Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 41: Email Interview with Blogger Brian Bailey

Brian Pic 1

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 41: Email Interview with Blogger Brian Bailey

A father’s love for his child is the best illustration one can perceive to represent the deep spiritual richness of Christianity. Good father’s embody the traits of loving sacrifice, entrenched encouragement, chivalrous discipline, a jovial nature, all the while calling their children to excellence and giving them the tools to succeed in life. Mother’s offer the nurturing children need to thrive as they grow but father’s call their children to chivalrous purpose with an unyielding ability to encourage. Our Heavenly Father, God, encompasses all of these traits in far greater capacity than humanly possible to conceive in our thoughts and surpasses the ideas of what a great father is in our limited understanding of the term. A transcription of words could not adequately explain God as Father because our greatest imaginations of His greatness are just droplets in the vast ocean of God’s personality.

Yet, our society’s view of a “good father” appears alien to this generation given the absence of fathers physically and emotionally from their families. If you ask the children of this generation as to which is easier to endure, an absent father or an emotionally distant father, both sides of the debate can defend their positions with tenacity and empirical evidence. Think about it, what would be easier to endure? The emotional, pain, hurt, and betrayal of an absent father who chose to take a selfish path of his own or is it the presence of a father who embodies these traits above as well yet the child is reminded of them everyday because he is there. Often these children would answer it would be easier to endure if he were absent given the distance in their relationship already.

In our secular society, we have received more freedoms than were possible to conceive hundreds of years ago, yet depression, immorality, arrogance, pride, selfishness, and crime continues to grow. The paradox appears staggering, yet to the Christian the degradation of the nuclear family and loss of morality has produced this cauldron of calamity we now reap in the emotions, attitudes, struggles, and pain of this generation. One of the biggest culprits in the breakdown of the nuclear family is the absence of the father in the family.

But the struggles of a being a good father have only increased in this generation where media portrays them as bumbling womanizing idiots worthy of extinction like the Neanderthal. Blogger Brian Bailey of Edmonds, WA, knows this all too well as he pours out his heart felt passions, worries, and hopes to his new daughter through a blog called “Bringing Up Eva.” Bailey’s blog is fairly new but the fruit of experience is ripe for gleaning from the reader. Below is an email transcription of our interview to learn more about him and his writings.

The Interview

Barry Irwin Brophy: For those who may not know about you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started writing?

Brian Bailey: I am a Seattle native, born and raised. I was always able to write. I believe it came from my vivid imagination. The problem was I was not able to write well. During high school, I was a horrible student. The reason I was a poor student was because I didn’t believe I could learn. It wasn’t until a man in my church handed me a book and I fell in love with learning. I went on to get my Master’s degree, where I took 2 years of Greek. It was there that I began to understand the parts of speech much better. Who knew studying a dead language would help you write better?

Barry Irwin Brophy: How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ?

Brian Bailey: When I was a fifteen years old, I ran away from my mother’s house to live with my father. Every morning I got up to get ready for school, the 700 Hundred Club would be playing. It was beside my bed, every morning for 2 weeks, that I would ask Jesus to come into my life and be the Lord of my life that I received the forgiveness of my sins. Although that was when I professed faith in Christ, I believe I became a Christian when I was around 23. It was then that my faith was made real by being accompanied by repentance. God began to show me what sin looked like from His perspective, and I began to agree with Him.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Tell us a bit about your blog and articles you’ve contributed to? Any other projects you’re currently working on?

Brian Bailey: While I was in seminary, as I was filling out PhD applications I began to write about race and higher theological education for the seminary magazine. After graduating, I began to write discipleship curriculum for my church. I am currently host a blog called “bringing up Eva” where I write letters to my daughter about Jesus, discipleship and life. I thought to myself, “Now that I have been a follower of Jesus for about 10 years, what would I have wanted to know then that I know now?” I try to keep it gospel-saturated, Christ exalting and God centered. I try to point her to Jesus as much as I can in each letter. If I were to pass away at an early age, I would want her to have some guide to what it means to follow Jesus, love him and obey him

Barry Irwin Brophy: How has God been using your blogs to spread His Gospel message? Any stories?

Brian Bailey: No, not really. I think the discipleship curriculum/class that I taught has had more of an impact, but I am just getting started.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I loved the article “Another Nail…Another Laceration” and how it spoke to reconciliation between races, especially within Christianity. How do you think the American Church can accomplish this? Would you be able to provide a model by which local congregations could implement this process?

Brian Bailey: Excellent question Barry. In the article, I propose a foundational point or process: confession, birthed out of conviction walked out in repentance in the community of the repentant. We would be naïve to think there is not sin in our hearts and we would be even more naïve to think that the sin of racism doesn’t exist in our hearts. I know it does in mine. Therefore, we (both minorities and Caucasians) must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our hearts and make Jesus more enjoyable than the sin of racism. This must be confessed and repented of just like any other sin. The protection of unity which the Holy Spirit has brought depends on it. The church cannot facilitate this sin of repentance by being silent about it or acting like it doesn’t exist.

