Chinelo Mgbeadichie honors us this week. A native Nigerian, she writes legal mysteries and lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.
Welcome, Chinelo. You honor this week. We’re eager to know a writer from the other side of the globe. What a treat! We thank you for offering a giveaway—Mrs. Unmarriedin ebook format.
Who Is Chinelo Mgbeadichie?
First, let me mention how much I appreciate being interviewed by you. I do not take this privilege for granted.
I was born in Ibadan, Nigeriaandgrew up in Lagos. Being a boarder meant most of my teenage days were spent in school. As a loner, I claimed no permanent friends. But good and intelligent people surrounded me. I admit to a mischief or two, but I was scared that my father would know, so I was a good girl most of the time. My family numbered 5 before God added 2 beautiful boys later on.
I work as a Legal Practitioner and a Partner in a Law firm in Lagos.
Chinelo’s Faith Journey
Wow, I have always possessed the fear of God. Reared in a Christian home, I surrendered to Christ in 1998 and rededicated my life in 2008.
God has been faithful. Yes, I have had my share of falling out with God. At some point I told God I was done with him. But it was as though He smiled and said, “Where do you want to go?”
In my mind I couldn’t think of any other option so I just came back home. He didn’t even let me out of his sight one day. I have faced a number of challenges.
Chinelo’s Writing Journey
Igrew up with all forms of imaginations. (smiles) As a hopeless romantic person—only in my mind—I wrote love stories and threw them away. I don’t write love stories now. I guess that part of me faded away.
My publishing journey challenged me. At one point I almost gave up because many publishers told me that people don’t read novels. Instead, they read schoolbooks. Some publishers told me point blank that I am not known so my book will not sell. Eventually an unknown publisher accepted my book, and it took him more than three years to publish it.
Chinelo’s Debut Experience
My first book is titled Murder at Dawn. It is mystery novel with a lot of Christian flavor to it. A young Christian woman’s sister was murdered, and her brother was arrested as the prime suspect. This young lady, Annabelle, must figure out who killed her sister and the motive.
Chinelo’s Journey Continues
Partridge Africa published my second book, Behind Dark Clouds. In this story, a young woman is raped and her entire family wiped out. The tragedy halts her dreams.
Monalisa, devastated by the gruesome extermination of her family, faces the choice of abandoning a baby she never planned in pursuit of the career she always dreamed of. She decides to unmask the one who placed the kill order on her family. She forces the tragedy and her frailties behind her and sets her eyes on her goal. Although she is a broken woman, she learns to live through the brokenness and trust in a love that is genuine. Follow her marks in this book as she chooses the hard road.
Also, I wrote Mrs. Unmarried, which is Book One in the Ice for Heart series. I am working currently on Book Two in the series, Two Deaths; One Murder.
Ezinne is an abused, battered and broken wife whose husband is murdered in their home. She is the prime suspect and the world is looking at her because she had motive and opportunity. Will her lawyer be successful in saving her life? Or does his death doom her?
Insight from Chinelo
I hope my books encourage and inspire people. In addition, I hope to go international in my writing.
Dear Lord, we honor and praise Your name alone, for You alone are worthy of praise. We stand in awe of the works of Your mighty hand—from creation in the beginning to the re-creation we anticipate at the end of time. You bless Your followers around the globe by joining us by faith in Christ. Here we are, sharing another common passion—reading and writing stories that bring You the glory. Please bless each word Chinelo writes for you. ~ For Jesus’ sake
Faith. Will yours support you when you or a loved one is dying? Has it already done so? Or are you anticipating this inevitable event with trepidation or helplessness?
Robin Bertram honors us with a visit this week to talk a bit about her latest release, Hidden Treasures, which Abbingdon Press released in August 2018:
Based on experiences derived from 25 years of prayer ministry, Robin Bertram, in Hidden Treasures provides insight and guidance to equip the reader — patient, family member or friend — to walk through these challenging times with foresight, looking for and expecting to see God at work in many miraculous ways. Hope is available. Death with dignity is possible, and there are hidden treasures to embrace along the way.
Readers, this a turn onto a path of a different sort—nonfiction—but I think you’ll be glad for this detour. So grab a cup o’ something. Pull up a chair. And prepare for a blessing.
P.S. Robin’s giving away The Power of Joy in ebook to someone who blesses our group with a comment.
Robin, what’s one piece of information you can give a terminally ill person to help them through difficult days?
First of all, life continues after death. You will go on into eternity and you will see Jesus.
It is an unquestionable fact that once you accept Jesus as Lord, you will have a glorified body one day and life eternal. You will not perish, but live on into eternity.
When your loved one feels alone, what can you do to encourage him or her and to help them through periods of loneliness?
This is a time when family and extended family must be present. If possible, have a weekly schedule where loved ones will visit on the same day at the same time. Consistency brings comfort and peace. When you line out a schedule, your loved one will anticipate the visit. This gives them something to look forward to and something to expect.
If you or your loved one is facing long-term or terminal illness, what part does knowing Jesus play in facing long, hard days?
Sharing the gospel is critical. If they do not know Jesus, tell them or find a pastor or friend who can share the truth with them. When indivuals face such extreme suffering and pain, they are usually more receptive to hear the truth. They need a foundation to stand on like never before. It’s the greatest gift you can give them.
How do you help them through times of great anxiety?
