Many of our readers may not know you, Candise. Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Well, I'm a small-town gal who was blessed to have grown up in beautiful West Tennessee. I was born in Paris, Tennessee, and this is where I've gotten to live all of my life. When I was 21, I married my hunting partner who unexpectedly became my heart throb, Rusty Farmer. My parents, Bill and Linda Moody, live right down the road in a quaint little lake community, Antioch. My in-law's--or in-love's as I prefer!--reside 7 or so miles from us along the Big Sandy River. My brother and his family live at the Covenant Ranch, which isn't much more than a rock's throw from our front porch. And I have two grandmothers who live just a few miles from us in town. I'm abundantly blessed to be surrounded by family.
Undoubtedly, the greatest day of my life was March 30, 1980. It was on this Sunday morning that the Lord drew me to Himself, convicted me of my sinfulness, forgave me of my sins, and became the Lord and Savior of my life. I've never regretted trusting the Lord as my Savior. He has never failed me, and I love Him more every day. As I get older, He gets sweeter and sweeter.
I enjoy gardening, hunting, cooking, and reading, and I'm wild about my 4 nephews and 2 nieces.
Your new book is entitled Green Pastures of a Barren Land. What is the book about and what inspired you to write it?
My book, Green Pastures of a Barren Land, details 7 Biblical principles for finding contentment in any disappointment of life. Rusty and I went through twelve years of infertility and multiple miscarriages. In 2010, we discovered that we would never biologically parent a child. When we encountered this significant failed dream, I made a spiritual and emotional nose dive. The 7 truths of hope that are presented in my book are the lifelines that God used to pull me out of a pit of depression and doubt. Each principle comes straight from the Word of God. As I began to live within each truth, my life was miraculously restored. The Lord granted me a sense of contentment and joy even though a major aspiration of my life would remain unfulfilled.
I'm thrilled also I have testimonies from readers who are finding that my book ministers to anyone, not just the infertile couple. The Biblical principles are relative to any barren season of life. People from all walks of life who live with various hurts and regrets are finding restoration as they read. Of course, that is the power of God's Word. Proverbs 4:22 says the Word is "life to all who find it." Forgive me, but here's a good place to do a commercial for other resources I developed. We have an 8-week supplemental Bible study that guides the reader into an in-depth look at each of the 7 principles. It could be used to reinforce the reader's comprehension of my book. Oh, we also have available a companion DVD for small groups.
What inspired me to write Green Pastures of a Barren Land? I'm very certain of the call from God for me to be His instrument in penning this book. For years I feasted upon "empty cradle" books written by Christian authors who encouraged me through the dark days of pregnancy loss. As I read these hope-filled books, I discovered that in every case the author got her baby at some point in her journey. When I became irreversibly barren, I knew then that there was a profound need for material written from the perspective of "What if I never get my baby?" It's not really a concept that any woman dealing with infertility wants to ponder, but sooner or later, that reality of never biologically having a baby may come knocking at the door. And then we must decide "What now?" So, I became fully convinced that a book written from a different perspective would minister to many.
There are 6.1 million women in our country struggling with infertility. Many are unsure of how they are going to function in a very prolific world. I was called by the Lord to share my story of healing, and if one despairing woman can find a place of peace and acceptance by my sharing, then the divine mission of this book has been accomplished. Also, Peter, as a sidebar, I'd like to add that my book does present the Gospel message. As a matter of fact, I got an email from a gal in Alabama who accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior as she was reading. So as far as accomplishing a divine mission – the most obvious healing comes with the forgiveness of our sins. And how glorious to see God perform this miracle!
Recently you were on Life Today with James and Betty Robison. What was the experience like?
Oh my! I can hardly hear the name of this programming that I am not moved emotionally almost to the point of tears. Being on Life Today has to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. The show that featured me and my book aired on August 13, and as the evening hours approached and the airing times were winding down, I was overcome with a deep sense of gratitude. Here's the deal . . . all of my life I have longed to share four truths: 1.) Jesus is my sweet Savior; 2.) God's grace is amazing; 3.) God's Word is life; and 4.) I love the Lord. These four statements embody my life's declaration. And here is the goodness of the Lord . . . He allowed me to tell the world this message. I give all glory and praise to Him for that opportunity.
