Eight Unexpected Blessings from God

November 25, 2014

Eight Unexpected Blessings from GodMost of us remember to count our usual blessings from God, especially at times like Thanksgiving. But here are at least eight unexpected blessings we could overlook. You could probably list even more. Let me explain: Read more

Book Giveaway & Author Interview with Deborah Raney

November 18, 2014

Home stirs up a variety of images and memories. In recent blogs, I talked about heaven, our real home. But today, I’m offering a new book giveaway from author Deborah Raney called Home to Chicory Lane. A great start to a new Christian fiction series, Deborah’s new book introduces us to the home of the Whitman family. I love the inviting back cover blurb from Deborah’s new book:

WELCOME TO CHICORY INN…

WHERE FAMILY IS (ALMOST)

ALWAYS WELCOME!

Read more

A Picture of Heaven – Home at Last

November 11, 2014

What happens when we get to heaven? How will we greet Jesus? How will He greet us? Here’s one way I viewed it, a symbolic picture of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. From time to time, I like to include a poem in my blogs. I hope this one encourages you. Read more

Finding Hope in God’s Faithfulness

November 4, 2014

Finding Hope in God's Faithfulness

It’s easy to lose hope and to form our own conclusions about life when we look at our circumstances. But that’s not always an accurate picture. A better way is to look up. Examine the track record of God’s faithfulness. It’s flawless, just like Him. Read more

Fiction Book Review – Susan May Warren

October 28, 2014

Fiction Book Review - Susan May WarrenReading Susan May Warren’s books is like reading a painting by a skilled  artist. She creates colorful word pictures, memorable plots, and feisty characters that draw you in until the end. I discovered her books a couple of years ago, and she quickly became one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. I was quickly hooked on her stories. Her newest books are part of the Christiansen Family series. When I Fall in Love is the most recent; Take a Chance on Me and It Had to Be You are the other two so far in the series. Read more

Book Giveaway: Mornings with Jesus 2015

October 21, 2014

Book Giveaway for Mornings with Jesus 2015It’s time for another book drawing giveaway. This time, I’m featuring Guideposts‘ new devotional book, Mornings with Jesus 2015. Eleven writers helped write this new devotional, and this is the third year I’ve been privileged to join that writing team. Every time I study and learn more about Jesus, and every year I experience more of His love and grace, He grows more precious to me. Here’s an excerpt from one of the devotions I contributed to this book: Read more

When Different Is Good

May 20, 2014

http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/different-good

I’m done. Finished. Last One. That’s what I said the last time. But this time I mean it.

Ever uttered those words? If it hadn’t involved our entire neighborhood, I probably wouldn’t have Read more

Daisies Are Forever, A Fall of Marigolds: Book Giveaway, Book Reviews

May 13, 2014

Here are two great fiction reads I think you’ll enjoy: Daisies are Forever, by Liz Tolsma, and A Fall of Marigolds, by Susan Meissner. And you can win the first one in a book giveaway. Be sure and read today’s blog to see how you can enter the book drawing giveaway for Liz Tolsma’s book.

Here are my reviews of the two books: Read more

What Hope Can Do

February 17, 2014

http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/what-hope-can-do

“How does a young man in the prime of life deal with an incurable disease, loss of strength, the news that he cannot be a father, and the likelihood of a shortened life-span?”

Today’s guest post by Fran Sandin will challenge you to rethink your capabilities, refill your hope tank, and encourage you to discover God’s incredible plan in the midst of impossible circumstances. It’s not only a story of hope; it’s a testimony to God’s continual faithfulness.

Be sure and read to the end to discover how you can enter today’s book giveaways.

His Journey of Hope Begins

At the age of 29, our son, Steve, began a journey we never expected. After completing his Master of Physical Therapy degree, he began working at a hospital and soon became ill with pneumonia. His doctor said, “Steve, I believe you have cystic fibrosis,” Two positive tests confirmed the diagnosis, and he began respiratory therapy that he would need the rest of his life.

He Became His Own Caregiver

My husband, Jim, and I, were shocked as no one else in our family had his genetic disease. About 10% of CF patients are diagnosed in adulthood because one of the parents carries a mutation of the CF gene; and tests verified that truth for us. Cystic fibrosis destroys the lungs by clogging them with thick secretions and causes other organs to malfunction. Digestion is also affected, so Steve also began taking digestive enzymes. No cure is available for cystic fibrosis. As part of his physical therapy training, Steve had learned how to treat patients with CF, but he had no idea that he would eventually become his own caregiver.

