20 October 2013

Tamera Lynn Kraft Interview

Tamera Lynn Kraft
Tamera Lynn Kraft is the author of two Christian historical fiction novellas.  Tammy is also administrator of Word Sharpeners Blog, REVIVAL FIRE FOR KIDS BLOG , and ADVENTURES IN AMERICAN HISTORY BLOG . She also is a monthly contributor to JEWELS OF ENCOURAGEMENT BLOG. She writes Christian historical fiction focusing on American history and children’s ministry materials and is a member of ACFW and a moderator on CHRISTIANWRITERS.COM.

TAMERA, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? 
Wow, you’re asking a difficult question. So many things ran through my mind like being abused as a child, feeling rejected by my father, a marriage that almost feel apart, or when my daughter was raped her first semester at a Christian college. All of these were difficult things to overcome, but with God’s help I did.

If you don’t mind, I’ll talk about something a little less personal but still very difficult to overcome. I was on staff as a children’s pastor for sixteen years at a church I loved. The children’s ministry was growing in many ways. Many children had been saved and discipled under my ministry and, as teens and young adults, were serving God in various ministries. I knew God wanted me to minister to children’s leaders, to teach at children’s ministry conferences, and to touch the lives of many more children, but I had convinced myself He would do it through my church that I loved.

When a new pastor came to the church, it became obvious his vision for the church was different than mine, but I didn’t want to leave. God was moving in the lives of children, and I had a great team that worked under me. Besides my children were raised in that church, my husband had been saved there, and I felt such a connection to the people.

Through a dramatic set of circumstances, God showed me and my husband it was time to leave. But before I could find a way to tell the pastor, he fired me. I was devastated. I felt betrayed by my church and my pastor.

Another church hired me as their children’s pastor, but after four years, God told us it was time to leave that church as well. We left there on good terms and with the pastor’s blessing.
I was confused and wasn’t sure what to do. God didn’t give me the next step, but He did lead us to a larger church where we are now. I started doing a few kid’s crusades and some teacher training and figured it would only be a matter of time before a ministry position opened up. I also started writing, something I never had time or energy to do when I was on staff.

Finally the day came. The pastor of my new church asked if I was interested in interviewing for the children’s pastor position that opened up. My heart leapt within me as I started to say yes. But then something happened. God spoke loudly in my spirit, loudly enough to be almost audible. He said “NO!” I barely said the word, “no” to my new pastor.

I didn’t understand. I knew it was God, but I cried when the new children’s pastor was hired. And I cried when she did the children’s Christmas play. And I cried when the children’s choir sang. It took a long time to accept it.

Now that I look in the rear view mirror, it all makes sense. But it didn’t then. Now I have a ministry called REVIVAL FIRE FOR KIDS where I mentor children’s leaders by teaching at national conferences and holding teacher training and children’s ministry consultations at local churches. And I touch the lives of more children than I ever could at a local church through the kids’ crusades and revivals I do. I also write curriculum and articles.

The cool thing is I also have time to write. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve always loved history, so now I write historical fiction. I have an agent, Linda Glaz at Hartline, and expect to be published soon. That would have never happened if God hadn’t moved me.

Another thing I love to do is travel. Now I have time to travel with my husband who has retired early. And the when I minister in churches, I get to travel for free and get paid for doing what I love.

I can’t say I don’t miss being involved in a local children’s ministry. I do. But my life is so good now that I wouldn’t give up what I’ve gained for what I’ve lost.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Isaiah 43:1-3a  But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
This is what I call my life verse. Through every difficulty of life, God has reassured me through this verse not to be afraid. I am His, and He will rescue me through every trial. Even when I seem like I’m drowning in my despair or feel like I’m walking through fires of difficulty, He is there and will see me through.
Soldier's Heart by Tamera Lynn Kraft

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and your blogs and why?


I’d say different things from different blogs. My WORD SHARPENERS BLOG encourages writers and readers and hopefully informs and entertains them while offering advice to sharpen their writing and their lives.
REVIVAL FIRE FOR KIDS BLOG offers help and encouragement to children’s ministry leaders.
ADVENTURES IN AMERICAN HISTORY has changed its focus. I’m hoping it will educate Americans about our country’s history and connect it to the struggles our nation is going through today.

