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Author Archives: Family Christian

  • Look What You've Done

    Posted on January 2, 2014 by Family Christian

    What a year this has been.

    262 people traveled with us on 20 mission trips.

    29,798 child sponsorships through World Vision.

    $50,000 raised to aid an orphanage in China.

    Raised through The Haiti Challenge: $280,33 funding for the first year of construction for a neonatal and infant orphanage.

    43 adoptions through our nonprofit ministry.

    4 new widow homes built.

    8 widow homes restored.

    16 fuel efficient wood-burning stoves installed.

    33 water purifiers provided.

    114,531 Bibles donated to military members and their families.

    And we couldn’t have done it without you.

    Together, let’s accomplish even more next year!

    When you shop, you give.


    How do you put your faith in action?

  • What's Mine to Do?

    Posted on December 30, 2013 by Family Christian

    Renee

    "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

    As I stood on a barren hillside in an ancient land, I felt small. My husband Rich and I were staying overnight in a small village in the West Bank – an area occupied by the Israeli government but populated by Palestinian communities. We were there to see how World Vision was helping to fight poverty and bring peace to this hurting and isolated community.

    That hillside had once been covered with olive groves, but Israeli forces replaced them with a security wall. Proponents claim the wall was necessary for protection, but it cut through the middle of communities, separating neighbors from their jobs, schools and each other. The ancient olive groves were just another casualty of generations of conflict.

    The community had purchased replacement trees, but they stood in plastic buckets rather than in the ground, presumably so they could be moved if construction vehicles came back.

    Earlier that day, I had hiked among the buckets with Rawah, a high school senior who was leaving soon to attend university. As we walked, she shared her dreams for the future, exuding the optimism every young student should have.

    Other community members were skeptical. "What's the use?" one villager asked me. "Our children have no future. They go to university and then return home prepared to do jobs that don't exist. They become tour guides instead of world leaders."

    Here, it seemed, children's futures were no safer than the olive trees.

    The conflict between Israel and Palestine is complicated. Its roots go back millennia. Since modern Israel's birth, the relationship has often been violent. Unsurprisingly, the vulnerable have suffered the most.

    And here I was, in the middle of it, meeting people whose lives were threatened by an ancient struggle that was bigger and more complicated than any of us.

    When confronted with a situation that's too big for me to handle, or when frustrated by the sheer injustice of something happening right in front of me, I used to tell myself, "This is not mine to fix."

    Sometimes that helped me remember I'm not always responsible for making everything right. However, sometimes it was an excuse to do nothing.

    Do you ever feel that way? Are the problems confronting the world, your community or even your family just too big to get your mind and arms around?

    Turn to God's Word and the reminder that Paul gives us in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (NIV) God has given us the strength we need, to do whatever He has called us to do.

    With God's wisdom and strength, I'm learning to ask: "What is mine to do?"

    For me, the answer was to help give a face to the conflict. I know I can't bring peace to the Middle East, but I can help people better understand that the lives of real men and women, boys and girls – on both sides of the conflict – are at stake. That, I can do.

    Don't give into the temptation to do nothing because you can't do everything. God doesn't call us to fix every problem, but He does call us to do something. Find out what that is and then, in His strength, do it with all your heart.

    Dear Heavenly Father, our world is so broken. But You've empowered each of us to do something to help heal it in Your Name. We can't do everything but You've entrusted us with something. Help us to identify our assignment and to seek Your strength to carry it out. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What are some problems you believe God is calling you to do something about?

    What can you do to address these problems? What must you entrust to God or others?

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 9:36-38, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" (NIV)

    Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Stearns. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Thomas Nelson Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • The Storm Inside - Sheila Walsh

    Posted on December 18, 2013 by Family Christian

    Sheila

    The chaos of life can be overwhelming, and women seem to get a heavier dose. Each day comes with its own pressures, heartaches and disappointments that slowly erode the joy, peace and closeness to God every woman needs. Chaos always feels like the enemy as it rages around us and inside us.

    In The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are, bestselling author and Women of Faith speaker Sheila Walsh invites you into ten life-changing, hope-filled transformations where hurt and heartache are divinely redeemed into joy and faith. With insightful biblical teaching, intimate stories of her own storms and the chaos other women have faced and overcome, Walsh shows how:

    • Heartbreak can become strength
    • Shame can lead to love
    • Unforgiveness can find freedom
    • Restoration can undo rage
    • Courage overcomes insignificance

    In The Storm Inside, you will find strength in the most profound truths - that you are always a child of God no matter how you feel. This simple teaching will be the difference between a life of joy and one of despair. Walsh powerfully reminds us that God offers no guarantee of a life without storms, but He does provide the strength and grace to make it through them.

