A Barna Research study indicates that a majority of Christians do not believe Satan is a living being, yet in the same study, 69% of Christians do believe that people can be under the influence of demons or evil spirits. It is this dichotomy of beliefs among Christians that author, speaker, and radio host Eric Barger says is creating a generation of young people who are unaware of the concepts of evil and spiritual warfare, and are subsequently, falling under demonic influences. In his latest book, “Disarming the Powers of Darkness: Fearless Conquerors in Spiritual Warfare” (Aneko Press), Barger says that Christians today are often ill-equipped to know how to handle blatant Satanic activity in our culture.
“In a church culture replete with ‘feel good’ sermons that are often light on substance, many Christians are unaware of the Bible’s emphasis on this life-long spiritual struggle,” says Barger, who co-wrote the book with David Benoit. “Others have a mistaken, unrealistic desire to be permanently immune from knowing about, being subject to, or participating in spiritual warfare. The fact is, as long as we’re here on earth, we are going to be in the arena of spiritual warfare. And not enough pastors today are willing to give their congregations the tools necessary to deal with a culture that is saturated in the occult.” FULL POST
Posted 2/21/17 at 7:22 AM | Greg Gordon
The Roman Coliseum was one of the main centers for entertainment and, on this day, it was not gladiators or sports competitions, but a different type of crown was being competed for. Rows upon rows of circular seating, with humanity throbbing inside. Fifty thousand faces fixed their attention on the scene below. The noise at times was deafening with cheers of the crowd, anticipating what was to come. To whet the appetites of the onlooking romans, gladiators were sent out to fight. Then wild animals who were starved were released, and a skillful gladiator would kill each one. But all of this is just to prepare the crowd for the main event and attraction. It was the Christians that were competing today for a heavenly crown following the way of Christ in the noble way of martyrdom.
What happens next, The Martyr of the Catacombs, details the sad scene well for us:
“An old man entered upon the scene. His form was bowed, and his hair silver white with extreme old age. His appearance was hailed with shouts of derision, although his majestic face and dignified manner were only calculated to excite admiration. As the shouts of laughter and yells of derision came down to his ears he raised his head and uttered a few words.
“A loud outburst of yells and execrations from the fierce mob drowned his voice. Before it was over three panthers came bounding toward him. He folded his arms, and looking up to heaven, his lips moved as if murmuring prayers. The savage beasts fell upon him as he stood, and in a few minutes he was torn in pieces. “Other wild animals were now let in. Into the midst of this a helpless band of prisoners were rudely thrust. They were chiefly young girls, who were thus sacrificed to the bloodthirsty passions of the savage Roman mob. The sight would have moved to pity any heart in which all soft feelings had not been blighted. But pity had no place in Rome. FULL POST
Posted 1/27/17 at 1:50 PM | Audra Jennings
Many women worry about life spinning out of control and want to be sure of a happy ending. They have a compulsion to make it all turn out just right and are willing to do almost anything to make it happen. When they realize control is slipping from their grasp, they lose control and react in anger or fear. This unbalanced pursuit of control makes those around them anxious and defensive. Author Shannon Popkin knows this struggle well. In her new book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible (Kregel Publications), she reveals to readers the only way to find the deep security they crave is to surrender to God and entrust the outcome to Him. FULL POST
Posted 1/5/17 at 11:41 AM | Audra Jennings
Part 2 of an interview with Letitia Suk,
Author of Getaway with God: The Everywoman's Guide to Personal Retreat
Does spending time with God sound like just one more thing to check off an ever-increasing to-do list? How are you supposed to fit in anything that threatens to be more time-consuming? Too often there's simply no room to experience the intimacy, grace, and peace that God offers us.
In Getaway with God, Letitia Suk does more than invite readers to step away from life's pressures to take a personal retreat. It shows you exactly why you must --- for your sake and for your family's.
With grace and warmth, Suk provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman on any budget to plan time away, whether it's a quick, half-day break or a weeklong time of restoration.
Q: Why does everyone need to take the time to go on a retreat alone? FULL POST
Posted 12/29/16 at 5:15 PM | Audra Jennings
Part 2 of an interview with Tanika Fitzgerald, author of
Miscarried Joy: Moving Beyond Incredible Pain to Extraordinary Faith
Faith over Fear. Patience over Frustration. Pain with a Purpose.
In Miscarried Joy (Nyree Press), Tanika transparently shares her deeply personal and disappointing experiences of losing her babies due to miscarriage. There were times when she felt God was the cause of her pain. However, her journey through the lives of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth and Naomi, revealed quite the opposite --- God had allowed her pain for a much greater purpose. Each of these women had something in common: they learned to surrender their will and trust God's plan beyond the pain. They were pushed to a posture of prayer that led them from questioning God to have total confidence in Him. Tanika discovered that this season of waiting didn't show up simply to challenge her, but to change her. FULL POST
Posted 12/27/16 at 11:06 AM | Audra Jennings
Part 2 of an interview with Marlo Schalesky,
Author of Waiting for Wonder
It's easy to believe God when a promise is new. It's hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It's even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well in her new book, In Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline (Abingdon Press). Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God's character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.
