The Winner {and some Travel Funnies}



Thank you to all who entered to win Michelle DeRusha's new book, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know

The winner is: MARY PACE! {I will email you today!}

I highly recommend this amazing book. Michelle beautifully captures the lives, struggles, accomplishments and unexpected moments of these 50 extraordinary women. They come across as accessible and relatable. I learned so much, and I know that will be true for everyone who reads it.

And in other news...

I'm in a busy writing and traveling season, so I thought I'd lighten my blogging load today and simply share this cartoon about traveling. I've watched it three times and laughed each time!

I hope it brings a smile to your face as we head toward the weekend -- especially if you're traveling!

I pray God's richest blessings over you, remembering:

"He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30 (NIV) 

50 Women Every Christian Should Know {and a Giveaway}


It was a great privilege to read an advanced copy of Michelle DeRusha's new book, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know. Honestly, I couldn't put it down. And it finally hit the shelves today!

With every page I turned, it became crystal clear how much the Church needs this book. It's not just for women. The next generation of men (in fact, all men) need to hear about these amazing women of faith. Michelle expertly weaves through each story how God is always with us in the midst of our struggles.

From Katharina Luther to Corrie ten Boom, these 50 courageous women of valor inspired me to be a more intentional Christian, how to love better, and give joyfully with a generous heart. Michelle says:

"These are real, relatable women with fears, challenges, distractions, sorrows and joys much like ours. In their stories I saw my own struggles, flaws, desires and delights. By the time I had finished writing this book, I understood something important: These women are not only our heroines, they are also our sisters in faith."

Michelle beautifully captures the lives, struggles, accomplishments and unexpected moments of these 50 extraordinary women. They come across as accessible and relatable. I learned so much, and I know that will be true for everyone who reads it. In our self-promoting culture, this incredible book is a welcome breath of fresh air.

To celebrate today's launch of this fantastic book, Michelle is giving away some nifty prizes on her blog today here. Be sure to stop by!

Also, Michelle has graciously provided me with a copy to give away! Leave a comment on this post telling me the name of your “heroine” of the faith – she could be someone you know in real life or even one of the women from this very book or just someone you’ve studied or read. I’ll draw a winner randomly on September 18 and notify you by email (so make sure you include an email address in your comment).

Blessings and happy reading!

____________________________________________________________________________
 


Michelle is also the author of Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with her husband and two young boys. You can connect with Michelle on her blog, and on Facebook and Twitter.


Pastors, Will You Forgive Us?


Pastors have a high and difficult calling.

There are few things that boil my blood faster or put me on a soap box quicker than when I hear God's people hurling mean-spirited or spiteful comments at God-loving, servant-hearted pastors. 

It gets ugly when the sheep turn on their shepherds. And Satan, along with the world, watches.

Smiling.

I love intentionally encouraging my pastors. When I see them at some evening function during the week ― whether it's Bible class, a ministry event, or worship team rehearsal ― I'm fully aware that they may have faced a particularly tough day. Chances are the enemy has lobbed some fiery darts at them, whether it's tough counseling sessions, disheartening church politics, or the death of a member.

It's a privilege to convey to my pastors and pastor friends just how important they are to God's work and His church ― to let these grace-filled men of courageous faith know how much they, their families, and their ministries mean to so many.

But I end up choking on tears.

So...

To my pastors, all my pastor friends, and your beautiful families:

You embrace the calling that crucifies you every day. Yet sometimes we are the ones pounding in the nails.

Please forgive us.

You take up the cross of Christ without hesitation, not because it's a job, but because it's your very calling, passion and life purpose. Yet sometimes we watch from comfortable pews without lifting a finger as you stumble under the weight of that responsibility alone.

Please forgive us.

You love us enough to sacrifice family time, cut short vacations, and be on call 24-7-365. Yet when you need to unplug and allow God to recharge you, we haughtily demand that you re-engage and make yourself available.

Please forgive us.

When life blindsides us with loss, relationship difficulties, health scares, or financial burdens, you are the first to offer prayer and call in the posse to help. Yet when you need us, we wear busyness as a badge to dodge.

Please forgive us.

You willingly live in a glass house with our faces pressed against it, gracefully shouldering our smart aleck remarks. Yet when you lovingly ask us accountability questions, our self-righteous indignation could choke God Almighty.

Please forgive us.

But I want to you know...

You are not expendable.

You are VITAL.
You are VALUABLE.
You are LOVED.

As you stand at the vanguard of deadly spiritual warfare, it's an amazing privilege to stand in God's army with you. To heartily encourage you when you're weary. And to follow where God calls you to lead.

THANK YOU for your integrity and tireless commitment.

Church, when was the last time you prayed for your pastors?
C'mon, Church, let's encourage our pastors today.
What say you?
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When We Need Answers to Life's Toughest Questions


Over the past month, I have been asked some very tough questions. They were not asked flippantly, but from people genuinely trying to understand long-term pain and suffering. You know, those questions that cause us to question God, His motives, and for some, even His very existence.

Courageously facing hard questions and digging for answers is an integral part of our spiritual growth process. These questions stem from either our own painful experiences or from watching loved ones struggle. Wrestling in prayer and poring through Scripture, we try to make sense of life's most gut-wrenching questions, like:

1) If God hates homosexuality, why did God make me gay?

2) If God creates every life for a purpose, why does He allow abortion?

3) I try so hard to follow God and His Word, but alcoholism is winning. Why won't He answer my prayer to remove that addiction? I'm ready to give up.

4) Am I supposed to love all people -- even those who turn their back on God or don't even acknowledge His existence?

Such difficult questions cause us to seek answers and engage in meaningful conversations within our communities and with people who may not think like we do. And those are GOOD things. Some Christians prefer to avoid such questions altogether (I used to be one) because they are volatile topics. But how does avoidance of learning help us engage with our culture in order to maintain a respected voice? (Think of Daniel during his Babylonian captivity.)

Individual opinions vary with the weather, so we need GOD's answers. He created us and this crazy big world we live in. He alone holds the owner's manual. Addressing tough questions openly with love and grace is essential because the hurt behind them can derail our faith walk or cause us to write off whole groups of people.

My prayer is that by honestly and gracefully walking through these sensitive issues in the light of Scripture, we can grow in faith and understanding together.

Beginning next week, we'll be discussing these hard questions in a series that I fervently pray will be spiritually and relationally helpful.  

NOTE: I will carefully monitor the comments section to ensure the conversations remain respectful and grace-filled. I will remove any comments that are intentionally inflammatory, hurtful, or judgmental. This needs to be a safe place to maintain helpful dialogue about the issue at hand.

Several people have already submitted excellent questions on my Facebook page and I would love to include yours. So, here goes:

If you were able to personally ask God ONE question, what would you ask?
 .

How to Find Hope in our Desperate Prayers


That one particular Sunday morning felt all wrong. I remember it well.

Not because the alarm went off way too early.

Not because I was running late (again) for worship team sound check.

Not because the moon followed me as I drove to church.

But because I felt desperate.

For several weeks, my heart had been burdened over two dear friends going through challenging life seasons. I thought about them several times a day and prayed for them often.

That Sunday morning, those dear friends crossed my mind once again. A few days prior, on a particularly gloomy Friday, I had asked God: Are my prayers even making any difference? Why must their suffering be so great? 

The proverbial angel perched on my right shoulder whispered, "God knows the purpose for their suffering. Trust Him." The devil lurking on my left shoulder hissed, "They're suffering for no apparent reason. God gets a kick out of that."

The battle took up residence in my mind and Friday gloom turned into gray Saturday desperation. I wanted to plant both feet, shake white-knuckled fists toward heaven, and yell at God from the depths of my soul, "JUST FIX IT!!"

But that was the problem. I'm a fixer. And I had determined that those loved ones had hurt enough. So I wanted it fixed. Now.

But I couldn't fix it. I couldn't stop their pain. I couldn't ease their suffering.

So I felt helpless. Desperate.

Have you ever felt that way? Like when a dear friend tells you he suffered a hate crime because he is gay? Or a cherished friendship gets slashed by racism? Or like when a family member commits suicide?

In those moments, we experience numb disbelief at the depravity of this world.

And we wonder, "WHERE IS GOD? "

That one Sunday happened to be an Easter Sunday. And just as I was wrestling with these questions the hardest, these lyrics resounded throughout the sanctuary in musical grandeur:

     He lives to silence all my fears; He lives to wipe away my tears.
     He lives to calm my troubled heart; He lives all blessings to impart.

     He lives, all glory to His name! He lives, my Savior, still the same;
     What joy this blest assurance gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!

I could hardly sing for the lump in my throat. In that moment, God pierced my helpless Good Friday gloom with the reminder of His brilliant Easter assurance: We have a living Redeemer.

