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Family Christian

  • Comfort in Loss

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “And many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.” John 11:19

    Have you lost someone or something close to your heart—a baby, a spouse, a friend, a job or an opportunity? A great loss requires great grace or the pain is unbearable. Why do some expecting mothers have a stillborn child and others don’t? Can we truly understand these puzzling matters until we get to heaven and  are able to ask, “Why Lord, why?”

     

    Where is God when emotions run raw and a great hole of hurt embeds in the heart? We don’t always understand the ways of God, but we can always count on Christ’s comfort. The Lord lingers long close to those caught in the pain of great loss. What others cannot totally understand, your Heavenly Father fully comprehends. Grace soothes aching hearts. Christ’s comfort nurses like cool cough syrup flowing down a swollen, inflamed throat.

     

    “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5). The Lord’s comfort is limitless in its capacity to cure.

     

    Furthermore, Christ comforts us, so we are able to extend His compelling comfort to others. Productive pain pays it forward in a faith-based solution to other sad souls. Giving is therapy in God’s economy, so those of us saved by grace are not stingy with its application. Who do you know that needs a listening ear, a silent prayer or a caring visit?

     

    If comfort is kept closed up in the closet of our busyness, then we miss out on one of life’s great joys. Shame on any servant of Jesus that only has time to hear the heart of the spiritually healthy. Be aware, as tears hover under the surface of a tender heart in your circle of influence. Look around; who is struggling with health, work or relational issues? Comfort them, as your influence ripples like a rock slicing through a still body of water.

     

    Noah was known as the comforter, “He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed” (Genesis 5:29).

     

    Say a prayer for someone in despair; send flowers to a young mom who just lost her little one after the first trimester of pregnancy, network for an acquaintance in career transition, pay the rent for a struggling relative, or introduce someone broken to the uplifting love and saving power of Jesus Christ. Comfort is your platform to proclaim God’s grace. You cannot over comfort others, so join the Body of Christ in loving  another hurting heart.

     

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

     

    Prayer: Where do I need Christ’s comfort and who do I know that needs His comfort and joy?

     

    Related Readings: Job 42:11; Psalm 86:17, 119:76; John 14:1; 2 Corinthians 7:6-7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Christ’s comfort nurses like cool cough syrup flowing down a swollen, inflamed throat. #comfort

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with John

  • Chris Tomlin Makes Career History with Tour

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Family Christian

    Chris Tomlin performs at Madison Square Garden Theater on the "Burning Lights Tour." Photo Credit: Chris Bartelski


    GRAMMY® winner and multi-platinum recording artist Chris Tomlin just completed the most successful tour of his 13 year career, with his spring 2013 “Burning Lights Tour” not only seeing a 53% increase in average show attendance above his 2011-2012 tour, but also selling out 25 of its shows, including major U.S. markets like New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago. Additionally, Houston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Seattle each saw ticket sales in excess of 10,000.

    Upon the completion of the tour, Tomlin has announced the continuation of “The Burning Lights Tour” this fall, which will hit 21 cities across the country beginning October 3rd, and once again feature friend and pastor of Passion City Church/Communicator/Passion founder, Louie Giglio. Dates will be announced soon, with presales beginning in June. All tour details will be available at www.ChrisTomlin.com/tour.

    Chris Tomlin performs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on the "Burning Lights Tour." Photo Credit: Mary Caroline Mann


    The final night of the spring run, also a sell out show at Denver’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheater, was filmed before an enthusiastic crowd for what will be Tomlin’s first Live DVD project. The two-disc Burning Lights Deluxe Tour Edition, due in October, will include the live DVD along with the Burning Lights CD. The packed-full project will feature a glimpse into Tomlin's full live tour experience and will feature the powerful moments of "Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)," "Revelation Song" performed with Kari Jobe and Louie Giglio's full 45 minute talk.

