Wednesday, October 29, 2008 on

On next week's show we welcome Christian author Loree Lough as we discuss how God works through Christian authors to get His message out to the world. Loree will explain how God provides storylines, characters, and helps her devise realistic situations, problems, and solutions that bring Him glory.

"Christian books are just as deserving as those in secular market," says Loree. "And I think it's crucial for authors of these books to 'be true to the reader, because without readers, none of this would be possible. Inspirational romance, in particular, has changed a LOT over the years. No longer are readers forced to be content with the chronic whinings of prairie-bound preachers' wives whose lives are little more than a string of prayers to help 'em keep the grit of the dust bowl from blowin' in under the door! Today's readers are far more savvy and sophisticated, and they demand way more than that for their hard-earned dollar. They want believable who are facing true-to-life situations, who either find their way BACK to God or turn to him yet again in time of need…and find solace and solution through the story's tests and trials. "

As you can tell Loree has an opinion or two.

We'll also explore Loree's upcoming book, Love Finds You in Paradise, PA (Summerside Press, April '09) plus, Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover's Soul (HCI, spring '08) and The Ultimate Gardener (HCI, spring 2010)

So join us Tuesday, November 4th at 6:30 for this half hour interview with best selling author Loree Lough.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mayday Messiah!

"The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me." Psalm 116:6

The Mayday call came into the Coast Guard command center. A sailboat was in distress and taking on water. Our crew boarded the helicopter and flew toward the edge of a low pressure system slamming the New England coast. On board we tracked the pulse of the sailboat’s EPIRB until at last I spied the deck of the small sailboat awash beneath breaking waves. As the rest of our crew prepared to extract the survivors I jumped.

When I reache
d the father, I found him clinging to his son, refusing to let go. The boy, Alton, was pinned beneath the heavy aluminum mast that had fallen across the boat. I pried the dad loose and placed him into the rescue basket, signaled to my crew and then turned my attention to the boy.

With each wave more of the boat sank, pulling him down until at last, all that remained above water was his head.

I told him not to worry, that I’d get him loose, but he looked into my eyes and said, “I ain't afraid, mister. Jesus saved me last Sunday. I'm already saved.”

I was stunned. He was stuck and about to die but his voice had a measure of calm confidence.

I signaled to the crew and moments later they lowered a chainsaw.

Bracing against the bow I pulled the starter cord and began cutting into the deck, sawing around the mast plate. Flakes of fiberglass mixed with sea foam and rain stung my face. Every few seconds another
wave crashed over us, stalling out the saw. I forget how many times I restarted the saw, maybe a dozen. On the final pull the boat rolled and as it did my foot slipped, causing me to reach toward the bow rail. The blade of the saw sliced across my forearm, turning the sea mist pink.

I fell to the deck screaming, unable to save the boy or myself. As I lay there trying to stop the bleeding I heard him ask, “Mister, do you love Jesus?” I think I said yes but honestly I don’t remember. I just recall the pain and fear.

“If you do,” he said, “then ask Him to save you and he will.”

Another wave broke over us and the boat tipped on its side. The boy slipped under.

Moments later I felt the strong arms of another crew member pulling me away, carrying me toward the safety of the rescue basket.

I lost an arm that d
ay and a father lost his son, but I gained a new calling that day. Each time I hear a Mayday call I wonder if the victims know Jesus, love Jesus and have the courage to call on Him.

If I don’t reach them in time will Christ?

(Based on a story provided by a Coast Guard Emergency Responder - a special thanks for sharing this story.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Waiting for the Lord -- Cindy Sproles

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Wait on the Lord - by Cindy Sproles

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”- Psalm 27:14

The blow dryer hummed as the warm air whipped my hair into my eyes. I brushed the strands to one side stopping long enough to glance in the mirror. My fingers pushed their way through my hair and I noticed the layer of gray beneath the red. A smile. I realized red-heads don’t gray very well. This was not something I’d waited for.

Through the years I’ve done a lot of waiting. You’d think with all the practice, I’d have gotten better at it, but I’ve not. After all, I waited nine months for both my sons and I waited 30 years to graduate college. Just when, I was sure I’d become a pro, He makes me wait again.

