Terry Stauffer is a pastor whose 14 year old daughter was murdered in September 2008.

In an interview with Tim Challies, Terry said, “We’re learning that God gives strength as we need it. When people say, “I could never be as strong as you,” I always think – and sometimes say – “I couldn’t either.” There’s no way either Juanita or I could have been prepared for the loss of Emily, or for the attention that we have received since her murder. God gives grace and strength step-by-step as it’s needed.”

To read the rest of this very moving, God-centered interview, click here.

~Donovan

Pastor James MacDonald wrote this letter to a woman in his congregation who had just lost her mother. It is a wonderful example of godly, loving encouragement given in a time of pain, and is well worth emulating. I’m confident the rich biblical perspective will bless you. Read it here.

~Donovan

HT: Tim Challies

On Questioning God…

November 13, 2008

Al Mohler addresses this issue well in a blog post entitled, “Is it Legitimate to Question God?”. To read it, click here.

HT: Tim Challies

~Donovan

Persecution in India

October 24, 2008

Christians in India need our prayers! For information on the persecution, see the “Urgent Prayer Request” link in the right column of the Good News India home page.

There’s no better way to face trials than to focus on our awesome God and savor His greatness… I am convinced. And I am convinced that this is the primary reason God allows His children to go through trials – so that they will set their sights fully on Him and realize that He really is all they need. Consider 2 Corinthians 1:8-9:

 “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

I remember hearing my good friend, Gunner, preach on that passage when I was a sophomore in college. I’ve passed on an illustration he used in that sermon probably dozens of times: “The stars are always in the sky, but we can’t see them when we stand in the city, surrounded by other lights. It’s only when we’re in the desert, when we have all those other lights stripped away, that we see the stars for all they always were: glorious, gorgeous. God is always great and glorious – but sometimes we need everything else to be stripped from us in order to see Him for being as great and glorious as He truly is.”

I remember a time when I was absolutely rocked. I remember singing along with a CD in my bedroom, at the top of my lungs, seeking to set my eyes on God and find joy in Him. And I remember tears of joy as I sung these words and realized their truth on a level I never had before:

“Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.”

Truly, to have God – great, glorious, wise, loving and holy – is everything. Will we magnify God (like a telescope does – seeing Him as great as He actually is), or magnify our trials (like a microscope does – seeing them as greater than they actually are, in light of an awesome, all-powerful, all-glorious God)?   

~ Donovan

“Theresa”

May 15, 2008

I used to go down to a certain couple of blocks in Skid Row, down town LA, every Friday night. It was my brother Ryan’s idea… With time, we had a team of believers coming with us every week. We would all pitch in some money and buy as many 50c tacos as we were able… We’d offer these small gifts to the homeless people we met, we’d sit and talk with them, and we’d tell them of the hope that even the most hopeless and hurting could find in Jesus, the Savior. Ryan called the ministry I.G.N.I.T.E  (Inviting God’s Needy Into The Everlasting).

I have not been a part of this ministry for years, and nor has Ryan (who now lives in Nashville). The Lord has been pleased to continue it though – through a stream of successors who have continued to take His truth, His love, and the hope found in Him to dozens of hurting, hopeless people who sleep on the streets of Skid Row every night. 

Rachel Thompson is one sister who has been a part of this ministry. In her visits to Skid Row she came to know a lady named Theresa:   

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I’m going to do a series of posts about how God uses trials in our lives… This post is sort of a “sneak peak” into the subject…

Ginny Owens is blind, a succesful Christian musician, and a beautiful example of trusting God in all of life and prizing Jesus above all else… Read the lyrics to her song “Wonderful Wonder” below:  

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