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Family Christian

  • Praying for Your Future Husband from Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer

    Posted on March 26, 2014 by Family Christian

    An Extraordinary Mystery

    Robin:
    Sometimes, when an idea just won’t go away, you need to pay attention to how God is nudging you. That’s what happened with this book.

    Tricia and I have been friends for almost two decades, and both of us are writers. But our life stories as well as our love stories are radically different. Beyond writing, we do have one interesting commonality: both of us prayed for our future husbands when we were teens. But how did that add up to our writing a book together? Three incidents convinced us we should…

    The first moment of inspiration fell on me with a weighty sense of urgency one bright November afternoon. I was in Brazil, standing in front of three hundred teen girls in a school cafeteria. My Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen novels for teens have been translated into Portuguese, and the teachers at this school use the books as part of their curriculum. That meant all the girls had read the books. When my husband and I entered the cafeteria, the girls greeted us with a wave of screams as if we were the real Christy and Todd all grown up and visiting them in Brazil.

    To quiet down the screaming girls, I asked the translator to invite them to ask questions. One of the girls raised her hand and popped up from her seat. In Portuguese she asked me what she and her friends should do since the boys in Brazil weren’t reading my books.

    “What do you mean?” I asked.

    She spoke passionately as the translator beside me explained.

    “She says that, after reading your books, she and her friends are making good decisions. They’ve given their lives to Christ and now want to stay pure and save themselves for their future husbands. But, you see, the boys of Brazil are not reading these books. They are not making these same decisions. She wants to know what can be done about that.”

    My heart pounded. Every face in that cafeteria was fixed on me, waiting for an answer. The young woman had just identified a global problem for our present generation of Christian women. I had heard this frustration voiced many times in letters and e-mails I had received from readers over the years. But no one had ever asked me what could be done to change this dilemma of an unbalanced ratio between God-honoring young women and their male contemporaries who were slow to seek God. What could I tell her?

    The words that came out of my heart were, “You can start praying for your future husband now.”

    The translator gave her my answer, and a reverent hush fell over the room. Before me was a troop of willing but untrained young women ready to enter the warzone to fight for the young men. But how?

    I wished then that I had something more to offer those girls. It’s one thing to tell them to pray and another thing to come alongside and show them what that looks like. If only, I thought, a book existed. I wished one of my nonfiction writer friends would hurry up and write it. None of them seemed to have a passion for such a book.

    The second defining moment came two years later. Tricia and I were at a writers’ retreat in California. During the afternoon break, we headed out to the pool. I settled in a lounge chair and wrote notes in my journal for a novel I was working on. Tricia succumbed to the luxurious autumn sunshine and floated off into a deep sleep.

    Suddenly she woke up, turned to me, and said, “What?” as if I’d been talking to her while she slept.

    I looked at her and spoke an unpremeditated thought. “Tricia, we need to write a book together.”

    “Okay.” She didn’t even blink before sinking back into her afternoon lull. A moment later her head rose again. “What are we supposed to write about?”

    “I have no idea.”

    The gentle notion flitted past me as softly as it had fallen on Tricia. We caught the little inspiration the way an artist would reach for a floating feather or a child would bend to pick up a pale blue pebble and tuck it in a pocket.

    Over the next year or so we periodically pulled the small inspiration out of our pockets and talked about what we should write. We had lots of ideas, as all creative people do. But the affirmation and direction wasn’t there. So we waited, and we prayed…

    The third moment of inspiration came with such defining clarity we knew what the book was to be about.

    Tricia and I were in Montana, preparing to speak at a women’s retreat. The night before the retreat we sneaked off to a lodge for some last-minute planning. I entered the lodge first while Tricia parked the car in the snow. A darling little strawberry blond toddler trotted over to me, put up his arms, and allowed me to scoop him up. His surprised young mom told me his name was Toby, he was eighteen months old, and he was usually not that friendly with strangers. Toby patted my face.

    Tricia entered, and Toby’s mother froze. She stared at Tricia and in a shaking voice said, “It’s you! You’re the one who spoke at the luncheon two years ago.”

