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God Called a Girl: How Mary Changed Her World and You Can Too

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Drawing from the life and character of Mary, Shannon Kubiak writes to teenage girls about another teenager who was asked to respond to the most challenging spiritual question God ever asked of anyone: Will you bring my Son to the world and incur society's disapproval in the process? Exploring the spiritual choices that Mary made when she said yes, Shannon then turns those questions to Christian teen girls of today.

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Overview

Drawing from the life and character of Mary, Shannon Kubiak writes to teenage girls about another teenager who was asked to respond to the most challenging spiritual question God ever asked of anyone: Will you bring my Son to the world and incur society's disapproval in the process? Exploring the spiritual choices that Mary made when she said yes, Shannon then turns those questions to Christian teen girls of today.

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Editorial Reviews

Armchair Interviews
"This is a wonderful, thoughtful book for young women to read, ponder and then plan what they are going to do as world changers. But it is also a wonderful read for all of us because God is calling us all. So if you're an adult giving this book to an important young woman in your life, I would suggest that you read it too. It will spur you on to challenging yourself to think about and plan your commitment to impacting your sphere of influence."
Paul McShane
"There is a universal need in our churches and in our world for the straightforward, powerful message of this book. Kubiak makes her points not only with scriptural support, but also with stories from her days at school. Her friendly style makes you forget you're reading a book that's teaching you some profound lessons. Instead, you feel like you've just been invited over by a good friend for an evening of sharing the Word and meaningful conversation. Page after page, I began to feel I was making a new friend. And, she shares the kind of spiritual insights that make you want to say, "thanks friend," when you realize you just learned something important.

I would recommend God Called A Girl for every church and pastoral library. And, if your local Christian bookstore doesn't have it, ask them to order it.

It's an easy and sometimes even fun read. The second time the author had a story telling flair reminiscent of Mark Twain, as she recalls her early years and then stretches her wings, sharing her own epiphany with a poem titled, "New Start." It's a love poem from a 19-year-old to her Lord. If this poem and this book don't touch your heart, call your doctor immediately. You're clinically dead."
Good News Etc

HomeschoolChristian.com
"Written in an enjoyable and easy-to-read style, God Called a Girl is brimming with Christian guidance and reassurance. Miss Kubiak's infectious positive attitude will uplift girls and their mothers. God Called a Girl will boost teen girls' morale and provide a dose of wisdom in terms that they can understand."
Publishers Weekly
With the same fresh and enthusiastic voice that surely must energize her youth ministry work, 20-something Kubiak (The Divine Dance) parallels contemporary girl-power can-doism with Mary's answer to God's call to be the mother of Jesus in a lively book aimed at teen girls. "God is looking for world changers. He found one in Mary; perhaps He will find one in you too," the author states in her motivational introduction. Her facility for quoting the Bible and other spiritual/inspirational texts while also relating personal experiences from her own life in everyday language, makes this look at Mary's sacrifice, obedience and devotion especially appealing and accessible. Introducing Mary as a teen with nothing going for her and living in the middle of nowhere, and later addressing the doubts or questions Mary must have had about God's plan for her, creates the perfect backdrop for offering guidance and inspiration to today's young readers. The text is repetitive in places and occasionally digresses from its central theme, so it may best serve as a devotional-type of read, to be consumed in small doses. Teenage girls who question their faith or seek a deeper understanding of what it means to grow within God's divine plan will find much to ponder here. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Titles delving into the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, are not often presented to Evangelical Protestant audiences. Kubiak paints a panoramic picture of the life of a young, likely illiterate teen from a little-known Israeli village, whose faith helped change the course of history. Beautifully penned chapters describe the uncertainty that Mary felt finding her place in a world where having a child out of wedlock was an offense punishable by death. Weathering storms of confusion, disappointment, and loneliness, and not always understanding her son's choices or his ministry, Mary of Nazareth emerges as a young woman who chose to find her purpose and significance in the God whom she believed had called her to give birth to the savior of the world. Written in the chatty conversational tone one might overhear at a slumber party or shared over steaming lattes in a local coffeehouse, the author deftly weaves together episodes from her own high school and college experiences with the challenges and triumphs faced by biblical heroes, heroines, and Christian missionaries to encourage young women to develop intimate relationships with God. Useful for personal devotions or small group discussion, the book includes suggestions for getting-and remaining-closer to God including journaling, sharing Bible verses with friends, and taking part in mission work. This compelling look at the impact teen girls can have on others through their faith is a worthy purchase for school and public libraries serving Christian teens. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined asgrades 10 to 12). 2005, Bethany House, 173p.; Source Notes., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.
—Jay Wise
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764200298
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Shannon Kubiak is a native of California, where she spent several years in junior high and high school ministry. From an early age, Shannon has had a passion for writing; she won her first writing contest when she was thirteen. A recent graduate of Biola University, Shannon now speaks at youth events across the country.

