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Family Christian

  • Spoken For from Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke

    Posted on April 1, 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, Alyssa Joy Bethke

  • Difference Maker - NEEDTOBREATHE

    Posted on April 1, 2014 by Family Christian

    NEEDTOBREATHE effortlessly weaves together the musical traditions and faith of their upbringing in the Deep South to create music that uplifts and inspires. With Rivers in the Wasteland, NEEDTOBREATHE returns to their roots of anthemic rock and musical simplicity. The album features the sound of a band excited to reconnect with the idea of a fresh start, highlighted in songs like "Difference Maker," "Multiplied" and "Brother."

    Check out the video for their new single, Difference Maker.

    What do you think of the song?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, needtobreathe

  • What Would Jesus Undo? - Michael Boggs

    Posted on April 1, 2014 by Family Christian

    A former member of FFH, Michael Boggs has been busy since the group decided to take a break in 2008. The eleven original tracks on More Like a Lion are an outpouring of Michael's experience in ministry and music. The breakout single "What Would Jesus Undo" centers around the idea that grace should be at the forefront of the church.

    Here is the video for that new single:

    What do you think of the song and the video?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Michael Boggs, FFH

  • Praise the Lord - City Harmonic

    Posted on April 1, 2014 by Family Christian

    Internationally acclaimed band, The City Harmonic presents their highly anticipated sophomore album, Heart, featuring 14 songs that are underscored by the cinematic and communal aesthetic prominent in all of the band’s music. Reflecting the lives lived by the band members since their full-length debut, Heart shifts from the dream of what could and should be to the complexities of how to follow the true humanity of Christ’s example in the world.

    The album places Christ at the center while delving into themes of grace, discipleship and being and becoming truly human, all the while giving the listener permission to sing out in hope, in hurt. At the core of the new album is the first radio single, "City on a Hill," which is steeped in the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5.

    Check out their new video below:

    What do you think of their new song?


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, The City Harmonic

  • New Books from Duck Commander and more...

    Posted on April 1, 2014 by Family Christian

    Save 33% on all “Duck” items 4/1–4/5 Enter now to win the grand prize! Learn more about Duck Days><br />
    More New reads for spring
    Powerful songs of praise

    This post was posted in Music, Books and was tagged with Featured, Bill Gaither, Duck Dynasty, Beverly Lewis, MIKESCHAIR, Paul Baloche, Sheri Jones, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Perry Noble, Sarah Jakes

  • Am I On Camera?

    Posted on April 1, 2014 by Chrystal Evans Hurst

    Chrystal Evans Hurst

    "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them ..." Matthew 6:1a (ESV)

    My eldest son recently turned nine. Like most kids, he was excited to be officially "bigger." He walked around on his special day with his chest pushed out and his head held high.

    After a full day of justifiably being the center of attention, my son told me that because he was nine, he was going to wash the dishes.

    His dishes.

    He proceeded to go to the sink, squeeze the dish detergent and squirt a generous amount of soap on a dirty plate. He then proceeded to rub and scrub with vigor.

    I grabbed a glass of water and rested my hip on the side of the kitchen counter to watch my birthday boy work. He scrubbed on that dish for more than a minute.

    That dish wasn't just clean, it was sterile, sanitized and thoroughly decontaminated.

    Then my sweet boy turned to me, cocked his head slightly to one side, donned a puzzled face and asked, "Aren't you gonna take a picture of me and put it on Instagram?"

    I almost spit my water in his face with laughter, shock and a bit of confusion.

    My son was doing a good thing with the desire to broadcast his good thing to the world. Apparently, being "on camera" was an important part of his good works.

    So I took a few minutes to explain the importance of doing things for the right reasons and not performing for the applause of others.

    And then I was convicted.

    Convicted because sometimes I do the same thing.

    How many times have I served others, not just because it was the right thing to do, but because it also lent claim to a bit of self-righteousness as others watched me do it?

    How many times have I put forth more effort to show kindness or compassion to people inside the walls of my church than to those living within the walls of my home?

    How often do I aim for excellence when someone is watching but forget to aim consistently for excellence simply because my God is always watching?

    And He's always most interested in my heart.

    The Bible is clear. God doesn't want my good deeds to be aimed at gaining the applause of people. He wants me to have a pure heart and motives undergirded by a desire to live a life pleasing to Him.

    Even if no one else is watching.

    When my little boy got busy washing his dish, my heart was overjoyed because I thought he was showing growth and maturity by doing a good thing — simply because it was the right thing to do!

    When his true motives were made clear, I realized there was still mothering work to be done. My precious son still has room to grow and mature. And that's OK.

