Thursday, July 28, 2011

Growing Up In Our Faith...

…speaking the truth in love, [we] may grow up in all things

into Him who is the head—Christ (Ephesians 4:15, NKJV)

Babies are adorable, and they can get away with childish behavior because…well, they’re babies and we don’t expect anything else from them. But when adults behave childishly (which usually translates into “selfishly”), it’s not so cute or adorable, is it?

The Scriptures tell us that the way to “grow up in all things” in Christ is to speak the truth in love. I struggle with the truth part because I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Some people I know ignore the love part and just blurt out truth, leaving a trail of wounded listeners behind them.

There is a reason for the two-part admonition to speak the truth in love. Love without truth isn’t really love at all. It allows people to remain in their sin, to wallow in destructive lifestyles, and to wreak havoc on others. Truth without love, however, can so damage the listeners that they never really recover but carry their wounds through the rest of their lives and often pass them on to those within their sphere of influence.

Speaking the truth in love has a specific purpose: to restore right relationship, first with God and second with others. That’s the ministry of reconciliation which Jesus began while He was on earth and which He has now given to us. We fulfill that ministry by knowing God’s truth (as revealed through His Son, through the Scriptures, and through His Holy Spirit living within us), and then speaking that truth to others with the intention of seeing them saved, healed, delivered, and fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives. If we are not delivering the truth with that pure intention, then we are not speaking it in love.

It all starts with our own “knowing” of the truth, meaning we have a personal relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit lives within us as a result of that relationship, and we cultivate/deepen that relationship by reading/studying/living the truth of the Holy Scriptures. The world is full of lost, broken, and hurting people who need “grown-up” Christians to speak the truth in love. Let’s commit to move beyond the cute baby stage of our faith and become effective truth-in-love speakers to those who so desperately need to hear it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Team that Jesus Built

Jesus built strong teams. You can too!
In The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and commission a Women's Ministry Team find Jesus' methods, answers, and more for team-building challenges most leaders encounter:
How do you motivate people to serve selflessly?
How do you equip people to be new leaders?
How do you "let go" as a leader?
Through personal observations, step-by-step instructions, and simple how-to applications of Jesus' leadership principles, The Team That Jesus Built equips laywomen--regardless of church locations, denomination, or size--to cultivate leadership skills and create teams for the glory of God. The author provides ministry leaders with tools, direction, guidance, and encouragement to build teams that equip leaders to build teams.
Whether you are starting a new ministry, remodeling or assuming a ministry from a previous leader, or just desiring to take your ministry team to a new level of commitment this book will help you wherever you are in your ministry leader journey.

Note from author:
The Team That Jesus Built is based on my personal experience building the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church, under the leadership of pastor Rick Warren. I share with the reader the disastrous consequences of trying to build a team myself, and the miraculous transformation of the team when I went to my knees asking Jesus to show me how He built teams. All the principles I discuss in the book are applicable to any ministry, not solely women's ministry. Every team leader's goal and legacy should be to build a team that will outshine and outlive them.
Endorsement from Laurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus CEO and The Four Elements of Success: "In The Team That Jesus Built, Janet Thompson shares from personal experience with team building Jesus-style. She is thorough in every area and phase of team development, providing useful tools for building, mentoring, coaching and assessing your team. No matter where you are in your team-building process, The Team That Jesus Built provides a proven model that will help you and your team efficiently and effectively serve the ministry."

About the author, Janet Thompson (
Janet Thompson, founder and director of About His Work Ministries, is an author and speaker on topics relevant to today's Christian. Janet discovered her purpose when God called her to "Feed My sheep." Janet answered that call by developing, founding and leading for 12 years, the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church, where she and her husband, Dave, were members for 23 years, before moving to the mountains of Idaho. Janet continues to share the blessings of mentoring by training churches around the world.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Guest Post from Author Dianne E. Butts--on a very important topic

Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy

By Dianne E. Butts

She stares at the test strip, palms clammy, breathing uneven. She's never felt more alone. Tears blur her vision. Panic edges in.

An unplanned pregnancy can leave emotional wounds that take years to heal. The options are many: abortion, adoption, keeping the child. The questions are even more: How? Why? Where can you go for help? What do you do?

Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy explores each of the choices and their after-effects, highlighting the most sensitive moments women and men in unplanned pregnancies face, and how it affects grandparents, friends, and other loved ones. You'll find:

· More than 50 intriguing true stories

· Facts and statistics about unplanned pregnancy

· Practical help

· Valuable resources

Whether you're a woman currently facing an unplanned pregnancy, a man whose partner is there, a friend or family member wanting to help, you'll find hope in the stories of others who walked this road and faced the same decisions.

Is your pregnancy experience in your past? Regardless of what its outcome was, you'll find kindness, compassion, and healing. You've dealt with the pain long enough. It's time to discover your healing.

A Message from the Author of Deliver Me

When I served on the board of directors of a small town pregnancy center, I witnessed both the agony of the women (and men, and families) involved in an unplanned pregnancy as well as the amazing stories of healing, redemption, and forgiveness.

Some of the people our pregnancy center encountered were devastated by the news of their own, or a child’s or girlfriend’s, pregnancy. Others were dealing with the agony of a past pregnancy, whether last year or ten, twenty, or thirty years ago.

I also witnessed many amazing stories of these same people finding hope because they were finding the help they needed in our pregnancy center. Needs were provided for. Resources were shared. Families were reconciled. Relationships were healed. And perhaps most importantly, people were finding forgiveness from God for past decisions and reconciliation with their Father in Heaven eawho loves them so incredibly and unconditionally.

These stories needed to be told. They needed to be shared. And so I set about asking women and men to share their stories. It took eight years, but Deliver Me is that collection of stories.

I live in the county in Colorado that has the largest birthrate to unwed mothers. Besides those currently in an unplanned pregnancy, according to current estimates if today’s trends continue, by the time they are 45 years old, 43% of women will have had at least one abortion.[1] That’s nearly half our population of women! And the numbers for men surely are comparable. Regardless of how vocal the prochoice crowd is, privately and silently many women (and men) grieve and agonize over an abortion in their past. Many who shared their stories for Deliver Me told me they thought this was the unforgivable sin, that God would never forgive them for what they had done. But they discovered they were wrong. God does and will forgive—even for this.

America needs to know. Women (and men) the world over need to know that God loves them, that He will forgive them, and that He is right there with them no matter what they have done or what they are facing right now. There are stories in Deliver Me that reveal how women and men have discovered this truth.

Besides the chapters that speak about women who considered abortion and women who experienced abortion, Deliver Me also has whole chapters devoted to stories of women who wanted to keep their child, who gave for adoption, whole families who were affected, an entire chapter of stories from men, and more. Women and men who work in pregnancy centers also share their stories about who they are and how they came to be involved in such work.

Besides the true stories, Deliver Me includes dozens of interesting statistics and valuable resources for practical help.

Deliver Me is available from your favorite bookstore. (Ask for ISBN: 978-0-9831649-0-6.) It is also available on,, other online retailers, and direct from the author at and $14.99 (236 pages, released April 2011). Special discounts available for ministries; for more information contact Dianne at

Author Dianne E. Butts has written for magazines for twenty years with over 275 articles in more than fifty publications including Focus on the Family magazine, the Salvation Army’s national magazine, and fiction in periodicals including Clubhouse. Her articles have appeared in Great Britain, Bulgaria, Poland, Canada, and Korea. She has contributed to seventeen books, and wrote her first book, Dear America: A Letter of Comfort and Hope to a Grieving Nation, after 9/11 (also available on and ). Dianne is also an aspiring screenwriter. When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C. They live in Colorado.

[1] “Abortion Facts,” The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, accessed 10/6/10,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Remember the Gift Giver

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,

and comes down from the Father of lights,

with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17, NKJV).

Ever open a gift you weren’t exactly thrilled to receive? You smiled and thanked the giver, all the time wondering if you might find a discreet way to return or exchange it—or at the least not have to put it on display in your home. At other times, however, you received that gift that was not only good but perfect. What a joy! That happened to me in the last few days.

Though I have also received a couple of major honors for one of my books (which is always welcome!), the most perfect gift I received was hearing from a man who knows the parents of Li Ying, whose imprisonment in China for her faith inspired the writing of Red Ink. This man has offered to get a copy of the book to Li Ying’s parents, who will then be able to let Li Ying know about it, as well as the awards it has garnered.

