Previously we featured a book review of J. M. Farro’s devotional “Life on Purpose for Women”. You can check it by clicking here and buy a copy from CLC Philippines. We got bless by the messages of the book. But the DG book review team got a suprise when Joanne M. Farro posted a comment complimenting our book review. Not only that she even agreed to have an interview for this blog! And here it is guys!Enjoy!!!
Delighting Grace: Can you tell us why write a devotional book when there are lots of them out in the market?
J. M. Farro: Actually, I never set out to write a devotional book. In fact, I never set out to write a book at all! It all came about when I joined the staff of my son, John’s, internet ministry,Jesusfreakhideout.com . My original assignment on the website was to answer prayer requests. But after being on the JFH staff for a year, my son asked me to write some devotionals for his site. At first, I was indignant because I thought my son was asking too much of me. But then I prayed and asked the Lord if this was what He wanted me to do. When He said yes, I began writing, and I’ve been writing ever since. That was in 1999, and since then, Jesusfreakhideout.com has become one of the largest Christian music websites in the world. Eventually, a publisher offered to put my devotionals from the site in book form, and this is how my “Life On Purpose” devotional books came about. It was totally God’s idea, not mine. Because as you say, there are plenty of devotional books on the market already.
Delighting Grace: How about the whole process of producing a book? Please give us a sort of “behind the scenes” of it.
J. M. Farro: When Harrison House contacted me about putting my devotionals in book form, they said that before the whole process could begin, they would have to sit down with their Marketing people to determine if it would be worthwhile for them to invest in a devotional book of mine. Weeks later, they contacted me and asked me to sign a contract with them. I earnestly prayed about it and felt like this was God’s will for me, so I did. After pitching my book concept to their distributors, and receiving such a positive response, Harrison House called me and said that they wanted to publish three books of my devotionals, instead of just one. Also, instead of waiting two more years to publish, they were putting a rush on the project and releasing it in only a few short months. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy, and I thanked God for His incredible kindness and generosity.
Delighting Grace: Any memorable experience while giving “birth” to “Life on Purpose” devotional books?
J. M. Farro: After writing devotionals for my son’s website for two years, and sending out a weekly email devotional to my subscribers all that time, one of my readers urged me to submit my writing to publishers. So I did. But all I got back were rejection notices. I got very discouraged, but with God’s help, I continued to write and mail out my weekly devotionals. Then, exactly two years later, I felt led to begin writing publishers again, and one of the editors that had rejected my work two years before became very excited about my devotionals and offered to publish them in book form. That was Harrison House, who eventually published several of my books, including the “Life On Purpose” series.
Delighting Grace: How has writing and releasing a book changed you?
J. M. Farro: Having my writing published in book form has been a very exciting and enlightening experience for me. It is very gratifying when others are excited about your work, to the point of wanting to invest their money in it. But for me, it has had its disadvantages, too. Now, I can hardly write anything without wondering, “Is this good enough to be published? Would anyone want to buy the rights to this?” In other words, it has been a distraction for me in some ways. I have to remind myself that my main focus must always be obeying God with my writing, and doing my best to use my God-given skills to help others, and to lead them to Christ.
Delighting Grace: How important to you is quiet time with God? How do you do your devotional time for the Lord?
J. M. Farro: My quiet time with God each day is my number one priority. It is literally my lifeline, and I could not live or function without it. No matter how busy my day will be, I get up early enough in the morning to spend time praying and reading the Bible before I do anything else. I often start out by praying, “Lord, show me where to go in Your Word today. Speak to me, and help me to hear and to heed Your voice.” I usually read at least one or two devotionals which lead me to a specific passage of Scripture. I ask the Lord to show me how it applies to my life. I’ve discovered that if we read or hear the Word of God, but fail to apply it to our own lives, it won’t do us much good. The real power is in the doing. Another thing I often pray is, “Lord, send me revelation from Heaven, and help me to apply it to my own life, and to share it with others in life-changing ways.” I know that when God shows me or teaches me something, He doesn’t do it just for my benefit. But He expects me to share it with others so that it can make a difference in their lives, too.
Delighting Grace: Indeed its our lifeline from God. What is your advice to Christians who want to stay focused on God, even if they are busy in their studies and work?
J. M. Farro: I tell people that if they are serious about keeping their focus on God, they are going to have to make numerous sacrifices on a regular basis. They must make spending time alone with God each day their number one priority. If they don’t, they will be constantly distracted by other people and other responsibilities. It’s a matter of priorities. The Lord will always help us to give Him first place in our lives and our schedules if we will sincerely ask Him to, and if our motives are right. We simply cannot fulfill our God-given purpose and potential unless we spend regular, unhurried, and undistracted time alone with the Lord each day – praying, reading His Word, and asking Him to speak to our hearts. When we do, He will bless us and use us in exciting ways for His glory. And we will have a tremendous impact on the world for Christ.
Delighting Grace: Thank you Joanne for your time. It so nice to have a you over my bog. Please do invite our readers to get your book, and also, please tell us what we will expect with you in the future?
J. M. Farro: Last year, I released a new book entitled, “The Promise-Powered Life: How to See the Promises of God Fulfilled in Your Life”. It is a new collection of my devotionals based on the promises of God from Scripture, and they are filled with personal experiences and anecdotes from my own walk with the Lord. For more than 21 years, I have prayed and claimed the promises of God for myself and my loved ones, and I have discovered firsthand how they can transform people and circumstances in amazing ways. This new book can be purchased on Amazon.com in paperback or in digital form. I have been getting a lot of positive feedback from readers on this book, who have told me that it has radically changed their lives. Your readers can use this link to check out this new book. I hope that this book will be the first in a series of more to come in the days ahead.
Delighting Grace: I’m checking the new book and I must say that its another godly bestseller from J. M. Farro. So guys please drop by the bookstore to get one and also the Life on Purpose series. Thank you again Joanne and more power to you!