Interview with Our Shared Tales

This was a great interview. So much fun. We talk candidly about writing, Lost Pen Magazine, writing challenges, and so much more. Be a part of the conversation! Click the link to view the YouTube video.

To learn more about Our Shared Tales, visit their website.

Getting Candid About the Lost Pen Magazine: Interview

My last Lost Pen Magazine interview before the big release day! Leah Lindeman chats me up about writing and editing, and we get into the nitty gritty this time: how I started writing; about my fears, worries, and challenges; what I hope to accomplish and why; what I hope people gain from the magazine; how I started the magazine and who helps out, are some of the topics discussed.

Out of the interviews I’ve done recently, I think this is the most candid one yet. Leah wanted it to feel like we were chatting over coffee, and I think we achieved that. Enjoy and be blessed!

316Films Interviews the Founder of the Lost Pen Magazine

Thanks to 316Films for doing this short interview on the Lost Pen Magazine! Check it out to learn more about our mission, what we publish, and our submission dates. Please leave a comment (here or on YouTube). I’d love to know you heard our message.

Interview with Carrie and Richard Fischer

If you haven’t yet met Richard and Carrie Fischer, now is your chance to meet this incredible couple who champion the rights of the unborn and whose greatest desire is to serve the Lord with everything they have. I’m sure you’ll be blessed today. 

Can you tell us about yourself and your back ground? 

Carrie Holland was born to a single mom on June 10, 1969, 6 months after her mom’s failed abortion attempt on her life in December of 1968. She was raised by her mom and stepfather, with two sisters and one brother. From about 5 years old until 13, Carrie began having recurring nightmares of a baby fighting for her life in her mother’s womb, which led her to eventually ask her mother if these dreams meant anything to her. Her mom broke down in tears of repentance, confessing to the attempted abortion which likely took Carrie’s twin brother or sister. Just before that confession, Carrie had just gotten off of her bicycle, when a lightning bolt split the banana-style seat of her bike in half! Within a week or so, Carrie had forgiven her mom for what she’d done and endeavored to move on with her life. At the age of 27, Carrie’s birth father called and spoke to Carrie for the first time. They agreed to meet, and the two of them had a chance to correspond with each other for the next 3 years before he died of lung cancer. Following the death of her birth father, between the grief of losing that relationship plus the bullying she received due to the facial deformity she was born withwhich doctor’s attributed to complications from the failed abortion attemptCarrie went into a serious depression. She tried to commit suicide by downing a bottle of anti-depressants and drinking a bottle of wine, but when she woke up she didn’t have any symptoms. It was at that point Carrie realized that God had a plan and a purpose for her life, but it would take many more years to discover that she was being called by God to publicly share her testimony in hopes of being able to save as many babies as possible from the fate she almost suffered. Having never been asked on a date for the first 41 years of her life due to her facial deformity, Carrie remained single until 42, when a man named Richard Fischer entered her life through a rather miraculous set of circumstances.

Richard was born on December 12, 1958, to a military family that lived in Middletown, Connecticut. Over the next 15 years, they moved 13 times, including two different places in Germany. In his early teens, Richard, finding some of his father’s porn magazines in an open bathroom cabinet, quickly developed a horrible addiction to pornography and, eventually, to a life of sexual promiscuity. At the age of 25, Richard, after numerous girlfriends had come and gone, returned to the woman he had first had intercourse with and they were married. After 9 years of marriage, she decided she wanted another man and the two of them divorced. About 9 months after the divorce, Richard married his second wife. This marriage lasted 17 years until she passed away following a 4-year battle with liver failure. 6 months later, a friend of Richard’s sent him a picture of a place he had only seen in a God-given dream around the time he and his second wife had met at church. Two months later, this dream would lead Richard to drive nearly 1000 miles from his home in Maryville, Tennessee, to Austin, Texas, to a place called Hamilton Pool, the place he’d seen in his 18-year-old dream. During the previous two weeks, God had been telling Richard he would one day become one with someone with a facial deformity. While still in Austin, he happened across Carrie’s profile picture on a mutual friend’s pro-life Facebook page. Learning that Carrie had never been asked out on a date before and that she lived 3 hours away in Houston, Texas, and after some soul-searching prayer, Richard decided to ask her out on a date. They arranged a double date with another couple Carrie knew and trusted. Before their dinner at the Asian City Restaurant near Deerbrook Mall was over, they were both convinced that God intended them to be married. After numerous miraculous confirmations, the two became husband and wife 3 months later. 

