I just left a conference full of tired and discouraged women leaders. Yes, some attendees came full and encouraged, but I suspect, based on the tears I saw and conversations I overheard, they were in the minority. And for many of them, it wasn’t the demands of ministry that most fatigued and disheartened them. These precious women felt beaten down by the hurtful actions of others. Words that cut straight to their most wounded placed, feeding the lies that whispered, “You can’t do this. You’re insufficient. Too broken. Too flawed and too weak.”

I imagine you can relate. We’ve all found ourselves on the receiving end of careless yet painful statements and verbal attacks. In those moments, if we’re not anchored firmly in Christ’s love and grace, we’ll crumble.

Some time ago, I felt as if I was hit on every side. Significant health challenges. Loss of sleep. Major technology issues that interfered with my ability to complete important and time sensitive responsibilities, which, unfortunately, had recently increased. Relational difficulties. All of this triggered anxiety that, in turn, fueled my insomnia, which only further hindered my productivity. Then came what felt like the verbal assault that poked at some already bruised areas.

For a while, I slipped into a vortex of condemnation.

I felt like a buoy tossed into a raging sea, thrown about with every wave.

But then I sensed God asking me, “Who will you live to please? Whose voice will you allow to become loudest in your life?”

He was calling me to close my ears to everything and everyone else except for Him, to soak in His truth, and to rest momentarily in His protective embrace. It was in that quiet sacred place that His voice, previously muted by my insecurities, became clearer. He told me I wasn’t insufficient or defected. In Him, I was holy, chosen, and adored. Flawed, oh my, yes, but also empowered and redeemed. Called by my Savior to growth, healing, and even in my broken state, to impact.

As God’s gentle Spirit nourished my hurting soul, I sensed Him saying, “I’m calling you to something beautiful.”

Our God of infinite beauty always brings the yielded heart beauty from their pain. Trusting this, I clung to that and deliberately surrendered to His will–even though I knew it led to a path of increased pain. But as I sat, quiet and yielded, filled and comforted by my God, I reflected upon the wounded people God was inviting me to reach. Those who were deeply hurting and aching to experience, through His flawed yet redeemed children, His love and grace.

Would I abandon those precious souls in self-obsession, in self-protection, or would I courageously keep stepping, in love?

Would I hold tight to the condemnation spoken over me or the truth of Christ coursing through me?

And would I lean on another leader who, at least temporarily, wasn’t slung about by a storm? Someone one step beyond me, someone who could uniquely speak encouragement to my bruised soul—because she’d been there and understood.

I knew I couldn’t stand firm on my own, and so I called in reinforcements. While I still fulfilled my responsibilities and met my deadlines, my world quickly narrowed to those who spoke life and strength into my soul. I carved out time in other places to increase time for Jesus, my husband, and Spirit-filled women who could hear my struggle, with compassion, but also with their gaze focused entirely on Christ. Ladies who recognized His call on my life, not just for ministry, but for personal wholeness, growth, and freedom.

You see, a lot of people can speak truth. And a lot of people can share love. The one who consistently reveals both is a priceless jewel. A gift sent from Christ to our weary souls.

And so, those were the individuals to whom I reached out, even if that meant allowing some things to slip, and trusting God in that. Living with opened hands, unburdened shoulders, a purified and filled heart, and a mind set on truth.

That is the only way to live—and love—freely.

Notice what Paul says in Philippians 2:1:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

“Therefore,” he wrote, pointing back to what he wrote regarding suffering for Christ. He wanted them, and by extension, us, to remember, even when hurled into a violent and choppy sea, we are still held firm by grace. Encouraged and united, and comforted by His tender, compassionate love (v. 1).

This understanding helps shift our focus off of the turmoil around us, and perhaps even raging within, and onto the God who remains sovereign over the storm.  

The God who invites us to cling to Him, surrender to Him, and to rest in Him, knowing He will always reveal our next step. He’ll teach us how to experience His strength when our knees feel ready to give way, resting in His inconceivable grace.

A grace that says:

Your sins are forgiven, their power broken.

Your weaknesses compensated for.

Your healing and growth, a process initiated, sustained, and one day fulfilled, by the One who bled and died to set us free.

A grace that anchors us so securely in Him, we can then become an anchor for others.

Let’s talk about this! When are you most tempted to yield to your feelings of insufficiency? How do you respond when you feel under attack? What are some ways you intentionally anchor yourself in Christ’s love and grace? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and make sure to connect with me on Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram.

