By Debbie Farmer
I recently had the blessed experience of chatting briefly with book author Cindy Tuttle, who has written “Joining in the Dance of Life” and recently released “Finding the Light of Jesus” both available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
I feel privileged to share this interview with you about her new book.
Cindy, please tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to write “Finding the Light of Jesus.”
Thank you, Debbi, for letting me share “The Light of Jesus” with you. I have been honored to have worked with people with severe mental illness for over twenty-five years. I’ve also worked with adults and children who were profoundly retarded and people who are elderly living in long term care hospitals. They taught me so much about how to live our faith.
As a child I was sexually abused and almost killed by two teenagers. Because of that and other abuse I went through some very rough times. Getting counseling and my faith brought me through and I am SO grateful!!
I have been involved in many ministries in my church including lecturer, choir, home visits, prayer leader, religious education, Eucharistic minister, etc. I completed four years of lay ministry classes.
I have been fortunate to have been published in thirteen periodicals and have a book recently published called Finding the Light of Jesus by Crosslink Publishing.
As I mentioned I am so grateful for what Jesus has done for me. [pullquote]I know of no other way to thank him than sharing the compassion and encouragement He has given me with others. [/pullquote]Any gift he has given me I feel is to be given away. In one of my prayers I mention how when I come to him when I die, my heart will be empty because all my love will have been given away. Of course some of it to me, because without taking care of myself there would be nothing to give away.
I would be constantly yearning for love from others. That is why I wrote Finding the Light of Jesus. To share what I have been given with people who might be hurting and/or want to grow in Christian faith.
What is the key message in your book that you would like your readers to grasp?
The key message is – no matter how we feel or what situation we are in, Jesus calls us to be His beloved child. Once we experience this love we then have a strong desire to live the love we have been given.
Has your background in human services, as well as your lay-work in Spiritual retreats influenced your thoughts in your writing? If so can you share a little with us “How you feel this to be the case and why”?
They have had a strong influence in my writing. The spiritual wisdom I have learned from people with severe disabilities is incredible. They have taught me what is really important. What we need is not necessarily what we want. What culture says is important at times is not the truth. When people have severe pain as the people have in your ministry, they find the true gifts that give life and love.
In facilitating my spiritual retreats one person was at the beginning stages of dementia yet the care and respect given her by the other people at the retreat and the spiritual wisdom she shared I will never forget. She seemed so grateful that she was being heard and the love given her. Her smile during the retreat still warms my heart every time I think of it. She wasn’t seen as a patient but as our brother and sister in Christ. What a wonderful day that was! Experiences like this helps shape my writing.
I chose the title because the light of Jesus is everywhere and sometimes we may forget how close His light is. To me His light is compassion, strength, faith, and the eternal light of our soul. Experiencing or finding that light is joy beyond words. I never tire of hearing people tell of these experiences. In fact that might be my next book.
Finally to round up, Can you let our readers know “why” you feel they should purchase your book and what they might expect to gain as a result?
We all feel lonely at times and have challenges in our faith and trying to live out our faith. Finding the Light of Jesus offers a variety of ways to help us in our faith. The prayers settle our hearts and souls so we are open to read the reflections in a prayerful mindset. I give suggestions on how we can live our faith and also provide pages for journalism. I have prayers towards the middle of the book for times when we are lonely.
I also have a part called “Conversations With Jesus.” I provide a dialog of some of the feelings we have and how Jesus might respond. If you want a book that includes spiritual reflections, prayers that touch the soul, clear suggestions for living our faith, and a book that is ideal for prayer groups, support groups, churches, religious education, and Christian social service programs, this is the book for you!You can find the link on www.cindytuttletheauthor.com. If you are a group leader this is a very helpful book for a lesson plan and reflection questions and prayers that will generate a prayerful environment and spiritual insight.
Debbi Farmer is a retired homeschool teaching mom, who presently has opened her fun-dream “small business” even while facing many health challenges in her life. Debbi has worked many years with Rest Ministries in both the “Beyond Surviving Homeschool” forums as well as writing devotionals for the “Chronic Illness” forum. She has had many short stories, devotionals, as well as poems and gospel songs published over the years, and is now presently enjoying life with her husband of almost 30 years, walking where the Lord leads us.