Tag Archives: Nancy Aguiar

New Book by Author Nancy Aguiar is a MUST-READ! (“Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family and Fun)

Friends!  I’ve got wonderful news for you about an equally wonderful new book.

Nancy Aguiar has recently released her debut book, Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family and Fun. It’s available here in Louisville at the Living Word Bookstore in Southeast Christian Church (www.livingword.org ), or Carmichael’s (www.carmichaelsbookstore.com ) will order it for you, or you can get it from Amazon.

I’m blessed to call Nancy a dear friend and mentor.  Yes, I can be objective and honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed reading her book. I could hear her telling the many beautiful stories she shares. This book would work perfectly read as a devotional, but my prediction is you’ll keep reading as one story makes you curious about the next one!

So what’s the meaning of the title?  Five Drops…?  Nancy shares it was her maternal grandmother, “Mammy”, who was born in Sweden, yet chased Nancy’s Grandfather, “Papa”, to the United States, marrying him and learning English.

As often as she could, Mammy would invite her Swedish friends over and serve them coffee and pastries.  Nancy says, “They would chat for hours and find renewal and healing in friendship and laughter.”

Like many of us friends today meeting up at Starbucks, Nancy reveals, “Coffee was the key ingredient in each of those afternoons.” Mammy filled and refilled her friends’ cups until they would finally say, Fem droppar” which translates:  “five drops”…as in just a little more coffee in their cups while their afternoon was winding down.

Nancy said her family, now two and three generations from Mammy’s, still uses this phrase about whatever it is they’re having:  coffee, water, juice, second helpings of dessert, etc.  Can one say, “Fem droppar” when consuming chocolate??? (Maybe hot chocolate?)

Nancy reminds us Jesus is the Master storyteller.  Since Jesus told stories so often, surely such a skill is important.  Nancy’s Grandmother was not the only storyteller in her family.  Both of her parents were and for that, she’s forever grateful.

Nancy warns us, “The fast-paced society of today is missing that special gift of time and the art of story. We must reclaim it. What my parents didn’t share with me orally is now gone…Telling and retelling stories to the next generations must be of greater importance…That’s why I wrote this book.”

We lucky readers get to read fifty-five stories by Nancy covering every topic you can imagine.  She takes you right along with her, many times telling on herself while including an important lesson. She’s serious one minute and laugh-your-head-off-funny the next. She blissfully includes pertinent Scripture regarding many lessons for us all.

In “Ms. Polly”, she tells us, “Every day lived to the glory of God is a day well-lived.”  In “Appalachia”, she says, “My takeaway that day was to be thankful for all we do have—all that has been given to us in the course of one day—and to value each person God places in our lives, even if they’re there for a few hours.”

In “Time for Prayer”, she concludes, “Until freedom is taken from us, we should be willing to pray whenever and wherever we can. Such a privilege I will never take for granted.”  

A few chapters have Nancy taking us along on mission trips. On one of them, she “gets” to pull a person’s tooth and I am not pulling your leg! (Way to go, Nan. Had I accompanied you, you’d have been scraping me up off of the floor…)

In “Sumo and Sal”, we learn she was a witness in a real-live murder case.  Imagine being scared to death, literally, in the paradise of all paradises, Hawaii? Good news is she has more praiseworthy stories from there where we all can rejoice. (Don’t miss “Jade Bracelets”.) Here’s a recent picture of Nancy and Ron in Hawaii:

Nancy also tells about some of the elderly women she cared for.  That was one of her many careers where her giftedness shone like the light of Jesus.  She took care of my own Mother, and wait for it:  Preached Mother’s funeral!

It was the second book in The Redemption Series, Remember,   by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley that caused Nancy to consider caring for the elderly while they were in “Heaven’s Waiting Room”, as Karen called it.  When our Book Club got to Skype with Karen, we had Nancy approach the camera to tell Karen how her book caused this new career to happen.

Suddenly, tears began falling down Karen’s cheeks, as did the rest of the attendees’ faces that night. Confirmation Nancy was right in the middle of the Lord’s will.

Besides being an author, Nancy’s also been a teacher at a local college, a Bible study teacher of numerous classes, a preacher (Seriously—she’s preached more than one funeral.), and is a linguist (She speaks several languages, having lived in Germany while in high school.) She’s currently working in the healthcare industry.

She and her husband, Ron, are about to celebrate their fortieth anniversary this year.  They are blessed with two children, a son-in-law, and one grandson who’s the light of their life.

After proofreading this post, my dear husband just informed me I made the grave error of omitting the most fun fact about Nancy:  She gives the best hugs any recipient could dream of.  Those of you who’ve been on the receiving end are nodding. (He also just brought me “fem droppar” of some of his infamous coffee as I’ve consumed way more than one should have at 6:00 in the morning.)

More good news:  Nancy’s the Speaker for a Ladies Breakfast, held at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on May 20th, from 9:00-11:00 a.m.  Please see below for more information if you’d like to hear her:

Go grab a copy of Nancy’s book for yourself and one for a friend (this makes a fabulous gift), Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family, and Fun.  Drinking a cup of coffee or tea while reading it will make it that much better.

God bless you, Nancy, for leaving such a beautiful legacy for your family and friends!

‘Til next time!

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Every Day Graces: OPEN Your Eyes!

“Where in the world did I put my glasses?” my Mother would ask at least one hundred times a day. To remedy this, Daddy and I tried buying several pairs for her, one for every room.  But… if you’ve ever experimented with that, you know, pair by pair, they still mysteriously vanish.