Break Free from Relationally Harmful Reactions Faith Over Fear

We all have certain reactions that arise when we feel threatened, whether that threat is real or perceived. We have an innate desire to self-protect. If we aren’t aware of these tendencies, however, we may react in ways that pushes others away and therefore reinforce or deepen our hurts and increases our defensive reactions. In this episode, mental health expert Tina Yeager helps us unpack these potentially destructive responses, what triggers them, and how we can respond to our triggers and our reactions in a grace-filled, healthy way. (Contact Tina through her website provided below to find out how to access the free resource she mentioned in today’s episode.)(Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Tina Yeager: https://www.tinayeager.com/books/https://www.instagram.com/tina.yeager.9/https://www.facebook.com/tina.yeager.9Find Jennifer Slattery at:https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083247680572Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion or Personal Journal Questions:1.What resonated with you most in this episode?2.When do you most tend to get defensive? 3.In those particular situations, what story are you telling yourself?4.What are some truths you can reflect upon prior to those types of situations or interactions with that particular person?5.Why is it important to recognize that not everyone is a safe person who will be helpful while you are working to heal? 6.How did you feel when Tina and Jennifer talked about potentially limiting time with unhealthy family members? 7.What were some signs Tina mentioned that can indicate a person is not willing to change? 8.How can recognizing this help you find the healthiest level of involvement with an individual more focused on casting blame than moving toward relational health?9.What is one action step God might be asking you to take after having listened to today’s content?
  1. Break Free from Relationally Harmful Reactions
  2. Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131
  3. Thankfulness in Changing Seasons – Ep. 130
  4. Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129
  5. When Self-Reliance Leads to Addiction (with Carol McCracken) – Ep. 128

I sat there in church, the room darkened and the praise band’s thrumming set now just a soft, slow piano tune as our pastor spoke words over the congregation.

“Has the Lord turned your life around?” he asked us, raising his own hand to indicate God had done this for him, too. “Have you surrendered to Him and drawn close to Him? I invite you now to pray with me … and surrender.”

There in my seat, my head bowed and my palms upturned, my heart reached toward God. The prayers in my heart swirled—my daughter, my sister, my friend with heart issues, my friend with bleeding and pain, my friend recovering from shoulder surgery, an acquaintance just diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. So many prayers … for them and for others, for the world in general … circled around me, fleeting thoughts in my brain and tugs at my heart. I know God is big and powerful, mighty to save and capable of doing any miracle. I squeezed my eyes closed, opening myself to all of this. Please, God. Heal, save, protect, I whispered in my soul.

Quote from Woodrow Kroll on teal and blue water color background

And yet from somewhere, a little seed of doubt crept in. Would He?

Then I allowed my pastor’s words to register once more—surrender.

Surrender.

Surrender.

For a moment I was reminded of the desperate father’s plea to Jesus as told in the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus’s disciples could not drive out a demon that have plagued the man’s child.

The father doubted whether anyone could save his son, and he asked Jesus to do something “if you can.”

The word “if” was the word Jesus seized upon. If? Jesus, part of the Holy Trinity encompassing God—Father, Son, and Spirit—three in one, Word become flesh. This was Jesus standing before him, and the man was asking “if”? 

“‘If you can’? said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:23-24 NIV).

Jesus did just that, driving out the demon and displaying the power and glory of God Almighty.

As I prayed in church, instantly I understood: In this moment I was the father of that boy. That little kernel of doubt creeping in, not wondering if he could but if he would, that too was “unbelief.”

Right there with my eyes squeezed shut, I prayed the prayer of that father in my own head: “I do believe. God, please help my unbelief.”

Immediately, I felt the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit shimmer down upon me like tiny drops of mist and sunshine.

God heard. God could. And God would shine His light into all of this.

God is always in command.

And that is my invitation to you today, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Wherever you are and whatever prayers are in your heart, I invite you now to join me and surrender to God. Let go of the doubts and pray the prayer of the desperate father: “Help my unbelief.”

God hears you, and God will respond in the way He knows is best.

Then go in peace, knowing God has heard you and felt you, for God knows the cries of your heart. He created you. You are not an exception, but rather you belong to Him.

And He holds you close. Amen and amen.

Grab a free copy of Jessica’s ebook A God-Centered Life

If today’s post encouraged you, you might also enjoy Wednesday’s Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode, When Your Faith Fails.

Get to Know Jessica Brodie:

Jessica is an award-winning Christian journalist, author, blogger, and editor. She is the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, which has won more than 118 journalism awards during her tenure. She is the author of two devotionals, Feed My Sheep (2019) and More Like Jesus (2018), and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening (2018) and Called by God (2020), all from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. 

Jessica also writes fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency, and her novel The Memory Garden won the 2018 Genesis contest for unpublished contemporary fiction from the American Christian Fiction Writers. A speaker and contributor to Crosswalk, Christianity.com, and the United Methodist News Service, she has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com. Subscribe to Jessica’s YouTube Channel HERE.

I also encourage you to catch the latest Faith Over Fear episode as well, titled Building a Faith that Stands.

Romans 12:25 on a teal and coral graphic

How do you respond when someone you care about hurts? Do you immediately feel an intense desire rise up to to fix their situation and in some way to alleviate their pain? That’s a tendency I’m learning to fight. I’m trying to get better at remaining present when those I love are experiencing pain.

That’s the topic, in fact, of the presentation I’ll be sharing with a group of women at the Carol Joy Holling Retreat Center: How God is growing me to love others well by fighting my aversion to discomfort. By learning, in fact, to walk with others through their “messy middle” as we wait, together, for the joy Christ promised is yet to come. And while contemplating all God is doing within me, as I seek to share what I believe He might want to do within these precious women, I stumbled upon the below post and asked the author, AC Williams, if I could share it with you. (Contact me here to book me for your next event.)

