Nonfiction Authors Association
Feathered Quill Interview with C. Read
Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with C. Read, author of Walking
with the Enemy: A Testimony
FQ: You make a very poignant comment at the beginning of this book that asks for all readers – whether they be believers, skeptics, etc., - to read this book with an open mind. Do you feel that people, no matter what category they fall into, will do just that?
READ: Due to the provocative nature of my book, I realize that those with religious differences, or a bias against women, may just disregard what I am saying, but I truly hope that those who read “Walking With the Enemy,” especially Christians, would prayerfully consider my testimony with an open mind and heart.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” rings so true for my book, and I know
that not everyone will value what I have written, but I do appreciate honest
reviews. To illustrate this point, I want to share a quote from a reviewer who
only gave my book two stars, which signified he would not recommend it, but he
was able to see “one or two bright spots.” Actually, I loved his critique of my
book, and who knows what God may do with those “bright spots!”
“And if, as Read attests, the devil is everywhere, and in all guises, especially those who brandish Bibles, then the only way out is to give oneself completely over to God, without reservations.” — IndieReader Reviewer
This reviewer spoke to the heart of my message, whether he understood it or not! The devil is working overtime these days, even in the churches, and only God can give us the ability to know who is true and who is false, who is of God, and who is not. That’s why we need to give ourselves “completely over to God, without reservation.”
But I am quick to add, our dependence must be in the true and living God of the Holy Bible—the Creator of Heaven and earth. There are many deceivers in this world, and they use—or should I say misuse—the name of Jesus Christ to attract followers. I fell victim to such people, but thank God, He showed me the truth!
FQ: What do you want or hope readers will take away from this testimony? Did you have specific goals in mind where that was concerned when first sitting down to write?
READ: When God revealed to me that the leaders of the Bible Study group that I had been involved with for three years actually served Satan, I had an overwhelming desire to tell others about it. God then led me to write a letter warning about them, and I started mailing it to family, friends, former church members, and different churches. I ended up sending out over one thousand copies of that letter, but when I first wrote it, I had no idea that it would become the first chapter to my book that I could potentially publish to the entire world from my home!
As far as specific goals, I hope my book encourages lost souls to get on the side of the LORD while there is still time. And my ultimate desire for those who believe my testimony is that they will come away from it with more of a love and deeper appreciation for God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit of the most high God!
FQ: It must have been a bit frightening to reveal all of this, considering the people who were involved. How did you, or when did you first attain the courage to make your story known?
READ: As my testimony reveals, they tried very hard to get me back under their control and influence, but thank God, they were not successful. It stands to reason that I should have been fearful of them, and when I was with them, I was very intimidated by them. However, after that amazing evening when God revealed Himself to me in such a mighty and supernatural way on 28 February 1993, I had such a boldness that I was actually intimidating to them!
In fact, prior to my release I could sense a fear growing in them that I didn’t really understand, but I see now that it was because they knew God was starting to open my eyes. I pray that God will continue to give me the boldness to speak out against false teachers and ministers of Satan who are intent on destroying the lives of God’s people.
FQ: When this young Marine who you had never met before came up and handed you a Bible, and said he thought you should read it, what did you first think when he walked away? Did you feel as if this was a sign? Is this the “key” to when you became a Born Again Christian?
READ: That brief encounter with that young Marine in the deserts of Yuma, Arizona was a major turning point in my life! And yes, I believe that meeting was the “key” to my entry into the Kingdom of Heaven! I like to think that he was an angel sent by God to show me the way that I needed to go, because that is exactly what happened. I took his advice and started reading and studying the Bible, but that was just the beginning of my walk with God.
Just a little background so you can understand why I was so receptive to the word of God. At the time, I was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. My permanent duty station was in Hawaii, but I was on a temporary assignment to Yuma, Arizona. On 4 November 1979, Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran, and took over fifty American hostages. A special Marine friend of mine was on a six-month deployment to Japan, and he was prepared to go to Iran at a moment’s notice. It was such an uncertain time in my life, and I felt so helpless! I am just so thankful God used that extremely distressing situation, to cause me to see my great need for my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And I am sure many others were also calling out to God during that difficult time.
What’s interesting, a few days before that “heavenly encounter,” another Marine had knocked on my barracks door and was handing out religious tracks. I told him I wasn’t interested, but he proceeded to shove his way into my room; that is, until he saw my friend. He just threw the track at me and stormed off. I share this to say, that just because someone uses the name of Christ, doesn’t mean God sent them. I learned that lesson the hard way, but I hope others will read, and believe, my testimony and be spared some of the scars that I carry.
