Today we are sitting down with Rose Chandler Johnson, the author of God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea. Rose's devotional book is subtitled "Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments." The book is a "personal collection of spiritual treasures" that Rose shares with her readers.
Rose, thank you for joining us today! To start with, tell us a little about yourself.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from a tiny Georgia town where I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the age of eleven. As a young bride, I left Georgia to begin a new life in California, which was the first of several states where I lived before returning to my home state. I have six children, three sons and three daughters. My youngest child just graduated from high school. I’ve taught or worked in education for the last twenty years serving in the roles of librarian and teacher. Through the years, my faith in God has sustained me and I’ve learned to find Him in the midst of everyday moments.
2. How and when did you begin to write?
Growing up, I was a big fan of the classics and very studious. Jane Eyre may have been the book that sparked my interest in writing. I decided to get a degree in English literature and French and bide my time until I could write a novel. I received my
first undergraduate degree in 1977 with a BA in English. In the late 70s and 80s I wrote and had some poems and articles
published, but motherhood, work, and life in general got in the way of that dream. I began writing again in 2008 when the desire to “write it all down” became too hard to resist.
3. Can you give our readers a short description of your devotional, God, Me,& Sweet Iced Tea?
This devotional is simple enough for the newest believer, yet deep enough to make a life-long Christian feel challenged to go higher. There are 52 devotions followed by questions for journaling, suggested Scriptures for further reading, a prayer, a sweet tea moment (thought for the day), and a prayer focus. Those extra helps allow the reader to use this as a personal or group study. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is uniquely appropriate for working mothers, but it’s also for anyone who wants
to put their Christianity into practice in their everyday moments and go deeper into God’s word. Men and couples are enjoying it as well.
I invite you to take advantage of the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon to see the table of contents and read several of the
4. What led you to write it?
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea evolved from my own personal devotional time. I journaled about my personal experiences as I read and studied God’s word. After filling several notebooks with my reflections, it occurred to me I could turn those editations into devotionals. The book is an overflow of my relationship and love for the Lord. I wanted to share that with others in order that they might come to know Him.
5. What are you working on now?
I’m working on a couple of projects. My first novel, which has been like a neglected pet, was finished this spring. I’m working on the proposal for it, but that keeps getting shelved due to my busy family life. When I can make the time, I’m also working on a non-fiction book and a second devotional. I think of the non-fiction as a priority because it’s an overflow of what
the Lord has done in my life and what He continues to reveal to me about Himself. I believe He has the readers for those already in mind.
6. Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Write every day. Keep a writing journal and jot down words, phrases, and ideas that come to you every day. I’ve forgotten entire story ideas because I failed to write it down.
7. How can my readers find out more about you and your work?
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart.com, and through your local independent book stores.
A Selfless Tribute
As Memorial Day approaches, I find myself longing to be back home, visiting the local cemetery, and paying tribute to those loved ones who died in the line of duty. For years, my mother celebrated Memorial Day by purchasing a fresh floral arrangement of beautiful red, white and blue flowers for the church piano. The attached card read, “In memory of those who bravely died in service to our country.” After church, Mom took the flowers and divided them into two bouquets, taking one to (her first husband) Raymond Kelley’s small memorial in Fayette, Indiana, and the second bouquet to the grave of my father, Marvin Cavin, in Lebanon’s Oak Hill Cemetery. Both men fought in World War II. My father returned home
. . . Raymond did not.
When I interviewed my mother about her life during the 1940’s for When You
Come Home, I got a first-hand look at the cost of war and the heartache that ensued when a loved one headed off to train for a war in a far-off place. Young and carefree, Raymond Kelley left home one chilly November day in 1942- proud, scared, yet determined to serve his country . . . not realizing the price that he would pay. Less than a year later, his widow was left alone to grieve and to continue on in a country still obsessed with talk of war. It seemed impossible to escape the jarring headlines of the local newspapers, the constant updates
blaring from department store radios, or the snatches of war chatter floating around the local eateries.
The years went by and my mother remarried and moved on, but she never stopped loving and honoring her soldier. This Memorial Day, let’s make sure we never forget and always honor our soldiers; remember and appreciate the selfless and courageous people who valiantly served and died to keep our country free. Our gratitude should be never-ending.
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