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Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Slattery’

Sweet Freedom (Give God Glory)Hello all! I’m really excited (and belated) to announce my story “Freedom to Forgive” has been included in the 4th of July compilation “Sweet Freedom,” and it’s available on Kindle now! Inside the pages of “Sweet Freedom” you’ll find short stories, poems, articles, and devotions of real people being set free by a real Savior. My sweet friend Jennifer Slattery (www.jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com) has worked hard the last few months to put this compilation together, and I’m blessed to have my story alongside such ladies as Gail Palotta, Jodie Bailey, Beth Farley, Melissa Finnegan, Kelly Liberto, Joanne Underwood, and Tanya Eavenson.

Here’s a sneak peek of my story, “Freedom to Forgive”:

“Ugh, I’m so sick of you!” I said, gritting my teeth and shooting to my feet.

My sister Tori* stared at me in shock, while everyone else at the MaryKay party shifted uncomfortably in their chairs and avoided looking at me.

Too angry to care, I stomped to the front door and slammed it behind me. Hot, fury-filled tears slid down my face as I leaned against the car outside, waiting for my mom to come with the keys so we could leave.

I looked at my feet as the reality of what I’d just done hit me full force. Had I really just lost my temper at a MaryKay party? Embarrassed myself in front of all those people? Worse, I’d embarrassed my sister, too. This was her party. Her house. Her friends. And I’d just yelled at her in front of all of them.”

To continue reading this story and to read others like it, for today and today only you can download “Sweet Freedom” for free on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Freedom-Give-Glory-ebook/dp/B00DPN8WAY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1373238132&sr=1-1&keywords=Sweet+Freedom+%28Give+God+Glory%29.

In the months leading up to this release, the different authors and I have had the chance to talk about what we wanted to see happen with this book. And what kept coming up was not how much money we’d make on it or how or if it would advance our writing careers, but simply this: that others would experience the same freedom we have. That maybe, through sharing our stories, someone else could be freed from the chains that once held us.

That’s my hope for you today. That you would know the Savior’s love. That you would experience His freedom, which is a kind of freedom that can never be revoked. Whether you read the book or not. In fact, that’s the only reason I do what I do. The only reason I live at all.

So whether it’s a story, an article, or a blog post, I hope when you come to The Fear List you don’t see me at all. Instead, I hope you go away feeling encouraged, uplifted, and inspired. I hope you know how much He loves you and how able He is to forgive us our sins and give us life to the full. That’s why I feel so blessed to be a part of this project-so I can share what He’s done in my life, and be around so you can tell me what He’s done in yours!

This July, I hope you experience the kind of freedom only He can give.

P.S. If you don’t have a Kindle and would still like to receive a copy, no worries! We also have it available in a PDF format. Stay tuned for more details!

*Some names have been changed to protect privacy.

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Hello everyone! First off, I just want to offer my sincere apologies for being away so long, and let you know that I miss you all terribly! It’s killing me to not be as able to blog as often, and I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things soon!

School has heated up for me in work load, and I’m finding myself in the process of beginning to write a book, which I’m very excited about! But that also makes me one very busy lady.

I’ll be posting as often as I can in the next few months, however! Prayers would be greatly appreciated if you happen to think of me. 🙂

The lovely Jennifer Slattery recently had me on her blog to talk about my fear of praying out loud and of reaching out to someone in her Reach Out to Live Out Campaign, so I thought I’d share that with you all here! I originally posted this story on October 21, 2010, but in case you missed it, you can read it at Jennifer’s blog here: http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/2012/06/04/when-god-says-stay/#comments.

Thank you, and I’ll hope to talk to you again soon!

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Recently, God has really been working on my heart with my fear of reaching out to others. It can be a scary thing to reach out to someone. It can stretch us out of our comfort zone and leave us wondering if we really can make a difference. But as my friend Jennifer found out, it can also be very rewarding.

Today I’m welcoming back Jennifer Slattery to share about a time when she was afraid, and how God worked through that experience. In this post, she’ll also be sharing more about her “Reach Out to Live Out” campaign-a project I am extremely excited about, and one I hope you’ll join with me in supporting.

Read on to find out more, and let’s welcome Jennifer!

Die to Self is Figurative-Right, Lord?

by Jennifer Slattery

I sat sandwiched between my husband and chattering daughter, forcing a smile while my insides catapulted. We were headed to El Salvador, traveling by plane, and I was ready to hurl. Passengers sauntered on, smiling as if they had no idea how many planes crashed in the past ten years. Okay, so neither did I, but I’d seen a news clip or two. Besides, percentages aside, it only took once to kill you.

They say flying gets easier the more you do it. Not true. The way I figure it, the more you fly, the higher the probability you’ll crash. It’s a statistics thing. And yes, all these thoughts raced through my head the entire flight. They reached a crescendo when darkness fell, a storm hit, and jagged lightning zipped through the night sky. At one point, the plane actually dropped. Trying to assure me, my husband said that was only because we were going through the mountains. I didn’t find his explanation helpful. Before we reached baggage claim, I told my husband I never wanted to fly again.

Sitting on the plane a week later, after spending time with sweet orphan girls, I started to think about how I might return. How could so much change in such a short time? God allowed twenty-eight giggling girls to grab hold of my heart.

It’s funny how things changed once I turned my eyes off myself and started to let God love others through me. My fears diminished and my excitement grew.

Serving has a way of doing that—of forcing one out of self-imposed misery and inviting one to be part of something bigger than one’s sel. More than that, it allows one to rise above the here and now to catch a glimpse of eternity. I’ve seen this happen again and again. When people begin to join God’s love-circle, sadness turns to joy, hopelessness turns to purpose, and isolation gives way to community. There’s no greater adventure this side of heaven, and in my opinion, there’s no better way to fully experience the love of Christ.

