Sunday, February 24, 2013

Shirley Kufeldt, BIBLE BITES SERIES


Author Bio:
My father died when I was 12 years old. We seldom spoke of him.  My teenage years were difficult. I never rebelled but I was not a good student. I had all kinds of emotions bottled up in me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college. I was not a Christian at the time and teaching elementary students was certainly not the best choice for me—I have a degree in Elementary Education but no desire to teach.

When I was about 22 I was in the third car of a five-car chain reaction accident. I walked out of my car without injuries but the trunk of my Ford Fairlane was squished. God protected me. I married Scott at age 25. We built our suburban house and had two daughters.  Once Kristi was a year old in 1980 I began to attend First Baptist Church in Elgin. That first year I attended a Bible study presented by John Mosiman. He did 1 John and Romans. In 1983 John introduced an elderly man to the class who had just completed the Discovery Class. That intrigued me and I signed up for Discovery the following September. From September to March we studied five small chapters in Lessons on Assurance. In April 1984, a week after the Easter service, I accepted Christ. I cried for about a week and could hardly talk about it with anyone.  Scott refused to attend my baptism because he had already been to church for Easter.

When my children were little and I had become a Christian it was very easy to exhibit patience with them because they were little. I quit my full time job in September 1986. I was a stay-at-home Mom for two years.  In those years God doubled Scott’s income and we had no money problems. My mother had given me and my four sisters some logging property in Michigan. We had it logged and I received my check—it was within $5 of our real estate tax payment.

In the early 1980’s I had been praying for Scott to give up drinking or quit smoking. On November 1, 1983 he quit smoking and said it was a lot easier than he thought it would be.  

After about ten years at First Baptist church of Elgin, I switched to Christ Community Church in St. Charles. 
Over the years, because of my two daughters, I never worked longer than three years at any job. Over quite a few years I worked as an office temp off and on. On occasion I would be offered a job.  However, at one position I had been working for 3 ½ years for a very difficult boss. My attitude was very poor because of his constant and unrelenting demands. I was terminated in April 1995. I never cried about it—I was a bit ticked but I accepted it. When I closed the car door for the last time in the parking lot I said “God, you have other plans for me and they don’t include. . . ”   

Then I drove away and I let go of my job. Thirteen weeks later my mother had an aneurysm that caused her death. Losing my job was part of God’s plan. I was executor of her living trust and I would not have been able to work at that time. God allowed me to have some ordinary time with my mother before she died and then devote me whole time to her estate.

In Fall 1997 I participated in a support group at CCC—Making Peace with your Past. We had a licensed therapist lead our group and this study really opened up my eyes to childhood events. I continued to attend a support group for a number of years at Christ Community Church and learned much. Childhood events effect personality development which impacts family and future marital relationships. Working through issues through the lens of recovery was a huge benefit for me and my family. All family issues will never be resolved, but life can be better.

I continued to work temp jobs, my daughters grew up, finished college and moved out. But over the course of working as an office temp for so many different companies, I learned to write out the tasks of my current job assignment. I learned that I can clarify, edit and get my point across on one page. In 2006 we finally decided to sell our home in IL and move up to WI to the retirement home his parents had built. We moved in 2007 and the next year we brought his elderly parents to move in with us. His father died October 2008 and his mother died February 2011.  

Turning to God I asked what I could do. His response was for me to develop a series of small topical journals called Bible Bites. I spent my first year reviewing two books searching for appropriate verses:  Search for Significance by Robert McGee and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I created home-made personal journals and have been journaling this was for three years now—incorporating my prayer requests with specific scripture for each day. Some requests are retained from month to month and others are checked off.  
 
Tell us about your book:
Bible Bites are just that— about 52 pages with one or two scripture references to each page.  At the front of each book there are two pages for prayer requests.  Some prayer requests are on-going for some time and some new prayer requests are added each month.  I have discovered that it’s very easy to read a passage of scripture and write my prayer request around a verse.  And by the end of the month a number of my prayer requests have been checked off—done!

How long did it take to write the book?
I can’t claim credit for writing the Bible. I really began the process at the end of 2008, slowly moving toward my goal.  It was always “out there” but I never solidified the process because I could not find a printer that met my specifications for size and cost.  I searched numerous websites for self publishing, made numerous phone calls, send various e-mails and finally came across Halo Publishing.  More phone calls and e-mails.  In summer 2012 I mentioned to Lisa Umina that Eagle River has their Cranberry Fest in October which is attended by 40,000 people.  Lisa grabbed on that and found a printer that would deliver just prior to October Fest, which features many crafts and baked goods using cranberries.  My booth was not a success at a craft event but I have great faith in my four titles because I’ve been journaling for three years and have enjoyed answered prayers many times.

What inspired you to write the book?
My Mom brought us all to church the whole time I was growing up.  I attended Awana for several years, but somehow I missed out on something very important—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  I can’t ever remember anyone asking me to confess that I am a sinner, seek forgiveness and repentance, and then ask Christ to live in my heart.  How did I miss it?  Because I missed it, so did many others.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
The initial challenge for me was to find appropriate scripture by topic.  So the first year I copied scripture references from two books:  Search for Significance by Robert McGee and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  By the end of the first year I had several other books that arranged scripture by topic which greatly facilitated my familiarity with scripture. I finally realized that I could just read my own Bible and easily find verses.  My Bible is now full of circles and I will devise my own process to sort by topic. 
Once sorted by topic, the next step is the arrangement, using Scripture to relate God’s Word from a beginning to a conclusion that draws the reader closer to God by journaling every day.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
God answers prayers when you come to Him and learn to trust His Word.  My foundation is much more firm as the result of journaling for three years.

Excerpt from book:
This is the back cover of MEET GOD AND HIS SON:
This small journal gives you only a short introduction to God and His Son Jesus with an opportunity to read scripture daily and write your response to it.  You will learn that a decision is required for eternal salvation.  Think about the following:
  • There may be a difference between what you believe and God’s Eternal Truth.
  • Do you BELIEVE IN GOD?
  • Do you believe that the Bible is true and that God communicates to you through His Word?
  • Do you believe that God’s laws apply to everyone?
  • What about gravity?  Does gravity affect everyone?
  • If gravity affects everyone on earth, do God’s laws apply to you?
  • Do you believe that God’s Word is Truth?
  • Do you BELIEVE GOD?

All of your actions are based on what you believe.  What action will you take on your beliefs NOW?


Where can we go to buy your book?
Halo publishing

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
www.BibleBites.net

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