Displaying items by tag: June18 Joomla! - the dynamic portal engine and content management system http://readjourneymagazine.com Wed, 22 May 2019 15:22:39 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Choosing Health http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1191:choosing-health&Itemid=112 http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1191:choosing-health&Itemid=112

May is mental health month and the Alabama  Department of  Mental Health is focusing on overall health and well being.  Our overall well being includes both our physical and mental health.  The theme the department has chosen for this year is Fitness#4mind4 body. 


Most of us would agree that our  physical health plays an important role in our mental health and vice versa.  We also know that our state of mind contributes to how we feel about being able to exercise and other disciplines that contribute to our physical health.  The word discipline feels so daunting at times.  So how might we be able to reframe the word discipline so it doesn’t seem so impossible? 


We know that to be physically active, to eat a good diet, and to get plenty of sleep is important to our health.  But how might we be able to look at those in ways that are more doable?  What if we viewed exercise and eating better as something we “get” to do instead of something that we “have “ to do? 


I remember a friend who had been chronically ill for a few years, and as she began recovering she started running a little bit.  I was talking to her one day and I asked, “Do you ‘have’ to run every day?” She said, “No, I ‘get’ to run.’” I will never forget her response.  After having been sick for a few years, she was so grateful to be able to run again.  Now, I am not suggesting that all of us need to start running, but I am suggesting that a lot of us might benefit from doing some type of movement.  If you feel overwhelmed by this suggestion and think, I have started and stopped so many times before, let me encourage you to set reasonable goals.  Maybe a walk three times a week for just 15 minutes.  Do not set yourself up to fail.  Let’s face it, you are probably not going to stick with a lofty goal of walking every day for an hour!  But I bet you could practice walking a few times a week because you “get” to, not because you have to.


The hardest part about this for someone suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental disorder is that it is counter intuitive to the way one feels.  This is where you get to “practice” going against the way you feel.  Yes, it is difficult, but we do not always have to act according to the way we feel.  You actually have more agency over yourself than you think.  Of course, exercise makes you feel better because you release some helpful brain chemicals, but you also realize that you have accomplished something that was difficult, and that comes with good feelings as well. 


In addition to physical health and mental health, here at Samaritan Counseling Center we stress the importance of our spiritual and social health as well.  I am reminded of the verses in Luke 2 that point to Jesus and His growth in all of these areas.  We first see it referred to in Luke 2:40: “And the child grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on Him.”  Then again in Luke 2:52 we see: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”  So, in other words, Jesus grew physically, mentally, spiritually and relationally. 


As I was reading over Luke 2 in preparation for this article the thing that stood out to me the most was that right before these two verses we learn about Jesus being off with His family doing “religious” things, and then returning home.  He returned home back to His own town of Nazareth.  Nazareth was not considered a great town. In fact, one of the disciples upon learning that Jesus was from Nazareth asked, “Can anything good could come from Nazareth?”  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want an new answer, a new insight to my problems, some new way to handle them.  If only I could go away somewhere, or if only I lived somewhere else or if only... you fill in the blank to your own “if only”.  But the reminder of these verses is that the hard work of life is in the daily decisions we make in our normal environment. The daily choices we make at home, at work, at play, or with our circle of friends.  At best it is hard work…but might I suggest beneficial and redemptive work. 


The older I get the more I realize that most things do not have a quick fix.  The hard work of life, the birthplace of change, is done in the most mundane tasks of our life.  It is the day in and day out of the little choices and decisions we make each and every day.  The decisions that we make in our own little Nazareth! 


John Maxwell says “the secret to success is determined by your daily agenda.”  You cannot change your life until you change something you do every day.  So I would like to challenge you to prayerfully ask the Lord to help you see what little changes you can make today to make your life more manageable, or so that you can be healthier physically, mentally, spiritually and/or relationally.  Remember that today is the first day of the rest of your life!



