One morning I was alone in my room confessing (yet again) the sin I had walked into. I was really struggling and beaten down by the accuser hurling my sin in my face, telling me the familiar lie that God could not, did not love me. I cried out to God for forgiveness and begged Him to in some way show me He loved me that day. I needed visible, concrete assurance of His love. I got up from praying and, with the activities of being a mother of four, I soon forgot my request and went about my day.
We were living in Lancaster, PA at the time, roughly a five-hour drive from my parents in New Castle, PA. In the afternoon I was having a conversation with my oldest son when I was surprised by the front door opening. When I turned to see who was entering the house, I was surprised to see it was my dad. Usually there would be phone calls and coordination before a visit. Not this time.
When I asked why he decided to visit, his reply was touching. He said, "I just woke up and was overwhelmed by...
From bestselling author Max Lucado comes The Christmas Candle, a timeless holiday film for the entire family.
Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries-old legend may come to an end.
When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness. While David's quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks). Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of...
. . . More often than not, I find myself compartmentalizing God. He is more welcome in some areas of my life than others. Prayer, Bible study, Scripture memorization, journaling, and other spiritual disciplines become like items to be checked off a to-do list that is eventually crumpled up and thrown away rather than savored and reflected upon. The result is that my understanding and perception of God is clouded, much like the dingy haze of the pollution that hangs over most major cities. The person in the middle of a city looking up at the sky doesn’t always realize just how much their view and perceptions are altered by the smog. Without symptoms such as burning eyes or an official warning of scientists or media, no one may even notice just how bad the pollution has become.
That’s why I describe God as organic. While it’s a word usually associated with food grown without chemical-based fertilizers or pesticides, organicis also used to describe a...
Dear Women of Faith,
What a great calling that is, isn’t it? To be women of faith—wives of faith, daughters of faith, sisters of faith, mothers of faith. I can imagine God smiling as he sees all of his beautiful daughters exercising their faith in all of their various roles.
And sometimes it is an exercise—not a walk in the park, but a struggle to lift heavy burdens or push against hard things. We all experience these times, and often, in our closest relationships.
I want to share with you all some things I’ve learned along this journey in my relationship with my husband Ken…
It’s funny, but I have a hard time these days just writing “Joni.” I always want to write “Joni and Ken.” No, not as though it were stamped on a wedding napkin or written on a house mortgage document. It’s more visceral than that. Thirty years have passed since Ken and I began our journey together, and God has used every...
I’m having SO much fun on tour with Women of Faith this year. Maybe we’ve met in your city already and shared some laughs. Or maybe the Women of Faith tour is coming to a city near you in the next few weeks.
There’s one thing I know for sure – I love meeting new friends. If I could, I’d take you out to a café and sip my complicated, slightly high-maintenance latte drink while you tell me all about your story.
But since we’re only screen-to-screen right now, I thought I’d share some dialogue I’ve had with friends I’ve met while traveling and speaking.
I’m asked lots of questions when I meet people at conferences.
“How did you get started speaking and writing?”
“Why do you look so much better in person than the pictures on your books?”
“How did you forgive those that hurt you so much?”
We think the “typical” pastor’s wife or woman in ministry is dead. You know, that woman who had it all together, never seemed to struggle, played the piano, attended every event, and met everyone’s expectations—although she could have had some help with her wardrobe.
Those of us in ministry have heard, read and said “I’m not the typical pastor’s wife” so many times, we’ve started to wonder if she really ever existed at all, or if she really only existed in people’s minds and expectations. We spend mass amounts of time, energy, emotion, and effort comparing ourselves to a myth. And the problem is—we fall short. Our attention turns to our shortcomings and failings instead of staying focused on God and who He created us to be.
But the truth is, God knew exactly what He was doing, exactly who He was calling. He knows our shortcomings and our struggles, and He has extended His call to leadership and ministry anyway....
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26 ESV)
The other day my son, a smart preteen, was up to the challenge of washing the dishes. He didn’t give me an attitude when asked. He wasn’t disrespectful. He didn’t drag his feet. So why was I battling the urge to harshly point out how he was doing it all wrong?
Because he wasn’t doing it my way.
He started with the grimy pots, then moved to the plates and silverware. Finally, he had to bubble up more water to spit-shine the glasses. While working, he stacked plastic cups in a pyramid.
Irritation welled up. An unkind reaction was itching to come out. I could easily have let my mama mouth take over: It uses way more water to wash the dishes in that order. Plus the water is filthy now! Stop playing with those cups while you work. You’re so slow.
I wanted to be a control freak. I wanted to fire off the unkind words hidden in my unspoken thoughts: The only way...
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV 1984)
I put my head against my bedroom wall, closed my eyes, and whispered, “There’s no way.” 10 years ago, my world collided with what seemed like an impossible invitation from God: adopt two teen boys from war-torn Liberia.
No matter how many times I whispered, “there’s no way,” this nagging sense of possibility wouldn’t leave me. It wove its way through every fiber of my being until I stood up and shifted everything I thought my family would be with one weakly whispered, “Yes.”
I can honestly say, there were moments of sheer joy where I felt reassured that I’d heard God right.
But there were many other moments where life felt chaotic, messy, and really hard. There were tears. There were times I wondered if I’d heard God wrong.
There were more times even after we adopted where I said,...
On January 18, 1989, my husband died. In a matter of seconds, I went from living in the light to walking in the dark.
And I’ve always been afraid of the dark.
I can give no compelling reason for my fear, but it’s there. As a child, I went to sleep with a night-light. At night I still keep the bathroom light on and leave the door slightly open. When I enter our home, I hit the light switches; the more the better. No one will ever find me walking through a pitch-black field or along an unlit beach.
It’s not just the physical darkness. I also strongly dislike being “kept in the dark.” I’m one of those people who reads the first chapter of a book to get the plot and then immediately skips over to the final chapter. Something in me has to know how everything turns out. Only then can I enjoy the middle of the book.
On that day in 1989, I began a walk having no idea how or where it would end, or how long it would take. I couldn’t have prepared for...
Grammy-winning Christian pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant performs twice in the Charlotte area this weekend: The youthful 51-year-old will join fellow gospel artists Sandi Patty and Mandisa, plus other Christian authors and speakers, Friday at the Women of Faith Conference at Time Warner Cable Arena. She’ll also headline at Wingate University’s Austin Auditorium Saturday.
Grant says the Women of Faith show came at the right time for her.
“My mother passed away last year, and she was such a consistent voice in my life,” she says. “During the time right around her death, I was involved with Women of Faith on the West Coast and then this year working closer to home on the East Coast. It has been truly a godsend.”
Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.