Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Discovering Your Blind Spots




Honest and life-giving conversations 
about blind spots will lead to transformative
change and spiritual growth

To the outside world, examining and exposing your own blind spots can be viewed more as a weakness than a courageous step toward change in your life and relationships. However, true transformative change starts when we finally face our weaknesses—and we all have them. Uncovering our own unseen areas for spiritual growth is impossible without the help of God and trusted individuals. What does Jesus see that we tend to miss, and what does he think about the threats that blind spots pose?

With the release of their book, Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You (New Growth Press/July 29, 2019), authors Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson discuss Jesus’s primary mission to expose the deadly nature of blind spots, sharing how he alone has the cure. They urge followers of Christ to engage in honest and life-giving conversations about blind spots: what they are, why they exist, how to identify and remove them, how to keep them from returning, and how to point them out in others.

The authors define a blind spot as anything that stands in the way of being all that God has intended for our lives. In introducing the book, Riddle and Anderson write, “Yes, many of those blind spots are sins, but others are rooted in ignorance, immaturity, circumstances, and sometimes the sins of others against us. Sometimes, they are things we don’t see because God has not yet revealed them to us. But blind spots of many kinds may fuel our fears of stepping out in faith to use the talents and gifts God has given us.”

The inspiration behind Blind Spots came as the authors were reflecting on the challenge of spiritual growth. As they looked at their own personal lives, they realized obstacles in their own growth were usually due to a blind spot. Both consider coming together to write the book as being one of the most rewarding things they have done. In the process they have become each other’s blind spot partner and have developed a safe place to freely talk about potential blind spots they each may have.


Through sharing their own stories to uncover blind spots, the authors demonstrate how spiritual growth only happens in the context of seeing and acknowledging our own flaws. While Riddle and Anderson note the importance of community in dealing with blind spots, they emphasize the lasting, gospel change of the Spirit. By exploring the different ways we unknowingly sabotage ourselves and our relationships, Blind Spots guides readers toward depending on the Spirit for help.

“The Holy Spirit is the revealer and healer of our blind spots,” says Riddle. “In this book, we talk more in detail about the work of the Spirit and how the Spirit may work through others to help identify our blind spots.”

“The goal of the spiritual journey is the transformation of our self,” says Anderson. “This requires knowing both our self and God. Both are essential if we are to discover our true identity as those who are in Christ, because the self is where we meet God.”

The authors’ hope in releasing Blind Spots is that readers would see beyond the challenges preventing them from living fully and freely. Both know this is a journey that requires a combination of humility, trust, openness to change, and a willingness to submit to the Holy Spirit.



Tim Riddle, author of Blind Spots, is the CEO of Discover Blind Spots whose mission is to help leaders of corporations, churches, and non-profits address blind spots within their organizations. DBS provides help with direction and strategy, clarity in marketing and messaging, and alignment in staff, which leads to a healthy organization and effective leadership.

Previously, Riddle was the Executive Pastor of St. Mark’s Church in Burlington, NC, for thirteen years.  He used his leadership and strategic gifts to lead the staff and ministry of SMC. He also enjoys preaching/teaching and continues to speak at SMC. Prior to SMC, Riddle was the founder and CEO of Riddle & Company, a specialty textile company in Burlington, NC. 

Riddle is a graduate of Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, and Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and his wife, Stacy, live in Burlington, NC, and have four children.



Fil Anderson is executive director of Journey Resources, based in Greensboro, NC. He’s a frequent conference speaker, spiritual director, and directs retreats and workshops nationally and internationally. Anderson is a member of the teaching team at Potter’s Inn Soul Care Institute. As a member of the pastoral staff of St. Mark’s Church, he provides on-site soul care to their staff and volunteers. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

In addition to Blind Spots, Anderson is the author of Running on Empty and Breaking the Rules. He also contributed to Transformation of a Man’s Heart and is a regular writer for InTouch Magazine and various other publications. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Fuller Theological Seminary, Anderson also completed the Graduate Program in Christian Spiritual Guidance at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He worked with Young Life for twenty-five years, serving as Area Director and Regional Director before becoming National Director of Training.

Anderson and his wife, Lucie, live in Greensboro and are the parents of three adult children. Avid beach lovers, they frequent Wrightsville Beach, NC, as often as possible.

Learn more at www.filanderson.com.


New Growth Press publishes gospel-centered Christian books, small group, and children’s Bible resources for discipleship, biblical counseling, and missional ministry. For more information about Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You and other releases from New Growth Press, visit www.newgrowthpress.com.


Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You
By Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson
July 29, 2019 / Retail Price: $15.99
Print ISBN: 978-1-948130-59-2 / E-book ISBN: 978-1-948130-60-8
RELIGION/Christian Life/Spiritual Growth



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Bachelorette: Hannah B. - Week 12 (The Finale Part 2)

Here we go with the finale finale of Hannah's season. My eye twitch is back, and I am thinking of tall the things I really need to be doing other than blogging about this.

