Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Broken Life: Mended Soul

Anybody ever tell you to “take a chance” on something good? I’ve taken some chances by going out of my comfort zone and trying stuff like playing the piano in front of a huge audience or pulling off a dinner for 23 in two hours! But Ginger Millermon took a chance simply because it was that -- or nothing at all. She’s a fabulous musician and writes songs that stay with you in heart-tugging, soul stretching ways. One of her songs, “Take a Chance,” is based on a lesson she’s learned in tough times. The words that stay with me are “You never know how God can use a broken life to save a broken soul.”

She wrote the book Grace Thus Far about her journey of faith through major sorrows like nearly losing a child who was born critically ill and an international adoption that put her and her husband in life-threatening danger. When you read or hear Ginger, you are hit with the fact that God’s mercy carries us through it all: the darkness, the fear, the loss, and the unknown. Join me as Ginger describes how she and her husband dealt with the frightening physical conditions of their premature twin son and the possibility of being denied their adopted daughter from India.

Was she just the type of person who could handle the circumstances she was dealt? If so, she sure didn’t know that. In fact, Ginger was one of those people who seemed to have it all. As a young mom with a great marriage to her pastor husband, she settled into a little Colorado town excited about his work and her family. Tune in to hear this advocate for children in crisis as she revisits the years of anguish, struggle, and transformation that began with the premature birth of her twins. I think it will tune up the song in your heart!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Discover Your Child’s Heart

Do you remember how before you had children, you confidently rated the parenting of your friends and relatives? And, of course, that was in addition to knowing exactly what part of your parent’s parenting style you would never copy. Prior to actually parenting, it’s natural to wonder what’s the big deal about raising kids, because c’mon -- how hard can it be? Then we welcome our own little darlings into the world and soon enough we wonder if we’re up to the task. We are. Children desperately need good parenting. And while that’s entirely possible, it doesn’t just happen because you’re a parent.

I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Tim Kimmel, who writes and counsels on parenting and grandparenting. He knows we can be great parents when we nurture kids to bring out their best, no matter what challenges they'll face in life. Dr. Kimmel then goes on to explain how our child is “uniquely wired by God for greatness.” He diminishes a lot of the fear and struggle of parenting with his sense of humor and keen insights based on research and experience with all kinds of families and kids. His book could be the take-home operating manual sent from the hospital with your child, along with the formula and disposable diapers. He describes the personality, needs, and emotional makeup of your child so you can work with -- not against -- that to teach your child to understand and control himself.

His grace-based parenting concept enables you to treat each child so as to aim them at true greatness, rather than merely success. His aim is to build kids’ character and focus on their three inner needs. And he does all this while maintaining an atmosphere of grace. Tune in and learn how God put your child together and how He pulls alongside your parenting moments. You could end up loving parenting as much as you love watching your kids respond to a great parent!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Treasures in Darkness

As much as we try to avoid them, we know there will be dark nights of the soul. We understand life throws us curves. From a biblical standpoint, sin sets the stage for our own poor choices and the hurtful choices that others make. No matter how the dark descended, when it lingers, you wonder if you’ll ever be normal again. When will the pain and the fear stop? These questions are crucial to living the abundant life Christ promises when we believe in Him as our Savior from sin and our door to eternal life.

Wendy Blight’s life was almost too good to be true by her senior year of college. She had a job lined up and was in love with the man she eventually married. Her life was good. One sunny June day, she left her poolside friends for her empty college apartment. Her roommates were out of town, but she was not alone in that space. At the top of the stairs, a masked man changed her life forever -- at knifepoint. Long after the crime, terror ruled in her heart. “Where was God? Will I ever live without fear?” she begged. Her remarkable comeback journey out of fear, into a full and fabulous -- even richer -- life, will bless you on the next show.

Wendy goes into detail in her book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner, a mysterious sounding title from a woman who was a trial lawyer with three firms before she had children. But in the book, Wendy herself is in the dark and on trial in a way, searching for justice and freedom from her violent experience and its aftermath of darkness -- in spite of all she did to counteract that. I’m convinced the healing she received from the Lord through His Word is powerful enough to speak to the darkness in your heart.

The verse the Lord highlighted for her during her years of recovery is this:
“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3).

I’m convinced this will become your verse for healing, too. I’d like to get your reaction once you hear the show.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forgotten Girls

Are you into people’s stories? Talk shows pump them up, magazines get you the latest scoop, we read novels by the ton, so it appears we’re suckers for the storyline. But some of the worst and best stories we never hear because they’re simply not told. One example is the Woman to Woman story on the next show about “Women in Crime.” Let me rephrase that. We talk about places in the world where the only crime is being a girl, and the punishment is humiliation, torture, or death. Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett work through an organization called “Sisters In Service” to bring relief and rescue to these desperate women and girls.

Twenty-first-century women like us have “rights” to education, to marry and have children or not, to invest money and to make plans. But worldwide -- unseen and unknown -- millions of forgotten girls have no rights, just wrongs, like starvation, zero education, as well as being sexually exploited and abused -- if they make it past infancy.

Women like Kay and Michele do an amazing job of identifying abuses against the most vulnerable people in our world, those whom Christ calls us to befriend and defend. We can help provide the basics to these women and children through education and sharing the Gospel. You’ll find the “Forgotten Girls” contact information along with the show on the Web site. There are countless ways you can be involved in efforts to stop the abuse of the vulnerable around the world, and we endorse those presented by our guests. In addition, we'd like to share an opportunity about which we are passionate. Lutheran Hour Ministries, the producer of this show, has an outreach that protects and helps female victims of sexual abuse in Cameroon. Prostitution and female trafficking are very common in Cameroon, and it takes people like you and me to step in and do what we can to help. These women are abused, forced out of their homes and, quite frankly, desperately in need of rescue. Find out how you can help here.

Just as Christ was despised and rejected, women and girls in much of the world are treated likewise. He welcomes them with open arms, however, through people showing compassion for these forgotten girls and through Lutheran Hour Ministries’ critical work in Cameroon. To nudge yourself to step out in faith and act on this, consider this Bible verse: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Matthew 25:40).