    In my Christian journey there will be times when I will need work. There will be times where my heart is not quite right or my motives are not necessarily pure. I still have room to grow and mature. And it's OK.

    And that's OK if you do, too.

    The good news I've learned as I grow in Christ is that my heart can change. God is a loving Father who is interested in my heart and willing to take the time to teach me. He's willing to go the distance, guiding me along the path to spiritual maturity.

    The interaction with my son reminded me to do a "heart check."

    Even if no one is watching, when I'm not "on camera," I should always be conscious of the story my actions tell about my heart.

    Dear Lord, I desire to have a pure heart and pure motives, but if I'm honest, sometimes I miss the mark. Help me be aware that You are ever present and to live as though You are watching. Where I have developed the habit of keeping up appearances, teach me what it means to live for an audience of One. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    When was the last time you joyfully served others when there was no applause?

    How does your treatment of people outside your home compare to the treatment of the people down the hallway?

    How much excellent effort do you put forth if no one is there to see how hard you work at the task at hand?

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 101:2, "I will be careful to lead a blameless life — when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Chrystal Evans Hurst. 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

  • Duck Days Start Tomorrow!

    Posted on March 31, 2014 by Family Christian

    Duck Days starts tomorrow, April 1!
    Save 33% on all regularly-priced "Duck" items*. Print coupon or use promo code DUCK33 online

    Visit us in store and say “I’m happy, happy, happy” to get a free poster

    (quantities limited)

    Enter our Facebook contest to win a Duck Commander prize package →

    Download free ringtones and wallpapers you can only get from Family Christian →

    Shop the best of Duck Commander
    The Women of Duck Commander by Jessica, Kay, Korie, Lisa, and Missy Robertson, Beth Clark The Duck Commander Devotional by Alan Robertson Duck Dynasty: Season 4 DVD
    Uncle Si’s Duck Commander Tea Cup Uncle Si’s Duck Call  Read our interview with Phil Robertson.
    Prebuy Good Call by Jase Robertson

    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty, Jase Robertson

  • Weary But Strong

    Posted on March 31, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well...Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’” John 4:6, 31-32

    Life has a way of wearing us down. Constant digital connection exhausts our emotional energy, saps our attention span, and depletes our physical strength.  There are especially intense cycles of life that require a robust infusion of spiritual strength. Training our children can be overwhelming, starting a new job may require a radical learning curve, and health or relational issues tend to tire us out. Our physical weariness is an opportunity for invigoration by the Spirit.

    Jesus, while hungry and tired--looked outside of Himself to the inner hurt of another human being. His body was exhausted, but His spirit came alive to do the will of His heavenly Father. Indeed, it’s in our weakness that we can engage the strength of doing God’s will. By God’s grace we can convert our physical cravings into spiritual energy. Stamina comes to souls surrendered to God’s will. Faith feasts on food unavailable to unbelief. Yes, we can be strong in our weariness.

    “If you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, For they are deceptive food” (Proverbs 23:2-3, NKJV).

    Physical appetites need not consume us. Hunger, thirst, and sexual appetites are desires meant to drive us to the Lord, not away from the Lord. The soul rules over the body, not the body over the soul. If we are preoccupied by our physical needs, we lose touch with our affection for our heavenly Father. This is why determined soldiers are able to persevere through painfully adverse elements to win the battle. Disciplined athletes keep their bodies in submission, so they can reach their goals. So, in our weariness--we are strong, as we default to the habit of carrying out God’s will.

    Furthermore, like Jesus--we are wise to regularly take time to stop and rest. We sit down so we can refresh our soul, not bloat our body. We pray for those we can engage in conversation about Christ. Spiritual discussion can clarify our thinking and change our behavior for the better. So, we ask God who needs our intentional investment of time: a single mom, a troubled teenager, a successful executive or homemaker? Strength in our weariness comes from doing God’s will.

    “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use my physical desires to move me toward doing Your will.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 13:4, 16:8; Matthew 21:18; John 6:27; 1 Corinthians 1:25

    Post/Tweet today: Stamina comes to souls surrendered to God’s will. Faith feasts on food unavailable to unbelief. #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 John

  • Stand Strong from Nick Vujicic

    Posted on March 31, 2014 by Family Christian

    Nick Vujicic

    I am a bully’s dream, no doubt about it.

    No arms. No legs. No defense.

    Born without limbs for reasons never determined, I was blessed in so many other ways. My greatest blessing was a loving and supportive family. They sheltered and encouraged me for the first years of my life. But once I left the protective shelter
    of family for the hallways and playgrounds of elementary school, I felt like I had a target on my chest that said, “Bullies, aim here.”

    I felt alone in my fear of bullies, but I wasn’t alone. And neither are you.

