From Phyllis

     Many of you have asked about my background, wondering how it has prepared me for putting More Than Survivors  together.  Others have asked about where I am as a Christian.  So here are outline answers to those questions.

What I Was


    Before my head injury, I earned a B.A. in English and a Ph.D. in linguistics.  I taught French and senior English at a Christian high school for a year.  Then for several years, I taught linguistics, English as a second language, and French and Spanish grammar at the university level, including a year in France as a Fulbright lecturer.

    I finally decided that God hadn’t designed me to be a teacher, so I went into publishing.  I started out as a production editor with Academic Press in San Diego, California, where I edited professional books.  Then I transferred with my parent company to a new subsidiary in Austin, Texas, as Managing Editor.  There I did what I call “editorial quality control” on elementary and secondary school textbooks.  So I’ve edited almost all levels of writing.

    Just before my accident, my parent company bought Holt, Rinehart & Winston, a major school-textbook publisher, and moved it to our Austin office.  My title changed to Manager of Copyediting and Training, though I did pretty much the same job.  I was on a business trip for Holt when I was hit by a car.

    As a result of my head injury, I can no longer do the job I used to do.  But I am particularly thankful for the background I had because it seems to have prepared me pretty well to work on More Than Survivors.  After my accident, I lost a lot in terms of being able to edit and proofread and train.  But God has arranged my recovery and rehabilitation in such a way that I can now access enough of the tools of the trade to do the newsletter.  Plus, He has brought in excellent people to help in areas where I am weak.

Who I Am

    I have been a Christian all my life; there wasn’t a specific time when I accepted Jesus as my Savior.  I simply grew up having a relationship with Him and learning to know Him better as my Lord.  I believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative, complete, and  error-free  revelation  of Himself  to us.   It is God’s main tool for speaking to us about Himself, and His Holy Spirit guides us in interpreting and applying His Word.

    I’ve gone through some major times of doubting and rebellion in my life—especially following my head injury—but God has kept working on me, and He will have to continue working because He and I have a long way to go.

    I currently belong to a non-denominational church, though I grew up in a Baptist church and spent several years of my adult life in a Presbyterian church.  In approaching my work on More Than Survivors,  I am trying to avoid points of interpretation that might divide us as Christians.  I recognize that God works with different people in different ways and that He gives us different experiences of His love and power.  I hope that, as we share our experiences in More Than Survivors, we will develop a deeper sense of His constant love for each of us and be reminded of how worthy He is of our trust.

    In Colossians 1:28–2:5, Paul shares something about the purpose of his work.  I don’t even begin to compare myself to Paul or my job to his, but I find what he said inspiring and sobering:


“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.

For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.”


(NIV)
[I added the bold type and underline.]