Take The Keys

Fear can be debilitating. Fear can run your life. Unlike alcohol or drugs, its a habit that can be easily hidden behind very reasonable excuses. I like to sit at the very front wherever I go, not because its the closest to the exit doors of course, but so that I can see everything better. I can’t go to the grocery store tonight, not because I’ll have to walk through the parking lot alone, but because I have too much to do here. I can’t introduce myself to the new girl at church, I’m not good with people.  Does any of this sound familiar?

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Does God care?

by Christi Cole

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.” ~Psalm 126:5

Does God care that I am hurting this much?  Does He care enough to remove my reproach? I asked that question a hundred times in the months following the loss of our baby boy, Micah—a loss that rocked me to the core. During the subsequent deployment of my husband, Jeff, to Iraq, I continued to grapple with questions about God’s concern for my suffering in the most dry, barren place I have ever experienced. Read more

I love you

In 2006 Christin Loera had put aside dating and agreed to give one year to the Lord – for Him to show her who He was – to prove Himself.  During the year, she not only saw the redemptive work of the Lord, she began to see His deep love, and who she was in Him.  The following is the first ‘song’ she wrote in November 2006.  This was the time she really began to understand in her heart that the Lord truly loved her, and He could and would be a husband to her.  Let this Love Song to the Lord encourage you.

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What does it take to have a Thriving Marriage?

by Wayne and Sue Detweiler

Can you imagine being in an apartment with your spouse, knowing that others were watching you fight? John M. Gottman, PH.D. put couples in a “Love Lab” to try to see if he were able to predict divorce.  One hundred thirty couples volunteered to not only to be watched, but video-tapped in the living room and kitchen of an apartment.  They watched and examined how couples related to one another.  The couples who were not doing well in their marriage often began a disagreement with a harsh tone.  Soon the scientists watching would observe what they labeled as “The Four Horsemen.” These four negative styles of behavior are lethal to a marriage and may lead to a chaotic end. Here is the list:

Horseman 1: Criticism. Criticism is more than a complaint. Criticism attacks character and blames the other person, “What is wrong with you?”

Horseman 2: Contempt. Sarcasm and cynicism are common types of contempt.  This disgusted attitude sometimes includes name-calling, mockery, sneering, or making a joke at your spouse’s expense.

Horseman 3: Defensiveness. Defensiveness denies that you have a problem and focuses all the blame on your partner, “I’m not the problem, you are!”

Horseman 4: Stonewalling. This is the last horseman to arrive, but the first one to parade off giving the silent treatment to the spouse.  Stonewalling occurs when one partner just shuts down or tunes out their spouse and the discussion.  They ignore the spouse with a coldness that is felt by everyone involved. Read more

His Needs, Her Needs

by Wayne and Sue Detweiler

Although Companionship is a universal need, love, fulfillment and satisfaction in marriage does not just happen. Many marriages begin with great hope and expectation, but come to a screeching halt through an affair or just sheer boredom. What does it take to have a thriving marriage that lasts a life time?

The phrase His Needs, Her Needs(1994) was coined by Willard Harley who listed out the top needs for men and the top needs for women.

The Husband’s Five Most Basic Needs
1. Sexual fulfillment
2. Recreational companionship
3. An attractive spouse
4. Domestic support
5. Admiration

The Wife’s Five Most Basic Needs
1. Affection
2 . Conversation
3. Honesty and openness
4. Financial Support
5. Family Commitment Read more


Adoption Story

Adoption is not for Cowards. Adoption is difficult and draining. Adoption is costly. Yet God is the Father to the Fatherless. He calls us to place the lonely in families.

It is unusual to see such a large family in today’s American culture.  You may be asking, “Did you plan on having such a large family when you got married?”

The answer would be “NO!” 

In fact after having our oldest biological daughter, Rachel, I wasn’t sure I wanted to have any more children. I felt overwhelmed by raising a toddler.  When our daughter Rachel was one-year-old she was kicked out of “Mother’s Day Out” for biting another baby and drawing blood.  I was distressed at having so little help.

At a retreat, I prayed with another pastor. He kindly said, “Open your heart, God wants to give you more children.”

At first I was mad. Then we prayed together and sensed God’s call to open our heart to having a larger family. A month later we were pregnant with Angela and then had 4 beautiful daughters in a row.

We felt that our family was complete. Then God surprised us.

On three different occasions, Wayne heard about God’s heart for adoption in group settings. Each speaker communicated with passion how the early church was known for adoption.  During these evil days, the Roman society was known to throw unwanted babies into the trash heap or throw them into the river.  Members of the early church would watch and wait for babies to be thrown away, then they would watch the river and the dump for unwanted infants and nurse them back to health and adopt them into families.

Wayne was quietly moved by these stories, but did not share what he began to feel as a prompting until the third time he heard this call of adoption.  On the third time, I was in the same room.  My face went white as I began to weep.  I pictured myself being before the throne of God and hearing Him say “Well done, but I had more children for you.”  When there was a break in the meeting, I whispered to Wayne, “We need to talk.”  He knew what the conversation was going to be about.

Wayne was having his own conversations with God about the potential of adopting.  One day he was mowing the lawn, arguing with God in his mind.  “God, is it fair to bring children into our home, when I am getting older in life?”  Wayne had an impression of God saying “Isn’t it better for sons to have an older dad, than no dad?”

We sought counsel of our senior pastor who encouraged us to ask God the big question of whether they were called to adopt and then also to ask the specific questions of who they were to adopt.

We went away alone to pray.  When our family joined us we shared our sense that God was calling us to adopt to boys from Brazil. The girls began to weep and affirm their willingness to embrace God’s call to adopt.

When we mentioned the nation of Brazil, my mom Donna began to cry as well.  “Sue, do you realize that this is a fulfillment of my prayers?”  Over forty years earlier, my mom and dad were planning to go to Brazil as missionaries, until my mom became pregnant with me.  Fearing, that it would be too difficult to take children on the mission field, my dad chose not to go.  My, feeling a sense of unfulfilled calling began to pray over the child in her womb from Jeremiah 1, believing that her call to the nation of Brazil would be fulfilled one day. Now the day had come.

9 months later Alexandre Joel (Dre) and Ezequiel Paul (Zeke) were added to our family!