Forever impatient with her, let’s just say “payback has returned one hundred fold”…John and I now need “readers” (sigh).  We compete to find a pair wherever we land in our home.  Our own boys have the gall to roll their eyes when we begin hunting  for glasses.  Has anyone solved this mystery?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast week I shared a pearl from Angela Thomas’ Bible study, Brave—Honest Questions Women Ask.  It’s a beautiful phrase I wasn’t familiar with:  “soul refreshers”. (Click here if you missed it)

This week I’d like to share another beautiful, comforting pearl which really opened my eyes.  (Pun intended.)  Angela challenges us to watch for every day graces.  Every day graces are people God places in your path, usually unexpectedly.

A recent example happened when John and I were walking Gracie, our more-than-enthusiastic terrier,  along  Blankenbaker Lane.  An extremely sweet gal came out of her home just to meet Gracie.  Hey, every dog lover loves another dog lover!

Gracie

(Notice how well-trained she is to stay OFF the furniture….)

One thing led to another in our conversation with this lovely lady.  We discovered we had mutual friends and she knew some of John’s siblings.  Somehow the conversation centered on churches and we told her about a new church John’s brother and  sister-in-law have helped start.   Don’t you know, our new friend’s attending there now?  How fun is that? (Checkout Throne of  Grace Community Church on Facebook.)  Now THAT’s an “every day grace”!

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  (NIV)

Angela adds, “I believe God gives smaller, everyday graces that minister to us.  Heal us.  Encourage us.”

An everyday grace can also be a phone call, an email, or a note from someone saying something so special you know it’s Heaven-sent.  Sometimes this happens with a total stranger.

I remember being in Georgia on a family vacation one summer.  The boys had taken a boat out on the lake while I stayed back at the pool.  I went into the restroom and there was this beautiful lady there, cleaning away.  She said, “Hey Baby…” in just the sweetest, warmest, southern-of-all southern tones.  Made me want to crawl right up into her lap.

When I left, she said, “God Bless you now…”  I nearly burst into tears!  Timing was uncanny:  only-God-uncanny.  Our trip came right after a lovely woman, “Miss Margaret,” who was like a guardian angel to our family, had had a stroke and could no longer babysit the boys or just come and bless our home, one of her many gifts.  I literally felt like this total stranger, who seemed to be able to see into my soul, was an angel dropped into the restroom by God to bless me abundantly. (You can tell I’m still not over it!) Another “every day grace.”

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A fascinating book I read recently comes to mind with this whole concept of everyday graces.  Praying for Strangers—an Adventure of the Human Spirit  by River Jordan is powerfully transforming.

Praying for Strangers

River shares her experiences of praying for strangers whom she encounters every day.  Some seem unbelievable, and yet clearly God was orchestrating them, one by one.

River begins by explaining:  “I tell her (the person she’s just run into) about my resolution, explaining that today she is my stranger, that I’ll be thinking about her and saying special prayers for her all day.  Then  the oddest thing happens.  She looks at me with what I must call wonder.  She grabs me and hugs my neck. ‘Do you know what I was just saying to God this morning? Do you?  I was just praying this morning and praying for other people, but I stopped and asked the Lord, God, is there anybody in this whole wide world who is praying for me?’”

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 Later in the book River says, “I’ve been thanked more already in this year of my life than all my years put together, for something so intangible and invisible as prayer.”  Did you see that?  “Intangible and invisible”—Oh, if you’ll just watch, more often than not, you will get to SEE visible results. 

River also includes a great quote by E. M. Bounds:  “Walking with God down the avenue of prayer we acquire something of His likeness; and unconsciously we become witnesses to others of His beauty and His grace.”

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River shares loads of benefits from this act of praying for strangers:  “…the light in someone’s soul can suddenly shine a little brighter. …I realize that’s the key…How often are we really touched by the sincerity of the questions, of someone asking and really wanting to know exactly how we are?”

Another man who made an impact on her is named Edward.  After she tells Edward of her resolution, he says, “You have no idea how much I needed to hear that.”  River then replies, “Listen,” I tell him.  “You have no idea what doing this has meant to me. This year I have two sons deployed.  One  in Iraq, one in Afghanistan.  I think this resolution has somehow been saving my life.”  He smiles as I continue.  “Every day it forces me to walk thru’ the world WITH MY EYES OPEN, to SEE other people’s needs, and not just concentrate on my own fears. “

Remember what Ann Voskamp said in her book One Thousand Gifts?  “The remedy is in the retina.”

Let’s OPEN OUR EYES!  Our next “every day grace” is just an encounter away. 

 As everyone’s favorite Winnie the Pooh offers, “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you.  You have to go to them sometimes.”

Winnie The Pooh

Today I’m off to have lunch with a friend at California Pizza Kitchen.  It’s located in a mall. Malls usually contain lots of people… Lookout Louisville!  Let’s open our eyes!

 ‘Til  next time!

(Today’s post is dedicated to my two most evangelistic-without-trying- friends:  Nancy Aguiar and Becky Pippert.  Nancy knows no strangers.  She’s taught countless women all about the Bible for years.  She’s my “Bible Answer Woman”.  She’s the quintessential “listener” you can lean on.  Carry on, Nan!

Becky is best known for having written the classic, Out of the Saltshaker and into the World—Evangelism as a Way of Life.  God orchestrated our encounter in Naples, Florida many years ago.  Perfect scenario of an “every day grace.”  She and Dick lived in Louisville for a while, but have now “gone global.”  They’ve been ministering in Europe and all over the world for several years.  I am blessed to call her friend, mentor,  and devoted prayer warrior. Hurry back to the States, Becky!  We miss you and Dick! May God Bless you and your moving ministry abundantly.)

Out of the Saltshaker

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