Eyewitness to Majesty
As a professional freelance editor, I read a lot of manuscripts, both fiction and nonfiction, in many different genres. Since I’ve always been an avid reader, it’s a terrific way to earn a living! I really enjoy helping writers polish their work and improve their skills. And every once in a while, a manuscript I’m hired to edit ends up being something God uses to speak to my heart and bless my life.
One of the first times this happened in an extraordinary way was in 2004, when I was working on a Bible study for a client named Mindy Ferguson. As I edited her manuscript, Eyewitness to Majesty, God spoke clearly to me through her words about things that were going on in my life at the time. I sensed that He knew I needed to read those things at that moment, so He orchestrated this working relationship to make sure I got the message.
Mindy contacted me recently to tell me that the manuscript we worked on almost ten years ago has been published by AMG Publishers. I’m so excited—both for her and for her readers who will be blessed the way I was by this Bible study!
Below is an interview I did with Mindy about her book and about our memories of the special part of the journey we took together.
KI: Mindy, I was thrilled to hear that your Bible study has been published by a commercial publisher!
MF: I’m excited too. AMG has been great to work with. And they appreciated that I sent them such a clean manuscript that their editors and proofreaders didn’t need to change much. Thanks for that!
KI: I’ve often thought about how God used your manuscript to speak to my heart as I worked on it. What do you recall from that time?
MF: When I first mailed the printed manuscript to you, I packaged it up with trembling hands, convinced I would receive it back with a lot of thick red marks all over the pages. Although there were some marks (which you made in light green ink—thanks!), correcting my grammar and noting many novice mistakes, your comments were encouraging, uplifting, and incredibly helpful.
KI: What did you find most beneficial about the edit?
MF: I really appreciated your reassuring approach in comments like, “If sending to a publisher, print on only one side of the page,” and, “Readers who don’t have your version of the Bible may have trouble filling in these blanks.” Your notes helped me understand the format a publisher would expect when receiving my material, and how certain questions might trip up my readers. Your comments also encouraged me to believe that one day I might actually have the opportunity to present the material to a publisher and have real readers.
KI: What parts of the editing process have you found particularly helpful?
MF: I especially appreciate the writing-technique flyers you sent back with my manuscript. I felt like you selected them just for me, and the material addressed the mistakes I was making on a consistent basis. I saved those flyers and still occasionally refer to some of them when I’m writing—particularly the list of official abbreviations for the books of the Bible. I’ve also found your Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors book to be a wonderful tool. I’ve referred to it often over the years.
KI: That’s so rewarding to hear! I always hope that clients will find my edits beneficial and encouraging, and that they’ll realize how much I want to help them achieve God’s publishing plan for them, whatever that might be.
MF: My favorite comment from your critique was this one: “I LOVE this Bible study, Mindy! Great lessons. I encourage you to send out proposals to publishers of Bible studies and see what happens. I personally got a lot out of this.”
KI: It’s true. I really did love your Bible study, and God taught me a great deal from it.
MF: Well, I did as you suggested. I received a number of rejections, but as I prayed and waited for God’s perfect timing, I taught the material at churches in my area. Now, after all those years, it is in print and on bookstore shelves. How exciting is that?
KI: VERY exciting! When you told me you were sending me a copy, I could hardly wait to see it. And when I received it in the mail (with your autograph—thanks!), I was impressed with the beautiful job AMG did.
MF: I am very pleased with how it turned out.
KI: The title attracted me right away: Eyewitness to Majesty—Peter: Abandoning Self for Christ. After reading the back-cover copy and the Introduction, I got really excited about reading this book again. We can all learn so much from the “imperfect” yet “lovable” apostle Peter: his failures and his victories. I look forward to getting “a laugh or two at his expense” and possibly shedding “a tear or two with him as well.” I love the idea of watching “ordinary Simon the fisherman transform into Peter, fisher of men,” and seeing Peter “change into the man God created him to become and fulfill his purpose,” while at the same time being “challenged to allow God to transform” me and being “inspired to fulfill [my] own God-given purposes in the body of Christ.” Who wouldn’t want that?
MF: I’ve enjoyed learning more about Peter’s life myself, as well as teaching this material. It seems to really resonate with people.
KI: I’m sure God will speak to my heart through your words once more. I’m in a different place in my life now, but I know the lessons in this Bible study will shine fresh light and inspiration on my current circumstances.
MF: That’s my prayer for everyone who reads the book.
KI: I pray that too, my friend. Now, get back to working on the next Bible study in this series! I’m sure it will be fantastic as well.
MF: Thanks, Kathy.
KI: Thank you, Mindy. For being true to the calling God placed on your heart, and for not giving up when the path became discouraging. What you said about God’s perfect timing is so true. He knew all along who He wanted to reach with what He called you to write, and how long the process to publication would take. But now the people He had in mind all those years ago will be able to benefit from this study at just the right time for them.
NOTE to my blog readers: You can get Eyewitness to Majesty—Peter: Abandoning Self for Christ (for yourself and/or for group Bible study) at your local bookstore. (If they don’t have it in stock, ask them to order it for you.) Or you can purchase from these online sellers: