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Welcome back, Dalene! I can't say enough good about your first book, Christian Teachers in Public Schools, so it's exciting to have you share with us about Words to Live By. I got my copy in the mail on Tuesday, and I've ordered more copies to share with friends. It's going to be a great devotional and resource for me, I can tell already.
Let's get started!
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Dalene Parker: In 2013, I earned a doctorate of education (Ed.D.) from Bob Jones University. This challenge claimed every weekend, every holiday, and every summer for five years. The level of excellence expected and the consecration of every intellectual pursuit to God’s glory made this degree meaningful far beyond its prestige or monetary value. Far from making me feel any smarter, the pursuit of this degree made me realize how much more there is to learn! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the family, friends, administrators, and professors who supported me through this effort.
AB: What an accomplishment! How did you meet and decide to work with Linda Gilden? Is there a story behind your collaboration?
DP: Linda and I attend the same church and were neighbors for many years. We attended our first writing conference together back in 1991. From there, she pursued a path of full-time writing, speaking, and editing while I taught high school English full time and wrote only in spurts. However, our writing paths began to merge again a couple of years ago as we collaborated on the book proposal for Words to Live By. Twenty-five years after our first writers conference, we have a book together! I can honestly say that although I may have originated the idea for our book, it would never have materialized without Linda’s insight and persistence. I could not ask for a better co-author.
AB: Your book focuses on words. Why are words so powerful in a Christian's life?
DP: First of all, God’s Word in a Christian’s life provides wisdom, guidance, strength, and comfort for every situation and every relationship. Likewise, the words we speak, read, and hear impact our actions, feelings, and relationships. Words are powerful. It is our responsibility as Christians to use them with care.
AB: That's something we all need help with! How will this book be a blessing to teachers specifically?
DP: Many of the stories in Words to Live By come from experiences in the classroom, insights gained from interactions with students and colleagues. Many other stories deal with issues universal to all ages, stages, and professions. Teachers will be blessed by the focus of one word per week and its impact on their personal and professional lives.
AB: I love that idea. Sometimes it's hard to carve out time for daily devotions, during the school year, but it's so important. How can your book make it easier?
|Christian Teachers in Public Schools|
before I try to teach others. Words to Live By provides a short, but meaningful way to put our antennae up for scripture and life lessons to apply throughout each week – at school and at home. Whereas we might forget the focus of a daily devotion, the emphasis on the same word throughout the week should help us retain our focus!
AB: I agree! What is one of your favorite words you focus on in the book? Why?
DP: I have a new favorite word each week! Seriously, the word celebrate keeps rising to the top of the list because each day is cause for celebration in some way. I want to celebrate each breath, each moment, each opportunity, each relationship, and even each challenge God provides because He makes each of those things worthwhile and meaningful.
AB: What a great word. I noticed your book includes an appendix listing all the scriptures used throughout. Why is that significant?
DP: Again, the focus comes back to God’s Word and its power. As we wrote about the 52 weekly words we selected, we made a special effort to include scripture from every book in the Bible. This feature gives our book the sense of being completely undergirded by His Word from Genesis to Revelation.
AB: I love that! I am reading and enjoying my copy of the book, and I know it's going to be something I use throughout the year to enrich my quiet time. Dalene, thank you so much for blessing us today! I wish you and Linda success and joy as you introduce others to your book. And have a wonderful school year!
DP: Thank you for having me.
Find Dalene at her Web site, www.worddoctor13.com.