Episode 172: Sandra Kay Chambers Interview & Giving Books through Seven Homes

This week we talk with Sandra Kay Chambers about her new book Fingerprints Devotions, about prayer, and about giving books to fostered and adopted children through Seven Homes. We also talk about other interesting topics you won’t want to miss. Welcome back as we begin Season 6 of “Books that Spark!”

Our Guest: Sandra Kay Chambers

With a personal goal to “Pray Often! Inspire Others! Create Beauty!” Sandra pens articles, blogs and books to encourage children and adults in their personal walk with God. She has a passion to help kids understand how uniquely created and loved by God they are and help them discover their God-given purpose in life.

Sandra is the author of Fingerprint Devotions: 40 Devotions to Help You Realize You Are a Kid Uniquely Created by God for a Purpose (ages 8-12) Ambassador International Publishers, release date: Nov. 7, 2023. Sandra is also a prayer encourager and the author of a small group/personal study on prayer: Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet: How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life. She is also a contributing author to two book compilations: Pray a Word a Day (Guidepost) and Abba’s Lessons  

Sandra has been a teacher and writer for most of her professional life. She taught English, journalism and special education in both public and private schools. As a journalist and writer, she has published hundreds of news, profiles, travel, and lifestyle stories for various publications.

She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI); Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA);Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers (BRMCWC); and Serious Writers Club.

Sandra lives in coastal North Carolina and enjoys spending time with her husband, their daughter, son-in-law and their grand-French bulldog puppy. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, photography, walking on the beach and curling up with a good mystery or historical fiction book.

Show Notes:

(00:10): Introduction and Welcome

(00:50): “Pray Often, Inspire Others, Create Beauty”

(01:40): Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet

(03:00): Fingerprint Devotions

Indescribable

Puppy Dog Devotions

(05:15): Seven Homes

(07:00): Ambassador International

Link to donate a copy of Fingerprint Devotions to 7Homes Foster/Adoption agency on Amazon: https://rb.gy/uvsry

(07:45): SandraKayChambers.com

10 Prayers for Our Children and Grandchildren

(08:50): Podcast: Five Minute Parenting

(11:10): Special needs kids

(14:14): Closing

TerrieHellardBrown.com

Books Discussed in This Episode:

Transcript:

Terrie:

Welcome to “Books that Spark,” a podcast for parents and caregivers, celebrating books that help us with everyday discipleship, every day sparking important conversations with our children. Welcome back. We are here for the first episode of Season 6 of “Books that Spark,” and we’re so glad you’ve joined us today. I’m so excited to introduce you to my guest today. It’s her first time on our podcast, Sandra Kay Chambers is with us today. Thank you, Sandra, for joining us.

Sandra:

Thank you for having me. I absolutely love your podcast.

Terrie:

Oh, thank you so much. Well, I was looking at your website and I love your tagline: “Pray often, Inspire others, Create beauty.” Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose that as your motto?

Sandra:

Yes. Well, I actually developed my website way before I did my children’s book. I had done another book on prayer. I really think prayer is so important, not only for the adults but for children. And I think inspiring others. I mean, I think we all should have that goal that we inspire somebody with our life, with our writing, with whatever we do. It’s so interesting that we are created by God who is a creator, and he gave us the ability to be creative and we all have different gifts and talents, but he wants us to be creative in whatever we do and that honors him because he’s a creative God.

Terrie:

I agree. That’s wonderful. It’s really beautiful. Thank you. We were going to talk about your children’s book first, but since you mentioned your book about prayer, let’s go ahead and start with that one. Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet. A very intriguing title, by the way. So tell us about that book first.

Sandra:

Well, I wrote that book actually, it was a self-published book because I didn’t know anything about publishing when I wrote it in 2014. But my pastor had asked me to get together some information on prayer when we were doing the January fast. So I pulled together information that I had on my bottom drawer. I thought I was supposed to write this book years ago, and I never did. But anyway, I did that. So we used that, and then I published the book and it’s basically, I think everyone has times when their prayer life just seems boring or they wonder, does God really hear my prayers? And I think every Christian goes through that. So my book can be a personal study or a lot of people have used it for a small group study because I have questions at the end of each chapter and I try to be honest with my prayer life and things I’ve gone through and struggles. And then I give a lot of different ideas for ways people might try to improve their prayer life. That’s kind of the journey for that book.

Terrie:

That’s nice. I love it. And I love too that this could be a group study that our churches could do to revitalize the prayer life in the church. What a blessing that would be so needed today. Well, we mostly want to talk today about your brand new book that came out in November of 23, and it’s called Fingerprint Devotions. We really want to hear about this. Tell us about this wonderful little book.

