Here at Inspire, we’re thrilled that God brings us so many talented writers! Its a joy to see our writers love the Lord and serve His people with the gift of writing. Today we’re spot-lighting one such writer, Guadalupe Casillas who is teaching Bible Study classes using materials she wrote.
When did you first know that you’re a writer?
First of all, thank you Beth for this blog interview. And thank you for all the encouragement and support you offer members like me. You created a wonderful organization when you founded, Inspire Christian Writers.
It was actually after my second meeting at the Inspire group in El Dorado Hills, California that I realized I was a writer. Even though I wrote my first Bible study in 2004 and finished my second in 2010, I still didn’t see myself as a writer. When I told my critique group in 2011 that I did not considered myself a writer, they lovingly but firmly said, “Guadalupe, stop saying that. You are a writer!” Then I began to believe it.
Tell us about your writing journey. How did you get started? What training have you had?
I started writing in my journals in 2002. Mainly these journal entries are prayers to God. I only wrote when I felt God’s Holy Spirit leading me to give thanks or when my heart was burdened and I needed to ask His help. I finished High School, but I didn’t go to college. In the late 70′s in Nicaragua women stayed home to take care of their husband and children. Even if you were middle class you could afford a maid and a nanny, so I didn’t see the need to get a higher education. I also never dreamed of becoming a writer, so I didn’t have any training. I began my training at the Inspire Christian Writers conferences in Elk Grove and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, two years ago.
What motivated you to write More Power Through the Fruit of the Holy Spirit?
It was more about “Who” motivated me. The Bible studies at my church had concluded for the season and we would not meet again until the Fall. I couldn’t bear the thought of not meeting for a short Bible study in the Summer. On our last study of the season, the leader mentioned that our group was so large that we would have to break into two groups. They were looking for a second leader for the Fall. We were all silent and then I said, “I would never be a Bible study leader, I enjoy sharing more in the group instead of leading it.” Oh well, God heard that! The following month I accompanied my husband to a business conference in Las Vegas where he was presenting a technical paper. I told my husband I would have a mini-retreat with God during the day while he was at the conference. As I prayed for the men and women of the city of Las Vegas and enjoyed my quiet time with God, the Lord nudged me to not only lead a summer Bible study, but to write it as well. By the way, one of my greatest passions now is to lead Bible studies!
As people read this Bible study, what do you hope they gain from it?
I want them to know they have an incredible source of power through the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. We can have more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and more self-control, when we rely on God to supply us with His fruit to live a life of victory instead of defeat.
How did God work the truths of this study into your own life?
Were there any surprises as you wrote More Power Through the Fruit of the Holy Spirit?
Yes, I’m surprised now in how quickly I had the entire study in my head. I came home from Las Vegas with all the ideas and Bible passages. The Lord helped me finish it in three months!
Tell us about your next project.
What would Inspire readers be surprised to learn about you?
That English is my second language and I still struggle with it. I sometimes don’t know how to pronounce certain words that are not common, and I’m a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries. God has brought me a lot of help and continues to equip me for His glory!
I thank God for the help I’ve received through Inspire Christian Writers in editing and mastering my craft. I also thank Stonecroft Ministries for providing me with a Speaker Trainer Consultant who helped me prepare my testimony. So far, about 15 people have received Jesus as Lord and Savior through my speaking and writing, and that’s all that matters to me, to reach those who have not yet experienced the love and grace of God.
If you could co-write a book with any author, living or dead, who would you pick and why?
Well, that would be God! Because He is alive, He’s the greatest Author and His book, the Bible, is the best-seller in the world! In a way I have co-authored with Him with my Bible studies, because all I’m doing is using His Word to create application questions and share what He’s done in my life.
Thank you, Guadalupe for sharing bits of your writing journey with us!