Title graphic for blog on coral and teal background

Why is it therapeutic to fix broken things? What is it that makes us feels better after we piece together fragments of something that used to be whole? I think part of it is being made in God’s image. He is the Master Fixer, after all.

So what happens when we encounter something that can’t be fixed? Where no act—physical, mental, or spiritual—can restore what has been lost? What do we do then?

I think often of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. We vilify them as examples of what not to do when someone you love is hurting, and rightly so. Job’s friends tried to fix the situation. They needed to understand, which meant they had to assign blame. And, frankly, I’m not sure assigning blame ever helps.

What we tend to forget, however, is that when they first arrived, they did it right (Job 2:11-13). They mourned with him. They grieved for his loss right alongside him, and they were silent. Because they could tell that his grief was too great for words, so they sat with him in his sorrow without speaking.

But after a week, they couldn’t be silent anymore.

Why do we think that a grief too great for words must endure only a short time? We think once the initial grieving period is done, it’s time to get down to business and figure out what went wrong. Whose fault is it? How do we fix it?

Friends, we don’t get to decide when someone else is done grieving. It’s not our responsibility to tell someone it’s time to move on.

Job’s friends eventually got tired of sitting with his sorrow and tried to fix his life for him. That’s where they went wrong (Job 42:7-9).

Sitting with sorrow isn’t fun. It’s not pleasant. And the longer it lasts, the more uncomfortable it gets. It’s frustrating. Heartbreaking. Exhausting in every sense of the word. We want to point fingers. We want to cheer people up. We want to do something.

And maybe there is something we can do, but it’s important to remember that sitting with sorrow isn’t about making ourselves feel better. Sitting with sorrow is the sacrifice we bring to support someone we love on their terms. Not ours.

Quote from post on coral and light mint graphic,

Part of being in Jesus’ big family is bearing the burdens of our brothers and sisters (Galatians 6:2). We offer a shoulder to cry on, a hand to steady them when their world is upside down, or a prayer when they are so broken they can’t pray for themselves.

I’m not saying people don’t need to eat or that they don’t need clean clothes or a clean house. There’s absolutely a need for practical support in the face of overwhelming grief. But in our compassionate drive to bless others, don’t forget that grief is a process that looks different for everyone.

Be willing to help, yes, but be patient. Then be available to help on their terms when they ask. If we’re with them in their moments of deepest grief, understand that we are in a place of privilege and trust. When they’re ready, they’ll tell us what they need.

We can’t fix grief. We can’t fix mourning and sorrow and trauma. Those are things that will never be fixed in this world, but they can be redeemed. It’s just not us who can do it.

***

Get to Know Amy C. Williams

Amy C. Williams loves cats, coffee, and sushi and not always in that order. An award-winning author and writing coach, she has fifteen published books in both fiction and non-fiction. She is a popular monthly contributor for two blogs ranked in Writer’s Digest’s Top 101 sites for authors, and she was named the 2022 Arise Daily Writer of the Year. Learn more at her website, www.amycwilliams.com, or subscribe to her daily devotionals at www.alwayspeachy.com

What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/ Meet Our Hosts: JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com Follow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren. Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517 Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: http://www.gracefox.com Follow Grace:Facebook: http://www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor QUINNISE PETTWAY is a writer, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians encounter and embrace God as Father and walk boldly as His beloved children. She's the author of A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God's Children and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father. Follow Quinnise:Website- https://aglimpseofourfather.com/Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aglimpseofourfatherInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/quinnisepettway/ Check out her YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan (Inspired by full book) A Glimpse of Our Father: A 5-Day Devotional Plan for All of God's Children: http://bible.us/r/82J JOSHUA LILLIE is a passionate follower of Jesus, spreadsheet enthusiast, and lover of all kinds of art and music. Joshua has almost a decade of experience in music ministry, and has served both in house church and megachurch environments in pastoral and administrative roles, eager to see every man, woman, and child increasingly surrender their lives to King Jesus. He currently serves on staff with Christ Community Church in Omaha, NE, and as an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a global denomination of Jesus-followers making Him known among the nations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27)
  2. Our Response to Truth (John 7:17)
  3. Love, Trust, Rejoice (1 Peter 1:8)
  4. A Life of Thankfulness (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
  5. Keys to a Blessed Life (Psalm 1:1-2)

Connect with Jennifer on Facebook or Instagram.

Some time ago, a young adult struggling with some significant hurts said, “I’m not like you. I can’t just forgive.”

As I considered his words, I immediately thought of numerous times when this was far from true. When I held grudges, harbored bitterness over an offense, and longed for vindication. There’d been a season when this was my default response, and this grieved me. I knew God called me to forgive and to love from a pure heart. I wanted to obey, but I didn’t know how.

One evening, battling anger over a recent hurt, I sensed God calling me to meditate on Ephesians 4. Paul, the first century evangelist who wrote this letter, began the chapter calling the Christ-followers in Ephesus to live up to their true identity. In verses 1-2 he wrote, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (NIV). In the passage that follows, he explained the benefit of remaining connected to a Spirit-led, interdependent community.

