This is a Q&A with author, Renee Bondi, regarding her book “Still I Will Praise.” She’s so dynamic and the book is an inspiring read. I have also included a press release about the book and the author’s bio. This is one to keep and one to share!
Q & A for Still I Will Praise With Author Renee Bondi
1. Your book is titled Still I Will Praise: The Power of Praising God Even When You Don’t Feel Like It.
The key word here is power. Describe this power that you’re referring to.
I’m describing the strength that you receive from no other resource: a healing mental shift
that comes from a radical change of focus from your existing burden and to your Mighty God.
Some people think this power is for “someone else” but I promise it is readily available to
each of us and can bring incredible release and relief.
2. Why do you feel like it’s important for individuals and families to be in a posture of praise even if
it doesn’t seem possible at the time?
Because it keeps our focus on our Creator and our “ever present help in time of trouble” (Ps
46:1) rather than seeing our own prison with no obvious way out. It also puts God where
he belongs, on the throne, and us where we belong, in submission. And also, the spiritual
discipline of a consistent praise posture pays off when adversity strikes because your heart
and mind has been trained not only to go immediately to our Lord but also to see things,
within the pain, that God is doing on your behalf.
3. What have you experienced in your life that drew you to the idea of still praising God?
For the last 24 years since breaking my neck and becoming quadriplegic, I’ve had to pay for a
caregiver to come every morning for a few hours to help me use the bathroom, shower, and
dress me so I can be ready for the day. About two years ago, two of my caregivers needed to
focus on other priorities. That meant that I had to train two new caregivers in the details of
my unique and individual care. I knew I was out of patience for this training. One night while
lying in bed I prayed, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore. I don’t have it in me to describe one more
thing. But I HAVE to. There’s no getting around it. So how do I do this AGAIN?”
After complaining to the Lord, I sat quietly. What quickly came to my mind was, “I’ve always
wanted to be one of those people that praises You know matter what.” Pondering that
thought, my response was, “Ugh. I don’t know if I can do that when I feel so incredibly
frustrated.” But I knew I needed to. I started reading stories in the Bible – Solomon,
Jehoshaphat, Gideon, Mary, Paul and Silas. I was blown away by how quickly they praised
God even while in painfully difficult times. I thought, “Hmm… this is what I’m supposed to
After a few weeks, my husband commented: “Boy, Renée, you sure sailed through training
your attendants this time! I never heard you complain at all.” I responded, “I did? Really?
You’ve got to be kidding me!” It hadn’t occurred to me until he said it, but he was right.
Training my caregivers was not the odious task that I had imagined it would be. The reason
was obvious. I was praising God and thanking Him rather than wallowing in self-pity,
complaining, and resentment. And so began my journey to learning how to praise. I learned it
was a choice – to praise or to be impatient, to worship or to wage war, to let God respond in
me or to respond in my own frustration.
4. In your book, you have chapters devoted to praising God in times of waiting, in frustration,
when things go from bad to worse, when things look hopeless, and more. How do you reconcile
this with the fact that we often don’t have enough faith to muster praise in these times?
This is where years of spiritual discipline in seeking a posture of praise comes into full effect.
The pay-off! If we have not set in place this mindset then there’s little chance that we will
have the faith and the strength to muster praise in these difficult times. This is why I wrote
the book in the hopes of getting readers to begin seeking a posture of praise because I know it
not only works but brings a truly satisfying life and meaningful relationship with the Lord.
5. Why do you think most of us only praise God at church or when something good comes along?
These are the most natural places and times to praise God but it goes much deeper. Frankly,
praising God in difficult times just doesn’t come naturally; it doesn’t feel right at all. That’s
why it’s called a “sacrifice of praise.” I’ve learned that if I don’t look for something to praise
God for, I become bitter and turn my focus inward.
6. In your book you say that if we stop praising Him, our hearts are hardened and we start praising
something else. Is this true for new believers as well as mature believers?
I think especially for new believers, but it definitely could happen with those of the walking
with the Lord for a long time. Romans 1 says that when we stop praising the Lord, we start
praising something else. The key here is that at any point in our lives, if we don’t have a
spirit of praise in us, we could easily turn away from God and look to our own merits, which
is a dangerous place to be. Over time, our hearts can become hardened and it often takes a
catastrophe or great loss to bring our hearts back to God who has desired our affection all
7. What does it look like when we praise him? You talk about praising him in the calm so we can
praise him in the storm.
This means having an abundantly grateful heart. It doesn’t mean that you need to start
shouting, “Praise You, Jesus” in the middle of the grocery store when you find exactly what
you need in a hurry, but in your heart and mind you praise Him for helping you when your
schedule is crazy. Or, observing creation – a flower, a cloud – seeing the beauty right away
and praising Him for His masterwork. It’s a mindset that we carry with us – not a statement
that we shout out only when something good happens. And when something doesn’t go the
way we want it to, I’m encouraging readers to choose to find something which they can praise
8. What is the primary takeaway that you want readers to gain from reading your book?
That no matter where you are on your spiritual journey – if you’re just beginning, if you’ve
been walking with Jesus for many years or if you’re somewhere in between – that Still,
I Will Praise will open your mind and heart to the value of choosing to praise God in all
circumstances for two reasons. One, He is worthy. And two, by doing so we are reminded
of His faithfulness which changes our focus, our mind, then our heart, and ultimately our
9. Your voice has been a vehicle for you to praise God even in the most difficult circumstances with
what some people label being disabled in a wheelchair. How were you able to begin praising
God with your voice and what would you to say to someone who doesn’t feel they have a voice
right now to praise?