I’ve never quite figured out waiting on the Lord. How do you wait on someone whose minute is like a thousand years? What does He expect from us? We need some sort of viable time frame—one we can wrap our heads around
In recent months I’ve done a lot of praying….praying for a friend. I’ve waited for an answer and waited, and waited. Even changed up the prayer thinking if I prayed differently God’s time would change . But He’s been pretty quiet.

So, oddly enough, I find myself waiting yet again, my sons saying, “Mom, wait for it. Just wait for it.” I just never anticipated fine lines and gray hair would be part of the process. But God is teaching me. We never grow too old to learn. God grooms us through the indifference of waiting. And through the waiting He teaches us discernment. Who’d have thought it would be so hard?
When I’m patient He provides for me in amazing ways. I have to leave things alone completely, not jump the gun, and God always provides—but in His time.

Do you feel like you spend your time waiting? Asking but never getting?

Then take time to pray that God will bless the waiting. Let Him take your fears, requests and joys. Let him teach you to wait and then provide you with amazing rewards.

“I’m still waiting Lord –just like you asked. Waiting.”

Cindy Sproles and Eddie Jones
write the He Said, She Said
Devotions and are co-
founders of

Saturday, October 18, 2008

He Said, She Said -- Dissing Parents

God's Voice in the Mountains -- Derek Maul

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12
(Photo - Cindy Sproles)

My wife and I just rolled back into our driveway after spending a week together in the mountains of North Carolina.

The occasion was Soulfeast 2008, a conference sponsored by the folk at Upper Room Ministries. I had been invited to teach and Rebekah came along to enjoy a week of study leave and reflection.

We used the Lake Junaluska retreat center in Maggie Valley, west of Ashville, where the week's events played out against a spectacular backdrop of mountains and lake. Over five hundred participants
traveled from all over the United States, representing a dozen Christian denominations; but we all had one thing in common – an intention to grow closer to God and to learn more about The Way.

Nobody used the term "The Way," at Soulfeast, but – in a day and age where so many Christians take such pains to point out what makes their particular doctrine "right" and that of others so wrong – I am
increasingly drawn to events where our common desire to follow Jesus brings us together.

Back when the stories recorded in the book of Acts played out and the early church was born, Christians were widely known as "Followers of The Way." I've always liked that designation, and have returned from the mountains more convinced than ever that I want people to see me, hear me, read me, watch me live… and say, "There goes a follower of The Way."

Language scholars tell me that the syllables that make up my name, "der-ek", can be combined to form the Hebrew phrase, "The Way." The truth resident in that overlap of language and meaning gives me (as my wife might say) "chilly bumps".

For my part I taught a three day workshop on spiritual journey, using my book "Get Real". Then I had a lot of fun with a one-hour lecture on "How to survive December and arrive at Christmas with your faith
intact." My new book (In My Heart I Carry A Star: Stories for Advent)had just been released, so I shared a series of those stories, alternately making the audience laugh and myself cry.

By the end of the week, the conference had served up spiritual refreshment and the opportunity to worship and relax with Rebekah. Andunity, too; unity in faith with other followers of The Way.

It was a God thing; I'm convinced of it - because unity is why he came.

The Upperroom Bookstore

DEREK MAUL is the author of Get Real, A Spiritual Journey for Men and a columnist for the Tampa Tribune.

His second book, My Heart I Carry A Star: Stories for Advent" is available now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Do You Know? -- Pat Patterson

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...." Genesis 1:1

“You know, you should look at the Milky Way sometime, Bill. Some night when the sky is pitch black. As your eyes begin to adjust and that soft, almost indistinguishable blanket of stars and interstellar gases begins to form, you’ll suddenly realize you’re looking at something far greater than us. Our galaxy! It’s over a hundred and fifty thousand light years across. And it contains over a hundred billion stars. They say it’s just one of a hundred billion similar galaxies that move around the universe together. Now how can that be? How did it all get here? It didn’t just happen. You say you wonder if there’s a God; I don’t. I know there’s a God. There has to be!”

My friend, Bill, gazed at me and scratched his chin, his computer mind processing the picture and considering it from every angle. He gave a slight nod and then an almost imperceptible shake of his head.

“You may be right,” he responded. “I don’t know…I just don’t know.”


The child had curly red hair, a pale freckled complexion, and blue eyes that might have sparkled one day, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was his time. Fourteen months old and already his time.