    Tricia spoke often at events for teenage girls and women in Montana, so I doubted she would remember this particular young woman from a luncheon two years ago. The mom said, “Do you remember that you talked about being a teen mom and that you prayed God would send you a Christian husband?”

    Tricia nodded.

    “I did the same thing. I prayed and…” She leaned in closer. “I don’t know if you remember my telling you this after the luncheon, but I had just found out I was pregnant.”

    I remember,” Tricia said.

    “I was scheduled for an abortion just a few days later.” The young woman gazed at Toby cuddled up in my arms. “But after I heard your story and what you said about how God answered your prayers, I cancelled the appointment for the abortion, and I prayed for a husband, just like you did.”

    Her smile widened, and tears formed in her eyes as she told Tricia, “I always wanted to see you again so I could tell you that God answered my prayers. He brought an amazing Christian guy into my life. He loves me, and he loves my son. We’ve been married for almost a year. When I think about what my life would be like right now if I hadn’t heard your story and did what you said…”

    By then we were all hugging and crying and hugging some more. Toby climbed into Tricia’s arms and received her cuddles and kisses. We couldn’t stop crying. It was such a beautiful moment. The room seemed full of light and hope.

    After Toby and his mama went their way, Tricia and I sat together in stunned silence. We both knew this was it—this
    was the theme of the book we needed to write together: praying for your future husband. We also knew we were the two unlikely novelists being invited to pour our hearts into this project. And so we did.

    As we wrote, what tumbled from our hearts surprised us. We didn’t compose a handbook on techniques or formula for
    effective prayer. Through the ages many wonderful such books have been written. Instead, what we saw forming, as we met together to pray and write, was a book anchored with true stories about what happens when women pray for their future husbands and the ways God answers those prayers.

    Both of us agreed to tell our own stories on these pages. This took some courage. Dozens of other women gave us permission to tell portions of their stories as well—how they prayed, how God chose to answer, and how their lives changed in the process. This took courage for them as well. We pulled from our Bibles and journals favorite scriptures and excerpts. These quotes worked perfectly to lace the chapters together.

    As the book took shape, we discovered that prayer is an extraordinary mystery.

    This sacred privilege of communicating with our Heavenly Father is more than a cozy, open invitation to come to Him
    anytime, anywhere. Even though His ears are open to the cries of His children 24/7, prayer is more than that. Prayer is also an act of obedience. We are exhorted to pray for others and to pray without ceasing.

    Neither Tricia nor I pretend to have prayer all figured out. What we do know is that God hears. He sees. He knows us. He cares more than we can ever comprehend. And most important of all, God answers prayer.

    Perhaps you’ve noticed that oftentimes the way God answers prayers isn’t what we expect. We look back years later and see that what God did was oh so much better than what we first envisioned when we sent our heartfelt requests heavenward. He created us, and He desires the best for us. God always gives His best to those who leave the outcomes with Him.

    Another, even more amazing mystery is that when we pray for someone else, we change. All of us were made both to give love and to receive love. When your heart connects through prayer to the One who is the source of true love, you’ll find that praying for your future husband will wondrously result in your heart being changed. And when your heart is changed, your life is transformed.

    What sort of changes will God bring about in the life of your future husband as a result of your praying for him now?
    We don’t know.

    As you pray for him, what sort of changes will God initiate in your heart? We don’t know that either.

    But we do know there’s only one way to find out…


    Excerpted from Praying for Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer Copyright © 2011 by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer. 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, Tricia Goyer, Robin Jones Gunn

  • Making the Resurrection Real

    Posted on March 26, 2014 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles." Psalm 145:3-5 (NLT)

    The television host leaned over to make sure the microphone was close to the precocious girl's mouth so as to catch her every word. He'd just asked her, along with a panel of other school-aged children, about the real meaning of Easter. Her classmates' answers ranged from getting candy and trinkets from the Easter Bunny to the official beginning of spring.

    This curly-haired youngster seemed to have an answer that was more spiritual and accurate than the others. She spoke quietly into the microphone stating, "Easter is the time when Jesus died on a cross for our sins and got buried in a tomb."

    "That's right!" the host responded. "But He didn't stay in the grave, did He honey? Tell the audience what happened next."

