Today, We Salute You

posted on

Veterans DayGiuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general and nationalist, said: “Soldiers, I am going out from Rome. Let those who wish to continue the war against the stranger, come with me. I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor provisions. I offer hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles, and death. Let him who loves his country follow me.”

True sacrifice serves not for fame or benefits or glory, but from a heartfelt commitment to protecting those under your care despite personal cost. Today we stop to shine light on the current of gratitude that flows through our daily lives to those veterans who have shown true sacrifice and to their families and friends who join and support them. Your daily and lifelong sacrifice is seen, heard, recognized, and appreciated.

Veterans, every day, but especially today, we salute you.

Below is a selection of books written by veterans, for veterans, or by veteran spouses. Click on the cover to learn more about the author and book.

  Armorbearers  Michelle Keener Repurposed Faith: Breathing New Life into Your Quiet Time - Rosie Williams   Fate of the Watchman   Finding JoyA Biblicist View of Law and Gospel  

Our Top Picks for a Chilling Read!

posted on

Do you enjoy books that bring chills to your spine and keep you from falling asleep at night? Look no further, Ambassador International’s staff picked our top three titles to do just that for you!

Staff Pick

1. Clear Confusion by Kathy Howard

What am I going to do, God? Who am I?

Charlotte Hallaway needs to come to terms with her father’s death. He had been her only family, and she wasn’t handling her grief well. It was just supposed to be a few weeks of peace and quiet to process it all, but then she saw them-a drug deal and a murder within seconds of each other.

And they saw her.

Now running for her life, Charlotte boards a bus to escape her pursuers and wakes up the next morning in the woods of Jennings, Georgia, without a memory of how she got there or of who she is. All she knows is an underlying fear she can’t seem to shake.

When two hunters find her battered and scared, can she put aside the clear confusion she’s experiencing to trust them? She wants to trust them, especially Nicholas, but fear is holding her back. Trust is incredibly hard when one is so clearly confused. Could it be he and his friend are not who they claim to be?

Who are they really . . . and who is she?

         christianbook.com

2. Fate of the Redeemed by Chad Pettit

An angel with amnesia. A demon with a vendetta. The man caught in their crossfire.

Lester Sharp has been given a second chance to live a life of compassion, but his decision to follow God will be tested when his estranged father calls to tell him his brother has been killed in combat. A demon unleashes a series of attacks on him, and someone he thought was lost to his past emerges.

Lester is guarded by the angel, Draven, but when Morane catches the watcher off his guard, Draven loses his memory and finds himself being held prisoner in a remote Somali village. His only ally is Ibrahim, a man who finds out his son has been murdered by extremists when his granddaughter appears out of nowhere and somehow possesses supernatural powers.

As Morane’s fury is unleashed, time is running out for Lester, and Draven’s fate is in the hands of a man whose faith is being pushed to the limit.

While Lester fights for his life—and for his soul—will he make the right choices, or will he decide—once and for all—that he doesn’t need God? And why is one man so important in the midst of spiritual warfare?

         christianbook.com

3. Hope by Josephine Walker

After two and a half years of deep depression, anger at God, and guilt over the death of her husband and twin girls, all bestselling romance writer Jessica Lynn Morgan wants is to buy a house, get back to writing, and live out her life alone in peace. And the little town of Hope, Wyoming, seems to offer the peace she needs. Or does it?

Unfortunately, her dream house is rumored to be haunted. Not one to believe in ghosts, she fights for any logical explanation for the things happening that seem to warn her off.

Once she moves in, the threat against her life becomes real. Clearly, someone or something wants her out. Now. And her stubbornness could cost Jessica her life.

          christianbook.com

Have a chilling read!