    This January, Tomlin accumulated the biggest first-week sales numbers of his history-making career when his latest studio album, Burning Lights, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. With more than 72,000 units sold, Burning Lights marks Tomlin’s first trip to the top of the Billboard 200 and only the fourth time in history that a Christian music album has entered that chart at No. 1.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Louie Giglio

  • Tobymac Welcomes new artist Ryan Stevenson to Gotee

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Family Christian



    Tobymac introduces the latest signee to Gotee Records - Ryan Stevenson. Watch the lyric video below to see the intro and hear Ryan's new song.

    Ryan is a husband and father of two boys. He currently serves as worship leader at Vertical Church Boise. Prior to his full-time music career, Ryan spent seven years as a paramedic. He has performed at Creation West, Fish Fest and Lifest, among other top Christian festivals around the country, and has toured with such artists as Group 1 Crew and Rachael Lampa.

    What do you think?
    To purchase Ryan's new single, click here.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Group 1 Crew, Ryans Stevenson, Rachel Lampa

  • Where Life Will Never Die - Tenth Ave North

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Family Christian

    Most of us who have heard Tenth Avenue North have really appreciated their art. Their music. The depth of lyrical content. For those of us who have seen them in concert, we are allowed to experience not just their music, but also the great words of wisdom.

    Mike Donehey (lead singer) is never shy about sharing the truth of God's word. In the video below, listen to Mike as he shares his passion for a much glorious reality - namely Christ.

    Pick up the latest from Tenth Ave here.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Tenth Ave. North

  • The Story of the Bible

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Family Christian



    Have you ever used a Life Application Bible before? I have used a New Living version of this Bible for a number of years. It fits like a "ball in the glove" for my devotional time.

    Recently, I was exposed to the New Living Chronological Life Application Study Bible. It's certainly not a "new" Bible, but the new is found in how it's arranged. Here are some of the highlights:

    • Timeline/header on each page. This allows the reader to see where they are within the context of the whole Bible.
    • Notes. Notes about history, context, culture. So much information here that allows the text to come alive.
    • Charts. Maps. Diagrams. Illustrations.
    • Dictionary/concordance.
    • The 30,000 view - a commentary of the whole Bible.
    • Application. Thousands of contextual applications. Again, if you are familiar with any Application Bible, this is standard.

    If you are looking to go a little deeper in your walk with Christ, I would highly recommend the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible. You will never run out of applications to be challenged by.

    Don't take my word for it, here is what a few of our customers have said about the Bible:

    I am new to reading the bible and I found this Life Application bible and I love it. It explains with so much depth! Love that it has a timeline at the top of each page. It's definitely the perfect Bible if you are really wanting to learn and study! Love this!
    - Love this Bible! by Kaitlin

    I have read with Prayer, the first 200 pages. And, I have read into the New Testament. I must say, this is a gift from God. Thank You whoever all were responsible for listening to God to put this Bible together. Much appreciated.
    - NLT Chronological by James

    This is a Bible that I would recommend to all my friends and family. It is by far one of the best ones I have come across.
    - Best Bible Ever by Drew S.

    I have to say, this version of the Bible is fresh and exciting. I have never had a chronological Bible before so this is new to me. I love how this Bible is divided into time eras and within the eras all of the books are in timeline order. This really helps with the OT as well as how the Epistles are intertwined with Acts. The full color photos make it like the NIV Archaeological Study Bible. Full color charts add flavor to the notes. The best part is the Life Application notes as well as Bible character focuses. Wrap that all up in the NLT translation that is easy to read yet maintains integrity to the original Bible text and you have something that is great for today, tomorrow, and years to come.
    - Brings the Bible into a great new light by Dave T.

    The NLT Chronological Study Bible by Tyndale House Publishing is the most intriguing and compelling Bible release over the past few years as there is truly nothing quite like it. Whether you already own one Bible or have a library of several, this new Bible provides unique resources to the reader that fosters increased engagement, understanding, and perspective. Reading the Bible has never been more illuminating. Enjoy!
    - Jim Gager, Senior Buyer of Bibles, Reference, Electronics, & Church Supplies at Family Christian

    Here are few resources that are available.