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Read an Excerpt



God Called a Girl


How Mary Changed Her World-And You Can Too!


By Shannon Kubiak


Bethany House Publishers


Copyright © 2005

Shannon Kubiak

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7642-0029-1



Chapter One


FAVORED AND BLESSED

"The angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored
one, the Lord is with you;

blessed are you among women!'" -Luke 1:28 (nkjv)

I used to squeal with delight as my dad lowered
the well-worn cardboard box from the rafters on
Thanksgiving weekend each year, for inside the
battered box was a precious treasure. The old
nativity set had been in my family for decades,
and the hand-painted figurines captivated me as a
little girl. Something about the expressions on
the faces of the statues drew me into the story
and took me away to Bethlehem. Even now, the
nativity set is my favorite thing on display at
Christmastime, and I look forward to the day when
the family heirloom will grace my own living room.

Mary was always one of my favorite figures to set
out. Delicately I would place her in the straw
next to the manger. She was radiant; she looked so
beautiful with her long brown hair cascading down
her shoulders, covered by a veil. She was
absolutely elegant-well, except for the fact I was
setting her in a barn beside some cows and
donkeys. But the look on the figurine's face was
one of awe and reverence as she looked down at the
manger where the baby Jesus lay, hersoft pink
lips curled into a smile. The detail in her
painted face brought her to life in my mind; her
expression was so tender.

I always imagined the real Mary's face looked
somewhat the same way. I have often wondered what
ran through her mind that night, as she was one of
the first to see the King of Glory. I tried to
transplant myself back in time as a means of
connecting myself with the one girl who was more
connected to God than any of us can really
understand.

It only took a moment for God to change the world.
Everyone else was busy going about his or her
daily routine, unaware that Mary's story had just
been forever interrupted, and life-as the whole
world knew it-was about to change. I imagine the
scene this way (bear with me, I have a vivid
imagination): Mary's dad was at work, and her mom
may have been out at the market. Her siblings were
tending to their own tasks, and her fiancé,
Joseph, was out earning a living.

God watched from heaven that afternoon, as the
stage He had been designing ever since the world
began was finally set to His liking. He probably
gave a slight nod as He turned to the angel
Gabriel.

"Now," He said softly. "But wait," He added as
Gabriel turned back to face Him. "Don't scare her;
she will do just as you ask. So be gentle."

Gabriel nodded as he looked glory in the face one
last time before he set out to eternally alter the
lives of mankind. Mary had no idea a miracle was
on the way-and she most certainly had no idea it
was on its way to her womb.

The Gospels tell us Mary was one who was favored
and blessed. My first response was to grab a
synonym finder to see just what that meant. To be
favored means: to be preferred, chosen,
privileged, the favorite, affluent, elite, and
noble. To be blessed means: to be exalted, happy,
glad, pleased, and contented.