From the beginning of this project I prayed that one day (before heaven) Li Ying would know that I have been so inspired by her faithfulness to Christ that I wrote a story based on her own. I knew there was no way in the natural for me to get word to her, but I knew God could if that was His desire and purpose. Apparently it was because word is now winging its way to a tiny, dark prison cell on the other side of the world. I pray it will bring light and joy and encouragement to a courageous soldier of Christ.

You all have received gifts like that too, haven’t you? You knew when they landed in your lap that they could have come from no one but the Father Himself. Perhaps today would be a good day to reflect on those “good” and “perfect” gifts and to offer fresh praise to the “good” and “perfect” Gift Giver who loves you so completely and unconditionally that He would make a point to remind you of that love through a very special offering. I am still rejoicing over my most recent gift. May I never lose sight of or cease to appreciate the One who sent it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Riveting Read

A female demolitions who unwittingly holds a lethal secret. . .

A former Green Beret grappling with terrifying memories of a mission gone bad. . .

And the jungle that threatens to swallow them whole.

In Venezuela, Danielle Roark and her Army Corps of Engineers team is captured. After six months of captivity, Dani escapes, only to end up charged with espionage and forced to return to the jungle to prove that a nuclear facility exists. On the mission, she is abandoned by God and country. Will she live long enough to make those responsible pay? Haunted by memories of a mission gone bad, former Green Beret Canyon Metcalfe wrestles with his developing feelings for the feisty senator’s daughter. Setting aside his misgivings, he and Nightshade take the mission to help Dani unravel her lethal secrets. Separated from the team leaves Dani and Canyon vulnerable—and captured. After he is rescued, Canyon discovers Dani has been left behind. Livid, he sacrifices everything—including his role with Nightshade—to find Dani. Can Dani and Canyon fight the nightmare armed with only forgiveness and raw courage? Or will they lose their lives, minds, and each other?


The author’s military background shines through in vivid detail…Kendig pulls out all the stops with page-turning action, adventure and danger. Book three in the Discarded Heroes series can pretty much stand alone. ~~Romantic Times (Chandra McNeil)

Ronie Kendig serves up a mix of machinegun-fast action, touching romance, and more twists than a coil of a detonator wire. Get a good grip on the edge of your seat before you start reading! ~Rick Acker, author of When the Devil Whistles and Dead Man’s Rule

Non-stop, fast-paced, machine gun type action that will leave you exhausted--and yearning for more. Don't even try to put the book down because you'll find yourself drawn right back, unable to do or think about anything else until you reach the end. Kendig has created realistic, imperfect characters to cheer for and cry with as they struggle to find God and do the right thing. A definite keeper for your read-again shelf." ~Lynette Eason - best-selling author of Too Close to Home and Don't Look Back


In a book loaded with action, great characters, and high emotion, there are some beautiful reminders of God. From His plans for an individual’s life to His amazing forgiveness, there are several gentle reminders of God’s presence in the midst of the storm.

This series has excelled in reminding the reader of many fundamental spiritual truths while providing hours of fast-paced entertainment. Most of all it has highlighted the soldiers who have left the battlefield, but are still haunted by the war. For those that can handle emotion, passion, and raw intensity, this is a fantastic series and one I highly recommend. ~~Melissa Willis The Christian Manifesto


This is the most amazing book I have read in a long time. It has a high intensity, quick moving plot that doesn’t sacrifice depth of character. Descriptive settings cause the reader to feel like they are living the adventure alongside the characters. The characters, though unique, feel true to life and experience struggles and sins that aren’t solved in the blink of an eye.

Just when you think she’s packed everything into the plot, Ronie Kendig adds another layer. This book is worthy of 5+ stars. It has just the right balance of adventure, suspense, and romance.

If you only read one book this year, this is the one I recommend. ~~Kristen Lowery Read Great Fiction


Every second of this book took me on a journey. From the rain-soaked jungles to the courtroom to crazy dangerous secret missions to almost as dangerous family get togethers, each step of Dani and Canyon''s is a challenge that you get to experience with them. The best thing about Wolfsbane are these "real" characters who make real-life mistakes. Sure, most of us aren''t a part of a covert ops team but we are exposed to some of the same difficult choices and crossroads on our faith walks that Dani and Canyon faced.

