Lynelle Mason is the author of seven books published by Nurturing Faith Books.

1. What story, verse or passage from your faith tradition’s sacred texts has significantly influenced / shaped your life?

The words of Jesus enlighten, and sometimes chastise me until it is difficult to choose only one. For this interview, I’m going with the parable Jesus gave us in Matthew 25:31-46.

It is certainly among the top passages that challenge me daily. I am impressed that the people referred to as sheep were so busy living out the spirit of what it means to win God’s favor until their actions flowed naturally from a heart of love and not from an attitude of “this I must do.”

2. Who are three people (other than your family) who have shaped your life and worldview? And why?

My college professor Marguerite Woodruff who, although she was the first Southern Baptist woman to earn a doctor’s degree (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) in theology, did not meet SBC standards to teach Bible in an SBC college or university, simply because she happened to be a woman.

John Pierce, formerly of Nurturing Faith and now Good Faith Media. John believed in my life story so much he was willing to partner with me in my first book for Nurturing Faith (2008) Tarnished Hales, Open Hearts. John said, “You tell your story, and I’ll work on the formatting.” Fourteen years later, I consider John’s life and editorial comments to be prophetic.

Thomas Quisenberry and Jeff Parker. Thomas Quisenberry begins our worship service every Sunday at First Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee, with the phrase, “Open your minds, open your hearts. Get ready to worship.” Thomas concludes our worship hour with practical ways we can live out our calling to follow Jesus. Jeff Parker, our Minister of Music, selects hymns that are affirming, inclusive and motivational. Both Thomas and Jeff, including their wives and children, are vital in my life.

3. List three of your “desert island” books, movies or TV shows.

My Bible, preferably “The Message” edition. Madeleine L’Engle’s book The Glorious Impossible, the movie “The Sound of Music” and copies of Carol Burnett’s TV musical comedy shows.

4. What is one of the most critical issues people are facing today?

In addition to Putin’s war on Ukraine, I’d say that closed minds that claim to be spiritual yet ignore the teachings of Jesus while elevating lies as truth.

5. What are a few of your hobbies?

I play three board games with friends every week, and I play Scrabble on my iPhone. Daily, I do newspaper word puzzles, such as the Jumble and Word Sleuth.

I enjoy reading fiction and non-fiction books. The latest book was Wholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans.

On TV, I watch CNN, sports programs such as The Atlanta Braves baseball, The University of Georgia football and collegiate women’s basketball games. I regularly watch “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.”

I enjoy doing research and taking online classes to improve my writing skills.

6. If you could freeze your life into an already-lived 10 seconds, what would they be?

This question brought an immediate response. The time when I said, “I do” during my wedding vows to my deceased spouse Claude Mason.

7. Our tagline at Good Faith Media is, “There’s more to tell.” What’s your “more to tell”?

I feel passionate about women in ministry, Monarch butterflies, bird watching, walking, listening to the hurts and joys of others, exploring different ways to pray, attempting to practice a balanced lifestyle, creating picture books, and not being afraid to take an unpopular stand on hot button issues.

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