    Download a sample PDF.


    This post was posted in Bibles and was tagged with Featured, NLT, Life Application

  • Sweating in Church

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)

    Recently, I was studying what causes people to feel spiritually frustrated. The two top reasons? Bible study and prayer. I get it.

    I clearly remember being a young girl sitting in church sweating. People around me knew what they were doing! They instantly flipped to every verse in the Bible the preacher man referenced. But not me. I was more interested in counting the spit droplets that came flying out with his punctuated words.

    I respected that man. But boy, could he get fired up and entertain this lost girl.

    Others seemed all wrapped up and excited in what this preacher man and the Bible had to say. They'd shout loud, "Uh-huhs" and "Amens!" What was I missing?

    And then there was my prayer life. Or the lack thereof. It's not that I didn't want to pray, but the whole concept of talking to God felt strange. I tried to copy the prayers of those who seemed to know they were doing more than talking to the air.

    But then my quirky self would sneak in and leave me feeling foolish for what I'd just said to God. "Dear Lord, take this food to the nourishment of my body. (Good so far.) And if you could change the molecular structure of these cheesy fries to be like carrot sticks that sure would be the bomb-diggity." (Huh?)

    Yes, I've come a long way since those days, but trust me when I say I'm still a work in progress. You could still trip me up in finding certain passages in the Bible. And I'm pretty sure you might still hear me say "bomb-diggity" in my prayers. But according to what Jesus taught in our key verse, Matthew 6:7-8, I think He's okay with that.

    "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

    For me, there are two keys to unlocking spiritual frustration with both my Bible study and my prayers:

    Sincerity — coming to God without an agenda and honestly wanting Him to teach me.

    Simplicity — talking to God as the loving Father He is.

    Why do we make it all so complicated?

    I think honest moments spent with God reading His Word, sharing our hearts, and listening for His instruction are quite perfect. No "just right" words or having to know exactly where every book in the Bible is. Just a pure heart simply and sincerely longing to know her God. Jesus might even say that's the bomb-diggity.

    Dear Lord, thank You for hearing what is on my heart in the midst of both happiness and frustration. I don't want to make my relationship with You complicated, God, so please help me to come to You with honest thoughts and prayers. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Did this devotion speak to you right where you are? If so, check out Lysa TerKeurst's book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl for more encouragement as you deepen your relationship with God.

    Click here to follow us on our Facebook page.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you been feeling spiritually frustrated lately?

    Take some time today to have an honest conversation with the Lord. It may even help you to first write down what you want to pray about, reflect on it, and then lift your prayers up to Him.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 4:1, "Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer." (NIV)

    Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Matthew

  • Rejection to Restoration

    Posted on May 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’. Mark 12:11

     

    What is rejected for God can be restored by God. People can reject a good person, even a godly person, only to see themselves discredited and their object of contempt reinstated. The majority may miss the right conclusion, because the facts were withheld by a jealous few. Thus, beware of someone or a group with persuasive powers, but shady motives. Make sure all the facts have been flushed out, before sides are chosen. Those whose power is threatened, threaten their foes.

     

    Jesus was rejected by the religious elite, only to be resurrected as Lord by His Heavenly Father. A few green with envy branded Jesus and His followers as power hungry political fanatics. However, heaven did not sit still in the face of these false accusations. The One whose character was assassinated and whose body was crucified became the payment for His critics' sin. We can reject Jesus as our Savior, but belief in Him is still required for a right relationship with God.

     

    So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. Isaiah 28:16

    When we accept Christ, He brings us back to God. Our arrogant intellect rejected the existence of a personal God, but since He restored us to Himself we crave His company. Our self reliant spirit dismissed dependency on the Almighty, but now we are strengthened in Him. Our drive to accomplish ignored grace, but now having tasted God’s grace, we hunger for more. Our pride looked down on spiritual people, but now our humility compels us to look up to heaven for help!

