Christian recording artist, author, speaker and influencer Maddie Rey has just released an expanded edition of her fan-favorite book, DWELL: Empowering The Next Generation To Live The Life God Intended (Church of Joy Publishing). The revised version, slated to include new chapters, builds on Rey's personal mission to empower Christian youth and inspire the upcoming generation to hold fast to their faith. As a pastor's kid, she's seen many of her friends who grew up in church walk away from the church as young adults. Based on Psalm 27:4, DWELL is her response to this alarming problem addressing issues plaguing her generation and providing step-by-step instruction on how to stay planted in the local church even when one feels like abandoning it altogether.
Rey is no stranger to music as she has shared the stage with seven-time GRAMMY® winner TobyMac and hip-hop artist Steven Malcolm. She has recently released her original track, "Deserve Your Love," which she co-wrote with hit songwriter Makeba Riddick-Woods. Next week on November 26, Rey, will release her unique cover to the holiday classic "This Christmas" as her new holiday single.
Other popular tracks Maddie Rey has released over the past year include "No Bad Days," "No More Lies," "Never Let You Go," "Glory," "So Good" and "Tellin Everybody."
Q: Maddie, thanks for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the forthcoming release of an expanded version of your book DWELL. What inspired you to become a writer?
The inspiration behind my writing and authoring of books has come from times when I go out and preach as a minister and an evangelist. I preach messages that at their core empower those of the body of Christ to live the life God created and intended for you to live. However, I never want to leave those that I have just ministered to at a place of just here's "what" to do, but not affording them the resources on "how" to do. The books I've authored contain keys, tools, and steps on how to live the life God created you to live.
Q: Tell us briefly what is your book about?
"Dwell'' is my life, it's my testimony. I'm a pastor's kid, I've grown up in the church my whole life. At first I grew up thinking I would never have a testimony because I never rebelled and never wanted to live a life outside of my relationship with Christ. When I expressed this to my father during that time he told me that I had the greatest testimony because I was living the life God intended for all of us to live. God intends for us to come to know Him and never walk away from Him. That is when my father shared with me that I should desire what it says in Psalms 27:4 "to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life". This has become my life verse and the foundational scripture of my ministry. So this book shares my story of how I have walked out that desire to dwell and it gives answers on how our generation can too.
Q: How is the new expanded version different from the original?
There are a couple different aspects of the book that made it into a revised and expanded edition. One first big revision for me was the cover. I really wanted a new cover lol. And secondly I added an additional chapter to the book that shares a more recent encounter I had with the Lord. I felt that I needed to share another aspect of my life with the readers of this book to show them the realities of things we face and how one encounter with God can make all the difference within our lives. I share the importance of living a life consumed by God. It's one thing to be in His house and in His presence, but do we let Him completely in to our lives. I wanted to touch more on that in this edition.
Q: What do you think are top issues young people face?
I believe that most issues this young generation faces stems from a place of "what is truth?" We live in a culture where people can decide what their truth is. A culture where my truth can be my truth and your truth can be your truth. As Christians we know that that is absolutely not the truth. For there is only one truth and His name is Jesus. Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one gets to the Father except through me." This is why we must share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this young generation and we must also teach them the truths of God's word. When we know the truth, the truth will set us free! When this generation knows The truth, they will know their identity, their purpose, the way they should live their life, etc... I am extremely passionate about teaching these young generations God's truth, for I know it will change their life!
Q: In your book you encourage your readers to "dwell in the house of the Lord." How does dwelling in God's house help us with the issues we face?
It is only in God's house, God's will, and God's presence that we will live the life we were created to live. We were created in God's presence. Anywhere outside of that, we cannot function. It is like a fish outside of water. I grew up fishing with my dad and anytime I caught fish and reeled it in from the water, that fish would be flapping around everywhere, gasping for air, and it would be struggling to survive. I believe there are things in the culture that bait us to pull us out of where God intended for us to be, and when it does it causes struggles and problems in our lives.
So how does dwelling in God's house help us? it keeps us in the place where we find life, freedom, refuge, and peace. There are so many things today trying to pull people from the church or deceive people into turning away from the church. This saddens my heart greatly! The church is the most perfect imperfect place we could be. It becomes imperfect when we walk through the door because we are imperfect people but it still remains God's perfect establishment that He built here on the earth. This is God's house, not our house. I understand that people can get hurt in the church, but always remember that it is people that hurt people, not the church. If you've been hurt or have had a bad experience with people at a church, then you ask the Lord to lead you to a church that reflects His heart through the shepherd down to the sheep, you don't completely leave and abandon God's house! I'm praying for a generation to return to the church and a generation that hasn't left to remain!
Q: How has dwelling in God's house helped you personally?
It has helped me immensely! It is the church's responsibility to help us find our identity, purpose and confidence in Christ. I have remained faithful in God's house and have honored the Lord, my pastors, and the people of our church and because of that, I have been given opportunities to walk in my identity and purpose with confidence. My commitment to dwelling in God's house, God's will, and God's presence has not only shaped my life and kept me in the will of God but it has opened great doors for me to share this message with others.
Q: What lessons do you want readers to take away after reading the book?
I want readers to have learned through this book how to live the life God intended and created them to live everyday. I want them to know how to be confident, how to be a leader, how to resist temptation and not compromise, and how to walk in their purpose. As I mentioned at the beginning, this book is my life. There were many times in my life I could have compromised, I could have fallen into temptation, I could have hardened my heart, or rebelled completely, but I didn't. I always, even to this day, have asked the Lord why my life has been the way it is. His response to me has always been, "Maddie, I want your life to be an example of what is possible." It's possible to live for Christ all the days of your life. It's possible to be consecrated unto the Lord. It's possible to refuse certain things in this world. It's possible to remain pure and undefiled in this culture. It's possible. If there's anything I want a reader to walk away with is that living the life God created you to live, is possible!
Q: Do you plan on writing more books on top of releasing your music in the future?
Absolutely! God has already been downloading 3 books for me to write and release, "The Holy Spirit", "The Fear of the Lord", and "Culture". I believe God will use these books to speak a word to His church today and I am grateful to be a part of it. This past year I have written other books such as "No Bad Days - Life is good because God is good", "No More Lies - Finding your identity and purpose in Christ", and a kids book titled "Never Let You Go" which shares a cute story teaching children to never let go of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Along with the books I write, I also write music. All of these books I've released this past year actually have a song that accompanies them! My latest release is "Deserve Your Love." The single and music video is out now and it depicts a beautiful heartfelt message of receiving the love that God has for us even in the moments of our life when we feel so undeserving. I had the incredible opportunity to sit down with hit songwriter Makeba Riddick-Woods for this song to come to life! This song has already touched so many lives and I hope it touches yours as well! More music to come that will inspire and empower you in your walk with Christ.