Then I reached verses 30-32, which states, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV).

Convicted and conflicted, I prayed, “Lord, why is my bitterness so hard to release?”

As I sat in His presence, He spoke, reminding me of who I am in Him and to Him. Anchored securely in my Father’s love, knowing I had no reason to hide, I found the courage and desire to say, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV).

Reveal every crevice, every sin, falsehood, and wound—everything that keeps me from the vibrant life, the freedom to which I’m called.


There, in that quiet place, God illuminated the root of my struggle: Shame, pain, and pride.

Shame. I realized I wanted the individual to know how they had hurt me to prove that they were broken, too. So that my brokenness wouldn’t seem so bad.

This meant, I was seeking something from an individual that only God can give. Only my Father can heal my soul and eradicate my shame.  

He also helped me understand that I was using anger and bitterness as a defense mechanism. A way to distract me from my pain. I found increased freedom as I gave myself permission to grieve; to fully feel my hurt.

And finally, God revealed an insidious and toxic seed of pride. I had forgotten all the ways I’d fallen short of who God called me to be. Of all the times I’d desperately needed, and then received, His grace.

A grace meant to set me free from everything that enslaves; to flow first within me, then from me, giving me the power and desire to forgive others as Christ, my Savior, forgave me.

When negative emotions arise, many of us respond in one of two ways: We can become so stuck in self-condemnation and shame that our sins and weaknesses begin to overshadow God’s grace. Or, we can fall into a “grit-your-teeth,” self-reliant, surface level obedience. Granted, obedience to Christ is always the right response.

But our tender, liberating Father invites us to go deeper. To experience the soul-deep freedom that comes with increased intimacy with Him. So that we can live up to our true identities as loved, chosen, empowered, and transformed children of God.

Let’s talk about this! Has a seed of bitterness threatened your freedom and joy? Is God inviting you to experience greater healing and transformation in Him? How will you respond?

Scripture taken from: Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/ Meet Our Hosts: JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com Follow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren. Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517 Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: http://www.gracefox.com Follow Grace:Facebook: http://www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor QUINNISE PETTWAY is a writer, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians encounter and embrace God as Father and walk boldly as His beloved children. She's the author of A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God's Children and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father. Follow Quinnise:Website- https://aglimpseofourfather.com/Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aglimpseofourfatherInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/quinnisepettway/ Check out her YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan (Inspired by full book) A Glimpse of Our Father: A 5-Day Devotional Plan for All of God's Children: http://bible.us/r/82J JOSHUA LILLIE is a passionate follower of Jesus, spreadsheet enthusiast, and lover of all kinds of art and music. Joshua has almost a decade of experience in music ministry, and has served both in house church and megachurch environments in pastoral and administrative roles, eager to see every man, woman, and child increasingly surrender their lives to King Jesus. He currently serves on staff with Christ Community Church in Omaha, NE, and as an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a global denomination of Jesus-followers making Him known among the nations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27)
  2. Our Response to Truth (John 7:17)
  3. Love, Trust, Rejoice (1 Peter 1:8)
  4. A Life of Thankfulness (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
  5. Keys to a Blessed Life (Psalm 1:1-2)

Many people I’ve spoken with over the past month have expressed the same sentiment—life isn’t going as they’d planned or hoped. They feel squeezed, without margin, and overwhelmed. I imagine you’ve been there. Maybe that’s where you’re at now. If so, I hope Grace Fox’s post below encourages you and soothes any anxiety you’re feeling with truth.

Be On Guard When Life Takes a Detour

By Grace Fox

What does it mean to be on guard when life takes a detour? Eight months after receiving “guard” as my focus word for 2022, I’m beginning to appreciate its relevance to my life in ways I hadn’t imagined.

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong,” says 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT). In times past, I’ve read that verse and nodded in agreement before closing my Bible and going on my merry way for the day. But this week was different.

Life has taken a detour.

I’m sitting in a friend’s basement suite as I write this. Sailor-Man and I are temporarily displaced from our boat-home while she sits in the marina’s repair yard. A submerged log bent her rudder in July, and without a rudder, she has no steering capacity. A massive sling pulled her from the river on August 9, and there she sits, on the concrete, more than two weeks later with only a hopeful end date in sight.

Living in the repair yard especially during summer heat is not for the faint of heart. I’m okay with using public showers, but exiting the vessel via steep stairs to use the community outhouse especially at night—not so much. Besides, there’s no access to wi-fi there, and I can’t do my work without it.

When a couple from our church invited us to stay in their basement suite an hour’s drive from the marina, we accepted their offer with gratitude. Still, Sailor-Man drives back and forth nearly every day to oversee repairs while juggling his ministry responsibilities. The other day, he made the round trip twice, and he has spent about ten nights aboard the Makana to accommodate the repair guys’ early morning schedule and to ensure all systems—especially the freezer—continue to work.

Life has taken a detour. Our routine is anything but normal, and I miss it.

Writing deadlines are hurtling towards me at breakneck speed, and I’m seriously struggling to meet them. It didn’t help that my computer went for repairs last Wednesday, and things didn’t go as well as expected. I lost access to my documents for three days. That meant losing three days to prepare for upcoming speaking engagements, write podcast episodes, and research for my next First 5 assignment.