Counselors Corner Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:02:44 +0000
Reality & Truth Ministries http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1190:reality--truth-ministries&Itemid=104 http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1190:reality--truth-ministries&Itemid=104

“I’ve witnessed first hand how God can reach into your personal moment of need, whether it be a need for understanding, or a physical, emotional, or spiritual need, and speak Truth that is applicable to you personally. We all need life spoken into us, whether we are poor, rich, educated, uneducated, skilled, unskilled, healthy, unhealthy, happy or sad. I love receiving this from the Lord, and I desire all to receive the same.”


These words from LaDonna Brendle of Reality & Truth Ministries show the passion that those involved in this ministry have for sharing the love of Christ with others. The mission of Reality & Truth Ministries is to serve and glorify God according to the work of Christ by promoting the One source of Truth amidst everyday realities, through encouraging, teaching, loving, and gifting others.


In the Beginning


The ministry began on October 31, 2008. Brendle said, “The ministry was birthed in my prayer closet. In 2005, I began to sense the call to full-time ministry that would involve teaching through speaking and writing. Over the next couple of years, the Lord equipped me and affirmed the calling. Around Spring of 2008, the Lord gave me a ministry name and mission statement.”


Soon after, the founding board of Reality & Truth Ministries was incorporated. “I am the Founder and President of our organization. Our founding board was myself, Tiffany Beasley, and Alyson Mitchell. We began this ministry because we believed in the need to intentionally bring God’s Word to people, knowing that His Word will meet people exactly where they are in their personal journey in life,” Brendle said. “Our approach to ministry is holistic and relational.  We believe that building Christ-centered, trusting relationships alongside the witness and teaching of Jesus is an effective way for others to have a trusting relationship with Jesus Christ. We also believe that a community is healthier and more likely to thrive when the needs of all people in that community are met.”


Reality & Truth Ministries has made a great impact for good in the River Region over the past ten years. Brendle said, “Since we began our work in downtown Montgomery, the overall crime rate has steadily decreased, and I’m told the gang activity has lessened. I’ve not updated my research with the recent two years, though. We’ve helped many get off the streets through our outreach and in collaboration with other organizations. We fulfill our mission through five outreaches:  One Church Mission, Let’s Talk Truth, Tutwiler Prison Mission, Israel Love Mission, and Beautiful Feet Mission. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of clothing and hygiene items are distributed through us weekly. Between 400 and 600 meals are provided each week to the homeless and poor. Approximately fifteen individuals live in housing with stability because of our financial management program.” Brendle continued, “God’s word is being spoken and/or taught to approximately 600 hearers in our day center each week, to about fifteen women in Tutwiler each month, and to thousands through television and internet every day. Because we are strictly volunteer based, there are approximately 200 volunteers each month experiencing what it means to make a difference in our world, in our community, and to be an active part of God’s plan for His people.”



Reaching Beyond the River Region


Besides the life-changing work they are doing in Montgomery, Reality & Truth Ministries has also expanded their reach beyond our area, and even beyond the borders of the United States. “Our ministry goes beyond the River Region in that it serves the homeless, poor, sex trafficked, and addicted in Tel Aviv each year, and has provided teaching, leadership, training, and resources in Kenya. Many Christians in Kenya, Burundi, Pakistan, and India are using our online teaching resources for the growth of their churches. We’re in the process of setting up a live interactive weekly Bible study and prayer meeting with women in Pakistan. We believe strongly in the mobilization of the church and are excited about the many opportunities the Lord is bringing us to reach out to churches in and outside of the River Region,” said Brendle.


Urgent Need for Volunteers


To reach so many people here and overseas takes passion and prayer, but also volunteers and donations to continue to operate and be successful. Brendle explains, “It takes approximately 150 to 200 monthly volunteers and approximately $7,083 per month to operate. Our current financial need is $250,000 to complete our day center. Our monthly operating expenses will be reduced by nearly half when the building debt is paid.” She continued, “We have an urgent volunteer need for a personal advocate to manage finances of those with disabilities. The three volunteers we have doing this are maxed out, and we are having to turn those with this need away. This is a vital part of our ministry in that it helps remove people from homelessness.

There are a variety of other volunteer needs, such as working with the clothes closet, commercial construction, technology, grant writing, fundraising and administrative duties.” Some specific items that they need are a desktop or laptop computer, and also some commercial building items, such as doors, heaters, air conditioners, a refrigerator, a freezer, a dishwasher, an ice maker, a three-compartment sink, washing machines, dryers, salon vanities, showers, and drywall. Donors can also sponsor a room, such as the kitchen, laundry room, or dining room.


