Today on my blog we are going on a new adventure, and I pray all who go on this new adventure with me are as excited about it as I am. I pray we will all gain more knowledge of Him by going!!
We are adding a new category to my blog today “interview.” For those who do not know what interviews are on a blog, it is inviting someone as a guest, asking questions for them to answer in a blog setting. I feel the need to give my guest some refreshments, but on a blog interview there is no need. This is a strange and exciting experience for me, and I hope everyone of my readers enjoy it as much as I will listening, understanding, and writing it. There will be pictures of the person I am interviewing, their ministry, book or any gift they are proclaiming to share for the building up of His Kingdom.
My first guest I have invited on my blog is Maria Schaefer, a Christian writer, painter, card designer, and speaker who shares her love for Him through all the gifts He has given her. Today we are discussing her latest book adventure she has written called, Heaven Waits, hearing the voice of God.You may have read her first published book, Healing Grace, which has been translated into Swahili for Africa, as well as Bengali for India. You can get more information about Maria and the many gifts God has given her through her ministry websites, https://www.createspace.com/6172156, www.fiyministries.com, www.psalm139maria.com, www.abstractartandme.com, www.worshipandart.com, and www.fiyprayerforyou.com.
Maria, thank you for joining me, and my readers on this great new adventure! We are excited to hear your voice through the words God has given you in telling us how you became a Christian, and how you realized how to use all these amazing gifts He has given you to share with others.
I have read your book, Heaven Waits, Hearing the Voice of God, and through my questions you will be answering what you, and your book is all about. Many of her answers I found in Maria’s book, and they lead me into wanting to read more, and I am sure they will lead others to want to read it repeatedly.
“What made you aware that your writing was a gift from God to use for His purpose, and not a gift of your own to use for your own purpose?"
Maria: “My first book, Healing Grace, was written in 1994, when I needed God’s healing desperately! I had two different diseases that went haywire. The doctors did not know what to do with me / to help my physical condition. Although I knew God, I was in a place of desperately needing to know His thoughts on what was taking place in my body? I felt physically like I was having constant heart attacks -from a disease known as Mitral Valve Prolapse; as well as my thyroid disease going totally off the charts. Medication was not helping.
The instructions I got from the Lord were to stop watching all TV, and not to listen to anything that was not Christian on the radio. As I entered the truth of God’s Word; and understood He wanted me healed, He spoke to me at this point in a way He had not before. It was not audible, but as strong as an audible voice. It felt as though it came from a different part of my brain. He said, “I am the Lord who heals you, and I will heal you of your disease.”
From that moment on, each morning when I awoke, I received a poem from the Holy Spirit. I put them in a journal, and asked a Professor friend of mine to help me edit the poems. The Lord spoke to me about publishing them. The purpose was for the book to set the captives free! After receiving these words in prayer, my friend spoke the confirmation. He said, ‘You should publish a book;’ (my friend received a healing while reading the poems). I recognized God was giving me confirmation to move ahead. God’s voice was very clear speaking through my friend, and making His plan known for me to move forward in writing my first book, Healing Grace.
The first-place Healing Grace went - was a ministry that went into prisons. Afterwards, I discovered that the Lord meant Healing Grace for any person who believed they were imprisoned.
I was totally healed of both diseases after many years of suffering with them. I have not been on any medication for either disease since 1996. I was healed by God’s amazing grace!"
Vicki's response: “I understand all of what you have said, Maria. I too hear the same voice, and he never goes beyond what He speaks to us through His Word. Getting away from the world and only listening to Him is one of His first instructions to prepare each of His children to hear Him clearly, so we can know Him above all else.”
“How did God speak to you about writing this particular book?”
Maria - “My second book, Heaven Waits, hearing the voice of God, started forming in 2014. When in prayer, I began to receive thoughts that I was to take my journals (words I received from the Lord for over 25 years) and write another book.
I have so many journals that the task seemed huge! But, as I began looking through them; asking the Holy Spirit for His help, the thoughts He had given me began to have a theme. The theme seemed to be an understanding on how to hear God through scripture, and a personal word He speaks to His people confirming scripture. It appeared to me that He wanted a detailed description on how this could take place – this included someone saved for years, as well as a new Believer. This word made it a little more difficult, for seasoned Christians and new Believers are at different levels.
By using my journals, and the Holy Spirit’s leading, I realized I could bring Heaven Waits together through the Lord directing each step. For some time before that prayer, I thought the book would be called Heaven Waits, and waits, and Waits! The formatting seemed to go slower than I expected - until recognition came in how to format it.
I had contacted three different people to help me look it over (that I trusted for advice) on how to move ahead? One was a professional editor. Each time they took the manuscript, they had trouble formatting it. I realized then that I must be missing something? As I went into more prayer, a word was given to me by the Lord. He said, “I will help you to format Heaven Waits.” He gave me His instructions on what to do, and I began putting it into a format that makes it easy for the reader to understand who is speaking. For I added explanations on how I knew it was God speaking to me, which were not included in my original manuscript.”