In the first several years of my paralysis my emotional pain was so great that I did not want to
sing at all. I actually couldn’t sing, physically. My “joy tank” was not even partially full. How
was I going to live this way? That was the first time in my life I ever felt that I could not sing.
But in the months ahead, with the help of others, I began to see again God’s faithfulness in
the small things in my life and as I did, I began to give thanks more and more which slowly
changed my mindset. Then several friends in different circumstances invited me to sing and
instead of saying no, I pushed through and began to do so. It was baby steps, but nonetheless
progress. I would say to someone who doesn’t feel they have a voice right now to praise to
begin a daily regimen of finding one or two things for which they are grateful – even journal it.
This way, you can look back at many pages giving you a physical reminder that God is faithful
and THAT is worthy of our praise. In the back of my book, I have placed a study guide for
deeper reflection that gives ways to praise God. I know I often need new ideas to get me out
of my own routine.
10. Why do you feel like this book is timely in our culture today?
Well, first of all we have become quite a bit of a “me” culture and learning the discipline of
praising our Lord gets the focus off of “me.” Second, as a culture we are getting further and
further away from a knowledge of, let alone reliance on, God. Third, praise and worship
turns us away from the current culture of death and sets us back again into a culture of
life. And finally, my hope is that Still, I Will Praise will spotlight the fact that Scripture is
still very relevant in our lives today, encouraging the reader to trust Scripture, God’s Word.
Why? Because I see remarkable things and I hear of amazing things that are taking place
around the world today because people choose to praise instead of panicking or packing up
their “spiritual bags” altogether.
11. In your book you say that it’s interesting that most of the verses about praising God were voiced
by people who were facing enormous obstacles, great loss, injustice and a multitude of other
difficult situations. Why do you think that is?
Our human nature is such that we sometimes need to be taken to the deepest valley to be
grateful that a beautiful mountaintop exists. Meaning it is in our most difficult challenges
that we are most grateful to God for seeing us through it. I don’t know what every individual
hearing this or reading my book is going through, but I can guarantee that God does and he
is able to handle their honesty, frustration and disappointment. He wants us to come to Him
with all of it and I’ve seen honest communication with God turn into praise over time. The fact
that we can approach him with our honesty is amazing and praiseworthy itself.
WHEN NO ONE ELSE IS LOOKING, ARE YOU STILL PRAISING?
New Book Looks at The Power of Praising Even When You Feel Powerless
Fort Washington, PA—No one knows better what it’s like to struggle to praise God
when you don’t feel like it than author and singer Renee Bondi, author of the new book
Still I Will Praise: The Power of Praising God…Even When You Don’t Feel Like It (CLC
Publications, September 4, 2012).
At age 29, Renée’s future was incredibly bright. She was engaged and had a beautiful
singing voice, a thriving career as a music teacher, and a loving family. But then one
night a bizarre accident left her a quadriplegic. Renée lost not only all use of her arms
and legs, but also her singing voice—she could barely speak above a whisper.
Through this, Renée remained hopeful and held tight to her faith. Her unbroken spirit
and amazing physical progress baffled the medical field and even those close to her. She
miraculously began to sing again and went on to live more fully than she ever dreamed,
including marriage and giving birth to a son. Renée now encourages others to pursue a
personal relationship with Jesus Christ through her speaking and her new book.
Praising God hasn’t come easy for Bondi. She shares, “For most of us, praising God
in difficult times doesn’t come naturally. We praise God on the mountaintop, not in
the valley. After becoming paralyzed, I found when I chose to lift my eyes and heart
in praise to Christ, I experienced a much deeper peace and strength I didn’t have
before. Praising God changes my focus, which changes my mind and then my heart and
ultimately my attitude.”
Her book is filled with personal stories that emphasize how important worship
has become in her life and brings to life some well-known and more obscure Bible
characters who praised God in the good times and also in the tough times.
The book is divided into different scenarios a reader can engage praising God, including:
in times of frustration, change, in times of insurmountable tasks, times of loss, waiting,
loneliness, shattered dreams, worry, amazement, and others.
Says Bondi, “It’s easy to talk about praising God when we’re on top of the world, but
unfortunately much of life happens in the foothills. People who are ill, going through a
divorce, or are jobless can relate to this book. I understand struggle, and I hope others
will begin to take steps toward praising God even when they don’t feel like it because
Still I Will Praise: The Power of Praising God Even When You
it’s through a posture of praise that we begin to recognize the abundant life that we still
Don’t Feel Like It
have in Christ. ”
September 4, 2012: Hardcover, 8 x 5.25, 176 pages, $18.99
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-61958-01
Renée Bondi is a popular speaker and recording artist
who has shared the stage with Sandi Patty, Larry King and
Point of Grace. She has been featured in magazines such
as Today’s Christian Woman and Woman’s World and on
various radio and television shows, including “The 700
Club,” “Hour of Power,” and TBN. Renée has released six
inspirational CDs and is the president of Capo Recording and
the founder of Bondi Ministries. Among her many awards
and honors is Woman of the Year from the California State
Senate and recognition for Outstanding Service to the
Community from the U.S. House of Representatives. She
lives with her husband and son in Southern California.