Love

Hope for the Family

By Chad Spriggs

Fill in the blanks. I hope I… I hope we… I hope it… we all have things we hope will work out, get better, or even go away. Our hopes reveal the things we want the most. Hope can be a fickle thing when it’s is found in anything less than Jesus.

One of my hopes is rooted in a deep desire to see families thrive. The single most important relationships we will ever have are formed in the fires of family. We find meaning, purpose, safety, and discipline in the confides of family. We grow up, old, and out with our family. Family shapes our thoughts, propels our efforts, and calls us back to reality. We need family. God’s design from the beginning was family, and it hasn’t changed. The problem for us comes from defining family. The best way to define family is to simply ask…

Who is your family?

How does God want you to love your family?

There are many ways and specific things we can do to love our family, but the only life changing things come from putting our hope, our trust, in Jesus. Here are four important ways we can do that.

Put God First “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5

What does your family see?

Does your family see you argue, debate for the sake of winning, criticize, belittle, or mindlessly disconnected. If so, where is God? If we put God first they will see you praying, reading the Bible, talking about God’s goodness, disciplining in accordance to God’s word, being compassionate, and humbly putting others needs before your own. It’s time our families live according to the Spirit and set our minds on the things of the Spirit.

Live on Mission “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10

What does your family do?

Is it hard for your family slow down, reflect on what God is doing, see God at work in and around, or dream about how together you can grow in Christ and share his hope? For the Christian family there is no secular. Our lives should be chapter after chapter of God’s redemption story. Our lives should reflect that we are chosen, priestly, holy, and filled with the mind of Christ.

Fight for Their Lives “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

What does your family fight for?

We can fight to win or we can fight to help. We can tear down or build up. Every act, thought, and word has the power to heal or the power to destroy. The law of Christ commands that we care for others. Caring for others starts with the family, those that are sometimes hardest to care for. Do the burdens of your family annoy you are drive you to prayer?

Trust God Not Your Instincts “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Where does your family turn?

God’s ways are good, they are perfect. Our ways can be good, but they are flawed. When life gets difficult, when family life is hard, the last thing we need to do is trust in our natural instincts. Put your hope in God’s words, because they are true. Put your hope in the Spirit of God, because He will teach you. Put your hope in the creator God, because despite how we have broken this world through sin, He holds it together. Put your hope in God. He alone brings joy and peace to the family.

There is Hope for your family. That hope is found in loving Jesus and loving others with God’s love. If you want to love your family the way God loves; you will put God first, live on mission, fight for their lives, and trust God not your instinct. I pray that God give you the strength and the will to put your Hope in God. He wants to help you love your family.

 

 

 

 

 

Love’s Influence

By Chad Spriggs

In his Gospel, Matthew sets out the success of Jesus’ ministry (ch.5–9). He summarizes, ‘Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and illness’ (9:35). In word and action Jesus ushered in the kingdom of God. Jesus lovingly pursued bringing the reality of God’s rule and presence into the lives of those around him.

What do you pursue?  Some people desire fitness while others focus on art.  Some seek  justice while others long for mercy. No matter what it is, one thing is certain.  Your pursuits reveal what you love.

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

Here is another way to look at it. What are you known for? If I ask a dozen of your closest friends and family to tell me about you, what would they say? Would they say you are driven, creative, kind, hospitable, funny, or intelligent? Would they describe you based on your talents or your character? Your pursuits reveal what you love. What you love reveals who you are.

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

WHAT YOU LOVE REVEALS WHO YOU ARE

Here’s where this gets hard to swallow. The life of a follower of Christ should be characterized by the singular pursuit of God through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. If you pursue anything other than knowing God and showing Jesus, your pursuit is empty, dead, and void of God’s redemptive power. If you love anything above God your love is tainted and reveals sin’s command of your life.

Let’s take it one step further. Your pursuits reveal what you love. What you love reveals who you are. Who you are is your greatest influencer. Your influence will point people to God or away from God.

