Thursday, March 22, 2012

Four Tips To Improve Your Listening Skills




Karen Jordan
Author, Speaker

Four Tips To Improve Your Listening Skills
By Karen Jordan

“Are you listening to me?” Has someone ever asked you that question? Or maybe that thought pierced your heart and mind, as you felt the sting of someone else ignoring or rejecting you?

Consider these four ways to improve your listening skills.

Resolve to be quick to listen. Many times, people who come to us for help, just need for us to listen. James 1:19 offers this advice, "Understand this … You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry" (NLT).
Decide to be available. Jesus gives us an example of a wise counselor who made Himself available to listen. “The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught” (Matt. 6:30).
Desire a discerning heart. Not only does Jesus listen, He discerned the needs of others. When His disciples came to Him after their ministry tour, Jesus observes their need for solitude and rest: “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile” (ibid.).
Choose to be quiet. Jesus also taught His disciples the importance of being quiet. In Matthew 11:15, Jesus asks his disciples, "Are you listening to me? Really listening? (MSG)

At times our failure to listen before responding can provoke a negative, emotional response from our loved ones or friends, who may need our help. In fact, Proverbs 18:13 warns us, "Answering before listening is both stupid and rude" (MSG).

What can we offer others with our response, after we listen to their needs?
Grace, not criticism or judgment. Romans 2:4 reminds us, "Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" (NLT)
Companionship. We must encourage others to be dependent upon Jesus, not co-dependent upon us. Jesus promised His followers, "I'll be with you … day after day after day, right up to the end of this age" (Matt. 28:20 MSG).

So, the next time someone comes to you for help, I hope you ask yourself this question first: “Are you listening … Really listening?” (Matt. 11:15)

Karen Jordan is best known for telling the stories that matter most. She has multiple writing credits and trains other writers as well. Contact her for speaking events, writing assignments, and interviews at kj@karenjordan.net or visit www.karenjordan.net.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients

3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
10 small red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges
Directions

Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March new releases

ACFW New Releases – March 2012

Posted on March 1, 2012 by ACFW
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Love’s Sacred Song by Mesu Andrews — Young King Solomon marries a Shulamite shepherdess to quell the unrest of Israel’s northern tribes, but will this marriage become a love that sings for the ages? (Historical from Revell).

Dawn Comes Early (The Brides of Last Chance Ranch Series) by Margaret Brownley — It’s 1895 and 29-year-old dime novelist Kate Tenney finds herself without a publisher or other means of support when her novel is banned. When she agrees to try her hand at ranching, trouble begins. The West is nothing like she wrote about in her books. (Historical Romance from Thomas Nelson).

A Perfect Square by Vannetta Chapman — Amish-English sleuthing duo Deborah Yoder and Callie Harper set out to solve a murder. But more than an innocent man’s future is at stake. In book two of the Shipshewana Amish Mystery series, God’s grace touches the long-lost past as well as lives shaken by current tragedy. (Cozy Mystery from Zondervan).

Saving Hope by Margaret Daley — A 16-year-old girl is kidnapped from Beacon of Hope School. With the help of Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan, Kate Winslow is determined to find her student, but someone doesn’t want her to succeed. (Contemporary Romance from Abingdon Press).

I Am Ocilla by Diane M. Graham — I know only my name. Beyond that is confusion, a void where fantasy and reality swirl together. A dark soul threatens the Five Kingdoms, but I am powerless to stand against him, overwhelmed by phantom memories, broken and lost. Somehow I must live.(Speculative Fiction/Fantasy from Splashdown Books).

Highland Hearts by Eva Maria Hamilton — In Scotland 1748, the Battle of Culloden is over, but one Highlander’s fight has just begun. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired).

Journey’s Edge by Dora Hiers — When your daughter is kidnapped, can you trust her safety to the one man you swore to never trust again? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing).

Promised to Another by Laura V. Hilton — She’s promised to one, but in love with another. He has secrets that could destroy the relationship before it begins. (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House).

And You Call Yourself a Christian by E.N. Joy — What’s a single Christian woman to do when she finds herself being charged for the death of three people? Her own sons? (Women’s Fiction from Urban Christian).

Gypsy’s Game byDelia Latham — She wants a temporary husband. He wants a forever love. Can these two hearts find a common path? (Romance from White Rose Publishing).

Hearts that Survive: A Novel of the Titanic by Yvonne Lehmann — Lydia Beaumont and her new friend Caroline Chadwick plan Lydia’s wedding aboard the “grandest ship ever built.” Yet their lives take a tragic turn when the “unsinkable” Titanic goes down. This epic tale of faith and perseverance follows their lives and the lives of their descendants as they struggle with all that was lost on that fateful night and what the future holds for those brave enough to face it. (Historical from AbingdonPress).

Ellie’s Haven by Sharlene Maclaren — Young woman on the run from her brutal stepfather jumps a train and heads several hundred miles north, winding up in Wabash, Indiana, where she meets and marries a widower with four children in hopes of finding refuge in her new identity. (Historical Romance from Whitaker House).

When Rain Falls by Tyora Moody — Widow Candace Johnson’s best friend is brutally murdered. Ensnared by a deep-rooted bitterness, seeping her faith day by day, Candace is determined to seek justice. Detective Darnell Jackson is in need of clues fast. As the investigation heats up, his growing attraction for Candace plays havoc on Darnell’s judgment. (Romantic Suspense from Urban Christian).

Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato — A privateer captain from the War of 1812 is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and what he knows to be right. Only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all…love. (Historical Romance from Bethany House).

Shades of Truth by Sandra Orchard — Book 2 in the series Undercover Cops: Fighting for Justice puts their lives, and hearts, on the line. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Seattle Cinderella by Gail Sattler — The story of a modern day Cinderella, followed by her two reformed step-sisters, and Farrah her godmother. (Romance Novella from Barbour Publishing).

Sarai by Jill Eileen Smith — He promised her his heart. She promised him a son. But how long must they wait?(Biblical Fiction from Revell).

Like Sweet Potato Pie (Southern Fried Sushi) by Jennifer Rogers Spinola — Former big city journalist Shiloh Jacobs is stuck in rural Virginia – and about to discover if Mr. Wrong could actually be Mr. Right. (Contemporary Fiction from Barbour Publishing).

Rodeo Hero by Shannon Taylor Vannatter — Kendra Maddox is a new Christian trying to live her new beliefs. Stetson Wright is a youth director/rodeo clown who believes true love waits. Can they overcome her promiscuous past and claim a future together? (Contemporary Romance from Heartsong Presents).