What is your faith background? 

Carrie was raised going to church, and she made a decision at about 12 years old to ask Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. But at that time, for her, it was just repeating some words and there was no real change or repentance to go along with the profession of faith. Sadly, many people in the churches she attended treated her horribly and didn’t show her much, if any, real love. On one occasion, for seemingly no apparent reason, her pastor grabbed her by the throat, held her against a wall and told her she would never amount to anything. Needless to say, Carrie became  disillusioned with church and would struggle greatly with social anxiety issues. When Richard came along and showed her unconditional love, she began a slow process of opening up to the Lord and some people but remained very guarded in most social situationswith the exception of the times she was asked to publicly share her abortion survivor testimony. 

Richard’s grandfather on his father’s side was the head of his Lutheran Church’s Sunday School department, so when he visited his grandparents in Seymour Connecticut, he would attend church with them.  But other than that, Richard’s parents only took them to church on Christmas and Easter. His grandfather also helped with some of the maintenance duties at church, so Richard enjoyed getting to ride the riding-lawn mower, and helping out in other ways. Richard’s father was the first in the family to have a “born again” experience with the Lord when Richard was in his late teens. For one of his birthdays in his early 20’s, his father gave him his first Bible. At that point, Richard’s ungrateful response was, “What am I going to do with this thing?” But in the months that followed, though it remained under his bed when anyone was looking, Richard began to read it in secret. A few years earlier, Richard’s father had taken him, his mom, and his only brother Steve, to see a presentation by a quadriplegic named Joni Eareckson (now Joni Eareckson Tada). Richard was amazed by her ability to draw and paint using her teeth instead of her hands to hold the artist tools. Joni’s testimony book was the first book Richard had ever voluntarily read cover to cover, and it began to influence him towards Christ. Around the time his father gave him his first Bible, an old girlfriend sent him a letter where she told him her testimony of meeting a group of people that didn’t believe in sleeping around or getting drunk and that they had led her into a relationship with Christ. On the evening of May 7, 1982, while lying on his bed, Richard prayed. He asked God, “Would you be the center of my life?” The next day, Richard began to see many things differently and began to be convicted of his sexual promiscuity. 

In addition to his personal, pro-life calling with Carrie, Richard also believes he is called to reach out to others trapped in sexual addiction, and offer them the same salvation and deliverance that He had received from the Lord.

What ministries have you been involved with over the years?

Carrie was involved for a while in a Houston chapter of Aglow Ministries and occasionally went with her mom to minister to women in prison.  Before marrying Richard, Carrie had begun to share publicly about her abortion survivor testimony and had been on a local affiliate of Daystar TV. After their marriage in 2011, Carrie continued to speak at various venues from Houston to Tennessee and was honored by an appearance on International Minister Andrew Wommack’s “Gospel Truth” show. This brought Carrie, Richard, and Carrie’s mom the opportunity for a couple more local TV interviews in the Houston area. Carrie’s testimony has also been featured in several books written by other authors, but  Carrie also won a writing contest a few years ago. In addition to a cash prize, her story became chapter 4 in a book called Learning to Lean, appearing with 9 other authors in that book, published by God TV. 

Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, upon his conversion, Richard began helping wherever he could around the churches he was involved with. Upon joining a Messianic Jewish (Jews who believe in Jesus) congregation where he attended for a little over 20 years, he was invited to join the congregational dance team and became the assistant dance team leader before he and his previous late-wife moved from Virginia to Tennessee in 2005. Before her passing in 2010, they began establishing a pro-life work. This project was later named the “Zion Benjamin International Memorial for the Unborn,” named after Carrie and Richard’s first of two miscarried children. Together, Richard and Carrie operate several groups and pages on Facebook and also maintain a YouTube channel where they share various aspects of their lives. One of Richard and Carrie’s other interests is aviation, so in recent months they have started a Facebook group called “Aviation Praise and Prayer.” 

What is your life’s mission and how do you intend to accomplish it?

Together, Richard and Carrie have been called by God to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. They are evangelists with a heart towards ministering healing and forgiveness to the post-abortive as well as the disabled, and anyone else who will listen to the message they have to share. They have been given numerous visions and dreams, including holding conferences to encourage anyone with low self-esteem that they are “Wonderfully Beautiful made in God’s image”. In conjunction, with Wonderfully Beautiful they desire to establish a free high-end clothing and accessories closet to help people understand their value to God and to help them dress for their future success in the business world. They also were given nearly identical visions to establish a ministry called “Harbor Inn House of Hope,” a home from women and families facing crisis pregnancy situations, where they can find safety, security, hope, and healing, and a support system to help them keep their child rather than to choose abortion. They can only accomplish these visions with God’s wisdom, and the support of God’s people who read or hear about their vision and choose to come alongside of them in prayer and with tangible assistance. 

 

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What creative tools do you use to accomplish your life’s mission? 

As mentioned earlier, they are heavily involved in social media and, at present, the bulk of their ministry is carried out through those venues. Richard is also a photographer and often marries photos with the messages he types under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They have also been given a vision to resurrect a faith-based greeting card business Richard once owned, which will be another creative evangelistic tool. 

What obstacles have you encountered? How did you deal with them?

They have encountered numerous obstacles to achieving our goals, including job loss, homelessness, illness, and injury, but they endeavor to deal with them by staying in relationship with the Lord, and with their family and friends, trusting God to provide for their needs as He has promised: “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you.” 

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about yourself and serving God? 

God is able to meet them where they are at. He understands what they cannot do on their own and gives them the strength to press on through what seems to be impossible in the natural. Whether that is guiding them to people with publishing experience to help Carrie write and publish her first full-length book, sending someone to help with car repairs at no charge or to offer them a place to stay for a period of time, or offering financial assistance for food, gas, and hotel, God is more than able to meet their needs and has done so on numerous occasions through both natural and supernatural means. 

What is your definition of success? Of failure? How do you manage your expectations?

Success for Carrie and Richard will be measured on that day when they stand before the Lord, and He says to them, “Well done good and faithful servants, enter into the joy of the Lord!” Also, they measure success by the two mothers who have confessed that because of Carrie’s testimony they chose to give life to their child instead of aborting them! 

 

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Who/what are your biggest influences? 

The Lord Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone and Foundation of their faith, and His early Apostles. Also, people like Joni Eareckson Tada, Keith Green, Nick Vujicic (motivational speaker without arms or legs), and Lizzie Velásquez (dubbed by some as the world’s ugliest woman, but who is also a motivational speaker).

Who or what is your support system?

 The Body of Christ, both locally as well as worldwide through social media.

Do you also have a job or are you in ministry full-time?

Carrie has been on disability for many years but wants to get back into the workforce as God leads and enables. Richard was a career carpenter for 41 years in the home remodeling industry. A little over a year ago, just before his job dried ended through no fault of his own, Richard heard the Lord speak on three different occasions, to retire from his construction career to “fish for men.” That said, Richard is exploring several custodial positions in the Colorado Springs area where they will be moving, Lord willing, at the end of July 2019.

Other hobbies or interests? 

Richard enjoys aviation, photography, Davidic-style worship dance, singing, playing the recorder, and creative writing. Carrie enjoys aviation, painting, shopping, and interior decorating.  

What is the most difficult aspect of fulfilling your life’s mission and how do you cope with it? 