Wolfsbane is by far my favorite of the series. I stand in awe of these incredible books and the uber-talented Ronie Kendig. If there are only a few books that you add to your "to-read" list this year make sure one of them is Wolfsbane! You won''t regret it. Trust me. ~~Renee Chaw Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot

About the Author:

Ronie Kendig grew up an Army brat and married a veteran. Together, she and her husband have four children and three dogs. She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers. Rapid-Fire Fiction, her brand, is exemplified through her novels Dead Reckoning, a spy thriller, and the military thriller series, The Discarded Heroes, which includes Nightshade (Retailer’s Choice Award Finalist), Digitalis, Wolfsbane, and Firethorn (January 2012). Ronie can be found at or

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why Attend ICRS?

Comments from Steve Laube regarding ICRS

Last week was the 2011 International Christian Retailing Show (ICRS) in Atlanta, Georgia. Tamela Hancock Murray and I had a busy time. Statistics released declared that professional attendance was up 9.7% to 1,748, primarily representing buyers. Total attendance was up 5.83% to 4,918. International attendance was up 16.17% to 431 attendees from 61 countries.

The busiest place on the convention floor was the International Marketplace where licensing into other languages created a constant buzz.

Tamela attended the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association banquet on Sunday (where her client Kathi Macias won Novel of the Year) and the Christy Award banquet on Monday. We both attended the Baker Publishing Group banquet Sunday night and I attended the Crossway Books banquet on Monday. (Whew. Banquets galore!)

We had over 35 appointments with different publishers and editors spanning the breadth of the industry. It is always invigorating to exchange idea and take a pulse on the health of the marketplace. But if you add in the aisle and hallway conversations it was closer to 50 significant opportunities.

On Wednesday I participated in a panel discussion on Christian Fiction called “How to Grow Sales by Better Understanding the Fiction Publishing Process.” Other panel members included Allen Arnold (Thomas Nelson Senior Vice President and Publisher, Fiction), Sue Brower (Zondervan Executive Editor, Fiction), Margaret Daley(award-winning author and American Christian Fiction Writers President – and one of my clients), Jeane Wynn(Wynn-Wynn Media), Carla Williams (Publicity and Editorial Director at WinePress Publishing) and Rachel McRae (Book Buyer, LifeWay Christian Stores). It was a fun hour of conversation with about 40 people in attendance. I marveled at the turnout considering it was the last panel discussion of the convention on the last day when the majority of attendees had already left.

What did I think? I think ICRS is the key event of the year, especially for the editorial side of things. Writers conferences are a tough place to do “business” because the intent of the gathering is different. Here there were top executives attending meetings as well as their acquisition editors. Many publishers utilized group meetings so there was a lot of opportunity for brainstorming and dialogue. The only way to replace that would be to make a personal visit to each publishing house.

Is the industry healthy? If you mean Christian Retail, then I would answer that it has a solid pulse. The winnowing has slowed and the strongest are surviving. It is still tough to make it in any sort of retail environment. If you meant is publishing healthy, I would answer most certainly, yes! The Internet is glutted with pundits declaring that book publishing is on life support and that e-books are sucking the lifeblood of the industry. That is hardly the case. Granted, there is considerable upheaval in business models but like any mature industry they are being intentional and strategic in their implementation of new technologies and initiatives. They cannot move as fast as some, which creates opportunities for entrepreneurs. But in general I sensed an optimism that was missing the last two years. Previously there was a sense of fear, but that is gone. We now work with the survivors….so to speak.

This was my thirtieth consecutive ICRS (formerly CBA) convention. Thirty years, every Summer. It only means one thing. I’m getting old!

But it also means I’ve had the privilege of watching this industry grow up, mature, and change. The convention is still the only time in the year where the entire industry gathers in one place. There is nothing else like it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

When Someone You Love No Longer Remembers

A Message from the Author of When Someone You Love No Longer Remembers

Two memories stirred in me when Harvest House Publishers asked me to write a gift book for those who love individuals with dementia.

The first happened when I was Ben Cartledge's pastor. He said, "We think my dad has Alzheimer's Disease."

I expressed my sympathy because I had read a little about the disease. But I didn’t think much about it and I hardly knew the man.

Months later, I went with Ben to visit his father. We went outside where we could walk around the yard. His father picked a dandelion. He smiled at the flower and touched it.

Before we realized what he was doing, Mr. Cartledge ate the yellow leaves, smiled, and before we could do anything, he stuck the rest of the weed, stem and all, into his mouth. I might have laughed, but I saw the pain on Ben's face.