Sandra:

During Covid, I ran across some very interesting facts about fingerprints, and I just kept discovering more and more. And I believe God told me to just start writing down those facts that I was discovering. Then I began pairing them with a scripture and I wrote a short devotional around that theme, a journal activity and a prayer. And I was really excited because I felt like God had given me this idea, and I just wanted to find out what he wanted me to do with this. And I knew that many of the newer type of devotionals for kids like Louis Giglio’s Indescribable series pairs, scientific facts about creation with a scripture and a devotion. And Michelle Medlock Adams has a fun devotional Puppy Dog Devotions about different breeds of dogs and so forth. So I thought it’s really a great idea because it keeps kids interested and it pairs something in their life they’re interested in with God in scripture. So my goals were to help children know that God loved them, that he created them one of a kind, just like their fingerprints, and that he has a purpose for their lives, and that he’s given them unique gifts to bless him and share with the world. And kids need to be grounded in the truth of who they are to God to withstand our current culture.

Terrie:

Very true.

Sandra:

And this culture is affecting them at a much, much younger age than say when I grew up or even my daughter grew up. So in the devotional I do, I share the fun, scientific, fingerprint fact, and then a scripture, a devotion, a journal activity and a prayer. It has four sections about what kids will learn about God’s unique creation, how to walk with him, develop godly character, and serve others with their unique gifts and talents.

Terrie:

That’s wonderful. And you say it’s for kids ages 8 to 12, and that makes sense since it has journal questions. That’s great.

Sandra:

But I did, when I was writing it, I did a beta group and some of the parents said they used it for family devotions with younger kids and they could help them do their journal activity. And I’ve heard a lot of people using it across different ages.

Terrie:

Oh, that’s wonderful. I love that you’ve also partnered with seven homes. So tell us how that works and what we can do to be a part of that.

Sandra:

Yes. When I was writing the book, I just had a feeling that I really wanted to get this book into the hands, not only of Christian kids, but kids who maybe weren’t raised in a Christian home or didn’t go to church. So I was thinking, well, what about women’s shelters or group homes? And one Sunday at our church, we had like a ministry outreach with tables after the services. I met the church outreach director for seven homes and we talked, and Seven Homes is a Christian, North Carolina based foster and adoption agency. And I just knew this was whom I was to partner with. So I plan to donate books myself. I’m asking people to maybe consider purchasing a copy, not only for their child or grandchild, but they consider buying an extra paperback copy. They’re $11.95 from Amazon to donate to the Seven Homes. And what they’re going to do is put the devotionals into their care bags that they give to foster kids who maybe have to be taken out of their homes really quickly. So they have a Bible, they have personal care items, and they want to put this devotional into that. And they’ll also use the books as Christmas gifts and gifts at their camps for foster kids. So there’s actually a link on Amazon to purchase and have them send the book directly to seven homes.

Terrie:

I love that. That’s so wonderful. So if you go to Amazon and look for Fingerprint Devotionals, the link will be there on that page.

Sandra:

Well, there’s a general link to purchase the book, but I have a different link, which I don’t know if you want to put in your notes or what.

Terrie:

For sure. We’ll put that in the show notes.

Sandra:

And I know my publisher, Ambassador International also has bulk rates for like churches or organizations. So I also put that email where people can contact them.

Terrie:

Okay. Yeah, we’ll put all of those links in the show notes. So be sure to look for that in the show notes, the links, the email address for the bulk orders if your church or group wants to be a part of that. And if you want to do individual, we’ll have the link for ordering the book to go straight to the foster system, to the seven homes. Great. Thank you. Oh, that’s such a great opportunity. God is so good. I love how he connects different groups together and different people together to do really important ministry. So this is exciting. I also know you have a way to bless those who do buy your book on your website. You have a lot of freebies. So tell us a little bit about those

Sandra:

On my website, which is just simply SandraKayChambers.com. I have an activity book that has coloring sheets and different activity sheets that people can download once they purchase the book. So that will pop up as a link and people can sign up for that. And they do have other general freebies, some about kids, some about prayer. But yes, I’m excited about the activity book because it can be downloaded just right from my website.

Terrie:

We definitely will have that link as well. So that’s so cool. I love it. You have a lot on here. I love the “10 Prayers for our Children and Grandchildren as They Go Back to School.” You have words of encouragement, great summer kids, summer ideas and reading skills. This is great. You have a lot to offer here. So I encourage our listeners to be sure to go and check out your website. And as we said, that’s SandraKayChambers.com and the K is spelled out K-A-Y. I will have that link in the show notes. One other thing we want to talk about is your podcast. You have a really unique podcast and we definitely want to hear about that.

Sandra:

Yes. It’s called “Five Minute Parenting” podcast–tips to help you raise competent Godly kids. And I began at last March kicking and screaming because I really didn’t want to do a podcast. I’m not a real talker, so I thought, what in the world am I going to talk about God? But when I wrote the book, I felt like it was time to do it to kind of go along with my move towards children’s writing. So I did have a virtual assistant who helped me get it up and running because I’m not tech oriented at all. So anyway, I decided to share parenting tips from both a practical point of view and a biblical worldview. And that biblical worldview underlines everything. So it’s tips to help kids raise godly kids and help them be able to stand firmly on God in a biblical worldview. But also, I’m a former teacher and learning disability specialist, so I thought, well, I also offer some tips for parents on different things.