Not a stone idol with a vacant stare. A living, breathing Savior who cries when we cry.

He is love outstretched — hung bloody and beaten on a cross that should have been ours.
He is grace extended — even when we haven't been good stewards of His blessings.
He is mercy granted — even when we willfully make self-destructive choices. 

I can't understand why my friends' pain is so great, but my Redeemer lives to wipe their tears. He's not forgotten them. He loves them more than I can possibly imagine. And He's certainly not allowing suffering just to watch them squirm.

The answer to their pain is not found in my desire to "fix it." The answer is our Redeemer...

   ...who intercedes on their behalf before the Father.

   ...who sees the perfect plans He's created for both of them.

   ...who's already seeded the goodness that will grow lush, watered by their tears.

   ...who promises to mold their shards of brokenness into a breathtaking vessel of His glory.

Desperation creates seekers of hope. Sojourners seeking the face of God. Seekers like you and me.

And there's healing in the seeking.

Those beautiful melodies of promised redemption hummed courage into my soul to keep praying. To stay the course and keep the faith.

So instead of feet planted, fists shaking, and mouth bellowing, I found myself on my knees.

Palms open toward heaven.

Whispering in amazement: Thank you, living Redeemer, for the suffering that makes us desperate for You.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)

Have you ever wrestled with desperate prayers for loved ones?
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The Forgiven Ring



The elevator slid open on the appointed floor. The short hallway was deserted. Expecting the hum of voices and usual bustle of courthouse life, the sudden quiet sent chills along my raw nerves.

It was 8:46 a.m. The judge would arrive promptly at 9:00 a.m. Where was everybody?

I turned the corner and stopped in surprise. The hallway was packed with people waiting to enter the courtroom.

So many bodies crowded the narrow path that I had difficulty maneuvering toward the door.

Hushed conversations held in stifled whispers sounded like a light wind. Several children stood intermingled with adults. But none were playing. No laughter could be heard. Their eyes stared without blinking at the floor as though transfixed by the tile pattern.

As if moving in slow motion, I took a mental snapshot of that scene. Memorizing each detail. No one wanted to look anyone directly in the eye. Perhaps not wanting anyone to see the depth of pain reflected there that mirrored their own.  

Bewildered at how they ended up in that hallway in the first place.

With few exceptions, everyone wore black, including me. It looked as if a funeral was about to take place. Ironically, it wasn’t just one funeral that occurred there that day, but several.

The Harris County Family Courthouse in downtown Houston experienced death every day. The death of marriages. The cremation of families.  

The burial places of dreams.

The surreal events of the past four months exploded in high definition as I waited with my attorney to see the judge. Then everything began moving at speeds allowed only on the Autobahn.

My dreams of happily ever after died less than thirty minutes later as a judge added her signature to the Final Decree of Divorce, looked at me and said, “Good luck with your new life.”

Good luck? My 13-year marriage had blown up and I never saw the bomb coming.

We normally don’t.

The walls started to close in. I couldn't breathe. The foundation of my life shook with such violence that the debris threatened to take me down for the count. The one who swore to stick by me in sickness and health until death do us part had opted out.

I vaguely remember riding the elevator to the ground floor and stumbling to the nearest bench just as my legs buckled.

I was divorced. I was alone. God, help me.

That happened four and a half years ago. And I still remember each moment.

It still saddens me to write those details. To remember. But I write about it because one very important thing has changed:

God has allowed me to forgive. 

I didn't want to at first. I wanted to hate. To throw things. To crawl in a hole and give up.

But God meets us in our heaps on the floor.

He breathed into me that fresh air of forgiveness less than 30 days after the divorce. And it changed everything.
 
So instead of discarding my wedding ring, I turned it into something that would remind me to forgive. And not just one person. But to forgive every single person who hurts me. And to remind me how much I've been forgiven by God. 
 
The picture above is my redesigned wedding ring. I wear it on my right hand every single day. The word Forgiven is inscribed inside the band, along with Colossians 3:13 
 
I was asked to share this story again recently at a speaking engagement. Sometimes I forget the power that God has woven into that story. So many people struggle to forgive past hurts. God gave me the privilege of comforting and encouraging hurting women after the event.

Unforgiveness and holding grudges traps us in dungeons of bitterness and anger. I fully understand the soul deep freedom that forgiveness provides. It's not some vague concept I throw around lightly. I've experienced the powerful freedom that God provides through it. It feels like learning to breathe again.