If you would like to volunteer or donate, you can contact Reality & Truth Ministries either by phone at 334-354-6142 or by email at realityandtruth@live.com. Monetary donations can be given through their website at realityandtruth.com or by mail at P.O. Box 6322, Montgomery, Alabama 36106.



Angela Hardgrave is a graduate of the University of Mobile with a degree in journalism and currently works in the Marketing Department of Faulkner University as a graphic designer. Angela is also a freelance writer for several publications in the River Region. She resides in Wetumpka, Alabama, with her three awesome daughters and her dog, Emmy.




Articles Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:53:56 +0000
Soaring http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1189:soaring&Itemid=113 http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1189:soaring&Itemid=113

You go into the experience of an airplane flight with the expectation that you will routinely get to your destination, more or less on time, with only a minimum of inconvenience - maybe some turbulence, perhaps a snafu with the baggage.  But, the passengers on a recent flight from New York to Dallas had another thing coming.


The ChurchLeaders.com website tells the story of what happened to the 149 passengers on that plane that day: “An explosion in the left engine of the plane sent a piece of shrapnel through one of the windows of the plane. A woman was partially sucked out the window but other passengers managed to pull her body back into the plane and a registered nurse administered CPR until the plane landed.”


That passenger, Jennifer Riordan, did lose her life; 7 others were injured.


The pilot guided the plane to safety, making an emergency landing in Philadelphia.  Her name is Tammie Jo Shults.  The article says:



Shults would have had plenty of practice keeping cool under pressure during her career in the Navy. She was the first female pilot to fly an F-18, a fighter jet. While she wasn’t allowed to fly in combat situations, Shults was an instructor pilot.



She was a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas.  The article states:



MidAmerica Nazarene’s director of alumni relations, Kevin Garber, describes Shults as a “solid woman of faith,” NBC News reports. Shults’ brother-in-law, Gary Shults, describes her as “a very caring, giving person who takes care of lots of people.”


Indeed, Shults’ concern for others was apparent after she landed the damaged plane. Passengers on board report Shults walked through the aisle to check on everyone. According to passengers, the plane erupted in applause as she came through the cabin.


And, according to the ChurchLeaders.com story, “She says being a pilot gives her the opportunity ‘to witness for Christ on almost every flight,’” and it points out that she was certainly a witness to those 149 passengers.


Dallas Morning News story on Shults reports that she and her husband, also a pilot, attend the First Baptist Church in Boerne, Texas, about 30 miles from San Antonio.  It says:



Longtime friend and fellow church member Staci Thompson said a deep Christian faith has guided the way Shults lives.


Shults has taught nearly every grade level of Sunday school at their church. She’s volunteered at a school for at-risk kids and turned a cottage on her family’s property into a temporary home for victims of Hurricane Rita and widows.


“She would tell you everything she has she’s been given from God, so she wants to share it,” Thompson said.



Tammie Jo was one of the first female pilots in the Navy, and is profiled in a book called, Military Fly Moms. Even though she had faced rejection, she is quoted as saying, “In my heart, I hoped that God had given me an interest in flying for a reason. I had never touched an airplane, but I knew flying was my future.”


She can teach us about possessing a sense of readiness.  The ChurchLeaders.com story states:



You can listen to an audio recording of Shults talking to air traffic control as she makes the emergency landing. Shults is a picture of keeping calm under pressure. She is also an exemplary leader.



Regarding the application of faith, we can remember that the time to prepare to respond with in God’s strength is generally not in the midst of pressure.  Shults was trained, she was prepared, so when the trial came, she was able to activate her skills and apply her training, so that she could land the plane successfully. 


Also, her view of her call and purpose is inspiring.  Every flight could be an opportunity to witness for Christ, in her estimation.  As the result of her application of honed skill to land a plane under adverse circumstances, her story has spread and her Savior has been glorified.


