Friday, August 1, 2008

Beyond Me - Part 1: Interview with Kathi Macias

Throughout August, I’ll be posting an interview with author Kathi Macias about her new book Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World (New Hope, 2008). Tune in especially the week of August 11th. I’m hosting her blog tour that week, so we’ll hear from Kathi every day – Monday through Friday. I hope you enjoy this interview!

Why did you want to write this book? What inspired you to write it?

KM: I’ve authored a lot of books over the last couple of decades, but this book is my “book of my heart,” the one I’ve worked on for many years. It has been a real labor of love because it is what God has been teaching me for the thirty-plus years I’ve known Him. And because I tend to learn things the hard way, God had to walk me through the message of this book many times before I finally “got it.” (And, of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably find myself walking through it yet again!)

Of course, the message was hammered home to me many times as I wrote, including the time when I took my then pre-teen granddaughter shopping and the first thing she spotted was a line of cosmetics called “It’s About Me.” I remember thinking, “Wow, we really have our work cut out for us as Christians to counter that prevailing lie in our culture!”

What does it mean to live a you-first life in a me-first world?

KM: It means a lot of things, depending on our circumstances. Primarily it means putting God and others ahead of ourselves—and that’s not something we do naturally or easily. In fact, without God’s Spirit inside us to help and guide and strengthen us, we really can’t live a you-first lifestyle, even though that’s what God requires of us.

For me, coming to grips with a you-first lifestyle happened when, as a writer and speaker accustomed to public ministry, God spoke to my heart and told me, “Somebody has to set up the chairs.” I didn’t want to hear that because I knew it meant I had to spend my time serving others in public ministry, rather than being the one being served as I ministered. However, it was a powerful learning time when I began to walk in obedience to that directive.
Beyond-me living really hit home with me, though, when I was busy “grumbling” about how I wished I could spend my time writing instead of running errands for and caring for my almost 90-year-old mother who lives with us. In the midst of my grumbling, God’s words, “Somebody has to set up the chairs,” came back to me, and I knew God was reminding me that beyond-me living also meant serving people at all levels and circumstances in my life—including and especially those in my own home.

From the book:

“I felt myself relax as I began to understand God’s call to servanthood in my life—my personal call to live a you-first life in a me-first world. It wasn’t just about living selflessly so unbelievers would be drawn to Jesus. It was also about daily laying down my life, giving up the right to plan my days and order my steps, so that I could help others fulfill the needs of their day. It was about choosing to honor the sanctity of life, regardless of the personal costs, rather than selfishly guarding the quality and convenience of my life at the expense of others” (p. 24).


Gayle Gresham said...

Great interview, Dianne! I look forward to reading the rest of it.


Anonymous said...

This is an excellent start to the interview. :) I'm also looking forward to reading the rest.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for hosting Kathi during her virtual book tour. Having read this book, I can attest to how powerful it is. I'm hoping my church will read it together and discuss it.

Thanks again, Dianne. It's great to get a chance to work with you again.

Best of luck with the tour Kathi!


Dianne E. Butts said...

Thanks Gayle, JM, and Cheryl for stopping by and commenting.

I really liked interviewing Kathi Macias. I felt like I was hitting her hard with questions. I even disagreed pretty severly with what she wrote in one part of her book. But she answered every one of my questions, and you'll read them all this month.

If anyone's wondering, Cheryl and I worked together nearly a year ago when Cheryl arranged a blog tour for, and I interviewed, Carole Whang Schutter, author and screenwriter of the book and movie, September Dawn. If interested, you can still read that interview on this blog. It's all during the month of September 2007.


Jan Verhoeff said...

Hi Gayle!

Dianne, Kathi give such good information. Her reasoning offers good substance and I'm enjoying her book. A friend actually passed the book on to me about a week ago. I hadn't had a chance to read it, but this was my opportunity.

Kathi, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here on Dianne's Blog. She's got interesting concepts moving out there, and has had some great response. I believe her message is coming through and reaching people.