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How long does it take to make a difference in the life of a child?
For good or for ill, individual moments in a young person's life can make all the difference in their future. It may be something said or done by an adult who hardly thinks about it: a hug, a compliment, an intriguing question, a sincere applause. But in that moment, the child discovers who they are, what is important to them, why they matter, and sometimes even what their destiny will be. Most of us want to help...
How long does it take to make a difference in the life of a child?
For good or for ill, individual moments in a young person's life can make all the difference in their future. It may be something said or done by an adult who hardly thinks about it: a hug, a compliment, an intriguing question, a sincere applause. But in that moment, the child discovers who they are, what is important to them, why they matter, and sometimes even what their destiny will be. Most of us want to help encourage and build into this next generation, most of us see the need all around, but we just have no idea where to begin.
Now, with this book, you know where to begin and you know that it only takes Just a Minute. Follow along as Dr. Wess Stafford, president of Compassion International, shares stories and experiences to introduce you to the difference you can actually make anywhere on the spectrum of child development. From helping meet physical needs to breaking down emotional barriers and from discovering latent talents to equipping with spiritual insights, these stories are a catalyst for action.
You don't have to be a teacher, a parent, a pastor, or a doctor to make a difference in the life of a child. You only have to be willing!
Posted July 23, 2013
Just A Minute is a compilation of stories demonstrating the power a minute of interaction can have in the life of a child. Wess Stafford is the President and CEO of Compassion International and has had years of opportunities to gather stories from children and adults sharing their significant minute. Interspersed with the stories, Stafford offers biblical perspectives on the importance of looking out for those small opportunities to minister to children. Stafford encourages all adults to take just a minute, not just parents and teachers.
This is an excellent, amazing book. It is emotional and meaningful with stories that will make you cry. I loved it! In the conclusion, Stafford encourage readers to remember their own meaningful minutes, examine ourselves, forgive, and then look for opportunities to make a difference in the life of a child in just a minute. As a teacher, I am aware of my importance in the lives of my students and pray for all of my students. This school year I will be on the lookout for opportunities to give a minute.
I highly recommend this book for everyone. Even people with no children interact with children in public. This book is a light, engaging, quick read that leaves you wanting to be that person to make a difference in the life of a child.
Thank you to Moody Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Posted June 21, 2013
A great thought provoking book reminding us of the power of our words to young children. Keeps me intentional in my interactons with grandchildren and others. They really are pieces of clay being molded and for the sake of the next generation, I want to help produce positive, healthy, contributing members of this planet!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2012
Posted April 29, 2012
Inspirational minutes from famous, infamous and everyday children's lives
Wess Stafford is President and CEO of Compassion International, and obviously has a heart for children all over the world. His premise in Just a Minute is quickly revealed as he tells the stories of young people influenced to change or even saved from certain death by somebody else’s just-a-minute action. Each time we interact with a child, we have the potential to create or destroy something within that child. And every minute counts.
The stories are short and nicely collected into sections focusing on children’s self-worth, faith, health, dreams for the future and more. Voices from distant parts of the world add their tales, and each short piece is an inspiration to read. I probably don’t agree with all the implications suggested by the author, but I certainly agree that these uplifting tales should encourage readers and remind them, those tiny interactions and small lives count.
Cruel and kind responses to an accidental spill send the infamous Tito one way and another young man blazing a trail into religious broadcasting. Hitler was influenced by his father's cruel mockery. And, like it or not, each of us influences every child we meet. At times I found myself wondering about those occasions when I’ve said the wrong thing, reacted the wrong way, and caused accidental hurt to my children. This, I suppose, is the place where Just a Minute disturbs me. I remember my mother taking me aside when I was a new and terrified mum. “You don’t have to be perfect,” she told me. “Just be good enough. Do your best, accept your mistakes, and trust God for the rest.” In all those just-a-minutes I’ve spent with my kids, I know and regret many mistakes. I did my best. I wasn’t perfect. But my kids are great and I praise God for them.
Each minute counts. Each child matters. And these stories are truly inspiring. But the greatest parent is the one who makes no mistakes. I'm trusting Him to fix the outcomes of my broken minutes, even as I go forward doing my best.
Disclosure: A friend at church loaned me this book.
Posted February 26, 2012
Wess Stafford experienced some of the cruelest physical and psychological abuse when he was a young man. People he should have been able to trust to act within his best interests took advantage of that childlike trust. Now, close your eyes and fast forward to the future. How do you imagine this man turned out? Based on your knowledge of cause and effect and your experience with children who are mistreated at a young age, what do you think has become of this man’s life?
