Less than one-third of all Christians give their hearts to Christ after the age of 21. This means the role of parenting is vital during the formative years. “I can get so caught up in what is urgent that I give no attention to what is important,” says Rienow. “If we are not intentional with our parenting, we run the risk of ending up with a family filled with achievement, recreation, and niceness. God has a far grander plan for us and our children.” Rienow and his wife, Amy, say the job of parenting has become secondary to many other pursuits in modern life. We live with the tyranny of the urgent and forget to live intentionally, especially when it comes to taking advantage of spare moments we can invest in our children’s moral and spiritual development (Chicago, IL).
First Aid for Emotional Hurts: Helping People Through Difficult Times
School shootings. Bullying. Broken families and hearts. What happens to hurting people? As the old adage goes, “they hurt others.” Moody helps leaders, parents, teachers by giving them the tools they need to help those dealing with emotional hurts, addiction, crisis, mental health challenges or rejection. In a world bent on looking in all the wrong places for answers to complex problems, Moody gives help for meeting emotional needs, not just physical ones. He gives solid answers and hope designed to lead to restoration (Raleigh, NC).
More than Surviving: Courageous Meditations for Men Hurting from Childhood Abuse
Male sexual abuse is on the rise. The percentage of sexual-harassment charges filed by men with the EEOC has doubled from 8 percent to 16 percent. At school, in the home, in church, and even in the workplace sexual abuse of boys and young men is a crime that leaves indelible scars on those who survive. Yet, just 1 in 3 cases are reported. Award-winning author, Cec Murphey, knows the impact first hand. “As a child, I was beaten by my father, sexually assaulted by a female relative, and verbally abused by both parents. When I was six; an elderly man rented a room in our house. He sexually molested me and my sister.” But he doesn’t dwell on the past he dwells on the healing (Atlanta, GA).
The Power of a Humble Life: Quiet Strength in an Age of Arrogance
Narcissism, pride, arrogance, selfishness. “If you go back 100 years, parents focused on their children character development. Today the emphasis is placed on their performance” says Simmons. He says people struggle with pride more than anything else and out culture perpetuates an orientation on self through social media. “We seek more than just success—we long for proper recognition of our achievements.” Ironically, says Simmons, “our strength is found in humility” a paradox lost on a generation steeped in self and blinded to their arrogance. Humility is the lens through which we see God – and come to know Him. Simmons outlines ways the path to humility (Birmingham, AL).
Walk By Faith
“Waking up that lazy, carefree morning, I had no idea my life was about to change forever.” A high school honors student, decorated athlete and elected member of the student council, David Kline was about to see his life come crashing down. “I ran into the water and dove in right next to my brother. Instantly, my head slammed into the sandy bottom, and just as instantly, my neck was broken and I was paralyzed” says Kline. I was fortunate to be alive.”
He is quick to point out that he doesn’t blame God for what happened. He believes that even through all the hard times, God was right there with him. “God doesn’t change. He is always good. Sometimes it is just difficult to see that while in the midst of a trial” (Grass Valley, CA).
Sioux Center Sudan
A rural farm girl from a big family just didn’t run off to serve God. But this girl did. “The nature of faith is an element of uncertainty,” she wrote. Sixty years later, now an older woman, she handed her diaries to Professor Jeff Barker to do with them whatever he deemed best. Barker wrote her story. He tells the compelling story of Arlene Schuiteman who served in South Sudan during independence. A hardworking farm girl, she taught school before sensing an unmistakable call to serve God and her fellow man. Barker recounts the struggles with logistics, health, supplies, personnel, loneliness, depression, threats, and the daily challenges of life far from the comforts of home. She faced “battle fatigue” from being overwhelmed by the hundreds of villagers she saw each day from dawn until dusk. Barker writes, “She was able to distinguish disappointment from discouragement.” (Sioux City, IA)
A Mentor’s Wisdom
In a society where we are taught to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” most of us believe success is earned by our own effort without any outside help. We refer to others as “self-made” but this is rarely true by itself. In a culture lacking solid mentors and even fewer followers, the need for help and guidance is as needed as ever. Dr. R. Larry Moyer chronicles how he developed as a leader through the close partnership with a professor who became a friend. Dr. Haddon Robinson dispensed words of wisdom and anecdotes about life that Moyer quickly picked up on and was eager to adopt into his own life and work. The problem with many people who go it alone is, “They never learn from those experiences,” says Moyer. They repeat the same mistakes or bad choices without anyone telling them to slow down and stop making emotional or impulsive decisions. In fact, Moyer says making any major decision with one’s emotions is one of the worst things we do (Dallas, TX).