I don't know if there's someone in your life who you need to forgive. Maybe it's no one. Perhaps you need to forgive yourself.

All I know is that there's a better path that leads to LIFE. 

Only God gives us the strength to fully, wholeheartedly forgive and move along our journey. 

Forgiveness is the key to freedom. YOUR freedom.

If you struggle with unforgiveness, I pray that you ask the Lord to unlock that gift of freedom in your heart TODAY.
 
Do you find it hard to forgive someone who has hurt you?
If you've been divorced, what did you do with your wedding ring?
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When You Don’t Know If Your Legs Can Hold a Heart this Heavy


I woke up that morning with only one thought: I don't ever want to get out of bed again.

I tried to go back to sleep, but it was too late. The film had already started.

My brain began flashing moments of the previous day's events like a black-and-white film. The drive. The courthouse. The bailiff calling order. The lint on my sleeve when I couldn't look up anymore.
  
I tried to turn it off. But it wouldn't stop.

The judge. The pen in my hand. A perfectly round tear splashing on the divorce decree as I signed my name.

It wasn't supposed to end like this, God.

'Til death do us part. That's what we had promised each other thirteen years before. But I never saw this death coming. I don't know if actual death would have been worse. At least when you're dead, you don't feel anything.

This was too much. I slid off the half-empty bed to my knees. The sobs came in ugly waves. Oh God, I can't do this. I don't know how.

In that moment, a single Scripture passage hit me so hard I could hardly breathe:

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you;
He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

Deuteronomy 31:8

My head jerked up; my eyes scanned the bedroom. The verse rang so loud it was almost audible. It repeated over and over, ending in a whisper, until I understood that I wasn't alone.

I sat cross-legged on the floor and reached for the Kleenex. I needed to be at work in two hours. That thought alone brought a fresh round of tears.

The last four months had taken their toll. Discovering betrayal. Dividing stuff that didn't matter. Believing I would never smile again.

The thought of getting off the floor seemed too great a task. I was just so exhausted. Mentally, physically, spiritually -- stick a fork in me because I was done...

Fast forward to today. Four and a half years have passed since that day. But I'll never forget that bone-crushing, mind-numbing exhaustion. 

Have you ever been exhausted to that degree? 

When the thought of taking one more step seems like climbing Mount Everest, you need to know one thing:

You never walk alone.

The One who loves us most has already walked where we've been. Whether it's betrayal, abuse, being shunned, or dismissed as insignificant — Jesus has already been there.

Sometimes circumstances can leave brave chins trembling, but God holds our hemorrhaging hearts. 

He's the God who comes before we cry and pads our buckled knees with His grace.

When we want to know answers, God simply wants us to know Him. There is no heaviness so heavy that God's arm's aren't stronger still.

How can that be? Because Jesus forever defeated the power of bare-fanged evil with hands stretched wide on a wooden cross that should have been ours. The Word made flesh fulfilled God's promise in Genesis 3:15 to crush the serpent's head for all eternity.

Even in our darkest hour, the darkness is not dark to Him. Jesus is the only One who can rescue. The only One who can save gently dabs our wounds with the salve of His love to usher us back into His glorious light, because "the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." (1 John 3:8)

In all our pain, we don't want a random answer. We want a Someone. Someone who cradles heaving shoulders, binds gaping wounds, and calms ragged howls.

Even when we feel abandoned and flung to the curb, we have Emmanuel — God with us.

He will never leave you. He will never forsake you.

Our legs don't have to hold us up. His nail-scarred hands cradle our heavy hearts to bear the burden we can never bear alone.

So lift thy head, brave warrior, and lean into His strength.

Today is a new day — because He makes ALL things new.

How do you process and get through exhaustion and/or a heavy heart?
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The first part of this post is an adapted excerpt from my new book "Quenched." 

A Joy, a Junk, and a Jesus {30-day check up}



Thirty days ago, I invited you to a challenge: "Three Js for Thirty Days." 

The idea came from a Sunday morning sermon prompted by a mission trip our seminary intern took with our church's high school youth.

At the end of each day during the mission trip, the youth would all gather in a circle to process the day's events. They each took turns sharing three Js: a joy, a junk, and a Jesus.

That story struck a chord in me. I wondered which I would choose to share more at the end of each day: a joy, a junk or a Jesus moment?

To preface, a joy would be classified as something that gave me joy that day, whether it was a sunset, a purring cat, or new insight into Scripture.