    "Oh, that's easy!" she chimed. "He rises from the dead and comes out of the grave."

    The host smiled and started to commend her for her correct answer. But before he could, the no longer camera-shy student grabbed the microphone, pulled it closer to her mouth and heartily added, "And each year, if He sees His shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter!"

    Often holiday traditions can get mixed in with the real essence of holy days. Which can be confusing, like when that sweet little girl merged Easter with Groundhog Day. As a child, I wondered what Santa caravanning his reindeer through snowstorms had to do with baby Jesus who was born in Bethlehem. Wasn't that in a desert?

    And I never did figure out why the Easter Bunny brought me chocolate eggs each year. Didn't chickens lay eggs, not rabbits?

    Today's passage from Psalms encourages us to teach our children and future generations of God's mighty acts. We are to proclaim His power over all the earth. I can't think of a more powerful act than when God raised His only Son Jesus from the dead, making a way for us to gain access to heaven to live with Him for all eternity.

    There are many fun, family-bonding Easter traditions to celebrate with children. But this year, why not be intentional to tell the powerful story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in ways that stick in little minds? Here are some ideas to help make the reality of the story come alive for us too:

    • Attend a live passion play put on by a church in your area.

    • Read the account of Jesus' last week of life out loud as a family while enjoying a favorite snack. Read a passage each night beginning in Luke 22:1 through the end of the book of Luke.

    • Watch a movie on the life of Jesus. The Jesus Film by Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) is well done with each scene coming directly from the words of the Bible. Make sure to decide if the child is ready to see a depiction of the crucifixion.

    • Use Resurrection Eggs to tell the story over several days. (See the Related Resource section below for purchase information.)

    All of these activities help portray the true meaning of this sacred season and point the children to the God who created them, knows them and sent His only Son to die on a cross for them.

    Let's purpose to tell of God's mighty act of raising Jesus from the dead to the generations that come after us. Fun traditions can be OK, so long as we don't miss the real meaning of this Christian holy day.

    Dear Lord, help me to tell of Your wondrous power and mighty acts to those generations that come after me. May I not let the season pass by without pondering the real meaning of Easter. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Was there ever a time in your life when the secular traditions and the true spiritual meaning of a holiday got mixed up for you?

    In what ways have you seen Easter celebrated that drove home the real meaning of the season?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 71:18 "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come." (NIV)

    John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (NKJV)

    © 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 Psalm

  • Spiritual Freedom

    Posted on March 25, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. John 3:8

    The Spirit of God brings freedom to everyone born of the Spirit. Just as the wind is free to blow in any direction, so we are free to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. He calls us to prayerfully persist against culture’s prevailing winds. Similar to a sailboat on choppy seas, we ride out the rough waters with the wind of God at our backs. We have freedom to do the right thing, because the Spirit of God empowers our actions. So, we listen for the Lord’s leading and join with Him.

    Sometimes the wind of the Spirit blows with the roar of religious revival; other times it barely brushes over our brow in peaceful assurance. Thus, as we remain under the Spirit’s influence, we are free to experience His effects. It’s not doing as we like, but doing what the Lord likes. He likes for us to love, so we love. He likes for us to serve, so we serve. He likes for us to forgive, so we forgive. He likes for us to laugh, so we laugh. Spiritual freedom likes what God likes.

    “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NKJV).

    Are you free in your faith or bound up in unbelief? Do you feel the freedom to follow the Spirit’s leading, or are you limited by the expectations of others? By faith, you can break out of your shell of fear and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in your life. Behead the tyrant of unbelief with the sword of the Spirit and enlist in the Lord’s army of the faithful. Pray in your heart, “Where- ever He leads, I will follow.” You have been set free from above, so you can live free here below.

    Spiritual freedom is a benefit of belief in Jesus, so we seek to steward it responsibly. It is not a pass for poor decision-making, but permission to pursue wise opportunities. We use our spiritual freedom to shun self-indulgence and invest in the needs of others. Yes, by God’s grace, we set up spiritual halfway houses outside the prison gates of hell, so we can love and instruct those who exit eternal damnation. People recently set free need to know how to responsibility use their new freedom. We are freedom fighters in the faith. Spiritual freedom is God’s gift of the Spirit.