Anyway, Hannah says you have to show all your good and bad layers during this, and she has done it all. She's fallen in love with both.

Both men meet with Neil Lane. The overfed scripting has them each talking about how the ring is like their relationship with Hannah. For example, Tyler looks for loud and proud while Jed goes for a round diamond because the shape is more constant.

On the car ride from the hotel to wherever they are doing the ceremony, Hannah freaks out and asks the driver to stop the car. She climbs out, starts walking across the street in heels and trips out in middle of an intersection. She's sitting out in the road in a white dress. She scraped her elbow on the way down. A producer offers to help her up, but she declines his help. Hannah says she can't do this.
After a few minutes, Hannah decides she's ready to proceed. Both men have a part of her heart, and she claims there is no good way to tell someone they are not enough.

Tyler arrives. He's afraid of losing his words and getting cheezy. When he gets up to the stage (because that's what it is), he beings a well-rehearsed speech. She finally cuts him off. The look on his face when he realizes "This isn't it" is quite painful. There's no more looking her in the eye after that. She loves someone else.
Tyler says he's still going to be her biggest fan and wishes her and Jed much success. She gives him a hug he would like to escape. He says she and Jed will be great. He lets her walk him out.

That's got to be embarrassing for a guy. They should make every woman (or man at this point), go to the guy and tell them before they start their big speech. It's cruel and unusual punishment.

And then there was one...

Today she has clarity, and she has prayed for peace. She's waited her whole life for a happy ending. She's what, 25? (This reminds me of debating my age with my boss today.)

Oh snap, back on topic. Jed brought is guitar. I'm going to gag, not just because I'm coughing again (yes, I'm sick again).

If I was ever a Jed fan 12 weeks ago, I'm far from it now. Everything about him annoys me. However, he's what Hannah's looking for. She and I are far from alike though.

Oh my, I woudn't know pitch if it slapped me, but he sounds uber pitchy to me. It's painful.

Hannah doesn't have a song, but wants to say some stuff. As a little girl, she always prayed for her future husband. She didn't know who she was praying for. She's not always understand her heartbreak and why she's been through what she's been through. (I wish I could type her accent.)

Cue knee, ring, rose.

We're 35 minutes in. What are we going to do for the next hour and a half? I hope she doesn't sing and dance.

Chris Harrison tells us it's not been happily ever after and that Jed has to face the music. See what he did there?

Their home videos are annoying. After some happy times the first couple of days, Jed tells Hannah he was hanging with a girl a week before he came on the show. He told her it was over. People magazine articles talking with the girlfriend said otherwise.

At some point along the way, Hannah and Jed sat down in front of the cameras for a conversation.

Jed comes in, sits down, says he misses her, then silence. Hannah asks why he waited to tell her all this.

Jed says there's a different story she hasn't heard. Back in October, he dated her, but he was dating around. He didn't think it was exclusive or anything. He'd slept with her a couple of times, then went to Gatlinburg on a trip with her. "There wasn't a label on it." "Were you still hanging out with other chicks?" "Yeah."

The girl did meet his parents, threw him a surprise party in January, and her parents bought a vacation to the Bahamas for his birthday. They went over her birthday. He joined the show to get some attention for the music thing. He highly doubted he'd actually like anyone on the show.

They were on this Bahamas trip when he found out he was going to be on the show. He was drinking and told the other girl he loved her. It wasn't a proper goodbye, but once he got to LA it was goodbye in his heart. It wasn't verbal. He never told this girl that he was with the night before he left anything.

Hannah has seen texts from the girlfriend and from other girls that were at his apartment the night after she was in Nashville.

She was in it for love. He was in it to get famous. Jed wants to know what he needs to do to demonstrate he's for real. She walks out.

When she comes back in, followed by cameras, Jed tries to smooth stuff over by saying Hannah is what he has wanted. "Where do you want me to grow?" It seems an odd question.
Hannah asks if it ever crossed his mind back at the mansion when Scott was sent home on night one that he was guilty too. In Jed's mind, he didn't have a girlfriend. He didn't tell her in the fantasy suite because he was scared Hannah would walk away and leave him.

Hannah accuses him of going back to his old life when he got home. He told his friends that he "won." All of a sudden, what his family told her makes a lot of sense.

Jed says he never met someone who made him want to be a better person. He asks her for grace.

She takes off the ring.

Jed said in the two months of the show he became the person she wanted. I'm thinking not so much.

So, enough of that and back to the studio with Chris Harrison. He brings Hannah out to talk about what we just watched. What is she feeling? She still can't believe this is the way the conversation is going after this experience. 

The first she heard of anything was the day after they were first engaged. He warned there was a girl he was hanging out with. She questioned him, but he LIED.

When the People article came out, she quizzed him again. Again he LIED.

Chris asks where there relationship is. Hannah is not with Jed anymore.