Barry Irwin Brophy: What do you think are the biggest obstacles within the American Christian Church institution? How can they change to be more effective in preaching the Gospel?

Brian Bailey: So many answers to that question, I will give a few. First, there must be more expositional preaching (expositor or to “expose” what the biblical text says). Expositional preaching is the life blood of discipleship in the church. It builds the Christian up in their spirit and gets their hearts full of the bigness of God. It is essential if we are going to make disciples who make disciple-makers globally. Second, there has to be a clear understanding of what a disciple is and how they are made. This is so critical here in America because of the state of church in America. Somehow, we have traded in the life of discipleship (Mark 8:34-9:1) that Jesus calls us to, and erected a Jesus of our own. That Jesus, wants the things we want, likes the things we like and does not call us to disown ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34). Essentially, it is grace without discipleship….which isn’t grace at all. So I would say, pastors, teachers and preachers, in all of your sermons aim at the bigness of God, and the life that makes sense biblically…which is the life of discipleship that Jesus Calls us to. God values His Son above everything else, he invites the nations (including the American church) to do the same.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Where do you see the future of the Christian Church heading given our current environment politically, socially, and economically?

Brian Bailey: In 5-10 years, I see the church in American will need to take cues from our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Each year, through social, political and economical avenues, Christianity is being marginalized and not tolerated (Canada and the UK are among the worst socially and intellectually). In the next 5 years as the days get darker spiritually, we will see more and persecution of Christians for so called “hate speech”, intolerance, and many other things. However, Paul tells the church in Philippi, “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him” (Phil 1:29). So, I don’t think this is anything that should surprise us in the least.

Barry Irwin Brophy: In Washington State, our area is experiencing quite a Christian renaissance revival in the arts. How do you think your blog and writings will influence the coming revival?

Brian Bailey: Good question. I am the least artistic person I know of, so I don’t think it will influence them at all to be honest. I am hoping the my writings will draw people (whoever they are) into meeting the glorious, risen Christ that the New Testament author herald; so that they can have transformational encounter with Him.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Writing counts as an art! 🙂

Barry Irwin Brophy: What advice would you like to give to future Christian writers, authors, bloggers, and poets just getting started? I’ve also encounter many struggling Christian writer’s who’ve just giving up on their calling either through circumstance, unmet expectations, or just downright hardships that prevent them for continuing in their callings. If you were speaking with them one on one what encouraging words would you say to them?

Brian Bailey: Out of my experience, I would say to them, to check the motives of their own hearts AND to write especially in the midst of suffering, unmet expectations and hardship. It could be that God is taking them through a journey which will make them more satisfied in God (which is what we were created for, since God is the thing to be enjoyed the most). Write when you heart is low and hurt. Write when you feel as though no one is paying attention. Keep writing. It helps to work things out of your soul. You (or someone else) may look back on your writing and God could meet them there. Think of Martyn Lloyd-Jones who wrote “Spiritual depression” about Psalm 42, or the entire book of Job. We as Americans have to get away from judging life according to how we feel or how happy we are. This was not what we were created for. So I would suggest asking God to reveal the motivations in their heart as to why they are writing (To make much of Him or to make much of them?) and I would say write during times when you seem to be experiencing the most pain with God and dependence on God.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Any helpful tips or practical disciplines that you have learned in your walk with Christ that other followers could benefit from?

Brian Bailey: READ!!! Stop looking at the Internet. Read. Read. Read. Read deep theological books that are God centered, Christ-exalting, gospel-saturated. Read books that call you to the life of discipleship. Read apologetic books that will help confidently understand what you believe, why you believe it, and how to communicate that to a world which is in rebellion against God. Listen to good, biblically based sermons that have deep conviction about who God is and the worthiness of Christ. Talk to people about Jesus. Find a place to begin to share the good news with people. The more you talk to people about Christ, read about Christ (in His word and other books), and the more you hear about Christ (through sermons and talks), the more the Holy Spirit will shape your heart to believe that everyone’s deepest need is God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

Barry Irwin Brophy’s Closing Thoughts
If you have not had a chance to read Bailey’s blogs, I would enthusiastically encourage you to check out the link to it at the end of this post. His concerns, hopes, and dreams for his daughter mirror the reflections of countless father’s across this earth as we navigate the through the given time period bestowed upon us by God. What I found most intriguing about the interview were Bailey’s answers to the questions about where he sees the church heading and they ring with prophetic truth.

Christians understand that the calling of their faith promises suffering, which is most evident in the genocide being committed against Christians in the Middle East. As radical progressives proclaim tolerance without Christianity, the Western Church is preparing to enter such a time as well given the numerous court cases involved costing Christian’s their businesses in the process. But under the fires of persecution, the light of Christ shines the brightest and Christians have prepared for this moment for a long time. Mark my words, when Christian organizations, churches, and ministries begin to lose their 501c3 statuses in the United States of America, revival will occur in an unprecedented manner unseen in human history.