Dealing with the negative people that think we are wasting our time following our God-given dreams, or who falsely accuse us of various things. 

What advice would you give to aspiring creatives seeking to serve the Lord with their gifts? 

Do not give up on God or the dreams and visions He has given you because, in His timing, you can indeed “do all things through Christ who strengthens you.” 

Can you tell us about your future goals? 

Fulfilling everything God has shown us and making numerous friends along the way who will not only help us fulfill our goals but who will allow us to help them fulfill theirs.

How can readers connect with you?

We would love to connect with you through any of the following means:

email: Zion Benjamin International Memorial for the Unborn69@yahoo.com

cell: 865-719-9096

Facebook links: 

Richard: https://www.facebook.com/richard4sperrymovie

Carrie: https://www.facebook.com/carrieyvette.fischer

Carrie Speaker Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Carrie-Fischer-Abortion-Survivor-SpeakerBlogger

Make Abortion Go Away Group:  http://facebook.com/groups/unitedforlife

On Call for the Kingdom Group:  https://www.facebook.com/oncallforthekingdom

Aviation Praise and Prayer Group:  https://www.facebook.com/aviationpraiseprayer

YouTube: http://youtube.com/cyh4031

Customizable abortion survivor tracts: 

https://www.tractplanet.com/Custom-Tract–Fearfully-Wonderfully-Made_p_466.html

Pro-life Bio/Resume:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TrpnFCCDnTw4i7GSTcHYgoEPC-yRI8cPB9USg8wsseI/edit?usp=sharing

Make Abortion Go Away Store:

https://teespring.com/stores/making-babies-loved-again

Donation information: please contact Richard and Carrie at one of the previous links to learn how to donate to their ministries.

 

Interview with Wendy L. Cunningham Barnes

Welcome to today’s interview! When I learned that the intrepid and multi-talented Wendy L. Cunningham Barnes was also an advocate for the special needs community, I was more excited than ever to interview her. As a social worker who has spent the last 10 years working with this community, her story resonated with me. So, I invite you to settle in and meet a dynamic and driven woman of God.

Hi Wendy! I’m thrilled to have you with us today. Can you start things off by telling us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Chicago, just outside of Englewood, the oldest of two girls. I am a wife, mom of three children, entrepreneur in a direct sales cosmetics company, talk show host of The Wendy Lyfe, and cohost of JW/Fuzion radio show with my husband, James.

What is your educational and spiritual background?

I have some college where majored in biology. I have always had a love for God and His presence. Growing up Catholic, my fondest memories from childhood was just being able to sit in the church and talk to the Lord. What I loved about the Catholic Church is that it was always open, no matter when you went there. I loved that feeling of being close to God in His house. While I’m still learning about the bible, I’ve always felt that the Lord was with me; guiding, supporting me. Going through a difficult childhood and early adulthood, I have always trusted that He was going to bring me the through. Having two special needs children, and saying goodbye to one too soon, really tested of my faith. My faith never wavered, knowing God’s plan was that I come out stronger.

How did you choose your method of communicating your message?

I actually did not choose my method of communicating. Originally, I started out doing YouTube videos with a desire to create a community of people who have special needs, or special needs caregivers. I was blessed to have met the family that owns Road 2 Eternity production company. They saw something in me that made them pursue wanting me to have my own talk show dedicated to the special needs community. Then, my husband was given the opportunity to have a radio show and wanted me to be a part of that experience. James and I work very well together, so I jumped at that opportunity! I am enjoying what God is revealing to us and allowing us to do with these platforms.

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There remains a lot of work to do to educate people about the special needs community. What do you think about that, and what message would you share with readers?

Wow, that’s a big one! I believe that there is so much work to do because that is not a part of your average person’s experience. Myself included, if you don’t have a family member with a special-needs, or someone who is close to you who has a special need, then that’s not something that you really think about. My prayer is that with the television show, it becomes more of a day-to-day conversation with people, whether they have experience with a special-needs person or not. The more we talk about it openly, the more it’s not so alien to those who don’t have that experience. The more we expose and bring light to different people in the special needs community, the more accepted we are. People don’t often know how to act, or what to say when around someone with a special need. My hope is that with the show, our community becomes more accepted into the general community.