Making God Part of Your Family
Less than 20 percent of churchgoers read the Bible and far fewer teens do. Bible reading, even for people of faith, is on the decline. Ironically, while people say it is important, they simply do not do it. Still, the Bible remains the most read and most purchased book in the entire world. According to Michael Grady, a 30-year veteran Bible teacher, the Bible holds less sway over people’s everyday lives. He helps parents and families see the relevance of the Bible to daily life. Instead of rewriting key stories found in the Bible, Grady explains what each means and why, helping readers – Develop, Understand, Learn, and Apply it to their daily lives. He believes the reason young people don’t read it is that they can’t link these stories with the relevance to their own lives (Florence, SC).
To the Moon and Back
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. It is the sixth leading cause of death and the numbers are growing rapidly. Within the next thirty years the numbers of people suffering from this disease are expected to triple. Two-thirds of the newly diagnosed cases are women. These symptoms include less energy and drive, less interest in work and social activities, loss of recent memories, language problems, coordination problems, and difficulty with everyday tasks, such as following a recipe or balancing a checkbook, and mood swings or depression. Award-winning writer, Kathi Macias delves into the vagaries of dementia and how it impacts marriage, simple functioning, and socialization (Riverside, California).
Eyewitness to Miracles: Watching the Gospel Come to Life
“Hundreds of millions of lives have been lost due to the philosophies of demons that have become politicized,” says Dr. Randy Clark. That evil is present in the world should not surprise those well-versed in world affairs. Broken families and broken philosophies lead to a broken world; a world that God sent His Son to heal – morally, spiritually, physically, and psychologically. Clark does what no one else has done before; he catalogues, quantifies, identifies, and details hundreds of present-day miracles from all over the world. He systematically outlines what he calls “The Problem with Miracles in the Western Mind-set.” The Age of Reason gave way to the Enlightenment which saw mankind as the ultimate solution to humankind’s problems. By eliminating God from the equation, the world was supposed to be a better place as humanism supplanted faith and belief (Mechanicsburg, PA).
Stories I Love to Tell
Jesus was a masterful storyteller. He told stories to illustrate important points about life and faith. Stories are the heart and soul of His teaching. And a parable is nothing more than a short story that teaches a spiritual lesson. Jesus used everyday examples about people, about money, and about farming to impact His listeners. The hearers didn’t always understand His stories and neither did His followers; unless He explained the meaning to them. Masterful storytelling is a lost art. Most cultures have used stories to pass down history or values to the next generations. Even today, communicators who want a message to stick often use stories like the prophet Nathan did with King David; to help hearers relate and understand. Gene Edwards is such a storyteller. In his latest book, Edwards recounts decades of stories that clearly show that God often uses the extraordinary to get our attention (Jacksonville, FL).
The Journey of a Kingsman
A multi-millionaire before the age of 30, Diogo Esteves became depressed, addicted, and began planning a way to end his life. “I was having a mental and emotional breakdown. I was so far in the pit I couldn’t see the light anymore,” says Esteves. He thought the road to happiness, success, and a better life was found in making money. He shares his story and gives a clear roadmap for finding your way home. “I trembled, faltered, compelled to vent my frustration to the only God I knew, and yet uncertain of that God’s existence.” In desperation he prayed to God, “Either give me a purpose of take my life.” While men have always measured themselves through their net worth or accomplishments, those who do often find it doesn’t satisfy. “I craved a life of true meaning. Unless we can actually live our lives the way they are meant to be lived, and not simply exist, everything else is a waste of time” (Orlando, FL).
