It’s no secret that I’m thrilled to have Rachel Olsen share her heart with me in my little corner of cyberspace. Rachel has a new book out entitled, It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know. So grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit down for a few minutes and spend some time with us as Rachel gives us insight into her new book and her heart.
Rachel, as the editor of the Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today devotions and a university professor, you have lots of experience writing and editing, but this is your first full-blown solo book. What prompted you to write it?
One verse. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 13:11 there are secrets in the kingdom of God, and that His followers can grasp them. That statement excited me. I was captured by the notion that God has secrets He is willing to share with us. I wanted to find out what these God-Sized secrets were.
With this book I share twelve of the divine secrets I’ve found,so they can empower others’ lives just as they have empowered mine. And I included Bible study sections at the end of each chapter so my readers can dig into the Bible for themselves and find it’s gems. The Bible holds the most sublime secrets – divine revelations every woman should seek. It is simultaneously a love letter, a mirror, an instruction manual, a treasure map and a window into God’s heart!
The book is titled It’s No Secret. Can you give us a glimpse into a few of the secret topics it covers?
Sure, Stephanie. I uncover the Secret to Responding to God, the Secret of Interdependence, the Secret of Handling Conflicts Biblically, the Secret of Living Generously, the Secret of Perfection in God’s Eyes, and the Secret to Growing Through Trials, just to name a handful. The whole list can be seen online in the table of contents when you “look inside this book” at Amazon.
To put it more succinctly, this book will help you:
* Overcome the competitive urges that leave you lonely
* Grow spiritually despite life’s setbacks
* Discover how to make what you give away ultimately return to you
* View rest not as a have-to, but as a gift
* Handle conflicts or criticism with grace
* Relax unrealistic expectations in favor of emotional stability
* Discover a key to increased spiritual vitality
* Find adventure as you yield wholeheartedly to God
Your subtitle talks about revealing divine truths every woman should know. What importance does truth play in a girlfriend’s life?
Truth is crucial. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” So it matters where we get our truth from. I hold to the conviction that if God created life, He alone gets to define it. He is the Reality Maker. And His Word, the Bible, is our reliable source of truth. When we dig into it and follow it, our minds are renewed, our lives are transformed, and we grow in freedom. I’m confident It’s No Secret contains biblical truth that can do that for you.
Jesus, by the way, is the Word Made Flesh – He is truth in action! That’s why knowing truth always begins with following Him.
What is the most important “secret” that women must understand in order to move past their to-do lists and into more meaningful relationships with Christ?
It’s difficult to declare any single one the most important because I’ve found at different times in my life, each of the twelve divine secrets I outlined have opened up to me a new level of living in Christ. So the answer to that may depend on where someone is at spiritually at the moment.
But if I had to state a fundamental secret to a more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ, I’d have to say simply coming to Him, regularly. And coming to Him on His terms. My core conviction is if God created life, He alone gets to define it. So if you believe God created you and gave you life, then let Him define you, let Him define your life. Come to Him for your definitions in life – for your definitions of what is true and what is false, what is of value and what is foolish, of what will please you and what will please Him. That’s ultimately what this book helps you do.
What is your greatest hope for women out there who read your book?
My hope echoes the apostle Paul’s. I started the book with a blank page before the introduction with his words from Colossians 2:2-3, “I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God’s secret plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
My goal for my readers is that they would become God’s secret-keepers and His secret-revealers – that they would embrace the “secret way of living” revealed here, and show others this empowering way to live as well.
If you look at the cover of my book, you’ll see one of my favorite things: coffee! I’m a decaf (pumpkin spice) latte girl in the winter, and a coffee-frappe girl in the summer. What I really wish I could do is meet each of my readers weekly for 12 weeks over cups of coffee and talk through the contents of our lives and of this book. But I can’t – I don’t have that many frequent flier miles! So I’m offering the next best thing in a giveaway: a free copy of the book and a $5 Starbucks gift card to buy the drink of your choice.
To enter to win, check out the table of contents on Amazon’s preview of the book and tell us which chapter interests you most and what you’d order at Starbucks.
Be sure to write your response in the comments section of my blog for a chance to win. The winner will be announced on September 27th.
Where can find Rachel and her book:It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know
Rachel is a Women’s Speaker and Devotional Editor for Proverbs 31 Ministries
On a personal note: Rachel’s heart for God and God’s girls comes through everything she writes and speaks. I highly recommend you visit Rachel’s site, follow her blog and enjoy drawing closer to your Savior as you read her new book It’s No Secret.