Tamera Lynn Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over twenty years and, as the leader of Revival Fire for Kids, she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry. She is also a writer and has curriculum published, including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God (Pathway Press).
Tamera and her husband are celebrating thirty-four years of marriage this year.
What sparked your writing journey?
I have always loved to write. I remember writing my first novel when I was ten years old. It was awful. I think what sparked my love for books was my grandmother. She only had an eighth grade education and was a coal miner’s wife, but she loved to read. I remember sitting on her lap in her rocker and her reading great novels like Black Beauty to me.
How does your faith play into your work?
It permeates through everything I write because it’s a major part of who I am. Even when I don’t write something “Christian,” my faith still shines through the pages.
Have you ever experienced a “divine detour,” an unexpected redirection in life that turned out to be positive?
Oh, yes. I mentioned I always wanted to be a writer. When I was in my twenties, God called me to be a children’s pastor. It was like one of those clouds parting, voice from Heaven type callings. So for twenty years, I served as a children’s pastor and only wrote curriculum and puppet skits. Some of it was published.
Then after twenty years, God placed a novel to write in my heart and told me to resign as a children’s pastor. Now I have a ministry where I travel to churches to do kid’s crusades and children’s ministry consultations, and I have plenty of time to write novels. God has brought me full circle.
It’s set in Schoenbrunn Village, Ohio in 1773. During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day.
When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas. Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.
In October, you released a novella in Murray Pura’s Civil War series, Soldier’s Heart. Please also tell us about that.
Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm. But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
A few fun questions in celebration of the holiday season…
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
Breathe of Heaven really touches my heart about what it cost Mary and what she must have felt when she was pregnant with Jesus. I also love Christmas Canon by the Transylvania Orchestra and I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas. I guess I don’t have just one. I love Christmas music.
What’s your favorite Christmas comfort food?
No question. My homemade chocolate drops with marshmallow crème are my favorite. But anything chocolate is good.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition or memory?
When I had young children, we were poor. I wanted a nativity but didn’t have the money to buy one, so I bought these plastic nativity characters and placed them in a wooden crate with straw that someone gave us with cheese and crackers as a gift. I placed it under the tree, and my children loved to play nativity with it. It still sits under my tree, but now my grandchildren play nativity.
Which best describes your perfect Christmas tree: a lush blue spruce decorated with the latest couture; a shaggy cedar covered in homemade ornaments and strung with popcorn; a vintage aluminum tree with shiny glass bulbs; or a palm tree adorned with pink flamingos?
I’m allergic to real trees, but I love them. So my favorite is an artificial blue spruce that looks real with beads for garland and all the ornaments I’ve collected over the years. I have one ornament for each year of my marriage, thirty-four of them, plus some handmade ornaments the kids made when they were young. I also like lots of twinkling lights in many different colors.
Merry Christmas, Tamera! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thanks, Kathy. I enjoyed being here to celebrate the holidays with you.
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For more information about Tamera, visit her website.
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