Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Julie Klassen’s ‘The Painter’s Daughter’ Coloring Contest

14385-PAINTERS DAUGHTER contest meme 

Grab your colored pencils because Julie Klassen is hosting a coloring contest! Stop by the contest page to download and print The Painter's Daughter coloring page and channel your inner artist. One master colorist will receive a signed copy of The Painter’s Daughter, two grown-up coloring books (Enchanting English Garden and Live Loved), and a set of 24 Prismacolor colored pencils.

Scan and email your entry to Amy Green with the subject line “The Painter’s Daughter Coloring Contest” to enter the first round of judging by December 8. Then stop by Julie's Facebook page beginning December 10 to vote for your favorite (and tell your friends to vote, too)! The winner will be announced at Julie's Facebook event on December 15 at 7 p.m. CST. Ready? Set. Color!

About The Painter's Daughter:

Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists--including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?

About the Author:

JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books,
The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park  was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

 For more information, visit

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Five Times I Met Myself

No matter how young or how old, there’s a part of us all that wishes we could go back and tell ourselves what we should have done differently—which is what James L. Rubart explores in his new book, The Five Times I Met Myself. Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage. So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.
The Five Times I Met Myself PK


(Thomas Nelson, November 2015)
What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?
Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.
So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.
Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it’s already too late.
James L. Rubart


James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-selling novel “Rooms” as well as “Book of Days,” “The Chair,” “Soul’s Gate,” “Memory’s Door,” and “Spirit Bridge.” He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest.
Find out more about James L. Rubart at

Monday, November 23, 2015

Civil War Meets Romance in Andrea Boeshaar’s New Book (Plus a Kindle Giveaway)

The search for her runaway sister goes awry when Carrie finds herself arrested during the Civil War for impersonating an officer in Andrea Boeshaar's A Thousand Shall Fall. Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel who arrested her. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Andrea is celebrating the release of A Thousand Shall Fall with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

400 - a thousand shall fall 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Thousand Shall Fall
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 10th. The winner will be announced December 11th on Andrea's blog.

a thousand shall fall-enterbanner

A Thousand Shall Fall


(Kregel, November 2015)
A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War
Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off–only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.
Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.
Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally–and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?
Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.
Andrea Boeshaar


Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs “The Writer’s ER,” a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.
Find out more about Andrea at

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Shine Jesus Shine

Shine, Jesus, Shine

By Graham Kendrick
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

Lord, the light of Your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining;
Jesus, light of the world, shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us:
Shine on me, shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine,
Fill this land with the Father’s glory.
Blaze, Spirit blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow,
Flood the nations with grace and mercy.
Send forth Your Word,
Lord, and let there be light!

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance;
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness:
Shine on me, shine on me.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

What to do when you don’t know what to do

Best-selling author Kara Tippets' story was not a story of disease, although she lost her battle with terminal cancer. It was not a story of saying goodbye, although she was intentional in her time with her husband and four children. Kara's story was one of seeing God in the hard and in the good. It was one of finding grace in the everyday. And it was one of knowing "God with us" through fierce and beautiful friendship. 

In Just Show Up (David C Cook), Kara and her close friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn, write about what friendship looks like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry, and even cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.

What to do when you don’t know what to do
By Jill Lynn Buteyn

Everyone knows someone with cancer. Or depression. Or a debilitating illness. Often we’re not sure what to do or say around people who are sick or suffering. When my friend Kara Tippetts was diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid-thirties, we hadn’t known each other for very long. I didn’t have a clue what to do or how to help her. But I decided I did want to be there for her, even if cancer left me feeling clueless.

I learned a lot from watching Kara’s community rally around her while she fought cancer, and around her family after she passed. If you’re in the place I was – that confusing moment of “how do I do this?” – here are a few guidelines for what to do when you don’t know what to do.

1.       Choose them. It sounds so simple, but this is the first step we can take in being there for a friend or even acquaintance who’s fighting breast cancer—move toward them. When things are hard or uncomfortable, or maybe we don’t know someone that well, stepping toward them can be scary and leave us feeling vulnerable. But you don’t have to know what you’re doing right away. Just deciding to be there for them is the biggest hurdle to cross. Don’t run away out of fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. Make the decision that you’re in, even if you don’t know exactly what that looks like.

2.       Keep it simple. We often complicate things. We think our gestures need to be grand or cross continents, but that isn’t the case. Sometimes it’s the cup of coffee, the hug, the text that says, “I’m thinking of you,” that makes all the difference. Yes, some people will rock at organizing the big fundraiser (and if that’s you, go for it!), but small, simple things also matter to the heart.

