Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit

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Overview

These stories will deepen your Christian faith by helping you practice Christian values in your daily life: at home, at work and in the community. This collection will open your heart to the experience and expression of more love in your life and will remind you that you are never alone or without hope, no matter how challenging and painful your circumstances may be.

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Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit

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Overview

These stories will deepen your Christian faith by helping you practice Christian values in your daily life: at home, at work and in the community. This collection will open your heart to the experience and expression of more love in your life and will remind you that you are never alone or without hope, no matter how challenging and painful your circumstances may be.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623610470
  • Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 331,704
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

There Are No Coincidences

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


1 John 1:9 NIV

For three days a fierce winter storm had traveled 1,500 miles across the North Pacific from Alaska, packing gale-force winds and torrential rains. In the Sierra Nevadas to the east, the snow was piling up and would offer great skiing once the storm had passed.

In the foothills of the Sierras in the town of Grass Valley, California, the streets were flooded, and in some parts of town, the power was off where trees had blown down. At the small church, the heavy rain and high winds beat against the windows with a violence that Father O'Malley had never before heard.
In his tiny bedroom, O'Malley was laboriously writing Sunday's sermon by candlelight. Out of the darkness, the phone in his office rang, shattering his concentration. He picked up the candle, and with his hand cupped in front of it, ambled down the hall in a sphere of dim flickering light.

As he picked up the phone, a voice quickly asked, ôIs this Father O'Malley?ö

ôYes.ö

ôI'm calling from the hospital in Auburn,ö said a concerned female voice. ôWe have a terminally ill patient who is asking us to get someone to give him his last rites. Can you come quickly?ö

ôI'll try my best to make it,ö O'Malley answered. ôBut the river is over its banks, and trees are blown down all over town. It's the worst storm I've seen in all the years I've been here. Look for me within two hours.ö

The trip was only 30 miles, but it would behard going. The headlights on Father O'Malley's 20-year-old car barely penetrated the slashing rain, and where the winding road crossed and recrossed the river in a series of small bridges, trees had blown down across the river's banks. But for some reason, there was always just enough room for Father O'Malley to make his way around them. His progress was slow and cautious, but he continued on toward the hospital.

Not a single vehicle passed him during his long, tense journey. It was way past midnight, and anyone else out on a night like this would also have to be on an emergency mission.

Finally, in the near distance, the lights of the small hospital served as a beacon to guide O'Malley for the last 500 yards, and he hoped he had arrived in time. He parked behind the three other cars in the parking lot to avoid as much wind as possible, slipped into the right-hand seat and awkwardly wrestled his way into his raincoat before stepping out into the wind-whipped deluge.

With his tattered Bible tucked deep inside his overcoat pocket, O'Malley forced the car door open, stepped out and then leaned into the wind. Its power almost bowled him over, and he was nearly blown away from the hospital entrance.
Once inside, the wind slammed the hospital door shut behind him, and as he was shaking the water from his coat, he heard footsteps headed his way. It was the night nurse.

ôI'm so glad you could get here,ö she said. ôThe man I called you about is slipping fast, but he is still coherent. He's been an alcoholic for years, and his liver has finally given out. He's been here for a couple of weeks this time and hasn't had one single visitor. He lives up in the woods, and no one around here knows much about him. He always pays his bill with cash and doesn't seem to want to talk much. We've been treating him off and on for the last couple of years, but this time it's as though he's reached some personal decision and has given up the fight.ö

ôWhat's your patient's name?ö O'Malley asked.

ôThe hospital staff has just been calling him Tom,ö she replied.

In the soft night-light of the room, Tom's thin sallow countenance looked ghostlike behind a scraggly beard. It was as though he had stepped over the threshold and his life was already gone.

