IS IT POSSIBLE THAT GOOD THINGS CAN COME OUT OF OUR BROKEN DREAMS? Worship leader and recording artist Laura Story’s life took an unexpected turn when her husband, Martin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Their lives would never be the same. Yes, with God all things are possible. But the devastating news was that no cure existed to restore Martin’s short-term memory, eyesight, and other complications. The fairy-tale life Laura had dreamed of was no longer possible. And yet in struggling with God about how to live with broken dreams, Laura has found joy and a deeper intimacy with Jesus. Laura helps us understand we aren’t the only ones whose lives have taken unexpected turns. She examines the brokenness of some of the heroes of our faith, and shows how despite their flaws and flawed stories, God was able to use them in extraordinary ways. And it was not because of their faith, but because of the faithfulness of their God. God may not fix everything. In fact, although your situation might not ever change or get better, with Jesus you can. “Our family has been ministered to by her vulnerability and willingness to walk in the valley and still say ‘God, I Trust You.’” — STEVEN CURTIS and MARY BETH CHAPMAN Grammy Award-Winning Artist and New York Times Bestselling Author “Laura is one of my heroes when it comes to trusting God. She’s joyful, genuine, and faithful even though her story includes messy chapters. This book will be on my nightstand for a long time!” —LISA HARPER Author and Bible Teacher
when god doesnt fix it
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Laura Story's life took an unexpected turn when her husband, Martin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The devastating news forever changed their lives and brought Laura's dreams of a fairy-tale life to an end. Yet her struggles to accept her new situation also brought her deeper joy and intimacy with God as she allowed him to rewrite her story. In this five-session curriculum (DVD/digital video sold separately), Laura examines the twists and turns that took place not only in her own life but also in the lives of many of the heroes of the faith. She reveals how God used crises in the lives of people such as Abraham, Sarah, David, and Paul to bring them closer to him and set them on the path he wanted them to take. She also shows how God used each of these individuals in spite of their flaws and brokenness. God may not fix everything in our lives. In fact, our situation might not ever change or get better. But we can know that God will lead us to a place where we are better because of it. This study guide includes leader helps, video discussion questions, Bible exploration questions, and personal study and reflection materials for in-between sessions. Sessions include: Don't Be Surprised by Trouble Best-Made Plans When God Doesn't Fix It Why? The Question on Replay A Better Broken Designed for use with When God Doesn’t Fix It Video Study (sold separately).
Recording artist Laura Story examines the brokenness of some of the heroes of our faith---men like Abraham, Joseph, David and Paul---and shows how despite their flawed stories, God used them in extraordinary ways.
Thirty Nine and Letting Go: A Father’s Journey through a Son’s Addiction and Depression shares the difficult journey of a father who faced a parent’s worst-case tragedy: the loss of a child. John B. Jenkins, a Christian minister, presents the story of his son’s addiction, depression, and eventual death. John felt inspired by the Lord to write this book while his son, Josh, was in a coma after his automobile accident in June 2016. He knew he needed to start writing the day after his son’s funeral. It is his hope and prayer that others can find comfort and encouragement as they read the experiences he chronicles of Josh’s journey through his depression, his addiction, and his untimely death. As a minister, he hopes to show how the love and mercy of God is truly unending, and his grace is most certainly all-sufficient. A father’s memoir recalls the life and accidental death of a son and points to the boundless love and mercy of God that overcomes even reality’s most trying moments.
When disaster strikes, when grief shatters us---what are we to make of prayer? Many of us have experienced some amazing answers, but what about when God seems to turn a deaf ear? Drawing from his own crushing experience, Jerry Sittser affirms the greatness of God s love in the face of unanswered prayer."
