I’m delighted that my friends, Patricia Eytcheson Taylor and the Rev. Dr. James C. Taylor, are visiting here today. Pat contacted me about editing a book about her spiritual journey after being referred to me by two mutual friends, my client David Bowles and college professor Dr. Jan Kilby. Later, I discovered we have other friends in common, but we met for the first time to discuss the book. I saw that Pat had a powerful testimony to give and was happy to work with her.
Lillie: Welcome to A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye, Pat and James. My readers know a little about On the Wings of the Wind: A Journey to Faith from reading about it here on my blog shortly before it was released. But they’re eager to learn more about the book and how it came about. What led you to write the book, Pat?
Pat: I was not intentionally going to write another book, even though I had written children’s books before. When I lost my precious husband, I lost the will to live or do anything else, but at night I began to write note after notes. I was pouring my heart and feelings out to God. I was raised with a strong belief and faith in God. My mother took a picture of God accidentally, which is explained in our book and which helped build my strong faith. Yet as I went through my busy life, I hadn’t paid as much attention to God as I should have.
In most of our lives there comes a time of crisis that no one can help us but God, if you let Him. Too many times we wait for a crisis before we turn to God, usually as a last resource when He is the first one we should turn to.
The Bible keeps telling us that our body is the “Holy Temple of God.” Take it to heart. We must become humble and have a willingness to receive God’s wisdom and be open to him. Without God, I would be nothing. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him I can now can do all things, through Christ that has strengthened me. (Philippians 4:13)
My notes written at night shared this common theme, said in many different ways. Many writers write at night because when it is quiet God can reach and inspire us in our writing. For me this quietness allows me to take time to listen, and listening is the key to hearing God’s voice. Without faithfulness and belief, this story wouldn’t have been written.
On The Wings of The Wind is a love story, created by a young girl who found true love on a beautiful beach in California. Her young soul carried God with her throughout her life. But then a time came when God prepared her in mind and body for something to come which she couldn’t explain or even talk about to her husband or anyone else. She had known that she had the gift of premonitions, which came true, but they had always been for fun and entertainment. Now these strong premonitions were scary; none had been like that before.
When her premonitions came true, she was devastated, and that started her journey to a stronger faith and a closer walk with the Holy Spirit.
Lillie: The book started as Pat’s project. How did you get involved, James?
James: After Pat and I were married, we were sent to Germany on my last tour in the military. I was searching for some papers one day and came across some of Pat’s notes she had written before we met. She told me how in the middle of the night she would cry out to the Lord for guidance and support. Soon she learned to turn over everything to God and began to live for Him in her everyday life. She wrote notes of her experiences night after night. When I found those notes, I noticed a similarity with the Scriptures in the Bible. I found it quite extraordinary for a person to do this, and we both felt that God was speaking and using her for a greater purpose than just herself.
Being an Army Chaplain and a pastor, I talked it over with Pat and decided this work had to be put into a story so others could experience how Pat and I had come to know the living presence of God in our lives. Our story was written that others might read and be encouraged in their life journey by our experiences and be able to understand the Bible better.
Pat and I co-authored this book from her early life until today to show how God was always there for her, sometimes even when she didn’t know it. Our relationship with God the Holy Spirit is shown by the cover of our book, a beach scene where Jesus is walking alone, yet just moments before two sets of foot prints are visible. As the poem “Footprints in The Sand” illustrates, Jesus carries us when we are too weak, exhausted, or afraid to do it by ourselves. When God takes over, His promise of joy and peace and purpose is far greater then we can imagine. You make God your partner, your life, and your friend. He then impacts and relates to us in every area of our everyday life.
Lillie: What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from On the Wings of the Wind?
Pat & James: When we have a deeper faith in Him, we find hope and joy in our lives, even as we face the crises and storms. God is the one that gives us the strength to continue. He lets us know and feel His presence as our faith is strengthened in this all-powerful and loving God. And the most important fact is that He loves us. He loves you.
Lillie: Where did you get the title On the Wings of the Wind?
Pat & James: Our book takes it’s title from our understanding that in the Old Testament, The Rhuah, the Spirit or the Wind of God, is the creating force of all that exists.
The Bible states that God comes on the Wings of the Storm. In Psalm 18:10 it says: “mounted on the cherubim he speeds swiftly to my aid with the wings of the wind.” Storms can be on the inside or outside of our body, but they are no match for He who comes on the Wings of the Wind.
Lillie: You’ve mentioned that you have three common reactions to your book. What are they?
Pat & James: The first reaction is that once they start to read the book they can’t put it down. It is written in an easy to read and understand format, with Scriptures throughout each chapter. The second comment is that their spouses want to read the book, sometimes taking it and finishing before they have finished with it. The third comment is that they are reading it again because they have found so many things that are helpful and spiritually relevant in their lives. Many people are sharing our book with neighbors and friends, some as far away as England, Germany, Bosnia, and Africa.
Lillie: One of the ways you have promoted On the Wings of the Wind is through speaking at church and military activities. Please tell us a little about that.
Pat & James: We have attended church conferences and been guest speakers where we present a one-hour workshop on “The Holy Spirit for Today.” These short sessions have standing room only. We also have worked through military wives’ groups and Bible studies at several military posts. The Military Post Exchanges have allowed us to have book signings in the front of their stores because some of our book deals with military life after September 11, 2001.
Lillie: Can you share something that was challenging and/or rewarding about the writing and publishing process?
Pat & James: Finding the right publisher who agreed that we need to get our book out to the public in a timely manner.
Lillie: I’m sure my readers will want to know more about you and your book. Do you have a blog and/or Web site? Where can readers buy On the Wings of the Wind?
Pat & James: We have a Web site/blog, On the Wings of the Wind. You can order the book directly from us on the Web site. When you order from us, you not only receive an autographed copy of the book, you also get a bonus, a CD that has Christian music by a wonderful singer, Janet Norris, and a sermon on the Holy Spirit by James. You can also order the book from Amazon.com.
Lillie: Is there anything else you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?
Pat & James: On The Wings of the Wind provides spiritual guidance to teens and adults as they journey through life. If we submit ourselves to God and let Him plan our life, He will care and provide for us and can give us riches and blessing beyond measures. We need to give Him our cooperation and be willing to do all that He tells us to even if it doesn’t make sense to us.
Our book shows and tells you how to know when it’s God telling you to do something. As we become on speaking terms with God, we learn to recognize His voice. If you give your heart to Him, He will talk to you. We need to put a few moments of silent time aside for Him, empty our minds and just wait, expecting Him speak. When you wake up in the morning, simply tell Him that you love him and thank him for the day. He could respond by your having a great day. He can’t resist being loved any more than you or I can.
We are very blessed with the wonderful news that the Midwest Book Review gave On the Wings of the Wind a rating of Highly Recommended, and Libraries Alive of the National Church Association gave the a book a rating 4 Stars-Highly Recommended. Our book will be listed in their national publication for the next five years.
Lillie: Pat & James, thank you for visiting. I’m sure I didn’t ask everything my readers want to know so I hope you’ll check in during the day to answer questions.
Pat & James: Yes, we’ll be back and hope to answer lots of questions. Thank you for inviting us to visit your blog today.
Patricia and James Taylor, authors of On the Wings of the Wind, live in San Antonio, Texas. Since retirement from the U. S. Army Chaplain Corps, James has served as a Lutheran interim pastor in several congregations. Pat shares in this ministry through her gifts of compassion, visitation, and speaking.