Why? I don’t know.

When my partner and I arrived the firefighters were already performing CPR. The little boy lay on the ground with his tiny chest exposed. One firefighter’s hands pushed against his small fragile sternum, another’s worked an Ambu-bag pumping oxygen into his lungs at a steady, controlled rate. The mother stood to one side with her hands to her mouth and a stunned expression on her face.

“Oh, Jesus,” I prayed as I climbed down from the ambulance. “Lord, please help us. Help us do this right.”

My partner and I rushed over to help. I performed a quick assessment and attached the cardiac monitor to confirm a rhythm. There wasn’t one. A flat green line traced across the screen. I felt my heart sink. I knew the child was already dead. But I also knew we had to try.

“Good job, everyone,” I said trying to keep my cool. “Keep doing exactly what you’re doing.”

I could tell by their faces that everyone else felt exactly as I did. Confused and scared. A tiny life was slipping away right before our eyes and we all knew that our attempts were likely futile. But we held ourselves together. We did it right. Everything proceeded in an orderly fashion, in perfect textbook style. CPR, intubation, IV, drugs—we did it all right. Our Medical Director would have been proud. But despite our valiant efforts the little boy died, and I went home that night wondering why.....

“Why?” I prayed. “God, why would you allow this to happen?”

My answer never came.
I used to think I knew it all. Not anymore. I’m not even half as smart as I once thought. All I can honestly tell you with certainty is this: There is a God and He’s not me, Jesus Christ died for my sins and I’m going to heaven, and my family loves me. And that includes my dog. Other than that, I just don’t know. But the good news is God does. He made the earth and the moon, the sun and the stars. He even made that fabulous Milky Way Galaxy. He created everything there is. That’s what I know, and that’s all that matters to me.

Now, what do you know?

Pat Patterson is a novelist, a paramedic, and an instructor of Emergency Medical Science. His stories are true, based on real experiences from the streets of Durham, North Carolina where he has served as a paramedic since 1992.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A New Season of Life

As I grow older, I've developed an appreciation for the simpler things of life. When I was younger, in my twenties and thirties, my children were my focus. The responsibility to raise decent and God-fearing sons weighed heavy on my heart.

I put little time into personal friends--they were acquaintances and as time passed we lost touch. I knew I could always call on any one of them in a time of need and they'd not hesitate to be by my side. But we spent little time together.

My own passions and desires were shoved beneath the surface in lieu of the needs and interests of my family and I do not begrudge them that time at all. It was a wonderful time of my life. Times were hard, finances so tight that we wondered where the next dollar would come from. Creditors called, school wanted money for pictures, money for trips, money to simply go to school. My husband and I would close the bedroom door and hash out who would get the last dollar in the account. Still, to this day, I would not trade the moments of hardships because they drew us close-- solidified our relationship and our family.

My forties passed like a quiet breeze in the trees. I felt the wind whip my hair around a bit but I had no idea that what really flew past was time. Our children are adults. They don't need me anymore and there is a deep sense of lose, while at the same time a sense of joy for their graduation into life. We stand back and smile at the men the boys have become. Kind, sweet, responsible--and they love the Lord.

Today I walked to the top of the mountain. Asthma sucks my breath away these days, but I made the hike. It took a while. A long while and there were times the mountain was so steep I crawled on my hands and knees. I thought about turning back. It would have been easy to have done so--blame it on the asthma. But my heart, though it pounded hard deep in my chest, cried to me to move ahead. I did. Step by step.

I've never been a quiter Sometimes I'm slow, but I've never quit. Wanted to lots of times, but never did. Did a lot of crying. Did a lot of pleading to the Father trying to understand why things are the way they are.... but I never quit. Made some serious wrong turns in my time, too. But I moved on. And I'm not sure why.

My backpack hung on trees and sticks, yanking me backward, causing my footing to slip but I crawled to the rock because it called to me. My fingers grasped the edge of the boulder and I pulled myself upward slinging my leg up to roll onto the rock. It took awhile for me to get my breath. I lay there staring into the arch of trees over me. But when I stood. Oh my word.

I turned to the east and as far as I as could see, the majesty of the mountains. I thought to myself, this is worth taking my breath away.