Surviving the Unimaginable By Ruth Janie Webb He beat me with a hammer. He beat me with a bat. He strangled me until all of my breath had gone and I was left for dead. He shoved the barrel of a 22 riffle in my mouth and told me hed blow my brains out and kill the children too. So when he spit on me, bit me, slapped me or kicked me, it didnt seem so bad. Self-esteem? What self-esteem! As bad as the physical abuse was, the mental abuse seemed almost worse. My husband would brag tome that he had other women that were prettier, smarter and more desirable. I was left alone with the children for days at a time. He would leave because the house was too noisy. Hed leave when the bills were due. Hed leave to visit those other women. If I dared ask where hed been, hed beat me yet again. Women who stay in abusive relationships are afraid. Only God can deliver. It takes God to give a woman the strength and ability she needs to step away from this type of demonic, controlling relationship. I know the excuses. I used them myself. I dont have any where to go. There is always somewhere to go. I dont want to leave my stuff. Baby, when youre really ready and you have had enough, you will leave everything. When I left my first husband, I left everything in that house. I went to work and never returned. I only had the clothes on my back. My babies need their daddy. If you dont seek help and leave that abusive relationship, you and your babies will end up dead. He will kill me if I leave. He will kill you if you stay. He will change. No, he wont! Not without Gods help. He has to want Gods help for himself, not because you want him to want God. He said he was sorry. He is sorry if he put his hands on you. He is a coward living in the shell of a man. He loves me. Love is not abusive. He only does it when hes drunk. Then he needs to stop drinking. These are just a few of our excuses. No one deserves to be beaten, no one. Not for any reason. Stop blaming yourself. I thank God that He was with me and allowed me to make it out alive. It was only His divine protection and love that allowed us to make it out alive. You must stop endangering and damaging yourself and your children. Once I gave my life to God, I no longer had low self esteem. I picked up my head and walked in who God said I was. I survived the unimaginable and you can too. Now instead of dwelling on the pain and regret of 29 1/2 years of marriage that nearly killed me and my children, I am using the experience to help others. God is using me to encourage and minister to both men and women who are in abusive relationships. My life is a miracle. My mess had been turned into a message of hope and healing. I pray you allow God to do the same for you.
Laugh Your Way Through a Sticky Situation Life is full of problems: there's not enough time in the day, your kids won't stop fighting, and those cars won't let you merge onto the highway. Not to mention the really bad stuff: your best friends are getting divorced, and your close relative is sick. It's enough to make you want to scream and cry and stomp your feet. But then you remember you're not three. Life is like a refrigerator--it offers us a lot of good things, but it can be smelly if left for too long. Don't let life be a stinker. God provided the equipment to laugh--we just have to remember to use it. Martha Bolton and Phil Callaway show how they look on the bright side of life as they teach us creative ways to deal with telemarketers, remind us that we could cope with the world if it wasn't for the people, and explain why M&Ms are healthy. Where there's a will, there's a way, and Martha and Phil will help you find a way to laugh yourself back into a joyful life!
Circling Faith is a collection of essays by southern women that encompasses spirituality and the experience of winding through the religiously charged environment of the American South. Mary Karr, in “Facing Altars,” describes how the consolation she found in poetry directed her to a similar solace in prayer. In “Chiaroscuro: Shimmer and Shadow,” Susan Cushman recounts how her dissatisfaction with a Presbyterian upbringing led her to hold her own worship services at home and eventually to join the Eastern Orthodox Church. “Magic” by Amy Blackmarr depicts a religious practice that occurs wholly outside of any formal setting—she recognizes places, such as a fishing shack in south Georgia, and things, such as crystal Cherokee earrings, as reminders that God exists everywhere and that a Great Comforter is always present. In “The Only Jews in Town,” Stella Suberman gives her account of growing up as a religious minority in Tennessee, connecting her story to a larger narrative of Eastern European Jews who moved away from the Northeast, often to found and run “Jew stores” in midwestern and southern towns. Alice Walker, in an interview with Valerie Reiss titled “Alice Walker Calls God ‘Mama,’” relates her dynamic relationship with her God, which includes meditation and yoga, and explains how she views the role of faith in her work, including her novel The Color Purple. These essays showcase the large spectrum of spirituality that abides in the South, as well as the equally large spectrum of individual women who hold these faiths.
God has healed in the past and wants to heal now. But though they pray in faith, go to healing meetings, and strive to have enough faith, many are not healed as they would wish to be. When God Doesn't Heal Now examines the myths about healing that are built on partial truths and looks at the profound relationship between prayer, healing, and the sovereignty of God. This guide offers a balanced look at teachings on healing, faith healers, and ways to bring biblical clarity to beliefs that often foster guilt, defeat, and despair when believers are not immediately healed. When God Doesn't Heal Now is an encouraging book which affirms the biblical truth that God is our healer.