By Carrie’s Mom, Carolyn Hardin (1942-2013)
(published in the Long Beach Press Telegram, 1995)
It has always amazed me how God prepares the heart for his word, his love, and then our Salvation. God, in his wisdom, used my second-grade school teacher to invite me to church. I went to church with her, and at 7 I accepted Jesus into my heart. I followed through for a while as a child, but I did drift away during junior high and high school.
After marriage at 18 and two children later, I knew I needed more in my life, for them as well as me. I started searching. I was invited to church and I went. God used many people there to start me down the road to know him better and I was baptized.
At 30, I had another child after my doctor said it would be very difficult to get pregnant again. I already had an 11 and a 9 year-old and I had had a miscarriage after 2½ months of pregnancy. So I told the Lord this child is really yours. When she began school, I felt the Lord was leading me to put her in a Christian school. Because of this, I developed more Christian relationships and began to grow more spiritually as well.
Now that child, my youngest [Carrie], is 23. She has graduated from Biola University and is planning on being a missionary.
In our limited understanding it can be hard to see the big picture. Looking back, I now see more clearly the hand of the Lord.
In the book of Jeremiah it says that God has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us. The Lord is everywhere and always knows what is best for us.
Sometimes people, especially churches, ask if there are opportunities to go to Europe on short term outreaches. There sure are! Where are you called?
Almost every Sunday afternoon in my (Jeff’s) 7th grade year I’d go over to a friend’s house to play the board game Risk. Inevitably, every time we played, I would corner my friend and have him on the ropes, assured of my victory. Then his one little army to my six would withstand my onslaught. I think it was the gloating and mockery that got to me as my massive and powerful army was whittled down by his one army. In my seventh grade maturity and logic, the correct response was to slug him in the shoulder. Ah the memories!
Let’s talk about a different kind of Risk. Let’s talk about the risk you’re taking right now while you read this blog.
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Wesley & Sophie are registered for School in Germany starting this fall!
When the Lord asked us to GO three years ago, His clear message to me over and over was, “Do not be afraid.” I assumed this word from Him was for when we live in Germany. Well, this season of life for me has had so much ambiguity, that the Lord has had to remind me, “Do not be afraid.”
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Turn in your Bibles to Luke 15.
First, a confession. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard messages or allusions to this passage. The prodigal son is perhaps the most powerful parable to share with someone who isn’t following Jesus. So, to see something new here blew me away.
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For three weeks Carrie and I have been in North Carolina attending a course on living cross-culturally at CIT (Center for Intercultural Training). One of the most significant teachings that I hope I never forget has been the concept that each culture sees the world around them through three lenses with varying degrees of clarity. These lenses are Shame, Guilt, and Fear.
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