The edge of the mountain held no boundaries--it simply reached to the heavens and I lifted my hands and touched the sky. Tears filled my eyes and freely fell and I went to my knees and pleaded for God to forgive me for the failures I was responsible for. Help me forgive, help me to be humble, help me to be the mirror of Christ, help me, help me.

And when I lifted my head and looked to the west, I saw the sun set. I had to run through the trees to find a spot to watch through the thickness of the forest. As darkness covered me I had no worries that I'd find my way back down the mountain. Odd as it was, I wasn't sure of the way but I followed the path until I found the road. A chill over took me but the warmth of God's breath brought me peace.

In this new season of my life, my priorities have changed. I've always loved the mountains, found my peace here....but now, I long for the mountaintop. I long to touch the sky and soak in the peace that blows in the breeze. I pray for inspiration and I plead to find the Father in His majestic mountainside.

Rest covers me. And I am content--I am being renewed.

Friday, October 03, 2008

He Said, She Said -- October 3, 2008


By Eddie Jones

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” - Matthew 6:12

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Bankrupt- by Eddie Jones

The headlines declared: Fallen! Fallen! – Investors Grew Rich From Excessive Greed

A sidebar story warned readers to: Escape So You Will Not Share In Her Fall

The year was 95 A.D., give or take a few years, and the apostle John was expounding on the Revelation of Christ. The account was the collapse of a mighty empire but the indictment of “Babylon” comes upon every nation that sells its birthright for wealth. Whatever happens in the global economy today, this week and in the months ahead, God saw it coming centuries ago.

As a nation we have lived beyond the boundaries of decency. We have cast out the single-moms and fatherless children, failed to show compassion for the aliens living in our land and turned our backs on the God We Trust. And still we cry out for relief, demanding that someone lift this debt from our shoulders so that we may continue to eat, drink and be merry.

The Apostle Paul warned: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. The one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

This current financial crisis may pass. The world economies may recover. In the days to come, we may return to our life of leisure. But there is a debt that can never be paid, a margin call that will catch us woefully short of funds. When it comes to our righteousness, we are bankrupt.

“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins,” calls the angel from heaven. But we ignore the command.

Have you asked Jesus Christ to forgive your debts? Are you certain that your momentary trials and troubles in this life will reap eternal dividends in the ages to come? If not, if you are as uncertain about your years after this life as you are about the future of the financial markets, then call on the one who can save.

Ask Christ forgive you of your debts. His is the only bailout plan that matters.

~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~

By Cindy Sproles

Click on this button to hear this devotion - Listen to Indebted- by Cindy Sproles

Forgive us our debts, as we also have
forgiven our debtors.—Matthew 6:12

She crawled to her knees then rubbed her neck. Swallowing seemed impossible. His forearm pressed against her throat had lifted her to her tiptoes—her heels slapped the wall as she gasped for breath. She tilted her eyes toward him as he slipped on his clothes. I hate him, God. He turned and threw a robe at her. Death is not good enough for this trash, she thought. I hate him.

Her ribs ached and all she could hope was that the children did not hear the commotion.

The pages of her Bible lay open to the beautifully worded prayer of Jesus. As she traced her finger over the words a tear fell. “….as we also have forgiven our debtors.” She slammed the book shut and shoved it into the floor. This is more than I manage, God. Look what he’s doing to me and you want me to forgive him?

What was she supposed to say to her sons? “Oh boys, remember when you were little and you heard the thud against the bedroom wall? It was your drunken father raping and beating me.”
The words burned in her mind, "Forgive us our debts.” You expect me to forgive this monster…..”

I do,” she heard the Father whisper, “Your debts are forgiven, can’t you return the favor?
Favor! I’ve done the favor. She slipped her foot atop the Bible and pulled it toward her. I forgive continually. He nearly killed me.

Ah, but that’s what you’re missing. They did kill me. I died for you. Forgave your debts at no charge.” The voice was clear.

She swiped her eyes with her shirt. The pain swallowed her. What more do you want me to do, Lord?

Turn lose. Let go of the pain. Introduce him to me.

It’s easier to hate him. Easier to walk away. He doesn’t deserve to know you.

“… we have forgiven our debtors. You can be free of this if you so choose.”
She thumbed through the tattered pages of the Bible. And you’re asking me to give up?

No, I’m asking you to give over.

