Those words spoke to my heart that day (about four years ago) and it still spoke to my heart tonight. Her simple yet poignant sentence reminded me that I serve a Great God who is always there for me, even when I feel like He's being silent.

Well, there you go! I'm being transparent in this blog post because I believe that this message that God shared with me, this lesson He taught me, is not just for me. Somebody needs to hear it. I hope that it will change your life (for the better). Always keep in mind Jeremiah 29:11

God bless you!



Friday, September 9, 2016

Words of Faith: Angela's story about God's power to restore

Faith Without Works is Dead
A Words of Faith story by Angela Meyer

“…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
~James 2:17 (NIV)

Families gathered around TV sets and held their breath. The year was 1969. Would man really walk on the moon? They waited and prayed that the astronauts would return home safely after their historic walk.

Spectators around the world hoped for their return. The astronauts had faith.

The engineers built the rocket. Then the astronauts proved their faith by stepping inside the rocket. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out of the lunar module and walked on the moon. Without faith, the mission would have been dead.

We can say we believe, but until we take action, there is no proof that we do believe. Those are just words. Hebrews 11:6 says that “…without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Promises in the Bible include the “if factor”. Kind of like the “if you jump, I’ll catch you,” we tell our kids at the swimming pool. If they never jump, our kids show us they do not have faith we will catch them.

If we never act on what God has told us, we show our lack of faith.

Instead of seeking first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and letting God take care of our tomorrows, we try and take care of everything ourselves and end up with a life full of worry and fretting.

Instead of walking by the spirit (Galatians 5:16) and allowing Him to make us new, we walk according to the flesh and find ourselves carried away by lusts and fleshly desires.

Instead of going to Him when we are weary and allowing Him to renew our strength (Isaiah 40:31), we stumble through life spiritually exhausted.

Four years ago I discovered my husband’s addiction to pornography, his online affairs with two women and out of control spending on his addiction. Walking away would have been the path of least resistance. To stay? How do you walk through something like that and come out whole?

I believed I served a God in the restoration business: Restoration of my own heart, my husband’s heart, and our marriage. I chose to walk out in faith, to forgive, stay and get help for our marriage. And God has been faithful. I was able to trust God with the process even when I couldn’t trust my husband.

I would have missed out on a world of blessings if I had not had faith in God. He has done so much to heal us and we trust Him to complete the process. Our prayer is that when people hear our story they will be drawn to our Heavenly Father who heals and makes whole.

Has there been a time when you proved your faith by your actions and saw a difference in your own life or in the life of someone you know?

Author bio:

Angela D. Meyer, author of The Applewood Hill Series, lives in NE with her husband of 25 years and their high school daughter. Their son serves our country in the Marines. 

Angela enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, connecting with friends and encouraging women to grow in their faith. 

One of her dream spots to vacation is next to the ocean and someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon. 

Connect with Angela: 


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Interview (Part II) with Courtnaye Richard, author of "Identified" (book)

Please welcome Courtnaye Richard to the blog again! She's the author of this book:

Courtnaye has more to talk about regarding this book and the reason she wrote it. Enjoy Part II of Courtnaye's interview featuring her book, IDENTIFIED! :)

Here's the interview: 

Alexis: You advise your readers to not let people dictate what they think they should be, but instead to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His leading. Why is that so important?

Courtnaye: I believe it’s important because if you’re not rooted and grounded in who God says you are through the leading of His Spirit and His Word, then you can be easily persuaded to believe what others say about you over what God says. And that’s when things can get cloudy and confusing. Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading will be crucial for victory as you walk out your purpose.

Alexis: In Chapter 3 of your book, you say that Jesus has chosen us to be His disciple. How do you know? And what does that mean for each of us?

Courtnaye: Once you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are then born-again and you become a follower of Christ, which is the definition of a disciple. But it’s also about becoming a student under His leading through Bible studies, church meetings, personal devotion and study time, or additional schooling for your calling.

Alexis: What does it look like to be “hungry for truth” and “want more of God?”

Courtnaye: I would say that it looks like a personal life devoted to Christ. And nothing satisfies you more than getting full in God’s word and spending time with Him at all costs. In the natural sense, when you’re hungry, you look for something to eat. And quite naturally, you won’t stop until you find it. It’s similar with God and wanting more of Him. You’ll search until you find what you’re looking for. And God tells us in Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Alexis: Why do you say that prayer is our “lifeline?” How does that relate to our daily living?

