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Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Just a Minute" (Wess Stafford)

TITLE: Just a Minute: In the Heart of a Child, One Moment ... Can Last Forever
AUTHOR: Wess Stafford with Dean Merrill
PUBLISHER: Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2012, (224 pages).

This is a book of inspiring stories about how a minute can change the life of a person forever. It stems from the author's basic conviction about the value of every child.
"I have become convinced that if God stands a child before you, for even just a minute, it is a divine appointment." (14)
It is one thing to see a child as an ordinary child. When seeing from God's perspective, every child is extraordinary. As the President of Compassion International organization, Stafford travels far and wide all over the world, to reach out to ordinary people, especially children. Bringing together many touching stories of hope, faith, and love, he strings together the stories to highlight the importance of one minute that can change a child's life forever. He tells of how children are physically rescued, and allowed that moment to change them and to rescue others as well. He talks about inculcating self-worth in children, so that they can develop a healthy self-esteem, especially in a world that puts children down. He mentions powerful stories of successful individuals like Colin Powell, Tony Dungy, Zig Ziglar, Abraham Lincoln, and many others to show us how these people have been formed from a very young age. Encourage them and assist them when young, and they will become big influences to help others next time.

Stafford brings together not only personal stories, but from the individual testimonies from biographies, sharing, and popular books in the market. What distinguishes Stafford's collection of stories is that it helps us trace the beginning of a successful person back to the very beginning state of a child. There are many valuable lessons on integrity, ethics, generosity, gratitude, and good moral upbringing. In fact, anyone can inspire a child. A parent, a teacher, a music professional, or simply a stranger can encourage and touch a child's life.

This book is high on story-telling.  What a book to prepare for the start of a New Year!

Rating 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Moody Publishers and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. The opinions offered are freely mine.


  1. I loved this empowering and encouraging book! It made me realize that one small act of kindness can have eternal (and immediate) consequences. The author 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. And those moments, even a small word or deed of encouragement to a child, might change the trajectory of their life. As you mentioned, teh book is full of stories. Many made me cry, but also motivated me to take “just a minute” to encourage, love or help a child.

  2. Hi Keri,
    You have put it so well and succinctly. In a world in which people are constantly saying they are 'busy,' it is gratifying to know that 'just a minute' can inject a healthy dose of refreshment to the soul. Thinking of the idea of a 'child,' isn't it also true that there is a little child in every person waiting to be encouraged as well?

    Thanks for your wonderful words.