FQ: Although your tale is very difficult, did you find peace when writing it down and being able to get it on paper; did it take a weight off your shoulders, so to speak?
READ: I had a perfect peace in my heart while writing my book! Even through the tears, writing and publishing my testimony has been one of the greatest joys of my life! I first published my testimony of “Walking With the Enemy” (now in the Fifth Edition), over twenty years ago; and through all the edits and after reading it countless times, I have never grown weary of it. In fact, it has been like a fire burning in my soul that I just have to let out! And I am certain that God has had His hand on my book from the beginning, and He will see it through to the end.
FQ: In addition, writing, itself, is a highly difficult thing to do. After this, are you now interested in perhaps writing in the future…penning more books that offer help and support to others?
READ: I never really aspired to be an author, but I have always loved to write. Ever since I was a young girl, I would put my thoughts down on paper; and I even continued writing in my journals while I was in that cult group. And because of that, I was able to use letters and journal entries to help portray my “state” during that time.
I did publish a second book entitled “Walking in the True Light: A Testimony,” published on 5 September 1997, exactly one year after I heard about the “revival” that took place in Pensacola, Florida, on Father’s Day 1995. I learned of this “move of God” after listening to an interview on a Christian radio station of the minister who was promoting a “women in ministry” conference at his church that was heavily involved with the “Pensacola Revival.” God led me to attend the conference, and when I saw what was happening at the services, it was reminiscent of what took place at the Bill’s ministry, but on a much wider scale! [Bill was the male leader of the cult group.]
My situation involved totally different people and places, but it is just as what a youth minister once wrote to me after reading my testimony when I first published it back in 1995. “It would take a while to share with you all that I found to be in common with your story. Though they are different, the similarities are undeniable. It’s amazing how the enemy’s signature is the same.”
FQ: You, like the rest of us, see the horror that occurs every day. From terrorist attacks to church shootings, it seems like the violence will never end. Do you have any words of wisdom you could share with readers out there on how they could restore their own faith, or advice on how to utilize the Lord in order to get through these dark times?
READ: I just want to emphasize that I am nothing without the LORD, and I desperately need Him more than ever. I know it can be very discouraging when we look at all the wickedness and perversions that are going on all around us. It is especially distressing when the perpetrators and facilitators of such evil acts claim to be Christians. For those of us who know the truth about them, we know that they are imposters and certainly are not followers of Christ!
It’s as if the dragon has been unbound from his chains and has been released from the bottomless pit! Which is why it is imperative that God’s people must “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:9-11
I am convinced that we are living in the final days just before the return of the LORD, “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7b-10
It saddens me to think about all the people that have been deceived by the Wicked One, and it is my hope that my testimony will be likened to a Light in a dark place that will give people a chance to see the truth and get out from under Satan’s control and dominion. Please prayerfully consider this excerpt from Walking With the Enemy.
“So many professing Christians today are conformed to the ways of the world, rather than the ways of God. Sin is the doorway into the darkness, and if you walk in sin long enough, it will lead to a place you really don’t want to be!
Remember, good and evil are rooted from the same tree, but godliness comes only from the tree of life. And unless men delight completely in the word of God, and are “born again” by His Spirit, they will never be able to put forth their hand, “and take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
False teachers, corrupt Bibles, and disorderly churches are abounding, just like God said it would be like in the final days. And only those who have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” will truly understand the times we are living in.
God’s people have wandered off the intended path because their faith is in the word of men, and not the word of God. And I must say, woe, woe, woe be unto those who call themselves Christian, yet do not follow Christ!
There is still time to come to the Lord, and only those who are walking in the True Light, with their candles brightly shining, will Jesus welcome into His kingdom when He comes for His glorious bride. [Matthew 25:1–13.]”
End of excerpt.
Also consider this except from my devotional entitled Beware of False Prophets, posted at my website.
“I was a target of the Devil, mainly because of my genuine love for the LORD, and my desire to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. And because I fully trusted those who falsely claimed to be "Christians," I was adversely affected and greatly misled by their false teachings. That is, until God rescued me!
Even when I was walking with the Enemy, my love for God was growing stronger every day because my love for Him was true from the very beginning. And when I look back on that time, and see what God did for me, in spite of what the Devil intended, I have such an overwhelming love and gratitude in my heart for God. And I believe I always will! The more I know God through His word, by prayer, and by His Spirit, the more I love Him.