She grasped her ribs and stretched to raise the blinds. A single ray of sun peaked through.
She took in the breath then spoke his name. Take him. Fix him.

“Let go. He’s mine now.”

She wiped the tears. A smile tipped the edges of her lips. Today things would change.

Forgiveness is hard especially when you’re the victim. The weight straps tight across your soul. Sometimes we bury the hurt deep within our hearts and swear it’s gone. But God knows our hearts.

Is there someone you need to forgive today? Is there a prison filled with pain that binds you in shackles?

Let go. Give it over to the Father. After all, He gave you to Jesus. And aren’t you glad he did?

Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles
write the He Said, She Said
Devotional Series. They
are the co-founders of

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Same but Different -- Sue Payne

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

The full moon appeared in the crystal, clear night sky above the tips of tall evergreen trees lining the highway. The reflected light disguised the stars as its brilliance cast shadows within the car. “Mommy, where did the moon go?” Our direction had changed, causing the moon to “hide” below the tree line. “I think the moon is playing hide and seek!” I replied, “But it’s still there.” The moon “magically” hid and reappeared again and again, peeking out in new locations as we traveled. The entertainment continued until the moon rose too high in the sky to be seen through the car windows.

This game sparked interest in the different phases of the moon. Suddenly aware of this heavenly body, the boys began to notice the obvious changes in its size and shape. The questions came again. “ What happened to the moon?” “Did a piece break off?” “Why isn’t it the same as yesterday?” With the help of a library book, I was able to show them that part of the moon was just hiding, but it was the same moon and it was still there.

In my travels with the Lord He has appeared different at times along the road. As my life took turns for the worse, He was my strength and comfort. Climbing the mountains of success, He became my praise. On the back roads of uncertainty, He was my confidence. When I was running scared and feeling lonely, Jesus was my only hope. My journey has taken many turns, but God has remained my constant, unchanging companion and friend.

Truly, there have been times in my walk with Christ when I wondered where God was. I have ventured alone in the direction of my own desires, sorrows, and fears suddenly finding myself lost for lack of light. When I turned around I found that I was casting the shadow that hid His presence.

With the help of the book, the Bible, the Lord showed me I was the one who was hiding, and that He was there, still the same, seeking me.

Have you wondered lately where God is? He’s still there, still the same but different so that for every turn your life makes His light may shine for you and in turn you might be a reflection of His never changing love: yesterday, today, and forever.

Sue PayneSue Payne is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in home schooling newsletters and church news bulletins. She is experienced in curriculum planning and design and uses her writing skills to encourage and teach others. Sue lives in Delaware, is married, and has two boys whom she home schooled for a total of fourteen years

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I Will Rise -- Ariel Allison

"I love those that love Me, and those that seek me early shall find me."
Proverbs 8:17 (KJV)

The alarm clock comes to life at 5:00, squawking its harsh metallic sound into the silence of my bedroom. I hit snooze and roll over. Three minutes later it blares to life again, pulling me from sleep. My hand reaches out and pushes the button. I sink into the warmth of my bed, unwilling to start this day.

And then, a whisper in mind, penned by Solomon centuries ago for his beloved, words that have a new meaning for me...

I will rise now and seek the one that my soul loves...(Song of Solomon 3:2)

Awake. I don't want to be awake right now. But I know of no other way to start this day that promises to be challenging and will require much of me. A day that I must be patient and kind. Gentle and filled with self-control. A day that I must be wife and mommy and keeper of my home. These days can be long.

So I crawl out of bed, my feet pressing into carpet and bearing the weight of my body - a body now round with child.

I will rise now and seek the one that my soul loves...

I sit here, the hem of dawn still black with night, my eyes and my heart slowly awakening to a holy moment. Silence. Peace. Rest. And worship. My heart is called to worship the One who orders my day. My fingers trace the lines of His love letter. I mouth the words in silence, fearful of waking little ones in the next room.

And He says to me:

"I love those that love Me, and those that seek me early shall find me."
Proverbs 8:17 (KJV)

I am loved. And I have found Him.

Ariel Allison writes, reads, and lives in a small Texas town with her husband and three young sons. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006). Her days are filled with toothless grins, muddy hands, and a never ending stream of words that try to find their way to her laptop. She ponders life as a mother of all boys at and her thoughts as a redeemed dreamer at She and her husband are expecting their fourth son in December.