The Disconnected Man: breaking down walls and restoring intimacy
Men are struggling in our culture. They are either aloof or overly aggressive. Many don’t know what’s expected of them and so they make bad decisions at work, in the home or in their relationships. Turner explains how men can get back on track; learn to be what God designed them to be, and overcome the obstacles that lead to breakdown. He describes how men tend to shut down and withdraw; often without the knowledge anything is wrong. Turner says, “Disconnected men hide in plain view” but gives clear direction for women who live with these men and men who want to learn how to connect with those they love (Portland, OR).
8 Things Every Woman Should Know About Depression
8 Things Every Man Should Know About Depression
Two out of three people who seek help from depression are women. In the United States alone, nearly 20 million people suffer from symptoms related to depression. The rate of depression in children is skyrocketing and half of those who are depressed see it as a personal weakness. For those within the church, depression is often seen as a sin, lack of faith, or sign of God’s punishment. Gary Lovejoy, PhD says “Depression is a constructive, growth-directing alarm signal that has been triggered by something inside that urgently needs attention. It is an alarm system of the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. (Portland, OR).
Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, A Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon
“The world has never been a more dangerous place,” say the authors. They claim one of the most significant aspects of the Trump campaign is that he challenged the failing Establishment – left and right – with ideas based on our nation’s founding. McGuire and Anderson believe America may be temporarily spared divine judgment. They see the victory as unprecedented – bucking political dynasties, powerful globalists, multinational corporations, media and Hollywood celebrities. The election has revealed rather than defined the left. They argue that Trump shined light into the dark of American politics (Santa Clarita, CA).
6 Ways for Men to Thrive in Midlife
There are four key questions a man begins to ask himself around the age of forty: Who am I? Where am I going? What am I doing? And What is the meaning of life? Arterburn suggests that every man’s journey through midlife is unique to him but all respond to it in life affirming or life altering ways. The six ways men thrive are by recognizing their roles as sons, husbands, fathers, providers, and embracing healthy masculinity and a willingness to walk in integrity (the spiritual component). “The key at this stage,” says Arturburn, “is to identify wrong beliefs and messages and be healed from them” (Indianapolis, Indiana).
Freedom Realized: Finding Freedom from Homosexuality & Living a Life Free From Labels
Black, ex-gay himself but happily married for more than 30 years now, says more than 70% of those seeking help with same-sex attraction through First Stone Ministry and Counseling have been set free. His ground-breaking book is based on years of research and meticulously compiling the results of those who sought freedom. “Humanity is fallen,” says Black. “Heterosexuality is an innate created biological fact and therefore cannot change.” He says any other “orientations” are not part of God’s design. “The grace of God is transformational,” even if one feels an inclination to the opposite sex. Truth, not feelings, should be the guide for our sexuality (Oklahoma City, OK).
Redeeming the Feminine Soul
Gender bending. Gender fluidity. Multiple genders. Our culture seems to have run amuck with the idea that you can be anything you want to be. Not so, says Julie Roys. God has a clear design for men and women; His design. When women, or men, go outside their God-given design, they find less satisfaction. In spite of the promises, feminist ideals did not produce happiness or contentment. “If feminism is the answer to women’s problems, why hasn’t it made us happier?” asks Roys. “For the past thirty years, I have been searching for that abundant life, for a better vision of womanhood.”
Torn by the demands of motherhood, career, and ministry – and by a church that gives them conflicting ideas about womanhood – Christian women struggle to answer that question. “There is something better for women—something much better,” explains Roys (Chicago, IL).
Minute by Minute
She had thirteen surgeries in fourteen years and was dependent on opiates to manage pain she couldn’t control. Moody seemed to be losing a grip on her life which was spinning out of control. Suicidal thoughts enveloped her as the pain become unmanageable. More than a dozen years of enduring excruciating tests and surgeries yet Moody was no better. She felt hopeless. She explains how important it is to have hope, to have friends or family who stand beside us in times of great distress. Then, when all hope seemed gone, Moody took a step into the unknown. She decided to have someone pray for her healing. Much to her surprise, it worked. “Immediately I felt the pain that I had lived with lift off of me. I was in shock. I could not process the fact that I had no pain.” Now she says, “This is the victorious life I didn’t know was possible until I experienced my healing transformation” (Sacramento, CA).
