Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight: Margaret Calkin

Filed in Successful Author Spotlight by on July 9, 2013 2 Comments

Xulon Press author, Margaret CalkinToday’s Xulon Press Successful Author Spotlight features Margaret Calkin, author of three books: “Break Ground on Learning How to Pray” encouraging new Christians to develop their prayer lives, “The Girls Talk About Life with Jesus”, featuring discussions with Marilyn Selders, to mentor women of all ages and her third book, “Praise the Lord Anyway” sends a message of hope to the hurting.  Margaret currently interviews women of God and turns those interviews into books and videos that are sent to the mission fields of Africa, Philippines and other third world countries as a ministry of encouragement to missionaries in the field. She is also involved with her church’s live feed TV station that sends inspirational teaching messages to their sister station in the Philippines. She has also placed teachings of the Titus 2 Women on YouTube, commissioning the older women to mentor the younger women—she says that they are just telling “war stories about victorious living”. As you talk with her, you begin to understand that Margaret has no time or intention to retire because she has so much left to do for the kingdom of God. Her heart’s desire is heard loud and clear: minister the gospel until He comes!

I began our interview by asking “What one past experience changed the course of your life?” Margaret became passionate as she spoke “My salvation, my personal commitment to Jesus. I thought I was a Christian, for decades and decades, but I found out that I really wasn’t. I grew up in a church with a lot of rules and regulations that did not emphasize the personal relationship with Jesus. Someone prayed for me and taught me about a personal commitment to the Lord.  I had not given Him the lordship of my life. I was looking at something on the wall, a picture of a symbol. I was thinking…”You know what? I just can’t do it by myself.” The Lord gave me just enough rope to hang myself. I had a martini, a cigarette and in my lap, was the Bible. I said out loud, through gritted teeth. I said “Okay Jesus, you are the Lord of my life!” I woke up the next morning and said, “Okay… something is different.” From that day forward, I began to grow in Him and feel all that Christianity has to offer.”

Xulon Press author, Margaret CalkinShe continued. “The addictions of nicotine and alcohol are long gone. I started gathering snippets of prayer. My mentor Mary taught me how to pray. As I journeyed through that learning effort, I realized there just was not a lot out there to read about learning how to pray. What was available was written in the “christianese” language. Nothing written that was simple spoken. I developed an outline for the first three chapters of “Break Ground”,  and then left it alone. I finally got back to it, seven or eight years later, when I was a more mature Christian. I finished it. Within a year, I was vacationing in Vermont. I went into a prison in Vermont. All men. Medium level security. I went on volunteer staff, under the wings of a chaplain and his wife. I taught out of this “Break Ground” book. The book has now been taught as a course for three summers in a row. Among the prisoners, there were those who were barely literate. Backgrounds included voodoo and witchcraft and orthodox churches. My husband David and I founded “Break Ground Ministry” out of that prison experience.”

I asked Margaret to describe her writing method when she starts a project.

“I use an outline to transcribe television shows, which I did with my friend Marilyn Selders. Our church owns a TV station in the Philippines. Together, we created six 28 minute shows which I developed into my second book “The Girls Talk”.  It was all done as a conversation. My third book is titled “Praise the Lord, Anyway!” which is developed from two TV shows that say to just praise the Lord anyhow. I write in conversational language. I did do quite a bit of research, all focused on Jesus. All of the interviews are Christ centered and for God’s glory. My writing method is to use bullets. Write down a rough outline and keep everything focused on the subject. Always start with prayer. I always pray “Please give me the words, Lord!” My advice to the new author would be– ask the Lord about what they should write about. Submit your availability to write what the Father would have us do…it will be a fruitful experience.”

Xulon Press author, Margaret CalkinI perceived that Margaret had a life time of experience to discuss, so I asked “What is the most important life event you have had?” She replied “I began to feel a hunger for ministry and ordination. Because of my age and maturity, I was told that I would be wasting both my money and my time. I put it in God’s hands, asked Him to make it happen, and He did. Having that focus and that call was life changing to me, and it set me on a course of commitment that I had never felt before. I felt direction to my life. It was a call to use my life in ministry to others. I wanted the title and to be ordained. They were an empowerment and access to places that I could not go to … until I became a reverend.”

