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Family Christian

  • A Broken Kind of Beautiful from Katie Ganshert

    Posted on April 16, 2014 by Family Christian

    Katie Ganshert

    The girl with the haunted eyes reentered his life on the other side of a lowering casket, humidity and the shrill song of cicadas tangling together in the South Carolina heat. Aunt Marilyn pressed trembling fingers against her lips and swayed as if the wet ground had risen up and pitched her forward. Davis Knight tightened his grip beneath his aunt’s elbow and looked away from her pain. That’s when he saw her—standing like a statue, her waif-like form shrouded in grief.

    Ivy Clark. All grown up.

    A distant rumble of thunder rolled across the blackened sky, leftover remnants from a tropical storm. A raindrop brushed his ear; another grazed the tip of his nose. Pastor Voss bowed his head. So did everyone else, including Ivy. A slight breeze ruffled wisps of hair around her downturned face and fluttered the butterfly sleeves of her dress. The last time he’d seen her in the flesh, he had just returned to Greenbrier for a short summer stint after completing his freshman year at NYU. Ivy had been twelve going on fifty. Tall and gangly with eyes too large for her face—twin souls the color of honey, staring and deep as if she saw and understood every sadness in the world.

    Then she had disappeared, and so did he, in a way. A few years later he began following her career because it was in his interest to follow it, but even with all professional motives stripped bare, he would have followed it anyway.

    Pinpricks of sweat beaded along Davis’s temples. His sister, Sara, wrapped her arm around his and squeezed. Pastor Voss’s prayer ended in time for Ivy Clark to look up and catch him staring. Familiar territory to her, no doubt, given her career. Not so familiar to him.

    He would have looked away, but her awareness of his attention triggered an intriguing metamorphosis. It seemed her eyes had learned some tricks over the years. Like how to bat in just the right way. How to dance in invitation. How to swallow the grief that had wrapped around her shoulders moments ago, when she thought nobody watched. She smiled a smile Davis knew well, one he’d seen hundreds of times on a hundred beautiful faces—the type of smile that had lost its allure two years ago.

    He glanced down at the grass—thick green blades framing his black loafers—and patted his sister’s hand, his own personal reminder of why a woman like Ivy Clark could not be a part of his life. Ivy belonged to a world that took and took and took so subtly and connivingly that a person didn’t notice until there was nothing left to give. It was a world he never wanted to be a part of again.

    Still, he looked one more time. Ivy stared back, a smirk on her face.

    “Now’s not the time to talk about this, Ivy.” Bruce strode through the long grass toward a line of cars parked along the brick path, texting a message into his phone.

    The drops of rain turned into a mist that settled over Ivy’s arms, cooling her skin. If only the drizzle could quench her fear. Who was he texting? She lengthened her stride, trailing him like a long evening shadow. “You’re the one doing business.”

    “How do you know it’s business?” He dug into his pocket, pulled out his keys, and clicked the button on the remote to unlock the car doors. Two short beeps interrupted a chorus of chirping birds hiding somewhere in the Spanish moss that dripped from gnarled tree limbs overhead.

    Ivy rolled her eyes. Only Bruce would lock his car inside a cemetery in Greenbrier, South Carolina. “This isn’t New York City.” The two places existed on opposite poles. “I don’t think any burglars are prowling around waiting to break into your car.”

    He stopped in front of the black Lexus with rental plates.

    She stopped too. “I need to know, Bruce. It’s my future we’re talking about here.”

    “If you were so concerned, you should have kept your mouth shut.”

    “I made one lousy suggestion. You’re telling me O’Banion’s getting bent out of shape because of one small—”

    “It’s not your job to make suggestions, especially not to a photographer like Miles O’Banion.”

    Ivy’s stomach knotted. What would happen if that one slip cost her two years of security? Her twenty-fifth birthday crept closer each day. As hard as she tried, she wasn’t getting any younger and people were starting to notice. If she wanted to continue modeling, she needed that contract. Bruce ran his hand down his face. “It’s your job to keep your mouth closed and work for the camera. That’s what you get paid for. Nobody cares about your opinions.”

    “So I’ve been told.”

    “Then why didn’t you listen?”

