My romantic view of a stable vanished when I visited a camel and watched him project bodily filth in the direction of onlookers. My childhood notion that the first Christmas was all joy for the main characters evaporated too. Mary and Joseph experienced a bevy of challenges including fear, betrayal, and misunderstanding. In other words, the first Christmas included real people with real problems—people like us. That makes Joseph’s faith all the more inspiring.Continue Reading
During the holiday season I enjoy curling up with a good Christmas book. Lisa Carter’s books never disappoint. I asked Lisa to introduce her new book A Safe Place for Christmas. Lisa, thank you for joining us.
Thank you, Debbie, for hosting me today. It is always a pleasure to be with you and your readers.
Why am I so blessed? My conversation with a young prison inmate left me reminiscing over my childhood. My parents modeled right and wrong and loved my sister and me and each other—blessings I took for granted growing up. Spending time with those who’d never tasted those basics adjusted my thinking.
Gratitude comes more naturally for some than for others. But we can all learn to cultivate it. We don’t have to spend time with those who have less to recognize the gifts we’ve overlooked, but opening our eyes to other’s trials can make us aware of our blessings.
Larry’s parents owned and managed a small grocery store. They worked long hours and never had a lot to show for it. One day Larry, a typical teen, whined over not having the most popular brand of sports shoes. His dad invited him to join him on a ride. He walked with Larry down a street where the homeless of Phoenix lived. Larry saw a man navigating the sidewalk on a homemade skateboard. Stumps had replaced his legs. Larry felt the strength in his own legs, and name brand tennis shoes lost their luster.Continue Reading
“Tell me about your national and international reach,” the literary agent across from me said. I’d flown to Colorado for my first Christian writer’s conference and signed up to meet with an agent. I’d chosen this man because at one time we’d both worked for the same international ministry. I didn’t need to be a body language expert to realize he had no interest in my book ideas. He only wanted to discuss my numbers.
You don’t have to be an aspiring author to feel the pressure to focus on numbers. We might expect that in business, but meetings for Sunday school teachers often focus on attendance instead of on doing your work as unto the Lord. While Jesus spoke to crowds, He never neglected individuals. To show the Father’s heart, He told the story of a shepherd leaving the ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep.
The book of Acts shows Peter winning 3000 to the Lord in one day (Acts 2:41). It also shows an angel taking Philip away from a successful revival to minister to one bewildered seeker (Acts 8:26).Continue Reading