Kathi Macias is one busy woman! She has written both fiction and nonfiction, she does public speaking in various venues. She won the 2008 Member of the Year Award from Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. Her most recent books include The Extreme Devotion Series: No Greater Love, More Than Conquerers, Red Ink, and the upcoming People of the Book (April 2011). Find out more about her at http://www.kathimacias.com/index.html. She also has a new site: http://www.thetitus2women.com/.
Kathi was generous enough to share a recipe that is perfect for gift-giving or just to keep on hand.
“Cake in a Jar”
Betty Crocker cake mix (use pudding recipe on back of box)
Use canning jars—spray inside of jars with PAM and fill jar just under halfway mark
Put jars on a metal cookie sheet in oven; bake according to cake mix directions
When done baking, take jars from oven with tongs and DO NOT ALLOW JARS TO TOUCH EACH OTHER OR THEY WILL SHATTER
While baking take the seal part of the lids and boil in water on the stove. When you take the jars out of oven, put a seal on them and lightly screw on the top. Tighten tops down after jars cool a little.
What is your favorite type of gift to give?
Something personal and/or handmade, since that’s the type I prefer to receive.
Kathi your newest series clearly comes out of a passion for the persecuted church. How did you sense God leading you to write about the persecuted church? Have you traveled to the areas where your books take place? (I love that you are passionate about Voice of the Martyrs. I’m passionate about them and the work they are doing, too! )
Of the four countries covered in the Extreme Devotion series, I’ve been to Mexico only. All the others I had to do intense research on to bring them to life, plus work with people who live in the countries as the stories developed. My passion for Voice of the Martyrs and all the true stories I heard from their publications were the impetus for creating this series, particularly Red Ink, which is loosely based on the true life account of a woman named Li Ying who is currently in prison in China for printing/distributing Christian materials.
If you could travel anywhere you haven’t been to before, where would you go and why?
Israel! Each time I’ve planned to go, something came up and I wasn’t able to do so. My dream is to go there before I die, but if not, I’ll certainly see the New Jerusalem afterward, won’t I?
Which character in your books do you most closely relate to and why?
Probably Chioma in No Greater Love. She was a strong-willed young woman, and I’ve always been that way, though probably not nearly as noble as Chioma proved to be. My prayer is that God will continue to draw me closer to Him so that I might want day resemble Zhen-Li in Red Ink.
I’m so excited to see that you are part of a Titus 2 Women’s ministry site. Can you tell us a bit more about this ministry?
Tbis ministry was a couple of years in the making, as we prayed about/discussed it before launching it recently (www.thetitus2women.com). We believe it is a scriptural concept for the older women to teach the younger, and we seven ladies are all “mature” and have been in the Christian publishing industry for decades. It is our desire to minister/help the younger women who are coming along behind us to prepare to take the baton and continue to run the race. What a privilege and honor God has given us!
As a mother of two, I love that you have a book about biblical examples of mothering. Who is your favorite mother in the Bible and what do you think younger mothers can learn from her?
Because I married so young (18) and moved away with my military husband, I didn’t really have a role model close by. With two children by the time I was 20, I certainly needed one! I suppose that’s why I relate to Eve, who was the first mother and had no one to turn to for advice or comfort. That realization has completely changed my perception of her.
What is your favorite part about being a mother?
When my children (who are all long-since grown and gone with children of their own) come home and I get to wrap my arms around them in welcome. Don’t you imagine the Father feels that way (on a much grander scale, of course) when He welcomes one of His own? Makes me that much more anxious for my own heavenly homecoming!
Can you share with us a favorite writing tip?
Just do it! If God has gifted/called you to write, stop putting it off. Don’t let that book/story/poem/song die inside you. Start today! It doesn’t have to be perfect; writing is a craft that is learned over the years. But if you keep putting it off until tomorrow, it will never happen.
Do you have any favorite writing related rituals?
No. I’m a trained journalist, and I simply sit down and start working as I would at any other job. I do have to discipline myself to stay away from Facebook and emails, though—a terrible distraction, I’m afraid!
Would you like to leave us with a short excerpt from Red Ink, your latest release?
By Kathi Macias
Yang Zhen-Li was nearing thirty but at times felt twice that old. Her back was becoming permanently bent forward from the heavy pails she carried daily, one attached on each end of the thick bamboo rod that stretched across her shoulders, mirroring the heaviness of her heart. There had been a time when she’d been acclaimed as a beauty, but she could scarcely remember why…or imagine that it would matter.
She tried to fight the encroaching darkness, tried to hold fast to what she knew was true, but the constant lies and propaganda were taking a greater toll even than the physical labor and abuse or the burning, gnawing hunger. If her situation didn’t change soon, she knew she would never live long enough to see her husband or son again. And with nearly eight years of her ten-year sentence left to serve, the possibilities of her emerging from prison alive grew dimmer by the day.
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. She forced herself to focus on one of the many scripture verses she’d had opportunity to memorize between the time she accepted Zhu Yesu as her Savior and her arrest by members of the Public Security Bureau (PSB) on charges of teaching religion to children, including giving them papers containing religious writings. Even before her arrest, her parents had written to her—warned her, begged her, threatened her—and finally had her kidnapped in an attempt to convince her to go along with the government rules, especially the one limiting each family to one child. After all, she already had a healthy son. Why would she want another baby when they could scarcely afford to feed the first one? But though her abductors had forcibly aborted her second child, they had not succeeded in convincing Yang Zhen-Li to abandon the faith she had adopted before marrying her Christian husband. If anything, the ordeal had only strengthened her resolve to take a stand for the meaning of her name—Zhen-Li, “Truth,”—and spurred her to begin actively sharing the Good News of Yesu every chance she got. As a trained teacher, that quite naturally included talking with children about the gospel, a practice expressly forbidden by the government.
And now she was paying the price. Separated from her family and sentenced to ten years of hard labor and “re-education,” Zhen-Li struggled to survive against pain, exhaustion, and bitter loneliness. Worst of all were the times she felt God had abandoned her. It wasn’t enough to know in her mind that He promised never to leave or forsake her. She needed a visible reminder—soon—if she was to continue to remain faithful behind these prison walls.
Thank you so much for being here, Kathi!
My pleasure! I look forward to hearing from your readers/followers!