The more I love God, the more I want to please Him. And as I continue to experience God's love and grace in my life, my love for God, His dear Son, and His people grows stronger. I pray that is your testimony too!
1 John 4:19 "We love Him, because He first loved us."
FQ: What advice would you give in regards to spotting and avoiding those ministries/groups that are still very much out there practicing evil?
READ: Just as a banker will study the actual currency to recognize a counterfeit, the best advice I could give to fellow Christians who desire to walk in the truth (and not error), is to be diligent to read and study the Holy Scriptures, with a sincere heart and a prayerful attitude towards God and His dear Son, the LORD Jesus Christ.
If something doesn’t seem right, question it. If what someone tells you about God seems to contradict His word, don’t blindly accept it. As “Real Christians,” we must be like the men and women of Berea, “in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11b
And always remember, God can, and will, use all things (even our mistakes and heartaches) to “work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Please consider another excerpt from my testimony that I believe will more fully answer your question.
“It has been really exciting since I have been walking in the True Light! As the Lord reveals Himself to me, and I gain more wisdom and understanding of Him, I just adore Him more every day. My relationship with the Lord is so different since the night of 28 February 1993. The word of God has become so real for my life in a way that I could have never imagined. I would like to share with you an excerpt from my journal. I wrote this exactly two weeks before the confrontation we had on 2 March 1993.
EXCERPT FROM JOURNAL / 16 FEBRUARY 1993
I had asked the Lord, at the request of Elisha (Ira)[she was the female leader of the group], to tell me if I could trust the people He’d placed around me. And she said that when things get crazy all around here I can go back to this book and read what the Lord said.
The Lord is so neat! He didn’t even address anyone else. He said to look at me and take notice of my behavior. He brought up two scriptures...
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
1 Corinthians 13:1–13 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly; seeketh not her own; is not easily provoked; thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.”
The Lord told me if I don’t see these things happening in my life that the enemy is attacking me and I must put on my armor. He then led me to the following scripture. Ephesians 6:10–20 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” End of Excerpt from Walking With the Enemy: A Testimony.
I really appreciate your thought provoking questions, and I thank you for the opportunity to share my testimony with your readers. You all at Feathered Quill are in my prayers! And I truly thank you for yours! “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.” (Ephesians 6:24) God bless and keep you!
With the love of Christ,
You can go to my website at www.truelightpublications.com to read some of the varied reviews, critiques, and commentaries on Walking With the Enemy: A Testimony, along with some of the awards it has received. From there you can click on the clouds on the sidebar which leads to my ministry site www.truelightministries.us where I post articles that I hope will be encouraging and informative. I also have a link at my website that leads to GoodReads where I post devotionals at the “Real Christian” blog site.
To learn more about Walking with the Enemy: A Testimony please read the review.
Nonfiction Author Association Interview with C. Read
Member of the Week: C. Read, author of Walking With the Enemy: A Testimony
Name: C. Read
Book Title: Walking With the Enemy: A Testimony
Your book’s Amazon purchase link:
What is your book about?
I had been involved with a small Bible study group that turned out to be a cult remarkably similar to the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas, led by David Koresh. My book is a collection of transcripts and letters written before, during, and after God delivered me from my enemy, and will show how I came to be in such a dangerous and vulnerable situation.
The targets of such groups are innocent, unsuspecting people who are searching for love, acceptance, and a deeper meaning to this life. Cults are on the rise, and no one is exempt from their evil influences, which is why it is so important to know the truth about them. My purpose in sharing my story is so that others may gain a better understanding of this “war” that we are in.
What inspired you to write your book?
When I got out of that cult, I just had to warn people about what I had been through. I have never aspired to be an author, but I am certain that God wanted me to tell my story. God is truly my greatest inspiration and it is only because of Him that I am even able to share my testimony.
Can you describe your writing process?
My book, Walking with the Enemy (now in its 5th edition), which I call the Victory Edition, has been over twenty years in the making. This edition is a much sharper and more concise version of my testimony, and remains true to the original. For this final edition, I hired a professional design team (TLC Graphics) to help polish it up and get it ready for production.
The first chapter of my book is a letter that I wrote and sent out to many individual Christians, and various churches, with the hope of warning them about the leaders of the cult group that I had been with for three years. However, at the time, I had no idea that I would publish that letter, along with many other letters and transcripts, but God did.
How did you come to do what you’re doing today?