    If you’ve been bullied, the first thing you need to understand is that their attacks, taunts, and mean acts aren’t really about you, any flaws you might have, or anything you might have done. Bullies have their own issues. They pick on you to make themselves feel better, to vent their anger, to feel more powerful, or even because they can’t think of anything else to do.

    I know it’s lame, but it’s true.

    When I was a teenager, I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out why bullies picked on me. There was one guy in particular who really got inside my head. He bullied everybody, but for some reason I took it personally. I obsessed over his motives.
    Finally I realized that his bullying wasn’t about my problems. It was about his.

    You may have a bully who has had the same impact on you, getting inside your head, knotting your stomach with stress, and tormenting your dreams because you can’t figure out why you are the target. I’m here to ease your mind and lighten that burden.
    Your bully’s motives don’t matter. You do.

    Your safety and your happiness are important to me and everyone else who loves and cares about you; so instead of focusing on why a bully is picking on you, let’s focus on helping you feel secure and happy again.

    Does that sound like a plan? I think so!

    But before we move on, I want you to know that there is no single infallible strategy for dealing one-on-one with bullies. And I certainly don’t recommend you resort to violence if you can help it! Don’t ever let a bully lure you into a fight. If a bully attacks you, defend yourself but get away as fast as you can. If you have any reason to think a bully is going to harm you physically, you need to talk to an adult who can help you before that happens.

    The Bullying Epidemic

    It’s important to understand from the beginning that many people share your pain in dealing with this problem. Being bullied, sadly, is as common as catching a cold or stubbing your toe. I travel all over the world talking to young people about this issue. No matter where I go, bullying is a major topic of concern. Teens in every school in every town and every country tell me they have mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual pain because of being bullied.

    A teen in China told me that he’d tried to commit suicide eight times because of being bullied at school. A cute little Korean girl in Boise, Idaho, came up to me crying after I gave a speech on bullying. She said, “I get teased every day about being Korean because I’m the only Asian in the whole school.” I hear similar stories from bullying victims in Chile, Brazil, Australia, Russia, Serbia, and around the world. Bullying is everywhere, and it takes many forms. Most of us are familiar with childhood bullies who threaten to beat us up, make fun of us, or turn friends against us. Adults may experience bullying in the form of sexual harassment or as discrimination based on race, religion, sexual identity, or disabilities. Bullies can be your boss, coworkers, teachers, coaches, boyfriends, or girlfriends—anyone who abuses his power or position.

    It’s sad to say, but parents can be bullies too. Suicides are a major problem among young people in Asia, and part of the problem is that many teens are under incredible pressure to earn top grades so they can make it into the best schools and get the best jobs for the most pay. Parents naturally want their children to do well, but when a mother and father give love and support only if their child is successful in their eyes, it is a form of bullying. There was one case in which the parents burned their child with cigarettes because her grades were not up to their standards. That’s an extreme case to be sure, but I’ve encountered similar stories around the world.

    The most common bullying experience is being taunted or ridiculed for being “different” in some way. I’m the poster child for this. For most of my life, I’ve been a bully magnet. I’ve heard every imaginable nasty comment about my lack of limbs. Cruel jokes. Even physical threats.

    It didn’t help that my family moved a couple of times when I was in school. We went from one side of Australia to the other, then we moved to the United States and back again. At each new school, I wasn’t just the only kid with no arms and no legs; I was usually the only kid in a wheelchair. When we moved to the United States, I hit the bully-target trifecta: I was the only kid in my school with no arms and no legs, the only kid in a wheelchair, and the only kid with an Australian accent! Different? Me, mate?

    Sure, I stood out from the crowd, and the fact that I was often the new kid without friends made me an even easier target. But I realized early on that bullies would find a reason to pick on anyone. They called the smart kids “nerds,” the tall kids “bird legs,” and the short kids “runts.” If perfect people existed, bullies probably would mock them for being “too perfect.”

    Still, if you are being bullied, it hurts. It’s a terrible experience that often seems like it will never end. As someone who endured it throughout my teenage years and still runs into it from time to time, I want to give you hope and peace. You can rise above and beyond it.


    Excerpted from Stand Strong by Nick Vujicic Copyright © 2014 by Nick Vujicic. 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, Nick Vujicic

  • Easter Fun for Kids

    Posted on March 31, 2014 by Family Christian

    Resurrection Eggs
    The Sparkle Egg by Jill Hardie
    He Is Risen Plush Bunny

    This post was posted in Books, Movies, Kids and was tagged with Featured, VeggieTales, Easter, Duck Dynasty, Buck Denver, Jill Hardie, Ressurection

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