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Thank God for the Cotton describes a twenty-three-year healing journey. The memoir is about the culmination of the promises of God over the lifetime of someone wanting to do right, thinking she was doing right, but missing the mark. Generational baggage creates unexplainable events for a young child and takes years to unpack. In Thank God for the Cotton, Dr. Smith describes her path to radical dependence on our Triune God as she lived the loss of visions and dreams.
Cotton is seen as both a blessing and a grace providing day-to-day decision opportunities for God’s goodness to be bestowed. Disturbing events are transformed into good as God provides the tools. Meaning and purpose is discovered as the tools are shared with others. Thank God for the Cotton is an example of God’s grace as provided one day at a time. The seeds of faith, hope, and trust lived out in simple lives, in simple ways can grow into an unlimited harvest of healing. Before the harvest comes the discovery of what had been swept under the rug, and is not without pain and tears.
There is a desperate need for effective leadership today: in our nation, in our churches, in our families, and even in ourselves. The Bible uses the term armorbearer to describe leaders who offer help, support and strength to those around them. These types of servant-leaders are needed now more than ever. Using Scripture as the guide, Armorbearers takes readers down a path of self-discovery, pursuing greatness by developing character that is forged on the anvil of self-restraint and tested through the heat of self-discipline. Packed with inspiring stories and powerful lessons, Armorbearers reveals the four revolutionary choices every leader must make, risking their own significance in order to encounter God in life-altering ways. Are you ready to become an armorbearer?
How would you respond in the presence of someone who did something you had never seen done before, something you thought impossible, something that you never dreamed about? No doubt you would be awe-struck. You might gasp and say, “Wow!” Perhaps no words would come at all. It would probably be etched into your memory forever. However many times you might speak about what you saw, you would relive that moment and still be greatly amazed. People who saw what Jesus did and heard him speak had similar reactions. They said such things as this: “We have never seen anything like this.” “We have never heard anyone speak like this.” There was no special halo around Jesus that caused such reactions. Jesus fully entered into humanity. Nothing marked him as being from another planet. He spoke, ate, slept, walked, and talked as a man. What was there about Jesus that caused people to be so surprised? It was not only the friends of Jesus but even unbelievers who responded with amazement. And there were times when even Jesus Himself was amazed. Even today we stand amazed before Jesus, our Lord and Savior! He is ever super-amazing!
No one book, or even all books together, can tell fully the greatness of Jesus Christ. Although that is true, we can point to the things that God has revealed in His word. He is far greater than our greatest imaginations. He is fully God but also fully man. He not only created the universe, but He also holds it all together. He is both the sacrifice for our sins and our Great High Priest. He is ever the Pioneer, leading the way. Do we look for a love beyond full human comprehension? There is no one like Jesus in His love. Do we look for a power that can not only change us, but also change society? There is no one like Jesus in what He can do. Do we look for one who knows the future and will lead us into the future? Jesus is the only one who can do that. Jesus surpasses the greatest human beings in His character traits. He excels in all His ministries. He is unique from whatever perspective we look at Him. Here is a person who will never disappoint and will never bore us. He is new even though He is eternal. If you want an anchor for all of life, Jesus is the only one dependable. There is no one more exciting, no one more wonderful, and nothing more beautiful than Jesus. Jesus is everything you will ever need, and He is more than everything you could possibly desire. He is “all in all” in one person!
John Wycliffe, the Morning Star of the Reformation, gave us the first English translation of the Bible. A noted scholar and teacher at Oxford, his reliance on the Bible as the sole source of truth stood in stark contrast to the teachings of the Catholic church. His followers went out, teaching and preaching to the common man throughout England.
Bowing himself to the authority of the Bible, his great aim was to bring men to the Word. He saw it as the one great authority, the Law that exceeded all other laws. His life’s work continued through men like John Hus and laid the groundwork for Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and the other great men of the Reformation.
Widower for three years. Frequent periods of unemployment throughout his life. Unresolved anger. A fragmented family that cannot deal with a father spiraling downward. When Martin receives a letter from his old eighth grade teacher asking him to forgive her for a painful childhood accusation, he is overwhelmed once again by his hatred for Miss Wingate, blaming her for much of what went wrong in his life.
His son and daughter eventually help him take reluctant steps to forgive the teacher he wished was long dead. He also meets recently-divorced Linda who brings a flow of freshness into his life. She encourages Martin to visit this teacher, now dying from dementia in a nursing home.
Along his journey to the coal mining community of his childhood, strangers enter his life compelling him to confront his past and unsure future—helping him move from failure to forgiveness and spiritual redemption.
Someone is trying to harm Martin Gilmore. First a white jalopy with a missing tailgate tries to run him down. He encounters road rage involving a dark blue van. Then an oversized black truck stalks him for the final kill. As Martin follows clues leading to the suspected killer, he receives startling news. His young daughter Ruthie faces a diagnosis of breast cancer. Martin’s world collapses, having lost his wife three years earlier to cancer. And now will Ruthie face a similar nightmare? Employed by a real estate development company, Martin is drawn into a web of corporate deceit as Ruthie’s illness overwhelms him, and the killer zeroes in on him. Martin must confront hard choices: be a supportive dad to Ruthie, try to live as an ethical believer, and deal with his feelings for his friend Linda. In the end, Martin faces an inferno of hatred where his life hangs in balance and his trust in God is challenged.
In the midst of a world full of stress, busyness and incessant demands, the call to the wait on the Lord might seem strange if not impossible. Those Who Wait on The Lord gives the reader the practical insights as to how to pursue a meaningful devotional life with Jesus Christ. The principles considered can simultaneously serve as a virtual manual for the Christian life.
When Arthur Guinness sunk his meager savings into a small brewery on the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin, he could not have foreseen the dynasty of brewers and bankers that would carry on his family name. But Guinness also produced another kind of spirit, an extraordinary line of missionary explorers, clerics, and pioneer social workers.
More famous in his day than his brewing cousins, teetotaler Henry Grattan Guinness forsook his earthly inheritance to preach the gospel to thousands and witnessed true revival. His children and grandchildren ventured to unknown lands, risked disease and death, and fearlessly confronted Western governments about the mistreatment of natives in their colonies. They also introduced social and moral reforms to the poverty-stricken East End of London.
The tension between God and Mammon is a recurrent theme in a family pulled in two directions by earthly wealth and heavenly reward. Spanning two hundred years and five generations of perhaps the most famous family in the world, this history chronicles the Guinness family’s meteoric rise to its bitterest tragedies, its fame and its reversals of fortune.
Michele Guinness, with inside access to diaries, letters, and personal recollections, tells the story of the Guinness family from their inauspicious eighteenth-century beginnings down to the present day.