For a long time, that was my picture of dementia.

The second story concerns my mother. I visited my hometown. I hadn't seen her in more than a year. Although I had spoken to her regularly on the phone, I had detected nothing.

Once I saw her, the almost-blank expression on her face shocked me. Her conversation didn't always make sense. One time she seemed to be aware and said, "My inner ear that makes me this way." She turned, walked into the kitchen, and stuck her finger in the butter and licked it.

Then I knew.

I haven't lived with a person with dementia but I've known and loved too many individuals with AD. It's a painful situation for those who become the caregivers.

The sick may not feel any pain, but the caregivers are never without the inner hurt.


With a caring spirit, Cecil Murphey provides comfort, advice, and prayers for those who journey alongside a loved one whose memory is fading. Tranquil paintings of popular artist Michal Sparks provide a sanctuary for caregivers, friends, and family members as they draw strength from firsthand stories of those who have walked a similar path. Murphey offers simple, invaluable guidance on how to:

· take care of themselves and seek assistance

· shape new ways to communicate with their loved one

· help others connect with the person

· introduce activities and exercise to enhance health and mobility

For those walking a sometimes lonely journey, this gift offers a gentle voice of support and is a hopeful reminder of the moments of peace that they and their loved one can still experience together.

Harvest House Publishers ~ ISBN: 978-0736938716 ~ Price: $10.99

Veteran author Cecil (Cec) Murphey has written or co-written more than 120 books, including the New York Times’ bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). Two of his more recent titles are Knowing God, Knowing Myself and When a Man You Love Was Abused. His books have sold in the millions and have given hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. For more information about Cecil Murphey, visit, or contact Twila Belk at

Thursday, July 14, 2011

God's Kind Intentions Toward Us

…according to the kind intention of His will (Ephesians 1:5).

Have you ever questioned God’s will or purpose for your life? Oh, come on, let’s be honest here. Who hasn’t? We all have those self-centered, poor-me moments when we really think we deserve something better, and I’m certainly no exception. This past week I received a couple of major honors for one of my books, so it was easy to praise God and extol His great plans and intentions for my life. But what about when we’re passed over for that award, or our children walk away from God, or relationships crumble and finances collapse?

The Scriptures assure us that God’s intentions toward us are “kind” and that His plans and purposes are for our good (see Jeremiah 29:11). We know God’s Word is true despite the circumstances that swirl around us, but why do we find it so difficult to stay focused on that great truth?

I for one equate myself to Peter, who knew at one moment that he could walk on water to go to Jesus and the next moment took His eyes off the Savior and became overwhelmed by the wind and waves, immediately going down for the count. Been there, done that! Thank God for Jesus who reaches down and pulls us back up, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could remember to keep our eyes and focus where they belong in the first place!

That’s my prayer today, dear friends, and I hope you will join me. Let’s make a pact to believe what we say we believe—that God’s plans are for our good and His intentions toward us are kind. It will change our countenance, our actions…and the way others view us and respond to the call of the Savior. What a good and kind God we serve!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Not Guilty? Are You Sure?

“Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God”

(Matthew 19:17, NKJV).

I’m ashamed to admit that when the verdict was rendered in the Casey Anthony trial, my first reaction was the thought, She got away with murder! But then I heard that still, small voice inside me say, “So did you.”

How quickly we forget! Like Casey Anthony and everyone else who has ever walked this earth—with the single exception of the Son of God Himself—I was lost in sin and headed for hell, guilty on all counts, living on Death Row without even realizing it. And then, on July 5, 1974 (exactly 37 years to the day prior to the announcement of Casey Anthony’s “not guilty” verdict), I was “ambushed by Jesus of Nazareth” and declared “not guilty.” God, in His sovereignty and by His mercy and grace, plucked me off of Death Row and translated me from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son. What a miracle! And yet, 37 years later, how readily I respond to what appears a travesty of justice with words of condemnation.

Forgive me, Lord! It is not that God at that moment dealt with my heart to believe Casey Anthony was indeed innocent of the crime of killing her precious daughter, but instead that He reminded me of the old saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.” God was not caught off-guard by this unexpected verdict, and He declares in His Word that He is “not mocked.” Our sins will certainly “find us out”—not just Casey Anthony’s but ours too, unless they are forgiven and “under the blood” of the Savior who already went to Death Row and beyond for us.