Although those definitions seemed to fit perfectly
with what Luke was saying, a few moments of
rummaging through Mary's past is enough to show
that most people did not see her that way. Mary
was just a small-town girl. Not only that, she was
a poor girl from a despised small town.

Mary was a nobody, yet she found favor and
blessing with God. How many times do we look in
the mirror and find a nobody staring back at us?
We often limit what God can do with our lives
because we think our upbringing, our appearance,
or our life is not a sufficient tool for the hands
of God to use for His glory.

If Mary really was a nobody, all it took for God
to make her "somebody" was one miracle on a lonely
day when she was just going about her daily
business. God's formula for success isn't found in
some stuffy rule book. His chosen are not normally
found in palaces (although sometimes He chooses to
take them there, like He did Esther and David),
and His favored are often those who have nothing
to offer but one small life-the type of life
nobody else notices until God steps onto the
scene.

Yes, God called a girl once before and He will
most certainly do it again. Mary lived a life of
passion, purpose, and divine intervention. She
lived a life no other girl in all of time will
ever get to live. Birthing the Savior of the world
was a one-time task, and it fell to a humble
teenager in the middle of nowhere.

God could have beamed Jesus down to earth. He
could have made Him a full-blown man instead of a
baby. God could have done anything in order to
redeem the world. Funny, isn't it? He chose the
least likely plan of all in order to save mankind.
God used someone a lot like you in order to reach
you. He planted himself in the womb of a virgin in
an attempt to get the world's attention. It was
the unfolding of a miracle, and most people didn't
even stop to watch. Even today some who hear of it
simply yawn and give a polite smile.

Years later God is still trying to get the world's
attention. And so it is at you He looks with favor
and blessing. He sees what you do not see-that you
are in the line of Mary. So as the world is
passing you by, without even a glance, God is
setting the stage.

"This girl is something," He says to the angels in
His company. "She is a real gem."

Jesus smiles and pauses. "She reminds me of my
mother."

Acts 17:26 says God appointed the very time and
place each of us should live. As He mapped out the
timeline for all of mankind, He penciled you in,
here and now, for a reason. You have a divine
purpose. God's signature is on your life, and
beneath it heaven can read the words favored and
blessed.

Before you rush to the mirror to see if I am
telling the truth, let me warn you-most of the
time human eyes see things differently than God
does. Heavenly handwriting is not usually read on
earthly ground, but it is God's identifying mark
on those whom He has chosen. He sees it, He knows
it is there, and He knows for what purpose it was
written on your life. And as God was with Mary, so
He will be with you.

We all have purposes-things that connect our
hearts to God and bring His message of salvation
just a little bit closer to those who surround us
on earth. And we are all gifted differently for a
reason. There are people you can reach with your
life and your gifts that I could never reach, even
if I tried every day for the rest of my life.

We may not know exactly what our purpose is at the
moment, but we do know the purpose of our purpose:
we are to glorify God with our lives and to use
our gifts and passions as a means of worshiping
Him and pointing others toward Him.

Some of us may reach the masses with our lives;
others may only greatly influence a handful of
people. But it's not the numbers that matter-it's
the fact that we are impacting people for the
kingdom of God. Luke 5:10 tells us that the angels
rejoice every time one sinner repents. Never
underestimate the value of impacting just one
person. Their whole eternity could be altered as a
result of your impact-that's a huge thing!

Other times, God wants us to reach more than one.
Recently, I found myself staring an incredible
opportunity in the eye. You couldn't possibly use
me for that, Lord
, I thought. That's way out of my
league
.

God answered me by saying, Why wouldn't I use you
for that? I'm God, I've called you and equipped
you and I own the whole league-so nothing is out
of your reach unless I say it is
. Think about
that-nothing shall be impossible to us if God is
in it. Wow!

GOD SUPPLIES THE GIFT AND MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

Aside from the recounting of the actual Christmas
story, one of my favorite looks at the heart of
God at Christmastime is found in a little book
called The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. If you
have never read it, I suggest you go to a
bookstore and hunt it out this coming Christmas.
In the meantime, I'll give you a brief synopsis so
you have something to look forward to.

