I’m pleased and excited to welcome Jennifer Slattery on the blog today. Today Jennifer is going to share with the power of story.
About the Book:
A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.
Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.
Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.
When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?
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About Jennifer Slattery
Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com, is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, a ministry that exists to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. She and her team travel to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com
Stories that Stick by Jennifer Slattery
There’s power in a well-written story. There’s power in a poorly-written story that, somehow, grips us. Perhaps it’s simply that there is power in story.
We all have books we’ve read that have lingered in our hearts and minds for years, decades even. The first for me was the Velveteen Rabbit. When I read it (or perhaps it was read to me, I can’t recall), I didn’t understand the symbolism woven through the pages, or maybe on some subconscious level I did. But what struck me most—what I remember even now—was how the Velveteen Rabbit felt. I remember the sadness, the sense of … being forgotten or perhaps overlooked and discarded. And of finally, coming to be loved deeply.
I remember, it was through the scars and pain the rabbit became real.
Years later, shortly after coming off the streets of Tacoma, WA, and as I was just beginning to put feet to my faith, I picked up an intriguing book. Most likely, I stumbled upon it at the library, although looking back, and I can see that what initially appeared as a coincidence was in fact God’s gentle guiding hand. The book was called Redeeming Love, and through it’s pages, I experienced God’s unyielding, pursuing love. At a time when I felt completely unlovable.
The author’s words touched me so deeply, many times triggering an ugly, vision blurring cry, that I began to devour everything she wrote. This led me to my next unforgettable story, or more accurately, stories—the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Set in first century Jerusalem, when Christians were experiencing inconceivable persecution, God used these books, three in all, to awaken a hunger for purpose within me. I so longed to be like Hadassah, the young slave girl who clings to God as she faces unthinkable brutality and in so doing, reveals the power and beauty of the gospel.
This series made me question, does my life do the same? Am I, daily, giving all that I am to Christ?
In evaluating my answer, I was forced to admit, no. Too often, I allow my selfishness, pride, and fears hinder my obedience and shroud by witness.
Which leads me to my last book, which isn’t a story per say but instead an allegory of one’s growth in Christ—Hinds Feet in High Places. Word of this book circulated my homeschool circles and so, curious, I picked it up as a read aloud, thinking it was for my daughter. I soon discovered, God had other plans in mind—primarily, my growth. As I journeyed with Much Afraid to the high places, God used her experiences to reveal weaknesses within me while helping me to view all things through a grace-filled, eternal perspective.
Books have power. Life changing, perspective changing, culture changing power.
And some stories were meant to be cherished, long after they were read.
What about you? What stories or books have had the greatest impact on you, and why? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because great books were meant to be devoured and discussed.