    “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1, NKJV).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me wisdom to use my spiritual freedom under the Spirit’s influence.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 40:13; Luke 4:18; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, 3:1; Galatians 6:1

    Post/Tweet today: We have been set free from above, so we can live free here below. #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

  • Fearless from Eric Blehm

    Posted on March 25, 2014 by Family Christian

    Eric Blehm

    Author’s Note

    Adam Brown’s civilian and military life has been recounted to me by his family, friends, and teammates—all eyewitnesses to each event portrayed in this book, including what Adam told them directly about his history and spiritual testimony. I also used official documents, statements, military records and reports, criminal records, family archives, letters, e-mails, and journal and diary entries. Some dates, locations, times, distances, and names (including those of some civilians) have been changed; faces in photographs obscured; and military tactics, techniques, and procedures altered in order to maintain operational security for the safety of the U.S. Navy SEALs
    and those who work alongside them.

    All information about the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the SEALs, and individuals (including the use of real names) has already been published widely by the media and is deemed common knowledge. Nearly a dozen active-duty SEAL operators—including those in leadership roles—have unofficially, but no less meticulously, reviewed this manuscript for factuality and to point out any issues that might endanger lives in future operations. I have removed or rewritten sections to their approval, and in the few cases of discrepancy among the operators, I went with
    the majority. Any vagueness in the manuscript is intentional, to protect these men and their allies.

    All quotes, slang, inner thoughts, dialogue, and descriptions have been conveyed to me by those intimately involved in the story to the best of their ability and individual memories. Nothing has been contrived, dramatized, or fabricated.
    What you are about to read is the account of an American hero who bravely gave permission in his final written requests to share his journey, from small-town America to the gutter to jail to Jesus to war to the top tier of the U.S. military: SEAL Team SIX.


    Excerpted from Fearless by Eric Blehm Copyright © 2012 by Eric Blehm. 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, Eric Blehm

  • BookBites - Vol. 1

    Posted on March 25, 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!



    UNGLUED:  Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

    Lysa Terkeurst

    Grade A+ --- A re-reader, even better the second time.  Perfect cover, fits the topic like a...crazy lady with a purse on her head.  A+ for the cover alone but the inside grabs you too.

    Appeals to all women, especially Moms, who've had their moments of becoming unglued and want a new plan to deal with it.

    Bookbite:  "Feelings are indicators, not dictators, child.  They can indicate where your heart is in the moment, but that doesn't mean they have the right to dictate your behavior and boss you around.  You are more than the sum total of your feelings and perfectly capable of that little gift from Jesus called self-control!"

    BECOMING MYSELF:  Embracing God's Dream of You

    Stasi Eldredge

    Grade B --- Interesting, journalistic, somewhat too personal to author's experience.

    Appeals to women with similar life issues such as weight, abuse, approval, fear.

    Bookbite:  "Becoming ourselves requires standing against the current--the demands, the expectations, the assault of daily realities, and our own histories.  We cannot afford to indulge in our inner diatribes any longer.  To become true ourselves will require that we speak the truth in love, even to ourselves."

    SWITCH ON YOUR BRAIN:  The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health

    Dr. Caroline Leaf

    Grade C --- Author makes a valiant attempt to explain in layman's terms the complexities of the brain God created and the science behind how we can change our life by how we think, however the book lacks real life examples for application.

    Appeals to fans of TV shows like "Brain Games" and "Dr. Oz".

    Bookbite:   "When you think you change...Brain scans show that parts of the brain activated by action are the same parts of the brain activated by simply thinking about an action."


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Lysa TerKeurst, Stasi Eldridge, Catherine Rivers, Dr. Caroline Leaf, BookBites

  • What's New in the World of Books & Music?

    Posted on March 25, 2014 by Family Christian

    Majestic by Kari Jobe REMIXD by Capital Kings More Like a Lion by Michael Boggs Help by Erica Campbell Take This Cup by Bodie & Brock Thoene


    This post was posted in Music, Books and was tagged with Featured, Kari Jobe, Capital Kings, Bodie Thoene, Brock Thoene, Erica Campbell, Michael Boggs

  • You WILL be OK

    Posted on March 25, 2014 by Jennifer Rothschild

    Jennifer Rothschild

    "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail." Lamentations 3:22 (NIV)

    I was stunned. This was not the news I expected.