Courtnaye: The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Meaning, “Don’t stop praying.” It’s the way we connect and communicate with God. Think about Jack and Beanstalk. The only way they could get up there was through that beanstalk. We can’t live this Christian life successfully without staying connected to God through prayer and through Jesus’ name. Prayer is our lifeline. It’s how we reach Him from day to day, hour by hour, and minute to minute.

Alexis: What does it mean to be identified as a Christian?

Courtnaye: It means knowing who you are in Christ and having the godly character that goes along with the title and your devotion to Him.

Alexis: How can we stop (and free ourselves from) the game of comparison?

Courtnaye: I believe it can stop by identifying and embracing who you truly are in Him. It’s also about not doubting who God has called you to be. And when you grab hold of this fact, that’s where the freedom can enter in. That’s when you can move forward in faith and with a God-confidence.

Alexis: Tell me about your favorite plaque that says, “Thank God for what you have. Trust God for what you need.” Why did you buy it? Why is it special to you?”

Courtnaye: I bought it because it encouraged me to be thankful for what He’s done in my life already, and to be reminded to trust Him in everything for the future. I shared this with the readers because I believe that He wants to remind them as well. He wants to remind them to remain thankful for what He’s done, and to know that He’s got them going forward. All they have to do is keep trusting Him and follow His direction as they walk out their purpose.

Alexis: What does it mean to be courageous and step forward in faith?

Courtnaye: Being courageous is all about trusting God and moving forward in faith in the face of fear. It’s trusting that God has you in the heat of the battle or in the midst of apprehension. If He tells you, “Go and be strong and courageous,” then do it. Because He’s telling you that He will be with you. The next thing to do is to step out in faith courageously!

Alexis: Why is this message of your book important now in today’s modern world?

Courtnaye: I believe it’s very important because it’s time for us to stand up and be identified as Christ’s followers. Christianity is being crowded out of a lot of things in our world today, and so I believe God is raising up His daughters to advance the Kingdom of heaven now. He wants more people to be identified in Him before He sends His Son. I believe that we’re living in very dire times and that Jesus’ return is drawing closer and closer. With that being said, we’ve got work to do before that great day comes.

Alexis: Complete this sentence: When I started writing this book, I thought ______________________________________and when I wrote “the end,” I felt ______________________________________.

Courtnaye: When I started writing this book, I thought “Lord, what do You want to say to Your current and future daughters?” And when I wrote “the end,” I felt like I’d done what He commissioned me to do. 

NEWS: It's not too late for you to WIN a copy of Identified! Visit Part I of Courtnaye's interview and enter the book giveaway contest by filling out the Rafflecopter widget in the blog post. Here's the link,

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, hosts a “LIVE” call on 1st Tuesdays, and shares a weekly Two-Minute message with her audience every Wednesday. 

For more info, please visit

Connect with Courtnaye: "Like" her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Words of Faith: Landi's story on hitting a wall and learning to trust God

Then I Hit a Wall... My Story on How I Learned to Trust God
A Words of Faith story by Landi Jackson-James

I am a planner. I plan my day. I plan my children’s day. I plan family vacations, family outings, household projects…I plan everything. Doesn’t everything require a plan? I am persistent, driven, and determined when I set out to accomplish something. I arm myself with a carefully thought out plan and make sure that, as much as possible, I leave every stone of possible disruption unturned. If my primary method doesn’t work then I have at least three others to exhaust before I reconsider the entire approach. After all, those who don’t plan, plan to fail and I for one, do not plan to fail.

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you approach life in this manner or at the very least, do you know someone who does? This was me ten years ago after we had our first child. My husband and I found ourselves bringing her into this world, a world that was quite busy and hectic. I was in a Masters program, working full-time, and involved in several ministries at church. I panicked and turned to what I knew best and what the Project Management profession had taught me…plan every minute of the day and accomplish much! No? It doesn’t work like that? Not for humans? Well, I didn’t want to hear that. Fifteen months after our eldest daughter was born, came our second, and then fifteen months after our second child came our third and final child. Upon the arrival of each child, I updated our family plan and schedule, refusing to eliminate anything from our lives because we were capable and could do it all. It could all be planned and scheduled. Let’s roll out!

