3 Questions Wednesday with Jessie Mattis

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Jessie Mattis. Jessie is an award-winning writer from Indiana. We’re excited to have her as our guest.

Who is your favorite author?

Jessie:  There are many great authors to choose from, of course, but I would have to say my favorite author is Francine Rivers. Her writing always keeps me coming back for more, whether it’s to snag a new release or reread an old favorite. Rivers has a way of unfolding bits and pieces of the story in an unexpected way as she goes, keeping you on your toes to the very end.

You’ve been chosen to write a biography about your favorite historical person. Who would that be?

Jessie:  This may sound a bit too churchy, but if I were to choose a historical person to write a biography about, it would be the Apostle Paul. While there are many inspiring individuals in our rich history, I always come back to Paul when I need a dose of inspiration. Often Christians think once they follow Jesus, their lives will turn easy. Paul shows us quite the opposite, but also demonstrates how to have unwavering faith in God’s provision and goodness, even when life is hard.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Jessie:  If I had the option to spend the day with one of my characters, I would have to choose Miss Kate. Though in the book you only see her in the role of Kids’ Church teacher, she also runs her own bakery and has a sense of humor. I think we would get along well, spending the day making up new bakery creations, laughing, and discussing life together!

Good answers, Jessie. Thanks for giving our readers the opportunity to meet you. Readers, if you’d like a chance to win a copy of her book,  Power Up, leave her a comment below. Keep reading for information about the book. Don’t forget to leave a comment or ask Jessie a question!


Power Up

Eleven-year-old Lexi has learned all there is to know about God … or so she thinks until Miss Kate arrives and shakes up Kids’ Church with her new ideas. As if it’s not enough that Lexi has to get her history grade up or miss out on the class trip with her friends, her new relationship with the Holy Spirit is suddenly put to the test when a family crisis strikes. Can Lexi trust that God is good in the middle of all this pressure?

Available at Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Jessie Mattis is a Jesus-loving wife, homeschooling mom, and award-winning writer. She currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband and fellow author, Chip Mattis, and their three amazing kids.

Connect with Jessie at www.jessiemattis.com, on Instagram, or Twitter (@JessieMattis)

Click-to-tweet: Award-winning author, Jessie Mattis, is our guest today at 3 Questions Wednesday via @inspiredprompt #children #interview

Is God Real? Prove it! A Child’s Defense by Pam Antoun

Today we’d like to welcome author, Pam Antoun, to the Inspired Prompt blog and introduce her new book. After her daughter was confronted on the playground because she was Christian, Pam wrote a children’s book, Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense to help children defend their faith.

Glad you could join us, Pam! Do you have any interesting writing rituals?

Pam:  For the past four years, my car has been my portable office as I chauffeur my daughters to and from school, martial arts and music lessons. There were many productive writing sessions in school car lines and during my daughters’ after school activities.

What is your book about?

Pam: How do you know God is real? Is it a mere feeling or a hope? Or is there something more you can point to that proves you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a loving and majestic God?

In Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense, two middle grade children, Amanda and Josiah are confronted with this very challenge. Nine-year-old Gavin has a difficult past that fuels his cynical attitude toward God and church; he craves love, acceptance, and meaning, but he struggles with distrust. When he sees Amanda and Josiah excited about an upcoming church event, Gavin is shocked anyone can happily attend church or believe in God. As Amanda and Josiah answer Gavin, another quick witted schoolmate, Sophia, joins in questioning, and sees something different in Josiah and Amanda – a warmth and peace she desires for herself.

Both Gavin and Sophia believe they are fine living without God.  Can Amanda and Josiah stand their ground without shaking their faith in God? Even more, can they share their faith and help their friends embrace the good news?

What is your favorite part of the book?

Pam: The way children speak honestly and directly about what they believe, the obstacles many children face to establishing a relationship with God, and how children can help others overcome their obstacles. This book could be read individually and can also be used in discussion settings. It includes questions and answers for each chapter along with Bible references explaining the answer source.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will grasp?

