The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books and the FAPA Book Awards

FAPA_press_release_thumbnailI am pleased to share the results of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association’s President’s Book Awards for 2015 for multiple reasons.

The president in question is my friend and colleague, Mark Wayne Adams, and handing out these awards was his last official duty before stepping down as president.

In addition, one of the books honored with this award is my book, The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books, which received two silver medals.

A co-author of mine on The Character-Based Leader, Page Cole, also won a gold medal for his latest book Protecting Your Nest Egg. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but I was able to message him as soon as his award was announced and let him know the results. 🙂

While attending the awards ceremony, I was also able to meet someone I’ve known online for years, Bette Lee Crosby, whose latest book was also receiving an award.

All in all, it was a great event, and the awards were well-worth attending!

The Many Hats We Wear

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker
Listen in

 

I have three very short stories to share with you today, and then I’ll tie them all together…

I have a new author I’m working with who narrates her story from 3 different perspectives. She is the family physician, the wife and the mother. And each of these individuals has a unique and valid perspective on the story being told, none of which were in agreement.

In another setting, I found myself sharing my thoughts earlier in this week with someone I care deeply about. I began my impassioned words of advice with “As your friend, as someone who relies on you as a business resource, and as the woman who loves you…” In that instance, all three perspectives were perfectly aligned.

In this same period of time, I became aware of a new book called “The Christian Atheist.” Its subtitle caught my eye. “Believing in God, but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist.” Aren’t we all guilty of that at different times and in varying degrees?

These three different situations juxtaposed to present a question for us this month. [Read more…]

Is Fear Holding You Back?

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

“Fear not,” said the angel. “For unto you, a child will be born.”

You all know how the rest of it goes, right?

A tiny babe is born. His name? Emmanuel. God with Us. Jesus the Christ. The Messiah.

Hindsight tell us what a wonderous story unfolded after that visit. A baby born to a virgin. Unimaginable. Unpredictable. Unheard of.

How often have you been told “Don’t be afraid?” “Nothing’s going to hurt you.” “Everything will be alright.”

And yet fear held you in thrall.

I faced that more than once of late.

Conversations people wanted to have that have created anxiety.

Conversations people didn’t want to have that created a feeling of rejection.

Wondering what life will be like when my daughter is launched off into the world on her own a few short months from now. [Read more…]

Good Friends Never Say Goodbye

Good Friends Never Say Goodbye

Good Friends Never Say GoodbyeWhen my friend, Rudolf, left last month to return home to Germany, he posted a picture on Facebook that read:

Good friends never say goodbye, they simply say “See you soon.”

He added this message to it:

Morgen geht es wieder zurück.
Mit einem weinenden und einem lachenden Auge.

Which, translated, means:

Tomorrow I am returning again, with tear-filled and laughing eyes.

As he left to get into his car, he reminded me that it wasn’t goodbye. He’d see me soon.

With the rapidly declining health of a dear friend, the passing of 5 friends early in the year, and my daughter’s impending departure for basic training later this summer, there seem to be too many “goodbyes” these days…

Yet Jesus told us, like my friend Rudolf, that between us there are no such things as “goodbye.” Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. We have the promise of seeing him again someday. Yet, I wonder what comfort that was to the disciples when he first was crucified. He told them he’d be back. But fear overshadowed their faith. [Read more…]

Seeing Beyond the Tantrum

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Have you ever been surprised by someone else’s outburst? Or worse yet, your own?

When you become a parent and your baby cries, it’s easy to think to yourself, “Okay, Baby needs something.” And the quest begins to figure out:

Does she need her diaper changed?
Is he hungry?
Is she not feeling well?
Did he lose his blankie?

New parents pursue the quest relentlessly, until the crying ceases.

As the child grows and subsequent kids are born, we become less anxious to find the solution as quickly. We start to realize that the crying typically isn’t life-threatening. We may even start to become frustrated with its frequency or the constant demands on our time. [Read more…]

2 Timothy 1:7

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Today is my son’s birthday, so I was looking for inspiration in Timothy when I was reminded of a passage that suitably reflected my faith walk this past month.

