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Here's where we keep all our press releases, articles, and interviews etc., and other media paraphernalia as of the start of our global tour in 2017.

Q & A  Interview for the Bridge River News:

Q. We have with us today, Jesse Leigh Brackstone and her new seven-novel series Time & Unforeseen Occurrence.  Welcome Jesse.    How are you today?

A. Still blessed, thank you - and you?

Q  Did you say, "Still blessed?"  That's an interesting answer.

A. Well, it's true, isn't it?

Q. I... I guess it is when you think about it.  I've just never heard anyone say that before, so you took me by surprise at little - just a little.  (Both laugh.)  Do you always respond to 'How are you's' this way?

A. Mm-hmm.  I figure as long as I'm still here, I'm still blessed.  So are you.

Q. I've never thought about it like that.  I think I'll need to sit with it for a while.  I'm not particularly religious, so...

A. Neither am I.

Q. What?  But you're a missionary, and you write Christian books and music.  How can you say you're not religious?

A. I don't write Christian books and music.  It's true that I'm a missionary, and a Christian, but the books and music that I write are intended for all people.  I don't know why so many assume that because someone is a Christian that everything they do must be labeled 'Christian' too.  Certainly, one's behavior ought to reflect the expression of one's faith, but to label everything 'Christian' borders on the ridiculous.  I don't wear 'Christian' clothes, sleep in a 'Christian' bed, or cook 'Christian' stew.  What the word 'Christian' means to me is that I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, and that's all it should mean, in my opinion.

Q.  Is that why you say you're not religious?

A.  No, not at all.  I suppose it depends on what the word 'religious' connotates for you.  For me it brings images of divisions and sects, which God hates, and the man-made rules that cause these divisions.  I've nothing against the concept of the worship of God being organized - as long as it's God Who's doing the organizing, and not imperfect humans.

Q. So, in other words, you don't care for organized religion?

A. I didn't say that.  I don't care for the rules that man has added to the teachings of Christ, which so far have only served to divide God's people, instead of uniting us.

Q. I was under the impression that differences in theological perspective divide people, rather than 'rules' - as you say.

A. Oh, I think every human on Earth probably holds a unique perspective when it comes to theological interpretation and understanding, but the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is nothing if not simple, and all Christians know what it is.  It's encapsulated in John 3:16, and for me, in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 as well.

Q. Would you mind shedding some light on those scriptures for us?

A. Not at all.  John 3:16 says,  'For God so loved the world that He gave His Only-begotten Son so that everyone exercising faith in Him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.'  I think that's self-explanatory, don't you?

Q. Sounds straightforward enough.  Let's test it out.  From what you said, God loves the world so much that He sent His Son to Earth so that people would have faith in Him and live forever.  How did I do?

A. You have the right idea.  The Father calls people to the Son, Jesus, and through having faith in Jesus, and that means in ALL that He is, and did, and said, we can then be reconciled to our Father in Heaven - which is the purpose and plan  of God.

Q. What is?

A. To have all things in Heaven and on Earth reconciled to Himself and living under His Dominion.  When we pray, 'Thy Kingdom come,' that's what we're praying for.

Q. I guess I've never really thought about that either.  I've known it by rote since I was a child, but I never really thought much about the words....

A. I think it's pretty safe to say that you're not alone in that.

Q. Really?  Well, I suppose I think of it more as a cultural thing.

A. You're not alone in that either.

Q. Good to know!  What about that other scripture you mentioned?  How does that relate to the Gospel?

A. Ist Corinthians 13?

Q. I think that's what you said.

A.  Well, it speaks of love as being more important than anything, so much so that even if we do everything God asks of us, but don't do it with love in our hearts, it's worth nothing in God's eyes.  God IS Love, and everything we think, say, and do needs to be motivated by that love, or we might as well not bother.

Q. Really?  So, how does that relate to the Gospel specifically?

A. Well, as I said, God IS Love.  God sent His Son to pay a debt that He didn't owe because humankind owed a debt that we could not pay.

Q.  A debt?  How so?

A. Well, the Bible tells us that the wages for sin is death, and since all people are sinners, all people deserve to die.  But Christ, Who was sinless, took upon Himself the sins of everyone in the world, past, present, and future, and by spilling His Perfect Blood and dying in our place, He repurchased us and rescued us from the consequence of sin, and made it possible for us, through Him, to approach The Father.

Q. You've lost me here.  Why did He have to spill his blood?  And why couldn't any other Holy man die for our sins?  Why did Jesus have to die at all?