The story chronicles the planning and production
of an annual church Christmas play-but this
particular year, instead of choosing the
well-churched children to play the lead roles in
the pageant, the director chooses to allow the
unruly, obnoxious, and not well-churched Herdman
kids to participate. Do you know anyone like that?

To make a long story short, the Herdmans had never
heard much about the true meaning of Christmas,
and they came from a background that left them
more than a little rough around the edges. The
planning of the pageant becomes what most people
would consider a disaster, as everything seems to
go wrong. Even the pageant itself brings with it
some unconventional additions to the narrative of
the birth of Christ-like one of the wise men
bringing a ham to the baby Jesus in lieu of
frankincense.

But near the end of the play we see unruly Imogene
Herdman-the Mary in this pageant-with her big hoop
earrings, her matted and tangled hair that hadn't
been washed in weeks, and a bulging black eye,
sitting in the spotlight holding the baby Jesus,
sobbing like she never had before.

Yes, all of the regular churchgoers scoffed at her
and thought her unworthy of portraying the mother
of Jesus, but God had a plan for this girl all
along. He brought her Christmas like He never had
before. Just like He visited Mary, God visited
unlovable Imogene Herdman and said, "This is My
Son-He is My gift to you."

I know that story is fiction, but it brings up a
good point. We look at Mary and we think of her as
a saint. I am nothing like Mary, we think as we
drag ourselves through life completely missing the
point. Hello! Mary was chosen for no reason other
than she was faithful to God. In a moment God
turned the poor girl from out in the sticks into a
world changer. So whether you feel like an Imogene
Herdman or the real Mary of Nazareth, rest assured
that God has called you and chosen you-no matter
who or what you feel like inside.

God has a calling on your life so big you cannot
even fathom it. That's why He gives it to you in
pieces. Life comes together like a puzzle, and we
are always left waiting for God to put down the
next piece in His perfect timing. The key is
learning to trust God in the process.

When Gabriel first appeared to Mary, he did not
say, "Mary, you will give birth to the Son of God,
who at twelve years of age will get lost on your
family trip to the temple because He is so wise He
will even leave the scholars amazed. Your husband,
Joseph, will train Him to be a carpenter, and then
at age thirty He will begin a ministry of healing
the sick, raising the dead, and calming the raging
sea. At thirty-three He will be brutally crucified
but will save the souls of all of mankind by
rising from the dead on the third day. Are you up
for this task?"

No. Instead he came to Mary quietly and said, "The
Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of
the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also,
that Holy One who is to be born will be called the
Son of God" (Luke 1:35 nkjv).

That's it. He came and told her she was chosen,
and He told her what she was chosen to do. That is
also how God works with us. God visits us when we
are busily going about our daily routine, and He
rests His hand on our shoulder.

"It's time," He says quietly. At this point, we
are not always sure of what it is time for.

All of my life I wanted to be an author. As a
child I always told elaborate stories. I never
felt as if I was good with anything but words-so I
desired to use words as a way of reaching people.
Wanting to write a book was a far-off dream,
something that would probably occur in the later
years of my life, if at all. But on one June
afternoon, when I was only twenty years old, God
visited me while I was reeling from the fact that
my summer job had fallen through.

I cried out to God many times in my confusion and
desperation. What am I going to do now, Lord? I
was lost. There was no good that I could see in my
situation. When I quieted my racing heart, God
answered my cry with an inner nudging: You're
going to write a book
.

I laughed, but when God didn't, I sat down at my
computer, and my first book, The Divine Dance, was
born. The book didn't come because of anything I
did on my own, and it most certainly did not come
because I had any experience (I was just a college
student looking for something to do with my
summer).

