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Tag Archives: Featured

  • THE ART OF CELEBRATION STORY - REND COLLECTIVE

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Family Christian

    Dove Award-nominated Irish worshipers and modern day psalmists Rend Collective made a theological breakthrough as a band that is changing everything about their approach to music and life: seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit, but joy is. This heightened understanding led to a sonically innovative message on the band's fourth album, The Art of Celebration.

    The lead single from the album, "My Lighthouse," carries forward the choice to celebrate God’s brightness in the midst of "troubled seas." Anyone who has experienced the controlled chaos and infectious wildness of a Rend Collective concert will know that celebration and joy have always been at the core for these worship artists.

    Take a few moments and watch the them explain what is behind their new album.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Rend Collective

  • Bestselling Jesus Calling Celebrates 10 Years

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Family Christian

    The award-winning devotional that has inspired a generation recently reached a milestone: the Jesus Calling brand has sold over 10 million units. “Jesus Calling,” first released in 2004, is currently ranked No. 3 on the “Wall Street Journal” Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller list.  This is the tenth consecutive week the book has held a top five ranking on the list, at one point reaching the No. 1 spot. “USA Today” listed “Jesus Calling” in the top 100 books of 2013, selling more copies than “Lean In” and “50 Shades of Grey.”

    “Each year ‘Jesus Calling’ sells more than the year before,” said Laura Minchew, senior vice president and publisher of HarperCollins Christian Publishing Gift Books, Tommy Nelson Children’s Books and New Media. “People love this book and many have purchased five, fifty or even five hundred copies to give to others.”

    Bestselling author and missionary, Sarah Young, wrote “Jesus Calling” as a reflection of what she heard Jesus saying during her prayer time.  Young describes the book as Jesus’ words of hope, guidance and peace placed in her heart based on the Scriptures. Compiling these messages, Young created a devotional written from the perspective of Jesus speaking directly to the reader. The 365-day devotional, now available in 26 languages, has consistently appeared in the “Wall Street Journal,” “Publisher’s Weekly,” “USA Today,” and ECPA bestseller lists. Young’s bestselling title has also been featured in the “New York Times” and “Christianity Today.”

    “We often hear of how ‘Jesus Calling’ has touched someone in a deeply personal way, helping them experience a more loving and peaceful relationship with God,” Minchew added.  “It is an honor and privilege to work alongside Sarah on this life-changing book.”

    “It has been an honor to be a part of the ministry that is Jesus Calling.  Sarah Young’s

    Sarah Young & Michael Hoeksema

    words have been a blessing to millions and will continue to do so for years to come.  Congratulations Sarah Young and Harper Collins Christian publishing on 10 years and 10 million units sold of Jesus Calling!”  Michael Hoeksema, Family Christian Book Buyer

    TheJesus Calling 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition” will be released this September, commemorating and celebrating 10 years of “Jesus Calling” touching lives all over the world.   The 10th-anniversary special edition includes more than 100 additional Scriptures personally selected by Young, all wrapped in a beautifully redesigned package.

    The Jesus Calling line has expanded to other products for both adults and children:  devotionals “Jesus Lives” and “Dear Jesus”; a “Jesus Calling” devotional Bible; and for children, the 365-day devotional “Jesus Calling for Kids” and the “Jesus Calling Bible Storybook.” Another favorite devotional, “Jesus Today,” was named the 2013 ECPA Book of the Year. The multi-formatted product line also includes eBooks, apps, audio books, calendars, greeting cards and music.


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

  • Beards, a Veggie, Jams & more—all new!

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Family Christian

    Everything’s Better with a Beard by The Robertsons
    Also new in kids
    My Great Big Veggie Storybook by VeggieTales Iesodo: Faith DVD 10,000 Reasons Kids Worship by Worship Together Kids
    See Heaven Is For Real in theaters 4/16!
    Fresh tunes from some music greats!
    A Night to Remember by Shonlock One Noise by Satellites & Sirens
    The Art of Celebration by Rend Collective Extremist by Demon Hunter
    The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg

    This post was posted in Music, Books, Movies, Kids and was tagged with Featured, VeggieTales, Worship, Joel Rosenberg, Duck Dynasty, Shonlock, Satellites & Sirens, Rend Collective, Demon Hunter

  • A Hymn for St. Patrick

    Posted on March 17, 2014 by Family Christian


    I bind unto myself today
    The strong Name of the Trinity,
    By invocation of the same
    The Three in One and One in Three.

    I bind this today to me forever
    By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
    His baptism in Jordan river,
    His death on Cross for my salvation;
    His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
    His riding up the heavenly way,
    His coming at the day of doom
    I bind unto myself today.

    I bind unto myself the power
    Of the great love of cherubim;
    The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
    The service of the seraphim,
    Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
    The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
    All good deeds done unto the Lord
    And purity of virgin souls.

    I bind unto myself today
    The virtues of the star lit heaven,
    The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
    The whiteness of the moon at even,
    The flashing of the lightning free,
    The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
    The stable earth, the deep salt sea
    Around the old eternal rocks.

    I bind unto myself today
    The power of God to hold and lead,
    His eye to watch, His might to stay,
    His ear to hearken to my need.
    The wisdom of my God to teach,
    His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
    The word of God to give me speech,
    His heavenly host to be my guard.