3.       Be specific. When you want to help your friend or loved one, be specific in what you offer to do. If you don’t know where to start, think about your gifts. What brings you joy and might also bless your friend during their hardship? Often that tug, that idea already fighting for attention in your mind is exactly where to begin. Instead of saying, “let me know what you need,” say “I’d like to help by doing ______. Does Tuesday work for you?” This makes it easier for a friend to accept help, and when you serve within your gifting, everyone benefits.

4.       Be a good listener. When our people are telling us about their hardship, it’s hard not to want to help… and fix. But most of the time, they aren’t asking for this input. Often they just need someone who’s willing to listen and let them vent about what’s going on. Try to listen without letting your mind spin regarding what you want to say next about fixing their suffering.

5.       Keep including them. Many times when we know our friend is sick or hurting, we assume that they don’t have the time or energy to be with friends or attend an event. This might be true—maybe they can’t fathom doing one more thing—but we can still give them the choice. Keep inviting them and don’t leave them out. At the same time, we need to be gracious if they need to say no. This is about showing them they are still loved, appreciated and noticed.

I’d love to tell you I did all of these things right as a friend surrounding Kara, but I didn’t. I made plenty of mistakes. In fact, sometimes that’s how I learned—by doing it wrong first. Hopefully these tools will give you the confidence to lean toward a friend instead of away, and to enter in to the blessing of doing community together.


Jill Lynn Buteyn is the co-author of Just Show Up: the Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together, written with the late Kara Tippetts. Buteyn is also the author of Falling for Texas, an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. Buteyn lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.

Learn more about Jill Lynn Buteyne and Just Show Up at and on Facebook (JillLynnAuthor), Pinterest (JillLynnAuthor), Instagram (JillLynnAuthor) and Twitter (@JillLynnAuthor).

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Golden Braid - Rapunzel Reimagined

The Rapunzel fairytale story is reimagined in a new YA novel, The Golden Braid, by Melanie Dickerson. Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?
Golden Braid


(Thomas Nelson, November 2015)
The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower…
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

Melanie Dickerson


Melanie Dickerson is the author of “The Healer’s Apprentice,” a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.
Find out more about Melanie at

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cynthia Ruchti’s ‘An Endless Christmas’ and Holiday Cheer Giveaway

There's no getting out of Christmas now, despite Katie rejecting Micah's marriage proposal. Cozy up this holiday season with Cynthia Ruchti's new novella, An Endless Christmas. The Binder family celebrates every Christmas as if it were their last. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it’s Christmas.

Celebrate the holidays with Cynthia and An Endless Christmas by entering her $100 Target gift card giveaway!

endless christmas-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of An Endless Christmas
  • A $100 gift card to Target
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. The winner will be announced December 1st on Cynthia's blog.

endless christmas-enterbanner

An Endless Christmas


(Worthy Inspired, October 2015)
Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster.
Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says, “no.” Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it’s Christmas.
Cynthia Ruchti


Drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry, Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, and speaking for women’s and writers’ events. Her books have been recognized by Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Selah Awards, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.
Find out more about Cynthia at

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

An Odyssey Adventure Club Christmas


What’s on your children’s Christmas wish list? As excited as they might be about that new toy, as every parent knows, the thrill of the gift will eventually wear off. Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey have created the perfect gift for those who want to give their children or grandchildren a present that will provide year-round fun with eternal impact.

The Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) offers families 24/7 access to 25 years’ worth of Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) episodes in a safe online environment where children can explore and learn. Christmas really is the perfect time to tap into your children’s imagination while infusing faith and fun into their day . . . and every day of the year.

To celebrate the holidays this year, the OAC is offering free content for everyone, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:
  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.
In keeping with AIO’s rich heritage of teaching children about biblical principles — such as the importance of giving — a portion of each OAC membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations. Here are a couple of examples of what has been accomplished through Odyssey Adventure Club members:
The Odyssey Adventure Club wants to reach beyond fleeting entertainment this Christmas, partnering with parents in helping their kids grow deep in faith and find their place in God’s story.


Speaking of the holidays, you can prepare for Christmas with Thriving Family's 2015 Advent Activity Calendar — Tales of Christmas Past: 25 Inspiring true stories of the season. Assemble a beautifully designed Advent poster to help your kids focus on Christ this Christmas. Then read Scripture passages and stories that relate to individual flaps on the poster. You can also create easy-to-fold booklets for each story. Get more information about this year's free Advent calendar at, or sign up to download it.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Happy release day to Rachel Hauck! | The Wedding Chapel

With hard work, committed relationships
can exist in our disposable culture
Rachel Hauck highlights the romance of the past
to remind us of the permanence of commitment

In a day when marriage seems incredibly disposable, USA Today best-selling author Rachel Hauck weaves a story rich in symbolism that reminds us of timeless truths about love. Hauck is captivated by the 1940s, and in The Wedding Chapel (Zondervan/ November 17, 2015/ISBN: 978-0310341529/$15.99), she juxtaposes two story lines: one capturing the simple romance and commitment to family embodying the earlier era and another showing the challenges and complications of romance in a modern world.   

Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come from the wedding chapel he built, stone by stone, for the beautiful Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in 1949. He lost her long ago, and for 60 years his labor of love has sat empty, a monument to his memories. Then one day an offer arrives to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be: a place of love and eternal promises. Coach sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.

Meanwhile photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. She leaves her home in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, determined to put the broken promises and dreams of the past behind her. Given how divorce tore apart her family, Taylor tends to be more cautious with relationships but surprises even herself when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester. Taylor allows her heart to carry her into a whirlwind elopement, but doubts, disagreements and second thoughts enter shortly after they say “I do.” Jack has his own demons to battle and struggles to show Taylor his true self and the depths of his love for her.

When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown. She becomes immersed in a world of long-buried family secrets and finds her journey intersecting with Coach’s in a surprising way. Together they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and find it’s never too late to seek love— and it’s worth every single moment of waiting.

Many people are afraid of commitment and marriage because they’ve seen the way divorce can destroy a family — maybe even their own. Hauck reminds readers that their family history doesn’t have to determine their destiny. “In Christ we can break those family iniquities. We don’t have to carry forward whatever our ancestors did,” she explains.‘Old things have passed away,’ the Apostle Paul writes. ‘All things have become new.’”

Above all The Wedding Chapel affirms the truth that while the pressures of life will always be with us, true love never fails. “I always hope my stories leave readers uplifted, hopeful and aware of God’s love for them. In this book, I tried to show how His heart beats for us, even when we are running the opposite direction.”

Advance Praise

“Hauck tells another gorgeously rendered story. The raw, hidden emotions of Taylor and Jack are incredibly realistic and will resonate with readers. The way the entire tale comes together with the image of the chapel as holding the heartbeat of God is breathtaking and complements the romance of the story.”

            ~ RT Book Reviews Top Pick

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle and Once Upon A Prince.
She also wrote the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel Softly and Tenderly one of their 2011 “Top Ten Inspirationals.”

Hauck has a journalism degree from Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She worked in the corporate software world before she began writing full time in 2004. Hauck serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is also a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, a conference speaker and a contributor to Southern Belle View Daily

Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband where she writes from her two-story tower.

Learn more about Rachel Hauck and her books at or on Facebook (RachelHauck) and Twitter (@RachelHauck).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Every Life Matters | Evangelicals for Life

EFL Button 

Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place January 21-22, 2016, in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit
Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.

Kelly Rosati will be one of this year’s speakers. Kelly is the vice president of Community Outreach at Focus on the Family where she oversees the Adoption & Orphan Care Initiative and the Sanctity of Human Life department. In the article below, she speaks to how we can and should be both pro-life and pro-justice Christians.

Pro-Life Christian or Pro-Justice Christian? Yes.

Are Christians supposed to be pro-life or pro-justice? Kelly Rosati shares: We ought to be both.

Do you consider yourself a member of one of these two camps? The news about the gruesome harvesting of fetal organs by Planned Parenthood prompted some interesting discussion in this vein. 

It’s important to consider how you ended up in one of these categories in the first place. As followers of Christ, our hearts become more like His as He transforms us from the inside out. We care more about people and life and justice as we meditate on His word and spend time with Him. As we grow in grace, it becomes impossible to be indifferent or complacent to the suffering of human beings God made in His image and whom He loves with an infinite love.

Verses such as Proverbs 31:8 (“speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”) and Micah 6:8 (“to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”) burn in our hearts as we join God in His redemptive work on behalf of preborn babies, victims of human trafficking, war refugees, orphans, those with disabilities, racial minorities, those without access to clean water, families living in extreme poverty, homeless, dying and lonely elderly neighbors, and many others who qualify as what Jesus called “the least of these.”

We’re changed as we seek to minister to the vulnerable. We listen to them and learn from them, and in them we see the face of Jesus, the one who admonished us that “whatever we’ve done to the least of these, we’ve done to Him” (Matthew 25:40).

In my role at Focus on the Family I’m blessed to meet and work with people in both the Christian pro-life and pro-justice communities. I’ve noticed they have much in common: They love Jesus, they love their families, they share a deep sense of calling and are led by the Holy Spirit, and they take Scripture seriously and find in it the inspiration to advance the Kingdom and to participate in God’s redemptive work. They all want to be careful to worship Jesus first and only, who called them to His work, rather than make an idol of the calling itself. They’ve sacrificed the American dream, many of them, to give their lives away like the One who gave His for them. 