It came to me as a gift, packaged as a call on my
life, the magnitude of which I only began to
understand when the book was actually on store
shelves a year later. God likes to show up in
ordinary things and make them extraordinary. The
ordinary part is us; God is everything extra. We
simply need to make ourselves available to Him.

What He does with our availability is up to Him.
And we should never measure our worth against what
He is doing in the lives of others our age. He has
different plans for each of us. So if you are a
little ahead of others when it comes to finding
your call in life, be thankful, but not boastful.
If you feel as if you are a little behind, keep
looking to God with an expectant heart; He will
reveal His plan for you in His perfect timing.
Perhaps you are not ready to see-or receive-it
yet.

Sometimes people don't even realize what God is
doing in their lives at the moment. Some of us can
only trace God's hand years later, when we're
looking back. But rest assured, even if you cannot
see God at work in your life today, He is there.

TWO PIVOTAL PIECES OF TRUTH

In the semester before I graduated from college, a
well-known professor who taught for nearly three
decades sat down with me as I interviewed him for
the school paper. He was retiring at the close of
the year, and the weariness in his eyes and the
stoop in his step showed he was more than ready.

As he poured himself a cup of coffee before we
began, I surveyed his well-used office. The white
walls had yellowed, and piles of papers and stacks
of books had collected layer upon layer of dust
from having been untouched for so long. An older,
now unusable word processor sat on the floor in
the corner, telling the story of a career changed
by all forms of technology. The wise old professor
turned his cell phone off and set it on the table
as he sat down and joined me.

"Where do you want to begin?" His voice was tired,
but his eyes were smiling. In the next half hour
or so he recounted to me nearly thirty years of
wisdom he had gained at that institution.

Today, only two pieces of that wisdom remain with
me. But they are two of the most valuable nuggets
I ever received. First, he said, "You must never
forget God wants to use you in the process of
blessing you." I scribbled furiously as he spoke,
and only later did I ponder just what that meant
to me.

Secondly, when asked to describe the past thirty
years of his life in three words, he said, "God is
faithful."

I stopped cold. People normally answered with
words like "fun," "challenging," and "rewarding"
when describing their walk with God. Yet here this
man sat, and without even hesitating he said, "God
is faithful." The statement struck me in a way I
will never forget because this professor had faced
some difficult and painful things over the years,
and those wounds were not easily hidden from the
prying student body.

Age gave that professor wisdom that is sometimes
missed by youth. God wants to use us in the
process of blessing us. Just look at how He used
Mary. The child she delivered grew up to be the
One who delivered her from her sins. For nine
months Mary housed the Savior of the world in her
womb, and from the day He ascended to heaven,
Jesus worked to prepare an eternal home for Mary.

God is faithful-He is always faithful, even when
it doesn't seem like it. Yesterday I responded to
an e-mail from an aunt who was seeking
encouragement to pass on to her niece who is
fighting to stay pure and strong in a wild and
crazy world. The young girl is staying faithful,
but she is also growing weary. My encouragement to
her was this: Be firm. Do not waver even for a
moment on the commitment you have made to God-He
will always be faithful to you; be faithful to Him
in return
.

(Continues...)





Excerpted from God Called a Girl
by Shannon Kubiak
Copyright © 2005 by Shannon Kubiak.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2006

    World and life changing

    Can I change my world? Can I change the WORLD? Think about this question...if you want to find out, read this book. It will tell you what God thinks of you and show you what is takes to be a world changer. And to answer my own question, if you weren't sure, YES you are a world changer and you can change the world!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2006

    An amazing call!

    Every time I pick up this book, I feel a call to pursue the God who gave everything forme. Shannon Kubiak presents us with an awesome challenge: to answer 'yes' - a 'yes' that will change the world. We live in a world that needs to be touched by God, but so often we act like we have nothing to offer. Kubiak calls us to live like the princesses we are. God has gifted each of us and has incredible plan for our lives. This book will draw you closer to the One who has called you and placed His blessing upon you.

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