    Against the demon snares of sin,
    The vice that gives temptation force,
    The natural lusts that war within,
    The hostile men that mar my course;
    Or few or many, far or nigh,
    In every place and in all hours,
    Against their fierce hostility
    I bind to me these holy powers.

    Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
    Against false words of heresy,
    Against the knowledge that defiles,
    Against the heart’s idolatry,
    Against the wizard’s evil craft,
    Against the death wound and the burning,
    The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
    Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

    Christ be with me, Christ within me,
    Christ behind me, Christ before me,
    Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
    Christ to comfort and restore me.
    Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
    Christ in hearts of all that love me,
    Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

    I bind unto myself the Name,
    The strong Name of the Trinity,
    By invocation of the same,
    The Three in One and One in Three.
    By Whom all nature hath creation,
    Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
    Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
    Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

    Words: Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, St. Patrick

  • Look What Happened in Haiti

    Posted on March 17, 2014 by Family Christian

    On February 5, a team of volunteers from Family Christian joined with the founders of God’s Littlest Angels in Haiti. Together, we broke ground on the neonatal and infant orphanage!
    See pictures of the ground breaking on Pinterest
    See pictures of the ground breaking on Pinterest See pictures of the ground breaking on Pinterest

    This post was posted in Missions and was tagged with Featured, Haiti

  • Being Fake Is Exhausting - Rick Bezet

    Posted on March 17, 2014 by Family Christian

    Rick Bezet

    We live in a world of fakers. Rather than being real with each other, we present a carefully crafted persona that hides our faults and magnifies our good qualities. But inside we long to be loved, warts and all.

    We long to stop hiding from each other--and especially from God.

    In the book, Be Real, Pastor Rick Bezet clearly calls us to lives built on authenticity, showing that the way to true freedom lies through reclaiming our hearts, reviving our souls, and renewing our minds in light of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. Through biblical stories and often-humorous personal examples, Bezet encourages us to live with passion, integrity, and perseverance. He releases us from the spiritual death that comes with pretending and leads us into a new life characterized by transparency rather than fear.

    Endorsements

    "Get ready for some gut-wrenching self-examination. Rick will help you discover the powerful truth: You can't please everyone--but--you can please God!"

    from the foreword by Craig Groeschel

    "There are few things in life more freeing than living a life of authenticity and sincerity--and I can't think of anyone better than Rick Bezet to show you how. With candor, clarity, biblical truth, and a bit of Cajun humor, this book will put life back into your soul and take you on a journey to a closer walk with God."

     

    Chris Hodges, pastor of Church of the Highlands; author of Fresh Air

    "As humans, we can waste a lot of time and energy pursuing our own plans in life, only to wind up frustrated and disappointed. With humor and transparency, Pastor Rick challenges you to throw off every hindrance and embrace change so you may step into all that God has purposed for you."

     

    Christine Caine, founder of The A21 Campaign; bestselling author of Undaunted

    "Why do people wear masks? Why is authenticity such a challenge for Christians? These are important concepts that my friend Rick Bezet addresses in Be Real. I'm convinced that if pulpits and pews were filled with honest people, the church would be healthier. We must learn to be real--with God, ourselves, and others. Only then will we walk in true freedom."

     

    James Robison, founder and president of LIFE Outreach International

    "Pastor Rick Bezet delivers a bold and thought-provoking message to be real and to overcome the fears and social pressures that prevent us from achieving greatness. In his new book Be Real: Because Fake Is Exhausting, Pastor Rick encourages the reader to stand proud and unashamed of their imperfections so that they can walk into the destiny for which God has called them. There is so much pressure on the body of Christ to appear perfect and without fault, but the only true strength comes from acknowledging one's weaknesses and calling upon the Lord for guidance and grace. We as believers should welcome an open and honest dialogue of the daily challenges that try to bring us down, so that we may lift each other up and grow as a whole. I recommend this book to believers new and old who are looking to shed their masks and live a life of unshakable confidence and unending potential."

     

    Matthew Barnett, cofounder of the Los Angeles Dream Center

    "People like Rick Bezet who find a need and fill it and who find a hurt and heal it are always going to be special to me. While working tirelessly to turn his world around for the kingdom of God, Rick has remained humble, not taking himself too seriously, yet taking God's vision for him to reach the unchurched, the forgotten, and the hurting very seriously. I recommend Be Real to anybody who is unsatisfied with where life is going and is ready for a change. I recommend Be Real if you are tired of living your life without purpose or direction or if you feel stuck in a dead-end job or trapped in superficial relationships. And I recommend Be Real if you've fallen into the danger zone of focusing on your own needs or on finding someone to love you, when the best thing you could do for yourself is to notice other people, love others, and take the attention off yourself for a while. Be Real hits hard, and it hits home. But true to form for Rick Bezet, he shows a way out, and it's do-able--but you have to be willing to take the first step."

     

    Tommy Barnett, senior pastor of Phoenix First Assembly; founder of the Los Angeles Dream Center

    "How much time do you spend trying to manage how others perceive you? Most of us like to think that we're able to keep up appearances, but the truth is that we probably aren't fooling anybody. Even if we do fool some people, we can't keep it up forever. Have you ever wished that you could just be you? My friend Rick has written this book as a powerful reminder that knowing God means having the freedom to be real. Check out Be Real, and stop faking it for good."