Q: You say walking with Sarah, Abraham's wife, will help us learn to live on God's timetable. Why do you think Sarah, given all of her mistakes, should be our guide for waiting well with God? FULL POST
Posted 12/20/16 at 11:06 AM | Audra Jennings
Part 2 of an interview with Amelia Rhodes,
Author of Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community
When faced with more prayer requests than she could count, Amelia Rhodes realized how often she was failing to follow through on praying for others long-term. She longed to participate fully in lifting up those around her rather than simply offering quick, fly-by prayers as she learned of needs. Rhodes sought the Lord's guidance and help with being more disciplined in her prayer life, and an idea started to take root in her heart. "I realized how many people I knew were struggling with the same types of things - adoptions, cancer, marriages. The idea of praying by topic seemed natural, and then I decided to see if I could make an A to Z list of all the needs and struggles facing our communities today," Rhodes explains.
Rhodes' new book, Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy Inspired) helps readers get a better handle on the prayer needs of those around them. Covering matters such as abuse, depression, hunger, persecution and more, Rhodes helps readers categorize requests into manageable groups. Each letter of the alphabet covers five topics, the first three of which are for prayers of petition asking God to work in a certain area of one's life. The last two topics for each letter offer opportunity for praise, acknowledging God's character and His work. FULL POST
Posted 12/19/16 at 1:46 PM | Cindy Navarro
Scotty Sanders, author of “Quest of the Keys,” and founder of the Quest of the Keys non-profit organization, recently visited four schools in the Ouachita Parish that are involved with the organization’s pilot Quest of the Keys character development program. During his visit, Sanders spoke with more than 350 students who are participating in the program. A West Monroe, La., native now transplanted to Dallas, Texas, Sanders interacted with more than 350 students and educators who are involved with the Quest of the Keys organization’s pilot character development program. Fueled by his passion to encourage and empower the next generation to live well, Sanders originally penned his fantasy novel with the hope that the education system would use it as a teaching tool for personal development. “That is why I am excited about the prospect of educators incorporating “Quest of the Keys” into the curriculum,” Sanders explained. “By doing so, the curriculum will promote personal growth, continuous learning, responsibility, leadership development, integrity, honor and clear purpose.” FULL POST
Posted 12/16/16 at 3:17 PM | Audra Jennings
A practical guide to pray for your community
Amelia Rhodes helps readers focus their prayers on the needs of those around them
A text from a friend. An urgent phone call from a family member. An announcement at church. Maybe even a share on social media or story from the news. Many needs surrounding us require prayer. Each request is valuable and worthy of time before the Father, but the sheer number of them can be overwhelming. In
Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy Inspired/November 15, 2016/ISBN 978-1617957451/$14.99), author Amelia Rhodes helps readers topically organize their prayer requests and lay the burdens of their community at the feet of the Heavenly Father.
When faced with more prayer requests than she could count, Rhodes realized how often she was failing to follow through on praying for others long-term. She longed to participate fully in lifting up those around her rather than simply offering quick, fly-by prayers as she learned of needs. Rhodes sought the Lord's guidance and help with being more disciplined in her prayer life, and an idea started to take root in her heart. "I realized how many people I knew were struggling with the same types of things - adoptions, cancer, marriages. The idea of praying by topic seemed natural, and then I decided to see if I could make an A to Z list of all the needs and struggles facing our communities today," Rhodes explains. FULL POST
Posted 12/15/16 at 12:30 PM | Audra Jennings
Letitia Suk invites readers to take a "Getaway with God"
How a simple day away can recharge your soul and transform your life
Our spiritual lives can often resemble our cell phones at the end of the day. The battery is run down and in need of a charge. Sometimes we are down to 2% before we even realize it. It's important we reconnect to our power source. Even a single day set aside to recharge fully with God can do wonders for the soul. In
Getaway with God: The Everywoman's Guide to Personal Retreat (Kregel Publications/ November 27, 2016/ISBN 978-0825444159/$14.99),Letitia Suk offers women a step-by-step, no-excuses guide to getting back in sync with God.
Many women are desperate for more time with God, but with the demands of modern life, simply getting up earlier in the day to fit in a longer devotion is no longer a viable --- or fulfilling --- option. Every now and then, concentrated time alone with the Father is just what the soul needs to reconnect with Him and refresh for the journey ahead. Getaway with God provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman to plan time away - whether a work day, a weekend, or even a full week --- on any budget. FULL POST