Quote on faith from Francis Chan on blue background.

A little voice inside says, “It’s time to push the panic button.” Another says, “It’s time to practice what it means to be on guard.” I’m choosing to listen to the latter voice, and wow—it’s taking me to new places. New lessons learned. New fodder for writing.

What does it mean to be on guard when life takes a detour? Here are 5 hot-off-the-press insights:

  • Be on guard against the little voice that speaks lies. It’s not time to push the panic button. My present circumstances are no surprise to God. He knew about the detour well in advance. He knew what my calendar would look like at this time, and He’s got this. He’s got me. I can trust Him.
  • Be on guard against idols. I’m asking myself where I’ve placed my hope in times past. Have I trusted in the power of a comfortable routine to help me stay focused when juggling multiple balls, or have I trusted in the Lord’s strength?
  • Be on guard against anger. The other day, I felt my blood pressure rise when I couldn’t get access to my documents. In all honesty, I wanted someone to blame. Thankfully the Holy Spirit got hold of my head and tweaked my thinking. “Anger doesn’t fix anything. Try prayer instead,” He said.
  • Be on guard against a woe-is-me attitude. I might be temporarily displaced but I’m staying with sweet friends in their lovely home. How different from millions of Ukrainian women who have lost everything and fled to a foreign country to start life over not knowing whether they’ll ever be reunited with their husband and loved ones? My circumstances are far from what I wish they were right now, but they’re far better than those faced by millions around the world. Perspective goes a long way.
  • Be on guard against what-if thinking. Several days ago, repairs seemed to be going well. Then Sailor-Man discovered that a rubber sleeve (a “gator”) associated with the rudder shaft had been torn when the rudder was removed. It’s a necessary piece of equipment because it prevents water from seeping into the boat. When he asked the repair guy about it, he learned that it has to be custom-made in the States.

 It’s now on order, but its delivery date is beyond our control. My mind goes to places like, “What if it doesn’t arrive within a few days? Then repairs can’t be complete and we can’t move back into the boat. We can’t stay with our friends indefinitely….yada, yada.” I have to switch my thinking to, “Even if this piece of equipment takes longer than expected to arrive, God is still in control.” It takes intentionality to turn my thinking around, but it’s necessary for calm in the chaos.

Be on guard, the Word warns.

It’s the only way to keep hope alive when life takes a detour. Besides, there’s a silver lining to this whole misadventure: I’m learning firsthand to re-apply the lessons about which I’ve written in Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm. (FYI — it’s on sale today on Amazon.ca)

How about you? How does the concept of being on guard when life takes a detour resonate with you? What hot-off-the-press insights would you add to my list?

This song by Ryan Stevenson is sooo relevant right now for sooo many reasons:

Get to Know Grace Fox

Get to Know Grace!

Grace Fox is the author of 12 books, a member of the “First 5” writing team (Proverbs 31 Ministries) and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ annual devotional, Mornings With Jesus. She also co-hosts the podcast “Your Daily Bible Verse.” A career missionary for nearly 30 years, Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.

Her latest release, Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm, is available wherever Christian books are sold. https://www.hendricksonrose.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517

You can subscribe to Grace’s weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website – www.gracefox.com/blog

www.fb.com/gracefox.author

https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/

Check Out Her Latest Release!

Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm

The storms of life hurl us into uncertainty and leave us longing for rescue. In times like this, we need the hope God’s Word offers, and we need it in snippets our overloaded minds can absorb. Keeping Hope Alive delivers. Ninety brief meditations offer nuggets of encouragement, a sentence prayer, a point to ponder, and a thoughtful quote by someone who’s survived the storm. Its daily messages and beautifully designed full-color interior soothe the troubled soul and remind readers that God is faithful and sovereign in their circumstances.

Available wherever Christian books are sold.  

***

Before you go, make sure to check out the latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode!

Break Free from Relationally Harmful Reactions Faith Over Fear

We all have certain reactions that arise when we feel threatened, whether that threat is real or perceived. We have an innate desire to self-protect. If we aren’t aware of these tendencies, however, we may react in ways that pushes others away and therefore reinforce or deepen our hurts and increases our defensive reactions. In this episode, mental health expert Tina Yeager helps us unpack these potentially destructive responses, what triggers them, and how we can respond to our triggers and our reactions in a grace-filled, healthy way. (Contact Tina through her website provided below to find out how to access the free resource she mentioned in today’s episode.)(Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Tina Yeager: https://www.tinayeager.com/books/https://www.instagram.com/tina.yeager.9/https://www.facebook.com/tina.yeager.9Find Jennifer Slattery at:https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083247680572Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion or Personal Journal Questions:1.What resonated with you most in this episode?2.When do you most tend to get defensive? 3.In those particular situations, what story are you telling yourself?4.What are some truths you can reflect upon prior to those types of situations or interactions with that particular person?5.Why is it important to recognize that not everyone is a safe person who will be helpful while you are working to heal? 6.How did you feel when Tina and Jennifer talked about potentially limiting time with unhealthy family members? 7.What were some signs Tina mentioned that can indicate a person is not willing to change? 8.How can recognizing this help you find the healthiest level of involvement with an individual more focused on casting blame than moving toward relational health?9.What is one action step God might be asking you to take after having listened to today’s content?
  1. Break Free from Relationally Harmful Reactions
  2. Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131
  3. Thankfulness in Changing Seasons – Ep. 130
  4. Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129
  5. When Self-Reliance Leads to Addiction (with Carol McCracken) – Ep. 128

