Friday, December 3, 2010

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with Lee Warren

Happy Friday everyone! It is time for another chat and guess what? We have our first gentlemen guest! I hope all you ladies make him feel welcome. It is an honor and blessing to have Lee stop in for a chat. It is great to gain a man's perspective on things. I think they give us a new insight and a refreshing attitude. It is awesome to see a man willing to share his heart. First I am going to begin with Lee's bio. This will give you some insight to who is is. He too is a servant making a difference for the Kingdom of God. As you will see, he is a gentle soul. Welcome Lee!! Here we go!!

Lee Warren has written five books and hundreds of articles for various magazines, newspapers, and websites. He writes for Baptist Press Sports, the Heartland Gatekeeper newspaper in Omaha, Nebraska and many other publications.

He is also an editor for WinePress Publishing; he critiques manuscripts for The Christian Communicator Service; he's on-staff with CLASSeminars (a company that trains Christian leaders, authors, and speakers); he co-owns A Write Start Communications (a company that assists new writers on their road to publication); and he teaches at various writer's conferences around the country.
When he's not behind the keyboard, you can find him hanging out in coffee shops with friends, listening to music on his iPod, watching baseball or tennis, or relaxing in his recliner with a good novel and his cat Latte.
You can find out more by visiting his website, http://www.leewarren.info/, or his Little Nuances blog, http://www.littlenuancesblog.com/.

(Robin) Lee, tell me a little about yourself

(Lee) I’m a bit of an oddity, I suppose. I’m a big guy who is introverted, but I’m really just a big softy. I love chick flicks, I have a cat, and while I’m into sports (I’m a sportswriter for the most part) I am more interested in the story behind the athlete rather than the statistics. I love to read fiction in the Nichols Sparks, Travis Thrasher, Jan Karon vein. Ultimately, I hope to write fiction one day. So far, I have five non-fiction books in prints and hundreds of articles, but no fiction – even though I’ve studied it extensively. There is so much power in a well crafted story.

(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Lee) There aren’t any big moments, but a number of small ones. I totally believe in God’s sovereignty and provision in all areas of life, but I often find myself wondering about my perceived lack of his provision in specific circumstances.

 The freelance writing life is a difficult one, financially. Some months are excellent, some are awful. As the economy has soured, it has slowed payments from publishers at times. Two years ago, I had a $75.00 bill that was due. I didn’t have the money to pay it, but I had several outstanding payments from publishers due. I prayed that God would make a way for me to receive the $75.00 (or more) so I could pay the bill on time, but it didn’t happen.

I don’t think I treat God like a genie in a bottle, but I also know him to be faithful. So, for several weeks, I really struggled to understand his will in that particular situation. The same situation has occurred a couple of more times since then.

I can’t help but think about Daniel 3:17-18 when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to Nebuchadnezzar, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

The “but if not” clause means I need to be willing to be faithful even when God doesn’t deliver me.

(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Lee) Certainly the moment I became a Christian, because, my perspective changed. Beyond that, I’ve had many. I’ll tell you about one I had not long ago. I’ve always been a theology guy. I’ve studied it, attempted to apply it, and counted it as extremely important. I haven’t changed my mind about any of that, but my perspective about how I lived it out changed due to several things that happened in my life.

The event that pushed me over the edge, so to speak, occurred as I watched the film “Lord, Save us from Your Followers,” produced by Dan Merchant. I reviewed the film for a newspaper I write for. After watching the movie and then interviewing Merchant, I kept thinking about the question he posed in the film: “So why is the gospel of love dividing America?” In the film he goes on to ask viewers why people in general have such a positive opinion about Jesus and such a negative opinion about his followers.

The simple, and difficult, answer is – Christians would rather be right than loving. I was in that camp and over the past couple of years, I’ve felt God drawing me out of it and he used this movie as the final straw.

(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Lee) When I need encouragement I listen to two songs: “He Reigns” by the Newsboys and “Blessed be Your Name” as sung by Rebecca St. James. In both instances, the focus is on God and his plan rather than on me and my plan.

(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Lee) I need to be able to feel completely vulnerable around a close friend without feeling like I’m going to be judged. I try to be that type of person in return to my close friends.

(Robin) What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Lee) The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks – really, anything by Nicholas Sparks. The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. The Other Side of the Mountain by Charles Martin. The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer. The Sportswriter by Richard Ford.

(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Lee) Listen to music, pray, read the psalms, call a friend.

(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Lee) God seems to have given me the ability to bring a sense of calmness to crazy situations.

(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Lee) Family, good friends, books, my cat.

(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Lee) To love the Lord well, to find out what makes people I love tick, to write novels, to get married.

(Robin)What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Lee) “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Lee) When life got difficult, he was always there.

(Robin) What are you currently working on?
(Lee) I’m writing features for the Heartland Gatekeeper Christian Newspaper in Omaha. I’m editing a couple of manuscripts for various publishers/critique services. And I’m mentoring a writer.

(Robin) How do you define success?
(Lee) Following through with the passions God has given me.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 is one of my favorite verses. That verse has carried me through much when I wanted to scream and shout many times, but I hear the Lord's whisper and know just what I am to do. I too enjoy reading Nicholas Sparks. His books bless me with each turn of a page. Charles Martin grabbed my heart with the very first book I picked up of his. Just wonderful. Books you can walk away with a message of hope. I love that!!

Thank you so much for stopping in Lee. Ladies, didn't I tell you it would be a special day? I encourage you to check out Lee's web sites. All you must do is simply click on the link. There is lots of interesting and valued information there.

Blessings to you Lee. Keep following the Lord's passions for you life!! He is doing an amazing work in you and through you!!

3 comments:

Shona Neff said...

Loved getting to know Lee a little better. We've chatted at a couple of writers conferences and he's helped my with some techy issues with my personal blog. I'd put him in the same category as batman! You rock, Lee. Enjoyed his visit to the Robin's Nest.

Dianne Guthmuller said...

I love Lee's definition of success!

"Following through with the passions God has given me."


Thanks Lee for allowing us to get to know you better!

Robin, I love your blog! It's my first visit but I'll be back!

Blessings!

Dianne Guthmuller

Robin Prater said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Dianne!! Love when others share with me. Yes, Shona, I agree, always great getting to know another brother in Christ!
Blessings and hugs to you both,
Robin

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