"This book is filled with women who are heroes in the lives of others. Mothers experience undeniable miracles that bring them to the pinnacle of hope and happiness. Even in the struggles of motherhood, our lives are touched by miracles and grace."
—Colleen Swindoll-Thompson, author, speaker and director of special needs ministries for Insight for Living
"Miracles & Moments of Grace is an absolute treasure of wisdom. The beautiful voices that speak from the pages of this book remind us that there is meaning, purpose and joy in motherhood. This is a lovely book I would recommend to new moms, seasoned moms, moms-to-be, or anyone who wants to feel the majesty and grace of family life."
—April Perry, co-founder of The Power of Moms website, and co-author of Deliberate Motherhood
"Miracles & Moments of Grace pulls you in from the very first page, as Nancy shares moving stories from real-life moms who were able to see God's hand in their lives through the sweet, memorable moments and the tender, heartbreaking moments. For anyone who has embarked on the journey of the high calling of motherhood, this book will touch your heart."
—Tracie Miles, writer and speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of Stressed-Less Living
"Nancy Kennedy has done a beautiful job collecting stories of hope, love, hardship, joy, worry... or as we could simply say, motherhood."
—Mary Jenkins, The Power of Moms
This book looks beyond immediate medical needs to the spiritual care given by top doctors. It is a fresh revelation of the personal lives of doctors who have faith; a glimpse into their private world and the amazing God they choose to trust.
—David Levy, MD, neurosurgeon and author of Gray Matter: A neurosurgeon discovers the power of prayer...one patient at a time.
I believe that every doctor has at least one gripping story to tell. In this book, Nancy Kennedy chronicles dozens of these stories. Get ready to smile, to weep, and to praise God.
—Robert Orr, MD, CM, senior fellow with The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity and author of Medical Ethics and the Faith Factor
These stories of doctors’ tender encounters with anxious and fearful patients shed light on the immense privilege of the doctor-patient relationship. After sharing in the experiences of these inspiring and faith-filled physicians, your doctor’s exam room will never seem a cold place again.
—Walt Larimore, MD, medical director for Mission Medical Clinic and best-selling author of Bryson City Tales and Hazel Creek
From Iqbal, the boy who lived through the southeast Asian tsunami aboard a Navy hospital ship, to the barracks in Lebanon where 241 Marines were killed in a 1983 suicide bombing to the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Kennedy relates 50 stories, recounted with humor and tenderness. -- Publishers Weekly
These candid accounts of remarkable luck and bloody catastrophe from dozens of noncombatant military men and women are moving and painful to read. Their stories have the brevity and terse eloquence of real and lived experience. -- Library Journal
This remarkable collection of first-person stories clearly shows the extent of God's love for us. God has protected, healed, provided strength, and shown his love through miracles. This book is a must read for anyone looking for the real source of strength and truth in life! -- Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr., USAF, Retired; Professor of Surgery, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Surgeon General of the Air Force (1999-2002)
Chaplains serve as a reminder of the holy, a bridge to the magnificent Holy Presence that defeats the horrors of war. These amazing stories reveal the drama of human tragedy magnified in military service and the ever-present, redeeming God in the midst of it all. -- Chaplain Maj. Gen. Lorraine K. Potter, USAF, Retired; Chief of the Air Force Chaplain Service (2001-2004)
I encourage those who care about soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to read this profoundly stirring book. Ms. Kennedy has done a masterful job of weaving together these fascinating stories. I am reminded that God is present in unexpected ways in so many places. -- Chaplain Col. Edward T. Brogan, USAF, Retired; Director of the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel
Miracles and Moments of Grace on SPIRIT 105.3 (Seattle)
(6.8MB) Nancy B. Kennedy talks about stories from military chaplains
How We Did It featured on KNEO(St. Louis, MO)
(9.1MB) Interview on Authors Corner with Andy Farmer
How We Did ItClick through to the How We Did It blog
September 28, 2010
The chaplains I interviewed for Miracles and Moments of Grace
were all over the map -- geographically speaking, of course. But also in every personal characteristic and life experience you could imagine. Many were pastors before, during or after their military service. Many had served in the military, but I also talked with chaplains who had been police officers, outdoor adventure guides, even a semi-professional skateboarder!
What does it take to be a chaplain? The list of qualifications is long. Because of this, many chaplains tend to be older than the servicemen and women they minister among. Here is a list of qualifications for the military chaplaincy that I found on the website for the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces website:
1. Ecclesiastical endorsement (certifies experience and degree requirements meet the standards of the respective ecclesiastical group)
2. Two years religious leadership consistent with clergy in applicant’s tradition (strongly recommended)
3. United States citizenship
4. Bachelor’s degree (120 semester hours or 180 quarter hours)
5. A graduate degree to include a minimum of 72 semester hours (or equivalent) from a qualifying (accredited) institution. Not less than 36 hours must be in theological/ministry and related studies, consistent with the respective religious tradition of the applicant.