Fast forward to 2016...

Whew! The last two paragraphs made me exhausted by just writing them. I was a very courageous and daring woman ten years ago. That’s a nice way of putting it. I laugh at myself repeatedly when I reflect on what life was like, and I thank God for having an understanding and patient husband. We were busy beyond words and while I breastfed, I wrote papers for school. It was all quite frightening.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. There is nothing wrong with being a committed, driven, and dedicated individual who is intentional about success. We were all created uniquely beautiful, yet complex beings by our Creator and each attribute given should be fully embraced. Remember, He makes no mistakes. However, it is important to realize that our God-given abilities and attributes don’t become gifts until we partner with Jesus Christ in their use to serve others. Partnering with Christ brings balance and a perspective that will transform your abilities into life-changing agents.

Everything I described above, I was attempting to make a success without any assistance from our Heavenly Father. I could do it all. I just knew it! I didn’t trust Him enough to do it right and in the correct timing, so rather than slowing down long enough to LISTEN to His direction, I forged ahead.

When I consider the definition of “faith” as provided in Hebrews 11, it is the confidence of things hoped for and assurance of what we do not see. My issue was that I needed to see the end or at the very least, get a good idea of what the end should look like. This helped me to prepare my next move and always be one step ahead. I ALWAYS needed to be at least one step ahead.

Then I hit a wall.

I became severely anemic with a hemoglobin reading of 5.2 (normal range is 12 - 18). My doctor threatened blood transfusion, which I refused. Therefore, the agreed upon remedy was that I had to get iron drips to increase my levels back to normal, twice a week for six months. I had just finished my Masters program and was ready to tackle the corporate world. Nope. My husband told me to slow down and clear my schedule. Those were the longest six months of my life…the absolutely LONGEST…but I made it!

The awesome thing about our Heavenly Father is He knows AND He cares. I am sure he was sitting watching me, with His head tilted to the side, slowly shaking it back and forth saying, “Look at my child. She won’t let me do it.” At least that’s how I imagined it. Yet still, in His mercy, He stood by me in every decision I made and still guided me and opened doors that would lead me back to His will. Both God and I repeated this process for a long while. Eventually, God led me to a place where I trusted His attention to detail and developed the faith to just be still and listen.

Indeed, life has now changed and although it is still a process, I am living a life of peace and less stress as I continue to learn what it means to trust what I don’t see and have faith in God. However, what baffles me further is, in the midst of this peace and less stress, I have more doors open before me than I have ever had in my life. As I tell my kids,“Won’t He do it!” Praise God for this journey.

Author bio:

Landi Jackson-James was born on the island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. She left St. Thomas to further her education in Atlanta, GA. In 2000, Landi graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and later earned her Masters in Business Administration in Technology Management in 2007. 

Landi is the Director of the Office of Innovation at the Food and Drug Administration where she was requested to join the agency by the Chief Operating Officer to start up the Innovation Lab.

In the midst of her successful professional career, Landi created and founded LaLa Speakx, a coaching, mentoring, and motivational speaking company. LaLa Speakx seeks to uplift, empower, encourage individuality in greatness, and fulfillment of purpose. She hosts a monthly online talk show named "First Mondays with LaLa" on her LaLa Speakx YouTube channel. She uses this platform to discuss real life issues and concerns as submitted by online viewers. First Mondays with LaLa takes biblical principles and applies it to everyday life, in practical ways that encourage healthy living.

Landi has volunteered at women’s shelters, fed the homeless, volunteered at local middle and high schools and universities and built schools in Panama. She is a charismatic and influential leader with 15 years of Motivational Speaking and over 10 years of experience in Mentoring and Coaching.

Landi resides in Bowie, Md. with her husband, Al James and their three children.

Connect with Landi:
Email -
Website -
Facebook -

Twitter -
YouTube Channel (LiveShow):
LaLa Speakx, Inc. ~ (442) 7SP-EAKX ~

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, hosts a “LIVE” call on 1st Tuesdays, and shares a weekly Two-Minute message with her audience every Wednesday.

For more info, please visit

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