I notice that churches aren’t always equipped to receive families with special needs children and adults. Have you noticed this, and what would you say to the Church to help address this?

Again, churches are full of people, for the most part that don’t have a day-to-day experience with those in the special-needs community. It would never occur to someone in opening a church to address the needs of someone who is disabled. My prayer is that the show will expose people from all walks of life, including the church to understand the special needs community and their needs. Also, as a community, we need to have our voices heard about what our needs actually are. If we don’t speak for ourselves, how can we expect the general community at large to respond? We need to understand the reality that anyone of us, at any point in our lives can become disabled. Once we understand this, treating our community with compassion and respect becomes easier.

What purpose do you think God has for your work?

My experience as a mom of three children, 2 with special-needs, I have a perspective that will not only help those with a disability, but will help those who are caring for someone. I’ve also lost a child. So many people are quietly grieving. I hope to give them a strength and a voice to continue their story by talking about their child. My prayer is that by hearing my story, parents and caregivers will feel empowered to stay strong in their work, and not feel so alone.

Who/what are your biggest influences?

My children are my biggest influences. Having special needs children taught me an appreciation for life’s little wins. My daughter, Paige, wasn’t expected to live past the age of two but exceeded that by 13 years. Even in her death, I had to find a strength to press on as mom to my boys. It was necessary for me to teach my boys that you have to keep living. My youngest son, Christian, wasn’t expected to even be born. Once born, they didn’t expect him to be able to lift his head. Now 15, he easily lifts his head, rolls, pivots and has the most beautiful laugh I’ve ever heard. My oldest son, Matthew, had taught me grit, patience and endurance. Being sandwiched between two disabled siblings, I had to parent him in a way that made him feel special. I had to be creative in giving him the best childhood I could in our unusual, and often trying, family dynamic. I had the task of teaching him, by example, that we need to keep our heads up and continue to rock out this life in honor of our angel Paige.

Through taping The Wendy Lyfe, I get so much inspiration from the special needs community, as a whole. I am blessed to meet some incredible special-needs people who are doing amazing things despite their disability. Spending time with them takes away all of your complaining and excuses of why you aren’t accomplishing the goals that you have set for yourself.

Do you have another job? Other hobbies or interests?

I have been a consultant in a direct sales company for 23 years. Being a mom of three children, two of them being special-needs, took a lot of my time. I was a single mom for 13 years. Having this business has allowed me the freedom and flexibility to be a mom, but also have a vehicle that allowed me to meet my family’s financial needs. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, movies, walking, hanging out with my husband and my boys, and spending time with friends.

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Can you tell us about your future goals?

First and foremost, I will continue to trust God’s guidance on my Lyfe and follow where he leads me. I endeavor to bring more awareness to the general community about the special-needs community and their needs. In doing this, I hope to also bring the special needs community closer together to share resources and ideas that will help one another. I plan to use my talk show, The Wendy Lyfe and our annual Paige Awards program to further this awareness. My husband, James and I are working to build a strong audience for our radio show, JW/Fuzion. When we started our show, it was to be broadcast twice a month. We just were asked to make it a weekly program. That’s very exciting! The Wendy Lyfe is set to stream in February on Ultimate Faith Television Network which streams via Roku. The 2nd annual Paige Awards will be this year in November. We will begin planning and discussing award recipients.

Where can readers find you?

 You can find me on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as TheWendyLyfe, and my website.

You can find our radio show, JW/Fuzion, on www.artistfirst.com and YouTube. We are also on all social media as JW/Fuzion. Check us out!

Wendy, I am so happy you shared your story with us today. I pray for God’s continued blessing on you, your family, and the projects He’s placed in your hands. Readers, please leave Wendy a message below or contact her on her social media platforms. 

Blessings to you all!

-Delia

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