    A small group of women dressed in black stopped conversing. Bruce painted on a smile and gave them a polite wave. He leaned close to Ivy and spoke from the corner of his mouth, his smile unwavering. “We’re not talking about this here. Let’s show a little respect.”

    Her muscles coiled. Respect? James didn’t deserve her respect. She didn’t care how touching the eulogy, how beautiful the flowers, or how crowded the funeral. Why should she care about losing a man who never wanted her in the first place? Why should his unspoken I love you echo in her mind? She refused to pretend her father’s death had any bearing on her life. Because it didn’t. She wouldn’t let it. She gathered her mounting anger and stuffed it in the empty place inside her chest.

    Bruce opened the passenger-side door. “Get in the car.”

    She folded her arms. “If you know something, as my agent, you have no right to keep it from me.”

    “I don’t know anything. And when I find out, we can discuss it back in New York.”

    “Why did Annalise tell me I lost the contract?”

    “Because Annalise feeds off gossip, or haven’t you figured that out yet?”

    Despite the stagnant heat, a chill crept across Ivy’s skin. As her friend, Annalise wouldn’t have pulled this out of thin air. It had to have some substance. She gripped her elbows, as if the harder her fingers dug into flesh, the less any of this would matter. “Gossip always starts with a seed of truth.”

    “Look, either get in the car or I’m leaving you here. Your choice.”

    Ivy looked over her shoulder at the rows of polished tombstones. Her throat tightened. She hugged her arms and stepped closer to the car. “I want to go to the airport.”

    “We’re going to the luncheon.”

    “Why?”

    “He was my brother and your father. We’re not leaving now.”

    “He was hardly my father.” The emptiness expanded, carving her out like a pumpkin-turned-jack-o-lantern. She was nothing but a shell. A beautiful, empty shell.

    An SUV pulled out from behind them. An engine rumbled in front. Except for a few stragglers in the distance lingering over her father’s grave, the cemetery cleared.

    Bruce drummed his fingers on the top of the car.

    “I’m not going to sit in that house, eat cucumber sandwiches, and pretend to care that he’s gone.”

    “You don’t have a choice.” Bruce opened the door wider.

    Her shoulders sagged. Ivy slid into the passenger side, pulled the seat belt across her body, snapped it into place, and stared straight ahead. Why had she said anything to O’Banion? So what if he wanted to keep her in the same overdone pose? She shouldn’t have said a word. If there was one mistake to avoid in her world, it was wounding the pride of a notoriously prideful photographer.

    Bruce’s door opened. He got inside and set his phone in the cup holder. As soon as he started the ignition, the phone vibrated, rattling loose change in the console. He swept up the device and held it against his ear. “Bruce Olsen.”

    Nothing but the unintelligible chatter of a female voice from the other end.

    A muscle pulsed in Bruce’s jaw. He scratched his chin and looked out the window, hiding his expression. “I’ll be back tomorrow. Could we meet then and talk this over?” He clicked his seat belt into place and nodded. Another long pause. More unintelligible chatter. A sigh from her uncle. “I understand. Thanks for getting back to me.”

    He hit the End button and started the car.

    Ivy pressed her fingers against her sweat-dampened palms.

    Bruce pulled out onto the brick street and steered toward the iron gate. “It seems Ms. Reynolds wants a fresh face for her cosmetic line.” He flipped on the radio. Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” blasted Ivy’s ears. “Sorry, kid. They’re not renewing your contract.”


    Excerpted from A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert Copyright © 2014 by Katie Ganshert. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Katie Ganshert

  • BookBites - Vol. 2

    Posted on April 16, 2014 by Catherine Rivers

    Craving a new read? You’ve come to the right place. We love books. And we love sharing our thoughts on them. Welcome to Bookbites, where we give the latest books a grade, brief review and include an excerpt—a “bookbite”—that grabbed our attention.

    Happy reading!





    GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU:  You can Experience Real Love, Acceptance and Guilt-Free Living

    Joyce Meyer

    Grade A  - Practical, down-to-earth teaching with real life examples explaining God's love for us although we are not and cannot be perfect, releasing us from the guilt and shame often caused by our performance mentality.

    Appeals to readers of all ages who've felt that God holds a grudge against them for things they have done.