     

    Greg Surratt, senior pastor of Seacoast Church; author of Ir-Rev-Rend

    "Be Real is an honest, challenging, and inspiring look at what it means to live an authentic life. In a world that measures value and success largely by performance and appearance, Rick shares a refreshing reminder of God's unconditional love and grace in a lighthearted and life-giving way. Be Real dares readers to stop hiding behind the facades and fears that hold them back and to start walking in the freedom God intends for us."

     

    John Siebeling, lead pastor of The Life Church of Memphis; author of Momentum

    "Rick has an easy-to-read style that is humor-infused yet straight to the point! Like watching a compelling movie from your easy chair, Rick's stories and words will pull you in, in a comfortable and easy-to-absorb way. This is a book you'll want to buy three copies of and give to your closest friends!"

     

    Matt Keller, lead pastor of Next Level Church, Ft. Myers, FL; author of God of the Underdogs

    "'Real' is what describes Rick Bezet. I have known him, observed him, pastored him, and now admired him for almost thirty years. He and Michelle simply live the life they expound. Their children are blessed, their marriage is blessed, and the great New Life Church is blessed by their example. I don't know what other people call 'real,' but that what I call it! Out of that 'real' comes 'rest.' Rick knows who he is and communicates that with authenticity every time he ministers. Grab on to 'real' and hang on--it may shake you, but it will shape you. You can start being real today, and your life and ministry will be totally redirected!"

     

    Larry Stockstill, pastor emeritus of Bethany World Prayer Center; director of the Surge Project

    "Rick Bezet is one of those guys you always want to hang out with. He is funny, easygoing, and genuine. He is true to who God has called him to be. Be Real will inspire you to live the same. This book will free you up!"

     

    Stovall Weems, lead pastor of Celebration Church

    "When we were first introduced to Be Real: Because Fake Is Exhausting, we were intrigued by the concept. Our interest quickly turned to excitement as we explored the content on these pages. We can assure you that this book is not full of worn-out clichés about being 'real.' Sharing from Scripture and personal experience--examining what he did wrong as often as what he did right--Rick presents a compelling and empowering case for authenticity. Get this book today."

     

    John and Lisa Bevere, authors and ministers, Messenger International

    "If we are going to fulfill our God-given potential, we will have to be the 'real' us. If we are going to have friendships that last, we have to be 'real.' In an era where authenticity is rare and pretense is the norm, Rick Bezet has written a book that will give all of us hope as well as practical steps for living an authentic life. You will laugh and be encouraged as you read through the pages of this great book! It will take courage to be the real you, and this book will help you as you walk it out. This is a great book for small groups to use to encourage genuine community!"

     

    Holly Wagner, author of GodChicks; founder of GodChicks women's ministry

    "Every time I'm around Rick Bezet, I get inspired. He is the kind of encourager who makes me feel like I'm the best pastor in the world. In his book Be Real, Rick inspires each of us to take action. Whether you need to grow in your faith, begin to dream again, or learn the irreplaceable quality of encouraging others, this book is for you! Don't ask yourself, 'Should I buy this book or not?' Go ahead and buy six or seven copies and give them to those you love. You will be investing greatly in their lives."

     

    Philip Wagner, lead pastor of Oasis Church, Los Angeles; author of The Marriage Makeover


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, John Bevere, Tommy Barnett, Lisa Bevere, Craig Groeschel, Christine Caine, Rick Bezet, Chris Hodges, James Robison, Matthew Barnett, Greg Surratt, John Siebeling, Matt Keller, Larry Stockstill, Stovall Weems, Holly Wagner, Philip Wagner

  • Lord, I Want to Know You from Kay Arthur

    Posted on March 14, 2014 by Family Christian

    Kay Arthur

    Chapter One

    THE NAMES OF THE LORD

    – DAY ONE –

    The muffled, distant sound had broken the quiet reverie of his walk across the meadow. The sharp barking of a dog almost irritated him. It was abrasive in that tranquil setting. As the barking grew louder, his eyes scanned the meadow, looking for the culprit. Suddenly a small doe broke through the edge of the woods. Now he understood. Leaning against the fence post, the man watched with compassion as the doe cut across the broad expanse of meadow. She was running straight toward him. He stood motionless, not wanting to add the fear of man to the animal’s frustration. As the frightened fawn leaped the fence, she staggered. The chase had taken its toll. Her wet coat gleaming in the sun, the doe stopped, took a few steps in one direction, then, ears held high, looked back toward the sound of the barking. The dog had broken through the woods.

    Eyes wide with fright, confused, worn out, panting wildly, the doe surveyed her surroundings, quickly discovering the man standing beside the fence. Glancing back for an instant at the dog in hot pursuit, then viewing the expanse of open field before her, she turned weakly and wobbled straight toward the man. She approached him without fear and buried her head in his tummy. Compassion flooded his heart and filled his eyes. She had found a protector.

    Beloved, where do you run in time of need? When the hounds of trouble, worry, and fear pursue you; when the dogs of temptation, corruption, and evil seek to overtake you; when your energy is spent; when weakness saps you; when you feel you cannot run any longer, where do you turn?

    Do you turn to your protector, the One who stands with arms opened wide, waiting for you to come and bury yourself in the security of all He is?