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

WHAT YOU LOVE REVEALS WHO YOU ARE

WHO YOU ARE IS YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCER

The world is held together through relationships. The strength of money, infrastructure, social media, government, military, pop-culture, and art do not compare to the strength found in a trusting relationship.  When relationships are fractured the very fabric of society is ripped apart.

I believe the church was formed through a singular pursuit of loving Jesus. This love revealed who they were, Children of the Living God. Then Christ in and through them influenced people, families, communities and regions with His transforming power. And the church grew.

The sad thing is that in just a few short years the Church was no longer singularly focused. Tradition, politics, culture, and self advancement crept in. Paul’s corrective letters in the New Testament primarily pointed people back to the influence of Christ rather than the influence of the world.

Some things haven’t changed. The Church today must fight against the influence of tradition, politics, culture, and self advancement. It must run to Jesus and allow His influence to influence others.

Lets take a look at how Paul challenged The Church in Colossae to pursue Jesus, love Jesus, and allow Jesus to influence others through them.

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17 HCSB

YOUR PURSUITS REVEAL WHAT YOU LOVE

WHAT YOU LOVE REVEALS WHO YOU ARE

WHO YOU ARE IS YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCER

The Church of Collossae had a choice. Continue to be influenced by Gnostic thought, secularism, and tradition or abandon it all and follow Jesus. The only way the Church would survive is if Christ followers decided to allow Jesus Christ in and through them to influence the spiritual health of others in the Church. This is a Historical truth that has timeless implications for every local church. It’s time we ask ourselves a hard question.

How are you and the church influencing the spiritual health of others?

God may be revealing specifics to you even now. That’s great. Along with those specifics, Paul’s encouragement in Collisions 3:12-17 can help undergird our efforts to influence the spiritual health of others. Let’s take a look at the actions found in this section of scripture. Meditate on these truths and ask yourself how you are expressing this character, and if you are not. What must you do to align with scripture’s truths?

  1. Put on heartfelt compassion kindness, humility gentleness, and patience.
  2. Accept one another.
  3. Forgive one another.
  4. Put on love.
  5. Let the peace of the Messiah control your hearts.
  6. Be thankful.
  7. Let the Messiah’s message dwell among you.
  8. Teach and admonish one another in all wisdom.
  9. Sing with gratitude in your hearts.
  10. Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The church’s actions corporately and personally will align with Colossians when they pursue Jesus, love Jesus, and allow Jesus to influence others through them.

How are you and the church influencing the spiritual health of others?

 

Look After the Orphans

By Gai Gai Anderson

The month of November is Adoption Month. That in itself should make us think about James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

I can remember ten years ago when Angella and I flew back from Uganda, July 13, 2007, and she landed in the USA for the first time. God had answered many prayers through several years for that moment to happen. Small 2 ½ year-old Angella had become our daughter, to look after from then on. The adoption was finalized on November 17, 2007, on Adoption Day in Albuquerque.
Christians don’t often think of themselves as following a religion. After all, God calls us to a personal relationship with Him, not a religious experience or set of rules. James, the writer of James 1:27, had seen religious leaders flaunting their so-called spirituality in front of the masses. After seeing these leaders, perhaps there were Christians spread throughout the land wondering what God thought about religion. Am I supposed to be a religious person? What does that look like? James felt he needed to address the issue.
We have no problem with the last part of this definition of religion that says God wants us to keep the world’s views from polluting our lives. We know as followers of Christ we are to be set apart from the world and to be holy. In addition, our church serves widows by assigning deacons to support, encourage, and help meet their needs. Even those who are not deacons “love on” the widows in our fellowship.

Haven’t we forgotten the children? We are to look after orphans in their distress.

Every Christian couple and even Christian single adults should pray about adopting a child. Not so they can claim to be religious, but because God tells us to look after them. To some people this may be to sponsor a child somewhere in the world through Compassion International or World Vision. Some of you, no doubt, have been called to adopt a child from here in the States or from another country. To the Anderson family it looked like a precious, extra small, 2 ½ year old Ugandan girl who turned into a beautiful, tall, 13-year- old Ugandan-American.