NIV: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

Although the version that resonated more with me was the NKJV.

NKJV: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I’m not normally a fearful person. I grew up around people who defined “fear” as “false evidence appearing real.” So I’ve come to view it as that most of my life.

When I found myself struggling a few weeks back with fear and uncertainty in my life, it reached a point of becoming overwhelming. It seemed like every aspect of my life was out of control. Chaos rained and I had no idea how to pick up the pieces yet again. Something I had worked so hard for over the past 18 months slipped through my fingers and there was nothing I could do other than be willing to start again. [Read more…]

The Priceless Gift of Time

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

On January 21, 2015, a dear friend, Julie Green, lost her 2.5 year battle with ALS. Within the 4-week span of December 19th (Frank’s birthday) and January 21st (Julie’s death), I lost 4 friends, each of progressively closer connection to me.

The first was a missionary that our church had supported for years. The next was a childhood neighbor. The third was pastor of a local church, whom I’d had the privelge of serving on a steering committee with years ago. And the last was Julie…

I saw her 2 days prior to her death. Even though she was tired, no longer able to eat, talk or move about on her own, her spirit was strong. She asked about my loved ones, my work, and more. She rejoiced in the good news that I shared and lamented the upcoming events she knew she was going to miss. But the entire time, with the exception of a single statement “I’m tired of the struggle…” Julie was filled with light, laughter and joy. Confined to a wheelchair, betrayed by a body no longer hers to will, she was content even in that moment. [Read more…]

Philippians 3:14

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

This time of year finds many people, including lots of the entrepreneurs and business owners I know, focusing on the last push for reaching 2014’s goals, and the introspective process of setting goals for 2015.

Setting the next year’s goals can be a fun and exhilarating challenge because we’re allowed the freedom to dream more than at any other time. Where do we want to be a year from now? What do we think we can accomplish? What contributions do we want to make to the world? What legacy are we trying to build?

And if we reverse engineer getting there, what would it look like? What steps would we have to take to achieve that result? Can we commit to those steps? What do we need to do, learn, procure to do it?

Most importantly, if we haven’t fully done the exercise before, what’s our “why?” [Read more…]

It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Have you ever heard the old story of the blind men trying to describe an elephant? The man by the tail thought an elephant was thin and sinewy like a snake. The man by the foot thought that it was solid and immovable like a wall. The man by its ear felt the cool breezes it created and the papery thinness of it, so thought it was like a fan. The man by the trunk admired its usefulness and flexibility and the way that it carried water, so he thought it was like a hose.

While man’s perspective is limited, God’s is not. He knows all the qualities and properties of the elephant he created, just as he knows what he has planned for each of us.

Oftentimes, our perspective is one of fear. When God told Moses that he was to be his spokesman, Moses pleaded with him to find someone else. I know that when God called me to go to the Lion of Judah the first time, a school our church supports in Africa, I was filled with fear. It seemed like a crazy request. Yet God’s call was clear to me.

Sometimes, our perspective is one of misinterpretation. Peter’s counsel caused Jesus to reply, “Get away from me Satan!”And Job’s friends counseled him to consider what he might have done to bring his curse upon himself when, unlike Jonah, he had been righteous and faithful and done nothing to deserve the calamity that befell him and his family. To us, who know God’s side of that story, it’s clear that Job’s friends were completely wrong. But I often wonder whether their counsel instilled any self-doubt, even if only for a moment, in Job. [Read more…]

Wait for the Lord

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14 NIV

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Tomorrow will be October 19th. Nine days later comes October 28th.

Three years ago, those two dates were the bookends of the longest period of waiting I’ve ever endured. It marked the changing of a season of my life, transitioning from a time to laugh to a time to weep, from a time to dance to a time to mourn.

For those of you who don’t know me well, the first date was the last time I spoke with my fiancé, Frank. The last was when his body was found.

All I could do during that time was wait and trust in God, waiting on his timing to reveal what he was doing. [Read more…]