They haven't seen each other since the day she gave the ring back, but they evidently did talk on the phone. Chris gives him the first chance to speak when he comes out. He apologies to her. Now that he has had a chance to review his behavior, he wasn't the best that he could be. This guy is weird. What he says is weird.

Jed knows he has hurt everyone involved. He just never would have fathomed that he would fall in love with someone on a reality TV show. He should have known more about it.

When asked what is going through her mind, Hannah has to take along pause before answering. What he didn't wasn't right. She did fall in love with him, and she knows that person is in there somewhere. She hopes he learns to be honest and grow from this for whoever in her future.

Jed is lame. He never pictured being with someone forever. He does still love her though.

Hannah isn't trying to punish him, but his feelings have changed. When the trust was broken, her feelings were gone. She doesn't love him like that anymore.

After sending Jed on his merry way, Hannah says she realizes though she WANTS a husband, she doesn't NEED one. With that, Chris Harrison reminds her she hasn't talked to Tyler yet.

Hannah's feelings for Tyler didn't just go away. Will Tyler want to play second fiddle? If I were Tyler, I wouldn't give anyone a second chance.

Hannah is giddy uncomfortable sitting there. Tyler has been looking forward to this moment.

The conversation is kind of boring me. Hannah asks him out for drinks. He accepts. Hannah wants them to be normal people and just go out.

That's it.

The end.

In other news, I will not be blogging about Bachelor in Paradise, but I'll watch. You can message me questions or hit me up on Facebook to talk about it. I just find Paradise too hard to keep up with for blogging. Plus, I can straighten my house or something while it's on. I'm ready to be able to park my car in the garage, and that means I have to finish unpacking.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Bachelorette: Hannah B. - Week 12 (The Finale part 1)

A two-night season finale just means we are going to drag things out way more than they ever had to be, especially given that Chris Harrison is in the studio with an audience.

But, here we go with night one.

Hannah is ready to hand out roses. She has just sent Luke packing... AGAIN.

The three men remaining are wondering who among them is going home. I say Peter stays after their time in the windmill and that Jed is leaving. We shall see if I am right.

Cue the voiceovers aka voices in their heads.

After her speech about not wanting to break anyone's heart, but she knows what she needs to do, the first rose goes to Jed. Crud. I was wrong on that one.

Ohhhhhh... I was sooooooooo wrong. Tyler gets the second rose.

Hannah takes Peter out. She says it has all been so perfect. It was like when she was a little girl and he was her Ken doll. She will always have a piece of his heart.

What is wrong with this girl?

They cry together, hug, and he leaves after a kiss on the forehead.

Her dress is awful too, by the way. and her messy top bun. The dress looks like a swimsuit top attached to a really long maxi skirt via an awkward middle piece on the front. This girl looks a mess.

Hannah is ugly crying on the curb.

Peter says it hurts, but he isn't mad at Hannah.

Peter joins Chris in-studio. He just watched it for the first time with the rest of us. Chris knows Peter was really in love with Hannah and that we all fell in love with his family on hometowns. The family joins him in the audience.

Peter knew he was in love with Hannah when the fireworks went off in Latvia. Chris asks if he still loves her. Peter doesn't think you can completely fall out of love in two months. A piece of his heart will always love her.

Hannah comes out. It's the first time for them to see each other since Greece. Peter stumbles over his words as he starts out, "Beginning with the Netherlands... hometowns that went so well... where did it go wrong?"

Hannah told him there wasn't anything wrong. She thought he would meet her family. All through the fantasy suite date. Leaving the windmill, he was so sure it was "Us." She was falling in love with him, but she was falling for two others two. It was waking up that final morning that she made the decision.

Hannah says if there was anything, she thought he was afraid to fall in love with her and that he was apprehensive about sharing his feelings. She just wish she knew sooner how he felt. Peter wants to know one more thing. She has referred to their relationship as "a slow burn..." She agrees it was passionate, but thought him not verbally saying where he was may have hurt them.

This is painfully boring as this drags on and on about what did and didn't go right. At least Peter is a gentleman.

What is awkward is his parents clapping when Chris Harrison says, "Thanks to the two of you, no one will ever look at a windmill the same." Take it a step further when Hannah says she has to confess it wasn't two times like she had previously said, but four times. Chris Harrison then points out that Peter's mom is right there. Chris adds that Luke's heart is exploding somewhere.

Then there were two...

Picking up in Crete, Jed and Tyler will be meeting her family.

But first, Hannah meets up with her family. She fills them in on Tyler. She explains until last week, she wasn't sure if she was falling in love or falling in lust. When he brought it up that was more than just physical for him, she knew he was a keeper.

She tells her family that he is a dancer. His first year of college, he was flunking English and needed some classes to up his GPA. He thought dance was going to be easy, but they weren't and he enjoyed them.

Mom grills Tyler first. Nothing interesting. Dad asks about the fantasy suite and the decision to get to know each other only. Tyler says his dad getting sick put a lot of things in perspective for him. He has no doubts about their relationship.

Hannah and Dad talk. Mom and Hannah talk. Both parents feel good about Tyler. I don't know why the brothers and a sister-in-law are there. I guess that's who they are. No intros were given.

Before he leaves, Hannah wants to talk to Tyler about what her struggle had been, and how sure she is that she loves him now. She is surprised, but she can see a future with Tyler.

I still don't get Tyler. He strikes me as a frat boy, but, what do I know?

The next day, Hannah is nervous and freaking out before Jed arrives. From the beginning, she thought Jed fit in her life. Her mom tells Hannah it's because she is about to have to make a decision. 

Her family thinks the bar is set really high after yesterday. They really liked Tyler.

Hannah lets Jed take the leading in telling their story. He's a snooze.

Dad can see a connection between Hannah and Jed, but there was a connection yesterday. Dad wants to know his goals in life. Can Jed provide for his little girl? He asks about finances. Jed's first real breakthrough is selling a song to a dog food policy.

Jed feels a little confused. He thought the family was going to see how natural they were together. He wasn't expecting Mom and Dad both to be questioning his songwriting career.

Mom tells Hannah she wasn't so impressed. Tyler was a standout.

Dad said Jed kind of beat around the bush and didn't give as straight of answers as Tyler. Hannah is miffed that the dog food commercial got brought up.

Hannah, of course, wants her husband to provide for her, but she's going to be successful and provide for her family too. Hannah wants to get past the money part and talk about Jed's feelings. Hannah can tell her Dad has issues. The way her dad tells her that he's just trying to tell the facts kind of reminds me of what my dad does sometimes. He doesn't want to be negative, but it's obvious he's not #teamjed.

Hannah steps away to think. Jed joins her. Jed wants her to talk to him and about how she feels. Hannah knows he doesn't want to talk another guy, but after Jed is blunt, she spills. She's confused because things went really well with Tyler yesterday. This is where Hannah realizes you don't date two men at the same time. Jed must have had the lead in her mind.

Jed believes in Hannah. I think he's trying not to write lyrics in talking to her.

Now... one final date with each.

First up: Tyler

They are going horseback riding again to see if he can figure it out this time. He's no less fearful of horses this time. It doesn't start any better.

The two talk about the family time. Her dad was comfortable with him. Tyler was glad to hear her feelings. It was a positive talk.

That evening, on part two of the date, they recap what a great date it was, how it was great to hear how well her family responded. She takes him upstairs.

The last date: Jed

She's anxious. Meeting the family didn't go like she had hoped. The nerves show when Jed arrives. The kiss looks awkward too. They board a boat and set sail. Evidently it's about repeating date activities. It wasn't with Jed that she went on the boat before though. The waves are a bit much for Hannah. She's feeling queasy.

Seeing Jed in Paradise (he needs some sun) would make me queasy. Hannah talks about being nervous making her queasy too. Jed admits to being nervous knowing there is still someone else there. Knowing her dad didn't believe in him hurt. That part made him sad, but it didn't change how he felt for her at all.

This date is such a downer. She's getting sick again and has to excuse herself. She's anxious about having to break someone's heart tomorrow.

How about breaking up with the guy still wearing the leather belt with his khaki shorts on the boat?

For the evening portion of the date, Jed apologizes in advance. He's nervous. However, he can't see his life without her. Hannah tells him that she's less worried than her dad is about their potential finances.

They are both in such a funk, it's putting me in a funk. They cuddle awkwardly on the couch before she leaves him to go think about her final decision for the next day.

She knows she will break someone's heart.

Chris Harrison and Hannah tease tomorrow night. Hannah says she doesn't know how tomorrow night will go.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sanctuary


Sanctuary

By John W. Thompson; © Kruger Organisation
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

(girls echo)
Oh Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for You.

It was you Lord, who sent the Savior
Heart and soul Lord, to every man.
It is you Lord, who knows my weakness,
You refine me with Your own hand.

Lead me on Lord, through my temptations
You refine me from within
Fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit,
And take all our sins away.

Lord teach Your children, to stop the fighting,
And start uniting, all as one.
Let’s get together, loving forever
Sanctuary, for You.

And when He comes with shouts of glory
And our work on earth is done
O, how I long to hear Him saying,
“Faithful servant well done.”


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Stepping on an IED was just the beginning of the struggle for his life


Part 2 of an interview with
Carlos and Rosemarie Evans,
Authors of Standing Together

During his fourth deployment, US Marine Corps Sergeant Carlos Evans stepped on an IED--and the loss of both legs and his left hand was just the beginning of the struggle for his life.

For the next two years, he and his wife, Rosemarie, went through the rehabilitation process together. As a nurse and mother of two young children, Rosemarie was used to caring for people, but the task of taking care of her triple-amputee husband brought new challenges every day. In addition to his limb loss, Carlos faced PTSD and developed an addiction to painkillers. He was sure Rosemarie's life would be better without him--and that it might have been better if he hadn't survived at all.

But unlike the majority of marriages put under similar strain, Carlos and Rosemarie stayed together. With the help of family, friends, and--most importantly--a strong faith, they've built a solid marriage and discovered a ministry they never expected. By the hand of God, their story, which began in devastation, has turned into one that draws in and lifts up more people than either of them would ever have dreamed.

Q: Many marriages have crumbled under the weight of trials less life-altering than what the two of you went through, however, you’ve come out the other side stronger. Can you share some of the decisions you made along the way to fight for your marriage?

Rosemarie: There were many difficult decisions made during that period. First, we needed to prioritize roles. There were times a decision left me feeling unsatisfied, but we had to focus on what was needed in the moment. We always tried to make decisions together. It didn’t matter that Carlos was injured, we consulted each other on every decision. Carlos was injured, but he was still the head of the family. We encouraged each other. When Carlos felt ready to give up, I encouraged him. When I was feeling defeated, Carlos encouraged me. Overall, the most important thing was to pray for guidance. In this situation, we understood we were not self-sufficient. We needed God to give us the strength to continue every day.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges in facing your new normal?

Carlos: I feared not being able to be the husband I promised Rosemarie I would be. I feared not being able to be a father to my daughters. I also feared rejection from other people. I didn’t love my new body. I wasn’t born without legs and one hand. Everything was new to me: Not being able to walk, to drive my car, to do things we take for granted. I was afraid I was no longer able to be independent. Living with constant pain was one of the biggest challenges.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who may not be seeking help for their depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or even addiction?

Carlos: Trying to help someone that is not actively seeking help is very challenging. It could be the person has not recognized that he or she has a problem. In my situation, I had people who confronted me, showing me that my actions were hurting me and the people who loved me. My personal advice would be do not push away the people in your life that care about and help you. Also, believe the best days of your life are not behind you, but ahead of you. I would say to somebody in that situation you are not the only person facing PTSD or addiction, so look for a professional or a support group. They can share examples of how they have faced similar situations.  

Q: What were some of the ways you saw God working in your recovery?

Carlos: In the beginning, my questions were, “Where is God? and “Why me?” During my recovery, I understood God has always been there, taking care of me. He was with my Marines when I stepped on the IED. He was with my wife and daughters, giving them strength so they could comfort me. God was with the doctors, nurses, family, friends and many strangers who have become family. I saw God was making me a better father, husband and person. Each time we shared our story with someone, I saw God using my recovery for good.

Q: When did you realize God was preparing you for full-time ministry? What doors started to open for you?

Carlos: Since I was a little kid, I served in ministry. It was deep inside of my heart. After my injury, we started to share our experience with family and friends. Our scars became our platform—in churches, via TV, at the White House, on Military bases, in schools and correctional facilities, all over the United States, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

Q: You say, “Standing has nothing to do with having feet.” What do you mean by that?

Carlos: In my life, standing is living God’s purpose in my life. Also, serving in my community, being a father and husband, and leading by example means standing in my life.

My daughter, Nairoby, taught me a lesson about standing. She was five years old and playing and running all over the apartment. She told me, “Now you run Papi, you run Papi!” I told her I wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t run right now. I didn’t have the legs to be able to. I went to my room crying, and Rosemarie asked me why. I told her why, and she replied, “Don’t you see that she doesn’t see what you can’t do? She looks at you as Papi.” That’s what it means to stand.

Q: Where can people learn more about Touching Lives Leaving Footprints and C.R. Evans Ministries?



Monday, July 22, 2019

The Bachelorette: Hannah B. - Week 11

Well, I’m not starting off The Batchelorette on time for a number of reasons. It’s not going to post right afterwards either because I don’t have internet.

I was supposed to have internet last Thursday when it got turned off at my old house. Long story, but not getting it until tomorrow. My “equipment” which was just phone cords and Ethernet cables got delivered to the old house which promoted call #5 to make sure the tech was coming to the correct address tomorrow. Sigh.

Between having to get up early and syncing my work laptops that had not downloaded email since last Wednesday night and going back two more times (once around 1:30 PM and again around 7:00 PM) to send and receive more email, I put in an 11 hour work day that was not as productive as it could have been with use of the internet because everything requires the internet these days.

I am so glad to be moved all the way in with the other house empty. I’m even more glad that after a long day, there isn’t three hours of blogging ahead. I had anticipated two hours of episode followed by an hour of “The Men Tell All,” but it’s only two hours of tell all. With all the ya-ya-ya blah-blah-blah, it’s probably going to be a light blogging night with lots of commercials.

Chris Harrison promises that tonight will be a very different kind of “Tell All.” We are going to pick up first where last week in Greece left off.

Even though there were four last week and Luke was sent packing, she needs to get it down to two men, even though she loves all three in different ways.

Peter arrives. Tyler arrives. Jed arrives. They wonder about Luke.

The voice over of Hannah shares that she finally saw what the other men had been saying about Luke. She doesn’t want to see him ever again.

However, Luke still loves her. He knows Hannah loves him, even if she never said it. Luke believes Hannah has made a big mistake. He can’t leave without talking to her again. He’s headed her way with a ring in hand.

Luke arrives and stands next to the other men like nothing ever happened.

Hannah arrives, knowing what man she is going to let go. She is shocked to arrive and see Luke standing among the men. Luke steps forward and he asks why he is there. He wants to talk. She flat out says no. She tells him to go. She also says some other things that are bleeped. She warns Luke that she is about to go psycho. He needs clarity and closure. She doesn’t care.

Luke is making it all about him. His heart isn’t broken yet. He isn’t going anywhere. She moves the rose podium to get in front of him. Finally, all the other guys step in to tell him what for. Tyler and Jed are vocal while Peter tries to comfort her, keeping mostly quiet. Luke still doesn’t get the point. Luke said her emotions were leading her, that it was not her character. Hannah proceeds to repeat back exactly what Luke said. He claims to have not said it word for word (which he did).

Luke says he knows she still has feelings for him. Hannah says she finally found her clarity and got it when he said what he did. Luke claims he was misunderstood.

Chris Harrison comes up to ask Hannah what she wants. She says she wants Luke to leave. She looks him in the eye (as asked) and confirms she has no feelings for him.

Chris tells Hannah that Luke had a ring in his pocket and was ready to propose to her.

Jed is convinced all is right with the world now. I think Jed’s going home now. I think he’s in for disappointment.

Peter comments that the Puke show is over. Peter is pretty confident without saying it. That’s what time in the windmill will do for you.

Alas, we don’t find out at this point who else was sent home. I’m guessing next week starts there. We now jump into “Men Tell All.”

First in the hot seat is Luke. When he is introduced, no applause whatsoever. Total silent reception.

Chris points out that we had never witnessed what just happened before. Chris asks what he was looking for. Luke wanted clarity and/closure. He just thought he was being sent home because Hannah thought he was judging her. Chris points out he did have his say the night he said what he did. Luke tries to backtrack and change what the conversation was. We could go back to the video, but…

Everyone in the audience tilts their head puzzlement.

Luke said he was taking like it was a single relationship. He doesn’t “get to see her straddle or mount or swap saliva with other guys.” He continues that it wasn’t easy, he was getting fit for a proposal suit and he found out the night before that his potential future wife was having sex with other guys. Chris asked why he didn’t just walk away. Luke said he made a mistake. He made Hannah out to be the perfect one for him, Hannah though there was something about him (love at first sight) with him. He went back thinking she made a mistake. He thought there were mutual feelings that were still there.

Chris points out that the discussion of how they view faith (not often discussed before) ended up being the parting of ways. Luke tries to come up with language to make it clear. There is a lot of silence.

I guess this is supposed to make for good TV, but I’m over this. He thinks that Hannah calling him a narcissist was taking things a little too far. Luke still has feelings for Hannah, but he knows she is not his person. Chris asks if Luke thinks he has made any mistakes. Luke said he wouldn’t change a thing if he could go back.

After a commercial break, Luke backtracks again saying that he would change a lot of things. He asks with the guys or with Hannah? Chris said maybe it all started with the guys. Luke P. says maybe it all started to go with Luke S. In watching back, he didn’t like the guy he was either.

Luke said he was on a rescue mission for Hannah (from the guys). Chris asks for clarification and Luke has to back up again. None of the other men have come out until now. Devin comes out to confront Luke. Devin says that there are two kinds of men: One that wants and independent woman and another that wants a woman he can control. Luke was the latter. Luke asks if he is going to get a chance to respond as Chris thanks Devin for coming out and dismisses. When Chris does give him a chance to answer, he needs some time to get his thoughts together. “The last thing that I want, and the last thing I will ever do is control a woman and I do want an independent woman in my life as my wife.” He continues on, but I don’t believe it. He tells the “contestants” that he is not there to argue, but they can bring it on.

After commercial, a bunch of men come out, including some that barely lasted a moment and we all forgot about long ago.

Luke is still in the hot seat, possibly away from the men for his own physical safety.

Chris asks Luke about why he couldn’t ever fix it with the guys. Luke said it was because he was the front runner and it would have ticked any of them off. He had a target on his back.

Mike points out that Luke put his own target there. He calmly points out how Luke has not changed.

Connor gives him props for showing up because he is about to step into a firestorm. He tells him to get ready for it.

Luke said it was hurtful to watch himself over the season and that he realizes how bad he was. Mike asks why anyone would forgive him because he changes his story constantly.

Grant (remember him – yeah, me neither) points out how Luke owes Tyler, Jed and Peter an apology because “No means no.”

Everyone has a little something to say.

Cam thanks Luke for making him (Cam) look like a saint.

More comments are made. More of the same. Luke does ask for forgiveness before moving on.