Hope Finds a Permanent Home

The shock of this news had barely become reality when Steve almost died with kidney failure due to IGA nephropathy, a separate autoimmune disease. Added to his respiratory treatments, he then needed three trips a week to the hemodialysis clinic. Still, he continued working part time in home health PT. After three years, he switched to peritoneal dialysis that allowed him to use a computerized machine at home where he dialyzed at night. Finally he did not have the strength to continue his profession, but he used his time to begin a home-based business.

Steve lived every day with HOPE. As a child he had received Jesus as his Savior, and he continued growing in faith throughout his years. He prayed daily for healing, and believed that God could completely heal him, if it was His will. But one day Steve said, “Mom, I know God can heal me, but if He doesn’t heal me on earth, I know I will be healed in heaven.” His ultimate healing came following much suffering at his last hospitalization when irreversible complications of CF accelerated; and at the age of 43, Steve moved peacefully to heaven on Sept. 22, 2012.

God’s Incredible Faithfulness

My son taught me many lessons about courage, faith, perseverance, and hope. Between numerous hospitalizations in 2005 and 2008 he wrote two books. One day he said with a wry grin, ‘Mom, God has given me a project and I’ll let you know when I’m finished.’ I had no idea he was writing a book until one day he showed me the manuscript for Jesus Really Said It. He searched the four gospels and categorized the words of Jesus to address forgiveness, healing, faith, deliverance, relationships, conflict resolution, and more. He wanted to reach people who might not pick up a Bible but who would read a book addressing topics of interest to them.

He later wrote another book using Proverbs and addressed subjects of guidance and instruction, wisdom, warnings, finance, words, children, anger, pride, joy, mercy, and others. Make the Right Choice: A Personal Decision Guide, is a great resource for young people–or for anyone seeking wisdom for life’s decisions.

Steve didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him and he did not openly discuss his physical limitations. However, he attended church and Bible studies when possible, and often asked for prayer. Many, many people prayed with Steve and for Steve’s healing. About two months before he passed away, Steve wrote a tract with the title, So What Happens Next? in which he addressed the subject of eternity. To date approximately 8,500 tracts have been distributed in the U.S. and beyond.

A Legacy of Hope and Inspiration

Although Steve lived in a townhouse about an hour away from our home, I helped him regularly and stayed with him during his hospitalizations and recouperations. Just a few days prior to his last hospitalization, Steve said, “Mom, you know I’ve been sick for a really long time.”

“Steve,” I said, “God will not take you home until your work on earth is done.”

Now breathing the breath of heaven, Steve has left behind a legacy of hope and inspiration for anyone who is facing life’s disappointments and physical limitations.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15: 13 NASB).

You can find Steve’s books here and find out more about talented author and speaker Fran Sandin at her website here. Like her son, she is a tender, compassionate woman of incredible courage and faith. Steve’s books are not only personal hope-lifters, but they are great resources for individual studies.

What About You? – Book Drawing Giveaways

Fran is offering both of Steve’s books in our book/drawing giveaway. We will draw one name for each book. The giveaway will end in two weeks. To enter, please leave a comment below answering either of the two questions:

Why would you like one of the books?

How has God has given you hope in hopeless situations?

It’s Your Turn

Please leave your comments below. Your words might encourage someone today. You won’t be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you leave a comment. Feel free to email this Christian blog to someone or to re-post on FacebookTwitter, or other social media, using the buttons below, or to “like” it below or on my Facebook networked blog. If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And I’d love for you to sign up for my blog/newsletter and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar if you’ve not already done so. That way, I can drop this encouraging blog into your e-mail box weekly, as well as notify you occasionally of any new updates, specials, contests or book giveaways.

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Five Ways to Make Hard Times Better

January 20, 2014

http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/five-ways-make-hard-times-better

When the “winters” of our lives descend, leaving a trail of destruction and hard times to endure, how do we deal with it? No matter who you are: parent, grandparent, single or senior,  writer or teacher, blue collar or white collar, here are five ways to make hard times better: Read more

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