1/6/10

Kathi Macias: Choices of Obedience

Choices change us and design our lives. From time to time, I want to interview some of my writer and speaker friends concerning the choices in their lives.

My first guest is Kathi Macias, a multi-award winning writer of nearly 30 books, including My Son, John; Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today; and How Can I Run a Tight Ship When I’m Surrounded by Loose Cannons? You may be surprised by some of her answers. I love her heart of obedience to God.

Dawn: First, because it is the most important choice we can discuss, Kathi, when did you decide that you needed Christ in your life, and what led up to that life-changing choice?
Kathi: I was not raised in a Christian home, though I believed I was a Christian simply because I was born in America and somehow thought everyone who lived here was a Christian. Also, I had visited enough churches with friends that I knew and accepted the basic tenets of Christianity, but I had no personal knowledge or relationship with Jesus.

When I was in my early twenties, my brother Bob became a believer through the influence of his boss. Bob then led my mother, who was fifty at the time, to the Lord, and then my other brother, Jerry, was saved soon after. My dad and I were the “holdouts.” At the age of twenty-six, on July 5, 1974, with my life going downhill fast, I decided maybe my mother and brothers were right that I “needed Jesus,” which was what they were always telling me. I knelt beside my bed and prayed to receive the Lord, and my life has never been the same since. Oh, things haven’t been perfect, by any means, but I’ve never doubted that I made the very best choice of my life that hot Friday afternoon in Colorado Springs when I chose to turn over my heart and life to my beloved Savior. He truly has never left me or forsaken me, and I have such joy in knowing that He never will!

Dawn: What was your most difficult spiritual choice after becoming a believer?
Kathi: I suppose it was turning my back on all that went with my previous life. I became a Christian toward the end of the “Jesus Freak” movement, when praise-ins at the park and baptisms at the beach were the big things. I loved that, but with it went burning our old R&R albums and jettisoning anything in our lives that didn’t honor or glorify God. It was a radical time, but I’ve never regretted it, though many/most of my friends from my “B.C.” (Before Christ) days didn’t want anything to do with me after that. Only a handful of them have come to the Lord, as far as I know, but I still pray for them.

Dawn: What has been your most rewarding choice?
Kathi: The most rewarding choice (and undoubtedly one of the wisest) was deciding to go to Bible college. With children still in school, I was already too busy, but making the commitment to study God’s Word and make it through—however many years it took—was not only rewarding but a great lesson in self-discipline. I was in my early forties when I graduated, but by that time my kids were all old enough that I felt comfortable going back to work full time. When I was offered a staff position at a large church, I was thrilled to accept. I was already doing some writing by that time, and the education I received during my years of study benefited both my church staff position and my writing and speaking.

Dawn: What is the hardest decision you’ve ever made concerning your ministry?
Kathi: It broke my heart to leave my position at the church after serving there for several years, but I knew God was telling me that season was over. I always find it difficult to move from one season to another, but when you know God is speaking to you about doing so, obedience must take precedence over sentimentality.

Dawn: Why is it so difficult for people to choose to serve others?
Kathi: This is a topic I address in earnest in my book Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World. Our true spiritual depth is not measured by letters after our name or a long list of accomplishments, but rather by how humbly and selflessly we live. Do we daily place God and others ahead of self? If so, it is only because we have taken the time to cultivate an ongoing and vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ, because we absolutely do not have the ability to live that sort of life in our own strength. Everything in our fleshly nature wants to serve self; it is only Christ in us, the hope of glory, who enables us to live as He did—as God calls all His children to do.

Dawn: If you knew that the results would be positive, what adventurous "no fear" choice would you make in the days ahead?
Kathi: LOL! Oh, now you’re going to get a peek into the deepest recesses of my heart, but here goes! I’d sell it all—everything—and move to a Messianic kibbutz in Israel! Seriously. I’m a Gentile by birth, but I have a Jewish heart. My passion is to preach or minister first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. Studying anything Jewish is my passion! For a time, my husband and I attended a Messianic congregation (Kehilat Ariel—the Congregation of the Lion) in San Diego (Messianic Rabbi Barney Kasdan). I probably learned more during the short time we were involved there than in all my other studies combined.

Dawn: Is there anything else you would like readers to understand about how your choices have shaped your life?
Kathi: Looking back on my sixty-plus years of life, nearly forty of which have been lived as a believer, I have learned that the choices I made that were motivated by obedience to God were the ones that brought me the most joy and fulfillment. Walking in daily obedience to the nudging of God’s Spirit and the direction of His Word can only produce positive results.

Dawn: Thank you, Kathi, for your valuable insights concerning the choices we all make every day—choices that change our lives!
Kathi: I am honored that you "chose" me. Thank you!

Readers, I encourage you to visit Kathi's website or her Easy Writer blog.

5 comments:

Marja said...

Great interview Dawn and Kathi, thanks!

God's Writer Girl said...

Dawn, Wonderful interview with Kathi Macias!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Ladies! She's an easy woman to interview because she expresses herself so well.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Dawn Wilson said...

Now if I just knew WHY the blogs are better, Anonymous, I could keep it up! :o) I think I'm just getting more passionate for change.