Books are everywhere in my house. Nonfiction, commentary, spirituality, health and research are in the study. Biography and Bible study form 1/3 of currently reading or to-be-read shelves, writing related materials line my office, Biblical fiction, nature, historical and cozy mystery fill baskets by the reading chair, all the books in which I have a story have their own cabinet and in every room in the house and in the car – inspirational stories – mostly fiction. I read an average of 2-3 books a week and during December (and months when I do judging) a book or several novellas each day. Books have affected and continue to affect all areas of my life.
Grace Livingston Hill and O’Henry got me hooked on story, Liz Curtis Higgs and Florence Littauer on humor, and Chicken Soup books on brevity. My most frequently read genre is Inspirational Fiction - preferably with humor and a little romance because I enjoy the respite they offer.
Sequential stories are favorites - Jan Karon’s Mitford series, the Sisterchick series by Robin Gunn, Neda Jackson’s Yada Yada books, the Texas Crossroad Series by Amanda Cabot, numerous series by Janice Hanna Thompson including Brides with Style and multiple-author series like Grace Chapel Inn and Love Finds You. Weekly reads are Heartsong authors like Linda Glaz, Jenna Mindel, Coleen Reece, Lauraine Snelling, Melody Carlson, and Christine Johnson. Other fiction I enjoy are Dan Walsh’s Restoration Series and his fiction based on a true story like The Discovery, and The Reunion — keepers that I read again and again.
And they all have something in common – something I wish more professors, counselors, psychologists and therapists realized. It is that fiction can bring life change in a non-threatening way (tweet this) and action steps to make those changes are more clearly understood through story than textbooks. I particularly choose and read fiction centered around real-life situations and responses because I can then pass them on to someone with a particular need, and know this book will clarify what worked for someone else and bring hope to the reader.
It’s tough, I can imagine you saying, (ha ha) to “have to” read all those books because I am not comfortable recommending something unless I have read it. I love to read and it is more like I ‘get to’ choose 2-3 books a week to expand my knowledge, increase vocabulary and enjoy a unique prayer-starter for acquaintances struggling through similar situations.
Because I’ve experienced encouragement myself from inspirational fiction, and know many others who also have, I am learning how to round out all those what if stories into a book or novella. In the meantime, the value of story in communication remains vital to my writing – and my personal growth. I still enjoy imagining the story behind from otherwise boring classes. Each of those famous historical names, were after all, people, just like us with worries, challenges, dreams and goals, and crazy adventures. I’ve prayed for generations yet to come in our family and just recently learned of some characters from my own history that appear to have also believed in generational prayer. What if? What if before I was born someone was praying for me?
Could that be why my grandkids said when they were with Gramma they knew something amazing (or at least unusual) was going to happen? Thirty-one of those (true – nothing fictionalized) stories have been compiled in Be the Miracle! published by Elk Lake Publishing.
I’m happy to share a copy of that book with one of you readers. Not only will you read of some of my amazing adventures, but, I hope, be encouraged to recognize, activate and record some of your own stories. Come along and join others who are not just reading others’ miracle stories, but learning how to Be the Miracle to others.
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Delores Liesner’s motto, putting hands and feet to our faith, is revealed in the true stories in her book Be The Miracle (2015 Elk Lake Publishing). She longs for her articles, stories, devotionals and columns to lead others to recognize miracles in their lives. Delores writings will benefit children with life-threatening illness via Fullness of Life Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ Website/Blog: http:/deloresliesner.com
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by Delores Liesner
Whether we title these unexplainable happenings miracles, God-sightings, or some other name, people love to hear of such occurrences. Why? They increase our faith by providing evidence of the miraculous in our everyday lives and heighten awareness of God's desire to minister personally to us and through us. Unique connecting verses, defining thought, key words, and personal challenges will help the readers go beyond the "good for her" feeling and bring each story's teaching to life in their own daily walk. Many will find comfort knowing they are not alone in hearing God's voice or direction. Others also will deepen their walk with God, gain the courage to listen for God's voice, be a noticer of others' needs, and practice hearing and answering God's call to deliver a specific answer to a specific person. Sometimes walking in faith seems risky because it means obeying even if the directions don't seem to make sense. When Abraham brought Isaac in faith up the mountain for a sacrifice, he risked all believing that God's character would not fail him. God did keep His promise and provided a lamb, and Abraham passed the test of trust and faithfulness. What do we risk daily for the Lord? These life-vignettes encourage readers that risking embarrassment is a small price for the incredible joy of seeing God work over and over again. How can YOU put hands and feet to your faith and BE The Miracle for someone else?
Lots of amazing books given away last week! We've got winners....