As you researched your manuscripts, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?

I learned that people throughout history have had to sacrifice much to stand up for God and against evil, yet they were willing to do it. I remember one journal entry about a man who preached abolition at a church in Kentucky. The pastor and most of the congregation owned slaves, and the pastor had children by one of his slaves. The man who wrote the journal didn’t hold back and by the time he was finished, a member of the congregation pointed a gun at him. The rest of the congregation joined the man with the gun, and the young evangelist feared for his life. The man was about to pull the trigger when he dropped the gun as if it had burned his hand. I included that scene in my novel, RED SKY OVER AMERICA.

In this latest work, do you have any topics that will be useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  

In Soldier’s Heart, a Civil War Novella that recently released, Noah Andrews comes home from the war suffering from PTSD. Throughout the novella, he learns how to take his thoughts captive and trust God to heal his wounded heart. Molly, his wife, learns to be compassionate and patient when her husband has difficulties. She learns how to support him.

The novel I’m currently writing is called LOST IN THE STORM and is set during the Civil War. Captain Macajah Jones is struggling not only with the struggles of war, but he has done something wrong, something that torments him. He knows the only way he can handle his guilt is to confess his sin to God and to others, but he can’t bring himself to do it. He tries to handle the guilt on his own, but that only makes it worse.
A Christmas Promise by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My historical Christmas novella, about a woman who lost her oldest child in an accident, releases December 1st through Pelican. In A Christmas Promise, the woman and her husband are Moravians and have settled in a Moravian village in the wilderness of Ohio to be missionaries to Delaware Indians. Her grief has turned into fear and anxiety, and she sees danger even when there is none.

Thank you TAMERA for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Giveaway:  We are giving away either of Tammy's novella's this week--either Soldier's Heart or A Christmas Promise.  We're also giving away a little pink goody box for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Leave your email address and comment to enter for the giveaways.



38 comments:

  1. Welcome to OWG, TAMERA, and thank you for sharing your testimony with us! You are one busy lady! Reading your testimony I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened had you not listened to that "no" from God. So many times we override it, and end up in such a wad! You have been through a lot and I was very sorry to read about what happened to your daughter. Sometimes we don't understand why God allows such suffering in our lives, but we can be assured He NEVER lets us walk through the fire alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Diane. You're right. He never lets us walk through the fire alone.

      Delete
  2. TAMERA, Thank you for being so transparent and sharing this with us. You are being rewarded for your obedience to His voice. I know it must have been difficult. I can hear the sorrow in your words but praise the Lord you followed Him! Your life verse is one I cling to, as well. The Lord has sustained me through many difficult times, and continues to do so. I pray you continue to be a blessing through your ministry and your writing. I would love to read your historical Christmas novella. I will be visiting your blogs soon and look forward to learning more about you. Have a blessed Sabbath!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anne. I appreciate your kind words.

      Delete
  3. Thank you for sharing Tamera. It's not always easy to listen to the NO or even the YES sometimes.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary. You're right about it not being easy. But God knows so much better than we do.

      Delete
  4. I appreciated your transparent interview, Tamera! Oh, how God rewards us when we listen to His no's, although it can certainly be painful at times. Blessings and hugs to you, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am so glad you are so open Tamera, I would love to win and read your book A Christmas Promise. Life is painful at times and sometimes hard to understand what the Lord is doing , but when we get there, so to say, we know it was all for his glory and we only need trust him. Oh I love Carries pink boxes of goodies...so much fun ! Looking forward to reading more this week.
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. TAMERA, thank you so much for being on OWG and sharing your experiences with everybody! I'm so glad with what you've gone through that you've had God right there along with you, helping you to overcome. Even those things less personal can still be difficult to go through. When I've looked back on my own experiences, unfortunately I see myself carrying more of the burden than I should have... It's like the Lord was walking beside me holding His hands out to share and take the burdens, but I would keep them to myself, struggling under the weight, until I finally gave them up. I only pray that should life bring other difficult circumstances, I'll have learnt to hand them over sooner!