But we are not to fear these times because God is faithful to His people and even more so to the fathers raising their children in this new world. Bailey’s blog serves as an anchor of honesty during this transitional stage. Just think if all this persecution coming upon Christians produced the enduring fathers our society has long for decades. It will be Bailey’s honesty in his writings on this subject matter that will unite fathers around the world as they remain steadfast in their callings. In the end, Bailey’s blog produces hope in the reader and is much reflected in the Gospel, too. Hope is the anchor of the Christian as well as the father towards his children.

How can you support Bailey? Prayer is a good place to start. Lots and lots of it as the writing process can seem strenuous at times of absent inspiration. Are you looking for a world shaking speaker and theologian for you ministry or youth event? Bailey is your man given his focus of discipleship. You can reach out to Bailey through one of his page links below.

Brian Bailey’s Page
Blog: http://bringingupeva.wordpress.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brian-bailey/50/b89/b89
Email: brbailey81@hotmail.com

Reference
Bailey, Brian, email message to author, March 20, 2015.

“A Woman’s Choice” April 2015 Online Book Fundraiser for The Exodus Road

This event has been temporarily postponed. Will update again in the future.

April 2015 fundraiser TER

Date: April 1, 2015 – April 30, 2015
Location: Online through Facebook and GoodReads
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/810434315672956/

Special online fundraiser for The Exodus Road for the entire month of April! When you purchase a paperback or ebook copy of “A Woman’s Choice,” half of the profits will be donated to The Exodus Road at the end of the month. A record of the generated funds will be posted here and sent to The Exodus Road, too. Continue to visit this event page often this month for special Q&A sessions with me, human trafficking awareness, and news about The Exodus Road.

Who are The Exodus Road?
The Exodus Road is a 501c3 organization which exists to empower the deliverance of modern slaves. In addition to equipping their own investigative team of nationals and expats, they also empower other organizations and local authorities by supplying covert gear, operational funding, training, and networking support. In addition, they equip local communities to watch for trafficking in their own cities, work to build collaboration through the Liberty Alliance, and offer trainings to those on the front lines of rescue work. The Exodus Road operates in the following countries/regions: USA, Southeast Asia, and India. In less than three years, The Exodus Road has supported the rescues of 326 sex slaves through the work of over 60 investigators that they have been honored to support and have networked with nearly 40 other organizations in collaborative partnership.

Why makes The Exodus Road different?
There are many excellent organizations fighting modern day slavery today. It’s important to understand a few of The Exodus Road’s key differentiators:

1). They believe in collaboration. We believe in fueling the work of many and value collaboration for the sake of victims.

2). They focus on targeted interventions. Our niche is fueling undercover investigations and raids with local police. We believe this is a strategic way to fight trafficking, big-picture. While we do have partnerships with many quality after care partners and direct a portion of our funding to both after care and prevention, our main focus will always be intervention.

3). They believe “justice is in the hands of the ordinary.” The organization was birthed in humble beginnings and in the wild belief that we all have a role to play in freedom. We still believe that, and we work hard to give everyone a chance to make an impact.

4). They bring donors to the front lines. Through text updates, covert footage videos, and opportunities to join a literal rescue team, we try to connect our community here with our field teams there.

5). They value the national. Ultimately believing that nationals are the most equipped to bring change to their own communities, they highly support our national investigators and organizations.

6). They are victim-centered. They keep the girl or boy trapped in sex slavery at the center of what they do, what they fund, and how they implement strategies in the field.

7). When they say “rescue,” we mean RESCUE. Though the term “rescue” is ambiguous, especially in this field of counter-trafficking work, when they use the word “rescue,” they are specifically speaking of a deliverance from a situation of literal slavery. All cases are worked under the authority of the local police.

If you’d like to partner with them, check out their website at http://www.theexodusroad.com to find out more information about getting involved. Are you a blogger like me? Join The Exodus Road Bloggers team and help fuel the fires of freedom through monthly blog submissions and discussions on your website/social media page. http://www.exodusroadbloggers.com

Dangerous Romeos: How Parents Can Recognize if Their Daughter is About to Be Trafficked.

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Dangerous Romeos: How Parents Can Recognize if Their Daughter is About to Be Trafficked.

He was charming, debonair by all standards, and provided her that dreamy fairy tale-like romantic relationship. Maybe in the back of her mind she had questions about how an older guy would be interested in her, where he got the money for cell phones, a flashy car, and clothes, but she shrugged off these thoughts. He bought her lavish gifts, promising her the world even though he was a bit controlling at times but again she shrugged off these thoughts. One night, they both attended a local high school party where she was led upstairs and sold to trafficker. Her romantic beliefs were betrayed and shattered at the realization she had been incarcerated into sex trafficking with no means of escape.

Reading this terrible story, you may think “this can’t happen in my family” but believe it or not this is one of the most common experiences of teenagers trafficked within our communities across the United States of America. In the Seattle area alone, 300-500 teenagers (King County, 2015) will be exploited tonight with many of them just regular teenage girls from families like yours. Even the King County police state their “experience suggests that this [number of victims] is an under-count” with data from multiple trafficking awareness organizations expressing the number as far greater than recorded (King County, 2015, para. 14). These Romeos are often the link between the victim and trafficker and must be confronted to end trafficking exploitation.

