Carol's blog

04 Nov

New Book Release: Miracle on Hope Hill

Published by Carol

Do you believe that God still works miracles? 

Miracle on Hope Hill is a book of true stories I wrote in partnership with my sister, Jennie Afman Dimkoff about amazing ways that God has worked in the lives of ordinary people.  Life is full of "God Moments," yet amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life we often overlook such moments, perhaps calling them a stroke of good fortune, or taking credit for the unexpected blessing as simply "our due."   Miracle on Hope Hill reveals that when we take the time to learn from these events, we discover how ever-present God is in each of our lives.

Over the past few years I've collected stories about large and small miracles that have happened in the lives of people I’ve met as I travel and speak.  I marvel at the way God reaches down and gives us “His kiss” in the middle of challenging circumstances.  I’ve also realized that some of us don’t get what we would call “the miracle we are praying for" in this lifetime—but because Jesus lives, there will be a day when all tears are wiped away.

Miracle on Hope Hill (Howard Books) is filled with stories of romance, heartache, tragedy and celebration--each pointing to the hope God displays through His love, intervention, and blessings.  Martin DeHaan, of RBC Ministries, and the international publisher of Our Daily Bread said, "When family, friends or congregations can share together the kind of true stories that Carol and Jennie tell in Miracle on Hope Hill, they have found a way of saying together that, even in our darkest moments, there is hope."

This book is written in a devotional style with a key quotation and a significant scripture attached to each story.  If you are looking for a Christmas gift that will provide lasting spiritual value in written form, check out this book.  It is available at all on-line e-tailers or in the shop on my website.

Question:  What is the biggest miracle you have experienced in your life?

25 Aug

Jason Kent Featured in New “Grace Place” DVD Series

Published by Carol

Some of the questions I hear most often are: “Has Jason Kent written a book?”  When is your son going to share his heart in written form? Are there videos where he speaks up about what happened?  How can I learn more about what went on in his mind before he was arrested?

I am happy to tell you that through his letters, Jason has participated in the writing of every chapter in Between a Rock and a Grace Place.  The publisher sent a production team to Florida to videotape our son behind the razor wire, and cameo appearances from him are featured in each of the six sessions of the small group study.  You will find him honest, transparent, humble, and encouraging.

Our family is living what some would call a challenging life—but most of us encounter hard places at some point in life—relationship struggles, children born with disabilities, financial crises, or life altering health problems.  But despite our seemingly impossible situations, we can live lives full of grace.

With hope, joy, and a sense of humor, I’ll help you find God’s “grace places” in the middle of your most difficult moments.

The series includes these sessions:

1.      Grace in the Hardest of Places—Surprised by Faith
2.      Angels in Disguise—Surprised by Mercy
3.      Longing for a Better Life—Surprised by Contentment
4.      The Secret Power of Gratitude—Surprised by Thanksgiving
5.      Why Do You Weep?—Surprised by Joy
6.      Dwelling in the Grace Place—Surprised by Freedom

This study will help you decide where you stand when you are caught between a rock and a hard place.  Will you place yourself in a posture of humility and complete dependence on God, or will you just “try harder” and stumble over what could be a transforming encounter with grace?

If you are looking for an uplifting and encouraging small group study, click on the “Shop” link at the top of the page and go to DVD Teaching Series, and you’ll find an opportunity to order the Participant’s Guide and the six-session video-based study for the book, Between a Rock and a Grace Place.

Question:  What is the most challenging situation you are facing right now?

21 Feb

“Isaac” Study Guide Just Released

Published by Carol

Yesterday I opened my e-mail and read cries for help from twelve different people who never expected to have a family crisis that involved the incarceration of a loved one, a child addicted to drugs, a spouse who betrayed them, or the diagnosis of a debilitating disease.  All of the notes had one common denominator.  How can I survive what’s happened and cling to unshakable faith in the middle of unthinkable circumstances?

In 2004 NavPress released my book on our journey with our son titled, When I Lay My Isaac Down.  Now over 126,000 readers have purchased that book for themselves or for someone they know who is living in a new kind of normal.  NavPress later released a DVD curriculum study, but many people requested a study guide, so they could more easily use the material in small group studies.  That study guide has just been released and can be ordered on my web site, along with the DVD series.

The book outlines eight life-changing principles that help people to embrace unshakable faith when their lives have turned out differently from their dream.  Those principles include:

  1. The Power of Unthinkable Circumstances
  2. The Power of Relinquishment
  3. The Power of Heartache
  4. The Power of Community
  5. The Power of Hope
  6. The Power of Faith
  7. The Power of Joy
  8. The Power of Speaking Up

Gene and I have discovered that when God seems the most absent, He is the most present.  Each person’s “Isaac experience” will look different, but the challenge is for us to do what Abraham did.  We need to relinquish the person, event, or situation to our God who sees the end from the beginning and trust that everything that happens to us can be a platform upon which we proclaim to the world that His is still good and He is still trustworthy.

How do we survive each day?  How do we simply, “Do the next thing?”  What will our response to God be when challenges come into our lives that make no sense at all?  Will we curl up in the embryo position and try to escape life, or will we embrace our faith and move in the direction of hope, purpose, and even joy in the face of our difficulties?

Each part of the study guide has two parts:  The first is for individual reflection and journaling, for you to process your thoughts, questions, prayers, and responses.  The second part is for you to go through with a small group who is reading the book and/or viewing the DVD teaching segments.  It is best if each member of the group has a copy of the book and the study guide, but the participant’s guide can be used alone with the DVD series if your time is limited and you need a less in-depth study.

It’s my prayer that God will use this study guide to comfort you, challenge you, and bring you closer to Him. Remember what Eric Liddell once said:  “Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins.”

Question:  What is the most challenging experience you are facing right now and what have you learned about your faith in this situation?