". . .the word of God is not bound." II Tim. 2:9b

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

An Interview with Dalene Parker About Her New Book, Words To Live By

It's a great day to welcome back author Dalene Vickery Parker, who's here to share with us about her new devotional book, Words To Live By: 52 Words that Lead to an Extraordinary Life. Dalene is a high school teacher in the South Carolina public school system. I hope you enjoy our interview!

Dalene has agreed to give away a copy of her book, so make sure to enter the giveaway by clicking on the Rafflecopter box below. You'll have two chances to win. Contest ends Saturday at midnight EST.

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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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Amy Ballard: I see that you've gotten your doctorate. Congratulations! Tell us a little bit about your degree.

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
DP: I know from personal experience that it makes a huge difference in my school day if I have prioritized having a quiet time, making sure I’m attentive to what God is trying to teach me
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.

22 comments:

  1. I went to high school with Dalene at Spartan High, and I know what a true genuine person she is. I look forward to reading her book

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    1. Lynda, you might need to click on the Rafflecopter box to leave another comment if you want to enter the contest. Hope you will!

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    2. Thank you, Lynda. That warms my heart.

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  2. Hi, everybody, thanks for joining us! Make sure that you click on the Rafflecopter box above to enter the contest!

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  3. As a former teacher and principal in the Tennessee public schools, I know how important the words that we speak and the words that children hear are so important in the learning process. This book sounds like a wonderful tool for teachers to use in showing God's love through their actions in the classroom. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. Glad to hear your thoughts about the importance of words.

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  4. I've started reading the book, and it would be great for teachers and non-teachers as a devotional aid. Thanks for joining us, Sandra!

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  5. Sounds like several people have had some technical difficulties with the Rafflecopter box. If you're having trouble leaving a comment, consider trying from a different browser. Even if you've already left a comment you can still do it again through the Rafflecopter box--we want you to enter to win! If you continue having trouble, you can email me here: amy @ amyballard.com. Blessings to all our readers!

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  6. I was a student of mrs. Parker this women right here always would help me understand anything I had questions about, this is one time that a former student can say that a teacher changed their life and proud of her I know she worked hard to get this book published. She is an amazing woman an she pushed me to try an achieve my best in her class well in any class for that matter. Told that anything is possible it you just really put your mind to it. I love that woman to death an would love to have a copy of her book I think it would be interesting to read.

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    1. So glad you could join us, Victoria! Good luck in the contest!

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    2. Thank you, Victoria. I am proud of you! A former student did end up winning the book after all!

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  7. so grateful to have had Dr Parker as a creative writing teacher :) congrats!

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    1. I still have your poster in my room, Courtney: "Creative writing frees you in a way you didn't even know you were trapped." Thank you for entering the contest! A former student from my Lockhart days won the book, but I am honored you cared enough to try!

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  8. We've had a whopping 1100 views! I hope you've all been able to use the Rafflecopter box to enter the giveaway. If you're still having trouble leaving a comment to enter, please email me at amy @ amyballard.com and I will make sure to manually put your name and email address into Rafflecopter. Thanks to all of you who have shared the post with friends!

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  9. Mrs.Parker was the greatest teacher I ever had. She always encouraged my writing skill and got me to get my work out there to the public. Without her, I would still be writing away in my notebook secretly.

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    1. It's a challenge for any writer to share her work--we're all shy when we're learning our craft. Thanks for joining us, Danielle!

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    2. I remember your talent, Danielle. Outstanding. So glad you are sharing your writing! I'm pretty sure there's a story about you in my first book! Names may have been changed...

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  10. Dr. Parker! I love the sound of that.tI spent many classes reading, writing and acting under her direction at LHS. Brandie

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