What are Romeos?
Romeos are individuals selected by traffickers to lure girls into false romantic relationships all for the purpose of handing them over to a trafficker. Romeos exploit their victims through compliments and lavish gifts to win the trust of their victim. Rissman (2014) states that “eventually, the sweet talk will likely turn into manipulation, and physical and emotional abuse. The girls are often forced to sleep with clients, and will likely face serious violence if they refuse or threaten to leave their pimps” (para. 2). These ravaging Romeos are disgustingly financial compensated by other traffickers for their services in befriending teenage girls and luring them to traffickers.

They often work with Guerilla pimps and CEO pimps in this tyrannical trafficking triad as the gatekeepers to the operation. Guerilla pimps use physical violence and threats against the victim and her family to keep her in captivity while CEO pimps manage the situation entirely. (Sowers Education Group, 2015). CEO pimps use their trafficked victims like goods in a business, selling to the highest bidder (Sowers Education Group, 2015).

Where do they hang out?
Malls, bus stops, skate parks, community events, parks, high school football games, youth groups, just to name a few. The list goes on and on but wherever teenagers gather, a Romeo may be watching and waiting for an opportunity to emotionally prey upon your daughter. There have even been some accounts in which CEO pimps are recruiting Romeos still in high school and using their influence within the schools to traffick girls.

Recognizing the Signs of a Trafficking Boyfriend:
Is you daughter keeping the relationship a secret? Maybe she’s not concealing the whole relationship but does she become argumentative or defensive when you ask about the individual? Does the boyfriend avoid talking to you as the parent/guardian or wanting to get to know you at all? Often young teenagers will feel emotionally flattered to receive this kind of romantic attention from an older male and may do what she can to keep the relationship a secret.

Is she dating an older guy? Possibly through social media? Given the plethora of social media applications and websites teenagers frequent in our age, traffickers are heavily recruiting victims via this technology. Traffickers will also research the victims personal information like residential addresses, phone numbers, parent’s places of employment, sibling schools, daycares, and after school programs displayed on her profile as a means of lethal leverage against her family and friends. Often this is in threats of violence to these family members or friends if the girl refuses to comply with the pimp’s requests.

Does your daughter’s boyfriend display uncommon wealth for an individual his age? This may include flashy cars, the latest technology and gadgets, and designer clothes. Maybe the boyfriend comes from a rich family and this could account for the extremities of material possessions; but regardless of this possibility, parent’s discernment is needed to determine if this is excessive materialism of a teenage boy from a wealthy family or signs of a Romeo.

Does the boyfriend provide something she is lacking? Romeo pimps often use emotional manipulation to gain the trust of their victims. Compliments not received from critical households, basic living supplies given to a girl from a poor family, and spending time with the victim who does not receive attention from workaholic parents are just a few common examples they exploit. The Romeos sole goal is to win the trust of the teenage girl and he will use whatever flattery needed to accomplish the task.

Practical Application
“Exploitation starts with girls born without resources and[ AND/OR] without a support network.” (Rissman, 2014, para. 9). Either case is both equally common and transcends income spectrums. Both low, middle, and high income families are at risk.

Maybe you are a parent: single, married, or divorced, and after reading this article have identified some areas of work needed in your own relationship with your daughter. Do not dwell upon mental chastisement of yourself about past mistakes but use the time you still have left to reconnect and reconcile with your daughter. Your act of change may be the deciding factor in whether she listens to you or the false promises of a Romeo as he cares nothing more than to line his pockets with cash at the expense of sexually exploiting her.

Know who your daughter is dating. Will this be met with much resistance from her? You bet ya. But as a parent/guardian, you provide the first and most critical defense against traffickers by being involved in your daughter’s life, especially in screening who they date. Know who your daughter hangs out with and know their friends’ families. Knowledge is often the key to all of this; learning the signs of a Romeo and training your daughters into recognizing them is a titanic step in dismantling these gatekeepers of the human trafficking underworld. I highly encourage you to examine my resources and seek out additional information about how you can play a pivotal role in preventing trafficking within your neighborhood.