Endorsers are free to exceed the DoD standard per ecclesiastical requirements, but cannot go below the minimal DoD requirements, e.g. many endorsers specifically require the Master of Divinity degree
Active Duty Chaplains
* Army: Commissioned prior to age 40 (Age waiver availability may vary from year to year)
* Air Force and Navy: Commissioned and on active duty by age 42 (Some consideration may be made for prior service)
* Pass a military commissioning physical
* Pass a security background investigation
* Ability to work in the DoD directed religious accommodation environment.
In addition to these qualifications, many of my chaplains took further training in order to understand and be able to minister alongside their comrades. For instance, one chaplain trained in airborne, so he could go along on missions.
Chaplains make a huge commitment of time in order to fulfill their calling. They don't just wander away from the pulpit and into the field. They're highly qualified and, beyond that, extremely empathetic and devoted. I loved the year I spent talking with chaplains about their ministry.
September 23, 2010
It was sad news this week to read of the crash of a helicopter in Afghanistan that killed nine U.S. troops.
In my forthcoming book, Miracles and Moments of Grace
, I interview a chaplain who counseled the crew of a Chinook helicopter flying in tandem with a second helicopter that was shot down in Iraq. The crew helped extricate their buddies from the wreckage and treat the survivors until help arrived.
Later that night, one medic in particular needed to talk about what he'd seen and experienced that day. Everything about the incident haunted him -- the sights, the sounds, the smells. The chaplain credits this medic with saving the lives of perhaps a dozen servicemen. Yet he was traumatized by the task and he was in need himself.
This chaplain gave the medic room to mourn and prayed with him using the ancient and comforting Jewish prayer: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace
That's what our military chaplains do. They stand by, they listen, they offer a comforting arm, they weep with those who weep. It's not what you read about in the news, but the military chaplain brings grace and peace to the tragic incidents we do read about. You can be sure a chaplain was on the ground to minister to those in need after the crash of the helicopter this week.
September 8, 2010
For the past year, I've immersed myself in stories told by military chaplains. My goal was to collect 50 stories for my upcoming book Miracles and Moments of Grace.
The stories my chaplains told were heartbreaking, touching and inspiring, and some even funny. Each time I interviewed a chaplain, I thought, "This is my favorite story!"
The minute I hung up the phone or arrived back at home, I couldn't wait to start writing.
Well, my deadline finally came and I had to stop writing. But still, I continue to come across incredible stories of courage, bravery, steadfastness and godliness on the part of our military's chaplains. Just this morning, I stumbled on this page of stories on the Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches website
. Especially riveting is Chaplain David Sivret's account of the bombing of the dining facility in Mosul, Iraq, on December 21, 2004, an attack that I heard of from another chaplain who was there that day.
September 3, 2010
This morning, I read the very sad news of the Army chaplain who was killed in Afghanistan. You can read it here
Chaplain Dale Goetz was the first Army chaplain killed in action since 1970, during the Vietnam War. The Air Force has not suffered a chaplain's death since then, and the Navy may not have either.
While writing my upcoming book, Miracles and Moments of Grace
, I spoke with military chaplains from all branches of the service. Several of them told me that military personnel often view them as something of a rabbit's foot, that if they have "the Chap" with them, all will be well. Even more than that, there's an unspoken belief that chaplains themselves are exempt from harm, because they have "an in" with God.
But it doesn't always work that way. One of my chaplains tells a story of riding in a convoy in which two soldiers were killed. He grieves their loss, and is grateful his life was spared. But he told me emphatically that he doesn't believe God protects him any more than anyone else, that his life is no more precious to God than anyone else's.
The last year that I have spent speaking with military chaplains has been the most exciting and the most rewarding year of my career. I have loved telling the stories of these chaplains who are charged with the spiritual well-being of our nation's military. Though I did not know Captain Goetz, I have come to know many of his fellow chaplains. I am sorry for the Goetz family's loss.
Fifty inspiring first-person stories told by moms (Leafwood, 2013)
Fifty inspiring first-person stories told by doctors (Leafwood, 2012)
Weight loss success stories paired with health and fitness information and helpful tips (Leafwood, 2011)
Fifty stories of military life from military chaplains (Leafwood, 2011)
Stories and Essays
Inspirational stories and medical advice for back pain (May 2012)
101 inspirational stories from suffering people (October, 2011)
101 weight loss success stories
Don't fret about the news -- pray about it! (Regal, October 2011)
"Bread Dough and Boots" (a story of my grandfather) (Thomas Nelson, 2007)
Science activities and stories of faith for children in 2nd through 5th grade.
Science activities and stories of faith for pre-school through 1st grade children
Magazine and Newspaper Articles
Thoughts on a Memorial Day ceremony (The Times of Trenton, NJ, May 30, 2011)
(Connection Magazine, Spring 2010
U.S. 1 (November 18, 2009)
Our family's layoff experience (Today's Christian Woman, July/August 2009)
The Times of Trenton, Memorial Day 2009
How We Did It
A blog of weight loss success stories