    Therefore, be a restorer of relationships, not a rejector. Who needs your intentional investment of time so they can be brought back into your good graces? You are the Lord’s minister of reconciliation. Because Christ is the capstone of your character, you have the honor to lay His cornerstone of convictions in the life of your children and grandchildren. Invite those who have rejected Jesus to accept Him. Like a refurbished piece of furniture His restoration is beautiful!

    If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored. Job 22:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for receiving me into Your family of faith.

     

    Related Readings: Job 42:10; Psalm 51:12; Ephesians 2:20;  1 Peter 2:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Make sure all the facts have been flushed out, before sides are chosen. #facts

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Mark

  • Dented and Damaged

    Posted on May 22, 2013 by Carol Davis

    Carol Davis

    "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

    I walked down the aisle of the discount grocery looking for a bargain. It's always hit and miss in this store ... and I had missed ... again.

    Before giving up and accepting defeat, I passed by a bin that caught my eye. The sign read: "Damaged Goods." It was filled with dented cans and missing labels ... no real rhyme or reason, just random items that were not shelf worthy. I knew just how that felt.

    Life sometimes delivers the unexpected. Lessons learned in the school of hard knocks bruise us, dent us and remove the label that we believe defines who we are. A miscarriage strips away the title of mother. A divorce takes away the role of wife. A pink slip eliminates our role of employee.

    We can feel as if we have been tossed into a bin, no longer worthy of a place on the shelf. With enough dents and damage, we can believe the lie that we are first-class failures and all hope is gone.

    Shaking myself from my theological musings, I leaned over and intentionally chose a dented can with no label from the bin. I got it home and placed it on the counter with anxious anticipation. The whirr of the can opener finally penetrated the metal lid to reveal ... peaches!!! I let out a schoolgirl squeal! I love peaches!! What a treat to open this can and be greeted by one of my favorite fruits. The can was damaged but the contents were still good ... and sweet.

    God continued the lesson He began in the grocery store.

    I have been damaged. We all have to some degree. I am not living the life that I dreamed about when I was a kid. However, the damage that I have suffered has made the contents of my heart so much sweeter, so much more compassionate, so much more in pursuit of Jesus. I have been looked down upon and judged by many who have seen my labels missing and slapped on their own.

    I've wanted to say, "Don't judge too quickly. My damage has not defined me. It is refining me." I may sometimes be at the bottom of life's bin, but Jesus paid as high a price for those of us at the bottom as He did for those that are proudly displayed on the top shelf. In fact, Psalm 34:18 reassures me that He is near to those who are crushed and broken. What a relief that is!

    Look around. Is there someone in your life, your family or your church that you consider "damaged goods"? Don't miss an opportunity to reach out to them, to love them. You just might find a friendship that is good and sweet. And while reaching out to them, take a good look around at how the Lord is near to you. Wrap yourself up in His presence. That is one label that can't be taken from us!

    Dear Lord, my life hasn't turned out exactly like I thought it would. But, I know You can still use me. Please forgive me for labeling others and judging them by their outside circumstances instead of the work that You are doing in their hearts. Help me realize that we all have dents but that's what keeps us desperate for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down all the life circumstances that have "dented" your heart. Ask God to use your dents and scratches for your good and His glory.

    Have you been judged unfairly? How did that make you feel?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth." (NLT)

    Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners ..." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Carol Davis. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm

  • Instant Obedience

    Posted on May 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Matthew 21:28-30

     

    Instant obedience is an indicator of a heart that loves God. Someone who first says no to the Lord, but later repents and obeys, enjoys His mercy. However, someone who immediately says yes, but never follows through is a liar who misses God’s mercy. Yes, an oath of obedience to Jesus Christ is a promise requiring swift action. An honest answer of no to the Almighty can be converted to obedience, but a dishonest yes that passively disobeys is absent moral authority.