This is something we all battle from time to time. But may we always remember, we are not victims to our circumstances or our emotions. In Christ, we can stand strong and choose courage, even when we feel our legs will soon give way. Today’s guest, Shirley Brosius, shares how.

Dark doorway with text on fear.

Facing and Chasing the Lurker

by Shirley Brosius

Fear lurks in the shadows of my life. As a child, I was afraid of the dark. Fortunately, I shared a bedroom with an older sister. Unfortunately, she liked a radio program called “Inner Sanctum.” When I heard the ominous tones introducing horror stories, I huddled under the covers—and listened.

At bedtime, my father sometimes read ghost stories to us. My four older siblings loved hearing about chains rattling on staircases. But those sounds echoed in my head, and I refused to go upstairs alone.

So how do I prevent The Lurker from grabbing me by the throat like the ghost story villains of my childhood? Scripture helps me focus on The Lord and paralyzes The Lurker: “The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear. . .  He will be as a sanctuary” (Isaiah 8:13-14a NKJV).

God is in Control

Moses sent 12 men to scout out Canaan, the land which God had promised to the Israelites after leading them from bondage in Egypt. They found a country with clusters of grapes so huge it took two men to carry them. But Joshua and Caleb were the only men who encouraged the Israelites to forge ahead and conquer the land.

The ten other men were afraid of the giants inhabiting the land. They didn’t trust God to do what He had promised (Numbers 13). And their disobedience started them on a 40-year journey through the wilderness. Except for Joshua and Caleb, only the Israelite children got to enter the Promised Land.

Joshua and Caleb trusted God to live up to His Word, and I am learning to do the same when faced with giants of fear. So, when I’m up in the middle of the night because of physical distress and I fear becoming hospitalized, I turn on a television station that offers scripture and songs throughout the night. I’ve memorized the hymn “Be Still My Soul,” and when worried, I sing it to myself.

I read the book of Philippians. These verses remind me to settle down, talk to God about my worries, and wait for His answers. While that answer may include hospitalization, I know that God controls even this experience.

God is with Me

Same darkened background with a statement regarding God's sovereignty.

After Moses’ death, Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Since he had scouted the land, he knew they faced giants. But God guaranteed Joshua success: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NKJV).

God is our powerful ally. God’s presence inhabited the ark of the covenant, so the Israelites knew God was with them. We don’t have that ark, and when we face giants of fear, we often want someone with skin on. So God may touch us through Christian spouses and friends, through caregivers and pastors.

God is for Me

The Lurker is an unwelcome intruder. But God is stronger than our fears. We know He is in control even of world affairs. We know He walks with us. And we know He is for us. Knowing this doesn’t change our circumstances, but it does change us. We learn to rely on God rather than cower under the covers as I once did.

In Romans, Paul reminds me God is on my side (8:31). God loves me so much He sent His Son to die for my sin (John 3:16). Nothing. . . nothing. . . “shall be able to separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39 NKJV).

Join the conversation: How do you deal with fear?

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: 

Shirley Brosius is a writer from Millersburg, PA. She loves to read, write, watch the flowers grow, and keep up with five young adult grandchildren. She is the author of Sisterhood of Faith and coauthor of Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. Website: shirleybrosius.com and friendsoftheheart.us.

Check out her book, Sisterhood of Faith:

Woman to Woman…Sister to Sister…Friend to Friend…Bound by an Unstoppable Faith…Changing Their World Forever

The forces that bind woman to woman, sister to sister, and friend to friend are among the most powerful in the world. Add to that the strength of faith, and you have a union that transcends all earthly holds. That unique bond is the sisterhood of faith.

The women whose stories are told in this book are the kind of women who wave a hand of dismissal at the obstacles in their paths. The kind who are unstoppable in their mission, stubborn in their resilience. They are women just like you. Women whose lives make a difference because they trusted in their God as they lived their lives in service to Him—women who belong to the sisterhood of faith.

Each daily devotion features an inspirational sister of faith. In addition to Her Story, you’ll find Her Service, Her Message, and My Response.

Hey, all, I wanted to share some fun news. If you’re looking for something to read, New Hope Publishers is currently offering the kindle version of Intertwined for free, now through the 29th. Grab your free copy HERE.

From the back cover:

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator finds herself in an altercation with a doctor. Now she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters an old flame facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, they soon discover their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance . . . or is it? This could this be where life begins again.

Jesus should’ve given up on me long ago. But each day, despite my sins and failures, God draws and holds me close.

In Christ, I am held secure.

