Radiant: Discovering Beauty from the Inside OutRadiant: Discovering Beauty from the Inside Out
Chandra Peele
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Radiant, the follow-up to Priceless by the same author, is a six-week interactive Bible study written to help teen girls understand how to radiate unparalleled beauty as found only in Jesus. This fun study teaches that a girl's best self is found in her relationship with Jesus. The study deals with key issues, such as personal confidence, knowing the truth and doing it, and putting Jesus first. Written in a lively style, Radiant includes personal stories from other Christian girls, lots of Scripture interaction, questions for reflection, memorization exercises, heart-to-heart letters from Chandra written to teen girls, and space for journaling. For Christian teen girls (aged 12-16).
     

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Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Since I was a child I have loved to talk. I really understand what it means to never meet a stranger. When walking through a crowd or in a store, etc. I have to say hello if I make eye contact. It’s just who I am. Even greater, I am a child of God and I enjoy that relationship more and more everyday. Sharing Jesus with others is my joy!

When I was seventeen I felt the Lord call me to ministry. I didn’t know what that meant specifically other than; I would follow Him when and wherever He called. Being “one of those girls” who has always been in church, I understand what it means to be a part of the family of God and I love it! This means wherever I go,
I always meet a sister or brother. My Christian upbringing has set the foundation for me to live my life on. Married at 18 there was no question that my husband would be a godly man. Teaching these same biblical truths to our daughters has been a wonderful journey. Young adults now, they too have that same foundation. I feel so blessed. I know full well it is because my joy is in the Lord.

How did you become interested in writing?

The Lord spoke to me in a dream. He gave me a vision. I couldn’t sleep so I went into my office and begin to write. It was as though He was the author and I was simply holding the pen. This gave me confidence in what I was hearing in my heart. To reach more people with His Truth I needed to write down what I had been teaching. The rest is history. I was obedient and He is faithful. He continues to give direction and as written in Ephesians 3:20-21, Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we dare to ask or hope. More than we can imagine! May He be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.

What compelled you to write a book on this subject?



First, I love sharing Christ because He is so good to me! In Acts 3 there is a story about the crippled beggar. One day as I read that story it was as though a light came on. The beggar was healed by the power of God. That same power that was in Peter when he touched the beggar is in us. Wow! We need to live like it. I began to live my life with a new confidence knowing that same power is in me. I really can do all things through Christ. It was what the now healed man did next that gets me excited…he jumped for Jesus? What do we do when Jesus answers our prayers? Simply check it off our list? People who had walked by him for years, the same people who gave him their pocket change, the same people who walked into the temple with ugly thoughts about him, ignoring him, perhaps kicking him out of the way... those same people now recognized him as the beggar who sat at the gate called “Beautiful”. They were in awe of the wonderful thing that happened to him. I, like the healed man, want to jump for Jesus! I want to get people excited and interested in what God can do in their life. So many young girls struggle thinking no one cares about them. Maybe they don’t fit in, or have the right look or wear the right brand of jeans Radiant will share with them the good news; the only brand they need to stamp on their heart is Jesus. They don’t need to be able to shop in a certain boutique or have enough money... it’s a free gift! He never goes out of style. He is always “in”. With Jesus they will be recognized. People will begin to wonder what they have and how they got it. Love instead of hate. Happiness will take the place of sadness. Hope instead of doubt. Give instead of take. Build up instead of crushing down. The change will be BEAUTIFUL!



What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?

Good things can happen for them. Their life can be better. How? They need to choose Jesus. When they are planted on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ…they can’t help but bloom into a beautiful person. After that, everything else will fall into place. Will they experience hurt and pain? Yes. Could they still experience tragedy and loss? Yes but with Jesus all things work together for good for those who love Him. These are the messages that come through in every session.

For some, being introduced to Jesus for the first time will bring new life. For some, maybe Radiant is just the WAKE UP call they need to get back on track. For others, Radiant may come at just the right time for God to he the fertilizer on their hearts in preparation for the new season ahead.

Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?

We girls often put way too much focus on silly things. However, they don’t seem silly at all. Radiant will help them to see we often plant weeds in our own heart. So often we worry needlessly. The Father desires for us to live life to its fullest; to he happy and joyful in all circumstances. Weed free! To fully trust He is the peace that passes all understanding. Choosing to let it go can be so much easier than holding on. Prayerfully they will take my advice! Think of it as wisdom from someone who has been there, someone who won’t condemn or shame, but edify and encourage.