Waking Up Dead
A touring musician & vocalist, he has performed with artists including EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton, Phil Keaggy, Percy Sledge, Steven Curtis Chapman, Johnny Rivers, Amy Grant, Lenny LeBlanc, and others. His story is one of suicide, divine intervention and a life transformed. Anders recalls his dark night of the soul when life seemed too hard to continue. It looked as if he had it all. At age 50, after more than thirty years of ministry, he checked into a Minneapolis hotel, consumed a massive amount of Ambien, Dramamine and Phenergan with the full intention of taking his own life. Rescued, healed and reinvented . . . Eddie has discovered all the fullness of a brand new life. He recounts what led to a decade of self-destruction and the process of overcoming depression (Nashville, TN).
It Matters: Looking for the Good Things in Life
The author of Behind the Mask (about her abortion), Lynne writes to help readers look at the positive side of life, refocus on the things in life that are important, get rid of negative baggage and negative emotions, and in turn, experience the freedom of forgiveness. Lynne helps readers develop a trusting relationship with God and recognize God’s faithfulness in the journey of overcoming past hurts (Birmingham, AL).
The New Normal
“Despite repeated efforts by LGBT activists to equate ‘love’ with toleration of sodomy, the New Testament provides clear definitions of love, which preclude sin,” says Lopez. There is a growing move to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism even within denominations, seminaries, and churches. Raised by two lesbians, he adopted a gay lifestyle and then came to faith in Christ and left the gay lifestyle before embracing God’s design for marriage. He went on to earn his doctoral degree and now teaches at Southwestern Baptist Theological He says unless churches are defending the biblical design for sexuality and marriage in the public square, then they are failing to defend the flock against LGBT activism (Dallas, TX).
Caregiving: A Privilege, Not a Prison
In the United States alone, nearly 10 million adults over the age of 50 care for aging parents . . . almost a third of adult caregivers suffer from stress, anxiety or depression. Hunt shares her own very personal story about caring for her mother, explains how we can practically step into the role, and what it means to care for one who cannot do so for themselves. She describes what it means to be a healthy caregiver but also provides encouragement to those who feel that life will never return to normal (Dallas, TX).
Navigating the Friendship Maze
There are three key ingredients that add to a happy life; friendships, family, and a lasting marriage. We know that loneliness is bad for one’s health but the opposite, friendship, is good for one’s health. Yet more people feel disconnected from close friendships today than in previous generations. People with the fewest friendship connections suffer from higher rates of depression, heart disease, and anxiety. Howe doesn’t just talk about the health benefits of friendship; she explains the dynamics of good friends or toxic friends. She offers clear and precise definitions of friendship, noting that not everyone knows what it means to be a good friend. A solid friendship “consistently adds to the goodness” of the other person (Monroe, MI).
365 + Ways to Love Your Family: Practical Tips for Dad of Tweens and Teens
Fathers play a vital role in the lives of their children. Those who grow up without a father have twice the risk of dropping out of school, are more than twice as likely to get pregnant out of wedlock, and run higher risk of illegal activity, incarceration, substance abuse, and broken relationships. “A dad’s involvement with his children increases confidence, cognitive ability and emotional security” says Hitchcock. With so much research showing the importance of a father’s role in the lives of his children why are men still the butt of media jokes and dismissed as if they were unimportant? Hitchcock writes a practical guide designed to help fathers engage with their teenage children in ways that build greater connectedness (Cincinnati, OH).
The Accidental Executive
Integrity and business are less synonymous than they once were. But people need to know what their values are before finding themselves in compromising situations. Erisman spent 32 years working for Boeing before teaching ethics and business technology at Seattle Pacific University. He served as director for the Center for Integrity in the School of Business, Government, and Economics. He says modern leaders must learn from the past, become students of failure as well as success. Integrity is the key and nowhere is this best learned than through stories like that of Joseph under the Pharaoh. “He had great strengths, but he also had weaknesses,” says Erisman. We must the latter before we can use the former (Seattle, Washington).
