We are so pleased to welcome Kara Martin as the guest speaker for OneLove women's conference. In this interview, Kara shares how a cartoonist inspired her conversion, the people who have spurred her on in the faith and the spiritual disciplines that helps her to stand firm in Jesus.
1. What do you do with your time during the week?
My name is Kara Martin. I have a portfolio career–which means I'll take whatever opportunity God prompts me to take. I lecture at a couple of colleges and spend a fair amount of time preparing for talks or presentations. I am currently researching and writing book three of my Workship series: How to Shape Christians for the Workplace. I also have roles on boards and advisory committees locally, nationally and globally which involve meetings and reading. I also write blogs, articles, fortnightly devotions, and book chapters. I do some pastoral care with church and lots of mentoring, including coaching several social entrepreneurs with Seed. The other area of focus is my family, caring for them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
2. How and when did you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?
I was 11 years old and my non-church family had allowed me to go to a horse-riding camp with a couple of school friends. It was held at Teen Ranch in Cobbitty, outside of Sydney. There was a cartoonist (Graham Wade) illustrating stories about Jesus. He drew a picture inspired by Revelation 3:20 with Jesus standing at the door, and told us it was up to us to open the door of our hearts to him. I had liked what I heard about Jesus, so I asked him into my heart, and felt warmth and awareness of his presence that has never left me.
3. Who is someone who has inspired your walk with Jesus?
There have been so many! Madeleine L'Engle and C.S. Lewis shaped my theology through story. John Stott, J.I. Packer and F.F Bruce were early influencers through their writing. I have been mentored by wise women and men throughout my life: Margaret, Stuart, Peter, Jill, Isabel, Cathy, and Christine. I have had spiritual friends walk beside me: An-Magritt and Diane. Music has inspired my spirit. Creation has opened my eyes to wonder. Artists have given me new ways of looking. God has used every person I have encountered to teach me something about himself, myself and the world.
4. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self to stand firm in your faith?
I have learnt the importance of spiritual disciplines to develop a deep intimacy with God, flowing out to authentic relationship with others. I have spent a lot of time at Bible college learning about God, but what sustains me is actually knowing God and being in deep relationship with him. Like any relationship, I do that through listening and questioning, and being in his presence by encountering him in his Word, prayer, a daily examination of my openness to him, Sabbath rest, as well as other habits.
5. What can delegates expect from your talks this year?
I will be continuing to seek God and pray as I prepare for OneLove, but the guarantees from my contribution are: laughter, opportunities to discuss with others, and the challenge to apply what you learn into the context in which God has placed you.
Kara's Recommended Reads