What Is the Quality of Greatness?

March 17, 2014


We associate various meanings with the quality of greatness. Probably none of those equal the way Jesus explained–and lived–greatness. Read more

Book Review: Unquenchable, by Carol Kent

February 24, 2014


Book Review: A Look at the Painful “But if not’s” of Life

Carol Kent’s new book, Unquenchable, takes a hard look at the fiery struggles and trauma in the lives of believers who have walked through the painful, “but if not’s” of life. With transparency and honesty she identifies with those who have faced crises of belief, sometimes questioning God’s actions and their own faith as a result of difficult, life-altering events. Carol shares even more insights from her own personal journey involving her incarcerated son as well as other experiences from her own life and family members. Read more

One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting

February 3, 2014


Triumph over Tragedy

I love stories about triumph over tragedy. One Light Still Shines, by Marie Monville, wife of the man who committed the Amish Schoolhouse massacre, is that kind of story.

The subtitle of her book, written with Cindy Lambert: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, remind me of the familiar words by David the Psalmist in Psalm 23:4 (NKJ):

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

On October 2, 2006, Marie’s husband of ten years entered an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and did the unthinkable. He shot ten young girls, five who died. And then he turned the gun on himself.

Secret of Marie’s Triumph over Tragedy

Most of us probably heard about the tragedy and grieved with the Amish families who lost precious children. Since that time, people have asked 28-year-old Marie how she could possibly emerge and move forward from such a tragedy with so much triumph.This devoted woman of God shares her ”secret” in the prologue of her book:

No matter how tragic your circumstances, your life is not a tragedy. It is a love story. And in your love story, when you think all the lights have gone out, one light still shines.1

A True Love Story

Indeed it does. Especially in the life of Marie Monville. February is the month we emphasize “love.” But this is one love story that’s not fiction, but a true story based on one woman’s courage and faith. I encourage you to read her book. It’s not a story filled with trite phrases or glib responses, but it shows a soul wrenched by tragedy, yet drenched by the unspeakable love of God.

Her Story Is About Your Future

Her story is one of love and forgiveness, of hope and mercy, sometimes from the most unexpected places. It’s a remarkable story. But Marie would not say it’s because she is remarkable, but that her God is. Her book cover quotes her own words, “My story is not about my past, but about your future.

We All Have a Love Story Being Written

Marie is right, you know. Life is not a tragedy. And we all have a love story being written in our own lives. You may think the lights have gone out in your own life. But just like in Marie’s heart, we, too, can choose to let that one Light still shine. If we follow that Light, one step at a time, we’ll discover that love story for which we were all made.

You can read more about Marie’s book here. I discovered this book recently and couldn’t wait to write this review of her story.

1 Marie Monville, One Light Still Shines (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013).

What about You?

How has God helped you triumph over tragedy?  I’d love to hear your comments.

It’s Your Turn

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Five Ways to Make Hard Times Better

January 20, 2014


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

When God Gives Unexpected Blessings

November 25, 2013

http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/when-god-gives-unexpected-blessingsMost of us count our blessings–the usual ones. But what if God decides to send some rather unexpected blessings? Read more

Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries – Book Giveaway

November 18, 2013


Whether you classify your worry habits as “partly cloudy,” or “stormy,” we’ve all dealt with worry in our lives. Today’s featured book drawing deals with that subject–and of the deeper issue of trusting God–one I like to emphasize often in my blogs.

A writer friend of mine, Kathy Collard Miller, has written a book called, Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries, Finding Peace in All Kinds of Weather, that challenges women to examine this destructive Read more

Four Radical Choices that Can Change Your Life

November 11, 2013


We’re bombarded daily with ideas or products that might enrich our lives. But here are four radical choices you can make, four “actions” you can take, that will not only change your life, but the lives of others around you: Read more

God Says You Are Beautiful

October 21, 2013


It’s easy to form the wrong opinion of ourselves when we listen to the wrong voices. But there is one voice that rings true every time. You are indeed beautiful to Him. Read more

Ten Simple Ways to Add Balance to Your Days

October 14, 2013

Ten Simple Ways

Seasons of life run their course, and no matter who we are or at what stage we’re at, we often see balance as an impossibility.

You can focus on a project you love and not even miss eating. You may procrastinate your unpleasant tasks or bow to the tyranny of the urgent. You can help others reach their dreams but never realize your own. You may even teach about intimacy with God but never spend time with Him yourself. Do any of those fit you?

We can usually find an excuse to fit every situation: It’s the kids, my boss, my husband or wife.  It’s my health, my editor, or my age in life. Believe me, I’ve offered my share of excuses along with you. But I long for this thing called balance, don’t you?

Keeping Life in Balance

Keeping life balanced is not easy for anyone, but here are 10 simple ways that help me daily. Maybe it will give you a good place to start:  Read more

Three Keys to Success in Writing (and Everything Else)

September 30, 2013


Whether you’re writing, teaching, parenting, or gardening–no matter what the season, activity or occupation–these three keys will help you be more successful.

Read more

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