Interview with Dr. Ilean E. Jones-Frazier

How did you get the idea to write a daily devotional?
Most people, from the beginning of the new year, make resolutions. They create a list of the things they either want to achieve or change about themselves, and to the best of their ability, try and live up to it. At the church that my husband and I founded, in the beginning of each year we devoted time to fasting and prayer so that we can search within ourselves and receive from the Lord guidance for the new year. It was during one of our prayer meetings when the Holy Spirit told me to write a daily devotional. Let me tell you. I did not see myself as a writer! But I did it. My work schedule at the time was extremely busy, still I stayed up sometimes during the night typing away on a word processor. I would have what I typed printed, added a cover to it, then I would staple it together. These thin books/pamphlets became very popular when I would travel and minister. Fifteen years later, I was approached to have those pamphlets converted into print and eBooks.
What do you feel was important to add to your devotional that may be different from others?
I don't think it's different in regards to content, format, etc., but there is a difference in the voice of the author. I knew and our Heavenly Father knew that I needed to share my experiences and personal testimonies with others. Many Christians/Believers think that living a spiritual life should be easy. I can tell you that at times, it isn't. There are going to be some hard days. There's going to be times when you feel stuck and like you don't know what to do. You want to talk to someone - anyone - to help you through it. I wrote this book just for that. So many people today are fearful to discuss religion/beliefs. I have no fear of this, because I have gone through enough. I want the readers, regardless of their preferred beliefs, to be able to read this book and when they close it feel a renewing in their joy, strength and confidence. I want them to see they are not alone and you can overcome anything through the Word. That the Word of God has been, through people like myself, tested, tried and found to be true. It's a book of hope.
Thank you and you have led into my next question. What else do you want readers to get from this book?
Inspiration! Inspiration can come through many forms, but it has to be more than just words. There has to be life in those words. When you have living words, people can feel it. They can draw from it - feel connected to it. If you find that someone has gone through something similar to what you're going through, that person immediately has your attention. You listen because you want to understand - you want to figure out what to do. Your goal is always to overcome. That's what I want readers to get from this book - the feeling of overcoming something you may have thought was hopeless. I want the readers to feel inspired while they're overcoming. I want them to feel confident in their spiritual walk and growth. I think my book can help them do this.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing that every day has a reason and purpose, regardless of how small. I don't take the little things for granted. I'm thankful for all of my experiences. Some of them were rough and I don't want to go through them again, but I've learned that by going through rough things has made me into who I am today. Those experiences I count as joy. Once you've overcome something, you never have to worry about being tormented by it again. You wear the crown of valor and no one can take that from you. You've gone through battle and came out victorious. Can you imagine what that feels like? You wake up knowing who you are, and if something new comes your way, your faith of overcoming is already there.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Typically, I have a very busy scheduled. At the moment, I'm finishing up the last pages for the next book in the Manna series. I anticipate it being released within the next two months. I'm also recording a gospel album. Both of those things along with pastoring a church, speaking engagements and spending time with my family, my days are pretty much full.
Where do you see your books in ten years?
Still being sold all over the world. My goal isn't to be a bestselling author. When I say that what I mean is, I'm not seeking a title of any sort. I minister all over America throughout the year. There are billions of people all over the world. If I can reach just a small amount of that number and my readers are able to get something personal out of my books that's a huge accomplishment. If there's someone out there losing hope, faith, joy, love, have hurts, and they stumble across my book. They have stumbled across it for a reason. It doesn't cost much and it is filled with wisdom, both personal and divine. I dare them to read it and see if the book is the answer to some of their prayers.
Published 2015-01-22.
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