    "You have atypical ductal hyperplasia, or ADH," the doctor said. He explained that ADH is an abnormal growth of cells within the breast ducts.

    "You need a bilateral lumpectomy as soon as possible," he concluded.

    My first thought was, "Seriously? I'm blind, for heaven's sake! Haven't I already met my quota for suffering?"

    Well, that was my first thought, but it was followed by all the "what ifs." You know — What if it's cancer? What if they don't get it all? What if I need radiation? What if this is only the beginning of something far worse?

    While my heart was racing, my husband Phil's Ph.D. mind was calculating. He broke the silence and said, "It will be OK."

    It didn't feel OK, though. And maybe the reason was that we really didn't know it would be OK. None of us really knows if it will be OK, do we? Life is uncertain.

    We want to live out a story that makes sense. We want poems to rhyme and puzzles to be solved. We just want everything to be OK. But the truth is, we really don't know whether or not "it" will be OK.

    After the call with the surgeon, Phil and I continued to sit in silence. My soul was churning. When all the pieces hadn't fallen into place, a tidal wave of fear washed over me. But instead of being a wave of emotion that drowned me, it cleared my head and awakened me to a vital truth I needed: It may not be OK, but I will be OK.

    I had a deep, inner knowing that within the uncertainty, I could be certain that God cared and was with me.

    During the lumpectomy, the doctor removed two golf-ball-sized lumps and I emerged a 34 used-to-be-B! And this may be too much information, but I was only tennis balls to begin with! (Big goofy grin.) A few days after my surgery, Phil and I met with the surgeon for the results of the pathology. All benign!

    Thankfully, that chapter of my story had an ending that was genuinely OK. However, during the uncertainty, my emotions vacillated between fear and faith, peace and panic. Yet, my soul remained OK even though it, my situation, wasn't. Why? Well, it wasn't because of my great faith! I did trust God, but I was scared too. It was because of the Lord's great love, I was not consumed; His compassions never failed (Lamentations 3:22).

    My friend, because of His great love, you will not be consumed either. Fear, anger or insecurity will not overtake you. His compassions will never fail you. Even in the midst of your heartache, you're still cradled in His compassion. You are as cared for and protected as a baby in a mother's womb.

    That's why you will be OK, my friend — no matter what.

    When we trust the compassion of God, our problems and fears do not consume us. Because of His love and compassion, we are not overwhelmed.

    I was grateful to be among the 70 percent of women who emerge from lumpectomy surgery with a cancer-free result. Many women receive far more difficult news. I couldn't imagine enduring a series of biopsies and surgery just to find myself facing more surgery or radiation, like many women do. Oh, how my heart goes out to them!

    You may be one of those women. You may know and love one. Do God's compassions fail if the diagnosis isn't good? Is a bad diagnosis evidence of God's failure to be compassionate?

    No.

    A surgery may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    A treatment may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    A relationship may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    A dream may fail, but God's compassions will not.

    My friend, no matter what you're facing, God cares for you and will carry you. It may not be OK, but, because of the Lord's great love, you will be OK.

    Lord, carry me today. Show me Your care for me. If I begin to feel overwhelmed, overwhelm me with Your peace and presence. Reassure me that no matter what, I will be OK. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What are you facing that makes you feel fearful — as if it won't be OK?

    How can the Lord's great love for you protect you from becoming consumed by your situation?

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Jennifer Rothschild. 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 Lamentations

  • Curious About Christ

    Posted on March 24, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He [Nicodemus] came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. John 3:2

    Some start their quest for Christ discreetly. Quietly they read a book about God or seek Him in the confines of a church or cathedral. It is a low key search for the Lord. Those who are just curious about Christ are not ready to follow Him in faith, but they are open to learning more about Jesus. For fear of being made fun of by their unbelieving friends, they may hide their faith experiment. Nonetheless, like a moth moves toward light, they draw closer to God’s warm love.