James and Betty Robison are true servants of the Lord. Bro. James shared with us over dinner that their ministry was committed to supporting other ministries. He and "Miss" Betty seek out people who have a redemptive message and calling from the Lord, and then Life Today "networks" with these folks, supports them, and provides them with an opportunity to spread their message. That is the heartbeat of the Robison's and the Life Outreach International staff. Bro. James and "Miss" Betty are beautifully approachable, sincere, and compassionate. I will always reserve a special place in my heart for this family. Not only did they invite me to appear on their program, but they also featured my book in their online devotional that has over 112,000 subscribers. I'm very humbled by their support of me, my book, and my ministry. I'm not a big-name author, and I don't have a giant, legendary publishing company, yet the Robison's found the resources and message God has given me to be impacting. And this dear couple extended to me a profound platform upon which to share. I'll forever be grateful.
The program is now within the Life Today TV archives.
Do you do women's conferences in local churches and other ministry venues?
Yes. God has opened several doors of ministry for me. I've done a variety of women's ministry events. Along the lines of church-related women's ministry, I've spoken at weekend retreats, conferences, Ladies' Night Outs, Women's Mission Union banquets, Mother-Daughter-Friend luncheons, Sunday School classes, Minister Wives gatherings, and Life Group sessions. I speak frequently to student groups: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, camp break-out sessions, university orientations, etc. And from time-to-time, I am invited to a Ladies' Outdoor Ministry event, such as a "Hunt Like a Girl" Weekend or Ladies' Outdoor Day. God has given me a chance to meet many precious people and to witness first-hand the beautiful body of Christ.
A description of the various ministries of Enough Grace Ministries can be found on our website.
Tell a potential pastor or women's ministry leader what a conference would look like if you came to their church.
I'm here to serve – bottom line. God has done a wondrous work in my life, and I'm available to extend His message of hope to others.
What would a conference look like? Well, of course, the specifics may definitely be determined by the church leaders. I feel the leadership of a church knows the needs of a fellowship, and so I always welcome and invite the hosting leadership to outline the event as led by the Lord.
A conference can be done several ways. I've spoken at one-night/day women's conferences. In this setting, a church would host the event which would be open to all ladies and girls in the surrounding community and beyond. The evening could begin with a simple registration, a mini-teaching segment from the Word, a meal, then a time of praise and worship, a testimony, and then another session of encouragement from God's Word. Door prizes and other forms of entertainment like videos and skits are optional.
I've also spoken at two-day conferences. This would basically be the same format, yet it would allow more time for sessions and other activities. Many churches decide upon a theme. This is always a helpful idea. Themes churches have come up with in the past I like include "Satisfied?!," "More Grace," "Meeting People Where They Are," and "Awaken." My website has some teaching excerpts any ministry leader could check out to see some of what we do at conferences. I also have as many personal references as any pastor or ministry leader would require before having me at their ministry event.
The main thing, Peter, is that GOD initiates, leads, orchestrates, and directs any outreach event. So many times, I believe, we, as God's children, get to "doing our stuff" as His ministry. And those attempts usually have GOOD results but never really IMPACTING results. The truly life-altering ministry events are those in which WE become very minimal, and GOD's prompting is all we follow. Oh, how I'd love to live each moment under that leading.
And they could contact you how and where?
I'm very accessible. My website has several message forms. Some are related to the resources, some are for inquiring about an event, and one is for prayer requests/comments. You can email me at email@example.com. I'm on Facebook and Twitter. And I try to be very prompt on answering contacts.
What is the single most significant thought you'd like to leave with our readers today?
The single most significant thought I'd like to leave with your readers today is one of the never-failing love of God. The more I experience God and learn of His nature, the more I am moved by His love for mankind. When we comprehend just a morsel of the love He has for us, our lives will be changed forever. Second Corinthians 5:14 truly is at the heart of this message. It IS the LOVE of CHRIST that compels, constrains, controls, and sieges us. In my own life, here is what I've discovered. As I seek to understand His love for me, this supernatural love for God is birthed within my heart, and that reciprocating love within me, albeit very minimal in comparison to His love, affects my everyday life. I pray I never "get over" Christ's sacrifice at Calvary.
And my encouragement for your readers would be to please reflect upon God's love for them. By looking at passages such as Isaiah 53, Ephesians 3:13-21, First John, Psalms 22, we can read of God's unconditional love for humanity. Studying first-century crucifixion, attending a crucifixion and Easter production, or even watching Gibson's Passion of the Christ have the potential to reveal a bit of what God's love for us looks like, with the impact of Scripture being most powerful! Again and again, day after day, we hear the voice of the God, we see the heart of God, and we feel the embrace of God as He loves us with no restraints. That, to me, is the most significant thought ever to be considered. It's all about Him. He gets all the glory, honor, and praise.
Thank you, Candise, for sharing with us today!