     

    Do you sometimes catch yourself agreeing just to appease an authority with no intention of follow through? Or do you measure your words and commitments with a genuine goal to get it done? Appeasement to gain harmony in the short term will only compound disappointment in the long term. It is better to be up front and experience some disapproval than to mask your true intentions until they are revealed in a dramatic disclosure. Obedience begins with transparency.

     

    For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20, NKJV

     

    Those who hide behind religious activity with no intention of authentic obedience to God will miss His blessings, even salvation. The Kingdom of Heaven is not made with hands, but is birthed in hearts that repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. We who brand ourselves Christians have to honestly ask which Kingdom we are building, His or ours? When we turn over control to Christ, we can rest in Him. We trust and obey for this is the gate to God’s will.

     

    Where is your Heavenly Father calling you to obey Him? Perhaps there is a relationship that needs to cease, a job that needs to change or a friend you need to forgive. Christ may be calling you overseas for a season or to a city closer to your family. Whatever and wherever the Holy Spirit is prompting your heart, don’t delay, rather instantly obey the Spirit’s leading. You may have said no, only to realize your mistake. Change your mind, swallow your pride and obey!

     

    Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. Psalm 119:67

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.

     

    Related Readings: Jonah 3:3; John 8:52; Romans 6:17; Philippians 2:12; 1 Peter 1:22

     

    Post/Tweet today: We trust and obey for this is the gate to God’s will. #God’swill

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • HOME RUN Comes to DVD and Blu-ray on July 23

    Posted on May 21, 2013 by Family Christian



    HOME RUN has a lot to be proud of after its nationwide theatrical release last month. The Samuel Goldwyn Films release, in association with Provident Films, opened in almost 400 theaters in North America and debuted as the No. 2 new film of the week, second only to Tom Cruise’s Oblivion. The opening weekend success led to an expansion into 70 new theaters in the United States and Canada. Today, Provident Films and Millennium Entertainment announce that HOME RUN will release to DVD and Blu-ray on July 23, giving many others the chance to hear and share the film’s message that “freedom is possible.”

    “Lives have been changed due to the message of this film and its North American theatrical release,” says executive producer Carol Mathews. “Now with its availability on DVD and Blu-ray, I am encouraged and excited that even more people will have the opportunity to watch it and know that freedom is possible."

    Trailer of HOME RUN.

    HOME RUN accumulated an impressive collection of praise and reviews for the theatrical release. Here’s a snapshot of the acclaim garnered nationwide for the film:

    “The movie HOME RUN is great for not only baseball fans, but anyone looking to be inspired. The story provides an important reminder that no matter how successful we are, we are all affected by the issues that come along. Only through Jesus we can find the peace and comfort to live this life.”
    - 5-time World Series Champion and New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte

    “HOME RUN swings for the fences, and often connects.”
    - Sean O'Connell, Washington Post (Critics Pick)

    “Powerful story of personal recovery after hitting bottom. Very moving.”
    - Rick Warren via Twitter, @RickWarren

    “HOME RUN reminds us of the power of forgiveness, the richness of redemption, and the wisdom of trusting God to revive us.”
    - Max Lucado, New York Times best-selling author and pastor

    “HOME RUN is a must-see story of change and redemption—a story all of us need to hear and know. Freedom is possible with God in our lives!”
    - Joel Osteen, Pastor of Lakewood Church and best–selling author

    “Cory’s story invites all of us to consider how our own bad habits and selfishness might be influencing those closest to us (and) to remember how fantastic and inspiring is God’s grace.”
    - Focus on the Family’s Plugged-In

    Special features on the HOME RUN DVD & Blu-ray include:
    - Around the Bases Featurette
    - Freedom is Possible Featurette
    - Baseball Super Stars Praise Home Run
    - National Center for Fathering Promo
    - Be a Dad Promo

    To prebuy the Home Run DVD or Blu-ray, click here.


    This post was posted in Movies and was tagged with Featured, Home Run, Max Lucado, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren

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