I never fully understood God’s heart for me until I became a parent. But having walked beside my daughter through her obedient and rebellious times, I’ve come to understand the love that never lets go and never gives up.

When our daughter was young, we moved across the country, a transition she struggled with. Though initially we were oblivious to her pain—seven-year-olds aren’t often able to express their emotions—we soon became alert to a drastic change of behavior. Our normally cheerful, affectionate little girl had become sullen and angry.

I was confused and concerned.

One afternoon, she grew quite upset with me (for reasons I can’t remember), and shouted, “I hate you!” then slammed her bedroom door.

That was the first, and perhaps last time she’d ever said something like that to me, and it broke my heart, but not for the reasons you may assume.

My heart broke because I knew hers was breaking. Beneath her anger and harsh words, I saw her pain, and in that moment, what I longed for most was to draw her near and hold her close.

I’ve displayed a similar response toward God as she had to me, numerous times, throughout my faith journey. Like when my friend was dying, and I struggled to reconcile my circumstances with what I knew regarding God’s love, power, and sovereignty. Once my emotions settled down, guilt and fear followed. Had my anger angered God?

Had I—or would I—do something that would drive Him away for good?

But each time, I discovered not only had He remained, but He was actually taking giant, loving steps toward me.

In John 10:29, our Savior said, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (NIV).

That’s a promise we can hold tight to. Christ holds me, and you, secure and His love will always, always remain.

Graphic made from quote pulled from post.

Unshakable. Immovable. Solid and Sure.

Let’s talk about this! How can you rest in the security of Christ today? Sometimes this starts with a reminder. The reminder that we don’t have to have it all together or know all the answers. We simply need to turn and surrender to and rely upon the One who does.

Speaking of reliance on Christ, make sure to check out the latest Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode on living in Christ’s perfect guidance.

What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/ Meet Our Hosts: JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com Follow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren. Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517 Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: http://www.gracefox.com Follow Grace:Facebook: http://www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor QUINNISE PETTWAY is a writer, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians encounter and embrace God as Father and walk boldly as His beloved children. She's the author of A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God's Children and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father. Follow Quinnise:Website- https://aglimpseofourfather.com/Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aglimpseofourfatherInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/quinnisepettway/ Check out her YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan (Inspired by full book) A Glimpse of Our Father: A 5-Day Devotional Plan for All of God's Children: http://bible.us/r/82J JOSHUA LILLIE is a passionate follower of Jesus, spreadsheet enthusiast, and lover of all kinds of art and music. Joshua has almost a decade of experience in music ministry, and has served both in house church and megachurch environments in pastoral and administrative roles, eager to see every man, woman, and child increasingly surrender their lives to King Jesus. He currently serves on staff with Christ Community Church in Omaha, NE, and as an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a global denomination of Jesus-followers making Him known among the nations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27)
  2. Our Response to Truth (John 7:17)
  3. Love, Trust, Rejoice (1 Peter 1:8)
  4. A Life of Thankfulness (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
  5. Keys to a Blessed Life (Psalm 1:1-2)

There’s new content on Faith Over Fear as well. Find it here.

Break Free from Relationally Harmful Reactions Faith Over Fear

We all have certain reactions that arise when we feel threatened, whether that threat is real or perceived. We have an innate desire to self-protect. If we aren’t aware of these tendencies, however, we may react in ways that pushes others away and therefore reinforce or deepen our hurts and increases our defensive reactions. In this episode, mental health expert Tina Yeager helps us unpack these potentially destructive responses, what triggers them, and how we can respond to our triggers and our reactions in a grace-filled, healthy way. (Contact Tina through her website provided below to find out how to access the free resource she mentioned in today’s episode.)(Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Tina Yeager: https://www.tinayeager.com/books/https://www.instagram.com/tina.yeager.9/https://www.facebook.com/tina.yeager.9Find Jennifer Slattery at:https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083247680572Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion or Personal Journal Questions:1.What resonated with you most in this episode?2.When do you most tend to get defensive? 3.In those particular situations, what story are you telling yourself?4.What are some truths you can reflect upon prior to those types of situations or interactions with that particular person?5.Why is it important to recognize that not everyone is a safe person who will be helpful while you are working to heal? 6.How did you feel when Tina and Jennifer talked about potentially limiting time with unhealthy family members? 7.What were some signs Tina mentioned that can indicate a person is not willing to change? 8.How can recognizing this help you find the healthiest level of involvement with an individual more focused on casting blame than moving toward relational health?9.What is one action step God might be asking you to take after having listened to today’s content?
  1. Break Free from Relationally Harmful Reactions
  2. Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131
  3. Thankfulness in Changing Seasons – Ep. 130
  4. Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129
  5. When Self-Reliance Leads to Addiction (with Carol McCracken) – Ep. 128

My Secret to Joy

by Carol McClain

Has life discouraged you? Does society seem strange? Have we normalized destructive behavior so that we’re confused if we can classify anything as right or wrong?

If the answer to any of these is yes, I’m not surprised. We’re awash with bad news: war, disease, inflation … I can add to the list, but I’d rather count my blessings than the downfalls of our era.