    “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

    For these forty-two days we are going to study the names of the Lord so that you will know where to run to find help in time of need. The Father longs for you to know more of who He is, that you might more fully “trust in the name of the LORD and rely on [your] God” (Isaiah 50:10). Remember Jesus’ prayer on our behalf just before He went to Calvary: “that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). The goal of Paul’s life was “that I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10). How I pray it will become the goal of your life!

    If someone were to ask you to describe God, what would you say? Write down the words that come to your mind when you think of God.

    – DAY TWO –

    “Some boast in chariots, and some in horses; but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God” (Psalm 20:7).

    Where do you run for help? When you are in trouble, what is your first instinct? Do you run to others or to God? Is it usually the counsel of another rather than the counsel found in waiting upon God in prayer? Why is this the way it is? Why do we run to man before we run to God?

    In Old Testament days chariots and horses were means of protection and escape. Today our “chariots and horses” come with different labels, shapes, and forms. Even so they are still a visible means of help, escape, or protection. Yet are these really a source of safety? No. “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31, KJV).

    What’s the problem? Why don’t we run to the arms of our all-sufficient God? I think it’s because most of us don’t really know our God. Why do many collapse in the day of trouble and testing? Why are they immobilized? Why don’t they take an aggressive stand in the face of fear? Because Christians, for the most part, can’t boast in the name of their God.

    What do I mean when I say, “boast in the name of our God”? In the Hebrew language the phrase to boast in means “to have confidence in, to trust in.”1 Therefore, to boast in God’s name means to have confidence in His name. In biblical times a name represented a person’s character. God’s name represents His character, His attributes, His nature. To know His name is to know Him. To boast in His name is to have confidence in who He is!

    We find several different names of God in the Bible. You are about to embark on an exciting study of these names!

    In the day of trouble or need, we are to run to our God, to put our trust in Him. That is why He says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15, KJV).

    Is your heart troubled? Is fear lurking in the shadows of your consciousness? Do you feel insecure about anything at all? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, list your fears, insecurities, and troubles below. Then ask God to show you one of His names that will meet your need. When He shows you, tell Him that you will boast in that name.

    – DAY THREE –

    Let’s begin with a day of meditating on Psalm 20. As you look at this psalm, consider what we have talked about these past two days. At the end of the psalm you will find a brief assignment. I urge you to participate fully in this study. Don’t just read this book. Do the assignments. Write out your answers. This exercise will help cultivate the seeds of truth sown in your reading. The harvest can be bountiful, and you will grow!

    PSALM 20
    1May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
    May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
    2May He send you help from the sanctuary,
    And support you from Zion!
    3May He remember all your meal offerings,
    And find your burnt offering acceptable!
    4May He grant you your heart’s desire,
    And fulfill all your counsel!
    5We will sing for joy over your victory,
    And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
    May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
    6 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
    He will answer him from His holy heaven,
    With the saving strength of His right hand.
    7 Some boast in chariots, and some in horses;
    But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
    8 They have bowed down and fallen;
    But we have risen and stood upright.
    9 Save, O LORD;
    May the King answer us in the day we call.

    1. Go through this psalm and put a around every
    word that has something to do with trouble, need, or help.*
    2. What are the Lord’s promises in this psalm?
    3. Are there any conditions that need to be met in order for the promises
    to be fulfilled?
    4. According to this psalm, what sets a person securely on high or in a
    place of security above the circumstances of a situation?
    5. On what basis can we set up banners of victory?
    6. What does the answer to question 5 tell you about the name of God?
    7. Why are they boasting in the name of the Lord?

    Turn your heart’s desire into a prayer. Tell your Father what you need. Thank Him that He wants to be known by you in greater depth!

    MEMORY VERSE
    The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous
    runs into it and is safe.
    PROVERBS 1 8 : 1 0

    SMALL-GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1. Before the study of these first three days, how did you picture God in your mind?
    2. What was so significant about a name in biblical times?
    3. Why is it important that we know the name of our God?
    4. In Psalm 20, God talks about men who boast in chariots and horses and men who boast in the name of the Lord. Did you see a contrast between these two types of people? What is the contrast?
    5. What does trusting in horses and chariots mean? How does that apply to today?
    6. Can you remember a time when you trusted in “horses and chariots”? What was the result in your life?
    7. Can you remember a time when you boasted in the name of the Lord? What was the result?

    Chapter 2

    THE CREATOR

    – DAY FOUR –

    One of the names of God in the Old Testament is Elohim. This name designates God as God. Deuteronomy 10:17 says, “The LORD your God [Elohim] is the God of gods.…” El means “mighty” or “strong” and is used for any reference to gods, including Almighty God. Elohim is the primary Hebrew word translated “God” in the Old Testament. (Sometimes Jehovah is translated “God” rather than “LORD.”) The him ending of Elohim is very significant. In the Hebrew language it is a plural ending indicating more than one. Elohim is the name for God as Creator. It is used in Genesis 1:1 and could be translated, “In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth.”

    Does the construction of the Hebrew word mean that there is more than one God? No! “The LORD [Jehovah] is our God [Elohim], the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit–the blessed Trinity–created the heavens and the earth. One in essence, in character, yet three persons united as one.

    As you read various scriptures, you can see references to the different persons of the Godhead participating in the work of creation. In Genesis 1:2-3 we read, “The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God…” (Hebrews 11:3). God spoke and the Spirit moved. Then Colossians 1:16 tells us that in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, “all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth.” Thus, we see that each person of the triune Godhead had a part in creation.