  • Angels We Have Heard on High - for King & Country

    Posted on December 17, 2013 by Family Christian

    for King & Country has taken the music world by storm. Their debut album, Crave, has become a favorite to so many. Their live show is simply ferocious.

    Their new Christmas EP, Into the Silent Night continues to be anything but silent. Their song arrangements have breathed new life into classic holiday songs.

    Check out their new animated video for Angels We Have Heard on High:

    What do you think?

    So celebrate the Christmas season with for KING & COUNTRY and listen to Into the Silent Night EP. Just in time for the holidays, this five-track compilation includes both studio and live versions of the original song "Baby Boy," as well as "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Little Drummer Boy."

    Bonus - check out our recent interview with Luke Smallbone from the band:

  • Select Gifts - All at a Great Price

    Posted on December 16, 2013 by Family Christian

    11 Piece Nativity Set

    Nativity

    This detailed 11-piece nativity set comes complete with Mary and Joseph, the three wise men, the angel, some stable animals, and baby Jesus. It is ready to be added to a manger of your choosing, or just displayed on its own. This nativity set makes an excellent Christmas gift for someone who does not already have one.

     

    Acrylic Travel Cup - All Things Are Possible

    Acrylic

    Sip in style with this sturdy acrylic travel cup, ideal for holding your favorite hot or cold beverage. The insulated sides help to keep your drink at the perfect temperature, while the snap-on lid prevents spills.

    The sides are decorated with a floral design and feature the reference "With God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:26.

    Christmas Mug Set

    Mug

    This Christmas mug set includes four unique mugs that will brighten your home each time they are used for your favorite hot beverage. "Believe" with a manger, "Hope" with a red snowflake, "Joy" with an blue angel, and "Peace" with a green star, these four mug designs will remind you of the core sentiments of the Christmas season.

    LED Votive Candle Set 

    Votive

    Light up a Christmas night with this set of five LED votive candles in glass candle holders. Each glass votive holds an LED tea light which will burn without smoke or residue all night long. The five candle holders are made of frosted glass and together they spell out the word "FAITH."

    For these and many more items like these that are all on sale at Family Christian, click here.

  • Free Wallpaper for Your Mobile, Tablet or Computer - December

    Posted on November 29, 2013 by Family Christian

    December. It's the month that involves a story. Not just any ol' story, but THE Story. The Story that trumps all other stories.

    It's a time to gather the family and friends around the Story that involves a Baby. A Lamb. A Lion. All of it leading to a hill. A cross. An empty grave. Oh yes, December is the quite the month.

    Enjoy these wallpapers to dress up your space.  These are completely free to download. Just right click on the size that you need and you will be all set. To find out which size you need, click here.

    Both images are taking from our Coupon Calendars that we sell online and in our stores. Click here to find the Growth in Faith Calendar and the He Refreshes My Soul Calendar.


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  • What New Books Are You Excited About? - A Vine Video

    Posted on November 7, 2013 by Family Christian

  • Everfound - God of the Impossible

    Posted on November 5, 2013 by Family Christian

    The four brothers of the Russian-born band Everfound, who immigrated to Denver, Colorado when they were young children, have been inspired by their ancestors’ commitment to their faith in the face of oppression in the Soviet Union. Although their ancestors were not legally allowed to profess their Christian faith, Everfound has sung freely and clearly about Jesus on four independent albums, and they will do so again on their major label debut with Word Records, the self-titled Everfound.

    For this album, they wrote 75 songs and narrowed it down to the best 12, including the lead-off hit single "Never Beyond Repair." While these songs are intensely personal, they were written with the a generation in mind. Everfound’s goal was to write songs that would serve as the soundtrack to people’s daily lives.

    Here is there 2nd single, God of the Impossible.

    What do you think of the song?

  • Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights - Deluxe Edition

    Posted on October 30, 2013 by Family Christian

    One of the most storied worship leaders of our time, Chris Tomlin returns with this deluxe tour edition of his hit album, Burning Lights. As the songwriter behind the worship favorites "How Great Is Our God," "Jesus Messiah," "Holy is the Lord" and "Forever," Chris continues to write songs that connect people to the heart of Jesus and lead them to a greater worship of Him.