Yet . . . it often seems as if pro-life and pro-justice Christians come from two different planets. Their leaders don’t tend to know one another. All of their conferences are separate. They lean in different political directions, and each thinks the other should prioritize the issues differently. Yes, most would grudgingly agree they serve the same God and their passions come from the same Holy Scriptures. But at the end of the day, they have little interest in working together—in fact, they can often seem “at odds” with one another.

This is tragic because both communities have much to offer and much to gain by listening to and learning from one another. For the average Christian seeking to love and serve his or her neighbors, life and justice should not be an either/or proposition. Together, the life and justice communities can offer a both/and approach that is truly biblical and comprehensive.

I have personally gleaned much from Christian sisters and brothers in both communities. From the pro-life perspective, I have learned about perseverance and faithfulness to the truth, even when it’s the most unpopular position in the world. I have been moved by their conviction that God’s word won’t return void and that He loves both moms and their babies (and dads and everyone else!). I have been impacted by the conviction that abortion stops a beating heart and that life is always the better choice. I have encountered the breathtaking beauty of Christ’s forgiveness for those suffering grief and shame post-abortion. And I have come to understand the hope and optimism that can only come from Christ in the face of the discouraging reality of 57 million lives lost to abortion. And I know I have so much more to learn from this passionate group.

From the pro-justice community, I have learned about systems of oppression and injustice that must be challenged in order to love and serve our neighbors well. I have a deeper understanding of the solidarity of suffering and the ministry of presence. I have also learned about perseverance, patience, and the simple beauty of loving and serving those who suffer. I’ve been reminded about new life in Christ and the transforming power of His love for individuals and families. I’ve seen the beauty of humility and the freedom that comes from eschewing power, money, and privilege on behalf of one’s neighbors. I know I will continue to learn and be challenged by this group as well.

But . . . the division remains. Pro-life Christians tend to view their cause as primarily moral in nature—as if speaking up for oppressed populations, combating human trafficking, and addressing the root causes of poverty are not inherently issues of profound moral concern. And pro-justice Christians tend to view their cause as primarily a matter of justice—as if speaking out in defense of preborn babies as the most helpless and vulnerable members of society was not quintessentially a question of biblical justice.


Together, pro-life and pro-justice Christians have so much to offer a world that is buckling under the effects of sin. So here’s a short list of what I think each community could offer the other that would enhance the work of both:
  • When the pro-life community advances the dignity of every human person, it is at its best when making clear that along with the essential concern of innocent preborn lives lost to abortion, every sex trafficking victim, orphan, and victim of preventable death is worthy of the same defense. We must help the Church understand that all of these issues are biblically connected and directly tied to what it means to be “pro-life.” They are all related to the God-given sanctity, dignity, and intrinsic worth of every human life, and therefore they cannot be segmented or pitted against one another.
  • When the pro-justice community boldly and compassionately advances the cause of justice for victims of sex trafficking, racial hatred, failing schools, extreme poverty, or lack of access to clean water, it is at its best also to include the absolute necessity of justice and human rights for preborn children. Again, advancing biblical justice, promoting the common good, and enabling human flourishing must be for all people, born and preborn. There can be no neglecting of the cause of justice in the human right to life. They should not be separated.
  • Each community should endeavor to rise above easy (and sometimes valid) criticism of the other. Pro-lifers often lament that being pro-justice is “popular” in the broader culture whereas being pro-life is not. As a result, they can be tempted to view the pro-life cause as somehow more “noble” than the social justice cause. At the same time, the pro-justice community often suggests that the pro-life community cares only about life in the womb, but not life outside it, making it a myopic single-issue cause. Of course, in both communities (just like in every community) there are those doing it well and those doing it not so well. But by and large, both groups are motivated by deep conviction and the love of both Christ and neighbor.
What if, instead of marching resolutely down two different paths, we made a commitment to learn from each other, forge meaningful relationships with one another, and seek creative ways to help the Church learn about the comprehensive approach to life and justice reflected in the totality of the Scriptures? Can pro-life conferences address abortion and end-of-life issues as well as human trafficking and poverty? Can social justice conferences make room to embrace the cause of justice for preborn children? These are issues that transcend political parties and point directly to the heart of God Himself. Let’s step outside our comfort zones and work together for the common good, for life, and for justice—all because of the love of Christ.

This article was adapted from the original article posted on Ed Stetzer’s The Exchange blog on