    Even in the creation of man we see the Godhead working. In Genesis 1:26 we read, “Then God [Elohim] said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image.’ ” The Us refers to more than one!

    But of what practical significance is this name to us? How can the name Elohim serve as a strong tower to us?

    If God is the Creator of all things, who has given us life? Elohim, of course! And why were we created? For Him! You are a unique creation of God, one of a kind, created for His glory. He “didst form my inward parts.” He “didst weave me in my mother’s womb.… I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14). Have you ever thought of yourself as being fearfully and wonderfully made? Or do you look at yourself and despise what Elohim has created?

    I have a friend who is probably not more than three feet tall. Her head is of normal size, but her body is dwarfed. To me she is lovely. Julie spends all her days in a sling, much like a baby’s walker. In order to move anywhere, her legs must propel the rolling frame. Julie is radiant, a delight to all who meet her. She knows her Elohim, and she realizes that He created her just the way she is for a purpose. Now please don’t tell me God had nothing to do with her physical condition. If I were to believe that, I’d have to deny His sovereignty, His Word, and His name.

    Remember when “Moses said to the LORD, ‘Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue’ ” (Exodus 4:10)?

    What was the Lord’s reply? “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11).

    But why would God create people who are different from His normal pattern of creation? Why would He ever permit a sperm to penetrate an egg when it would produce what seems to be a genetic disaster?

    Remember when the disciples saw a man blind from birth, “and His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?’” (John 9:2)? How did Jesus answer? “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).

    Oh, Beloved, if you are unhappy with yourself, with your child, or with a loved one, run into the strong tower of the name of your Elohim (Proverbs 18:10). You may not understand how your situation could ever bring Him glory, but you can trust in the name of your Lord. “Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God” (Isaiah 50:10).

    “I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High” (Psalm 7:17). “For the LORD [Jehovah] your God [Elohim] is the God [Elohim] of gods [Elohim] and the Lord [Jehovah] of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God…” (Deuteronomy 10:17). Write out a prayer of worship to your creator. Sing praise to your God and Father as Elohim.

    “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

    – DAY FIVE –

    You have heard the song. The words go, “Why was I born? Why am I living?” They are more than words to a song, aren’t they? They are the heart’s cry of every human being who seeks to know the reason for his existence. Why were you born? Why did Elohim create you? Why did He form your inward parts and weave you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13)? Search out the answer to these questions, and you will know the purpose for your life.

    In Isaiah 43 we read, “Thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel.… I am the LORD your God [Elohim].… you are precious in My sight.… everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made” (Isaiah 43:1,3-4,7).

    According to Isaiah 43, Elohim, the one who made man (male and female, Genesis 1:27) in His image, created you for His glory. One day I was studying what God’s Word says about the husbandwife relationship. I decided that since “woman is the glory of man” (1 Corinthians 11:7), I should look up the meaning of the word glory. In the Hebrew language it means “to give the correct opinion or estimate of.” I saw that as a woman I am to treat my husband in such a way as to give a correct opinion or estimate of him as a man.

    Can you see how awesome it is to know that you have been created for God’s glory? That you are to live in such a way as to give all of creation a correct opinion or estimate of who God is? What does that mean to you, O child of God, who is called by His name? Think about it. How would you live if you were to live for His glory? Give yourself time to meditate on this truth, and then record below those things that God brings to your mind.

    Let’s look at one other scripture that tells you why you were born. “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created” (Revelation 4:11). According to this scripture, you were created for His will. The King James Version says “pleasure.” In essence, they are the same. If I live for His will, that is His pleasure, or if I bring Him pleasure, it is because I have done His will.

    His name is Elohim, the Almighty God, your Creator. You have looked at two scriptures that have answered the questions, “Why was I born? Why am I living?” You have seen that you have been created for His glory, for His pleasure. Your life is to be lived in such a way as to reflect Him, to show the world the character of God–His love, His peace, His mercy, His gentleness. You are to live for Him, to accomplish His will. To miss this purpose is to miss fulfillment. It is to have existed rather than to have lived.

    Go before your God and evaluate the course of your life. What do you need to do? Will you? Answer these questions honestly in the presence of your Elohim.

    Are you fulfilling the purpose of your creation? What is keeping you from being or doing what you were created for?

    What do you need to change? Now write out a prayer of commitment.

    MEMORY VERSE

    Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory
    and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things,
    and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.
    REVELATION 4 : 1 1

    SMALL-GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    1. Elohim identifies God as Creator. From your study, why do you think
    it is important to know Him as Creator?
    2. What did God create?
    3. How does Elohim as Creator show us the triune God?
    4. What role has God had in your life?
    5. What is your responsibility to Him as your Creator? How are you fulfilling
    that responsibility?
    6. How have the insights into God as Elohim helped to clear up your
    thinking regarding children born with Down syndrome or those born
    without a limb, etc.?
    7. What is currently happening in your life or circumstances that is easier
    to deal with now that you know God as your Elohim?


    Excerpted from Lord, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur Copyright © 2000 by Kay Arthur. 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, Kay Arthur

  • 50% Off Select Bibles

    Posted on March 14, 2014 by Family Christian

    Family Values 50% off select Bibles
    Life Application Study Bible - Large Print NLT Translation
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    Chronological Life Application Study Bible NLT translation Life Application Study Bible NIV translation NIV Adventure Bible KJV Holman Study Bible Life Application Study Bible - Large Print NLT Translation Inspired By... The Bible Experience – The Complete Bible TNIV translation 79-CD set + Bonus DVD Life Application Study Bible - Large Print NLT Translation NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers Life Application Study Bible – Large Print NIV translation True Images: The Bible for Teen Girls NIV translation NKJV Holman Study Bible KJV Super Giant Print Reference Bible Revolution: The Bible for Teen Guys: Updated Edition NIV translation

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  • For Men Only (Revised and Updated Edition) from Shaunti Feldhahn

    Posted on March 13, 2014 by Family Christian

    Shaunti Feldhahn

    Rethinking Random

    Why you need a new map of the female universe.

    Like some guys I know, you might be tempted to skip this introduction and jump right to the sex chapter. And if you’re chuckling right now, it probably means you already did it. Or were about to. It’s not a bad choice, actually. Just a little self-defeating. If you’ve been in a committed relationship with a woman for more than, say, a day, you know that going just for what you want isn’t actually going to get you what you want for very long.

    A week, maybe?

    But let’s be honest—one of the main reasons you’re looking at this book is because you are trying to get something you want. Not sex (well, not just sex), but a more fulfilling, harmonious relationship with your wife, one that isn’t quite so hard or confusing. And the back cover gave you the wild idea that understanding her might actually be possible.

    Either that or for some reason the woman in question just handed you this book.

    Hmm.

    Well, either way, take a look at the revelations we’ve uncovered. We think you’ll be convinced. Each chapter explains things about the woman you love that may have often left you feeling helpless, confused, or just plain angry. Each chapter points out simple, doable solutions. The only genius required is that you make a decision up-front that you’re willing to think differently. This is a short book, but if you read it cover to cover, you’ll walk away with your eyes opened to things you may have never before understood about your wife or girlfriend.

    Each chapter points out simple, doable solutions.

    That’s what happened with me—Jeff. And I’m just your average, semi-confused guy. (Actually, sometimes totally confused is more accurate.) And since we average, semi-confused guys have to stick together, that’s why, even though Shaunti and I are both authoring this book, I’ll be the one doing the talking.

    First, Some Background

    In 2004 Shaunti published For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men, which quickly became a bestseller. Based on nationally representative surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, and other research with thousands of men, it opened women’s eyes to things that most of us guys had always wished our wife or girlfriend knew. Things like most of us need to feel respected even more than loved. Or that men, besides just getting enough sex, also have a huge need to feel sexually desired by their wives.

    I’m not sure exactly why, but women everywhere were shocked. And by the flood of letters from around the country—from both women and their grateful husbands—Shaunti and I have seen how much good can come when the opposite sex finally has their eyes opened to things they simply didn’t understand about us guys before.

    In this book, the shock is on the other foot. Now it’s their turn to exclaim to us, “I can’t believe you didn’t already know that!”

    When Shaunti’s publisher first approached us about doing a companion book to For Women Only to help men understand women, I had two major concerns. First, I didn’t think guys would read a “relationship” book. For most of us, the last relationship book we read was in premarital counseling—and only because we were forced to. But more to the point, I doubted that women could ever be understood. Compared to other complex matters—like the tides, say, or how to figure a baseball pitcher’s ERA—women seemed unknowable. Random even.

    I’m not sure exactly why, but women everywhere were shocked by how men thought.

    I explained my skepticism to one early focus group of women:

    Jeff: Guys tend to think that women are random. We think, I pulled this lever last week and got a certain reaction. But when I pulled that same lever this week, I got a totally different reaction. That’s random!

    Woman in group: But we aren’t random! If you pull the lever and get a different reaction, either you’re pulling a different lever or you’re pulling it in a different way.

    Shaunti: What men need is a sort of map to their wives or girlfriends. Because we can be mapped. We can be known and understood—firm ground.

    Jeff: Uh, no. See, guys think of a woman as a swamp. You can’t see where you’re stepping, and sooner or later you just know you’re going to get stuck in quicksand. And the more you struggle to get free, the deeper you get sucked in. So every guy on the planet knows that the best thing to do is just shut down and not struggle and hope somebody comes along to rescue you.

    When I came to, Shaunti and the other women in the focus group assured me—and I have since seen for myself—that guys don’t have to live in a swamp. That realization led us to the eventual subtitle of this book: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women.

    We have been astounded and humbled at the reaction to these simple, eyeopening truths. In fact, the book you are holding is actually the second edition of this book—which is needed because there was clearly a desire for this ongoing research.

    Both For Women Only and For Men Only sparked a huge wave of encouragement and hope among ordinary men and women just like me and Shaunti, selling more than 1.5 million copies in twenty-two languages. We were flooded with e-mails and comments from men and women at our marriage conferences, saying things like “This saved my marriage” and “After ten years together, I finally know how to make my wife happy” and even “Jeff, I owe you one, buddy.”