Pam: 

  • God commands us to know the reason for our hope in Him and be prepared to explain it to others when asked. Over 70% of children are falling away from the Christian faith after entering high school and college. Children need to be equipped to defend their faith before entering high school.
  • God created us because He wants a loving relationship with us. The most important decision in life is whether we choose to establish a relationship with Him. The only way we can have a relationship with God is through Jesus Christ.
  • Certainty that God is real and increased confidence in speaking about why the reader is certain. God gives everyone clear evidence of His existence.

Where can readers find you online?

Pam: Here’s where you can connect with me on social media.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PamAntounAuthor

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/PamAntounAuthor

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pam-antoun-author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PamAntounAuthor

Website: pamantoun.com (coming soon)

Click to tweet: Pam Antoun’s book asks: How do you know God is real? Is it a mere feeling or a hope? Or is there something more you can point to that proves you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a loving and majestic God?  #amwriting #children


Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense

Gavin, with a difficult past, and Sophia’s quick witted curiosity challenge Amanda and Josiah’s faith in God. Can Amanda and Josiah stand their ground without shaking their faith?

“Is God Real? Prove It!”:

– answers tough questions about God

– defends the Christian faith

– helps establish a relationship with God

– encourages spiritual growth

– includes discussion and reflection questions.


Pam Antoun

Author/Editor/Teacher

Pam Antoun has over 20 years of experience teaching children in Sunday school and Bible camp environments. After her daughter was confronted on the playground because she was Christian, Pam wrote a children’s book, “Is God Real? Prove It! A Child’s Defense” to help children defend their faith. She strives to draw people closer to God and equip them to defend their faith. In addition to writing, she enjoys raising her daughters, swimming, trips to the beach, and painting.

Prior to starting a family, Pam worked extensively in software engineering, quality assurance, and process improvement.

Favorite Bible verse: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (New American Standard Bible)

Professional Affiliations: Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Word Weavers International, Toastmasters International

Education: Master of Science/Systems Engineering, Bachelor of Science/Computer Science

Families, Families, Everywhere

by Carlton Hughes

This month’s blog topic is “Families and Children.” Wow, that’s a narrow, laser-focused subject, isn’t it?

Sorry blog-powers-that-be: sarcasm is my love language.

Seriously, it’s a broad topic but one of my favorites. I am definitely a family man, in varied ways.

For full disclosure purposes, I was raised as an only child. One of my favorite cartoons is titled “Only Child Problems” and features a boy yelling to his father, “Dad! I just hit myself!” It pretty much sums up a good deal of my childhood. However, I was blessed with a large extended family. Cousins, aunts, uncles—I’m rich with them. My cousins became my brothers and sisters, only without all of the sibling squabbling and rivalry. Even so, I always wanted a brother.

Fast forward in life a bit, and God showed His sense of humor. This only child met and fell in love with a lady who is the oldest of seven, and all of those siblings are boys. Built-in brothers!

We had our first son in 1996 and soon decided we didn’t want him to grow up alone. We made that decision the morning of my wife’s doctor’s appointment, when we found out another one was on the way. See above about God’s sense of humor. Our second son arrived two years after the first one. Life has been an adventure with two boys, and my wife and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I could go on and on about my wonderful immediate family, but I have also learned that “family” and even “children” can take many different forms.

I have been a teacher for (gulp) thirty years (Yes, I started when I was a mere child), and I consider my students my “babies,” even though they are high school and college students. Some have even followed me home and become like my own. If the students are like my children, my co-workers are family. We have been there for each other through the good times and the bad times—we laugh together, we cry together, we tease each other.

I am also a children’s pastor, so that gives my wife and I even more kids. Some of my former church children are now in college, but they know “Mrs. Kathy” and “Brother Carlton” will always have their backs.. My church family is also very special to me, truly my brothers and sisters in Christ.

There you have it—my take on families and children. What’s your story?

Click to tweet:  I am definitely a family man, in varied ways.

WRITING PROMPT: Think of someone at work or at church (or simply a friend) who is as close to you as family. How did you meet this person? Tell a story that sums up your relationship.

