Barbara J. Tolbert said she had never thought about giving sermons until she heard the voice.
It was June 2005 and the Columbus woman was driving her Nissan Sentra.
"The voice was clear. God told me, 'I want you to preach my word.' I decided I had better do it," she said.
Tolbert said that since then, she has been delivering an occasional sermon at Total Man Ministries in Columbus where she is one of the ministers.
Tolbert has taken several of those sermons and placed them in a book entitled, "For Such a Time As This: Sermons of Joy and Renewal," that is published by iUniverse and available on Amazon.com.
"I believe this is also something that God wanted me to do," she said.
Tolbert, 57, a Columbus native, teaches special needs children at East Columbus Magnet Academy in the Muscogee County School District.
She said she recently received a master's online in theology from Liberty University in Virginia.
Tolbert served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a technical sergeant in 1997 while at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. She served at several posts, including spending some time in England and Panama. Tolbert returned to Columbus in 1999 after working in Atlanta.
Tolbert said she hopes the sermons in the book will help people get through tough times.
"I went through some tough times but I always felt that God was by my side helping me," she said.
Her faith has always been strong.
"My mother used to take me to church every Sunday in dresses she made for me," Tolbert said.
At 16, she was teaching small children at the church.
Tolbert said people have to live their faith all the time.
"You just don't call on Jesus when things are going wrong but also when things are going well," she said.
Though the book deals with some complex issues, she believes the sermons, which make liberal use of Bible verses, breaks them down.
In the book, it is written that there is nothing wrong with being comfortable with your car or financial status, but when you become complacent about your prayer life and are satisfied with your spiritual progress, you need to move out of your comfort zone.
"We should never reach a point in our lives as children of God in which we are totally satisfied with our walk and our witness to a lost and dying world," Tolbert wrote.
To Tolbert, the key to immeasurable joy is living close in contact with God the source of all joy.
"When we do, we will experience God's special care and protection and see the victory God brings even when defeat seems certain."
She said God desires to forgive and heal those will humbly pray and repent.
In the book she wrote, "When we want to test something, how do we do it? We put pressure on it to see if it will do what it says it will do; we look to see if something will hold up under stress. God does the same thing with us. God is not impressed with what we say we will do. He is impressed by what we will do under pressure."
Tolbert says the 116-page paperback book is easy to read.
"I think it has a good message and can help people," she said.