ôHello, Tom. I'm Father O'Malley. I was passing by and thought we could talk a bit before you go to sleep for the night.ö

ôDon't give me any of that garbage,ö Tom replied. ôYou didn't just stop by at 3:30 in the morning. I asked that dumb night nurse to call someone to give me my last rites because I know my deal is done and it's my turn to go. Now get on with it.ö

ôPatience,ö said Father O'Malley, and he began to say the prayers of the last rites.

After the ôAmen,ö Tom perked up a bit, and he seemed to want to talk.

ôWould you like to make your confession?ö O'Malley asked him.

ôAbsolutely not,ö Tom answered. ôBut I would like to just talk with you a bit, before I go.ö

And so Tom and Father O'Malley talked about the Korean War, and the ferocity of the winter storm, and the knee-high grass and summer blossoms that would soon follow.

Occasionally, during the hour or so before daylight, Father O'Malley would ask Tom again, ôAre you sure you don't want to confess anything?ö

After a couple of hours, and after about the fourth or fifth time that Father O'Malley asked the same question, Tom replied, ôFather, when I was young, I did something that was so bad that I've never told anyone about it. It was so bad that I haven't spent a single day since without thinking about it and reliving the horror.ö

ôDon't you think it would be good for you to tell me about it?ö O'Malley asked.

ôEven now, I still can't talk about what I did,ö Tom said. ôEven to you.ö

But as the first gray light of dawn crept into the room and began to form shadows, Tom sadly said, ôOkay. It's too late for anyone to do anything to me now, so I guess I might as well tell you.ö

ôI worked as a switchman on the railroad all my life, until I retired a few years ago and moved up here to the woods. Thirty-two years, two months and 11 days ago, I was working in Bakersfield on a night kind of like tonight.ö
Tom's face became intense as the words began to tumble out. ôIt happened during a bad winter storm with a lot of rain, 50-mile-an-hour winds and almost no visibility. It was two nights before Christmas and to push away the gloom, the whole yard crew drank all through the swing shift. I was drunker than the rest of them, so I volunteered to go out in the rain and wind and push the switch for the northbound 8:30 freight.ö

Tom's voice dropped almost to a whisper as he went on. ôI guess I was more drunk than I thought I was because I pushed that switch in the wrong direction. At 45 miles an hour that freight train slammed into a passenger car at the next crossing and killed a young man, his wife and their two daughters.

ôI have had to live with my being the cause of their deaths every day since then.ö

There was a long moment of silence as Tom's confession of this tragedy hung in the air. After what seemed like an eternity, Father O'Malley gently put his hand on Tom's shoulder and said very quietly, ôIf I can forgive you, God can forgive you, because in that car were my mother, my father and my two older sisters.ö

Warren Miller



¬1996 Warren Miller. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul; by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery and Nancy Mitchell. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 On Love