Memorable Families

By Gail Johnson

Good morning, fellow-writers and readers! This month’s theme is family and children.

And why not? For years, we have enjoyed stories about families. Some of my favorites are Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, The Waltons, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and The Fighting Sullivans.

Do you have a family in your story? If not, you should think about adding one. Relatives make such interesting additions to a tale. Parents and siblings can be comical, irritating, sacrificial, or even murderous. As supporting characters, they usually stand in the shadows, far from the limelight until a remark or reaction catches our eye. At that moment, we are captivated and they are forever etched in our minds. Memorable.

Rex_Whistler_-_Pride_and_Prejudice_2

Rex Whistler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For instance, ask anyone about Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and they can tell you something about each character although the story is about Elizabeth and Darcy. Who doesn’t remember the sisters–Jane, Mary, Lydia, and Kitty? Or poor Mr. Collins? And how could anyone forget Mrs. Bennet?

 

Thomson-PP03_(recadrage)

By Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) (Lilly Library, Indiana University) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

 

Love her or hate her, you can’t ignore Mrs. Bennet! Every time I read the book or watch the movie, she reminds me of a clucking hen gathering her uncooperative, strong-willed chicks. She doesn’t care about “the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.” She’s content with being a mother. She has one objective: getting her daughters married and saving them from poverty. Period. Is she a rude woman? Certainly. Nosey? Definitely. Loving? Unquestionably, in her own way. Is she perfect? Hardly. And that’s the beauty of it. All her faults are what makes her memorable.

Jane Austen’s family isn’t perfect. Her characters make good and bad choices. They laugh, cry, and argue.  But eventually, they come together to help each other and in the end, all is well just like a family should be. Nothing like a happy ending!

Now it’s your turn. Think about one of your favorite families. What stands out in your mind? Were they good all the time? Were they bad all the time? I would suggest they were a mixture of the two. Think about how you can take those memorable traits and add them to your story? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Click to tweet: Do you have a family in your story?

Writing Prompt: Take one supporting character from your favorite family and build a story around them.

 

 

 

Teaching Life Lessons to Your Children and Grandchildren

By Jennifer Hallmark

May, at the Writing Prompts blog, is all about families and children. We have a wide variety of posts to share since this topic is so full of possibilities. Today, my thoughts are on teaching your children life lessons. My children are grown, but I have six grandchildren who can profit from the wisdom and experience I’ve gleaned over the years.

I love object lessons. When my daughter and son were young, I enjoyed explaining different truths by using simple items that I had around the house. They were able to better understand what the Bible says and I believe it stuck with them. Jesus gave us the pattern through His use of parables. Here’s one of my favorite ones below that you and your family might try.

Jigsaw Puzzle Activity

An ordinary jigsaw puzzle provides a meaningful family activity to help your child or grandchild learn about the body of Christ. Begin with a simple puzzle, twenty-four to two hundred pieces, depending upon their age. Encourage each child to examine the pieces as they remove them from the box.

Consider these questions:

(1)        How are the pieces alike?

(2)        How are they different?

(3)        Can one piece be effective by itself?

Discuss how each piece consists of different colors and designs. Though similar, each piece has its own individual characteristics.

Take a moment to read I Corinthians 12:12-27. As you cradle a puzzle piece in your hand, explain how God gifted every person with talents and abilities, unique to them.

As your family builds the puzzle, mention the fact that each piece only fits in a certain place, the same way God has a given place and plan for each life.

Each piece connected together completes the puzzle in the same way each individual in the body of Christ works together to learn and grow, leading people to a relationship with Jesus. Take a moment to elaborate on the ways each person in the congregation contributes to reaching your community for Christ.

Now it’s your turn. What can you use in your house to illustrate truth? Share some examples below in the comments…

Click to tweet: Teaching life lessons to your children and grandchildren.

Writing Prompt: Take a broom or a mop and think of a simple analogy to explain a life lesson to a child. Share it with our readers. 🙂