Yes, keep yourselves from being polluted by the world and continue looking after widows; but pray about how “look after orphans…in their distress” is to be lived out in your life. Be a “religious” person in the true sense of the word.

Silver Linings

By Elizabeth Thomas

We’ve all heard the expression, every cloud has a silver lining. It’s a poetic phrase that reminds us to look for the good in the midst of the bad. It helps us remember that even in dark times, there is light coming. It’s a the thing people say that provides a glimmer of hope in troubling times.

In Kid’s Klub this past weekend, we remembered Jesus’ troubling times. We showed the kids a crown of thorns like He wore. They felt a piece of rough wood, like the wood from the Cross. They saw what the nails might have looked like and drank vinegar like He drank. I prayed they would understand what happened. I prayed their hearts would be ready to grasp the significance of what He did. Sometimes I find it difficult to teach about the crucifixion, because it can be hard to explain that what happened was horrific, but God still deemed it necessary. What happened was terrible, but Jesus did it on purpose. It’s hard to show this black, ugly cloud had a silver lining.

I know it was hard for the people who loved Jesus. The disciples, Mary and Martha, all those who followed Him – they couldn’t see the hope in what He did. The Bible says the ones who knew Him watched Him die (Matthew 27:55-56). Those who weren’t there at the crucifixion went into hiding (John 20:19). Their hope was gone. The One who performed miracles, the One who brought the dead to life, the One who spoke of hope and salvation, was dead. The religious leaders had won and those who loved Jesus were heartbroken. It was really over. Can you imagine what those three days felt like, the days Jesus lay in the tomb? I can’t even comprehend the anguish they felt. What a hopeless, terrible time.

But we know, the story isn’t over. Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose three days later, and appeared to many different people. He shared His message of hope and salvation; He encouraged others to do the same. He completed His journey and fulfilled prophecy. His resurrection was the silver lining. His completion of salvation is our silver lining.

I won’t say that I’ve gone through times as troubling as Jesus, but I have had my share of hardships. I have had moments where I feel like all hope is lost. We all have. We have all had moments where we lose our faith. Dark clouds settle in our skies and we can’t see the light. For some, those clouds last for years. For others, it seems that there will never be a silver lining.

I don’t know what you are going through. I don’t know what dark clouds are in your skies. I don’t know if you feel hopeless. But I know that our Savior knows exactly how you feel. He has been where you are. He has experienced trauma, hardship and suffering. He knows the feeling of hopelessness. He knows because He was here. He walked on this Earth, He was tempted and tried. He was beaten and executed. For you.

Easter may be over, but don’t forget Jesus’ sacrifice. When your clouds get dark and gloomy, don’t forget the light. Don’t forget our silver lining, our hope, our salvation. Our Father sent His Son to die for us. When things get hard, don’t lose your faith. He is waiting for you to trust in Him.

Remember

By Kristi Sullins

Where were you when?  This question was part of a recent Ladies Bible Study class, and it immediately stirred up great conversation. Many of the answers were the same. The Challenger explosion and 911 were events that had left their marks on us as children, youth and young adults. A true blessing to our group is the diversity of ages represented, and the best of our group happened to be sitting right next to me that morning. Ms. Lucy Stevens held us all speechless as she shared her memories of the radio announcement after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and hearing about the dropping of the first nuclear bomb while she was in her kitchen ironing. These were memories seared in her brain. Memories of events that changed everything. Even years after each of us had experienced those life-changing moments we were able to sit and remember.

I must imagine that same question would have been asked years after that Friday, that Friday that changed eternity. The young and old, rich and poor, Gentile and Jew would have had a story to tell about Friday when Christ was crucified.