#ERBloggers

References
B., Milana. Heartbreak Picture. http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=64241&picture=heartbreak (accessed May 27, 2015)
Fisher, Mark. “Child Sex Exploiters Often Trap Their Victims by Posing as Valentines.” Oakland Sex Trafficking Examiner, February 6, 2014. Accessed May 22, 2015. http://www.examiner.com/article/child-sex-exploiters-often-trap-their-victims-by-posing-as-valentines
Government of the Netherlands. “Human Trafficking.” http://www.government.nl/issues/human-trafficking/romeo-pimps-loverboys (accessed May 24, 2015)
Hacker, Kristina. “ ‘Without Permission’ Shines Light on Local Sex Trafficking.” Ceres Courier, October 8, 2014. Accessed May 22, 2015. http://www.cerescourier.com/m/section/11/article/4453/
King County. “Help Stop Human Trafficking.” http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/injury/humantrafficking.aspx (accessed May 24, 2015)
Rissman, Jason. “Interview: Prosecuting Romeo Pimps, a Perspective on Women & Girls’ Safety from Two Former Prosecutors.” OpenIDEO, March 7, 2014. Accessed May 24, 2015. https://openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/interview-prosecuting-romeo-pimps-a-perspective-on-women-girls-safety-from-two-former-prosecutors
Sowers Education Group. “Pimp Tactics 101.” https://sowerseducationgroup.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/sowers-education-group-handout-pimp-tactics-and-signs-to-look-for.pdf (accessed May 24, 2015)
Shared Hope International. “Glossary of Trafficking Terms.” http://sharedhope.org/learn/traffickingterms/ (accessed May 24, 2015)
Van Dyke, Jonathan. “Psychological Warfare Propels Human Sex Trafficking World.” Gazettes, July 3, 2014. Accessed May 24, 2015. http://www.gazettes.com/news/psychological-warfare-propels-human-sex-trafficking-world/article_818524c0-02ef-11e4-8a32-001a4bcf887a.html

Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 40: Email Interview with Christian Author Judy Madden and her book God, Rocky Trails, and the Mountains

judy madden
Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 40: Email Interview with Christian Author Judy Madden and her book God, Rocky Trails, and the Mountains

Humanity has a history of dwelling on the big philosophical questions of life. Its a foundational thought all of us explore at pivotal points in our life and ultimately shapes the destinies of us all on the path we choose to follow. Is God real? If so, can I speak to Him? Does He speak to me? How can I know Him? Is He even there? Are only a few that come to mind but the list can seem like an endless labyrinth, trapping the mind into corners of internal conversations, which only confuse or lose us further in our questioning. Yet, it’s in these times of honest contemplation that the Lord speaks the loudest. In my life this has been true as well as Christian author Judy Madden.

I had the privileged of meeting Madden at a benefits concert in Redmond, WA, for Destiny House Restoration Center; an organization specializing in human trafficked survivor rehabilitation. By chance (or should we say divine appointment), while browsing the tables displaying trinkets to purchase to help fundraise for the facility, I stumbled over to Madden and became enamored with writings. Fellow authors are always a focus for my blog but are often rare to find, so I immediately wanted to see if Madden was interested in an email interview to help promote her works.

Madden’s book God, Rocky Trails, and the Mountains, describes her life as she encounters the miracles of God in the solitude of mountains of the Pacific Northwest of America. Much like Madden, I too am drawn to the beautiful wild conifer forests of our great state and am planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with my wife in the future. In every chapter, Madden infuses her first-person narrative with Biblical passages explained through her trials and tribulations while trekking some of the most remote mountain country on horseback. Her tales of adventure are exciting and exuberant but most importantly of all allow the reader to understand passages of scripture in real life scenarios. Madden’s book acts as a bridge for the reader to understand the character of God as seen in the Bible.

The chapter that most caught my attention was “The Narrow Trail”. Madden illustrates the passage of Matthew 7:13-14 through a recollection of her journey on a scenic trail route in the Norse Peak Wilderness of the Pacific Crest Trail. While traveling on her journey Madden becomes lost as she and her horse become stuck upon a narrow trail and must navigate back to her original trail route while getting lost as to which direction to follow. Madden’s words are written in honesty as she wrestles with that conscience pendulum swinging between fear for the worst and trusting the Lord.

The Interview

Barry Irwin Brophy: For those who may not know about you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started writing?

Judy Madden: Well, I was raised a daddy’s girl by a Seattle Fire Chief who put a bit of the tomboy into me. I loved horses and the outdoor adventure. I loved to journal and got good grades in creative writing in high school.

I think I always knew I could write better than I could talk. Although our family boated, clammed, fished, and hiked, I loved experiencing the ambiance of the outdoors alone, climbed trees, rode fast horses, and hiked until I was lost and figured my way out. In Seattle, I rode my bike miles, as long as I was home when the street lights came on.

My mother was an artist. I painted and did landscape photography anything creative…God inspired the book, God, Rocky Trails & the Mountains, 14 years of the miraculous packing in with horses, against a backdrop of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. After 20,000 miles in the Cascades, often alone I finally had something to say.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ?

Judy Madden: I was raised Catholic and nobody led me to the Lord. I’d never heard the word “born again”.

The year was 1971. At a desperate time of life, God saved me in a sovereign move of God. When He came into my bedroom, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ to do with it what He wanted because I didn’t want my life anymore. I had six small children to care for and my military husband in Vietnam didn’t want me anymore.

We were stationed in Long Beach, California, 1,000 miles from home in Seattle. Catholics did not believe in divorce, yet my husband of thirteen years and father of our six children did not want me on the dock to meet the ship when he returned from Vietnam in six months. I felt I was a failure as a wife, even though I’d done my best. He was alcoholic, but I loved him and believed in him; wonderful when sober, but terrible when drunk. I couldn’t get him to stay sober.

