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Interview: Shane Stanford, Author of Making Life Matter: Embracing the Joy in the Everyday

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Shane Stanford is a pastor, author and teacher. He is the Senior Pastor of Christ UMC in Memphis, TN, one of United Methodism’s largest and most influential congregations.

Mr. Stanford is a former church planter as well as the Director/Host of the United Methodist Hour, a radio and television ministry airing in 30 million homes nationwide.

Shane Stanford is the author of eleven books which include:  A Positive Life (Zondervan), The CURE for the Chronic Life (Abingdon), and Mosaic (Abingdon). In addition to writing books, he has also written several articles published in such journals/magazines as Giving, CNNOnline, Alive, and The Circuit Rider.

Mr. Stanford has also appeared on numerous media programs including ABC’s Good Morning America and Fox & Friends.

Traveling extensively to share his story as an HIV positive hemophiliac and pastor is something else that Mr. Stanford feels strongly in doing and embracing. He has also presented at such venues as the Saddleback Global AIDS Summit and the National Civil Rights Museum.

Shane Stanford is married to Dr. Pokey Stanford (a Professor of Education) and they are the parents of three daughters, ages 14, 11, and 7.

His latest book is Making Life Matter: Embracing the Joy in the Everyday.

Readers can learn more about Shane Stanford and his works by visiting the following links:  

TwitterFacebook Amazon Barnes & Noble Christian Book | Website

Could you please tell us a bit about your book? The story? The characters?

Making Life Matter is a guidebook of everyday wisdom that will assist with practical decisions and issues of everyday life. There are seven principles that range from “If I Break It, I Buy It” to “I am How I Pray”. Each principle is outlined with practical implications and with illustrations that focus the principle for everyday use.

How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?

“Making Life Matter” has been the name of my teaching ministry for many years now. However, the phrase ‘stuck’ in my life when my grandfather shared some important advice for me at the age of 16. I had just been diagnosed with HIV and was thinking that my life was over. He asked me what I was going to do with this news and I told him that I didn’t seem to have a choice. He told me that I always have a choice — I can get in the corner and have a pity party or I can choose to ‘make each day count’. So, “Making Life Matter” became the phrase I used.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?

“We are more than the sum of what we endure…”

What are some of your favorite ways to promote your work?

Being the pastor of a large church, I enjoy sharing the book with the congregation. But, I also have blog excerpts and we use our radio program to also share the themes of the book.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I try to write a little each day — possibly 800 words.

What are some ways that you like to relax?

I love to play golf, to read, and to do wood working.

What author would you most like to meet and why?

David McCullough. I have just always enjoyed his work and have great respect for all he has written.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with readers?

I am currently working on a book entitled, Big Fat Failures. It is a book about folks who normally get it right, about when they go it wrong.

What is something about yourself that would come as a surprise to many people?

I am quite shy but learned a long time ago to push myself out into conversations. However, I am just as content to be behind the scenes.

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