KARIA BUNTING is an expository Bible teacher whose mission is to communicate the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that people are saved, and disciples are developed. She is the founder of Focused Forward Ministries, a communication and media ministry, and a member of several community and ministry organizations. She also partners with her husband, George, in his management & financial consulting company.
Karia received her master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary. She’s currently receiving a second doctorate from the University of Texas. She serves as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University and enjoys ministering the Word and its’ principles through her lecture series and power lunches held throughout the year.
Karia and George, her husband of 26 years, live in Dallas, Texas where she teaches the Word weekly in the women’s Bible study at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Mother of three children, Karia is also a mentor to many young women. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.
What is the message you hope to present to your readers?
That God designed them, they have value because He gave it to them, and through application of His Word to every stage of life they can experience God’s freedom and accomplish their destiny. When the Lord gave this book to me and to His women who will read it, I believe He wanted His Word to set women free right where they are: whether they are struggling with identity, are unmarried (which includes divorced and widowed), are married, are a working mom or a mom-at-home, are in business or ministry, are dealing with temptation, arrogance or confidence, or whether she just wakes up every morning and says “What am I doing here, and how do I get where I want to go?” This book is based Word of God. But it applies that Word in a real way to practical every day experiences that every woman has. The stories I am hearing is that reading this book is changing people’s perspective, and therefore changing their life. Not everyone, I am sure, but a lot of people are experiencing that. It seems to be meeting people where they are in life. Of course, I share my life in the book as well, because I have lived this thing, so I know it works!
From the White house to the bus stop, we need to experience God’s freedom. We need to know how to not to be too stressed to be blessed. Some of us are in a place where we wonder, “Who am I, and why am I here? Others are saying, “I am glad I am here, what is next?” Still others are asking “How do I get out of here?!” This book answers those questions.
How does the message apply to life?
I am excited about what God is saying to his women. First, take the area of identity. Our sense of identity is falling apart. It used to be that we knew who we were just because – we were so and so’s child, grandchild, or niece. We came into womanhood under the tutalige of generations. There was always someone around who would say, “Honey, that is not you”, or “Sweetheart, lift your head up. You are better than that, and you can do better than that”. There were even older women to rebuke us, who could seemingly see through us and provide us wisdom.
Those are ancient of days, aren’t they? Seldom are people close enough to our lives to speak into it – to tell us why our marriage is falling apart, to help us keep our children straight, to tell us we are fine, loved, accepted, and cared for just as we are. And sometimes it is not that there are not people who are willing to share our lives, we just don’t have the time in this generation to even listen! We have to work, we have so much to do, and when we finish doing that, we still have stuff we didn’t get to! God has a word of freedom for that. We are killing ourselves, our health is failing, we are having heart attacks, high blood pressure, and everything else. God wants to de-stress us and instruct us. We were designed for the freedom to accomplish our destiny. The question this book answers is how we implement that design.
What is your next project?
We are working on a study guide to go along with Daddy’s Delight, so readers can integrate the principles into their life. In September, I will start teaching the Word again at Life on Life again, a Bible study of about 150 women that meet at my home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. We do not gather in the summer, so I am looking forward to seeing them in September. The Lord has given our ministry a television broadcast – we are on Direct TV channel 378, Sky Angel 126, and we broadcast weekly at 10:30 Central Standard Time, 11:30 Eastern Standard Time. Through Direct TV we go into over 11 million homes.
