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Welcome, friends! 

Good things come in threes

The Miracles and Moments of Grace series keeps growing! The trio makes a great Christmas gift. Three books--150 stories! It all adds up to hours of great reading. Who's on your list? Read More 
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Welcome, friends!

Welcome! If you're arriving here today after reading Tracie Miles's post on Summer Survival and Mommy Guilt, I'm glad you've stopped by. I hope you win a copy of my book, Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms in her giveaway!

In the book, you'll hear from fifty women who have taken on the most challenging role of their lives--motherhood! You'll hear about the sweet, tender moments only a mom can experience. You'll also walk side-by-side with brave women who have had to endure the most heartbreaking moments of their lives.

Whatever path you're walking, these fifty stories will speak to your heart. You'll see yourself in these pages and realize you're not alone. You'll weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. I wrote this book for all of us who have begun the great adventure that is motherhood!  Read More 
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Great reviews pouring in for my moms!

As Mother's Day approaches, we're getting some great reviews of Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms. I'm so glad readers are enjoying these fifty stories from my wonderful moms!

Check out the reviews here:

Midwest Book Review (Small Press Bookwatch, Christian Studies shelf)

Mary Jenkins, The Power of Moms website

Glenn Dromgoole, the San Antonio (Texas) Standard-Times

Tammy G. of Tammy's Book Parlor  Read More 
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Writers guidelines for survival book

I had a request from a writer looking for guidelines for my latest book in the Miracles & Moments of Grace series, Inspiring Stories of Survival. She was looking on my website and -- lo and behold! -- they weren't there. Big omission on my part!

So here they are, the guidelines. I hope you have a story to submit!

Miracles & Moments of Grace Writers Guidelines

Miracles & Moments of Grace is an anthology series published by Leafwood Publishers (Abilene, Texas). Nancy B. Kennedy is the series editor. Thus far, the series comprises three titles: Inspiring Stories from Military Chaplains (2011), Inspiring Stories from Doctors (2012) and Inspiring Stories from Moms (2013).

The fourth book in the series is subtitled Inspiring Stories of Survival and will release in 2014. The book will contain fifty brief stories.

Survival can mean many things: medical crises, a difficult childbirth, military experiences, marriages that survive tragedy, accident or crime victims, adventure stories (e.g., hikers lost in a storm), personal triumph, etc. We are also looking for softer stories or humor pieces.

The stories are similar to Chicken Soup for the Soul stories in that they evoke powerful emotions in readers. Their writers guidelines are here. They are true stories told in the first person and run about 800-1,000 words. Many storytellers speak of miracles, and expressions of faith are welcome, although not required.

To read some sample stories, "Click to Look Inside" on the Amazon pages of books in the series:

Although writers are welcome to contribute, no one has to be a writer to participate. Nancy writes many of the stories herself. The stories have varied origins: excerpts from books, expanded blog posts, reprints, original work, ghostwritten pieces, or just about any iteration of collaboration you can name. Leafwood Publishers cannot offer compensation but will send you a copy of the book when it is released and offers a discount to contributors who wish to buy additional copies. Also, the brief bio that follows each story is a great place to bring attention to other writing credits, books, blogs, careers, volunteer work and ministries. Nancy also talks up her contributors on her social media sites.

The deadline for stories has not been set, as the exact publication date is not yet known. Stories will be accepted for at least the next five or six months. Of course, the sooner the better! To submit a story or an idea for the book, please contact Nancy B. Kennedy at Thank you for considering the Miracles & Moments of Grace series.  Read More 
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It's here!

Just when I was thinking it would be a week before my new book Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms would release, here it is!

In this book, you'll read stories from fifty moms -- from new moms to seasoned moms -- who share their most memorable moments of motherhood. From the hilarious to the heartbreaking, these stories reveal the depth of a mother's love and her delight at wearing the title of ''Mom.'' I even took the opportunity to tell a story about my own son. (Not sure he's excited about that!)

You can find the book at any online bookstore: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million, and more. Your local Barnes & Noble will have it or can order it for you. Same goes for your local Christian bookstore.

To meet some of the moms in the book, check out the book trailer here. I want my wonderful moms to have the widest possible audience, so spread the word!  Read More 
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New Miracles and Moments of Grace

Call for submissions!
The good news is.... Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms went off to the printer this week!

And the good news is... I'm starting the next title in the series! Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories of Survival. Here are the details.

The stories must be first-person and can address survival in any number of ways: medical, adventure, personal triumph... even pets! Humor pieces are welcome (e.g., I Survived the Worst Family Reunion Ever). Other ideas include love or marriage surviving deep tragedy or challenging circumstances. And, of course, we love to hear about miracles!

Miracles and Moments of Grace stories are similar to Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. They generally address one moment in time or focus on a single theme. They include details, dialog, sights, sounds, thoughts -- any element that will bring a story to life. For examples, you can "Click to Look Inside" on the Amazon pages of previous books in the series, which are Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Military Chaplains and Miracles & Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Doctors.

Stories are 800-1,200 words in length. Authors receive a copy of the book, along with the chance to publicize other writing credits, blogs and businesses in the biographies that follow each story. You don't even have to be a writer to participate! I am happy to interview you and tell your story. The deadline is flexible: I will accept stories until I have fifty fantastic stories.

For more information or to submit your story, contact me via the e-mail link at the bottom of the right-hand column of this page. Hope to see you in print!  Read More 
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Miracles & Moments of Grace... continued

The Miracles & Moments of Grace series will be expanding soon to include my latest title, Inspiring Stories from Moms.