    But since we’ve continued to learn new things, we also wanted to keep the book current. For this new edition, we have included some fascinating new findings, including the brain science behind why women sometimes think as they do. Plus we’ve added a new chapter—“She’s Not Making Sense”—that decodes those unpredictable reactions that she thinks of as, uh, normal. After seeing the impact of this research, I realize that we really did uncover life-changing insights. Surprising truths that average guys like me need to hear from an average guy and be encouraged that if someone like me can learn it and do it, they can too.


    Excerpted from For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn Copyright © 2013 by Shaunti Feldhahn. 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, Shaunti Feldhahn, Jeff Feldhahn

  • Every Young Man's Battle from Stephen Arterburn

    Posted on March 12, 2014 by Family Christian

    Stephen Arterburn

    Introduction

    There’s a time-honored code that almost every male I’ve known has followed. I’m positive that my father and my brothers followed what I call the “Sexual Code of Silence.” The code states that it’s okay to joke about sex or even lie about it, but other than that, it’s your solemn duty—as a male—to keep silent whenever a serious discussion about sex takes place.

    Since everyone is determined not to talk about this, or maybe is embarrassed to do so, you probably don’t have a clear picture of what healthy sex is all about. In fact, you’re probably thinking that some very wonderful things are not normal and that some very normal things are pretty weird. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to write this book for you. We wanted you to have accurate information about a wonderful subject that’s prone to misinformation and ignorance. You’re a sexual being and deserve to know what’s right and true about your sexuality so you can have the greatest chance possible for a fantastic sexual relationship with the person you marry.

    It’s sad that in the Christian community, where we have access to God’s truth, we operate with so many lies and myths about sex. Some teens and young men with a low sex drive think they’re not real men, when in reality they may have a chemical or hormonal variance that lowers the drive. Some teens and young men with a strong sex drive may view themselves as slightly crazy and in need of major help to squelch their urges.

    You may be vacillating between those two extremes, especially if you’re in the middle of your adolescent years. Because your body is in a constant state of growth, you feel driven one minute and almost asexual the next. Don’t let this concern you. You’re right on schedule, and everything you’re experiencing is normal.

    One of the most difficult assignments you’ll ever have is to integrate your sexuality with the emotional, spiritual, social, and relational person you want to be. Many have the tendency to see their sexuality as something shamefully separate and distinct from themselves, but that shouldn’t be the case at all.

    Let me illustrate by using a good old hypocrite as an example. You probably know some people who are very religious when they go to church on Sunday, but you’d never know they were Christians by the way they act during the rest of the week. Sure, they say all the right words and go through the right motions on Sunday, but that part of their lives is reserved for Sunday. Come Monday morning, they sound more like they went to hell on Sunday rather than church. Those people haven’t fully integrated their spiritual life with the rest of their lives.

    The same could happen to you in the area of sexuality. This is an area you want to fully integrate with your Christian walk. When you do, you’ll have a much healthier outlook regarding relationships with the opposite sex, premarital sex, and even what your marital relationship will be like in bed.

    I have a friend whose son turned twelve a couple of years ago. He’s a great dad, and he has a great kid. When the boy turned twelve, it’s as if the spigot labeled Hormones was turned wide open. Stuff was happening inside his body, but he didn’t understand why he was experiencing certain feelings. All he knew was that he had some urges that were difficult to control. The young boy then did a very courageous thing. He approached his
    father and said, “Dad, I just feel like taking off my clothes and standing in front of a girl naked.”

    That was an honest expression of feelings and an accurate description of what it felt like to be a twelve-year-old boy. The fact that he could comfortably talk with his father about his feelings indicated that he wanted some answers to what was happening to him. All of us would benefit from a similar attitude.

    In fact, attitude is everything when it comes to winning the battle for sexual integrity. If there’s a single Bible verse that captures God’s standard for sexual purity, this is it: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity” (Ephesians 5:3).

    For teens and young adults, this is a scary verse that prompts more questions. What does a “hint” mean? How far can I go with a girl when we’re alone? How far can I go with myself when I’m alone? Is masturbation okay?

    These are great questions, and we’ll answer them straight up. That’s why you’re going to find Every Young Man’s Battle to be the most honest and forthright resource on teen and young adult sexuality out there. Ready to get started? So are we. We’re going to begin by letting Fred tell you his story and, as we say in Texas, it’s a humdinger.

    Chapter One

    When Football Was King

    FROM FRED: THE START OF MY STORY
    Growing up amid the Iowan cornfields, I made football my god. The sport dominated everything about me, and I happily played and practiced year round. I even liked two-a-days in hot, muggy August. Football was such a big part of my life that I let the noble sport dictate what I did off the field. After the games, I never joined my teammates at Lake McBride for the kegger parties. Drinking beer, I believed, would weaken my focus and soften my drive. As for girlfriends, I viewed them as high-maintenance commitments
    that would distract me from my goal—becoming an all-state quarterback.

    Like any red-blooded football player, however, I had more than a passing interest in sex. I’d been hooked on Playboy centerfolds ever since I found a stack of the magazines beneath my dad’s bed when I was in first grade. I also discovered copies of From Sex to Sexty, a publication filled with naughty jokes and sexy comic strips.

    When Dad divorced Mom, he moved to his bachelor pad, where he hung a giant velvet nude in his living room. I couldn’t help but glance at this mural-like painting whenever we played cards during my Sunday afternoon visits. On other occasions, Dad gave me a list of chores whenever I dropped by to see him. Once, while emptying the trash can in his bedroom, I came across a nude photo of his mistress. All this caused sexual feelings to churn deep inside me.