Maybe they were in the courts when Christ was falsely accused and charged with crimes as He stood in silence. They may have seen Pilate try to find fault in Him, and ultimately wash his hands of the whole matter. Did they hear about the beatings from the Roman soldiers or witness His destroyed body first hand?  Maybe they had strong enough stomachs to stand on the hill of Golgotha as the man who claimed He was Messiah was nailed to a cross and hung between 2 thieves. They would have heard His cries for mercy to God for those abusing Him, and His cries when the God of the world had to turn His back because of the sin resting on Christ. Those serving in the temple would have shared hearing the temple curtain rip from top to bottom with no explanation. All would have remembered the sky, black as night, and the earthquake that shook the ground after Jesus spoke “It is finished”. Everyone would have had a story to remember about that Good Friday.

It is time for us to remember too. The Easter season is always a time of fun and fellowship. We dress in our best for church, ready for a time of celebration. That is good, but we cannot skip Friday. Sunday is the day we celebrate the empty tomb and our risen Savior. But Sunday’s celebration could have never come without Friday’s sacrifice.

Take time to remember what Christ withstood on that Good Friday. Read the different accounts given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Talk with your children about that day. Remember His sacrifice driven by love. Remember His suffering driven by evil. Remember grace shown to the thief at His side. Remember the prophecy promises Christ kept to the letter. Remember the king of the world being laid in a borrowed tomb. Remember.

Do not over think the act of remembering. For my daughter and I, we remembered over the kitchen sink, peeling potatoes for dinner. Back and forth we shared the details we knew about that Good Friday. We talked about feelings, sights and sounds. I told her the part of the story I hate the most (God turning His back on Christ) and she told me her favorite part (heaven and earth reacting to His death). There was no fancy setting or preplanned speech. It was just the two of us, sisters in Christ, remembering.

It is your turn now. Do not reject the hard part of this Holy week. Sink deep in the story. Shed tears as you remember. Your Father’s love is so great that He sent His Son to die. Our Messiah’s love is so great that He willingly walked into hell on earth for all mankind. Let the story remind you of the impossible grace of our God, and the eternal hope we have because of that Good Friday. Remember.

 

 

 

 

 

Attention to Attire

By Karen Polich

How do we “bear with each other”? (Colossians 3:13) Are we cloaked in our old ways are wearing our new wardrobe? Pastor Cook’s message, Attention to Attire, from the Fragile Growth series, looked at how we interact with those around us. (Listen to the podcast here.)

A church family provides connection, comfort and passion. It can also bring irritation, frustration and unmet expectations. How we choose to deal with the others in our life sets us apart. This push and pull with people happens not only in a church family, but in all areas of our existence.

We’ve been given the gift of a new wardrobe. Through Christ we are given what we need to handle the challenges that come while experiencing life with others.

Colossians 3:11-16 has five characteristics of our new wardrobe.

Compassion. We should feel compassion for others. Do we have a mercy zone?

Kindness. This is the “doing”. Demonstrating our compassion with action shows kindness. What creative ways can we truly meet a need for someone else?

Humility. Jesus made himself nothing for us. Humility isn’t the absence of strength. It’s using our strength to help others.

Gentleness. Are we able to set ourselves aside and help others, demonstrating a gentle spirit?

Patience. This is the virtue of dealing with a difficult person over an extended period of time without writing them off or losing our cool.

We’ve all got choices. We can put on the new and seek to forgive when wronged, show patience for the difficult person and be kind. It may cost us something in return. We may have to let go of anger or disappointment. We may have to let go of ourselves and simply seek Him.

John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Christ is all and is in all. When we dress in these five characteristics, bound in love, Christ is reflected.

 

The Coming of Christ

By Kristi Sullins

On that night so long ago the angels were charged with proclaiming the miracle of Christ’s birth. He had finally come, the Messiah sent for all mankind. It was the end of the wait, but for everything else, it was just the beginning.

Christ is the beginning of hope, bringing the possibility of a life more abundant than anything we can think. He is the promise of security in the middle of chaos, and strength to journey through any season of life.

He is the beginning of peace. For those who belong to Christ, we have been promised a peace that passes all understanding. That peace finds its beginning and ending with Jesus.

Christ is the beginning of joy for all those who believe. True joy is found in Him, and cannot be shaken by the things of this world. It is His joy that is our strength and our song. It is a joy that survives the changes and struggles of life because it is founded in the One who loves us.