    Nicodemus was curious about Christ. He came to see Jesus by night for fear of being found out by his friends. Like many today, he acknowledged that Jesus was a gifted teacher from God, but did not accept Him as God. Yes, our Lord taught as no one else: with authority, clarity and humility. He taught beautifully and boldly. However, His teaching was not an end, but a means to reveal a person’s need to believe in Him, as their Lord and Savior. Christ taught to trust in Him.

    “The people were amazed at his teaching, because he [Jesus] taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law” (Mark 1:22).

    Are you just curious about Christ, or do you really know Him in a trusting relationship? Do you secretly seek Him or do you publicly profess Him? Curiosity about Christ is not enough, unless it leads to conversion to Christ. Curiosity can create a circumstance that educates and allows the Holy Spirit to draw a heart to Himself. So, seek to learn more of the Lord, so you can know the Lord. It’s not a sterile intellectual exercise that tingles your thoughts, but a spiritual transaction that transforms your heart. Engage in curiosity to move you closer, not further from God.

    Furthermore, curiosity can lead to conversion. Nicodemus eventually went public with his faith. He defended Christ to his peers and he accompanied Joseph to request and prepare the body of Jesus for burial. Thus, be patient with those curious in their faith. Be a catalyst for them to grow in their spiritual understanding by pointing them back to the study of Scripture. Pray with them, pray for them and support them in their search for God. Curiosity about Christ can lead to Christ.

    “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28)?

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use my curiosity about Christ to grow my faith in Christ.

    Related Readings: Psalm 69:32; Isaiah 55:6, 58:2; John 7:45-52, 19:38-42; Acts 15:17

    Post/Tweet today: Curiosity about Christ is meant to move us closer to Christ, not further from Christ. #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

  • Echoes of Mercy from Kim Vogel Sawyer

    Posted on March 24, 2014 by Family Christian

    Kim Vogel Sawyer

    Late September 1904—Lincoln, Nebraska
    Caroline

    Caroline Lang slapped the thick packet of meticulously handwritten notes onto the center of Noble’s leather desk blotter and then flopped into the nearest chair. The spindled legs slid on the glossy oak floor, raising a high-pitched complaint. Instead of apologizing for the scratches her carelessness had surely created—Noble was the most persnickety perfectionist she’d ever known—she said, “There you are. A completed report on accommodations for the sugar beet harvesters. I earned my week’s leave with that one.” She grimaced at her purple-stained fingertips. “If I never see another beet, it will be too soon.”

    Noble had the gall to chuckle. “Oh, now, Caroline, you didn’t like beets before I sent you to Omaha. You’ve always said they stink when they’re cooking.”

    “They do.” She nodded emphatically, causing several escaping tendrils from her simple bun to bounce on her shoulders. “And they don’t have to be cooked to stink. You ought to smell them when they’re just sitting in a bin in
    the sun.” Wearily she pushed to her feet. “I intend to spend my week of leave sleeping. You know where to find me if you have any questions about the report, but I’m sure you’ll find it concise. I was trained by the best, after all.” She
    aimed a fond grin at her friend and mentor.

    Noble set the leather-bound packet aside without peeking in it. “You know I trust you, Caroline.”

    His simple comment warmed her, and she gave him another smile as she turned toward the door.

    “And since I trust you…”

    Something in his tone stilled her hand, which hovered midway to the polished brass doorknob. She glanced over her shoulder and caught him stroking his beard, his familiar sign of worry. She returned to the chair, seating herself
    carefully this time. “What is it?” Fear struck, making her mouth go dry. “Has something happened to Annamarie?” She prayed Noble’s sweet, frail wife hadn’t met with harm while she’d been away on an assignment. She loved Annamarie almost as much as Noble did.

    “Annamarie is fine.”

    Relief slumped Caroline’s shoulders. “Oh, thank heaven…”

    “But, unfortunately, I lost an investigator.” Noble’s face pinched into creases of sorrow. “A fine man—Harmon Bratcher. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.”