God wants His girls to feel beautiful! The number one problem with girls is they don’t like themselves. They don’t like the way they look, the way they dress, etc. We so often let our emotions move us east when God’s path is due-West. Discovering who they are in Christ will set many young ladies free in session three.

Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?

Although each week will challenge and open a window for them to look inside their heart, week four is my favorite. Every girl enjoys reflecting back to her childhood and I think this session will accomplish that. I can just imagine the laughter and cute stories shared in small groups. When I researched Princess Dianna, my personal favorite princess; I learned so much. To take this historical information and apply it to their life as a daughter of the King should in itself churn up the living water within them to joyful overflowing. My prayer is that girls who have kept the Father at a distance will recognize what He has for them. With this knowledge they will truly understand what it means to be co-heirs with Jesus. The change will be wonderful.They will now want to bow down before Him and worship Him. The desire of their heart will be to give their life away so they can experience true life in Christ.

 

The invitation came to me in a dream. I can see it. I pray they can close their eyes and imagine it. Most importantly, I pray they choose to receive the invitation and meet me at the party.

What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?

As a Christian speaker and author, I have come to the conclusion we share the same biblical truths. There isn’t much original when sharing the good news. Billy Graham has shared the same stories over and over for over fifty years now and people still listen and love hearing him. The story is the same. The message is the same, however we are each unique in how we share it.

My prayer is always “Lord, keep me fresh. Use me to make a difference. I put my trust in you.” Funny, as long as I keep praying that prayer, He continues to open doors. Praise you Jesus! All to your glory! So I guess a short answer is because I am me that’s what makes my books different. Ha!

How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?

There is no question that I am who I am through and through. I minister as often as I can. I use the example of a carrot in Session Two because I want to be through and through a reflection of Christ. My two daughters respectfully always make a joke about my love for Jesus and sharing Him wherever we go. Example, in the grocery store parking lot I’ve heard many times, “Mom, please…just get in the car.” Well, that happens all the time. I can laugh with them because its true and I can’t help myself. I also know my life has been blessed so I want people everywhere, friends, strangers, family members, even the boys who take my bags to the car…to know the love and joy of knowing Christ.

Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?

There are so many powerful scriptures which have blessed my days. There is one I call my lire verse. Trust in the Lord and do good, Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your hearts desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Psalm 37: 3-6 I get pumped every time I recall these words.

 

Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing?

Who are they and how did they influence you?

Years ago I shared a favorite Max Lucado story by memory with my church family on the eve of Thanksgiving. It was very special to me because we were moving the next week to San Antonio, Texas. I began to pray “Lord I pray that you bless me with just one really great friend right away. I pray that she would have children that could be friends with our girls and that her husband would love you too.” After the first week in San Antonio, I was standing in the hall at my girl’s school to pick them up when a precious lady approached me. After talking with her for only a few moments she prayed with me in the entry area of the school. She had blessed me and I was so excited! Not knowing her last name we quickly became great friends. We had been to their house for dinner, they had been to ours for dessert and our children played together at least three days a week for two n-ionths before I realized her husband Max was the Max Lucado. Feeling pretty embarrassed, I recognized God had indeed answered my prayer. Denalyn, Max and their three girls have been a part of our life now for over ten years. If reading his books over the years has impacted my writing in some small way, for that I would he so thankful. The nuggets he has shared with me on writing are few but priceless. I highly respect him and if God could use my books to impact lives just a fraction of the millions his has reached, it would be one of those Ephesians 3:20 events. As a reader, I enjoy simple to read short stories that touch my heart, apply to my life and draw me closer to the Lord. Max is gifted at story telling and my favorite author.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy the few stay at home days I get. I enjoy working my flower gardens and try my best to keep things blooming year around. I’ve learned a lot about life and spiritual things playing in the dirt, just me and the Lord. My times with the Father there have made fore some precious heavenly moments. I also enjoy helping others make their house a home. Interior decorating is something I really have a passion for. Some say I have a great eye for color. I see it as just another form of ministry.

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?

I am honored and humbled as I prepare for this next study. As I pray and put my thoughts on the pages, I feel the Lord is growing me too. I’m looking forward to see what He blossoms out of my heart.


 
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