A junk would be something that bothered me that day, whether it was an inconvenience, unkind word, or impatience.

A Jesus would be those incredible moments when we experience or witness Jesus move in a specific, powerful way.

For the past thirty days, I've been recording my three Js. So before writing this post, I read through the little journal and made notes.

And I didn't like the results.

In fact, this practice uncovered certain behaviors or spiritual disciplines that I need to change. Immediately.

The most surprising discovery was not what I shared but with whom I shared it. 

First discovery:  
I was 90% more likely to share Jesus moments only with Christians.
That was a disappointing discovery. If anyone needs a glimpse into Jesus and how much He loves us, it's those outside the body of Christ. I know because I used to be one of them. Perhaps I feel safer sharing Jesus moments with those whom I know are Christian. It's easier. They get it. No weird looks.

Well, if that would have been the litmus test Jesus used to share about the kingdom of God, we'd all be headed straight to the pit.

Second discovery:   
I am a joy-filled person but I don't always let it bubble over to others.
That discovery made me sad. I have a blessed life -- not because of stuff but because of a Savior. However, sometimes I mask the joy (I thought of Moses masking his face from shining God's glory). Perhaps I feel that I need to be dignified. I mean, serious students/teachers of Scripture don't effervesce, right?

Well, if expressing the joy of the Lord makes others pause, at least people will hear about the Source of that joy.

Third discovery:  
I need coffee to filter the junk moments. 
Ha! Let me explain. I had a tendency to lean toward "junk" thoughts before I had my morning coffee. Not surprising. It seems that coffee adds an appropriate filter for the day (for me, at least). It gave a whole new meaning to "coffee filter."

But I also tended to focus more on junk moments when I was tired. Perhaps it all comes down to filters. Get enough sleep and drink enough coffee -- then the junk moments are few and far between. :)

One of the biggest blessings that came out of the Three Js for Thirty Days challenge is that I noticed a lot more Jesus moments — because I was looking for them.

My prayer going into the challenge was: "I want to see more Jesus."

I love how He answered that prayer in spades.

This was such a spiritual growth exercise that I plan to continue listing a joy, a junk, and a Jesus moment each evening. It provides valuable time to pause at the end of each day to intentionally reflect — a practice with unlimited spiritual growth value.

If you participated in the challenge even for a short time, what did you learn?
If you are just learning about the Three Js exercise, are you willing to try it?
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Book Tour Wrap-Up {and Some Amazing God Moments}


CONTEST WINNER:
Congratulations to Angela for winning Cindy Bultema's new Bible study,
"Red Hot Faith"! I will reach out to you!
_____________________________________________________________________

I must confess: I never expected so many unexpected God moments on this book tour.

I had a packed schedule that included several cities over five days, so the main focus was getting from one city to the next on time for each scheduled interview, praying for God to guide us, and talking with people about "Quenched: Christ's Living Water for a Thirsty Soul."

But those God moments... JUST WOW.

A dear friend and one of my Texas LWML comrades, Belinda Burmeister, accompanied me on the tour. I would not have made it without her, her constant prayers, and seamless organization at each location while I visited, taught, fielded questions, signed books, or connected with new people.

1) Nederland, Texas (Sat, 8/9)
Our first stop was a previously-scheduled ministry event at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Nederland, Texas, where I had the incredible privilege of teaching from God's Word, visiting with the ladies and pastors, and signing books. This day was truly one of the highlights of the whole tour!



2) Tampa, Florida (Mon, 8/11)
Immediately after this event, we headed straight toward Tampa, FL, including a quick overnight stay with my aunt in Mobile, Alabama. I started the morning with a live interview on an Arizona radio station at 10:30 am, then headed over to the Christian Television Network studios to tape the tour's first television interview.

The show's host, Arthelene Rippy, was one of those God moments. Although she has interviewed the likes of Gloria Gaither, she was humble, kind and loves Jesus wholeheartedly. A few parts of the book touched her personally, and it was such a blessing to hear how God drew her closer to Him through them. We made a wonderful connection and I look forward to staying in touch with Arthelene.


3) Tallahassee, Florida (Tues, 8/12)
After a quick trip down to Largo, FL for a morning book signing at Christ the King Lutheran Church, we hoofed it to Tallahassee where the LWML ladies of University Lutheran Church at Florida State University invited me to join them for dinner, teach a Bible study, and hold a book signing.