She is someone who has a sense of purpose and, as the Dallas News story described it, “fierce determination and laser focus,” combined with “sweetness.”  The story pointed out that she had been told in a high school vocational class that her dream of being a pilot was not realistic because there were no professional female pilots; and, she did not allow her initial rejection from the Air Force to deter her.  She was convinced that God had instilled in her an “interest in flying for a reason.”  She did not give up in her pursuit of what she believed the Lord had called her to do…and neither should we!  We can rely on the Spirit to give us the determination to persevere and to not give up, even when we want to, even when discouragement sets in. 


Bob Crittendon Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:48:08 +0000
Glenn Wilson, Regional Mortgage Sales Manager http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1188:glenn-wilson-regional-mortgage-sales-manager&Itemid=124 http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1188:glenn-wilson-regional-mortgage-sales-manager&Itemid=124

RRJ:  As a regional manager of BBVA Compass, what does your job entail?


Glenn:  I manage all aspects of Mortgage Lending for BBVA Compass across the East Region.  I lead a team of mortgage banking officers and area sales managers that work directly with clients to help them finance their real estate needs.  I also work very closely with realtors, builders and developers to create product offerings specific to their client’s needs. 



RRJ:  You have been working in the financial field since high school.  What excites you about being in this industry?



Glenn:  I have been everything from a drive thru teller to a regional manager and everything in-between.  What I love the most about the banking world is being able to help clients achieve their financial goals.  There is no better feeling than to hand a first-time homebuyer the keys to their new home. 



RRJ:  We live in a world where emphasis is placed on political correctness, which can make living “loud” for Jesus difficult.  How do your employees and co workers know you are a Christ follower?



Glenn:  I believe that employee engagement is critical for all leaders.  I know my employees on a personal level.  I know their spouse’s names and their kids’ names.  I know their likes and interests.  In return, I open myself up to them so that they know me in the same manner.  I make a point to include Christ and what He has done for me anytime I have that opportunity in conversation with my employees.  In Paul’s letters to the New Testament church, he spends a lot of time pleading with the church to show humility and love.  I strive to show both to my team every day.  For some, I may be the only Bible they ever read. 



RRJ:  You mentioned that Christian seeds were planted in you at an early age, but faith didn’t sprout until later.  In what ways did God water that seed?



Glenn:  I went to church as a kid, but wasn’t ever really “all-in”.  In college, I met a young pastor named Shane Segars who really invested in me and helped me grow spiritually.  Shane was the first person to help me understand that being a Christian is about relationship and he showed me what it looked like to have a relationship with Christ. 



RRJ:  In your walk with the Lord, what are some tools and/or resources that are vital in keeping your faith strong?



Glenn:  I have a group of men who are true accountability partners.  When I travel for work, I reach out to them so they can pray for me and hold me accountable while I am away from home.  I have an app on my phone that gives those guys access to my internet search history to make sure I always stay pure with technology.  I have a Christian mentor I talk with weekly.  He is a Christian brother I can confide in, ask for advice, celebrate successes with, confess my failures to and just have general conversation without fear of judgement. 



RRJ:  You and your wife, Kim, are both children of divorce, which can affect the way one views marriage and parenthood. What steps have you taken to strengthen your commitment to each other? 



Glenn:  When I met my wife Kim she helped me take my spiritual walk to another level.  We both came from divorced families, so we both went into our marriage knowing that divorce was not an option.  We also knew that we would need God’s help in fulfilling that commitment we made to each other.  We built our marriage on a Godly foundation and continue that even now, 16 years later.  Kim is my best friend any my biggest cheerleader.  She prays for me daily.  She shows me grace when I don’t deserve it.  She is a true Proverbs 31 woman who is an amazing partner and pushes me closer to the Lord every day.  I see Christ in and through her love for me. 



RRJ:  Your wife founded the wonderful Footprints Ministry many years ago.  What was the origin of that ministry?



Glenn:  Our oldest son, John Parker, was born three weeks premature.  He spent 10 days in the NICU at Baptist South. After our NICU experience, Kim felt a calling from the Lord to do something to help families who were going through the difficult journey of having a baby in the NICU.  Kim started by preparing care packages for parents of babies in the NICU.  Soon after that, Kim founded the Footprints Ministry as her calling from the Lord.  Over the past 10 years, Kim and her team have served hundreds of families through this ministry on a volunteer basis. 



