Interview: Rose Chandler Johnson Author of God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea
Today’s special guest on Inner Source is Rose Chandler Johnson, whose devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments was released in July 2013. Her devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is from a small Georgia town and has lived in Martinez, GA for the last twenty-eight years. She has been a French and English teacher for the last twenty years. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.
God used Rose’s writing not only to encourage me in print, but she shared a devotion with attendees at a recent conversation, and I knew I had to have her devotionals in hand. I love God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea.
Rose, you’re our first author of devotionals on the Inner Source, but truly the light comes to you from our Inner Source. Is there a story behind your devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea?
I was reading some of my old journals recently, and I came across an entry from 1979. It was a prayer in which I said to the Lord I wanted to write a book that was relevant and encouraging and that would point others to the heart of God. I believe that the Lord gave me that desire and that God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is a realization of that desire, even though I wasn’t thinking of that consciously when I wrote it.
I believe God works through a writer’s subconscious when we sit down and dedicate a book to His calling of us as authors. He is faithful to answer our prayers. I’m curious, why did you write a devotional?
When I decided to make Jesus the Lord of my life, in 1977, I starting reading a devotional every morning. It was just what I needed to help me focus and structure my time. I’ve incorporated devotional reading in my quiet times with God for decades. I think most people could benefit from that format. The fact that I wrote a devotional comes back to my desire to be relevant and encouraging.
I’ve read God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea, and I found the devotionals relevant to what I faced daily. I recommend this book highly. Rose, what is the significance to you of “sweet iced tea”?
I love sweet iced tea. I feel like I can’t do without it. I literary drink a pitcher a day. Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Even more so, I can’t do without the Lord who is with me through every moment of my day. The presence of God in my life restores my soul. And those moments where He shows Himself as the most refreshing. The “sweet iced tea” says it’s personal.
God often works through those things we love. What a unique aspect. What started you on your writing journey?
I always wanted to be a writer. I received my first undergraduate degree in 1977 with a BA in English. In the late 70s and 80s I wrote a little and had some things published in periodicals, but motherhood, work, and life in general got in the way of that dream. I began writing again in 2008 when the desire to “write it all down” became too hard to resist.
I’m sure many authors understand that desire to write. So, what are you writing now?
I am a journal keeper. Writing is a passion that fills a need for me and that I believe can be a blessing to others. Devotion writing is a way to communicate what I know about God, as a living reality. It’s more or less an overflow of what I experience as a Christian. I want to share that. I also like to write fiction, and I’m working on a novel, but that doesn’t seem as vital to me as my devotional writing.
Well, my advice is to let the Lord lead. Whom do you wish to reach with your book? Which audience?
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is uniquely appropriate for working mothers, but it’s also for anyone who wants to put their Christianity into practice in their everyday moments and go deeper into God’s word. Men are reading it and enjoying it as well. As Tiffany Colter said, this devotional is simple enough for the newest believer, yet deep enough to make a life-long Christian feel challenged to go higher.
About God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea: In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. Whether purchased as a personal resource or given as a heartfelt gift, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.