But here's where one of those cool God moments happened. Two young ladies in the group had just arrived the previous month to begin full time campus ministry at Florida State. They were able to inform the older ladies about their purpose and ended up making some very cool connections for future ministry outreach opportunities together. SO COOL!

4) Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana (Wed, 8/13)
We did a lot of driving this day, but I love how God started out our morning at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Mobile, AL. Pastor Lehman invited us to attend his weekly Bible study, then visit and conduct the book signing afterward. As a lover of excellent Bible teaching, I must say that his opening lesson on the book of Acts was outstanding. In an hour, we only got through eight verses, but they are now ingrained on the soul of my heart.


Belinda and I were definitely feeling the effects of long days and lots of driving, so Pastor Lehman's Bible study truly hydrated my soul and refreshed us for the rest of the journey. If you happen to live near Mobile, AL, I cannot urge you enough to attend his class and grow in the knowledge of the Lord.

5) Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Thurs, 8/14)
After beginning the day with this stunning sunrise in New Orleans overlooking the Mississippi River Bridge, I drove all day (including a stop in Baton Rouge to field a live radio interview) to make it home before turning right around the next morning.


6) Killeen, Texas (Fri. 8/15)
After leaving home at 5:30am, Belinda and I drove to Killeen to tape this television interview with the local Christian station.



Here's where another one of those cool God moments happened. The station's founder, Catherine (far right) was an absolute delight! Even though in her 80s, she was spry with a great sense of humor. She allowed double the amount of time for the interview and it felt like it flashed by in a second. At the end of August, KPLE-TV conducts their annual fundraiser drive, so they allowed me to tape a quick promotional video for them and also leave several signed copies of Quenched and the God of All Comfort to offer to donors during their drive. It was such a joy to leave those books and pray that they reach those who need God's hydration right now. 

I could go on and on about how God moved and blessed me and this tour outrageously, but then this post would be a mini-novel. Suffice it to say that God did incredible ministry during this book tour and provided some very cool connections for future ministry endeavors.

If I happened to see you on the road, THANK YOU!!! This journey would be nothing without your support, encouragement, prayers and partnership in the Gospel.

YOUR TURN:
Have you ever experienced an unexpected "God moment" that turned
out to be exactly what you needed in that particular moment?
 
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Red Hot Faith {Meet the Bible Study Author & a giveaway!}


Friends, you know how much I love Bible studies. Have I got a treat for you today!

Meet my friend Cindy Bultema. She is a popular Bible teacher, conference speaker, and blogger, on top of being a wife and mom to her four kids. She loves to encourage other women and help them experience the fullness of life that Jesus offers. But not only that -- she's the kind of friend who you could share a 2-hour conversation with over a cup of coffee and believe it only lasted 10 minutes.

Cindy has written an incredible DVD-based Bible study called "Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Church." She unpacks Jesus' letter to the lukewarm church in Laodicea, drawing insightful parallels to the tepid attitude in today's culture.

Through fascinating cultural research and traveling the ruins of Ancient Laodicea, Cindy brings to life Christ's passionate message to the church at Laodicea to leave their self-sufficient, self-absorbed attitude behind in favor of intentionally extending hospitality and sharing encouraging words of faith.

Cindy has been through quite a journey in her life, which she is not afraid to share throughout the study. She uses those struggles and pain to show Christ's redemptive power and love. From a cocaine addiction that almost cost her life after an accidental overdose at 26, to losing her fiance to a workplace accident five months before their wedding, Cindy's experience allows us to relate to the fact that we're not all perfect and desperately need Jesus, who calls us to an unwavering faith.

When asked, "What do you hope people will take away from Red Hot Faith?", Cindy responded:

My hope is that every person going through the Red Hot Faith Bible study would remember "Lukewarm is not our norm!" Jesus came so we could experience a full, abundant, purposeful faith life. Today. Not someday -- when we get to heaven, when we lose weight, when we get our house all organized, or when we know more Bible verses  -- but today.

Exactly! I think that you will be so blessed by Cindy's Bible study that I'm giving away a free set to one lucky blog commenter (winner announced on Tuesday's post). I encourage you to connect with Cindy on Facebook, Twitter, her website, as well as order "Red Hot Faith" right here. This lady loves Jesus and I promise you'll love her! 

So now it's your turn: What does it mean to you to have a "Red Hot Faith?"

~COMMENT AND SHARE THIS POST TO GET YOUR NAME IN THE HAT
FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY!~


Cindy Bultema