The ministry the Lord has given me, Focused Forward, beginning in September also hosts a power lunch/taping every 2nd Thursday in Plano, TX – if you are in the area, come on out! And I do conference speaking, workshops, pastor’s conferences, and workshops in the United States and in places like Nigeria, Hati, and Papua New Guniea. I am prayerful that the Lord will expand my conference speaking ministry. I love sharing God’s Word with God’s Women! I’ve started on the manuscript for my next book, so we are praying for God’s direction there. We believe the Lord is moving us into radio, so your readers can listen in soon, if they are not able to TiVo or record the Thursday morning broadcasts. Just a plug – I will be teaching Women in Church Leadership at the Kingdom Agenda Conference and Teaching the Bible at the First Ladies Conference in October, the ministry of Dr Tony and Dr. Lois Evans, mark your calenders! Your readers can check out our website at www.focusedforwardministries.org to see what God is doing through His servant down in Dallas, TX. Or, visit me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Focused-Forward-Ministries-with-Dr-Karia-Bunting/124665357565978?ref=ts.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had been in school forever, you know. And part of my Th.D. program, get this, was to write a draft commentary of the Bible! So, I found myself, in that process, attracted to what God had to say throughout scripture on our identity and authority. I think that is where it started. So I began working on the subject, and just writing notes, for several years. Then, I found I had this huge pile of notes from the scripture. I began to get it organized it, but never expected to do anything with it. I put it into chapters, but it was really academic, I think. Then my pastor preached a series on Spiritual authority. I turned to my husband and said, “That’s my book!” Everything he said in the whole series I had written in my notes! So, with his support, I translated and expanded those notes so that they made sense (i.e. – absolutely practical and everyday stuff). In the process of writing, it all changed and I began to speak from my heart. But the undergirding of the whole process is the accurate and thorough exegesis of scripture. That’s why the book seems to meld scripture and life seamlessly.
If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?
Paul, W.E.B. Dubois, and Cornell West.
And I will get a chance to talk to Paul, just not here! I want to know what He was thinking when he was writing. I want him to explain how it felt to be wondering all over Asia, and what his thought processes were when he was imprisoned. I want him to talk about growing up in the Ancient Near East. I want him to talk about women in his culture, and what He was really trying to say, because I believe his position in the culture was counter-cultural. I believe, for them, he was liberal. I want him to talk about his relationship with other theologians during his time – who he got along well with and who he disagreed with. I am just curious.
And W.E.B. Dubois was brilliant. He championed black folk, but the word is, he was too arrogant to get along with them. He was not a Christian. He eventually gave up on America, and went to Ghana. I want to argue with him, frankly. I want to say to him, “Nothing is hopeless, my friend. It is your brilliance that has backed you into a corner.” I want him to beat me up with his superior intellect, and I want to hit Him with the Word of Truth.
And Cornell West. One day I might get a chance to do that, I think. I believe he is the most brilliant pragmatist alive. My youngest daughter goes to Howard University, and had dinner with him a few weeks ago. She said it was wonderful. I sent a text to my oldest daughter, who is an actress in New York, and told her. Ahe screamed AAAHHHHH! He is her absolute favorite writer.
Anyway, this is academic but, I am a student of the idea of pragmatism. I am interested in an oxymoron – what I call “epistemological pragmatism”. I’d like to talk about ideas with him. As you know, my second doctorate is in Humanities, and the dissertation kind of focused on the idea of pragmatism. West is simply brilliant. He has lived his philosophy.
What advice would you give to those who wish to write non-fiction?
Know your subject, and make it relevant. O.K., this might be harsh (my children say I can be more than a little straightforward – that is in the book, too) but if you don’t have anything to add to what has already been said, wait until you do. Expand your reader’s base of information. Let their life be impacted by reading your book in a way that it can’t be impacted by any other book. In other words, this is the bottom line, love your reader. If you don’t love them, you can’t help them. As for me, I pray that I love God’s people passionately – that’s how I do it, at least. You may have your own way. But when I love them, I care what happens to them after they read my book. The book is a means to an end – the end of them having a better life. Love will make me sacrifice my time and sleep. Love will drive me to give people what they need – what they really need. Love makes my life not about me. Being loved by God is how I live – how I get through. And loving God’s people through my work is what I am called to do. It has to be that way for anybody God will use to truly change people’s life through non– fiction. Good non-fiction is love funneled through knowledge by means of language.
For more information, feel free to visit my website at www.focusedforwardministries.org, or contact me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Focused-Forward-Ministries-with-Dr-Karia-Bunting/124665357565978?ref=ts
In Daddy’s Delight, Dr. Karia Bunting reminds women that they are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, His “poema”. That God has intricately woven together every fiber of their being and created each one special and unique. That God, having completed His work of art, gave her to mankind as a gift.
Evident in this great care God took in fashioning woman is the importance and value of each one. So why do so many women struggle with God’s design, wishing they could change just this or that one thing about themselves?
Dr. Bunting challenges each reader to accept and embrace the truth that, regardless of what season of life she’s in, she is God’s masterpiece-not her own work of art. When God sees her, He sees His beautiful creation. A creation that yes, has some wrinkles needing to be smoothed out and yet, is one in whom is His delight to love to perfection.
View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/DaddysDelight.