Having experienced so much in her life, I asked “What message do you want shared by the story of your life?” Margaret reflected as she spoke. “I’ve been through a lot of experiences: abused as a child; controlled by a domineering adult; alcohol and nicotine addictions. In the process of changing me, God redeemed all the particles of the garbage of my life. It was an intimate aspect of the fact that– He had paid the price. He caused me to air the dirty laundry with other people because I was there. I can share how I was relieved of that addiction. I can share the love of Jesus. Before, I could not let go. I was holding onto it so tight. I begged Him to tear my fingers open just to tear out what needed to be changed. God has used all of these experiences wonderfully. Even in prison ministry. I shared how I drank and drove but never got caught. Until Jesus caught me. Jesus will take you where you are at and only change you as rapidly as you can handle it. He will take the garbage and slime and turn it into gold so you can spread it around to others. Garbage to gold– people understand that– but they can’t understand redemption. We need to talk to the level that they can understand. They need the simplicity. That’s the key to my faith– a Simple message!”

I asked her “What would you tell others about your relationship with Christ that would inspire them?”

Margaret lit up as she spoke. “I always think of myself as a little girl sitting in Jesus’ lap. I like being a kid in the Kingdom. Jesus said let the kids come to me. Daddy God is just fine with me. He can be father, and I can be daughter.”

I surprised her with my question “What will they write on your gravestone that will sum up your life?”

After thinking for a few moments, she responded quietly “Obedience is the base of my relationship with the Lord, so I would simple say: A child struggling toward obedience.

When I asked her “Who was the most interesting person you’ve met in your life and why?” Margaret replied. “My current pastor, Jim MacInness, of Fisherman’s Net Revival Center, in Venice, Florida. He is not world famous but he is considered the father of the Jesus Movement in Sweden. He only has 30% of his heart function. He is a pastor of pastors; he is very humble. I had prayed for a pastor’s pastor. I knew that I needed one. Someone with wisdom and maturity and boldness to speak to me. I needed a pastor to take care of me. I was always the one to go feed the pastor, but I wanted someone to feed me. Jim talks to me on the level that I need to hear. He mentors me. He has impacted my life and probably will forever. He will always be that significant role in my life as a Christian. Pastor Jim set up the TV station in the Philippines and then opened the door for me to be used in the television ministry, which now has programs going out worldwide, including Africa. Thanks to Jim!”

I asked Margaret “What is your theme scripture and why?” She was resolute and confident as she spoke. “All things are possible for those who love God and those who are called according to His plan. Romans 8:28 – and here’s an example of why. I earned the funds to pay for the courses I took to get my degree: Part time job– On my own.  My husband couldn’t help much, but I was determined to get my degree. About my schooling– I’ve never really “learned” money, but I’ve used it to get a degree in general business, which I have used in churches where I’ve ministered. I wanted the intellectual development. God helped me accomplish my goal to get an education!”

As I finished our conversation with the simple question “When you get to Heaven, what’s the one thing you want to hear the Lord say?” Margaret spoke enthusiastically as she rang out “Good job! And I want Him to put His arms around me and tell me in His voice that He loves me.”

She then shared a vision she had that changed her life. “I had this vision of going through a dark tunnel that I didn’t want to go through, didn’t want to be there, but I was with the Lord, and He was leading me. I could feel His presence although He never touched me. Then He took me to a beautiful place where we sat and took in all the beauty until… He then just looked at me and said, “Let’s go again!” The second time, I wasn’t scared because I knew what He had taken me through the first time, so I trusted him to take me through it again!”

After spending this time with Margaret, TV personality, prison minister, business professional, visionary and a pastor’s helper, I could see how she just wanted to be caught “doing good, working for the Kingdom, until He comes”. Her life exemplifies being available for whatever God has in store.

And I could just see Him look at her and say “Let’s do it again!”


About the Author ()

Alan P. Scaglione is a writer who reflects on the simple contradictions and complexities to living this ”gift from God” called life. He believes that Life is a journey that, with compassion, a little levity and perspective, we help each other get through. His greatest compliment was being told “you draw pictures with your words!” He has devoted his life to “drawing”...in his poetry, his songs, his weekly “Reflections of Life” blog entries, his monthly SAS articles, his short stories and now, his novels! Alan is an everyday guy who refuses to let circumstances dictate his view to life; he lives an attitude of gratitude and spreads his positive outlook everywhere he goes. His BEST day is a day shared making a memory that will last a lifetime! Please check out Alan's books "One Unexpected Event - How Would Your Life Change?" and its sequel “One Unexpected Event - Aftermath!” in the Xulon Press bookstore.

Comments (2)

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  1. avatar DarleneDeAngelis says:

    I am a newcomer and can’t wait to publish.

    • Darlene,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. We hope you will find information here that will be helpful to you on your publishing journey. I don’t know where you are in the process, but feel free to call and speak with one of our publishing consultants. They can be reached toll-free at 1-866-381-2665 and can answer any questions you have. Best of luck with your book!

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