As with my two other books in the series, the book is a collection of 50 inspiring first-person stories. Moms told me of their most poignant moments as mothers. I love each and every one of their stories, including -- I must say! -- my own, as I include a story about my son's lifelong love of the game of baseball.

To meet the moms in this book, you can sign onto Facebook and find them chatting here." "Like" the page and keep up with them until the book releases in March 2013. They're such a great group of women! I am privileged to share their stories with you.  Read More 
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Prodigal sons and daughters

Rembrandt's "Prodigal Son"
Several wonderful organizations support military chaplains, sending packages and greetings to them when deployed. One such organization is Adopt A Chaplain. Co-founder Ben Ferguson, a pastor and retired Navy man, blogs on facebook at the group's page.

My eye was caught recently by a post for parents, "Train then Trust." It draws on Ben Ferguson's military training to provide a word of encouragement for parents concerned about their children's futures. I'll repost his thoughts here, in hopes they'll encourage you, too.

Train then Trust

I was sitting in the lobby of the Religious Ministry Center at Camp Pendleton when one of the side doors opened and someone shouted “ATTENTION ON DECK!” Without thinking I jumped to my feet and came to “civilian attention” as an admiral walked briskly through the door. As she walked by she chuckled and said “Even civilians come to attention.”

It’s been fifty plus years since I wore my Navy blues so why did I react as I did? My military training took over and what had been buried deep in my mind was triggered by the command. Chief Hardwick (Company 298 commander), your efforts to make Sailors of a bunch of raw recruits wasn’t a total waste; this “knuckle head” remembered some of what you drilled into his head!

Lingering in the back of every parent’s mind is a concern their children who are such little angels will someday rebel against everything near and dear to mom and dad. Nothing can match a parent’s anguish and heartache when a child becomes a prodigal and goes their own way to their own “far country,” to find themselves far from the constraints of home and hearth. When a child goes off the rails parents start beating themselves up wondering what they did wrong and trying to figure out how they can fix it.

Try as we might we can’t “fix them” at this stage of life—the die is cast. Some questions we parents need to ask ourselves: “What did we teach them when they were little children?” “Did what we said match what they saw us doing?” “Did we tell them do as I say not as I do?” “Did our children grow up or did we raise them?”

The answers to these questions form the basis for hope or despair. Solomon gives parents instruction with a promise when he said, Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Prov. 22:6) I’m sure there were moments Chief Hardwick despaired that we would ever get it but he drilled things into our head daily. Even though fifty plus years have passed the command went deep into my sub consciousness and brought me to attention.

Jesus tells the story of a son who took his inheritance early and went to a foreign country and wasted it living in a manner he hadn’t learned from his parents. In time the money is gone, he’s homeless and hungry “When he finally came to his senses, (Luke 15:17) he returns home to a loving father.

Does it make sense for parents to cling to the promise made by Solomon? It’s hard when a rebellious child is ripping your emotional heart out. A young man grew up in a home where he was taught Biblical principles for life but rebelled and was so far gone his return seemed a long shot at best. His mom continued to love and pray for his return for twenty plus years. Today he’s a trophy of the promise God made through Solomon.

Our job as parents is to train a child then trust God to keep his promise. Read More 
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Chaplain Corps anniversary

On Friday, the U.S. Chaplain Corps celebrated its 237th anniversary. Congratulations, chaplains!

The U.S. military has had chaplains almost from its inception. The official start of the military chaplaincy is widely considered to be July 29, 1775. On this day, Congress recognized chaplains in the national army with a standing equal to that of captain and a monthly pay of $20.

Perhaps it was the actions of early chaplains that persuaded Congress to recognize their service in this way. Three months earlier, one Revolutionary War chaplain had impressed General George Washington with his selfless and tireless devotion to the troops. David Avery, a pastor from Vermont, served as captain of a group of his parishioners, bringing them down to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in April 1775 after the Battle of Lexington and Concord. There, they were assigned to a regiment and Rev. Avery became a full-time chaplain. Two months later, he saw combat at the Battle of Bunker Hill. For his service, Chaplain Avery was lauded as:

"Intrepid and fearless in battle, Unwearied in his attentions to the sick and wounded—not only nursing them with care, but as faithful to their souls as if they were of his own parish—with a love for his country so strong that it became a passion—cheerful under privations, and ready for any hardship—never losing in the turmoil of camp that warmth and glowing piety which characterizes the devoted minister of God."

Chaplains have continued serving our country, in peacetime and in war, their courage and selflessness noted and recognized time and again. Thank you again for your service, chaplains!  Read More 
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Recognition for a hard-working chaplain

Chaplain Lamar Hunt (Photo by photographer Alan Youngblood)
One of the chaplains in Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Military Chaplains was recently honored by the Military Chaplains Association.

Chaplain Lamar Hunt, a retired Army chaplain, received an award for his years of volunteer service in retirement.

His story in my book, "The Whispered Service," is one that many readers comment on. In the story, he tells of leading a silent worship service in a Vietnam jungle surrounded by the enemy. It is a moving story in which Chaplain Hunt reveals that this service is the most memorable service he has ever conducted, whether in a small chapel or in a grand cathedral.

Chaplain Hunt has also been mentioned in a recent book by Gen. George S. Patton Jr.'s grandson, “Growing Up Patton” by Benjamin Patton, published this year. Patton is the son of George S. Patton IV and grandson of Gen. George S. Patton Jr. Patton said one of his father’s favorite chaplains was Hunt because they both spent so much time in combat in Vietnam.

I just want to say congratulations, Chaplain Hunt, for your well deserved recognition on many fronts. It has been an honor working with you. Read More 
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