Gail's Book Nook

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Looking Out the Window: Jennifer Slattery Talks about Our Youth, a Mission Trip with Her Daughter, and Invites You to Share in Her "Reach Out to Live Out" Program


Jennifer Slattery and her daughter, Ashley
Do you ever catch yourself saying something, then clamp your mouth shut with the realization you’ve become your mother? Or maybe you’ve glanced behind you to see your child rolling their eyes…just like you…at something that normally gets you annoyed. It’s rather sobering how pervasive a parent’s reach is. I find it quite humbling. And challenging. Each day as I watch our daughter grow I’m reminded of the power of my unspoken words.

Lately my daughter’s talked a lot about her future dream–or perhaps future mission would be more accurate. It’s quite a unique vision, and one that brings tears to my eyes. When she grows up she wants to get her veterinary license and treat the pets of the homeless. She plans to open a private practice to fund her mission. (Now obviously, she’s thirteen, so her plans may change.) This dream unites her two loves–animals and others, in a Christ-centered way.
But here’s the funny thing…I’ve never told her she needs to serve the homeless. I’ve never talked with her about her future ministry, except in terms of living life in full surrender. However, she’s served with us at homeless shelters. She’s helped distribute bagged lunches to those standing on street corners. She’s stood beside me as I’ve talked with them, shaking their soiled hands and taking the time to look them in the eye…. And clearly, those moments have left a lasting impact.
This “on the job training” applies to every area of life. In our home, we all serve together. Not only because it’s great family time, but because we want our daughter to develop a servant’s heart. We want her to understand church isn’t a place to rest your behind, but instead, where you extend the love of Christ. We are here not to be served, but instead to serve. Only lectures, no matter how logical or eloquent, won’t produce the results we want. Our children learn best by doing. By living life in community and continual surrender and by watching their parents do the same.
You see, compassion is caught as much as it is taught, and our children watch us very closely. When we turn up our noses at the less fortunate and pop off justifications for walking by, they learn to do the same. When we speak words of judgment, they develop an attitude of cynicism.
Their hearts are pliable, easily swayed by every experience.
Jump forward twenty years. How might our world be if we modeled lives of compassion, raising children with compassion who created positive change in their world?

                                                                                           
Our family took a mission trip to El Salvador last year. Although missions are important, that wasn’t why we brought our daughter. Our primary goal was to train “others” thinking. During our visit, our daughter experienced what life was like for the impoverished. She spent time among girls her age who live in an orphanage without a mom or dad to tuck them in each night.
The experience changed her. And it is our prayer, our hope, and in many ways our confidence, that her experience will in turn lead her to initiate change.
What can you do today to show your children the world beyond them? You see, our first tendency is to look upon ourselves. As parents, we long to shower our children with blessings and shelter them from every difficulty. But surrounded by abundance, what kind of adults will our children grow up to be? They already know how to look out for themselves. It’s our responsibility to help them turn that focus outward.
I’d love to hear from you. How has serving helped you train your child to be a fully devoted follower of Christ? How has it helped you draw closer to God? How has reaching out to someone else changed your perspective or blessed you in some way? Share your “Reach Out to Live Out” stories with us so we can spur one another toward good deeds. To participate in my “Reach Out to Live Out” campaign, send a photo, video, or story of you reaching out to someone else and tell us what you gained from the experience. To find out more shoot me an email at jenniferaslattery(at)gmail(dot)com, and make sure to visit my devotional blog at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/
BIO
Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her husband of sixteen years and their fourteen year old daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, Internet Café Devotions, Jewels of Encouragement, and the Christian Pulse and maintains a devotional blog at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Looking In the Window: Sharing a Favorite Bible Verse and a Recipe

NOURISH THE BODY--NOURISH THE SOUL
A FAVORITE FOR THE BODY


Mother’s Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients: Elbow macaroni noodles, cheese, milk, eggs, salt and pepper to taste, margarine or butter (optional)
Greased casserole dish. (I use olive oil)
The amount of noodles determines the number of servings. To serve four, prepare enough noodles for four.
Drain noodles. Fill a one-cup measuring cup with the cooked noodles and pour them one at a time into the greased casserole dish.
Measure exactly as many cups of grated cheese as there are noodles. (For example four cups of noodles and four cups of cheese) Cheeses can be all one kind or mixed—2 cups of cheddar, 1 cup of Monteray jack, 1 cup of Colby. Use what you like. If there are extra noodles, save them for another dish. The amount of cheese must equal the amount of noodles.
Beat an egg. Stir into noodles and cheese. (Egg Beaters can be used)
Pour milk into the casserole dish until it’s almost even with the mixture of cheese, noodles and eggs.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Completely cover the top of the macaroni and cheese with more grated cheese. Dot with margarine or butter if desired.
Bake on 350 degrees about forty-five minutes or until the entire casserole is firm.
A FAVORITE FOR THE SOUL 
Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all thing God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
ABOUT MY E-BOOK

Cammie O’Shea suffers a traumatic split-up with her fiancĂ©. At the same time a new job in Destin, Florida, calls her away from family and friends. Alone, her spirit broken, she hardly has the heart to meet her boss, Bill Collins, editor of The Sun Dial, let alone deal with the dynamic Vic Delona, a real estate developer. Yet her job and the success of the paper hinge on her writing a successful article about Vic and his new development. While she wants no new relationships he thwarts her efforts to complete the assignment, arranges extra meetings and attempts to court her. She resists his advances. But mysterious break-ins occur at Cammie and her friend’s condos. When Cammie and Vic launch their own investigation into the vandalism, Cammie grows close to him. In the midst of the confusion she gets an opportunity to return home to her old job. Will Vic solve the crimes and win Cammie’s heart or will she leave Destin?