Sandra:

So a couple of things I’ve covered is like helping your child develop God confidence, helping your child with reading skills, helping your child learn to forgive others, bullying with a capital B, which is a big issue these days, helping your child get organized. Then I started having some guests come on. I’ve had a couple children’s authors, a homeschooling expert, a counselor, and they’ve covered such topics as homeschooling, mental health, praying with your grandchildren. So for the upcoming holidays, I’m going to be featuring the top five podcasts of this year. So you can listen to “Five Minute Parenting” podcast on all your favorite podcast channels. I see Apple Podcasts is probably one of the top ones. I also have the podcast on my website, so you’ll find it under SandraKayChambers.com/podcast. It doesn’t have the show notes, but you can listen to it there.

Terrie:

Okay, good. And I love that it’s about five minutes long because that’s why we shortened our podcast. We used to be 20 to 30 minutes long, and now we’re around 15 minutes each time so that parents can listen when they’re just driving from one place to another.

Sandra:

I know our ability to concentrate is shortened. I actually read something that was quite funny about our ability to concentrate now is less than a goldfish.

Terrie:

Oh my gosh.

Sandra:

But it’s so true. I mean, we’re just so bombarded with so much out there right now.

Terrie:

True. Information overload and sensory overload. Well, you mentioned, and I see you have a master’s in learning disabilities. I have three of my four kids are on the spectrum, so I’m very sensitive about what churches can do to minister to people who have children with special needs. Would you have a few pointers you might could mention for churches as they have Sunday school or ministries and want to include families that have special need kids?

Sandra:

Yeah, I’m not real familiar with that, but I do know there’s a need. And I do know that churches need to get involved and they need to find resources and parents or teachers who kind of understand these kids because sometimes it’s hard. I don’t know if they should offer separate classes because they really need to be integrated to, but they need to understand these kids and maybe behavioral issues and how to work with them. So I know there was a conference going on in Orlando in January, I can probably find it. They had so many offerings for churches and some of those classes were about ministering to kids with different learning disabilities with different needs. It looked like a great conference. I just haven’t dealt too much with it in a church.

Terrie:

Yeah, I’ve done a little bit, and we know the author of one of the books that’s a devotional for parents with kids with special needs, and she was a keynote speaker at a conference in California on this topic. But if you have any conference in your area, listeners, that do deal with how to minister to families who have kids with special needs, I highly recommend them. We went to the one in California and it was such a blessing. Oh my goodness. I learned so much about how we can just so simply open our arms and our hearts to the people. The thing too is, and I can speak from experience, it just is overwhelming. It never stops. And I used to call my mom wheel, were missionaries in Taiwan, so I didn’t have a whole lot of help being overseas. And I would call my mom and I say, parenting shouldn’t be this hard.

Terrie:

She was so comforting. She’d always say, remember, you prayed for these kids. I’m like, Mom, just please give me a little empathy just for a minute. But I just would get so tired because it’s just nonstop and trying to figure out with my kids; they were misdiagnosed and trying to figure out what was really going to help them, and we’re trying to homeschool, and oh my goodness. So churches, if nothing else, can be a place of respite for these families to give the parents an hour or two where they can just worship and talk with adults and know that their kids are safe and cared for and loved during that Sunday school time is such a tremendous blessing. Even if you don’t know exactly how to help the child, they just know they’re accepted. But I think yes, if Sunday School teachers and Bible study leaders can educate themselves to understand the different nuances of the different issues like ADHD or Asperger’s and autism and all those different things, and how best to help that child to be in the room and be okay, then we are going to be such a blessing to families.

Terrie:

Well, Sandra, thank you. I’ve really enjoyed talking with you, and I’m so excited about your book. I hope that people will get that, especially as we’re going into this new year to start having devotionals and teaching their kids to have a daily devotional and time with God. I hope they pick up your book and also bless the Seven Homes Organization with as many books as we can. So thank you again for being here.

Sandra:

Thank you for having me.

Terrie:

Thank you for joining us for “Books that Spark,” where we encourage each other to grasp those teachable moments sparked by great books and to live out everyday discipleship, helping to equip our children to follow Christ with their whole hearts. If you enjoyed this episode, please like and share on social media so people know we are here or leave comments on one of the podcast hosts sites. We truly appreciate you. If you would like to connect with me, you can join my mailing list or comment on TerrieHellardBrown.com. We love to hear from you and we respond to every comment and question. We pray you feel empowered as a parent or caregiver to walk by faith and to embrace everyday discipleship every day with the children in your life.

Your Host: Terrie Hellard-Brown

Terrie Hellard-Brown writes and speaks to help children and adults find God’s purpose and plan for their lives. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids. Her podcast posts each Tuesday morning.

Her blog posts discuss living as a disciple of Christ while parenting our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of our lives to disciple our children.

Terrie uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on “the spectrum”), 37 years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 32 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers.

Her motto is “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be WONDERFUL” and keeps her childlike joy by writing children’s stories, delighting over pink dolphins, and frequently laughing till it hurts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *