Monday, November 14, 2011

Choosing Courage

By Roland C. Warren, President, National Fatherhood Initiative

Good films not only entertain, they speak powerfully into deeply personal issues or important social problems. Great films speak to both. On that measure, Courageous is a great film.

Courageous, the new film from the makers of Facing the Giants and Fireproof, draws you in with action and humor, but then, like Field of Dreams, causes men reflect on their relationships with their dads and their own children. It is one of the most emotionally powerful films I have seen in along time; it hits very close to home for dads like me who grew up without their fathers.

It also intelligently tackles the social crisis of our time--the widespread absence of fathers from the lives of our nation's children. Twenty-four million children--one out of every three nationally and two of three in the African American community--live in homes absent their biological fathers.

How does one film accomplish all of this? The answer is in the title. Not only does the film rest on the theme of "courage" in portraying the value and heart of fatherhood, but the film itself is also courageous in its handling of the father absence crisis we face today.

When I first heard about this movie more than a year ago, I thought that the title was strange. You don't normally hear this word used in reference to fatherhood. Frankly, you're more likely to hear it exclaimed by a sportscaster hailing a football star who plays through an injury. Or when a celebrity poker player goes "all in," despite having a poor hand.

Playing through an injury and making a well-timed bluff are noteworthy, but courageous? Hardly. Courageous the movie, on the other hand, frames the hard, self-sacrificing work of fatherhood around the idea that being a "good enough" father just isn't enough; we should strive to be great fathers, the kind children need and mothers long for.

This film has the potential to make millions of men realize just how critical they are to their children and challenges them to question themselves and their priorities. In fact, the film makes it clear that great fatherhood is really a choice between comfort and courage, which I have come to believe are opposites.

Consider this real-life example.

Some months ago, I heard a news report about a father's harrowing experience in Sierra Leone during the time when the brutal rebel leader, Charles Taylor, was terrorizing that small nation. One day, a gang of Taylor's thugs entered his community looking for men and boys that they could mutilate by cutting off their limbs. When they approached this father, they told him that they were going to cut off his arm and his son's arm. They wanted two arms and they were not going to be denied.

They weren't; the father offered both of his arms to spare his son. He chose courage over comfort.

While no one is threatened like this in Courageous, the characters face difficult challenges at home and at work. While the film grapples effectively with these deeply personal issues, it is also takes a broad view of how father absence affects entire communities, and thus the country.

Courageous asserts the uncompromising view that when dads disconnect from children, the results for the community are gangs, broken children, violence, drug dealing, lack of respect for authority, and a variety of other negative consequences.

Conversely, the film suggests that when fathers are connected to family, most of the serious problems we face can be eliminated. Few films have had the courage to place these ideas front and center in the story.

At a time when we face record levels of father absence and out-of-wedlock childbirths, cultural indifference to the idea that marriage and fatherhood should be linked, and the attitude that fathers are not important cogs in the family -- National Fatherhood Initiative's national survey of moms and dads found that 6 in 10 parents believe dads can be easily replaced -- Courageous cannot come at a better time.

For taking on this cultural indifference and not being afraid to challenge millions of men, Courageous truly is one courageous movie

Friday, October 21, 2011


Hebrews 12:2- looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

If parenting is about imitating the Perfect Parent, we should be comforted in knowing God patiently endured as His Son was subjected to unimaginable hardship (curses, rejection, beatings, and death) on our behalf. There will be times when you will be forced to endure sleepless nights, frustration, anger, shame, and the scorn of others in your parenting journey as well.

In the middle of suffering, fix your eyes on Jesus. Recognize that as much as we try to avoid pain, it can be a pathway to wisdom and greater dependence on God. The love you express to your kids during times of struggle can draw them to a much greater love – the love of our Heavenly Father and the sacrifice he made through His Son’s life and death.

When you endure parenting hardships and struggles with patience, you reflect God’s love in a powerful, compelling way.

Taken from Parenting Daily Devotional

Friday, September 30, 2011

Don't Understand? Trust God

You may be facing a dead end right now- financial, emotional, relational – but if you will trust God and keep on moving in faith, even when you don’t see a way, He will make a way.

It will become more understandable as you head down the path He sets before you, but understanding is not a requirement for you to start down the path. Proverbs 4:18 says, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shinning brighter till the full light of day.” (NIV) One day you will stand in the full light of eternity and view the big picture. You’ll see God’s purpose behind the path He specifically chose for you.

In the meantime, do what Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Be patient. God knows what He’s doing. God knows what is best for you. He can see the end result. You can’t. All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays—all the things that make you ask “why”—one day it will all be clear in the light of God’s love.

Taken from Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roof Top Faith

The other day I was listening to New Life Live on the radio with Dr. John Townsend, Steve Arterburn, and Milan Yerkovich. A woman was talking about some trials that she was facing in her life. One of the radio counselors spoke about surrounding her self with some friends that have roof top faith. The radio host spoke on Mark 2. Where they talk about four men who carried a paralytic man to a house where Jesus was preaching. When they arrived it was over crowded by people who gathered to hear Jesus speak. They took the paralytic man onto the roof, tore open a section of the roof and lowered the paralytic man down to where Jesus was. It says in Mark 2:5- When Jesus saw their faith; He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

Jesus just didn’t say he was forgiven, but he mentions the faith of the four men. It says when Jesus saw the faith of the four men the paralytic man was healed. Not saying the paralytic man didn’t have faith that Jesus could heal him. I really don’t know, but it was the faith of the other’s. They could have very easily looked at the crowd and got discouraged. They could have said we can do it another day or chalk it up as a nice try or said it wasn’t meant to be.

They also could have told the paralytic man that they were just too busy to help. But they didn’t, they not only carried the man, but the large crowd of people didn’t discourage them. They went to the roof, tore it open and lowered him.

We all know people in our lives, in our church, in our families that are facing trials in their lives right now. Some minor, some major. We all know marriages that are ending in divorce or considering divorce as I write this. And we all know that in those situations there can be one or both of the spouses who have no hope or a lack of faith that God can breath new life into their marriages or into their circumstances. There are times when we all need roof top friends that have faith for them that God is the God of the impossible. Even though we know the word that God promises to never leave us or forsake us. There are times where our circumstances can over whelm us to the point where we can lose faith. I know I have been there in my own life and in my marriage. As hopeless as I was, God restored my marriage.

Don’t think that you have to have everything in your life in order. God can use you in the midst of your own circumstances. You need to just have the faith like the four men who lowered the paralytic man. Our faith in God, believing that He can change someone else’s situation can bring healing to that person, to that marriage, or to their circumstance. It also increases our faith as we allow God to work in us and through us. Through that increased faith we become a testimony that reveals the glory of God.

Who in your life do you know who needs you to be a roof top friend? 1 Corinthians 12:26- “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” I have spoken on it before, that we need to go out of our way for others. We need to show the love of Christ. 1 John 3:16- “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

I have seen God come through time and time again in someone else’s life when they have friends who walk with them and encourage them in the lowest points of their lives. We all need real friends who have roof top faith; a faith that they know God will change situations or circumstances. No matter how big the circumstance may look.

Mark & Raquel Soto

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Plan to Stay in LOVE!

by Andy Stanley

Falling in love is easy.

It involves butterflies and long walks on moonlit beaches. You hear wedding bells, see fireworks and fall into something that feels perfect.

Staying in love, however, is not so easy.

Once the initial shine of new love has worn off, obstacles and hurdles appear seemingly out of nowhere. There are warts; there are regrets — there is baggage.

Sometimes, staying in love feels impossible.

Though divorce statistics jump all over the place, there is little denying that we are a culture prone to giving up on love. We are a culture that believes when the going gets tough, the tough just go. We run from the pain and challenges in our relationships and wonder how we could ever feel so far from someone we once felt so close to.

But what if staying in love is possible? What if working hard, instead of giving up, is the key to passionate, long-lasting, true love? What if real relationship starts when we get real about staying in love?

We've all wondered what it's like to be truly treasured by someone. To be needed and missed and loved. Not just for a long weekend or even a decade, but for 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, and more.

I believe it is possible to experience a love that goes the distance. It's a gift God longs to give us, and there are four things we can do to accept that gift:

Make love a verb.

For many of us, the concept of love is difficult because we never learned the right form of love. We focus on the external qualities of love and ignore the internal. We treat love like a noun. It's an experience that happened. A moment. A thing.

But in John 13:34, we see a different side of love. John says, simply and honestly, "Love one another." It is not a one-time event. It is not a fireworks feeling or a field of flowers. It's an action. A verb. It's not just about choosing the right person; it's about becoming the right person, the type of person who loves the way Christ loved us.

Put your spouse first.

For years, I waged steady opposition to my wife's plan to add a garden to our yard. I reasoned that when you consider all the time and money invested in a garden, you're no better off than if you'd bought your veggies at the grocery store. Besides, the crop I care about (coffee beans) grows on trees, not in gardens.

For a long time, I had a good case going ... until I read Philippians 2:3 again: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." I wish that were a complicated verse with multiple Hebrew variations. But it's pretty simple: Value others (in this case, your spouse) above yourself.

Don't try to prove you're smarter or better at the family budget. Plant your wife a garden. In order to stay in love, we need to change our approach to determining what is valuable. We have to demonstrate an interest in things because they are interesting to the people we are interested in. By doing this, we learn to put our spouse first.

(Watch Andy Stanley talk more about putting your spouse first in a video clip from his Staying in Love DVD.)

Pay attention to your heart.

Imagine you are a mug with thousands of tiny beads inside. Each bead represents a negative feeling or painful experience or unfulfilled expectation. You are careful to keep them inside. Then you meet someone and think she just might be the future Mrs. Mug. So, you are gentle and thoughtful around her. You make certain that as few beads as possible spill out on the road to the altar.

But a month or a year later, suddenly there's an issue: She gets upset for no apparent reason; or you don't call, though you said you would; or she feels ignored. Your mugs bump into each other, jostling your beads. Jealousy spills out. Anger overflows. All the stuff that was hidden during the courtship is on display.

This is the type of situation the Bible anticipates when it implores us to guard our hearts. When your emotional "beads" get bumped, stop and think about what you are feeling before you speak. Name what you are feeling with specific words: "I feel jealous" or "I feel angry." When you name your feelings, they lose their power. If appropriate, tell your spouse what's going on in your heart. Healthy people stop doing hurtful things when they learn what the issues are. And they stay in love by paying attention to their hearts.

Fill the gaps.

In every relationship, there are gaps between what is expected and what actually happens. We have fairytale views of how marriage will be, and they fail to materialize. We have expectations of how a spouse should act at a dinner party, and that doesn't go as planned. We have ideas about when our partner should come home at night, and the reality is different. Gaps open up all around us.

When that happens, we have two choices: We can believe the best, trusting that there is a reasonable explanation for our spouse's behavior. Or we can assume the worst, reading disrespect, hurt and a thousand other things into those situations.

Into those gaps, 1 Corinthians 13 walks boldly. Long used in weddings, these popular verses describe the nature of love. Beyond the verses about love's patience and kindness, we find a plea for the gaps. We find help for the holes. Verse 7 says love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

In a marriage, that means when you have a chance to doubt or trust, you trust. When you have a chance to give up or hope, you hope. When you have a chance to quit or persevere, you persevere.

One of the most powerful ways to fill the gaps is to believe the best about your spouse. Such an attitude communicates, "I trust you. Even before I hear your explanation, I trust you."

It is possible to stay in love, but it does take more than fireworks and moonlit beaches. Falling in love only requires a pulse. Staying in love? That requires a plan.

Watch Andy Stanley talk about putting your spouse first in a video clip from his Staying in Love DVD.

Andy Stanley is a pastor, author and founder of North Point Ministries.

This article first appeared in the November/December, 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Andy Stanley. Used by permission.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Nails

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 05:01 AM PDT

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.

His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all.

He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.

You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say "I'm sorry", the wound is still there.

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Friends, let us all be wise and careful about the words that we share.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marriage and Ministry

Do you believe the health of your marriage to be critical to the success of your ministry?

52% of people in ministry say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family's well-being and health.

45% of people in ministry feel they do not have the necessary skills as a couple to make their marriage last.

42% of people in ministry say that their spouses complain about their work schedule at least once a month.

Those in ministry are as likely to have marriage end in divorce as general church members.

AND YET.....

93% of people in the ministry feel their marriage is seen as a role model.

[Taken from Strong Marriage/Successful Ministry, by Sharon Hargrave.]

Wake-up call?!

No one (NO ONE!!!) is exempt from the hard work of making a marriage work.  Even those matches we think are made in heaven have to be daily lived out here on earth!  We all need someone to come along side us and walk with us and encourage us as we relate to our spouses.  Even those in ministry have this need.

Some simple ideas to encourage and strengthen the marriages around you:

1. Pray for others' marriages.  The blessings will be multiplied back to you.

2. Be a non-judgmental listening ear.  Sometimes you just need someone to say, "Yeah, we've been there.  You're going to make it."

3. Send an encouraging note or card.

4. Volunteer to babysit your friends' or pastors' children for free so they can get a night out!

5.  Or give them the gift of a night in: a delicious take-out meal, movie, popcorn, bubbly, etc. to enjoy after the children go to bed.

6. Pool your resources with other friends or church members to give your leaders a weekend away at a bed-and-breakfast.

7. Remember others' anniversary with a card, gift or call.

8. Look for ways to celebrate marriage and commitment!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Go Out of Your Way

How often do you go out of your way for others? How many times do we avoid a situation where we might be made a little uncomfortable or we would have to rearrange our schedule? I was just reminded again today the importance of reaching out to others. It is amazing how many hurting people, hurting marriages, and hurting families are right in front of us. How many marriages are in a crisis that shows up to church every Sunday hoping for others to reach out. Hoping that someone will take the time to get to know them. We all have the ability to be a listening ear. We may not always have the answer, but we can encourage one another or we can point them in the right direction. I realize we all lead busy lives. But we all need an encouraging word to get us through our struggles at times. My wife and I meet with a lot of couples and they all say the same thing that they wish they had people in their lives that they can be transparent with. To call in a time of need or to just hang out with. As a community of believer’s, I feel we can do a better job of caring for each other. A better job of carrying each others burdens. A better job of loving each other. Not just on a Sunday at church, but on a Monday, on a Tuesday, on a Wednesday, on any day of the week. I know there were times where I was selfish and I put me first before others. And there are times when you have to draw boundaries. But when you go out of your way for others, it lifts up the body of Christ. It builds community amongst believers. It allows us to do life together, to share the good times and the bad times. So I encourage you to go out of your way for others. It is an amazing feeling when you love on others. Let’s get out of our comfort zone and make time in our busy schedule for others. Let’s do what Jesus commands us, to love and serve one another as He has loved and served us.

Mark Soto

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Let It Rain

Just want to encourage you today. You may be going through a trial in your life. It could be small or it may be a major crisis. No matter what it is; Marriage problems, children, family, your job, or financial. I wanted to share a word God spoke to me today to encourage you. It was fitting, and God has perfect timing. I needed to hear it to encourage my wife and I.

The Lord says, “Let it rain upon the mountain. Let the river flow from the mountain of pain, of worry, of frustration, of fear. For God will do a good work in all these. For God will get the glory. For you shall shine on the hilltop. It will not be in vain. He has great plans, but you must grow through the struggle, you will come out the fire as a sword that is forged by fire. To battle for what belongs to Him.”

Mark Soto

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pool Party!

Summer Pool Party at Mark and Raquel's!

Too much fun!

Jeff and Tony

Kevin and Gana and a whole bunch of kids!

Mark and Jordan

Jordan, Kevin and Gana

The Daddies watched the kids in the pool and the Mommies relaxed in the shade!
Raquel, Teresa, Arlin, Minoska, Kristina, and Micha

Herman "supervising"


Intense conversation?

 After the sun set, Mark cranked up the Latin music and everyone just started dancing and/or kissing.

That's how we do it at Eden Rock!

Summer fun! 

Please join us at our next family adventure or date night!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Release Your Spouse

Have you released your spouse to God? You hear about releasing our problems, burdens, fears, and our children to God. To truly hand them over to Him. Well I ask, have you released your spouse to Him? Or are you still trying to be the Holy Spirit in their life? If I can be real, I will say we all have some habits that will irritate each other. We take each other in the hand of marriage for better or for worse. The in love experience will over look these issues until the in love experience fades away. This is when we need our Fathers love. But all to often we start to focus on our spouse’s issues and tend to forget our own. Romans 2:1- “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” So we tend to want to fix our spouses issues or shortcomings. We begin to get frustrated, angry, resentful, or feel unloved or disrespected when these changes don’t happen. Even after we have expressed our feelings with our spouse, or bought them the latest Christian book or video. Maybe even drag our spouse to next conference hoping this will be it. Expectations in our spouse will likely lead to disappointment.

But when we release our spouse to God. Start to focus on our own issues, pray for our spouse and allow God to be God in their life; He does amazing things in our marriages and families. It is not easy at times, because we want the quick fix. So we feel if we don’t have them read the latest marriage article, or the need to point out what they need to change it might not ever happen. But we live on God’s timing, not ours. I’m not saying not to try and be proactive in marriage. You do need to share and communicate with each other. But there is a way to communicate with each other how you feel. That is a whole topic in its self. Learn to allow God to work in our spouse. Learn to have that faith that can move mountains. Yes, it is easier said than done, but when we pray for our spouse and allow God to work on His time, you will see the changes in your spouse. When God reveals the areas in our life that we need to change, it will be life changing. But when we try to point out those areas that we feel our spouse needs to change, it becomes nagging. Over time nagging falls on deaf ears. So release your spouse to God. Allow Him to work in your marriage. Have faith that He can do the impossible. Because He can.

Mark Soto

From An Older Sexually Confident Wife!

Today when I read Shannon Ethridge's Hot Tip, I immediately thought, "I have to share this on the Eden Blog!"  I mean, if Eden isn't about a lifetime of love and intimacy, I don't know what is!  Read this, be inspired and spice things up--all the days of your life!

Helen writes:

Shannon, you spoke at our church this past year. I was one of the “older” gals in the crowd. My husband and I have been married almost 50 years, and we’re probably considered the poster children for the “happily married couple.” I wanted to share what happened to me at the retreat…

I prayed that Friday morning that the Lord would use me and that I would be open to anything He wanted to teach me, then I went off to the retreat.

And then you showed up…

If anyone had asked me, I would have said that my husband and I have a great sex life and have from the beginning of our marriage. I had orgasms easily from the first day of our marriage. We are fortunate in that we were both virgins and believers when we got married…

I thought our sex life was “normal” and better than a lot. Yes, my husband seemed to want it all the time and yes, I was worn out during the child-rearing season so we did have plenty of those “not tonight” discussions during those years. But I was always happy to “pay” him for help around the house with a “quickie” every so often.


I keep asking myself that question. Something major – MAJOR happened. My menopause lasted many years, and I had several health issues and enough depression to warrant medication. Unfortunately a side effect of the medication was that I could no longer have an orgasm. Having never had that problem before, I begged God for the feeling to come back, to the point of tears, but eventually told God that I would be content with whatever I currently had or did not have. I stopped the anti-depressants after a few months, but the ability to climax never returned. My husband has also had some erectile dysfunction issues over the past decade, but we’ve operated under the premise that it’s always too soon to give up! This has resulted in greater intimacy. Even though all we had to offer each other sometimes was holding and kissing, we never gave up wanting all we could have with one another.


Over 20 years ago my husband approached me about doing a little more experimenting. By that he meant he wanted to have oral sex. I was dead set against it. It just seemed wrong to me. I tried to explain that intimacy to me was face-to-face, mouth-to-mouth, etc. We tried it a few times but I hated it and finally asked him not to bring it up again. He graciously complied. I mention all of this for two reasons: (1) a person’s mental attitude is everything, and (2) as I have thought about this over the past few days, I believe my husband’s selflessness and not-insisting attitude communicated that he loved and respected me, and that however I felt about something was all right. He wanted to please me more than he wanted to please himself and have sex the way he wanted it. I believe his wonderful attitude contributed to the freedom that I experienced after your retreat…

SOMEHOW, BY GOD’S GRACE AND THE ANOINTING ON WHAT YOU SAY AND HOW YOU SAY IT, God did something amazing. I’m not sure what He did or if I even know which time you spoke or if it was an accumulation of what you said plus your book. But it was like I had a curtain over my mind and suddenly God pulled the curtain back and set me free to FULLY enjoy myself and, though I had heard and believed the saying that “nothing is wrong between you and your mate if it is all right with both of you,” somehow, I now had a new GREEN LIGHT that God made these parts of our bodies for our enjoyment. More to the point, it was alright for me to enjoy it ALL! In fact, God delights in me enjoying myself. After listening to you talk, I wanted to buy your book thinking it might help. And I even felt free to buy the black copy of The Sexually Confident Wife – the one with sketches!

My husband said I was different when I walked in the door after the retreat.

I am FREE and I can’t explain it except that God has done something MARVELOUS! I came home and started reading the book out loud to my husband. I got online and ordered some “special aids” from the Christian website you recommended []. Thank you for that. WOW! They have really helped. We are having a summer of romance, for sure! Except for when he’s out of town, we have only missed one day of sex since the retreat! We’ve even done it 3 times in one day! I have even begun having orgasms again for the first time in 20 years, and I have high hopes for many more to come! (pardon the pun!)

I felt I wanted to write to you, Shannon, because I want women to know that it is never too late to more fully enjoy one’s mate! (even if she thinks she’s already enjoying him!) I’m also telling you these very private things about us because the devil really loves to lie to people my age that “some things are over” and I would like for older women to be encouraged otherwise.

I told my husband the other day that often I feel like I am this special child God loves. I was walking along minding my own business, showed up at the retreat expecting to be a blessing and to be blessed, but not even knowing the GREAT GIFT He was about to give me, or that I was even in need of anything, and HOW MUCH MORE FUN was ahead of me/us!! I love God. He is amazing and loves us SOOOOO much. I have been surprised by JOY and I can’t thank my Heavenly Father enough.

I can’t thank you enough either, Shannon. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We believe you have a special anointing to talk about sexuality to all ages. God bless you for doing what He has gifted you to do. We are also reading Every Young Woman’s Battle because we’re sending copies to our granddaughters. I can’t wait to discuss the book with them when we’re together!



Isn't that great?!  Please subscribe to Shannon's weekly hot-tip for Sexually Confident Wives!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meeting Dr. James Dobson

Gana, Mark, Dr. Dobson and Jordan
Lake Avenue Church

What a special evening!  Dr. Dobson spoke about Bringing Up Girls.  As all three men above have daughters it was a really powerful meeting!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Motherhood Is A Calling

The article below blessed my socks off and challenged me at the same time!  One of my favorite lines is: Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.



Image from

Reposted from Desiring God Blog.

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”

She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It's Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.

Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.

Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.

The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.

The Question Is How

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?

It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.

Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.

Hands Full of Good Things

When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”

Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.

Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.

Rachel Jankovic is a wife, homemaker, and mother. She is the author of "Loving the Little Years" and blogs at Femina. Her husband is Luke, and they have five children: Evangeline (5), Daphne (4), Chloe (2), Titus (2), and Blaire (5 months).

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Cost of Freedom

2 Chronicles 20:15- “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Dig Deeper:

2 Chronicles 20:1-30

A wise person once said, “Freedom is never free.”

Nathan Hale was a school teacher when the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775. After hearing about the siege of Boston in a letter from a friend, Hale joined his five brothers in the fight for independence.

Hale fought under General George Washington in New York as British General William Howe began a military buildup on Long Island. When Washington asked for a volunteer to go on a spy mission behind enemy lines, Hale stepped forward. For weeks he gathered information on the position of British troops, but he was captured while returning to the American side. Because of the incriminating papers Hale possessed, the British knew ha was a spy. Howe ordered the 20 year old Hale to be hanged the following day without trial.

Patriot Nathan Hale was hanged on September 22, 1776. Before he gave his life for his country, he made a short speech, ending with these famous and inspiring words: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

As John Quincy Adams said, “You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” We must do all we can to protect the freedoms that generations past have entrusted to us.

Richard G. Lee In God We Still Trust

And even today our freedom in Christ came at a price.

1 Corinthians 6:20-“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Monday, May 30, 2011

Curb Cutting Remarks

Proverbs 10:18-21; 32- 18) Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. 19) In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 20) The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little. 21) The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.... 32) The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked is perverse.

You would think we would learn early in life to measure our words before we say them; to listen to them twice in our mind before we say them once. The results can be catastrophic if we don’t. Words cut to the core of who we are, and a lot of damage can be created in a hurry when our tongue runs at a high RPM.

Here are some guidelines for measuring your words:

- Don’t be hasty. Think about what’s necessary. We’re taught never to turn a power tool on unless we know exactly what it is going to do when the blade starts turning. Consider the effect of what you’re about to say.

- Don’t exaggerate. Using the words “always” and “never” are good examples-save yourself some grief with your spouse before you say, “You always do this” or “You never do that.”

- Check your volume. Screaming and yelling to make your point may make you feel better in the short run, but it also gives you more to be sorry for later and causes damage that another may never get over.

- Always ask yourself: Do my words give life and edify, or do they tear others down?

By: Hugh Poland in The Master Carpenter

Which of the above guidelines might help me during a difficult discussion? I know we can all relate to these guidelines. We have the opportunity to practice them everyday in marriage, with our children, family, and friends. And yes, it takes practice. This does not always come natural. Especially when we have been hurt by the other person. I know I have blown it on many occasions, but I am putting to practice these guidelines. I can already see the difference with my spouse and with my children. So remember to stop and think before we speak. For some of us it may take a little more effort than others to start putting these guidelines into everyday practice with our family. But don’t give up, admit it when you have blown it. And continue to keep on trying. It will be well worth what you and your family will receive from it. Speak life, not death.

Mark Soto

Monday, May 23, 2011

50 Ideas to Inspire Your Husband

A wife has the unique ability to help her husband feel the freedom to reach his fullest potential as the man God has created him to be.
Janel Breitenstein

There’s an old joke about one of our presidents walking with his wife, who sees one of her old boyfriends in a less-than-glorious occupation. The president looks at the old boyfriend and remarks, “If you hadn’t married me, you might be married to that guy.”

The first lady answers calmly, “If I had married him, he’d be president.”

Now, occupation is not the measure of a man. But as a wife, you do possess a unique power to inspire your husband. Your loving vision of the man he’s becoming propels him toward greatness—not necessarily by the world’s yardstick of success, or even your own, but of God’s.

When you believe in him, he is secure. He can take the leaps of faith required to surmount fear. He can bear up under pressure, pioneer new territory.

An inspired husband feels the freedom to reach the fullest potential of the man God has created him to be. He’s not merely encouraged. He’s a man who’s empowered; a conqueror. If you want to give your man some “wind beneath his wings”… start here.

  1. Send him an e-mail. Example: “Praying for you today. Thanks for being so courageous in ___.”
  2. Give him one night on a regular basis to do something he loves.
  3. Consistently mention ways you see him growing to be more like Christ.
  4. Initiate great sex.
  5. Ask him about his “bucket list”—the top list of things he’d like to do in his lifetime.
  6. Give him a book or audio CD to learn about something he loves doing.
  7. Ask him about some dreams he has—and pray about them together, evaluating them. Then ask how you can help him go after them.
  8. Text him on a stressful day. Example: “REMINDER: I BELIEVE IN U.”
  9. Make sure he feels respected by you.
  10. Leave sticky notes in his lunch, on his steering wheel, in his briefcase, etc. “So proud of all you’ve been doing with ___”. “You are so great with our kids.” “You are my dream come true.” “You are an incredible lover.”
  11. Suggest that he take some time to go pursue a hobby.
  12. Leave a message on his voicemail: “Thanks for going to work every day to take care of our family. You are so good at what you do.”
  13. Ask him how you can pray for him at work. Later on in the week, get an update from him on what you’ve prayed for.
  14. Be proactive about doing something together that he really enjoys. Make a date, get him excited, and share his enthusiasm!
  15. Tell him areas he’s gifted in. Don’t stretch the truth: Be honest so he can trust you.
  16. Pray for him.
  17. Initiate great sex.
  18. Start and keep a “Dreams” binder with him. Include some travel brochures or whatever gets you both energized. In the back, make sure you have a “Dreams turned reality!” file.
  19. Talk with your husband about setting aside a small part of the budget to pursue the unique ways God has designed him (including his gifts, abilities, and passions)—through education or through sheer enjoyment.
  20. Post on his Facebook wall: “I love being your wife! See me tonight regarding this.”
  21. Gently communicate with him about what you like in bed, and respond encouragingly to his attempts.
  22. Remember a dream that he had a long time ago. Talk with him about whether it’s still a dream—and still a possibility.
  23. Ask God to open your eyes to the ways He has made your husband unique, and to give you wisdom about how to maximize that workmanship.
  24. Have your children write him notes or letters about what they love about him as a dad.
  25. Initiate great sex.
  26. Ban yourself from nagging, which is the Great Life-Sucker.
  27. Ask, “If I could do one thing that would really empower you and inspire you, what would it be?” Then listen, resist being defensive (the hard part), and follow through.
  28. Remind him of specific times when he’s made an impact on other people’s lives. “Hey, I was thinking the other day about all the time you invested in that Cub Scout troop. Wonder what those boys are doing now. It was so cool to watch them grow with you as their leader.” “Our son has grown so much in encouraging people lately. He gets that from you; you are such a good example for him in that.”
  29. Buy him something small to stoke the fires: A journal for a writer, some carpentry pencils for a woodworker, some grilling tools for the master chef. Add a sweet note: “Just because I love the way you’re made.”
  30. Do something fun and unexpected together. A few ideas to try: paintball; laser tag; on a spring day, have a picnic, blow bubbles, and bring the books you’re reading; swing; play a pickup game of a sport together; go to a drive-in movie, bring popcorn, and instigate a make-out session.
  31. Think about a way you’ve been hurting him, annoying him. Or there may be ways you’re not “seeing” him—not stepping into his world to understand what it’s like to be him, with all of the things he cares about. Apologize, and work hard at showing true change.
  32. Initiate great sex.
  33. Go to a home improvement store to plan a small, doable project that energizes both of you, even if it’s just painting a room or fixing up some landscaping. (Hint: Be positive that it’s something by which he won’t feel burdened.)
  34. With quality, complete something from his to-do list for him—something that he’d rather have you do anyway.
  35. Find a mutually enjoyable activity you like doing together on a regular basis, even if it’s as simple as playing the Wii together after the kids are in bed.
  36. Create a cheerful atmosphere when he comes home.
  37. Design a date night that will help him to de-stress and have fun.
  38. Discover his “love language,” and become fluent in it.
  39. Pray about and pursue at least one dream of your own, talking with him about it. An inspired wife breeds inspiration.
  40. What’s difficult about his life right now? Pray for his endurance, and encourage him specifically. Galatians 6:9 is a great start for both. Think, What can I do to ease the load he’s carrying?
  41. Organize or clean something in your home that you know he finds messy.
  42. Send a snail-mail love note to him at the office, affirming him in his work.
  43. Think of something on his honey-do list at home that he finds overwhelming or for which he doesn’t have much time. Talk with him (respectfully and gently) about the possibility of hiring someone to do it. Communicate clearly that it’s not because you find him incompetent, but that you want to free him up from a burden.
  44. Initiate great sex.
  45. Be a student of your husband. Does he feel inspired if he has all his ducks in a row? If he has a creative space to think? If he feels verbally affirmed?
  46. If your man is into dressing nice, go with him to shop for clothes in which he feels confident.
  47. Let him overhear you speaking well of him on the phone, among friends, or in public places. And to your mother.
  48. In his area of weakness, pray about how to subtly, gently step in and help him.
  49. Tell him what a great dad he is. Be specific.
  50. If and when he messes up, respond with the kind of grace, compassion, and mercy that God gives you. Respond in a way that communicates, You’re safe with me—and I’m not going to rehash your failures. This is a secure place for you to grow … and I love the journey with you.

This article originally appeared on MomLife Today, FamilyLife's blog for moms of all ages and stages of life

Friday, May 20, 2011

Let Someone In

Let someone in? Hey guys, we need to let other godly men into our lives. We need accountability. We need encouragement from other men. We need friendships. But does that come natural or do we need to make an effort to let someone in to our lives. We need to make a better effort as men to build friendships. I recently started a small group for men called Covenant Keepers. It’s to allow us as men to create an atmosphere to be open and transparent. A place where trust is established and we can be real. No shame, no guilt, a place where men can learn from each other, and a place to realize how much we have in common with our everyday struggles. I always think of Nathan, when he spoke into David’s life in Samuel 12. But also how David humbly realized what he did was wrong. Without another man speaking to David, would he of realized his wrongs or try to keep them hidden? Proverbs 27:5 says, “Better is open rebuke, than hidden love.” But when we establish true friendships with other men, and allow ourselves to be accountable to each other, God will speak through them so we can see our ways. Not to condemn, but to break us free from our sins. I have learned to be humble and allow friends to lovingly rebuke me. I have also learned to hear my wife, my kids, when they have something to say towards me or about my character. It is not always easy to hear the truth, but it will definitely make us better sons to big Poppa, better husbands, better father’s, better friends, and better men. Remember what stays in secret, gives the enemy authority over that sin. Once that is confessed, spoken out loud (especially to another brother) the enemy has no authority and allows God to wipe it away. We grow more mature, and become more like our Creator. We represent that to the world, to our wives, and to our children. We begin to lead by example; we begin to become spiritual leaders of our homes. So men, I urge to get connected with other godly men. Establish friendships that can be trusted. Allow yourself to be transparent. If we don’t keep it real, we don’t allow people to truthfully speak into our lives.

Mark Soto

Monday, May 16, 2011

Change Your Mind, Change Your Marriage

Thoughts and attitudes are like the engine of a train and our emotions and behavior are like the caboose.

Thoughts help form and determine your attitudes toward marriage. They determine how you feel about your mate as well as how you feel about being married in general. Thoughts can inspire hope – or take it away. Changing the way you think is like a locomotive that switches tracks and heads in a new direction, taking the rest of the train – behavior, actions, and habits – right along with it.

Paul obviously didn't have a train in mind when he offered his heart-felt instructions to the Christians in Rome – but it's still a useful metaphor. Pleading with the Romans to change their thoughts and actions, he said, "I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. . . . Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . . Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment" (Romans 12:1–3).

The apostle is speaking about a major mind shift here. The word transform comes from the same basic root for the English word metamorphosis. As larvae go through a radical change to become butterflies, so must we sometimes radically change our minds in order to have a healthy faith and marriage.

When we do make this change, we will not think of ourselves higher than we should (v. 3), and our judgments (perceptions, beliefs, conclu­sions, attitudes) will be sober, clear, and accurate. Transforming our thinking can lead us to the right behaviors (vv. 9–21). The right behavior will then lead to the outcomes we want such as peace, intimacy, and oneness. The more we understand this principle, the more positive impact it will have on our relationships.

One of my good friends, Dr. Gary Rosberg, is one of the most spiritual men I know. When I grow up I want to be just like him. Whenever we're together, talk on the phone, correspond by e-mail, or chat after I finish a radio interview on his show, the last thing he always says to me is, "Hey Mitch, guard your heart, brother." This is another way of saying, "Be very careful to protect your mind from the wrong stuff. Put the right things in your mind. Protect it. Shield it from the bad influences." Just recently, after the birth of my first grandchild, Gary's message to me was: "Mitch, guard your heart, brother. The stakes just got higher."

I know Gary means for me to guard my heart in every area of life, including my relationship with Rhonda. Like a computer, if I put the right things into my mind, the right things will likely come out. Gary understands this. He knows that if my thinking is on track, then the rest of my life will be too.

Our Creator commands spouses – particularly husbands – to guard their hearts and thinking so that they do not forsake the wife of their youth (Malachi 2:14–16). God is serious about how we think and behave in our marriage. We should be too.

Sure, our actions may be due to "unthinking" habits we've fallen into. You may leave the bathroom messy every day without even thinking about it. Just part of the routine, right?

But if you really reflect on that habit, you may discover that there was a particular thought, belief, value, or idea that led you to the action – or at minimum maintained it. Maybe you thought at some time previously, I did this before I was married, so I should be able to keep on doing it. Or, What's the big deal? I'll clean up later, but now I'm in a hurry.

Sometimes, though, our distorted thinking can lead to consequences much more severe than squabbles about bathrooms.

By Mitch Temple

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Own My Reaction!

When your spouse negatively reacts towards you, what is your reaction towards your spouse?

Our spouse is not responsible for our reaction. We are responsible for the way we react towards our spouse, our children, family, friends, and whoever else.