    Burning Lights: Deluxe Edition includes special guest performances from Lecrae, Phil Wickham, Kari Jobe and Christy Nockels, as well as an all new talk from Louie Giglio. Recorded live at Red Rocks, the included bonus DVD is the next best thing to seeing Tomlin in concert!

    Check out God's Great Dance Floor LIVE

    Our God LIVE

    To read our Q&A with Chris, click here.

  • Operation Christmas Child

    Posted on October 29, 2013 by Family Christian

    Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.

    Two decades after it started, Operation Christmas Child continues to deliver shoebox gifts and the Good News of Jesus Christ to boys and girls around the world.

    Twenty years ago, Franklin Graham made a promise to collect a few gifts for boys and girls in war-torn Bosnia. Today, Operation Christmas Child has become a year-round, international project, delivering millions of shoeboxes to children in nearly 100 countries each year.

    Si Robertson, everyone’s favorite uncle and reed-maker for Duck Commander duck calls, has teamed up with Operation Christmas Child to get the word out about sharing God’s love through the joy of a shoebox gift. You can join Si and be part of sharing the Good News with children around the world by packing shoeboxes with a variety of small gifts.

    In July 1993, a man from the United Kingdom named Dave Cooke reached out to Graham because he needed help collecting gifts to send to children in Bosnia. Graham promptly agreed, then—as he tells it—just as promptly pushed the project to the back of his mind and continued focusing on various other projects at Samaritan’s Purse.

    Later that fall, Cooke called back asking when Samaritan’s Purse would send the gifts they collected. With the last-minute help of several pastors, Graham was able to deliver on his promise and sent 28,000 shoebox gifts for the children of Bosnia.

    Twenty years later, more than 103 million shoebox gifts have been collected and delivered in more than 150 countries, each one representing an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel.

    Whether their needs are physical or spiritual, the millions of boys and girls who have received shoeboxes have experienced powerful blessings through these simple gifts. Each gift is not only filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies, but also with the power of prayer.

    “We ask people to pray as a family as you pack the boxes,” Graham said. “Pray that God would use them. And He does. We have seen miracle after miracle of how God has used a box.”

    Twelve-year-old Dulce Maria lives in extreme poverty in Honduras with her father and four siblings. Her mother committed suicide in 2002 due to extreme depression over the family’s difficult financial situation. Her father takes her to school every day and then goes to do janitorial and maintenance work in households that hire him for a day.

    Dulce Maria always wanted a doll, but her father couldn’t afford to buy her one. Imagine the surprise and delight she experienced when she received a shoebox gift, opened it, and saw a doll! Jumping for joy, she said it was the most beautiful one she had ever seen.

    But her joy was not yet complete that day. The Gospel was shared during the distribution, and she learned more about Jesus through a children’s storybook offered with the shoebox. Dulce Maria went to her teacher and told her that she had received two gifts that day: the doll and eternal life in Christ.

    No matter who packs them, from three former U.S. presidents to the family down the street, each gift-filled shoebox throughout the past 20 years represents the joy of one more child, like Dulce Maria, who has been reached with a tangible expression of God’s love.

    “We are just getting started with Operation Christmas Child,” said Randy Riddle, director of the project’s domestic operations in the United States. “The potential is so great to reach more and more children.”

    Our goal is to collect 9.8 million shoebox gifts from 11 countries this year.

    The gifts will be delivered along with your prayers to places such as Argentina, Zimbabwe, Angola, Vietnam and more.

    And after 20 years delivering shoeboxes to 75 percent of the countries around the world, the motivation for sharing the gifts has remained the same.

    “I want the children of the world to know, I want their parents to know, that God loves them,” Graham said. “He cares for them, and He wants them to be with Him in heaven.”

    Suggested items could include:

    SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
    TOYS: Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch,® toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky,® etc.
    HYGIENE ITEMS: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
    OTHER: T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
    A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)
    DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out- of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

    Drop off locations can be found by clicking here.

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WHAT WE'RE ABOUT

“to look after orphans and widows in their distress...” James 1:27 NIV

Our heartbeat is to help orphans and widows in need, as our Father calls us to do.
And with every purchase you make, you’re making an amazing difference in their lives.

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