After another commercial break, Luke is sitting with the men, but still wants to have one more say before moving on. He says the men don’t really know who he is.

Next up in the hot seat is John Paul Jones. Why? No clue. What ensues is a montage of his few moments. I could be unpacking a box right now. A crazy woman with WWJPJD (what would John Paul Jones do) on her shirt asks to cut a piece of his hair like Hannah got to do on the show.

Moving on, the moments of Mike follow. I liked Mike. But I feel like I could be changing out loads of laundry right now.

At long last, Hannah arrives. After a little chit chat about facing all your ex-boyfriends, she jumps into talking about Luke. She will never say her feelings weren’t real, but there was a lot of insecurity in being THE Bachelorette. That first night, Luke made her feel like he was there for her, and she held onto that for too long.

They move on to talking about faith. She felt it was weaponized against her in the end. Luke shakes his head as Hannah talks about him. She then moves into her talk of plans or lack thereof for the fantasy suites.

She moves into being tired of being slut shamed and grace. Not on board with all she has to say. She is adamant that fantasy suites aren’t all about sex.

When they come back from the next break, Luke is gone. Supposedly, he’s catching a flight. We’re all ready to move on anyway.

Garrett apologizes for what went down and his part in it. You know, bologna tossing.

Finally, we end up with bloopers. The best part is Jed being freaked out by the cameraman zooming in on a makeout session. The reel wasn’t very long and there were no bugs involved this time. Bummer.

It closes with Hannah apologizing for a season of so much Luke. She shouldn’t have had him around so long, and she’s tired of talking about him.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Roll the Gospel Chariot Along


Roll the Gospel Chariot Along

Roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
And we won't tag along behind.

If a Brother's in the way
We will stop and pick him up
If a Brother's in the way
We will stop and pick him up
If a Brother's in the way
We will stop and pick him up
And we won't tag along behind.

Roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
And we won't tag along behind.

If a Sister's in the way
We will stop and pick her up
If a Sister's in the way
We will stop and pick her up
If a Sister's in the way
We will stop and pick her up
And we won't tag along behind.

Roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
And we won't tag along behind.

If the Devil's in the way
We will roll right over him!
If the Devil's in the way
We will roll right over him!
If the Devil's in the way
We will roll right over him!
And we won't tag along behind.

Roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
We will roll the gospel chariot along
And we won't tag along behind.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Coming soon: God Made Boys and Girls


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Releases September 2!

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God Made Boys and Girls helps children understand that their gender is a gift from the God who made them and loves them. The story begins as the girls and boys at Grace Christian School are discussing if boys will always be boys and girls will always be girls.
Their teacher explains that God gives each of us the gift of being male or female before we are born, and that you continue to be a boy or a girl whether you like to climb trees or play house, play tag or color pictures, cause a ruckus or sit quietly.
In a world where there is so much confusion about gender and identity, pastor and best-selling author Marty Machowski shares the simple, clear truth that all of us are made in God’s image as either male or female—and what God made is very good!
Included in the back of the book is a special section just for parents and caregivers that gives biblical guidance and help as they have this important conversation with their children.

About the author: Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over thirty years. He is the author of  The Gospel Story BibleLong Story ShortOld Story New, the Gospel Story Curriculum, the Prepare Him Room advent devotional and curriculum, Wise Up family devotional and curriculum, Listen Up family devotional and curriculum, Dragon Seed, and The Ology. He and his wife, Lois, have six children and two grandchildren, and they reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Calling all reviewers for these summer releases from New Growth Press

For questions or more information, contact audra@newgrowthpress.com.


It's an exciting summer of new releases,
and we want to share them with you!


You can sign-up now to review the following new and upcoming titles.

Click here to access the sign-up form!
By signing up to receive these books, you are agreeing to:

1. Post a review on your blog or website within 30 days of receiving the books. Because release dates vary, books may be shipped to you at different times rather than all at once.
2. Post your review on the New Growth Press website as well as other consumer websites (Amazon, GoodReads, etc.)
3. Share your review via your social media accounts.
4. Email your review link to audra@newgrowthpress.com so that we can share your review via our social media accounts as well. 
With this twelve-week accessible study for young adults, Mark: How Jesus Changes Everything, John Perritt points readers toward a better love and appreciation for their compassionate savior and suffering servant.

Created for one-to-one discipleship, small group, or large settings, this guide is theologically rich in a time when biblical illiteracy is growing among Christians. Rather than a message of moralism, Markintroduces students to Jesus: the lover of the least and the hero of heroes.

Perritt outlines many helpful questions paired with Scripture readings for personal reflection or group discussion. Through in-depth examination of the book of Mark, article readings, and applicable exercises, students experience the compassion and authority of Christ.

He helps young adults ask difficult questions: Why was Jesus angry in the book of Mark? How does Peter’s denial of Jesus still fit into God’s perfect plan? What does it mean that even Jesus begs his Father to allow suffering to be removed from him?