You don’t need any more of this. Neither do I. Life is short, and for me, definitely getting shorter faster than I like. I’m not flooded with despair. God granted me blessings piled on top of blessings, so instead of grousing, I decided to focus on joy.

But how does one see the good when so much is wrong?

This is an odd thing for this woman who was raised with my family’s Belorussian attitude of fatalism. Why hope for the best when you’re going to be stuck with the worst?

Balderdash. Here’s my epiphany on the day that joy finally became my go-to emotion.

On a frosty morning, I drove to my favorite hiking spot in our beautiful Smoky Mountains. I swerved around curves. A glorious stream flowed over rocks and cascaded downhill to my left. Narrow lanes and curving mountain roads caused me not to ogle the jaw-dropping beauty of the overarching rock face of the mountains. Here, icicles clung to the ledges and sparkled in the early morning sunlight.

I raced toward my mission late and fearful my tardiness would upset my hiking buddy. Besides, I’d seen the scenery this before.

As I approached Meigs Falls, two tourists stepped out of their car. With cameras poised, they shot pictures. The falls, in flood stage, roared gloriously. Only one car carrying two middle-aged tourists noticed the roaringly pristine view.

I hurried on, but what was I thinking?

Focused on my destination, I ignored the journey. Teal water falling, forever falling and never running dry, danced over slate-grey cliffs. Spray sparkled in the early morning. A canopy of rocks with water dancing over its ledges in the dawn should never become a humdrum appearance.

Graphic with quote from post.

When my friends first showed me this waterfall, I found the scene a beauty worthy of continual photographs from every conceivable perspective. For many months, I strained to glimpse the falls. That day, though?

Why did I let my vision grow stale?

During this drive, my spirit finally absorbed my favorite scripture. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8, ESV).

A simile jumped to my mind as I thought, “If there is anything worthy of praise,” think about these things like a tourist.

As a visitor (as I am here on earth), I might never get this moment again. Life is fragile. I need to be ready—in season and out. Vacationers come prepared with cameras and clothing and maps. They search, look, and see. The friend I rushed to meet knows and loves me. She would understand if I were delayed. I needed to take my time, to forget the bad things and remember Philippians. I need to concentrate on what is lovely.

As I drove, I switched the radio from the news droning on about the latest crisis in politics and tuned into my favorite Christian station. My favorite group, For King and Country, sang “Joy.” The song made me want to dance because God is good, and I am blessed. I live. I’m loved. The world is beautiful.

So, dance I will.

Practice being a tourist. Focus on joy. You’ll find yourself dancing and singing even when your world falls apart.

Get to Know Carol:

Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Bio picture - Carol McClain


Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, an avid hiker and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee. Her most recent interest are her two baby does Peanut & Buttercup. Like all babies, they love sitting on our laps and. Being bottle fed.

You can find more about Carol McClain at carolmcclain.com, Facebook,  BookBub, and Goodreads

Check out her latest release Prodigal Lives:

Life keeps piling problems on Meredith Jaynes. She loses her second foster child—one she was scheduled to adopt. Then Parker Snow refuses to marry her. With only her goats and artisan soap to support her, life will get no better.

Cover image for Prodigal Lives by Carol McClain

If she is honest, though, she still has Crystal. Her funny, happy, loveable toddler makes the sun shine and reminds her of the never-failing love of God.

Pearl Solomon loves her life with her grandfather Guy, but every one of her triumphs is overshadowed by her sisters’ lives. With Mama Meredith, they live a life she envies. Because of her jealousy, she refuses to contact them.

Years later, life for both families twist down paths they do not wish to travel. Pearl knows she’s lost what was most precious in life but has no means of fixing things. Left to her own devices, she spirals out of control.

Meredith finds it harder to mask the despair infertility has brought to her life.

Both families believe they must reconcile themselves to their fates as reality shatters their dreams unless they dig deep for the promise of love.

Buy it HERE.

What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/ Meet Our Hosts: JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com Follow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren. Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517 Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: http://www.gracefox.com Follow Grace:Facebook: http://www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor QUINNISE PETTWAY is a writer, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians encounter and embrace God as Father and walk boldly as His beloved children. She's the author of A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God's Children and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father. Follow Quinnise:Website- https://aglimpseofourfather.com/Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aglimpseofourfatherInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/quinnisepettway/ Check out her YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan (Inspired by full book) A Glimpse of Our Father: A 5-Day Devotional Plan for All of God's Children: http://bible.us/r/82J JOSHUA LILLIE is a passionate follower of Jesus, spreadsheet enthusiast, and lover of all kinds of art and music. Joshua has almost a decade of experience in music ministry, and has served both in house church and megachurch environments in pastoral and administrative roles, eager to see every man, woman, and child increasingly surrender their lives to King Jesus. He currently serves on staff with Christ Community Church in Omaha, NE, and as an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a global denomination of Jesus-followers making Him known among the nations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. What Does Jesus Say about the Bible (Luke 24:27)
  2. Our Response to Truth (John 7:17)
  3. Love, Trust, Rejoice (1 Peter 1:8)
  4. A Life of Thankfulness (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
  5. Keys to a Blessed Life (Psalm 1:1-2)