Did Casey Anthony get away with murder? I don’t know…but God does. And He loves her so much that He sent His only Son to die for her so that she could have the opportunity to turn to Him for forgiveness. May we pray that she does, for as we are reminded in the Scriptures, it is only by His mercies that we all are not consumed and rightfully cast into hell.

What a mighty and merciful God we serve! May we remember to walk humbly before Him, remembering that we are only declared “not guilty” because of the sacrifice of the only truly “not guilty” One Himself.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Celebrating Fourth of July with Faith Deployed...Again

Jocelyn Green writes to, for, and about military families, so I thought it would be appropriate to highlight an excerpt from her latest release, Faith Deployed...Again, as we head into this Fourth of July weekend. Thank you, Jocelyn, for your support of our brave men and women in the military, as well as their families! And for anyone who might want a copy, there's ordering info below PLUS you can leave a comment (and become a follower if you aren't already) with CLEAR contact info (email is fine) for a chance to win a free copy. Blessings!

By Jocelyn Green

Happy Independence Day! As we celebrate our nation’s birthday and all that America means to us, let’s also remember our military families who sacrifice daily to keep our country the “land of the free.” The “homes of the brave” need encouragement now more than ever, as we are approaching a decade of deployments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, almost ten years ago. As a former military wife myself, I understand the strain on military families, and I know that the best source of encouragement comes from applying the Word of God to our lives. The Bible is relevant, no matter the situation. Illustrating this truth has been the driving passion behind both of my devotional books for military wives, the second of which just released: Faith Deployed . . . Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody Publishers). While my husband is no longer active-duty, my heart remains with the heroes at home.

The following is an excerpt from Faith Deployed…Again:

Vision Check

By Jocelyn Green

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8

When Rob and I married, we chose the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” to be played while we lit our unity candle. I had always loved the lyrics, but I had no idea how perfect they would prove to be not just for a single moment during a wedding ceremony, but for the day-to-day military lifestyle I was entering into.

So much of how we think, feel and live depends upon our vision—what we choose to see in any given situation. In fact, I believe that the difference between being simply concerned or being consumed by worry rides on where we to focus our sight.

In her book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver says, “Pastor and teacher Gary E. Gilley sums up the difference like this: ‘Worry is allowing problems and distress to come between us and the heart of God. It is the view that God has somehow lost control of the situation and we cannot trust Him. A legitimate concern presses us closer to the heart of God and causes us to lean and trust on Him all the more.’ Concern draws us to God. Worry pulls us from Him.”

Military wives (indeed, everyone on the planet!) will always have something to be concerned about. There are issues which simply cannot be ignored. But if we have done everything we can to help solve the problem and still find ourselves obsessing over it, we’ve crossed that line from concern to worry and find ourselves in dangerous territory.

The key to banishing worry from your heart is surprisingly simple. I look at it this way: your heart (and mine) has a limited capacity. The best way to get rid of the negative thoughts is to crowd them out with something else bigger and more beautiful: worship of the One who holds everything in His powerful and capable hands. In other words, stop focusing on the root of your worries and shift your gaze to the Lord. It won’t make the troubles disappear, but it sure will help you to stop staring at them all day long!

King David was a master at this. Psalm 10 begins with “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” But by the time he gets to the end of the chapter, he changes his tune to: “You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more” (verses 17-18). Did you see that? He turned his worry into worship.

The next time your heart is troubled, check your vision. Focus on God and on His unchanging character. Trust in who He is and the promises He provides in Scripture, rather than what is going on around you.


What am I most worried about today?
What can I praise God for instead?


Lord, please forgive my tendency to worry about things I can’t control. Help me draw closer to You and replace my anxiety by meditating on Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

For more information about Faith Deployed…Again, visit:

Jocelyn Green is an award-winning author, freelance writer and editor. A former military wife, she authored, along with contributing writers, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2008) and Faith Deployed . . . Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2011). Jocelyn is also co-author for Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan (AMG Publishers 2009), which won the Gold Medal from Military Writers Society of America in 2010. She is the editor of, the online magazine of Christian Military Wives, and maintains her own award-winning Web site for military wives at She holds a B.A. in English from Taylor University, and is an active member of the Evangelical Press Association, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and the Christian Authors Network. She and her husband have two children and reside in Cedar Falls, Iowa.