Kent, Carol 1947-

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Kent, Carol 1947-

PERSONAL:

Born 1947; married; husband's name Gene; children: Jason. Education: Earned a B.S. and an M.A.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Public speaker, writer, and communications trainer. Speak Up Speaker Services, founder and president. Formerly radio show cohost; guest on radio and television programs, including Prime Time America, Family Life Today, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, CNNLive, Focus on the Family, The Harvest Show, Life Today with James Robison, 100 Huntley Street, and On Main Street.

MEMBER:

National Speakers Association.

WRITINGS:

Speak Up with Confidence: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Public Speaking, T. Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1987, published as Speak Up with Confidence: A Step-by-Step Guide for Speakers and Leaders, 1987, published by NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 1997.

Secret Passions of the Christian Woman, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 1990.

Tame Your Fears and Transform Them into Faith, Confidence, and Action: Women Reveal What They Fear Most, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 1993.

Tame Your Fears and Transform Them into Faith, Confidence, and Action: A Small Group Discussion Guide, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 1994.

Detours, Tow Trucks, and Angels in Disguise: Finding Humor and Hope in Unexpected Places, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 1996.

Mothers Have Angel Wings: A Tribute to the Tears and Triumphs of Being a Mom, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 1997.

Becoming a Woman of Influence: Making a Lasting Impact on Others, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 2002.

Secret Longings of the Heart: Overcoming Deep Disappointment and Unfulfilled Expectations, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 2003.

When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 2004.

Kisses of Sunshine for Women, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

Kisses of Sunshine for Teachers, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

Kisses of Sunshine for Sisters, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

Kisses of Sunshine for Moms, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

Kisses of Sunshine for Grandmas, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

A New Kind of Normal: Hope-filled Choices When Life Turns Upside Down, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2007.

Also author, with Karen Lee-Thorp, of a small group bible study series, Six Secrets of a Confident Woman, Six Keys to Lasting Friendships, Six Basics of a Balanced Life, Six Essentials of Spiritual Authenticity, Six Steps to Clarify Your Calling, and Six Choices That Will Change Your Life, all NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO). Also author of Secret Longings of the Heart Discussion Guide, My Soul's Journey, and Designed for Influence. General editor, "Kisses of Sunshine" series, Zondervan. Contributor to periodicals, including Focus on the Family, Homelife, Lay Leadership, and Today's Christian Woman.

SIDELIGHTS:

Carol Kent's work as a speaker and author is deeply rooted in her Christian faith. In her books and talks, she presents an uplifting message of love and hope. In Becoming a Woman of Influence: Making a Lasting Impact on Others, Kent encourages women to choose twelve other women and act as loving mentors to them, as Christ did to his disciples. Inspiring stories of personal transformation illustrate Kent's key points.

Kent draws from a tragic turning point in her own life for her book When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances. She tells the horrifying story of learning that her only child, a Navy officer and devout Christian who had previously led an exemplary life, had murdered his wife's ex-husband. Kent and her husband struggled emotionally and financially to support their son, who was eventually sentenced to life in prison without parole. They "lost many of their ideals of what the perfect Christian life would hold," commented Cindy Crosby in Christianity Today, "but they discovered the power of Christian community and God's faithfulness."

Using her personal experience as a starting point, in When I Lay My Isaac Down, Kent offers guidelines and questions for other people who are trying to find their way after a devastating event. According to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "She shares her story with a transparency and vulnerability that readers will find both disarming and bracing."

In an interview with Holly Vicente Robaina for Today's Christian Woman, Kent remarked that what amazes her most about God is that He uses everyday people "to do his extraordinary work. Sometimes we think we have to be the most educated, the most gifted, the most beautiful. But God delights in doing extraordinary things through women who simply say, God, I'm available. When you say that, you truly become a woman of influence."

Kent continues her story of her family's attempts to come to grips and cope with her son's homicide conviction in the 2007 nonfiction title A New Kind of Normal: Hope-filled Choices When Life Turns Upside Down. Here she relates how her hopes for a shortening of her son's life sentence have thus far been dashed, yet she does not give in to despair. The family has had to learn a new way of holding on to hope, spending their Sundays as well as holidays in the visiting room of the prison or waiting in security lines to see their son. "Kent's inner ache is transparent and her pain raw, yet she delves into trusting God when despair is overwhelming," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer. The same critic felt that A New Kind of Normal delivered a "message of triumph to all Christians who suffer yet continue to hold fast to God's promised provision."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Christianity Today, August, 2004, Cindy Crosby, review of When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances, p. 58.

Publishers Weekly, October 25, 1999, review of Becoming a Woman of Influence: Making a Lasting Impact on Others, p. 71; April 26, 2004, review of When I Lay My Isaac Down, p. 59; March 26, 2007, review of A New Kind of Normal: Hope-filled Choices When Life Turns Upside Down, p. 85.

Today's Christian Woman, March, 2001, Holly Vicente Robaina, "5 Minutes with Carol Kent," p. 96; July, 2001, Camerin Courtney and Ginger Kolbaba, review of Six Secrets of a Confident Woman, p. 60; July 1, 2004, "A Mother's Anguish: Two Years Ago, Carol Kent's Son Was Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder. The Popular Christian Speaker Talks about What She's Learned, and the Ministries That Resulted," p. 54.

ONLINE

Carol Kent Home Page,http://www.carolkent.org (October 24, 2007).

Speaker Up Speaker Services Web site,http://speakupspeakerservices.com/ (October 6, 1999), "Carol Kent."

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