    Bookbite:  "To live in the reality that God is not mad at us is the most freeing truth we will ever find.  Knowing that we will sin, probably every day, and that God knows that and has already decided to forgive us eliminates the fear of failure.  The beautiful truth is that when we no longer focus on our sin, we find that we do it less and less.  As we focus on God's goodness instead of being afraid of our weaknesses, we become more and more like Jesus."

    UNSEEN:  Angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell and Winning the Battle for Eternity

    Jack Graham

    Grade B - Pastoral teaching on subjects that are difficult to comprehend, somewhat textbooky and not very original, but the chapters on spiritual warfare are dynamic.

    Appeals to readers of books about heaven, a popular subject these days, and those dealing with spiritual warfare (really all of us whether we know it or not).

    Bookbite:  "This is how Satan wages war against us, isn't it?  He loves to break into our thoughts.  He introduces doubt, which leads to fear, which leads to confusion, which leads to pain.  He is a terrorist, in every sense of the word, seeking to oppress us and then to occupy us, seeking to make us slaves to our very own sin."

    MISS BRENDA AND THE LOVELADIES:  A Heartwarming Story of Grace, God and Gumption

    Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell

    Grade B-  - Eye-opening view of one woman with the gumption to do what few are doing, being Jesus to former women prisoners and giving them the chance at a new life that they never had before.  The writing is limited but these women's stories are fascinating and inspirational, you'll never look at Walmart the same again.

    Appeals to biography readers and to those who might consider a similar ministry.

    Bookbite:  "God is calling us like we've never been called before. He wants believers like me to quit being afraid of getting their hands dirty and help women like you.  And He wants you to see that there is hope.  Because trust me there is hope.  And what we do today, tomorrow and the next day could have a tremendous impact on the entire system.  We could change the way it works.  We could change women's lives."


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Joyce Meyer, Brenda Spahn, BookBites, Jack Graham, Irene Zutell

  • Answer the call - sponsor a child today

    Posted on April 16, 2014 by Family Christian

    Impact the life of a child today!

    Clean water. Nutritious food. Healthcare. Quality education. Economic opportunities.

    What do all these things have in common?

    They’re all life-saving basics YOU can give to a child in need when you sign up for sponsorship through World Vision! AND your support doesn’t stop with the child—it stretches to their family and community, so more people will be impacted by your help.

    Sign up today, and:

    • Commit to contributing $35/month

    • Receive a $20 Family Christian gift certificate—just for signing up!

    • Look forward to corresponding with your sponsored child

    Thank you for considering sponsorship. You have an amazing opportunity to build a better future for a child!

    Learn more and sign up in-store or online →

    photos
    Volunteer & help more children get sponsored

    This post was posted in Missions and was tagged with Featured, World Vision

  • Turning Worry Into Worship

    Posted on April 16, 2014 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)

    I think I have the worry gene. And I'm sure I got it from my mother. She passed down her aqua blue eyes to me, her slightly-crooked smile and her tendency to worry.

    This trait didn't show up when I was younger. In fact, when I was a teenager, I thought it strange that my mom couldn't go to sleep until I got home. Then, I had teenagers of my own, and now I do what she did: sit on the couch appearing to watch television, while my mind rehearses the quickest route to the hospital, or perhaps even plans a funeral.

    Before I had children, I didn't understand the stories my mom shared about her concerns for my health. When I was a toddler, she took me to the doctor because I kept falling when I walked. After observing me play in his office, he assured her that my mind was working faster than my legs. I wanted one object and headed toward it, but then changed my mind and wanted something else.

    You'd think the story would have calmed my own fears when I became a mom. Not so. When my first-born was more than a year old and not yet crawling, I was certain something was medically wrong and headed to the doctor.

    Today, I find endless reasons to worry. Kids. Marriage. Finances. Health. Relationships. The future. If I let my thoughts run wild, I can concoct all sorts of terrible scenarios, all starting with "what if." What if my husband gets laid off? What if my aging parent needs to move into a nursing home or live with us? What if I get sick and can no longer care for my family?

    Over time, I've noticed something about worry: 99% of my past dreads never came true. However, I spent oodles of time fretting about them. How I wish I could redeem that time, to do something productive instead! What if I had turned my worry into worship?