    “Oh no…” As an investigator for the Labor Commission, Caroline knew they could meet danger. Sometimes entering workplaces to openly explore, other times posing as workers to observe the business practices on the sly, their presence was rarely welcomed and occasionally threatened. Even the required travel held various hazards. Each time she set out, Noble prayed over her for her safety. She depended on him and Annamarie praying her through the investigations. So far she’d always come back unscathed. Tired, yes, but unscathed.

    Her heart ached for poor Mr. Bratcher, for his family, and for Noble, who felt accountable for his agents.

    Caroline rounded the desk and bent down to wrap her arms around Noble’s shoulders and press her cheek to his. His thick white beard tickled her jaw, but she didn’t pull away. He needed the comfort, and she needed to offer it. He patted her wrists in a silent thank-you. “It has been difficult, I confess. I considered him a good friend.”

    Although Caroline couldn’t claim Bratcher as a friend, she’d met him and admired his strong stance on changing the laws concerning the age of workers in the United States. The coalition to end child labor had lost a strong proponent
    with his untimely passing. She shifted to perch on the edge of Noble’s desk, leaving one hand on his broad shoulder in a gesture of comfort. “What happened?”

    “According to the ruling from law enforcement officials, he broke his neck when he fell into an elevator shaft.”

    Such a horrific way to end one’s life. But mixed with the horror, she experienced a niggle of wariness. “You don’t believe the ruling, do you?”

    Noble pinned her with a steady look. “I suppose it could be true. Accidents happen, especially in factories. But the week before he fell, I received a telegram from Harmon saying he intended to sneak into the factory on Sunday—the
    only day no workers were on duty—to retrieve questionable bookkeeping records he’d glimpsed the week before. But he died before he could submit any other information. There were no documents on his body. So I can only surmise
    he fell into the shaft before he laid claim to the records, or—”

    “Or someone took them from him,” she finished.

    Noble nodded somberly. He caught her hand. “Caroline, I know you just returned from an investigation. You’re tired and have rightfully earned your week of rest. But there’s an opening at the factory where Harmon died.”

    Caroline stiffened, anticipating his next request.

    “The opening is for a toter, a job generally given to women.” His fingers tightened on her hand. “You’re my only female agent. Would you go to Sinclair, apply for the position, and use it to look into Harmon’s death? I’d need to
    send you out on this evening’s train.”

    The entire journey home she’d anticipated a lengthy soak in a hot bath followed by days of lying on her comfortable feather mattress in a state of languor. The thought of departing that evening without even a few hours of rest made her want to groan. But how could she deny Noble when he’d done so much for her? Noble went on. “Of course, we can’t make investigating Harmon’s death your official reason for being there. We’d be overstepping our bounds with the
    local authorities. So, as far as the commission is concerned, you’d be there to finish Harmon’s report on the factory’s safety features…or the lack thereof. Harmon sent several messages about his findings. He was especially concerned
    about the number of underage workers at the factory, but he died before submitting a full report.”

    Caroline gave a start, her pulse speeding into a gallop. “Underage workers?”

    Noble’s lips formed a grim line. “According to Harmon, this factory seems to have a disproportionate number of child workers.”

    Her tiredness melted in light of this new information. The opportunity to further her personal battle to end child labor and to put Noble’s worries to rest concerning Bratcher’s death proved too tempting to resist. “I’ll go.”

    The relief in Noble’s face compensated for the loss of her hot bath and days of lazy recuperation. “Bless you, Caroline. There’s no one else I would trust with this mission.”

    His confidence in her both touched and terrified her. After all, one investigator had already died in the factory. Go with me, dear Lord. She drew in a deep breath and vowed, “I won’t let you down, Noble. I promise.”

    Excerpted from Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer Copyright © 2014 by Kim Vogel Sawyer. 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, Kim Vogel Sawyer

  • These Pages Turn Themselves

    Posted on March 24, 2014 by Family Christian

    Treat yourself to a new read!
    Distortion by Terri Blackstock The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg
    Take This Cup by Bodie & Brock Thoene  The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark & Susan Meissner
    Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer Water Walker by Ted Dekker

    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Terri Blackstock, Joel Rosenberg, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Bodie Thoene, Brock Thoene, Mindy Starns Clark, Susan Meissner, Ted Dekker

Items 381 to 390 of 2013 total

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