There Are No Coincidences Warren Miller 2

Where's the Baby Jesus? Jeannie S. Williams 7

Ten Cents Jeanne Morris 12

The Night the Chimes Rang Raymond McDonald Alden 17

In God's Hands a World of Mittens Barbara Stith 20

Susan's Gift Eva Unga 25

The Goodest Gift Jenna Day 29

Why? Author Unknown 33

God's Own Son Kathleen Weber 34

Jewel Paul Della Valle 36

The Day Joe Hill Came to Stay Elizabeth Leland 39

The Beautiful Color of Love Arnold Watts 43

2 On Giving

Golden Shoes for Jesus Helga Schmidt 46

A Tribute to Hawkins Rebecca Christian 49

The Last Straw Paula McDonald 53

The Christmas Scout Samuel D. Bogan 63

It Really Didn't Matter Charles W. Colson 67

Is There a Santa Claus? William J. Lederer 69

The Cobbler and His Guest Author Unknown 74

A Thanksgiving Story Andréa Nannette Mejia 77

A Coincidence? Ed Koper 80

3 On Parents and Parenting

The Gift of a Mommy Nan Pinkston 84

In His Mother's Footsteps Davida Dalton 88

My Mother's Hands Bev Hulsizer 91

Hands Judith Peitsch 93

Father Forgets W. Livingston Larned 95

The Two Sides of Love Gary Smalley John Trent 98

The Halfhearted Gift-A Dog for David Priscilla Larson 104

Andy's Dream Anne Bembry 111

Safety Blanket Reverend Dr. Bruce Humphrey 115

My Father Tom Suriano 117

The Bible Beckah Fink 121

Graduation Car Author Unknown 122

Home for the Holidays Linda Vlcek 124

4 On Faith

God Calling Joan Wester Anderson 131

Invisible Guardians Joan Wester Anderson 136

Expect a Miracle Dawn Stobbe 141

Perfect Freedom Charles W. Colson 145

Tell the World for Me John Powell 147

Thank You, Miss Evridge Joseph E. Falkner 151

Recollection of a Gravel-Clutcher Austin Goodrich 156

Baptist Minister Lalia Winsett 159

Faith Laverne W. Hall 160

Place of Sacrifice Teresa Anne Arries 162

5 On the Lighter Side

How to Get to Heaven Sower's Seeds 171

No Parking Bits & Pieces 172

Irreverent Manipulation Moments for Mothers 174

Sunday School Lessons Susan Webber 176

Wholly Holy Bloopers Richard Lederer 177

Communion Dick Van Dyke 180

No Excuse Sunday Joyful Noiseletter 184

Life Begins? Anonymous 187

Water Closet Author Unknown 188

Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates Author Unknown 190

Shocking Generosity Moments for Pastors 191

6 On Death and Dying

Golden Heart Therese Williamson 194

What Was in Jeremy's Egg? Ida Mae Kempel 196

I'm Here! Moments for Mothers 199

Answering the Call Edward B. Mullen 201

Jason and Tommy Author Unknown 203

The Greatest Sacrifice Ray L. Lundy 207

The Wedding Dress Barbara Frye 211

Helen's Story Sandy Beauchamp 215

Sweet Good-byes Jeanine Marie Brown 217

Good Night, Sweet Dreams, I Love You Marilyn Dunham Ganch 220

The Ties That Bind Virginia Jarvis 225

The Miracle of the Ring Virginia Johnson 228

Dearest Mother Lee Kennedy 232

7 A Matter of Perspective

Escalator Angel Richard Stanford 238

An Inch of Kindness Jeanne Williams Carey 242

Bobby: When You Can't Be Strong for Yourself James C. Brown 247

Erik's Old Man Nancy Dahlberg 249

In Jesus' Eyes Helene Montone 252

Earth Angels Vera Fortune 253

Wear Out, Don't Rust Out Marilynn Carlson Webber 257

Prayer Is the Key Anonymous 259

A Sailor's Christmas Gift William J. Lederer 261

Choosing a Good Minister Dear Abby 265

Our Mysterious Passenger Ira Spector 267

8 Overcoming Obstacles

The Baby Who Was Born Twice John Pekkanen 274

Christmas Mother John Doll 283

A Place Prepared by God Catherine E. Verlenden 289

Medicine Jeanne Morris 293

Most Richly Blessed Anonymous Confederate Soldier 298

Mrs. B's Thanksgiving Surprise Suzanne L. Helminski 299

Now This Is Music! Renée Lacouague Bondi 302

A Healing Place Chris McGonigle 307

The Story of Raoul Wallenberg Tom Veres 311

An Old Irish Blessing Author Unknown 319

Who Is Jack Canfield? 321

Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 322

Who Is Patty Aubery? 323

Who Is Nancy Mitchell? 324

Contributors 325

Permissions 333

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    From what I have heard.

    From wht I have heard this book is amazing. I am a 12 year old Christian.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Loved the book,I have many pages folded down for either the scripture or other sayings before the story begins. Also in some of the other stories there are scriptures. BUT the stories themselves were WONDERFUL!
    I have quite a few of Chicken Soup of the Soul Books. I wish the would come out with a SECOND PART of Messages from Heaven and Angels Among Us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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