Vicki’s response: “Amen Maria, I too as a writer hear his voice in what to write, and then one day He tells me to gather all I have written, learned from Him, and form it into a book to share with others so they can learn what He has taught me to share with them. I have several projects in the making, get over whelmed, and He always claims me down.
Again, His Spirit teaches, guides, and calms us, and always reveals in us what His word proclaims! He also has led me to others that can help me through the gifts they have been given, as He helps them through the gifts He has given me. It is a win, win for all. He has proven this once again by bringing us together to help one another get his message out!”
“In your relationship with Him, have you found the more you surrender to His obedience through His Spirit and God’s Word / the clearer his voice is?
Maria - “Surrender is always the key in relationship with God. And, yes Vicki, the more we surrender our own will for His, the more He enters and reveals to us more of His kingdom.
What I needed to learn was to follow the first instructions Jesus gave me, and not run before Him at my own speed. My problem once was to hurry to the end of the road of the assignment, and skip what He wanted to teach me about Him and myself along the way. He wanted me to walk at a steady pace so I could soak up all of Him in what He wanted to teach me about Him, and myself along the way.
The learning process (of who He is) takes place in the journey every true Christian has. I don’t believe assignments (God asks us to do) are about quickly getting them done; but more about watching what He does, having faith in Him through each step showing us He is in total control - when we surrender our need or problem to Him.”
Vicki’s response – “Amen to that answer! My problem was not so much as going before him but lagging to far behind. I was afraid I would go too fast. You are so right when He gives you the correct balance how truly free and restful a person’s soul is when they are moving at His pace. When He gives a person the correct balance they will not be going too slow, or too fast, but just right!
I also found a higher level of peace saying no to some suggestions from others in the direction I should go in. He always would tell me what direction He wanted me to go in. He told me to go the traditional publishing route, and I too feel like changing the title to “God’s timing is not the same as ours!” It is amazing how different we are, and how different He may use us, but still the same in so many ways through His given Spirit.”
“What makes your book more relevant to God than any other Christian book out there today?”
Maria - "The reason I believe God has a Christian write a book has to do with leading another person to Him. We are Life and Light in His kingdom work. If we follow His instructions in what He is giving us, it will always be relevant to Him first, and then He will bring in the people who are supposed to read it. The only book relevant to God is the one He leads someone to write, in my opinion."
“Why do you think God waits?”
Maria - “I believe God waits for us to understand His nature. He is so gentle, and kind, that He understands we are only man. He knows we can only receive His wisdom in what the Holy Spirit reveals. For wisdom is not practiced, but instead supernaturally received. He also understands that our flesh (self-life) gets in the way of our spirit.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. His heart is always reaching out to us, because we are so deeply loved by Him. He waits until we understand, no matter what, He is our Daddy!”
Vicki’s response - "Amen to that answer!! He truly is proving we are very like-minded, which He loves to prove with His children!! I too know He is waiting for all His sons and daughters to be put into place for the building up of His Kingdom; those He calls His very own."
“Do you think God is not only waiting on His children that are His very own through His Son to be put into place, but also those who do not follow His Son and are not His very own?”
Maria - God loves everyone, but each person must come to the reality that they cannot live this life without Him. Our true joy comes from having a relationship with Him, and knowing Him.
Vicki’s response– "Amen, I totally agree our Father loves everyone, but it is us that love Him differently. When a person or soul does not love, or accept Him it keeps their souls from being renewed by His presence that He desperately wants to give each of us. He loved us enough to die for us so we could receive His son and be saved through Him."
What do you want your readers to receive most from God in taking this journey through Heaven Waits with you?”
Maria - “I’ve heard from people who have read Heaven Waits that God has spoken to them while reading it. Some have received Words from Him, as well as visions. One person said that it made them cry. Tears come in healing.
I would like more people to experience the love and healing power of God / while reading Heaven Waits.”
Vicki’s response - "It is an amazing answer to prayer, and blessing when God reveals the work He has done in you and through you in bearing fruit for His purpose, and through the ways He has revealed to you through other people!! I rejoice with you, and praise His Holy name alongside you through this amazing book He has given you! What I received from your confirmed all He has given me, and there is nothing like knowing another person receives the same voice, from the same Spirit through His Word. That proves His unity is real and true, and that kind of book I love to read!"
Maria- "Thank you Vicki, for the opportunity to share my book, blessings!"
"Thank you Maria, for joining me and my readers on my blog today, may God continue to bless you with His gifts, and all He gives you to do through them for the building up of His Kingdom. I know I have gained more insight into hearing His voice, and in surrendering more of myself to Him so I can hear Him more clearly through reading His message through this book, “Heaven Waits, hearing the voice of God!”
Until Next time everyone, may His peace always guard your hearts.