Technology has changed the world in ways that benefit us but it can also be time-wasting, mind-numbing, and dangerous. Computers, cell phones, and other devices for getting online are easily accessible or already in the hands of young people (88 percent of teenagers in the U.S. have access to a computer).The average teenager sends 3,339 texts each month. According to Housman, parents are often naive. It’s not that they don’t care, it is that in many instances they are either ignorant of technology, the sites their children visit, or the actual content on the sites. Housman educates and encourages parents to become aware of what their kids are doing with the technology they have available to them. (Memphis, TN).
40 Answers for Teen’s Top Questions
“An upset, worried teenager is not a happy camper. [Many] frustrated, distraught teens are often trying to figure out who they want to be,” says Dr. Gregg Jantz. In spite of the negative stereotypes of teen laziness, addiction to technology, and lack of respect for authority, Jantz sees reason to be optimistic about this generation. Jantz and his son collaborate to help parents (and teens) enter one another’s world and understand it. “Teens may vehemently deny it but they do care about what their parents think,” says Jantz. And, according to his son (Gregg Jr.), “Teens want their parents to respect them.” (Seattle, WA).
Healing the Scars of Childhood Abuse
How can parents protect children from abusive predators? And what about broken and dysfunctional parents or stepparents who mistreat or abuse children? Abuse is on the rise. The number of children killed in their own homes is on the rise. In the last ten years, 20,000 children have died in their homes as a result of physical violence. The children who manage to survive the abuse become nine times more likely to be involved in criminal activity. And sadly, the U.S. has some of the highest rates of child abuse among industrialized nations. Dr. Jantz says part of the problem is a culture that sexualizes children and glorifies violence. He offers help and healing for those who have been abused.
101 Ways to Respect Your Husband
Men are wired to compete and protect. Women are wired to connect. Men and women’s brains are significantly different from each other, resulting in differences in behavior, communication and information processing. Roesner, a former corporate executive, explains how trying to “fight for her rights” nearly destroyed her marriage. She’s not advocating complete passivity but rather a way of communicating that takes into account the differences between the sexes. “I am a product of second-wave feminism,” says Roesner. The idea of “Applied Respect” saved her marriage. “At the risk of sounding anachronistic, subservient, and a trader to my feminine gender, I actually suggest to wives that they respect their husbands to improve their marriages.” (Cincinnati, OH).
Transgender Confusion: A Biblical Based Q & A For Families
The transgender rush for acceptance is just another step in the process of desensitizing Americans. The restroom controversy may be a step too far, creating new problems (voyeurism or pedophilia) and leaves parents with few options. “No studies have proven anyone to have been born transgender,” says Shick. “The ‘born that way’ theories are nothing more than propaganda to gain public sympathy and approval.” She knows firsthand the damage done having grown up with a father who declared himself a female. In trying to connect with a member of the opposite sex, some opt for surgery. “The person may resemble the opposite gender, due to cosmetic surgeries, but it is ‘reality’ only within that person’s confused thoughts” She has given expert testimony as to the causes of Gender Identity Disorder, shared the damage done within families, and offered help for those who feel confused (Ashland, KY).
Hearts of the Fathers: Leaving a Legacy that Lasts
Today, over 40 percent of all babies in the U.S. are born to unwed mothers. Approximately twenty-five percent of children under the age of 18 are being raised without a father and 50 percent (85 percent in some communities).
Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, many pastors, congregations and denominations have changed their historic positions, becoming more tolerant of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation. “The consequences, regardless of the cause, are clear and progressively catastrophic,” says Charles Crismier. He calls fatherlessness “a curse” that is plaguing a culture that has succumbed to radical individualism. He encourages fathers to “step up and be the men they are called to be.” He suggests fathers must respond by reclaiming their faith and sense of male responsibility, disciple their children and set an example of faithfulness (Richmond, VA).
Restored Hope Network
Anne Paulk is the director for the newly established Restored Hope Network, a coalition of agencies and counseling centers aimed at helping educate, counsel and encourage those struggling with same-sex attractions. Anne has been interviewed on Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, 700 Club, D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministry, and appeared in People magazine. She is the author of Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction (Portland, OR).