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Q&A with 'Words of Life' author Major Beverly Ivany

Major Beverly Ivany is the author of 'Words of Life', a daily devotional book published by the international Salvation Army. Individual printed copies of Words of Life can be purchased from Christian bookshops, on or from The Salvation Army.

Words of Life is available in electronic format, accessed on e-readers as well as through the Kindle application which can be installed on many mobile phones or tablets such as the iPad.

Major Ivany has also written 'Kid Talk', 'Teen Talk' and 'Mentorship: A Guide for Developing Healthy Mentoring Relationships' and has served in various appointments with The Salvation Army in Canada.

According to Major Ivany, her book ‘Words of Life’, inspires and encourages Christians through Scripture. The readings are not cumbersome, but are simply an opportunity for people to get into the habit of starting their day with God. Major Ivany - an accomplished musician - told us more about it.

1. Welcome to the UK Major Ivany. Tell us about your previous appointments and experience with The Salvation Army in Canada and elsewhere?

Corps Officer for 15 years Training College Officer for three years Divisional Staff/Leadership for seven years Territorial Candidates Secretary for six years

2. Do you feel this work has influenced your writing?

Life experience as well as ministry experience greatly influences all that I write. Corps work is all about people. Training college work speaks to learning and developing in our spiritual walk. Divisional work looks to a broader prospective and working with candidates reminds us that we are all called to minister in Christ's name.

3. Why did you write Words of Life?  

My first response would be that I have been asked to do as my appointment. But far beyond this; I write it because I believe in its ministry. To take time each day to focus on God's word, then to apply it to our own spiritual journey. To take the time to commune with Jesus.

4. How do you find the inspiration to come up with a thought every day of the year?

The inspirational thought for writing every day I truly believe comes from the Lord. We are in a 'partnership'. I don't know the audience or their needs but God does. So I pray for that 'spark' so the daily reading will become alive for each reader.

5. Do you get pleasure from writing?

Yes I get much pleasure from writing. The most pleasure comes when I hear from someone when they have been blessed or encouraged in some way from Words of Life. This makes it all worthwhile. I love what I do and feel this appointment is right for me at this point in my officership.

6. Do you find that different countries respond to your work in different ways?

I don't get a lot of feed back in this way, however I have heard from individuals from Africa, India, Indonesia, the Caribbean, Australia, NZ, the USA and of course Canada. I have also heard from people that have gone to visit other countries and they have told me that WOL is read to their staff each morning for devotions. From saying all of this I believe that it has been received really well world wide.

7. How have readers responded to Words of Life?

I receive messages from people weekly that they are being blessed from WOL. They seem to like the new format: three days of Old Testament and two days of New Testament. A Psalm or Proverb on Saturday and on Sunday a song from our Song Book. I am daily encouraged and blessed by the feed back I receive indicating people are responding and connecting well with the writing.

8. Is there any particular reading which resonates most with you?

I cannot say there is one particular reading that resonates more with me than another, I try to vary the writing so that the readership will relate in different ways, some more so with one writing, others with a different writing perhaps. I like to use personal illustrations here and there, So I suppose those writings have certain significance for me. My musical background I believe also helps with the writing. Music and writing are closely linked together.

9. Words of Life is now available in electronic formats - are you a technology buff and do you find it a tool in reaching new audiences?

Words of life is available as an e-book. Quite a few have contacted me and are using this format and like it. It is nice to have the choice and for sure it makes it possible to reach others and possibly a new audience that likes to read material in this way.

10. What are you planning to do on your visit to the UK?

While in the UK I am at IHQ for a full week, seeing various people and being part of the down town London Open House. I am being interviewed on a Christian Radio Talk Show as well. On a personal note I am going to Ireland for five day. My son Joel is directing an opera in Wexford, South of Dublin, which should be great fun!