“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Poignant words from the heart of Jesus, who would soon lay down his life for his friends.

The words hold deep meaning for families who’ve lost loved ones in battle. They hold deep meaning for all of us who live in America, land of the free, home of the brave.

We’re grateful for those who spilled blood on foreign soil, sacrificing their lives—the cost of freedom.

Most of us will never find ourselves in treacherous war zones dodging enemy fire and literally laying down our lives. But we have opportunities each day to lay down our life for people we love.

Today offers a chance to give ourselves sacrificially—even when we don’t feel like it or don’t want to be inconvenienced.

This kind of laying-down-my-life is a hard thing because it’s totally opposed to the flesh. The flesh hates sacrificial giving—the selfish self must be denied. The flesh asks, “What do I get?” One committed to following Jesus in the laid-down life asks, “What can I give?”

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brother” (1 John 3:16).

Supernatural love. Superior love. Sacrificial love. Laying-down-my-life love. Christ-followers cannot give less.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]’” (Matthew 16:24 Amplified).

(Scriptures from NIV unless noted.)

Dianne Barker, Topics: Marriage * Parenting * Living in joy *

Dianne Barker

I Don't Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! by Dianne Barker

I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! by Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary and blog coordinator for Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

Crystal Bowman
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing Crystal Bowman, author of over 100 books for children! Today she’s sharing about a project that’s quite a bit different for her—and yet completely in line with her heart for families.

Welcome, Crystal, please tell us about your book, Mothers In Waiting—Hope and Healing for Those with Empty Arms.

This book is a collection of 30 stories from women who have experienced infertility, miscarriage, adoption, IVF procedures, and much more. With honest and heart-filled stories, the contributors desire to walk beside those who are on this long and painful journey. It’s like offering a group hug!

What inspired you to write this book?

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

My daughter-in-law asked me to help her write a book for women facing infertility. She had a 5-year journey that was long and painful. She wanted to give hope to other women and let them know they are not alone. Read More →

My friend locked her gaze on me. “What are you afraid of, Sarah?”

Those words threw me for a loop. For years I’d written novels. For years I’d received rejection letters. I’d just told my friend about my tortuous road to publication when she slammed me with that question.

Afraid? I wasn’t afraid.

Oh yes, I was. I was afraid of another rejection. I was afraid I’d get published and disappoint my publisher and readers. I was afraid I’d misheard God’s voice and was on the wrong road altogether.

The world is a scary place. Current events, illness, and family crises cause enough fears, but on top of that, God asks us to do scary things. Spread the gospel to the farthest corners of the world. Teach Sunday school. Care for the widows and orphans and homeless and immigrants.

Fear is a natural emotion, but if we don’t counter it with God’s truth, it can cripple us and keep us from the life the Lord intends for us. We need to step out, despite our fears. God can use our quivering fingers and quavering voices, but He can’t use our frozen feet.

After my conversation with my friend, I acted. Although my hands still trembled, I prayerfully submitted my novel to yet another publisher. That publisher gave me my first three-book contract.

When you feel fear’s clammy tentacles writhe inside, analyze your fears. Then take those concerns to God and trust His promises.

Now, go out there and live the life God intended for you.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is a bestselling author of World War II novels, including The Sea Before Us and The Sky Above Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. www.sarahsundin.com.

 

 

C. Kevin Thompson
Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper! It’s May, and that means we’re already having temperatures in the 80s where I live in Mount Dora, Florida. My friend and fellow author C. Kevin Thompson knows that, because he’s basically my neighbor and fellow Lake County resident. Kevin is also an ordained minister whose background no doubt assists him in his present position as an assistant high school principal. As you may know, Kevin has posted many of our author interviews, but this time, we get to turn the questions around and point them at him instead.

Welcome back to the CAN blog, Kevin! Tell us about your book, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen (a Blake Meyer Thriller – Book 4).

C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

At this stage of the story, Blake laments his past, how it is infiltrating his present, and how the future may irreparably harm his family. He has a lead on his family’s whereabouts, but they are still captives. Pawns in a deadly game of vengeance. And the plan to release the contagion that threatens to infect America with its own version of the Black Death is being modified by those responsible, making it harder to defend. Read More →

Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it (Ezra 10:4).

After surgery, I could only put “big toe” weight on my right leg for a month. That meant my left leg, supported by a walker, had to bear the load. In order to keep me from ending up with one weak, puny leg and one buffed one, I have non-load bearing PT exercises for the right one.

Why only big-toe weight? Our big toes are big for a reason. Our bodies use them to balance. Ever watch a ballerina “on toe”? It provides the rest of the foot leverage. Without thinking about it, you put your weight mostly on your big toe when you lift off a chair. Go ahead, try it using any other toe or your heel instead. I’ll wait…

Back now? To continue…

I need to consistently practice this unique way of walking even if it feels unnatural.

That made me think about how much I lean on God for support, especially when I am weak. But even if I feel strong, I should still use Him as support. Most of us don’t want to lean on a crutch. We were taught to stand on our own two feet. I’m not saying Christians should be wimpy. It takes strength of character to admit you need assistance.

This cultural environment wants to pull us out of balance. We need our Lord for support. We can only walk this life well if we press into God’s Word and prayer for support, and lean on His understanding, as it says in Proverbs 3:5, fully trusting in His strength to bolster us. He is my spiritual “walker” and I don’t want to let go, lest I fall.

Julie Cosgrove, besides being the author or fourteen traditionally published faith-based novels and novellas, is also a devotional writer and editor for CRU’s digital ministry as well as for three other publications. Her own blog, Where Did You Find God Today? has readers in over fifty countries. Check out her latest mystery series, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries, and the rest of her books at www.juliebcosgrove.com. (Photo courtesy twitter@bigtoe.[/caption])