The Bible reads in Isaiah 28:16: See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: One who trusts will not panic.
If you put your trust in Jesus, anxiety will be greatly diminished. You possess the one certain thing you can trust. God works all things together for your good and His glory. He sees the big picture; we do not. He knows what is best; we do not.
Who is the Holy Spirit and how can he help me?
The Bible reads in Romans 8:26: In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
What did Jesus have to say about the Holy Spirit?
Jesus said, before he ascended into heaven, that he would send his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the God-head. He is the Spirit of God sent by Jesus to help us through great times of difficulty. We pray to God for help and His Spirit helps us.
During times of severe distress, we need more than someone’s kind word. We need the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us to survive day-by-day. Also, we need His grace flowing through us, His love to surround us, and His peace to settle our frightened hearts. We need His precious Spirit to comfort us.
You went through a very personal health experience, Robin. How did this help you write your books?
I struggled with a serious health issue for a year and a half. Mayo clinic provided 4 potential diagnoses. Three were taken off the table. One was left: one in which there was no treatment, no medicine and no cure with a life expectancy of 2 years.
It was an agonizing path to death. During the year and a half I battled for my own health, I wrote this book. All the lessons learned from 25 years of prayer ministry came back to me, those I had personally ministered to, and put them on paper.
It was in the midst of utter darkness, I cried out to God and shined His light into the deepest part of my soul. I could see again. He healed me and gave me this work to complete.
People who are facing sickness or long term or terminal illness sometimes feel they are unimportant or unloved. What nugget can you share that will help them change their mind?
My father was a paster for 50 years. I grew up in church singing that song. But I didn’t believe it. I had to find God for myself and that’s when I felt loved. I had to decide to give my heart to Jesus and believe that He died for me. His love covered me like a blanket. My life changed. I changed. And then I realized I was loved by my Heavenly Father.
How important is communication?
I‘ve heard the most ridiculous platitudes like God needs one more flower in his garden. One objective to this book is to encourage the reader to be honest, direct, and open in communication with their loved one. But to be loving and sensitive also. I once worked with a dying young child whose mother told everyone, everywhere that her child was terminal. The constant reminder was more than the child could handle. Finally, a major melt down occurred in a place of business between the child and mother.
What are some ways to show love to their dying family member?
Show love by sharing memories. By saving memories. And by making memories. In my book I go into detail and offer suggestions that will help to make lasting memories for the entire family. This is the time to put things on hold and do what will mean the most for your loved one. It might be taking a trip to Disney for a child. Or reminiscing with old friends from the past for an elderly. When facing life’s challenges, acknowledge the differences between young, middle aged and seniors.
How can someone who has no hope grow in hope when the odds are against them?
You can find hope in Jesus because he is the anchor of our soul. You can find hope in words aptly spoken. Hope in faith-filled friends. In this book you will find an entire chapter on finding hope. Truly, hope is what helps the dying survive day-by-day. Hope on to the truth of what is written. Believe it for your situation. God is working. You are not alone. You can find hope in understanding the sovereignty of God.
Where does our faith come into play?
Faithis a tool for battle and it must constantly be sharpened. We can acknowledge there is a real fight. In the midst of a battle, there is usually a hero that emerges. A hero will choose a side, and refuse to ride the fence. He will make a decision based on his beliefs and stand by that decision. Choose life, no matter the circumstances. If you do, you’ve already won.
How do we grow in faith?
We grow in faith by hearing, reading, meditating on the word of God. Reading the Holy Bible will build our faith and our confidence that God does love us and He is watching out for our best interests.
Many battles are won by our faith, believingbeyond our circumstances. When all odds are against us and our intellect screams we are wrong, faith stands as the most powerful force one can tap into. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Faith stands in the face of loss, sickness, or disease and simply says, “No I will not give in. I will not give up. Or accept defeat. I will win either way.”
Choose life instead of giving into the darkness that is meant to destroy you. In a battle, a hero refuses to allow the enemy to intimidate. “This disease is not a friend. Instead, it is an invader.” Rather than run, a hero stands firm in the midst of the battle. Refuses to be moved by circumstance. Declares victory either way. A true hero embraces all possibilities legitimately and refuses defeat. The fight spurs a true hero toward a deeper walk of faith.
A Bit More About Robin
Robin is former Vice President for Christian Women in Media Association, an organization dedicated to bringing spiritual and professional enrichment within the industry. She is also CEO of Bertram & Ross Consulting, which provides comprehensive training and services to assist and empower other kingdom professionals in the areas of social media, marketing, content generation, customer engagement, and business analysis.
Her passion for the Word, love for people, and heart to serve were developed early on in life as a “PK” and continued through her life’s journey. She often appears as a keynote speaker at women’s conferences, retreats and media seminars. She delivers vibrant messages of encouragement, freedom, and victory in Jesus Christ. Her straightforward approach and in-depth biblical insight heals hearts and transforms lives.
Dear Lord, we gather around one of Your uniquely gifted daughters, praising and thanking You for Your work in Robin’s heart and spirit. You take us, Your offspring, along pathways often paved with hardship and sorrow. But You’re the essence of love, so we trust You even in the dark valleys, through the troubled waters, and amid the thorns. Please bless Robin’s every effort in behalf of hurting souls. Multiply the power and effect of each word she speaks and writes for You. ~ For Jesus’ sake