I recently had the opportunity to chat via email with fellow author and friend Sarah Francis Martin about her new book, Just Rise Up! A Call to Make Jesus Famous. I asked her about her journey to becoming an author, why journaling matters, and what it means to “do life differently.” As you read her words, I hope you’re as inspired and challenged by her passion as I am.
1. Tell our readers a little about yourself and your journey to being an author.
I’m a wife, mom, and a wanna be artist. I love getting my hands messy with craft paint. I’m a Texas girl at heart but we now live in North Carolina after my husband spent time in the Army. Something that I’ve come to find out about myself is that I’m an extrovert who is also a closet introvert. Does that even make sense? Sometimes I can’t even figure myself out! After spending a year in an intense discipleship program where we learned about biblical worldview, I felt God nudging me to start writing and expressing my new-found passion. Funny thing, I’m not naturally a writer. I have to work very hard at it. Writing chapters or blog posts takes me a really long time. I think it is the perfectionist in me. But every time I want to throw in the towel because I think this whole writing thing is too hard, the Lord reminds me that He is worth it! When I feel inadequate or that I don’t have anything of value to say, I circle back to that: He is worthy of my worship via my words.
2. What inspired you to write Just Rise Up?
Several years ago, I participated in a 24-hour prayer chain. I sat down to pray during my designated hour with some suggested Scripture and Psalm 145 captured my heart as I prayed. Verse four says that one generation after the other will proclaim God’s fame. All I knew is that I wanted to be part of that generation, those here and now to make the name of Jesus famous. As I began to communicate this message via my blog or during speaking engagements, I felt like it really gained traction. There is an itch with in this generation that we want to do something with our life, yet we don’t know how. I want to encourage me friends to RISE UP! from the couch of complacency and do life differently. We do this by making the name of Jesus known in every square inch of our lives. Whew! Just typing this makes my heart start beating fast.
3. I’m not personally a journaler, but this book is set up with journaling not only in mind, but strongly encouraged. Why should women like me not only pick up your book, but also take the time to journal as they read? Why’s this important?
Honestly, just as I’m not naturally a writer, I’m also not naturally a person who writes pages and pages in her journal. But, I’ve come to realize that the best way to engage with Scripture was to journal through it. Have you ever sat praying or reading and your mind begins to wonder? I do this all the time. That is why I have my little journal and a pen handy. When we physically engage with the Lord with a pen in hand, we are better able to stay focused and available to hear what He wants us to take from His word. For me, this looks like this: I write out an entire verse or passage that catches my attention. I then write out bullet points of what this verse is saying or definitions of key words. I also often write out my prayers. Nothing fancy. Just me prayerfully staying focused.
4. You talk about “doing life differently.” Explain that a bit and how you hope it will challenge readers.
“Do Life Differently” has become a catch phrase for me over the past several years. I am fully aware that it is grammatically incorrect. But, it is what sticks and I hope it sticks with my readers as well! In Just Rise Up! I challenge the reader to consider many aspects of her life and prayerfully isolate areas where she may or may not be walking in obedience or making Jesus famous. Then, we work through it together to figure out how we can do life differently. This is also a call to look differently from the world around us as we make Jesus famous. Here’s the deal though, I don’t do it perfectly. I am personally quite open about my own struggles and faults. The journey to rise up is just that, a journey. But, when we walk down the road with a daily focus on the Lord, our hearts transform to where all we want to do is please the Lord with our heart, our mind, our actions … our life as worship.
5. What is the main thing you hope women take away from Just Rise Up?
It is my hope that women will begin to live a life of praise, with a kingdom perspective, a humble heart and a desire to influence others to make Jesus famous as well. I pray that they will seek after the Lord in order find their passion and life purpose. Finally, I pray that women will live with servant love as well as bold faith as they recognize that their life is actually ministry when we circle our entire existence around the worship of Jesus.
For more information on Sarah and her book Just Rise Up! A Call to Make Jesus Famous, visit her website.