By helping students walk away with a better understanding of the themes in the gospel of Mark, Perritt offers them a better understanding of the man, Jesus Christ, who is the gospel—the one who changes everything.

Click here to learn more.

Released 6/24/19
In this in-depth study on missional living, Bethany Ferguson draws on her fifteen years of missionary experience to examine the reasons believers should pursue lives of service and evangelism. The Mission-Centered Life explores why holistic missions is needed, how God’s grace empowers us to serve in places of need, what to do when we fail as missionaries, and how to cultivate hope in the midst of a broken world.

For Christians who long to serve God in broken places but aren’t sure where to start, The Mission-Centered Life speaks to the “whys” and “hows” of missional living.

Designed for personal reflection and small group discussion, Ferguson provides Scripture study, profound application and questions, as well as essays and personal stories to illustrate the importance of missions—both for the missionary and the community being served by the missionary.

Several books on missions tend to focus on the adventure or challenge of living cross-culturally. Others focus on the number of conversions as the primary measurement of success. The Mission-Centered Life offers instead the option to explore how our weakness and need is what prepares us to serve a needy world. Ferguson invites readers to take on a posture of humility, which is vital for the church desiring to be relevant in the world. This invaluable resource urges others to see how we are like those we come to serve and how we can learn from them.

Find confidence in God’s missional purposes in the world and a deeper understanding of life with Jesus, who pursued the marginalized as shown throughout the New Testament. Anchor your hope to Christ, who moves us out of our comfort zones to care for the needs of the world.

Click here to learn more.

Releases 7/22/19
We all know blind spots are dangerous when we’re changing lanes at 70 mph on an interstate highway. But just as critical are the blind spots that block us from seeing the truth about ourselves and others. No one is immune to either kind.

Blind spots are, by definition, invisible to us. No matter how often we’re reminded to “check our blind spots,” we can’t—at least on our own. Our only hope is for God and others to come alongside us and help point them out. Once identified we can start becoming our best and most authentic self.

Coauthors Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson help us learn how to recognize and avoid blind spots to become more like Jesus, remembering the Holy Spirit is the revealer and healer. By drawing on stories in Scripture and personal experience, the coauthors invite us to engage in an approachable, logical conversation about what blind spots are, why they exist, how to identify and remove them, how to keep them from returning, and how to point them out in others.

In this practical resource full of biblical wisdom, Riddle and Anderson aim to lovingly guide readers toward spiritual growth to live fully and freely as Gods dearly loved, completely forgiven, and forever free daughters and sons.

Blind Spots helps us find concrete, biblical solutions to the problem of these shortcomings, cultivating a desire for godliness and a greater appreciation for the Spirit’s work in our own lives.

Click here to learn more.

Releases 7/29/19
Radically Different by best-selling author Champ Thornton is an insightful guide for middle and high school students who want to live radically even though life and relationships are complicated. By examining life through the biblical lenses of Creation, Fall, and Redemption, readers can explore how God’s Word untangles the twists of life.

There are so many areas of life to navigate when growing up, and this practical resource full of biblical wisdom helps middle and high school students find encouragement in the everyday challenges of life.

God made everything, including relationships, to be good. But because of the fall, everything—including relationships with parents, friends, and siblings—are also broken. Christ came to make all things new, and because of this biblical perspective, readers of Radically Different can know with clarity they are set apart as unique.

Thornton invites teenagers to consider how they are set apart—especially in a time when Christianity is more and more culturally marginalized. He guides them to embrace what it means to live Christianly in a morally murky and increasingly hostile world.

Radically Different helps teenagers live in and relate to the reality of good, bad, and new, which makes us radically human, radically biblical, and radically different.

Click here to learn more.

Releases 8/5/19
In this practical and biblical resource for grandparents, Larry McCall helps readers confidently carry out their mission of gospel-focused grandparenting. Grandparenting with Grace explores how to build a legacy of a life worth following and how to faithfully pray for grandchildren.

What does God say about grandparents and grandchildren? Rather than relying on personal stories and ideas alone, Grandparenting with Grace seeks to explain from Scripture the “what,” “why,” “who,” and “how” of grandparenting.

Readers hungry to know more about God’s calling for this role will find inspiration, encouragement, and gospel hope. As a parent to three and grandparent to six, the author shares his personal experiences coming alongside his children in supportive ways as they seek to raise their kids—his grandkids—in the ways of Christ.

Many people in our culture look at grandparenting primarily as an opportunity to make occasional fun memories with their grandkids. There’s often little thought given to the idea of intentionally and spiritually pouring into grandchildren.

McCall urges readers to look at grandparenting from an eternal perspective, considering how to be involved in their families in God-honoring ways. By applying biblical wisdom, grandparents can also strengthen the local church as they continue to see and pursue God’s calling to present the gospel to the coming generations.

Click here to learn more.

Releases 8/12/19