Jesus said He came that we may have life, and have it to the full, only first we have to surrender. But oh, what a glorious gift we get in return!

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it” Luke 9:24 (NIV).

For me, my moment of fear, once placed in God’s hands, resulted in a beautiful blessing that drastically changed the way I view the world. It enabled me to experienced God’s love on a deeper level and stirred within a passion for orphans.

What about you? I’d love to hear about a time when God pushed you to reach out, even though it was hard. Who knows, your story may encourage others to do the same! I’ve launched a “Reach Out to Live Out” campaign to encourage others to join the great adventure. My prayer is when people read about some of the big or small ways other believers are reaching out, they’ll be encouraged to do the same. Want to join me? Send your “Reach Out” story, photo, or video to jenniferaslattery(at)gmail(dot)com, and I’ll post it on my blog. You might even win something! Visit http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/reach-out-donors/  to find out more.   

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Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her husband and daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the ACFW Journal, Internet Café Devotions, and Jewels of Encouragement. You can connect with her online at her devotional blog at

http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

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Today I am thrilled to welcome Jennifer Slattery as today’s guest writer. Jennifer and I first met at last year’s Writing for the Soul Conference, and since then I’ve come to know her as one of the kindest, most caring, and compassionate people I’ve ever met. She is an excellent writer, and her blog is one of my favorites to read. Jennifer has also started something called the “Reach Out to Live Out Campaign”- a campaign that focuses on sharing true stories to make acts of love contagious. To share your story and be entered to win a free gift basket, you can find more information here: http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/reach-out-donors/.

But now, please join me in welcoming Jennifer!

From Fear to Faith

by Jennifer Slattery

If I were to ask a group of believers for their favorite Bible stories, I suspect a few would rise to the top: David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den … Abraham and Isaac. We love to hear stories of courageous men and women following God with unhindered obedience. If only we had their courage and unwavering faith!

And yet, I can’t help but wonder what happened in the “back story.” Were these heroes of old always courageous, or was their courage learned through experience?

We like to think these Bible heroes are somehow more than human, but the truth is, they likely struggled with the same emotions as you and I: fear, sadness, anger, discontentment. What made them great was not their super-human spirituality, but instead, a superior God who continued to mold, guide, strengthen and transform their hearts.

I love the story of Abraham because it demonstrates a steady progression from fear to faith. I’m tempted to start and end on Mount Moriah, where God tested Abraham’s faith and Abraham came forth as gold, but if I skip over his times of struggle, I miss out on crucial growth steps.

In Genesis chapter 12, God promised to bless Abraham (called Abram). God repeats the blessing once Abraham arrives in Canaan, but with more details.

Abraham’s offspring will inherit the land. Only there’s a problem–Abraham and Sarah don’t have any children. This means, God’s going to have to grant them children in order to make good on His promise.

And yet, a few verses later, once Abraham gets to Egypt, he fears for his life. Faith would say, “God said He would bless me. God promised I would have offspring. Dead men don’t have children, therefore, God will protect Sarah and I in this foreign land.”

Abraham didn’t say that. Fear took hold instead, and motivated him to take matters into his own hands. Perhaps he thought God needed a little help. And so, Abraham came up with a plan.

Before entering Egypt, Abraham told Sarah, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 

12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13

Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” (Genesis 12:11-12)

And what happens when we allow fear to control our actions and take matters into our own hands? We make a mess! Which is exactly what happened here. Because of Abraham’s sin and lack of faith, countless Egyptians suffered.

17But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. (Genesis 12:17)

Abraham takes Sarah, and a large amount of riches from Egypt, and moves on. God is gracious, and in Genesis 15, He repeats the blessing. This time He’s even more specific, telling Abraham his child will be his own flesh and blood.

6Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.(Genesis 15:1-6)

So now, God has spoken to Abraham on three separate occasions, promising to bless him, protect him, and give him a son. And Abraham believes God … at least, during the miraculous moment when God speaks. But notice what happens in the very next chapter:

1Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. (Genesis 16:1-2)

God promised Abraham a son. Abraham’s married to Sarah. Sarah’s not having children, so Abraham decides he needs to help God out … again. He takes Hagar, Sarah’s handmaden, and sleeps with her. The result? Another mess. Tension fills the home, to the point that Abraham sends his own son and Hagar away.

 By the time we join Abraham on Mount Moriah, he and God have quite a history, don’t they? Time and time again, God’s promised to bless Abraham, yet when difficulties arise, fear takes hold and Abraham takes matters into his own hands. Each time, his actions create chaos and pain. I’m thinking by the time God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, he’s finally learned that God’s ways are indeed better.

So basically, Abraham’s faith grew through experience, by watching God show up again and again, by hearing God’s promises again and again. With each failure, Abraham learned God’s grace wasn’t dependent on Him.

The same is true for us. I believe our faith starts once we get to the end of ourselves, when we realize that we are incapable of going it alone. When we’re tired of creating messes.

It is hard to have unshakable faith straight out of the gate, but as we continue to walk with God, He shows us day after day and year after year that He is good, and strong, and wise. Then, when new difficulties arise, we can remember God’s faithfulness and derive courage from our past experiences.

Are you struggling with fear today? God wants to replace your fear with unshakable faith. Spend a moment in His presence, and remember times He’s proven Himself faithful in the past.

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Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her husband of 16 years and their 14-year-old daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, Internet Café Devotions, Jewels of Encouragement, the Christian Pulse, and maintains a devotional blog at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com

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