He is the beginning of love, sent from the Father Himself. Love comes from God. His love for us is unwavering, indescribable and undeserved, and the proof of this love was first found in the manger.

The beginning of hope, peace, joy and love is life changing. For the followers of Christ in the Bible, it was compelling enough for them to change the way they worshiped and believed. They changed tradition, which caused many to be rejected by family and friends. Persecution was real for followers of Christ, but what He brought them was worth any struggle.

Christ and His love were too life changing to ignore.

We have that same new beginning. Christ offers us the same hope, peace, joy and love, based on who He is and not on what we deserve. The promises of Advent don’t have to be packed away with the rest of the Christmas decorations but are meant to encompass our current days. Those who are followers of Christ are called to face the future without fear, and the celebration of Advent is meant to remind us that there is no need to fear because the good news proclaimed by the angel in the book of Luke is still the same.

Are you looking towards the coming year with the anticipation of a fresh start and new beginnings or do you feel anchored in the past with its poor choices and scars?  No matter where you find yourself, it is important to remember that the news of the angel, on that holy night, was a message of good news for all people. Christ, our Messiah, has come to set us free, and to give us a hope and future, our new beginning.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to men.

The Coming of Love

By Kristi Sullins

With a week to go until Christmas Day, many of us are on the hunt. On the hunt for the perfect gift, or the one that is always out of stock. On the hunt for a parking spot, a dog sitter, a pair of pants that still fit or maybe just one silent night to actually enjoy the thought of Christmas. If you find yourself on the hunt this Christmas, then you will appreciate this. God’s gift of love required no search.

On the night of Christ’s birth, God filled the heavens with His angels to proclaim to the shepherds that the Messiah had come. The shepherds told the people in town about all they saw. The coming of Christ was not kept in secret, hidden for only the knowledge of a select few.

It was not for the sake of prophecy that the message was shared, or to boast at the execution of the impossible. God shared with mankind the coming of His Son because the evidence of His love had come. We know that Christ is the very proof of God’s love because He tells us in His Word. 1 John 4:9 tells us that God’s sending His Son among us was proof of His love. John 3:16 reminds us that His love was so great that He gave us His only Son so that whoever would choose to believe would have eternal life. Romans 5:8 is His anthem of love to all those who feel like they are the exception to His gift because we are reminded that He loved us at our worst and still sent His Son.

There is no doubt the Christ in the manger was God’s physical evidence of love. This fact is important when you remember He came to a group of people who had been waiting for centuries. God had been quiet. Holding on to hope had been a struggle. All the Israelites knew was that life was hard, and not turning out how they thought. What had happened to the covenant given to Abraham?  Where was the land flowing with milk and honey?  It was hard to look at life and see proof that God did love them.

Can you identify with that?

When things don’t go the way we had planned or the struggle feels like it is too much we can question God’s love. When tragedy strikes we struggle to reason how God can let it happen and still say He loves us. We want proof of His love.

Maybe that is why He opened the heavens that night. So proof could be seen; the evidence shared.

The coming of Christ was God’s visible evidence for all generations that He loves us, and that His love is so great He withheld nothing, sending a very piece of the Godhead to us.

Don’t look for evidence of God’s love in your circumstance or current reality. Hold tightly to the manger and cross as proof that the love God has for us is greater than our realities, failures or fears. It is His free gift to us. A gift of redemption, belonging, security and eternity for all who would choose to believe.

Church Choices, Life Choices

By Karen Polich

Choices aren’t always easy. At times there is not a clear answer on right and wrong. Continuing the sermon series, Becoming the Church We’re Called to Be, Pastor Michael M. Cook laid out how to handle the “grey areas” of life in 1 Corinthians 8. Listen to the podcast here.

At first glance, this text may not seem applicable to us today, but look deeper. The Corinthians expressed personal liberty in their behavior and saw no issues with their choices because they weren’t choosing something that went against their walk with God. Their knowledge of God was how they determined right and wrong. Paul pointed out several problems with this.