The Apostle Peter tells us to dwell with our wife with understanding, or you can say to dwell with each other with understanding. It takes work and a true dependency on God to understand our spouse. But instead of responding in a negative way when you feel your spouse did first. Try extending grace, extending love, and try to understand why your spouse responded in a negative way. Even if you feel that you did nothing wrong at that moment or didn’t deserve that kind of response. When the time is right, let your spouse know how that made you feel. Don’t come in a finger pointing way, but tell them how you felt at that moment. Or you may already know why your spouse responded negatively. Take ownership to your part. First look to yourself before you look at your spouses issues.

Proverbs 24:3-4- Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

So next time you are offended by your spouse:

Control your words.


Extend grace, love, and forgiveness.

Try to understand the reasoning’s behind it.

When the time is right, express how that made

You feel.

Listen, hear your spouses heart.

Remember, don’t hold back on Grace, Love, and Forgiveness, it has not been withheld from you.

Mark Soto

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Create Your Own Spiritual High!

This is this week's Hot Tip from author and speaker Shannon Ethridge!

Hot Tip #57 - Create Your Own Spiritual High!

We have a running joke in our marriage that's actually not a joke. It's for real.

Whenever I leave to speak at a marriage, women's, or youth conference, I always say to my husband, "I look forward to returning home for some post-conference sex!"

How do I know there's going to be "post-conference sex?" Because after almost 20 years of traveling and speaking, I've learned that I always return from these events on a spiritual high. And when I'm on a spiritual high, guess what kind of other high comes naturally? Uh-huh. A sexual high!

I find it absolutely fascinating that whenever we fan the flames of our spirituality, the flames of our sexuality are stoked as well. It's kind of like in the opening lines of The Grapes of Wrath, where the minister preaches up a storm at a revival, then immediately goes into a field and has sex. It just seems like the most natural thing in the world -- as if we're doing exactly what God designed us to do – functioning as both spiritual and sexual beings.

So pray up a storm together, and see if you don't find yourself getting aroused eventually. Read a great spiritual book together, and consider it foreplay to something even richer. Attend a worship service together, and carve out the following block of time to simply go home, lay in each other's arms, and "debrief" from the service. :o)

Figure out what makes YOU come alive spiritually, and chances are, you'll also discover what makes you come alive sexually!

Wishing you both spiritual and sexual highs,
Shannon Ethridge, M.A.

Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality & Spirituality

Find more of Shannon's Hot Tips here.
Read Shannon's Blog here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

(Genesis 3:11-13) 11 And God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

When I read this verse, I see where shifting the blame originated from. God gave Adam a chance to confess, but instead he blames God for giving him Eve. Then Eve blames the serpent. We still do this everyday in our marriages. We tend to blame our spouse for our unhappiness. Or we tend to focus on our spouses shortcomings. How easy is it for us to not look at our own issues? It is always easier to focus on the other person, than on ourselves.

I have come to learn, when my wife is not happy, or she is frustrated, or she is short with me, I can usually start by looking at myself. I could very easily get frustrated, or get resentful when my wife is acting crazy. I have a choice, to dwell on her issues, or reflect on me. Every time I ask God to reveal to me on what’s going on, He will usually say, “Look in the mirror and start there.” I don’t really look in a mirror, but I know I need to look honestly, and humbly about my issues, or my lack as a husband and father.

When we allow God to start with us, we allow God to work on our spouse.

This can affect the greatest change in marriage. Remember, a problem (you) cannot fix a problem in your spouse. Imperfection does not fix imperfection. We must allow our perfect Creator to do the fixing. So it is time to grow up in our marriages, to take responsibility for our choices, and to stop blaming our spouse for our issues. It is time to look in the mirror, and start there if you want to start on a path of healing for your marriage.

Mark Soto

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Running with Perseverance

Perseverance is essential for successful living. It allows us to consistently pursue a goal or unwaveringly live out our beliefs, regardless of obstacles or difficulties. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, the apostle Paul compares the pursuit of the Christian life to a footrace. His vivid analogy shows the importance of persevering in the race of faith in order to attain our spiritual reward.
As you teach your children about perseverance, consider these four biblical principles:
Training. Only the foolish attempt to run a marathon without preparation. Simple day-to-day disciplines, such as prayer and studying the Bible, prepare one's faith to endure and help prevent those in the race from being disqualified.
Sustainable pace. Christians sometimes try to accomplish too much too quickly, relying on their own strength rather than on God's. Those runners often find themselves fatigued or burned out. Waiting on the Lord's timing sets an appropriate pace.
Staying the course. In the middle of long races, runners may "hit the wall," a point where they feel physically and emotionally spent. From their perspective, the finish line is far away and quitting is a strong temptation. When Christians continue running, choosing obedience over emotions, they will eventually experience a "second wind," a renewal of God's strength to sustain them.
Strong finish. God uses the challenges of the faith race to develop people to be mature and complete in Him. Just as athletes are crowned with victory wreaths and medals, God rewards those who persevere to the end.
You can use the following activities and discussions to help your child understand and apply these important truths about perseverance.
Key Points
  • Maintaining spiritual disciplines and following God's pace helps our faith to endure.
  • When we feel like giving up, God's strength sustains us.
  • God rewards those who persevere to the end.
Family Memory Verse
Hebrews 10:36
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."
Scripture Study
For a more in-depth study on the purpose of family, read these Bible verses:
  • Romans 5:3-4
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8
  • Hebrews 10:32-36
  • Hebrews 12:1-3
  • James 1:2-4
Copyright © 2010 by Rick Cole. Used by permission.

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