RRJ: Glenn, in the past couple of years, you have been on a physical transformation journey with much success. What brought you to this journey and how has God helped and used you along the way? 



Glenn:  Two years ago, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life.  I was severely overweight and was borderline diabetic.  My doctor told me that I needed to make some immediate lifestyle changes.  I had never been one to go and workout on my own, so I knew I needed to find something that had programmed workouts for me.  I knew a few people who did CrossFit and they encouraged me to give it a try.  After a couple of weeks, I was hooked.  A year into my CrossFit journey, I went and got certified to teach classes.  I am now almost two years into my fitness journey and I have lost over 100 lbs.  I also teach the 6am CrossFit class four days per week at Rebar Performance. 


The fitness journey itself has been amazing, but God had more planned for me than just getting me in shape.  I have met some amazing people along the way.  I lead a men’s small group at the gym, which has been a true blessing.  Men are finding freedom and growing in their faith.  The Lord knew what He was doing when He sent me there. 



RRJ:  What would you tell a new Christian that maybe took you a long time to realize?



Glenn: I would tell them to work every day on building their relationship with Jesus.  On days when God sees their worst, God still loves them just as they are. God’s greatest desire is to spend time with us and to be in relationship with us, even at our worst moments.  As a kid and a young adult, I felt like I was always failing, and that God was constantly disappointed in me.  I felt like there was no way He could love someone like me who wasn’t living a spotless life every day.  I thought I had to earn my way to being a Christian by being perfect.  As I grew in my faith, I learned that none of those thoughts were true.  The enemy will use doubt and fear to create separation from Christ.  We must be intentional in spending time with God daily, even on our bad days.  Those are the times when He wants us to be closest to Him.



Glenn Wilson, Regional Manager of Mortgage Division, BBVA Compass. Married for 16 years to wife, Kim, the couple has two boys: John Parker, 11, and Jake, 8.  They are active members of Church of the Highlands, Montgomery Campus.


Faith @ Work Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:34:46 +0000
Staying Awake on Gator Lake http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1187:staying-awake-on-gator-lake&Itemid=125 http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1187:staying-awake-on-gator-lake&Itemid=125

There is something about danger that fascinates us. We are drawn to it. We know we shouldn’t be, but we are. And sometimes we live to regret that decision.


Not long ago some friends and I visited St. Andrew’s State Park on the east end of Panama City Beach. We went to see an estuary of storks and herons on an island in a body of water called Gator Lake. A short pier juts into the four-foot reeds that line the water’s edge, allowing us to see dozens of sea birds and their nests.


Off to the right is a short section of wood rail fence with a sign warning visitors to stay away from the alligators. Approaching the little fence, I saw in the water about eight feet away, two bulging eyes and the end of a snout. The submerged alligator looked young, perhaps two or three feet long.


Suddenly nearly a dozen tourists crowded the fence with cameras, cell phones, and iPads. Some stepped in front of the fence for a better photo.  I retreated to the pier. That amphibian might be small, but he could have a ten-foot relative close by in the reeds. Besides, a proverb says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it” (Proverbs 27:12) NIV.


Thankfully, no alligators assaulted anyone. No harm was done. This time. Admittedly, alligator attacks are rare and tourists probably come to this spot every day. However, such attacks are not impossible, especially if a mama gator feels her young is being threatened.  Once a gator has a victim in its jaws, it holds on until it is sure the victim has drowned.  That reminds me of another kind of predator that can seem fascinating until you are up close.


 Most addictive lifestyles and abusive relationships start out as intriguing dangers. A young person is at a party where drugs and alcohol seem to be the cool thing to do. The idea of doing something that your parents warned you against is very appealing. You are showing everyone there that you are grown up. You are not a kid anymore. You are just showing off a little to impress your friends and that very attractive person that you just met.


While you are flirting with someone else, you are flirting with danger. It’s like swerving a car as close to the edge of a cliff as you can without going over. It’s a rush of adrenaline. It’s exciting, until suddenly it’s not. Once you careen over the cliff, it is very hard to get your life back on the right path.