While knowledge is essential, it is not sufficient. Ultimately, love limits liberty.

In this case, the food didn’t bring them closer to God or push them farther away. The issue was the impact of decisions on the new believer and non-believer.

Their situation is a prime example of the grey area. These areas bring real challenge. How do we live them out? How do we answer questions from the grey area that our children and grandchildren ask?

We are free in Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:17, Galatians 5:1) But what if fully exercising our freedom causes others to head down the wrong path?

Love is the key. Knowledge says go for it, love says, how does this impact someone else?

 

 

Pastor Cook gave five terms to assist the believer in filtering right and wrong.
Excess. Do I need it? Is it right or wrong for me? Hebrews 12:1
Expedience. Is it useful? 1 Corinthians 6:12
Emulation. Is this going to allow me to walk as Christ leads? How would Jesus handle this situation? 1 John 2:6
Example. Would this represent righteousness? Is it a good example to others? Romans 14:13
Evangelism. If I do this, would it benefit those who do not know Christ? Colossians 4:5

As Christ followers, we have a biblical responsibility for each other. At times, we may need to give up our liberty and freedom out of love for another. What are we teaching with what we do? The last thing we want to be is a stumbling block to someone else. In the grey areas, we have to decide if we will choose “me” or “we”. Choices may not hurt me, but we must consider others.

What life choices are you making in the grey areas? When the choice isn’t clear, remember LOVE is the key.

 

God in the Midst of Pain

By Kristin Overman

Children make everything about Christmas more fun. Everything is so eventful and exciting for them, seeing lights, receiving gifts, doing advent activities, even opening the box of Christmas decorations. Christmas was always the hardest holiday for me before I had kids. Year after year would pass and I had not been able to get pregnant or keep a pregnancy. Even adoption had been one disappointment after another. We spent four years trying and went through three failed adoptions. In October of 2008 I lost a little boy two days after he was born. His birthmother changed her mind after I had held him and named him. That year Christmas was especially hard. Another year with just two stockings on the fireplace.

During this difficult time of infertility, health problems, and loss God showed me who He was. I had struggled with seeing God as good when I had so many hurts. I saw my trials as God’s hand of discipline. I felt like I was just not good enough for God. I believed He was teaching me to be a better person and have more character through trials. My idea of God was that He was only a strict disciplinarian who demands His followers to give all to Him. He was distant from me and I was scared of Him. If I cried to God it was either in anger or confusion.

God lead me to read through Psalms. He opened my eyes to who He is through David’s honest outpouring of his heart. I began to see that God wanted me to cry to Him. I learned to see God as a loving Father who wants us to run to Him for comfort as we would a friend. In my mind I saw this picture of God sitting on His throne. His lap was open for me to sit with Him and to be held by Him. He wanted to hold me and comfort me in the midst of my pain like any loving parent would their child. Even though there were lessons and character to be learned He was interested and cared about my pain.

As I saw how David cried to God in his pain I learned several things. God doesn’t always answer our whys. But He responds to our cries.

No matter how big the hurt, His arms are big enough to comfort. He does not keep pain way. But He is always near. He is the God who holds our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). He is the God who never sleeps or slumbers to watch over us (Psalm 121:3). He is the God who pulls us out of the pit (Psalm 40:2). He is the God who gives to His beloved in his sleep (Psalm 127:3).

My prayer for anyone in the midst of hard times would be that you would run to God, see Him as the ultimate Friend, the perfect Father, and the Wonderful Counselor. No person, no thing can comfort and heal as He can.

E.M. Bounds says it beautifully in his book about prayer,

“O thou who driest the mourner’s tear,

How dark this world would be,

If, when deceived and wounded here,

We could not fly to thee?

The friends who in our sunshine live,

When winter comes are flown,

And he who has but tears to give,

Must weep those tears alone.

But thou wilt heal the broken heart,

Which, like the plants that throw

Their fragrance from the wounded part,

Breathes sweetness out of woe.”

Kristin Overman is the overjoyed mother of four boys. Kristin and her husband Tim, know first hand how God answers prayers.