Now he didn’t want me. At age 32, sobbing, lost, alone in my room, I crumbled on the floor before God to “Take my life and do with it what you want, because I don’t want it any more.” Nothing I’d done to help had worked: I’d never missed a Catholic Mass in 32 years, yet had never heard the words, “born again.” I had six children all in the same grade school to care for and could not go home to Seattle shamed as a divorced Catholic and welfare mother.

At that moment, Jesus Christ came into my room and came INTO me! My room filled with a light. I felt an overwhelming desire to worship in a sense of love and peace I had never felt before and got up off that floor a different person. I was in love and I had a heart of love. I knew I WAS DIFFERENT. I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME. I knew everything would be OK.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Tell us a bit about your books? Any other projects you’re currently working on?

Judy Madden: God, Rocky Trails and the Mountains is my first book, written to engender a trust in the faithfulness of God towards us. Even when I didn’t know His Word, He performed a miracle in me. Later, he called me to a faith-based ministry and demonstrated his Word to me in order to save my “chickenbutt” in which I was a spectator! The first story is how giant angles saved my packhorse when she fell off a 300 foot cliff. The second, how He healed me when I was bucked off, crippled for a year, and couldn’t walk due to a bad wreck, during which I learned the mechanics of the Word-driven-blood-bought Word of God. And in another, He rolled an impending snowstorm back before my eyes, so I would not be trapped in high country.

All was done to demonstrate His faithfulness to the Word, in his love and protection of us. We are not alone through Jesus Christ. Each chapter begins with the scripture, walks out the adventure, and ends with the principles learned.

I Illustrated with forty full color photos, many wall mountable quality of the spectacular mountainous areas traveled through, that place the reader in the action.

My next book is Wagons Ho! about a 260 mile two week covered wagon train across Washington State that takes 150 people with them every year. Written through the eyes of participants, pioneer families who host us, and founders, of which I was a Trail Boss for eighteen years; I want to capture the history and adventures that the pioneering spirit engenders…also with my own photos.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How has God been using the your books to spread His Gospel message? Any stories?

Judy Madden: My book in high mountains is too new yet to tell, but the reviews on Amazon are encouraging. One woman told me God impacted her with, “That’s what YOU need to do to get unstuck!” when she read “My worst Fears Faced.” My horse worked her way across a landslide on a steep narrow trail, every foot rolled on the rock, as I stared down her neck over a cliff at the river 1,000 foot below. The fear that I would die, lied to me. “God came that you might have life, and life in abundance”. I live! John 10 [paraphrased]

Barry Irwin Brophy: What do you think are the biggest obstacles within the Christian Church institution in the United States? How can they change to be more effective in preaching the Gospel?

Judy Madden: The unity of Christians and love of God that brings trust and faith are the biggest obstacles. God loves people, in every walk, every dark hole, every sin. We need to take the “Christianese” out of the way we talk to people and speak in every day language. We pray for us to have love of God, so a sanctimonious attitude has to go in favor of, “There, but for the grace of God, go, I.” We need to get faith working to go into the dark with the light of the Gospel no matter what the cost, and for God to put the “want to” there.

Pastors can be obstacles, if they only build their own kingdom based on their own theology. They disallow effective ministers for the sake of denomination because they are not members. An evangelist, prophet, teacher, holy man or woman from Africa or South America or other nations may be more experienced in areas we are not, like the supernatural. They are not welcome if limited by denominational boundaries. They can’t even get a foot in the door with an invitation by referral from a known and accredited member.

Americans don’t have the right to limit what God wants to do! We don’t have the spiritual depth of experience they have. We have to allow God’s reality in His Body to minister and put aside doctrines that limit God, in favor of religion. What is needed is the demonstrated word of God to perform, so we can honestly say, “this is how He did it, for God watches over His word to perform it”, and be TRUE witnesses.

Further evaluation is needed in how we obtain the truth. Revelation in illumination of the truth and depth of the Word can be revealed only by true witnesses to what God has done. We can still be “One in the Spirit” as we learn together. “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit”, says the Lord [Zechariah 4:6 paraphrased]. “The letter of the law killeth, but the Spirit brings life!” [2nd Corinthians 3:6]

Barry Irwin Brophy: In Washington state, our area is experiencing quite a Christian renaissance revival. How do you think your books and writings will influence the coming revival in the United States? Globally?

Judy Madden: My book supports the mechanics of faith, demonstrates miracles, ministers hope that does not disappoint us, and the love of God that endures. I hope this book lights the fires of inspiration to let our God out of the box, in a demonstration of the Word of God in power to those who dare to believe, with a growth in faith and trust for your own situations and endeavors. We need to take the Word of God as it stands, in its simplicity, and integrity to hear and obey, do what He says to do and we will see wonders and miracles in our own lives, through the Word-spoken, blood bought, power of God through Jesus Christ! And be healed! We need to get healed. Hurting people hurt others, and physical disabilities limit us.

Barry Irwin Brophy: What advice would you like to give to future Christian writers, authors, and poets just getting started? Please provide any helpful tips or painful lessons of what not to do.