But you don’t have to be young to be fascinated by dangerous temptations. Pride, prestige, and money can be just as alluring as a dose of adrenaline. Frequently it is status, wealth or someone else’s approval that makes us forget our common sense, drawing us away from the life Christ has called us to.


So, stay awake. Don’t be so quick to investigate the attractive unknown. Something may be lurking nearby other than what you see. It can seem as harmless as approaching a little alligator.


In the Bible, Peter said, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (I Peter 5:8-9) NIV.


Like our visit to see the herons and storks, we all seek out knowledge and beauty in life. But in pursuing a healthy fascination, we may become attracted to an unhealthy one. No one is immune to temptation. But we must remember: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it” (I Corinthians 10:13) NIV.


As we are more and more drawn to Christ, we will be less and less fascinated by people and things that would harm us. We can be curious and still temper our curiosity with guidance from the Holy Spirit. Let’s stay awake on Gator Lake.


**Sam Whatley’s latest book, Ponder Anew, is now available at the Frazer Bookstore located inside Frazer Memorial UMC.



Pondering the Journey Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:27:39 +0000
Books to Read http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1186:books-to-read&Itemid=123 http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1186:books-to-read&Itemid=123

From Death to Life: How Salvation Works

by Allen S. Nelson IV



The doctrine of salvation is awash on a sea of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism. Marked by the curse of sin, the image-bearers of God have a need to “earn” their salvation. “Surely, there must be something I can do to merit favor before a holy God,” says the modern man. This false “gospel” is propagated in churches around the world and creates chaos and confusion.


Allen Nelson’s book, From Death to Life is a much-needed corrective and is a positive step in the right direction. The subtitle expresses the essence of the book – How Salvation Works. In this short but powerful treatise, the author sums up the message of the gospel: “God saves sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” This gospel is summarized by five points which make up the basic argument in the book:


The gospel must be proclaimed.  God must move. 


The sinner must respond in faith and repentance.  God justifies the sinner.  The sinner grows in the Lord over a lifetime.



Nelson articulates each of the above points and argues strenuously from the Word of God. One striking thing about this book is the author’s ability to both confront error and commend truth. For instance, he is quick to confront (and condemn) pragmatism, seeker-sensitivity, antinomianism, cheap grace, and altar calls. But he also commends bold proclamation, faithful ministry, and authentic faith which is driven by the biblical gospel.


Nelson explains each aspect of salvation with precision and biblical faithfulness. He weaves in the biblical doctrines of total depravity, unconditional election, particular redemption, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints in a careful and winsome fashion. Indeed, this is an ordo of salutis for the common man.


I commend From Death to Life for students, pastors, and Christ-followers who are eager to digest a solid, gospel-centered book that is committed to historical orthodoxy, robust theology, and a soteriological framework which is faithful to Scripture!




The Gospel Comes With a House Key

by Rosaria Butterfield



“Imagine a world where the power of the gospel to change lives is ours to behold.” This is the soul-stirring, gospel-focused message that Rosaria Butterfield proclaims in her most recent book, The Gospel Comes With a House Key.


The author aims to inspire readers to follow her example of radical hospitality that reaches out to family, neighbors, and complete strangers. The book is packed with personal examples of how this kind of Bible-saturated hospitality can invade a willing home.


One theme that will no doubt draw critics is the matter of patriarchy. Butterfield calls her female readers to accept their God-ordained call to submit to the authority of their husbands and reap the benefits of this biblical-minded obedience: “Imagine a world where biblical patriarchy – the benevolent leading of servant-hearted fathers – made all of us breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the good fathers would protect us from the roving gangs of evil men,” writes the author. But she continues by articulating how this countercultural model of manhood and womanhood should play out among Bible-believing Christians:


“The godly submission of a faithful wife to her head – her husband – does not diminish the power and strength that God has given to women but instead channels it to serve the most important people first … Godly patriarchy means rule by the godly fathers, the good men who sacrifice their lives for the protection of their family. In God’s hands, when the good fathers lead, the roaming gangs of violent men are kept in check and away. We need godly patriarchs because sin is real, and the droving gangs of male violence are real too. If men aren’t trained to lead by God’s design, they often destroy by Satan’s command.”


