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Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest blog and giveaway of The Gifted by Ann Gabhart

Welcome back to my friend and fellow KY author, Ann Gabhart. And all who leave a comment on this post by next Friday, with contact info, will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of The Gifted, her latest book based in Shakertown, KY. A delightful read by a very gifted and generous writer!

What is Your Gift? by Ann H. Gabhart

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:6 (NIV)

The Shakers were very receptive to gifts of the spirit in their societies. One of their best known songs was “Tis a Gift to Be Simple.” That was the gift all Shaker believers were expected to seek to possess. Being simple meant they wouldn’t be distracted from the Shaker way of “hands to work and hearts to God.”

Of course, their idea of the distractions to avoid are what made them so different from the “world” they tried to block from the borders of their villages. They believed the family unit of mother, father, and children caused too much stress and conflict and thus, hindered proper worshipful living. That’s why they chose celibacy and kept the sexes strictly divided with all members living as brother and sister. Many other rules were handed down as well to keep their members in union one with another such as stepping with the right foot first each time they climbed a stairway or praying silently at specified times or pulling out their chair for sitting at the table with the same hand at the same time. They practiced orderly marching dances, but they also embraced gifts of whirling and gifts of song. The gift of sweeping where they swept away sin with imaginary brooms was so common that they wrote sweeping songs for worship.

But what happened when a Shaker sister or brother had a gift that was not embraced by the Ministry as a good and proper gift? That’s the dilemma of Jessamine Brady in The Gifted. Her “gifts” of imagination and curiosity continually land her in trouble in the Shaker village. She loves her sisters at Harmony Hill, but she’s always peering past the village borders wanting to know more. Her fingers itch to write down fanciful stories that have no place in a Shaker sister’s life. One of the things Jessamine must discover in the story is whether her gifts are a blessing from God or if they arise out of sinful worldly desires.

What is your gift? Or gifts? You certainly aren’t limited to one talent or gift by the Giver of all good gifts. But I’ve met people who didn’t believe they possessed any gifts that could be used for the Lord. That’s human thinking. The Lord hasn’t limited us that way. Paul in Romans 12 lists many gifts: prophesy, teaching, serving, encouraging, contributing, leading, showing mercy. Think of all the ways those gifts can be broken down and expanded. We may not all be preachers or we may not be able to teach, but who among us can’t encourage with a smile or kind word? Perhaps we can’t be the one who leads the church, but surely we can all show mercy even as we embrace God’s mercy to us.

Like Jessamine in my story, I do think I have been blessed with a gift for words. For that, I’m thankful because I love writing down stories. But not everybody has a gift of words. It would be a strange world if we all shared the same gift. Many have gifts of music or of art. No less important are those who have a gift for kindness. Some may have the gift of loving the unlovely. Others the less celebrated gifts of serving their churches and families by cooking nourishing meals or cleaning or praying for others. Spiritual gifts can be for teaching and spreading the Good News, but the gifts of seeing and meeting people’s needs are every bit as valuable. So celebrate your gifts and offer them up to the Lord with joy.

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” ~Anthony Robbins

Ann H. Gabhart bio

Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky, Ann H. Gabhart has walked the same paths her character might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a colorful backdrop for her Shaker novels. Ann is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and Angel Sister. The Gifted is the fifth book set in her Shaker village of Harmony Hill.
Ann lives on a farm with her husband, Darrell. They have three children, three in-law children, and nine grandchildren. To find out more about Ann or her books visit www.annhgabhart.com. Check out her blog, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/AnnGabhart , Twitter (user name annhgabhart) or Pinterest, http://pinterest.com/annhgabhart/.

31 comments:

Ayden Sanders said...

In real life I to give preference to making such a wonderful and creative blog. Through this approach you can not only save some money but also boost your creativity as well. I heartily appreciate your efforts in this direction.
Gift Bags Toronto

Amy Campbell said...

Ann's books are great! Would love a copy of The Gifted.
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I woul love to win this book.I love Ann's books!

Anonymous said...

I have read all three of Ann's Shaker Books and loved them. So my husband and I took a trip from Ohio to KY to visit the Shaker Village! It was wonderful and I hope that Ann will continue to write Shaker Books.
Barbara Carmany
jbchalf@neo.rr.com

Carmee Ross said...

I enjoy reading the interviews that Ann does and would love to win "The Gifted". Enjoy reading Ann's novels as well. Thank you for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Terri Clark. Terrilea@yahoo.com

loretta said...

Enjoyed my trip to Ky to Shakertown many years ago. I didn't think to see if anyone had written about the Shakers. Now I know! Hope to read your book, hope maybe to win it.

Jackie Tessnair said...