    Contrast my attitude with the woman in today's key verse, Proverbs 31:25 says, "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." No weariness in her thoughts and actions. She laughed at the days to come! Not in a careless sort of way, but with a confidence that came from God.

    Because she wore strength and dignity due to her faith in God, she had a smile on her face and a chuckle in her heart when considering the future. She trusted in God, whose faithfulness in the past assured her He would work out circumstances in the future.

    This has happened many times in my life. Often, things that concerned me have turned out to be blessings instead. For example, when our son was in third grade, we discovered he had severe dyslexia. Oh, the time I spent worried about his academic progress! Even fun milestones for other children were cause for fretting. Would he pass his hunter safety course? His driver's ed written test? And what about college?

    God used my son's learning disability to grow my faith. As I learned to turn my panic into fervent prayer and praise, and trust God's plan and timing, my relationship with God strengthened. Plus, we saw our son grow stronger and more confident as he overcame each cognitive hurdle.

    That's just one way God worked in me to replace my worry gene with confidence in Him. Each time I've turned worry into worship, I find it easier to laugh at the days to come, like my Proverbs 31 sister.

    God knows my future as well as He knows me. My job is to seek to know Him more as I place my future in His hands.

    Oh, and to laugh a little more often.

    Dear Lord, help me turn my worry into worship, believing that You alone know the future. May I rest in Your loving arms, knowing You have my best interest at heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Was there ever a time you were worried about something that never came true? In retrospect, how do you wish you had handled it differently?

    Spend some time today praying over your concerns. Choose to trust God has you in His care.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 112:7, "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Karen Ehman. 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 Proverbs

  • Servant Leadership

    Posted on April 15, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26b-28

    Servant leadership is service to others. It is not jockeying for position, nor is it politicking for power. Instead, it is posturing for the opportunity to serve. This does not bode well for the insecure soul in need of abundant attention. Servant leaders avoid the limelight and serve in ways that many times go unnoticed. It is the little things that make a servant leader. It may be taking out the trash at home, or making the coffee at work.

    No task is too menial for the servant leader, but there is something bigger than behavior that distinguishes a servant leader. It is attitude—an attitude of how to make others successful. He or she knows if those around them are successful then there is a good chance they will experience success. They are wise to want what’s best for others.

    Self-service on the other hand builds a culture of mediocrity. It is all about taking care of my little world, not giving any thought to the needs of other team members. It is every man for himself - survival of the fittest. This self-service contributes to a scarcity mentality. If I serve you then you may look better than me—you may get all the credit.  This fear of not being noticed facilitates competition instead of cooperation.

    Servant leadership on the other hand is not caught up with getting the credit. The servant leader has put to death the need for self-recognition. The attention and credit can easily flow to others. This is the place where it belongs, as our humility cannot handle the attention. Like a lily-white body in a tanning booth, our humility burns up. Servant leadership resists this temptation to linger in the limelight. Instead, the servant leader may give away opportunities that come his or her way. Seek to serve and let status find you.

    Jesus served quietly on most occasions and boldly as needed.  No sincere seeker was neglected. His motive was to serve for the glory of God. His ultimate service was laying down his life for the human race. Consequently, followers of Christ can become a better servant leader because Jesus seeks to serve through you. You can’t, but He can.

    Submit to Him and watch Him use you to serve. Die to getting attention and credit while celebrating the success of others. Quietly volunteer for the next lowly task. Set up others to succeed. Give away your life and you will find it. This is the way of Christ. This is the way to serve and lead. Submit to God, serve people—and others will follow!

    “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me” (Matthew 10:39, The Message).

    Prayer: Whom do I need to serve for Christ’s sake that does not deserve my service?

    Related Readings: Exodus 18:26; Zephaniah 3:9; Ephesians 6:9; 1 Peter 4:10

    Post/Tweet today: Servant leadership does not politick for power, but postures to serve. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Spoken For from Robin Jones Gunn

    Posted on April 15, 2014 by Family Christian

    Robin Jones Gunn

    One bright April morning Alyssa and I (Robin) were busy in my kitchen preparing food for a youth event at church. All the windows were open. A gentle breeze cooled us.

    The television was on in the background, but we weren’t paying much attention. I reached for the remote to turn it off but accidentally changed the channel.

    “Oh, wait,” Alyssa said. “Leave it there. I love this part.”

