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Posted: April 3, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Through the storm

Author turns difficult life experiences into tools for reaching others

Amber Pittman/The Covington News/

Words of comfort: Joyce Fincher sits with a copy of the spring 2009 edition of "Open Windows: A Southern Baptist Guide for Personal Devotions" that features her writing for April 25 - April 30.

Through days of almost unbearable sadness, sickness and death, author Joyce Fincher has remained true to her faith.

Instead of folding under these challenges, she uses them in her work as an author, speaker and teacher to touch co-workers, church family and friends. She says that God has given her endless happiness through each trial, leading and carrying her when necessary.

The loss of her firstborn son, David, the death of her husband, Walker, who she describes as her best friend, finding out she had a brain tumor and being told that undiagnosed, she would have only had two weeks to live — these are examples of the challenges she has faced and overcome.

"Most of my writings are based on personal experiences," said Fincher. "So, my goal as a writer is to strive to touch people for Christ. Hopefully, anyone that reads my writings can feel comfort, a strengthened faith."

The spring 2009 edition of "Open Windows: Southern Baptist Guide for Personal Devotions," features Fincher’s devotionals for April 26-30: "Walk with Christ," "Ceaseless Praise," "The Lord’s Abiding Presence," "Taking Responsibility" and "Choose God."

Back in 2007, when Fincher read from Open Windows, she was inspired to send for their guidelines. She received a thank you letter, a request for references and an account of when she accepted Christ and was given an opportunity to write a devotional based on enclosed scripture.

"After some time, the second correspondence came," said Fincher remembering her apprehension as she opened the envelope. "I knew in my heart that this was either an acceptance or rejection. Believe me — writers are not always accepted and they do get a lot of rejections."

The letter stated that she would be placed on LifeWay’s approved writers list. Finally, in April, 2008, she received an assignment to write five devotionals based on designated scriptures and what they meant to her.

"I cried as I held that envelope and paperwork, thanking God that he wanted to use me," said Fincher as the June 1, 2008, deadline drew near. "I felt this was an awesome responsibility, but I didn’t have a clue how awesome it was until I was told that the circulation of Open Windows reaches over 850,000 people."

A native of Porterdale, Fincher spends many hours as outreach director for Porterdale Baptist Church. She organizes efforts to plant seeds of Christ’s love throughout the community, for example, taking homemade baby blankets and picture frames to mothers at Newton Medical Center.

Fincher is a member of the American Christian Writers and is president of the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers and promotes writer’s conferences for aspiring authors across the southeast. As a recent essay judge for Alcovy High School, Fincher will present EMACW writing scholarships in May to top placements.

Fincher’s eyes light up as she talks about her son, Phil, a minister in Savannah, her tenure with Mobil Chemical and the University of Georgia in the Newton County Extension Office and pending projects such as the publication of her autobiography and the 2006 release of her two CDs, "Soldier of Faith" and "He’ll Lead You Through Your Sea," both written by her son and available at www.cdbaby.com.

These days Fincher finds herself busier than ever, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir and tutoring people for GED preparation at Porterdale Baptist Church. With several writing projects underway, Fincher plans to be physically and mentally able and ready for whatever is in store.

To contact Fincher, write to P.O. Box 1873, Covington, Georgia, 30015.

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