    Hollywood movies filled me with lustful curiosity and burning passion. In one film, Diana Ross poured a bucket of ice on her boss’s belly just as he orgasmed, which seemed to intensify the experience. My mouth dropped open. What’s up with this? I pondered such scenes in my mind for days upon days. On those rare occasions that I went out on a date during the off-season, these deep churnings often stirred and bubbled over. Too often, I’d push a girl’s boundaries while I tried to get a hand under her bra.

    Still, my passion for football kept my sexual yearnings in check. I performed well on the gridiron and was named “Athlete of the Year” at Thomas Jefferson High School—a 4-A powerhouse in Cedar Rapids. I received full ride scholarship offers from the Air Force Academy and Yale University.

    I had bigger dreams, however—PAC-10 football, even if it meant trying out for the team as a walk-on. I wouldn’t settle for anything less. Soon I stood before my locker at Stanford University, staring in awe at the familiar white helmet with the red S and the name Stoeker taped across the front. Strapping on my helmet and chin strap, I proudly raced onto the field in my attempt to win a spot on the team. Before long everyone in the country would know my name when I tossed long rainbow passes into the end zone. I was living my dream.

    In one afternoon, that dream shattered into a thousand pieces. I was one of eight quarterbacks warming up that day. From the corner of my eye, I saw Turk Shonert, a blue-chip recruit from Southern California, throwing thirty-five-yard bullets! Three other quarterbacks zipped the ball through the air as if it were on a string. These QBs were so good that all four would later start at Stanford and play in the NFL.

    I, along with Corky Bradford, an all-state quarterback from Wyoming, and my dormmate at Wilbur Hall, stared in disbelief. There was no way either of us had the skill level to compete with these blue-chippers. When my football dreams died that afternoon, I turned my attention to…women. Pictures of naked women.

    As I settled into normal college life without sports or dreams, my churning sexuality broke through every dike, and I was soon awash in pornography. I actually memorized the date when my favorite soft-core magazine, Gallery, arrived at the local drugstore. I’d be standing at the front door at opening time, even if I had to skip class to do it. I loved the “Girls Next Door” section in Gallery, which featured pictures of nude girls taken by their boyfriends and submitted to the magazine for publication.

    While I waded into porn waters up to my neckline, I somehow kept sexual intercourse on some higher moral dry ground. From where I stood, making love was something special for when you were married. I still felt that way after I returned to Iowa following my freshman year. I got a summer job on a roofing crew to make some quick, big cash, and I began dating an old friend named Melissa, entering a relationship that quickly mushroomed into a heavy love affair. When I wasn’t pounding nails on someone’s roof, Melissa and I spent endless hours together. Just before I got set to return to Stanford for my sophomore year, we decided to spend a secluded weekend together at Dad’s property on Shield’s Lake in southern Minnesota.

    Beneath a bright, full moon on a crystal-clear night, we lay down to sleep with a cool breeze blowing gently over us. The setting was romantic, and I was getting more excited by the minute. I quietly reached for Melissa, and she knew exactly where I was headed. Melissa looked up at me with a deep sadness in her big brown eyes, the moonlight framing her innocent face. “You know that I’m saving myself for marriage—hopefully ours,” she said. “If you push forward with this, I want you to know that I won’t stop you. But I will never be able to respect you as much as I do right now, and that would make me very sad for a very long time.”

    Laying her virginity on the line, she had delivered the ultimate pop quiz. How would I answer? Who did I love most—her or me? My head spun. My desire and passion pounded away as I gazed into that sweet face glowing softly at me. We became silent for a long time. Finally, I smiled. Snuggling in next to her, I dozed off to sleep, passing her test with flying colors. Little did I know that it was the last test I’d pass for many years.

    When I left Melissa behind on my drive back to Stanford University, a deep loneliness settled in. Far from home and with few Christian under-pinnings, I wandered aimlessly through my days, feeling sorry for myself. Then one day during an intramural football game, my eyes caught sight of a female referee. She looked like a grown-up version of my childhood sweetheart, Melody Knight, who had moved to Canada when we were in
    the third grade.

    I was in love! Since there was nothing holding us back, it wasn’t too long before we were in bed making love. I justified it because I was having sex with the girl I knew I would marry. It seemed like such a small step away from my values. Sadly, the flame of our relationship burned out as quickly as it began, but sadder still: This small step led to many more steps down the hill.

    The next time I made love, it was with a girl I thought I would marry.

    The time after that, it was with a good friend that I thought I could love and maybe marry. Then came the pleasant coed I barely knew who simply wanted to experience sex before she left college.

    Within twelve short months, I’d gone from being able to say no in a secluded camper on a moonlit night to being able to say yes in any bed on any night. Just one year out of college in California, I found myself with four “steady” girlfriends simultaneously. I was sleeping with three of them and was essentially engaged to marry two of them. None knew of the others.

    Why do I share all this?

    First, so you’ll know that I understand the fiery draw of premarital sex. I know where you’re living. Second, if you’re already sleeping around but know that you shouldn’t, I bring you hope. As you’ll soon see, God changed my whole mind-set about having sex before marriage.


    Excerpted from Every Young Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey Copyright © 2009 by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey. 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.


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