    I had happened upon an oldie-but-goodie chick flick at just the right moment. It was one of my favorites too. Alyssa and I stopped what we were doing. We stood together in a sweet silence and watched as the fair maiden ran into the arms of her hero. We sighed and looked at each other. Alyssa had tears in her eyes. So did I. We pointed at each other and laughed.

    “Why are we crying?” I asked. “I’m sure we’ve both seen this a dozen times.”

    “I know,” Alyssa said wistfully. “But it’s such a great love story. And love stories get me every time.”

    It’s true, isn’t it? Love stories draw us in. Honestly, who doesn’t love a good love story? The pursuit. The suspense. The drama. The mystery. We cry, we laugh, we cheer—all for love. We are captivated by our favorite movies, television shows, and books when the romantic elements capture our imaginations and enliven our hopes.

    Even if you don’t see yourself as a girlie girl and didn’t have a favorite Disney princess when you were growing up, you know in your core that you want to be loved like the heroines in all the best films and stories. You want to see love conquer all.

    The desire to be loved, cherished, and adored never goes away. All of us long to believe someone is out there who wants us. Someone who will come for us. Someone who will take the role of the hero in our lives and love us, deeply love us, not for what we do or how we look but simply for who we are.

    What if you could know that you are loved that intensely? You are sought after. You are the bride-to-be in a love story that’s unfolding in your life right this minute. You are spoken for.

    This love story began once upon a time long ago before you were even born. Almighty God, the Creator of the galaxies, thought of you. He carefully fashioned you—your voice, your fingers, your mind, even every one of your eyelashes. He carefully and deliberately crafted you. For all time there only has been and only will be one of you.

    He saw all your days before you took your first breath. He knows all your thoughts before you speak them. He knows everything about you. From the very beginning you were known, and you were wanted. He is pursuing you like a tenacious bridegroom with a perfect proposal. He has set his affections on you. Why? Because he loves you, and he will never stop loving you. You are his first love, and he wants you back.

    How do you respond to such unwavering, unending, unstoppable love?

    In this book we will unwrap the ancient truths from God’s Word about what it means to be loved, to be sought after, to be spoken for. You will see how the Bible is a love letter written to us.

    Through that love letter God makes it clear that he desires to be with us forever. Alyssa and I will share details from forever-love stories and show how our love for God grew as he pursued us.

    Our goal is simple. We want you to see what happens when you respond to the invitation of the true Bridegroom and step into the center of an epic love story—yours.


    Excerpted from Spoken For by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke Copyright © 2014 by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Robin Jones Gunn

  • Listen Up!

    Posted on April 15, 2014 by Family Christian

    Rivers in the Wasteland by NEEDTOBREATHE The Gospel Music of Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives by Marty Stuart We Proclaim Him by Times Square Church Choir Songs 4 Worship: Worship Classics by Various Artists 2-CD set Francesca Battistelli’s taking over our Facebook page on 4/24! Find out more We're going to be on Designing Spaces


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, needtobreathe, Marty Stuart, Time Square Church

  • Maturing in Prayer

    Posted on April 15, 2014 by Stormie Omartian

    Stormie Omartian

    "You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." James 4:2-3 (NKJV)

    During the first couple of years I walked with the Lord, my prayers went something like this:

    "God, help me get that job."

    "Jesus, please heal my throat."

    "Lord, send enough money to pay these bills."

    "Father, take away my fear."

    It took me a while to realize that those spur-of-the-moment prayers were not accomplishing much. I guess I thought the idea was to do the best I could on my own, and then if I needed a lifeline from God, I grabbed it. The only problem was I needed a lifeline every other minute.

    I loved the Scripture verse that says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7, NKJV). I took God at His Word and was asking, seeking and knocking on a pray-as-you-go basis. I also took to heart the verse that says, "... you do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2b).

    Great! I can easily remedy that, I thought, and proceeded to ask God for everything. But I still wasn't happy, and I didn't see the kind of answered prayer I desired.

    One day as I was reading James 4:2, my eyes were opened to the next verse, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures" (James 4:3).

    Could it be that the "God give-me-this, do-that, wave-your-magic-wand-here, get-me-out-of-this-mess" kind of praying was not what God desired for my prayer life? In utter frustration I said, "Lord, teach me how I'm supposed to pray."