I was delivered from that cult group on February 28, 1993, and I published my first edition of Walking with the Enemy two years later. After all these years, I still have a burning desire to warn about false teachers who are dressed “in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” The deception I was in could happen to anyone, anywhere in the world. In fact, it is going on at an alarming rate! The only consolation, God warns about it in the Holy Scriptures.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
Well, I really do not have a typical day, but depending on what I need to accomplish for that day, will determine what I do. However, normally I get up early, have some coffee, read my Bible, check my email, see about housework, and various other responsibilities, such as taking care of my teen-aged boys that I home-school, and watching my grandchildren on occasion. My adult children and my husband, who is a retired combat veteran, are also a major part of my life.
I am currently in the marketing mode, so I am always looking for ways to promote my book. I plan to target the military market after listening to one of NFAA’s seminars online, and I really appreciate that you make past seminars available for those who miss the date it was recorded.
Actually, I feel the military would be a perfect fit, because while my husband was stationed at a Wounded Warrior Battalion for a year, I was able to be with him for most of the time, so I brought my books (fourth edition), and set up a table in the PX. Most everyone I talked to was very interested in my story, and I easily sold or gave away more than six cases of books in a short time.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Writing what God puts on my heart is one of the most joyful and gratifying things that I do. I have been giving my book away for over 21 years now, and it brings me great pleasure to do so. I will continue to share my testimony with others as long as I am able, and if God ever wants to have my book more widely distributed, I am sure He will make it happen in His time.
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
The Holy Bible is the most important book in my life, and it is such a blessing to read it. It is food and drink for my soul, and I really cannot do without it!
God is truly my greatest inspiration, and I am very grateful to Him for my dear husband and the beautiful family He has so graciously given to us; and especially for sending our last two little ones—the Lord knew we needed them to make our family complete!
There so many people along the way who have helped or encouraged me in this awesome endeavor of writing and publishing my testimony of Walking With the Enemy. God knows who they are, and I pray that His love, mercy, and grace will always be with them!
I have included excerpts of some reviews of my book that are greatly encouraging to me:
“Walking with the Enemy is Read’s story of a three-year engagement with a religious cult and the miraculous event that gave her the courage to escape.
…important narrative for any Christian believer, and might be of particular interest to anyone who is a survivor of a religious cult.” –Foreword Reviews
“Read offers her personal tale of religious awakening, including her experiences with people whom she says were falsely serving Jesus Christ….
Debut author Read’s story is clearly heartfelt… Readers will likely be convinced of the author’s devoutness early on, which she bolsters with many biblical references…” ─Kirkus Reviews
“An inherently fascinating, thoroughly absorbing, candidly personal story…
Simply stated, Walking With the Enemy: A Testimony is very highly recommended for personal, church, community, and academic library collections.” ─Midwest Book Reviews
The following is short excerpt from a letter that I received from a youth minister after he read my book when it was first published in March of 1995.
“It would take a while to share with you all that I found to be in common with your story. Though they are different, the similarities are undeniable. It’s amazing how the enemy’s signature is the same.”
Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
I was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. I met my husband, who was also a Marine, while I was stationed in Hawaii for three years.
My boss, who was like a father to me, used to tell me, “Read, you need to get out of the Marines and have a bunch of kids to order around.” Well, I took his advice, and God blessed us with seven beautiful children! (We currently only have two teenaged boys still living at home.)
What’s next for you?
I would like to re-edit and publish my second book, Walking in the True Light: A Testimony, which was published on September 5, 1997, one year after I heard about the “revival” that took place in Pensacola, Florida on Father’s Day 1995. I learned of this so-called “move of God,” after listening to an interview of a Christian pastor who told about his experience when he attended the church where the Pensacola Revival was happening.
This pastor greatly encouraged people to come to the revival, but he was also promoting a women in ministry conference at his church. God led me to attend that conference, and when I saw what was happening at the services, it was somewhat reminiscent of what took place at the Bible study/cult group that I had been involved with, but much stranger and on a wider scale!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am very happy to mention that Walking With the Enemy: A Testimony (Victory Edition) received a Silver award in the Nonfiction Book Awards competition in July 2016, and also received a Silver award from the Mom’s Choice Awards in August 2015. I really appreciate the vote of confidence I received from both of these organizations, and others along the way!
Finally, I would like to say that I am eternally grateful to the Holy One of Israel, for His beloved servants that He has put in my path, and for those I am yet to meet!
Link to Interview with C. Read by , Founder and CEO of Nonfiction Authors Association
Posted to True Light Publications on 7 February 2018
Copyright © 1993-2018 True Light Publications® All Rights Reserved.
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