Wess Stafford is the President and CEO of Compassion International. Perhaps you’ve heard of it; Compassion International is one of the largest sponsor organizations for impoverished children. Stafford himself would attest that the events of one’s past often influence one’s future. Life is made up of countless “minutes,” and not just those lasting for sixty Mississippis, but a brief period of influence. Those brief periods can influence a life that may have plummeted into despair and turn them around, inspiring a young man or woman at an early age to do the same for others. Conversely, those “minutes” can be used to bring irreparable harm to a young life, causing it to follow in that direction forever.
In Stafford’s new book, Just a Minute, he, with the help of Dean Merrill, takes readers through a storybook full of lives that were shaped by the influence of others. The book reads reminiscent of a “Chicken Soup” book, a treasury of “minutes” in story form, weaving through stories of lives of which you and I may not be familiar and those with which we are very familiar such as Adolf Hitler, whose “minute” (you can imagine) was not so pleasant, and didn’t result in anything worth emulating.
In the first few paragraphs of his book, Stafford explains why such a book is so important. When Stafford travels and speaks to crowds on the “minutes” that changed who they are today and why it’s so important to invest in the lives of children, everyone listening remembers a moment in time, a talk, a pat on the back, an encouraging word, or a discouraging word that had a very vital effect on the person they’ve become.
We live in a world that seems to wage war on childhood. Child-killing has been legalized and labeled “abortion,” as if life is something where, at the last moment, one can pull the eject button and fly out of the cockpit, saving oneself from the wreckage below. People are on the local news being hauled off to court on child porn charges every day. Men and women go to jail for child abuse. Prominent figures rest in the safety net of their influence while leaving countless young lives destroyed forever. Those are the “minutes” that should not be. But they happen. This is why Just a Minute is, indeed, vitally important.
Stafford encourages readers to make a minute worthwhile in the life of a child, just like someone may have for them. And if the reader has never had a “minute” invested in himself or herself, he or she should look back on what they wished for and not cheat another life out of what had been neglected him or her. Children grow up to be adults and here we are now, with a choice. What kind of minute will we leave?
Thanks to Christine of TheDeMossGroup for the copy to review!
Posted February 20, 2012
You can quickly change someone's life
Just A Minute
In the Heart of a Child, One Moment. . .Can Last Forever
©2012 Compassion International, Inc.
209 pp. plus a ‘thank you’ and notes (Hdbk.)
Do you like stories about people? (Who doesn’t?) This book contains short true-life stories, most of which will make you smile. For some, have tissues handy because you’ll need to wipe away tears. A few relate difficult moments that discouraged someone or turned their life toward evil.
The author especially writes about how an unplanned minute or two can change the life of a child. The book will convince you that no matter who you are or how old or young, you can do many small things to make the world (and other people) better. You can do things that the folks you interact with will never forget. You may forget those little things you did, but you’ll have impacted lives in major ways.
Stafford points out how important children are to Jesus and how angry God is when someone harms a child. God loves every child in a special way.
The author, a Caucasian, grew up in a small African village and has spent his adult life rescuing hurting, poverty-stricken children. He travels worldwide, speaking, promoting his several books and his work with Compassion, International.
Posted January 4, 2012
Life can change in an instant. Some folks say that while waiting for the other shoe to drop, or in response to unforeseen circumstances. But this book challenges readers to be intentional about creating those moments, where you can with a word, touch or deed, change someone else¿s life for the better.
In this inspiring book, Compassion International President and CEO Wess Stafford strings together poignant stories like beads. Perhaps the most beautiful and heart-wrenching of the tales he tells is his own¿sufferings that might have made another man bitter have made Stafford compassionate, yet a warrior for justice, especially when it comes to children.
He asks the searching question: ¿Who believed in you before you believed in yourself?¿ Remembering moments when someone encouraged us or believed in us, Stafford writes, should inspire us to do the same for someone else¿especially a child.
There are no chance encounters, Stafford writes, noting that ¿if God stands a child before you, for even just a minute, it is a divine appointment.¿ A small word or deed of encouragement to a child might change the trajectory of their life, he argues, telling ¿key childhood moments¿ stories of famous people from John Wesley to Albert Einstein. He also shares some beautiful moments where he found himself at a ¿divine appointment.¿ (He shares one of the best stories from the book in a video posted on the book's JustAMinute site, which is definitely worth "just a minute" of your time).
Stafford¿s message is simple: it only takes a moment to show love and compassion to a child, and that moment might be a significant one¿perhaps changing a child¿s destiny. He encourages readers to look for opportunities to change a life in ¿just a minute¿ of their time.