    He did exactly that!

    I came to understand that prayer is not just asking for things — although that certainly is part of it. Far more importantly, prayer is talking with God. It's getting close to and spending time with the One you love. It's seeking Him first, getting to know Him better, being with Him and waiting in His presence.

    Prayer is acknowledging Him as the source of power upon whom you can depend. It's taking the time to say, Speak to my heart, Lord, and tell me what I need to hear. It's partnering with Him. It's aligning our spirits with His to see that His perfect will is done. It's establishing ourselves and our lives as being connected to God.

    We can't receive God's best for our lives, and we can't push back the things that were never God's will for us, except through prayer. We can't leave our lives to chance. We have to pray about everything all the time, not just when things go wrong.

    We have to pray over anything that concerns us, no matter how big ... "For with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37, NKJV) ... or how small ... "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30, NKJV).

    The Bible tells us the basic qualification for prayer: "he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6b NKJV).

    The more you pray, the more you will find to pray about, and the more you'll be led to pray for others.

    Don't allow discouragement over unanswered prayer to cause you to doubt that God heard you. If you have received Jesus and are praying in His name, then God hears you and something is happening whether you see it manifested in your life now or not. In fact, every time you pray, you're advancing God's purposes for you. Without prayer, the full purpose God has for you can't happen.

    Dear Lord, Help me today to draw closer to You, in my words, my thoughts and my deeds. Help me share more of my life with You, and through that, help me discover Your perfect will. In His holy Name I pray, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Looking back in your walk with Christ, how has your prayer life matured? In what ways does it still need to grow?

    Have you ever had a prayer answered? Does this memory help you when facing discouragement over unanswered prayers?

    Power Verse:
    Jeremiah 33:3, "'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'" (NKJV)

    © 2014 by Stormie Omartian. 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 James

  • The Franny Facebook Takeover

    Posted on April 14, 2014 by Family Christian

    Join us on Thursday, April 24th (6pm EST) as Franny takes over our Facebook page.

    Are you joining us?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Francesca Battistelli

  • Mentally Engaged

    Posted on April 14, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5

    Are you mentally engaged with eternal thinking? The world’s cares can be so demanding that they can cause us to disengage from capturing our thoughts for Christ. Like an AWOL soldier our thinking can wander into enemy territory and fall into false reasoning. Instead, the Lord desires that His children proactively capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ. Mentally engaged Christians are conscious to intentionally think well.

    Thoughts can be fleeting and flirt with sin, or they can be disciplined as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Indeed, intentional intellectual engagement with God’s word instructs us in integrity. It’s those who pay the price not to resign their thoughts to the trends of society who grow in their conviction to not compromise their character in Christ.

    “Love the Lord your God with… all your mind”(Matthew 22:37b).

    Jesus described mental engagement as a love relationship with Him. Does your mind pursue the Lord, as a suitor pursues his sweetheart? Sadly, some experience a joyful marriage of salvation with Jesus, but never grow in a fulfilling relationship that flows from loving Jesus, knowing Jesus, and obeying Jesus. Mental engagement initiates often.

    Perhaps you start with an hour less entertainment each week and replace it with contemplation on Christ and His ways. Attend an informal small group Bible study or a formal classroom study on a book of the Bible. By enjoying wholesome films that inspire faith and hope, you use media to mature your mind in Christ, not compete with Him.

    “Finally, brothers whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

    Excellent work requires mental engagement, especially when you are easily distracted by disinterest or another opportunity. Don’t mentally resign or retire when you are in transition to another job assignment. Be a good example of finishing well in your work.

    Your proactive plan to prohibit the devil’s half-truths rests in filling your mind with wise thoughts. Like a full cup of coffee that has no room for any additional liquid—so a mind full of Christ’s thoughts has no room for knowledge that’s against Him. Thus, allow your master Jesus to mold your thinking into His thinking and you will gladly act accordingly.

    “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct them? But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16).

    Prayer: How can I grow my thinking so I am mentally engaged in what matters most?

    Related Readings: Psalms 10:4; 139:17; Romans 7:25; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:10

    Post/Tweet today: Intentional intellectual engagement with God’s word instructs us in integrity. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 2 Corinthians

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