Ann's books are excellent.I would love to win a copy of this book.Thanks

O Norman said...

Ann has a way with words. I know this will be another great book.
O Norman
onorman@wilkes.net

Betty Hamilton said...

I am a believer in "gifts". I also believe that if we don't use our gifts that we will lose them. I love Ann's books and would love to win this one! Thank you for the opportunity.

jackie morris said...

would love to win the gifted!! it would be a surprise!!

Connie said...

I believe that God has given me the gift of patience and that has enabled me to teach. No, I am not a teacher by profession but I have taught Sinday School classes for over 30 years and now, I teach computer classes for "seniors". I love to see someone grasp a concept. It may be a computer application or It may be a Christian concept but both bring me joy. Ann's books also bring me joy and I would love a copy of "The Gifted"!

Carol Reed said...

I love Ann. I love her books, her posts on fb and her blog. I have read The Gifted and loved it but would love to win a copy for a special keepsake.
carol.russ@yahoo.com

Ann H Gabhart said...

Thanks to all of you who have come over to read my post here as Rose's guest. I've enjoyed hearing about everybody's gifts here and on The Book Club Network where I asked a similar question last week. Connie, I'm not a school teacher either, but I too have enjoyed teaching Sunday school and writing classes. Teaching is a gift to enjoy.

Diane Morton said...

Having the opportunity to read wonderful writers works is a God given gift for all to share in. The greatest gift in my own life is my wonderful mother who, at 91, is pretty amazing, and my very own guardian angel. Doesn't get much better.

Ann H Gabhart said...

I do so appreciate the encouragement in your comments. Writers need that and I'm so glad to have all of you as beautiful reading friends. Thank you and good luck with the drawing. To win you do have to leave Rose a way to contact you, so if you left a comment without putting your e-mail you might want to leave another with that info. Some of you I know from FB and so I could message you from there if you win.

Ann H Gabhart said...

What a blessing to have a beautiful, loving mother, Diane. I too always knew Mom always had my back. She supported me in everything with love and common sense. Now I have to be her supporter now that dementia is taking its toll. So glad you and your mom have such a great relationship.

Anonymous said...

I have not read this book yet! And can't wait to read it. This is a great blog I love it....
Gina Cromer
From, SC

Debbie curto said...

I read Words spoken true and loved it would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance
likesmusic2@consolidated,net

Shaun Renee said...

Would love to win this book. Shaun Paulsen srpaulsen3@gmail.com

Sharma said...

I sure hope that I win a copy of The Gifted. Sharma Darby rdarby@roadrunner.com

Ann H Gabhart said...

Thanks, Gina. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Good luck in the drawing.

Debbie, thanks so much for reading Words Spoken True. Glad you liked the story. The Gifted is a different type story since it has the Shaker background, but if you win, I hope you enjoy it too.

Good luck to all of you and thanks so much for your comments and encouragement.

MsRubyKat said...

I've read Ann Gabhart's other books and would love to win a copy of her newest book.
Karen Gervais
kmgervais@nycap.rr.com

Nancee said...

A wonderful interview with Ann. Thank you for offering this giveaway!
Nancee
quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Rhonda's Doings said...

I'm not sure if many fall in love at first sight, as it may be infatuation for many. Enter me please
Rhonda
rhonda_nash_hall@comcast.net

dstoutholcomb said...

would love to win--Ann's books are wonderful!

Ann H Gabhart said...

Rhonda, you're probably right about that love at first sight being infatuation, but when it develops into more, that's when we sigh over the idea of love at first sight.

Good luck in the drawing, everybody. I do really appreciate you coming over to read my guest posts and interviews. You're the best.

Anonymous said...

Love, Love, Love the Shaker series by Ann. God has blessed me with the beautiful gift of teaching & loving children in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School at churches I've belonged to. What a blessing to be able to be part of laying a spiritual foundation for a child. I also am a prayer warrior which I learned from my precious 85 year old mom whom I have the privilege of praying for & with daily even though she is miles away from PA. I would love to win one of Ann's books 'cause she is special and her writing is special....Linda M.
dmcfarl101@juno.com

Ann H Gabhart said...

Good to hear from you, Linda. And so glad you and your mom are praying buddies. You're right about laying that foundation with kids at Sunday school and Bible School. Not much more important than that.

Kay Gervais said...

Ann Gabhart's books are great. I love reading about the Shakers. Would love to win a copy this book.
msbookwormlady(at)aol(dot)com

Rose McCauley said...

Thanks to all our commenters and to Ann for keeping up with it all while I was on vacation this past week. Our winner is Shaun Renee Paulsen, so congrats to her! Hope the rest of you run out and buy the book so you won't miss this great read!