A. Because without blood being shed there can be no atonement for sin.  You must have heard people say they've been washed in Christ's blood?

Q. Yes, I've heard that often, but I've never understood it.

A. Well, it isn't complicated.  Christ was sinless, perfect, holy - Divine, in fact.  No human on Earth can claim this, and that is why the Father sent Jesus to shed His Blood as the atonement for the sins of humankind.   When someone says they've been washed in Christ's blood, they mean that Jesus' Blood cleansed them from sin - washed away their sins, if you will.

Q. And is this what your story is about?  The Gospel?

A. In the sense that as a Christian I adhere to the principles in the Bible, yes, but it isn't a 'how-to' series, nor a lecture of any kind, it's a standalone story.  I believe wholeheartedly in the principles that Christ taught, and I try to live my life by them, so I think it's inevitable that they find their way into my writing, but it isn't something that I consciously set out to do.  Understand though, Dawn, that every human on Earth values the principles that Christ taught, regardless of the label they have, or the faith that they adhere to.  God wrote His Laws on the hearts of all people, which is why all humans value love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, mildness, faith, self-control and all other good things.  Christians know these values as 'The fruitage of The Spirit,' and others call them by other names, but the Source of our value system is one and the same - Yahweh, or Almighty God.

Q.  So, your story is about these values?

A.  It's based on these values, but what isn't?  Time & Unforeseen Occurrence is about a fascinating journey - several personal journeys in fact - and a diverse and intriguing family.  You know, of course, that the novel you're holding  is the first in a series of seven, right?

Q. Yes.

A. Well then, as we follow the characters through their lives, we participate in each one's journey.

Q. What kind of journey are we talking about?  You know I haven't read the series yet since I only got mine today, so....

A. (Jesse shrugs.)  Several kinds.  The quest for truth, some specific answers, some not-so-specific answers, personal growth, learning to hit what you're pitched.  (Jesse laughs.)  It has plenty of adventure in it, but I see it  as a love story - not a 'romance novel' or anything like that, but love of many different kinds and intensities, and on multiple levels.  Life's tough, but it's how we meet the challenges we face that defines us.  Primarily, it's a story about the human condition, with love, faith, and family at its core.  It was a joy to write, and it still is.  I'm totally in love with the story and even with the characters, who are all as real to me as anyone else I know - more in most cases.

Q. I guess I can relate to that in the sense that the characters in my favorite TV show are, in a way, real to me.  I know that they're not real, but it feels as if they are - and look at the millions of people that are hooked on soap operas.

A. I think that's a good comparison - and the hallmark of a popular TV show.

Q. Or a book?

A. I believe so - for whatever that's worth.

Q. So, what are your hopes for this book, or the series.  Is there a message that you're trying to impart?

A. Hmm... how to answer that.  If there is a message it would have to be 'Love conquers all.'  As for my hopes for the series, I don't think in those terms.  I never intended to write a novel, let alone seven, but I felt compelled to do it, so I'm just leaving the rest up to God.  Whatever His Will is for this story - that's what I want too.  I'll admit that I won't hate it if a series of movies is made based on the story, but that won't happen for a few years yet.  I've always felt that this series was destined to make its way to the silver screen, but I can't explain why any more than I can explain anything else about Time & Unforeseen Occurrence - it seems to have a life and a destiny all its own.  (Jesse grins.)  A movie series has been suggested a few times now, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Q. Is it true that you donate the profits from your music and books to outreach programs?

A. Mm-hmm.  Well, not all of the profits - one has to make a living, after all, but we donate most of them, yes.  We're not a charity, we're just ordinary people doing the best we can, which I believe is true of most people at heart.  We've been involved in local and overseas outreach programs for many years and believe that this is what we're meant to do.

Q. How do you know that you're 'meant' to do it?  I mean, why not just give the money to Sick Kids' Hospital or another charity you care about?

A. Well, we care about all people who need help in the world, and we do give to Sick Kids' Hospitals.  Obviously, they're not the only cause we support, but we know whom to give to in the same way that I knew to write the story in the first place - we just do.  I believe that when you show up for duty and ask God what His Will is for you that He shows you through His Holy Spirit.  I'm doing what I'm doing on faith.  Some people will understand this and I know that some won't.  Either way, does it really matter?  I'm doing what I believe I'm supposed to do, and that's all any of us can do, don't you agree? 

Q. I don't think that any of us can do more than that, Jesse.  It's been a pleasure having you with us this evening.

A. Not at all, the honor is mine, and thank you.

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