Judy Madden: It took me two years to write this book with events that took place over fourteen years. Before ever starting anything, I would fast and pray, to hear the Lord, get His inspired direction of approach and His heart for what He wants to do. Every page must have integrity. Every page must be prayed over for His will in content, order, inspiration, and truth, to obtain a strong witness of the Spirit that it is done. He will bring inspired memories, dreams, visions, truth, people, everything you need. It is HIS.

I got really frustrated, beating my head against the wall with my publisher. Try to not get upset when it takes longer than expected. It will. A dedicated work belongs to Him; it is His ministry, not your own. The timing is His. The ministry is His. He will see it through. You just stay focused. I spent eight to ten hours a day until my computer got so hot my lap burned, and until I couldn’t see straight. I was a 75 year old woman obsessed. I’d wake up in the morning with it, live it all day, and go to bed at night with it.

I got stuck. And couldn’t write. I do due diligence with research and organization, editing, etcetera. I still needed outside opinions and editing. The Lord confirmed this as others spoke. Sometimes two heads are better than one. He brought the ones I needed into view.

I looked for an editor, just a bit. I had a list of wants: I wanted someone close, I needed a Christian, I wanted a horseman, and a mountain lover who understood the rigors and language of the life. I prayed, and Googled for an editor in my hometown and got 3.8 out of the 4. Jack’s name jumped out. He was a pastor, horseman, and mountain rider, and fit all criteria…except he wasn’t next to the Cascades in Washington, but lived next to the Rockies in Colorado! BUT, coming to Seattle area to visit his aunt! When I was looking for a few professional photos of the roadless North Cascades, again, the Lord came through. I prayed for guidance, and was drawn to one photographer whose work gave me goose bumps. He turned out to be an amateur who wanted to go pro, and was looking for a break. His photos are featured in a North Cascades brochure. Andy Porter GAVE me his photos, just for the exposure. This was grace and favor from God.

The front cover of myself on horseback with Mt. Stuart was taken by a friend, drawn out of my own photo collection. For the back cover photo, my editor advised me to pay a professional to do a recent photo. Good advice. However, we do OK ourselves. I was on the Wagon Train out in the middle of Washington. I asked my riding friend Robin, who took the front cover if she would take my picture for the back. She glanced at the light and said, “Let’s do it now,” and took it with her simple Kodak. The Lord provided again.

Formatting was tough. After I struggled, my editor did it to publisher standards for me, but I learned to format, and just leave it there, and IMPORTANT: write in that format.

I had to learn to make old photos photo-ready. They had to be resized: upsized, downsized, saturation, D.P.I., and clarity. All these things took time on my own software. I Googled to learn how to do it and people referred others who could help me. A friend had a hidden past in publishing I didn’t know about and helped me with my questions.

The publisher required a great amount of patience. They didn’t answer me in a timely way. I had to get to them three times for every answer I got and then it wasn’t fully answered and had to be dissected and redirected back to them. I would advise, if you have a complicated format as I did, that you asked to be bumped up to the supervisor.

It could be that God is using you as a catalyst and encourager with the publisher. This is a good time for the fruit of the spirit to be tested. You don’t know the frustration of the workers, how the enemy is at work to divert, distract, circumvent and stop the will of God in the work He has given you to do. They are Christians, too, with a Christian publishing house.

Stay focused. Keep the vision. Don’t let them short-cut your work in order to expedite theirs. It took me six submissions of photography and a month, insisting on full page work, they didn’t do, and then getting them to correct their own errors of incorrect titles under the photos, three times. I didn’t like what they did with my photo on the cover. It was 6 months before I found a graphic artist and fired the publisher’s effort.

Keep perspective in that there are 300,000 books published every year, and the folks who work at the publisher are overworked and underpaid, so they don’t pay much attention to you. However, the cream will rise to the top. It belongs to the Lord. Having done all, to stand.

If I had to do it over, I wouldn’t go with so many color photos. They raised the cost of each book to $11.00 including shipping in boxes of 51 for a total of over $500. The publisher wanted to retail the book at $18.99 but nobody wanted to pay that much, especially for an unknown author no matter HOW many color photos there are. I can sell it for only $15.50, so I’m not making much. The publisher is making more than I am, and I did the work!

Now, you’ve got your books. The fun starts! Marketing and networking. The Social Media, Amazon, sites like Barry’s Creative Christian Moments.

Expect to do a lot of marketing and invest in marketing materials: Before you even get your books, get a blog, webpage, business cards, book marks, post cards, thank you notes, 6 foot table and cloth, banners, sandwich board, posters, “Local author, Book signing” with location. So far, I had over $4,000 into it.

I used the front cover photo which depicts myself on a great palomino horse in front of a great mountain: Stewart Peak for my sandwich board. Beat the pavement, visit local stores, and introduce yourself, and leave them information how it can be a mutual promotion for a Book Signing. Gain credibility. Get to know your printer. I plastered the area with posters a week before. Consideration of the type of business you are helping, to benefit them, and stay out of their way while they do business. Then, I send a thank you note afterwards.

