Living a transformed life with Kate Nicholas
We caught up with Kate Nicholas to chat about her new and insightful TV episodes, exploring the book of Ephesians. She’s recorded a new series of Living a Transformed Life to set us up for the new year ahead. She unpacks what the letter of Ephesians has to say about experiencing a renewing and healing transformation in our lives, as we follow Jesus Christ.
Hi Kate, tell us a little about yourself and your ministry!
I have spent a lifetime working in and around the media, as a journalist and editor, charity communications chief and as a consultant. But my ministry only really began in my fifties after I was diagnosed with advanced inoperable breast cancer that had spread around my heart.
My prognosis was not good but, while I was ill, I kept on being given a passage from Psalm 118:17: ‘I will not die, but will live and declare the works of the Lord.’ I decided not to give up hope but to pray for healing. And when against all odds I survived, I pledged my life to declaring the works of the Lord as an author, broadcaster and preacher.
What brought you to TBN UK?
I was first introduced to TBN when I was interviewed on TBN Meets about ‘Sea Changed’, my best- selling memoir, which tells the story of my unconventional journey of faith and healing. On the show, I talked about my experience of living on the border of life and death and how during my darkest hours, the sense of God’s presence was almost incandescent. I also talked about how after recovery, I begun preaching at St Peter and St Paul’s in Olney (the church where the world-famous hymn, Amazing Grace, was written), and was working on a new book called Living a Transformed Life. When the interview came to an end and the cameras stopped rolling, Leon Schoeman turned to me and said: “I feel I need to help you with your ministry, how about filming your own series?”
And in the latter part of my media career, I became a TV presenter – proof that God really can take the lemons of your life and make lemonade! I began by writing and presenting the 12-part series also entitled ‘Living a Transformed Life’ which explores one of the great mysteries of faith – God’s transformation and what it means that the purpose of our lives is to be transformed into the image of Christ in this life and beyond. And this year I have been really blessed to record a second series of the show, in which I explore what the letter of Ephesians tells us about living a life transformed by Christ.
What is the series about?
In this series we explore the amazing idea developed in Ephesians that while we live out our daily lives in the seen world, at the same time we also dwell in unity with God and with each other in an unseen heavenly or spiritual realm – a state which Paul calls being ‘in Christ’ and which Jesus described as ‘abiding in him.’ And the claim made by Jesus himself – and reiterated by Paul – that not only do we dwell in him but, that through the power of the Holy Spirit, he lives in us – rooting us and filling us with the infinite love of God.
We also explore Paul’s detailed practical instructions for what all this means for how we should live out our day-to-day lives individually and collectively, exploring Paul’s lists of do’s and don’ts for those living transformed lives ‘in Christ’.
Why the book of Ephesians?
Ephesians has been described as ‘one of the divinest compositions of man’. It’s a letter of profound wisdom and beauty designed to help the early Christians in Ephesus live as followers of Jesus. But despite being written two thousand years ago, it is of amazing relevance to our lives today and offers an alternative guide to living that is profoundly counter cultural, challenging the way we think about ourselves and our reality, as well as our relationship with Jesus and the world.
What is your favourite verse from the book of Ephesians and why?
My favourite verse has to be Ephesians 1:18 in which Paul prays ‘that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.’
The reality is that we are all in danger of going through our lives on autopilot, focusing on our blinkered material needs and wants – reducing our horizons to only that which we can see and understand. But what Paul conveys so beautifully in Ephesians is that our reality is far more wonderful and mysterious than we could ever imagine. And as Christians we need to ‘open the eyes of our heart’ and to look beyond what is visible in order to gain a true picture of our current reality, both seen and unseen.
God is mysterious – there’s no two ways about it. And what Paul is inviting us to do is to embrace that mystery, because when we do, our lives become an adventure full of purpose and meaning.
What are your top 3 tips for studying the Bible?
1. Commit to spending time with God’s word. The Bible reveals the mind of God, our past and our future, and failing to read the Bible is rather like choosing to going through life blindfolded.
2. Be willing to spend time dwelling in the word, reflecting and meditating on scripture, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal the truths contained within.
3. Be willing to embrace the paradoxes and harder sayings of scripture. God himself tells us that his thoughts are not our thoughts, his ways are not our ways. If we could completely comprehend the creator of the universe with our puny mortal brains, he would not be God! So embrace and revel in the mystery.
What was your favourite part about filming?
This year was a rather unique experience, as we filmed the latest series of Living a Transformed Life during the temporary lull in lockdown measures in the summer. I came in each day masked up, and had to remember to remove my mask as the cameras started to roll.
But as ever I had the sense that the Holy Spirit was moving at TBN. Every time I go to film at the TBN studios, I always feel as if I am stepping on Holy Ground. I am always struck by the awesome responsibility of ‘declaring the works of God’. And I love working with the people there who are passionate, prayerful and incredibly professional. Having spent years in the secular news media, I also love the fact that we pray together before filming!
How do you hope people will respond to the programme?
My prayer is that in some small way that this new series of Living a Transformed Life will help viewers to grasp the mystery and wonder of our God-given reality, that the Holy Spirit would open the eyes of viewers’ hearts to help grasp the true meaning of a life lived ‘in’ Christ, and that we may all live in greater awareness of God’s ongoing transformation.
For further information on Kate Nicholas’s ministry, including books and events, visit www.katenicholas.co.uk