Today I’m excited to welcome Pamella Bowen as she Launches Volume 2 of A Doubter’s Devotional: Judgment-free and Jargon-free
I used to be a songwriter like Bernie Taupin, only I never teamed up with a musician like Elton John to write the melodies. For about five years I wrote country and novelty lyrics then turned to Christian songs. I managed to coax a long list of co-writers to work with me, and I acknowledge them in volume 2 of A Doubter’s Devotional. A lyricist needs a composer to make a song come to life.
When I didn’t experience success as I envisioned it, I gave up songwriting and disappeared into my cave to lick my wounds for a year or more. In 2018, I emerged again, this time as an author and publisher of children’s and Christian books. I started a self-publishing company called Green and Purple Publishing.
Type “Pamella Bowen” into the Amazon search bar, and you will see all my currently available books, including both volumes of A Doubter’s Devotional. The meat of both books is a box full of un-musicated lyrics from my songwriting days. Let me tell you why.
One of the first questions Matt Tommey, my creative mentor, asked was, “What is in your hand right now?” That night I dreamed of a green, plastic file box, and the next day I opened a cupboard in the garage to see the green box holding all my song lyrics. I’d forgotten the box was green. The Holy Spirit was saying to use the lyrics as little springboards for journal or discussion questions in an interactive book. I said okay.
Why, though, is it a doubter’s devotional? After 38 years of atheism, I now want to share my faith journey with other lost sheep, whether they be seeker-atheists or professing Christians harboring hidden doubts. I think everyone is a doubter at one time or another, and perhaps unloading those doubts can help a person draw closer to God.
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If you enjoy A Doubter’s Devotional 2: Judgment-free and Jargon-free, please write a review on Amazon or send me a note at info@GreenandPurplePublishing.com.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Experience God first-hand in the second volume of the popular A Doubter’s Devotional series. Former skeptic Pamella Bowen stays away from churchy jargon in this interactive book for doubters, seekers, the spiritual-not-religious, and the disillusioned. Prose essays, lyrics and poems provide the prompts for journaling, prayer and contemplation. Doubters are gently invited to open their hearts to the possibility of the divine, to “unload” years of anger, and to stand in awe of nature. Seekers without a religious background are welcome to take “baby steps” toward God, without the barriers of secret passwords from the Bible and church tradition. The author’s authentic and conversational voice gives readers confidence to enter the unexplored spiritual territory within.
Bowen has been writing all her life, and she now writes for her fellow lost sheep. She wants to share her God-experience with seekers and believers of all ages. When she retired from teaching high-school English, she started writing country song lyrics, then Christian lyrics. After five years, she turned to writing children’s books, the first being Folding Memory: an Alzheimer’s Story, inspired by her husband’s hobby of folding origami frogs for bored kids at coffee shops. Other children’s titles include Faith and Grace Say Their Prayers, Pray for the World, and Old Vine and Little Branch.
For adults, she wrote Jesus in Jeans Journal containing the touching paintings of Nicole Schiffers. Journaling has been important in Bowen’s journey, and she shares journaling prompts in Jesus in Jeans Journal as well as in the two volumes of A Doubter’s Devotional.
As a new believer, Pamella Bowen feels called to share her insights into what she calls “making God real”—experiencing the divine first-hand in the real world. She avoids churchy jargon in her books, hoping to appeal to readers who stopped attending church or those who have never been religious. Though her target is the doubter, her books appeal to believers as well, especially those who want to get closer to the God who is really there.
Bowen has two adult daughters and lives in California with her husband and publishing partner, Don. Find her at Pamellabowen.com or at GreenandPurplePublishing.com.
Chapter 1: God and God’s Voice
How old were you when someone told you about God? Was it a parent or grandparent? A priest, pastor, or Sunday school teacher? If you were very young, I bet the adult kept things basic. We have this idea that kids can’t take in complex ideas. I was shown a big picture book with a long-haired Jesus in robe and sandals helping some children. I was also taught the song “Jesus loves me, this I know.” I was told that God lived in heaven and watched me all the time. The only God I had been shown was Jesus, so I pictured him as God. Sound familiar?
Did you get incremental updates on your theological knowledge as your intellect grew? I didn’t because I was raised by my non-church-going parents. They figured they’d done their duty with the Jesus book. I think most people still carry around the simplistic view of God they were taught as children. It never gets updated if they don’t read the Bible or go to seminary. The idea that God lives inside me was never taught. I only heard about it as an adult when I started pursuing God. It makes a heck of a lot more sense to me than some dude sitting in the clouds. I have been on planes above the clouds. He wasn’t sitting there.
Looking back, I remember plenty of times when God made his presence inside me known. I just didn’t know it was him or his spirit. He warned me many times when I was about to make big, life-threatening mistakes. Usually I ignored him. Nevertheless, I heard the warning. Parents called it my conscience. Can you recall any such moments in your childhood or youth?
Even though I believe God is real now, I still get irritated at Christians who go around blabbing about “what God told me” and “what God said.” The rest of us are looking at each other quizzically. Why don’t we hear God telling us anything? From the way they talk, you’d think God calls them up on the cell phone or sends them a text—they are so sure of his meaning. It’s very off-putting and it builds barriers between people. They are the insiders that God talks to in a chummy way, and we are the outsiders that God ignores. No wonder we don’t want to set foot inside their churches.
The fact is that God very rarely speaks to anyone in an audible voice received by the human ear. If it is a voice at all, it is an internal voice—more an idea—that pops up inside your head. Sometimes, like my pangs of conscience, it is a feeling within. Once in a while it is a vision, either waking or sleeping. These messages are open to interpretation, not clear-cut.
Supposedly, God sends more messages to people who are ready to hear them. Now, at the height of my rabid atheism I was certainly not ready to hear anything from a non-existent God, but that didn’t stop him from stabbing my conscience! After I became a believer, and especially after I started practicing centering prayer, I did get more messages lighting up in my mind. Perhaps I was more ready to hear them. At least I wasn’t trying to keep them out, as I had been before. The fact that you have this devotional and have read this far may mean that you are ready to hear more from God than before. I hope that is true.
Write on it: Journal about your religious upbringing or lack thereof. Whose teaching did you believe the most? Do you still see God as you did in childhood?
Go to the Source: In stillness, ask God to show you the people in your life who tried to open you to God. Write down the list of people and how you feel about them.