They’re not obligated to help you. The buyers were not lined up for me, but for the business. I found I sell as much in person, as gets ordered through Amazon. Ten books would be a good day. I give away business cards and books to “seed”for the increase. I’ve given books to pastors, leaders, and every store owner that helps me, or needy person.

I carry a few with me in a special bag everywhere I go. You are now joined at the hip with your book. It is your baby; don’t leave them in the car overnight. The dampness curls the covers. The Elite Package with Xulon Press, cost $4,000 but has national exposure and book shows. I think I could go with $1,000 and get the same job done with all the legalities, from another publisher, and without color pictures. It’s going to be a long time before I make anything, and Xulon really isn’t helping sales much.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve encountered many struggling Christian writer’s who’ve just giving up on their calling either through circumstance, unmet expectations, or just downright hardships that prevent them for continuing in their callings. These guys and girls are really in the fire right now and have been severely burned. If you were speaking with them one on one what encouraging words would you say to them?

Judy Madden: Don’t let your “self” get in the way. Keep the vision. If it was from the Lord, look to Him, He is worth it, it is up to Him. Trust and obey is the key. Then wait on God.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Any helpful tips or practical disciplines that you have learned in your walk with Christ that younger followers could benefit from?

Judy Madden: The work IS my work. Just like going to a job. Stick with a time alone. Focus, focus, focus, keep your eyes on the Lord. He is the author and finisher of your faith. There is more to this than just getting a book out. It is about you. The key word is LET. LET our God get a lot of mileage out of this, starting with YOU; building stick-to-it-ness, building character, getting you tough, able to stand in criticism, and rejection, with love.

The way of faith: Know first of all that the book is His will, we know that He heareth us, and that He will do it. Conditions are met. It is cast in stone, and the wheels of heaven are in motion:
Mark 11:22 – Have faith OF God (faith IN God, mistranslated) Do it like He does it.
Mark 11:23 – Speak to the mountain
Mark 11:24 – Believe you have already received it and you will. (past tense say thank you)
Mark 11:25 – When you stand praying, forgive (that is love of God. Do it anyway, even if you don’t feel like it, say it, this is tied to receiving from Him) God helps.
Mark 11:26 – If you do not forgive, you won’t be forgiven.
Stay focused. Wait on the Lord. Believe, receive, trust and obey. He will do it, He is faithful.

Barry Irwin Brophy’s Closing Thoughts
Madden is a model for the younger generation on practising the presence of the Lord. She possesses such a heart to know the Lord and models her quiet times off of Jesus by her examples of seeking God through solitude. Her actions echo the great patriarchs and desert fathers of the past whom spent time in solitary to understand the Lord; only then to arise and share the Gospel message with active demonstrations of the Holy Spirit through healing. The conclusive meat of the conversation between Madden and myself was simple: seek God, remain pure in your calling, and He’ll take care of the rest. This concept seems so simple to Christians, yet how many times do we find ourselves in disobedience of walking this faith journey out through actions. Me included!

But to paraphrase Madden’s words, sometimes what is most important is the process of obedience by which one walks out their command from the Lord. In our culture that trumpets the uniform belief of rebelling against authority, the process of obedience to the authority of God is met with staunch opposition even from within the Christian community. But walking out obedience to God changes the deep places within our souls. We are molded more and more into the likeness of Christ represented in our changed actions, thinking, emotional responses, and our ability to trust the Lord in the most dire of circumstances. The Christian discipline of obedience denies our fleshly selves and allows us to bear our own crosses much in the model of Christ Himself (Matthew 16:24). Through these actions, we truly become fulfillers of the word “Christian” translated as “little Christ” where we are ambassadors of Him through our actions demonstrating the Gospel message.

How can you best support Madden? Host her at your next ministry event, schedule a book signing, or allow her to share her heart about what God has done in her life with you or an audience. Purchase a copy of her book and share it with a friend who may be interested. But most importantly join her in the prayer movement for revival across this nation. If you are seeking a place of quiet, solitude, and a chance to connect with the Lord, why not visit the Shiloh Prayer Fasting Ranch and see the Holy Spirit passionately ignite a deeper fire in your walk with Christ! When revival breaks out in this state, it will be a result of well prepared ground toiled by men and women, like Madden, who have sought the Lord in the secret place illustrated in Matthew 6:5-6.

Judy Madden’s Pages
Personal Website: http://shilohprayerfastingranch.com
Xulon Press: http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781498415057&HC_ISBN=
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/God-Rocky-Trails-the-Mountains/392163177603933
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shilohranchllc
YouTube: http://youtu.be/LuYYTliUn5Q
Email: rockytrails@cfaith.com

References
Madden, Judy, email message to author, March 7, 2015.
Madden, Judy. God, Rocky Trails, and the Mountains. United States of America: Xulon Press, 2014.
Xulon Press book God, Rocky Trails & the Mountains | Judy Madden, YouTube, 1:15, posted by Xulon Press, November 3, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuYYTliUn5Q (accessed March 16, 2015)