Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just a Minute - Book Review and Giveaway

**This giveaway is now finished.

I know I've already talked about this book  here and here, but now that I've finished it, I thought I would write a full review.

Before I write about the book, I also wanted to share my own just a minute story. Appropriately, this one happens to be related to Compassion. Only a year or two after becoming a sponsor, I became an advocate (back then it was called a volunteer). I was very excited and motivated to speak up on behalf of the children at first, but as the years passed, I became a very passive, lame advocate. Whenever I thought about Compassion, I had this guilty feeling that I needed to "do" something.

"I need to talk to my pastor and set up Compassion Sunday."
"I need to see if I can share Compassion with a Bible study group."
"I really should call some other churches and see if I can speak about Compassion."

Advocacy for Compassion was something I did, or at least thought I should do.

In 2006 my family moved from Vermont to Minnesota. I was given a new regional manager and was assigned a new area coordinator (this role no longer exists). In my introductory phone call with my new area coordinator, I was surprised and delighted to find out that Jane wanted to meet me. We set up a time and she came to my house. It was during this brief visit that God used Jane to start a paradigm shift in me. What I saw in Jane was not someone who did Compassion ~ she was Compassion.

God used that meeting to show me that He didn't call me to the ministry of Compassion so I could do something. He wanted more for me. Over the past 6 years, the ministry of Compassion has become part of who I am. I no longer think about Compassion fleetingly and think, "Oh yeah....I need to do something because I'm supposedly an advocate." Instead, the ministry of Compassion is part of my daily life, and being involved through sponsorship and advocacy is fulfilling a part of who God created me to be.

Jane took the time (more than an actual minute) to come to my home and meet me. In doing so, God used her in a mighty way.

Although I no longer live in Minnesota and Jane is no longer my area coordinator, we still have a special relationship. She is my coach, friend and sister in Christ, and we talk regularly and I always marvel at how God has used her in my life.

Now on to the book.....

In his new book, Just a Minute, Wess Stafford talks about the importance of each moment we interact with a child. After hearing countless stories of life changing moments, Wess is convinced that lives can be built up or torn down in just a minute. In addition to sharing his own life changing story of just a minute, he has compiled and 68 stories to illustrate how our words and actions affect the impressionable lives of little ones.

The book is divided into sections ~ each capturing a different kind of moment:

  • A moment to form character
  • A moment to discover talent
  • A moment to awaken the spirit
  • A moment to stretch the mind
  • A moment to realize one's calling
This image comes from the inside of the dust jacket and is comprised of hundreds (thousands?) of small photos of children. 

Like his first book, Too Small to Ignore, this book focuses on children. If we view every encounter with a child as a divine appointment, we can then choose to use that time to make a lasting, positive impact. 

As a mother, teacher, sponsor and adovcate, I find this book so encouraging. The message is so important and is one I need to remember each and every day. My attitude, my actions and my words are making a difference in the lives of the little ones I encounter each day. It's up to me to make sure the impact is a positive one.

In addition to the book, the Just a Minute website has valuable resources like study guides. These include guides for individual, Sunday school, homeschool, sermons and small groups. There are also several video clips of Wess Stafford talking more about the message of the book.

I love this book so much that I want YOU to have your very own copy. Compassion has generously given me a free copy to give to one of my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment. I will announce a winner on Saturday, February 11th at noon EST.

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