    I'll be checking out all your blogs and be purchasing A Soldier's Heart - sounds like a very touching but encouraging story.
    God bless you and your ministries Tamera!! My children were greatly blessed and influenced by a children's ministry growing up in the church, and I'm very thankful and grateful to special people like yourself that give so much to and for these kids. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Neola, for your kind words. I hope you enjoy Soldier's Heart.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for sharing with us. God has led you in on a wonderful path! (wonderful paths are usually hard) Congrats on your books - they sound great. Soldier's Heart sounds like a deep emotional one - which usually means a good heart string tugger. :)
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan. God's paths are hard, but in the end they are worth it.

      Delete
  8. TAMERA!!! SOOOOOO incredibly fun to see you here, my friend, and WOW, what an interview!! But then Carrie really knows how get to the heart of matters in her OWG interviews, that's for sure!

    Both of our books look WONDERFUL, and I especially feel a pull to The Christmas Promise, I guess because the temps have dropped in St. Loo and I'm sitting in front of my gas fireplace!! :)

    Hugs and Meg BLESSINGS on you and your career!!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Julie. I hope you love both Soldier's Heart and A Christmas Promise. They both have lots of romance. But a Christmas Promise is defiantly one you want to read in front of a fireplace. Hugs, friend.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Julie. We are so happy to feature Tammy this week. She really knows her Civil War and it shows in her writing.

      Delete
  9. You are such a wonderful example of
    Gods light shining thru you. God bless you
    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, Tammy has such energy for Christ--it is really cool! And she has amazing Civil War knowledge!

      Delete
  10. Thanks so much, Tamera, for sharing your struggles with us. I admire you for listening to the voice that told you No, in spite of what you wanted. It takes a great deal of faith and courage to put our own wishes aside to follow God's call for us. Brightest blessings to you......Joy Ross Davis

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tamera, thanks for sharing your life, thoughts and personal trials with us. It is not easy to share things that are hard for us, much easier to bury them and let them fester in our thoughts.
    Blessings!
    Sonja

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja, it is by our testimonies that we can really overcome and give glory to God! Thanks so much for coming by!

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Sonja. I used to keep things like this to myself, but have learned there is blessing in transparency. It also helps others to testify to God goodness.

      Delete
  12. Tamera, We are so happy to have you on Overcoming With God! Thank you for sharing with our readers! Civil War is definitely your sub genre and it was a pleasure to read your story, also! I'm reviewing that tomorrow! We appreciate you opening up to our followers.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tamera, I was really touched by your story. Isn't it difficult when God has a different path planned for us than the one we would have chosen? Thank you for sharing.
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, Tamera!

    SO inspired by your story, Tamera! It is so hard to understand why God would remove us from a thriving ministry for Him, & place us elsewhere - I encountered this when a passion play (musical drama) about the life of Christ, in which I was a cast member, had to close it's doors after I had participated in it for a year (long story). My emotions were much as yours - I had seen so many people won to the Lord through this play, (it also ministered to me every night, along with the audience), & I felt as if part of my being had been torn away, & that feeling continued for a long time! I'm thrilled that you have found the Lord's plan for you, & appreciate your sharing with us!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your books!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bonnie. It is so hard to understand at the time. But God gives us grace to get through it.

      Delete
  15. This book looks so good - I have also lost a child and can understand the fear and anxiety. Love to read this!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry for the loss of your child, PB. I'm praying for you.

      Delete
  16. Yes, sometimes God changes our perspective by moving us. Later we are astounded at His perfect timing. Great interview - thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Tamera. I enjoyed this interview Carrie had with you. It was a very touching article. Seems you've had a lot of changes to make, but so glad GOD knows what is best for us and always walks us through if only we will let HIM. But, it is not always easy. And, I don't seem to always hear His voice. Maybe it was those times that I chose to do something He wouldn't want me to do. And, Maybe I don't listen close enough. But, do know He is my Lord and Saviour. May GOD continue to bless your works. I would love to win your Soldier book, if it is out in Print. If not the Christmas book is going to be a good one also. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Im so sorry for your loss, a Christmas Promise sounds so good i would love to win it
    Shirley B jcisforme@aol.com

    ReplyDelete

Google Analytics