Love Turns the Tide is available in the Inspirational Category at http://www.awe-struck.net/


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Looking Out the Window: Lillian Duncan, Author of Deception, Wishes You Love and Laughter on Valentine's Day

                                             
                                                        
Lillian will give away an e-book of Deception, her latest book of faith, murder and mayhem. To enter to win leave your email address with a comment.
And They Lived Happily Ever After.....
1st Corinthians 13: 4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Ahh...it’s February and love is in the air! Everyone loves a good romance that ends with and they lived happily ever after. That’s where most books end. But in real life that’s just where the fun begins.
After the whirlwind engagement, the beautiful wedding, and the romantic honeymoon, it’s time to settle down and live your life together with the man or woman of your dreams. And real life can be hard on a marriage but it doesn’t have to be.
The above verses are certainly some of the most well-known verses in the Bible and are used at countless weddings every year, but I wonder how many of us actually live it on a daily basis. I have no doubt if all of us followed the above suggestions, the divorce rate in this country would take a drastic nosedive.
Just like the good china, it’s so much easier to save our good behavior for company. I say use the good china now as well as treating your spouse and the others in your household with the kind of love described above.
I pray for love and laughter in your household for the coming year.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

ABOUT DECEPTION: As identical twins, they played the game of DECEPTION. Now, it’s not a game. It’s a matter of life and death.
Twins are supposed to have an unbreakable bond, but Patti and Jamie have serious “relationship issues.” When a niece she knows nothing about calls, Patti must unravel the yarn of Jamie’s life and her disappearance. Patti is determined to find her sister. Each step brings her closer to the truth, but pulls her further into a web of danger and deception.
BIO:
Lillian writes stories of faith mingled with murder and mayhem. To learn more about her writing and her books, visit her at http://www.lillianduncan.net/
or http://www.lillianduncan.wordpress.com/.
DECEPTION (published by HarbourLight Books) is her latest release.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Looking In the Window: The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

This week I received the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award from Linda Nance

 
Thank you, Linda!

The reward asks for seven random facts about me. Here they are:
1. I'm a Christian
2. Swimming three times a week keeps my heart ticking
3. Bargain shopping with my daughter is fun
4. Cooking. Not again?!
5. Chocolate Eclairs. Yeah. I'd cook those!
6. The beach? When can I go?
7. Any type car will do as long as it gets me there
I'm passing the award to Anne Patrick

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Looking Out the Window: Staci Stallings Holds Two-Day Give Away of Her New Book

                                                                          
Staci Stallings is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace and Faith Author Connection.

Staci has a special surprise for you today, Feb. 1st, and tomorrow, Feb. 2nd
FREE ON KINDLE TWO DAYS ONLY!
Coming Undone 


ABOUT COMING UNDONE
"If you've ever searched for love, been afraid to love, or lost someone you love, you will love Coming Undone."
The story of two people trying to live life by the world's rules who find that loving someone only happens when you learn to love without asking what you're going to get in return. Available as a free download from Amazon today and tomorrow only!
http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Undone-ebook/dp/B005GGP3HI/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


An Encouraging Story From Staci
Over Puddles, Underappreciated
by Staci Stallings
In the process of doing ticket sales for our elementary school, one of the fun things I get to do is stand in the drive line in the mornings and help the kids get out of cars. Now at our school, we have the “safety patrol.” These are our fifth grade students, who stand out in the drive line in their orange safety vests and help get the kids out of the cars and to the school door.
I happen to be working with three very wonderful kids–two boys and a girl. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have come to enjoy working together and teasing one another. This morning something happened that I think you should hear about.
See, I hear a whole lot of noise in our world about the upcoming generation being “lost” or “unfocused” or “lazy.” I hear a lot about how people don’t know what this world is coming to, and they are fearful for what comes next when “this bunch” gets to be in charge. Well, I’ll be frank with you. I’m not worried. The kids I work with are polite and helpful. They will go out of their way to assist you. They are bright and enthusiastic and kind.
Great example: The two boys I work with on the drive line. Don’t get me wrong, the girl is great too. But I expected that because I know her and know that she is great. The boys surprised me.
There is one suburban that pulls up every morning and the three of them race to unload it. Here’s the thing, though, in this van is a set of twins. The twins are about three years old, and they cry every single day! They are both in car seats with backpacks and lunch boxes. It is a job to get them out. Half the time we end up with one or two safety patrol in the van unbuckling and helping the kids out. In many cases even once they are out, they are crying–not angry, just sad.
And these boys and this girl–the “lost” generation–race to this van to get to help these kids into school. Often they end up carrying one or both of them, the backpacks and the lunchboxes, going, “It’s okay. It’s going to be fun. You’ll see.”
This has always amazed me.
Then this morning they topped even that. A small sport utility vehicle pulled up and because of where the parent stopped, the child had to navigate a rather large puddle by the curb. The boys immediately recognized that this would be a problem. The first one opened the door. The child, about 4, was having trouble getting out of the car seat, so our hero boy gets in and helps her. As he went to get out, the other boy came over to help. First boy hands out the small pink backpack and the lunchbox and mat to second boy. Then the first boy said, “We have to be careful. There’s water here.”
He gets out, straddles the water, and lifts the little girl from the back over the water, safely to the curb. The grateful mom said, “You boys are so sweet to her” even as the second boy was helping her get her backpack on and handing her the lunchbox and saying, “Tell Mom bye.”
“Lost”? I don’t think so.
If I’m ever in need of a hero, these are the guys I want on my team!
Copyright Staci Stallings, 2010