The theme of biblical patriarchy stands in the background yet provides the fuel for the larger theme of gospel-driven hospitality. The Gospel Comes With a House Key is a challenging, thought-provoking read that will prompt many discussions and even debates in the days to come. The end result will be a strengthened church whose covenant members commit themselves to demonstrating radical hospitality for the good of theneighborhood as well as the nations.


Books to Read Mon, 18 Jun 2018 16:22:25 +0000
Skyrocket Your Father Esteem http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1183:skyrocket-your-father-esteem&Itemid=126 http://readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1183:skyrocket-your-father-esteem&Itemid=126

An American missionary went to an African village to evangelize. He saw a man and his wife returning from a farm. The man was walking several steps in front of his wife. The wife was trailing her husband, carrying a basket of produce on her head. This scene infuriated the western missionary. He quickly stopped them, confronting the husband, “Sir, why are you enslaving your wife in such an inhumane way? Why can’t you, as the man who is stronger, carry the load and walk behind your wife?” 

The wife quickly replied in defense of her husband, “If he should carry the load and walk behind me, who will kill the snakes?”  


For all the “snakes” they have killed throughout the years through prayer and intercession so our families can enjoy peace, we thank and honor the fathers among us!


This month is the one specifically dedicated to father, husband, and brother. We take this opportunity to acknowledge how precious they are in our lives. Without them, the quality of our lives would diminish rapidly.


Billy Graham once said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”


This world is graced with some amazing fathers whose love and affection for their families build the foundations for our society. I believe wives and mothers need to see these men as our greatest champions and most valuable assets, and do a better job appreciating them.


Undeniably, our society suffers from absentee fathers, yet we must not fail to see that we are blessed with so many countless millions of dedicated, God-loving fathers who cherish their families. Find one you can show appreciation to and make the effort to affirm the ways that he demonstrates the love of God. Write a note or tell him face-to-face:



Thank you for being a provider

for your family.

Thank you for being a leader in your family.

Thank you for being a teacher

and a counselor to the next generation.

Thank you for caring and loving

in the little things and in big ways.

Thank you for the daily sacrifice

you make for your family.

Thank you for being a good role

model for men and boys.



Words are important, but it is also good to demonstrate your thankful heart toward godly fathers in your world. What might you do to return the care he has given you? How can you sacrifice for his desires and needs? While you may be cooking a special meal on Father’s Day, it could make a strong statement if the appreciation went beyond one day. Considering that a godly father’s care is spread over the year, write yourself monthly reminders to find one small surprise or activity that he would particularly enjoy. Watch his favorite movie, go to a park and enjoy a sunset together, or send a “no particular event” card with a personal note.


Let me speak explicitly to wives. I strongly believe that the divorce rate will reduce drastically if we stop taking each other for granted, and live a life of gratitude, respecting and showing the people in our lives that we appreciate them daily. Marriages will be better and father/children relationships will improve. Our homes will be places of harmony, shelters from the storm, hiding places from the turmoil outside, and sanctuaries to our weary souls, rather than the war zones that many homes are.

Here are some ways to help you understand and appreciate your husband better.



1. Get to know your man by spending time talking without an ”agenda.”

2. Find out what makes him feel appreciated.

3. Be consistent showing your gratefulness.

4. Discover what spells “respect” to your husband and demonstrate this.

5. Do what it takes to meet his sexual needs.

6. Make your spouse feel personally special to you. 

7. Cherish your babies’ daddy by citing memories of your life together.



Author Dawn French said, “It was my father who taught me to value myself. He told me that I was uncommonly beautiful and that I was the most precious thing in his life.”


Many of us didn’t have earthly fathers to affirm us this way, but all of us are blessed to have our Heavenly Father affirming us daily, making us secure in His love. He gives us the substance by which we can encourage the people He has brought into our lives.


Let’s not just think about affirming fathers one day a year. Let’s put them front and center of a continual appreciation campaign!





Pastor Kemi Searcy Fri, 15 Jun 2018 13:41:19 +0000