Eyes of Faith: A Letter from Our Publisher

posted on

The month of October is filled with pumpkin spice flavored everything, the excitement of trick-or-treating, the anticipation of Halloween, the delicious taste of candy corns, the joy of choosing the perfect costume, and the exhilaration of getting to dress up as someone/something else! The once green leaves on the trees are changing to red, yellow, orange, and brown. Pumpkins can be found in abundance along with all things fall themed. It is almost as if fall is in the air.
      For many people around the world, dressing up is something fun to do; however, for missionary Amy Carmichael it was something completely different. Amy was a missionary to the children of India. Growing up, she had always been so disappointed that her eyes were brown instead of blue. But God had a plan for her, and her eyes helped her to dress up and blend in when she needed to most.

Author Derick Bingham describes Amy Carmichael’s life as a missionary to India in his book The Wild-Bird Child. Throughout the telling of her story, he uncovers God’s plan for her and how He used her dark eyes and a costume to help further His plan for Amy’s life.

“With a passion, Amy was determined that God would change the color of her eyes from brown to blue. Blue was her favorite color; and it is not without significance that most of her books were to be bound in blue cloth. Let her poetry tell the story:

Just a tiny little child,
Three years old,
And a mother with heart
All of gold.

Often did that mother say,
“Jesus hears us when we pray,
For He’s never far away;
And He always answers.”

Now, that tiny little child
Had brown eyes;
And she wanted blue instead,
Like blue skies.
For her mother’s eyes were blue,
Like forget-me-nots. She knew
All her mother said was true –
Jesus always answered.

So she prayed for two blue eyes,
Said “Good night,”
Went to sleep in deep content
And delight.
Woke up early, climbed a chair
By a mirror. Where, O where
Could the blue eyes be? Not there!
Jesus hadn’t answered.

Hadn’t answered her at all!
Never more
Could she pray – her eyes were brown
As before.
Did a little soft wind blow?
Came a whisper, soft and low,
“Jesus answered. He said ‘No.’
Isn’t ‘No’ an answer?”

During the Second World War, a Jewish rescue farm was set up near Millisle [Northern Ireland]. Those brown eyes of Amy Carmichael were to be one of her most useful attributes, when she would be led to rescue hundreds of brown-eyed children from unspeakable things and establish a faraway home for them.”

“Soon, Amy was glad that God had said “No” to her childhood prayer in Millisle for blue eyes. One night, she disguised herself by staining her hands and face with coffee and, dressed in a sari, she got right past the priests. Eventually, she got to the inner shrine and then entered a larger room where ten little girls, all aged between four and six, stood in line waiting. Dressed in silk saris and sparkling with jewels, they were perfumed and wore flowers in their hair, but their eyes were filled with fear. A door opened, weird music burst from behind the door, and a priest led them in. Amy did not need to be told what it was all about. But how was she to tell the world and the authorities that the horrors were real, and not imagined?”

“The broken-hearted Amy lifted her eyes away beyond her immediate circumstances to the vast sub-continent in which God had placed her; and the light of guidance was dawning upon her, that what she was doing had vast repercussions.
We have looked at some of the facts she collected regarding the Temple children; but here, in her own words, the seed-thought is expressed for what lay ahead:

‘We are hoping to gather facts concerning the Temple children matter during the next year, and then probably through the Missionary body of South India, approach Government upon the subject… if only the facts can be brought to light, something will surely be done. The difficulty is to get the facts: facts of the sort which will compel action on the part of the Government. The law as it stands is inadequate to cope with this trade in children. We realize that it will be difficult to frame the law, that its purpose cannot be evaded, but when one sees so many thoughtful men and women, some of them Government Officials, tackling the question, one feels as if the day when right will be done may not be so very far distant. I have begun with this because I want your prayers. The subject is National, not just Missionary, in its bearing.’

Amy, the missionary, was on her way to becoming a social reformer to the huge benefit of the nation she loved and of which she had become a part.” Amy Carmichael

“As Christmas 1930 approached, the experience of asking for blue eyes in Millisle, Co. Down sixty years before, was still fresh in her heart. In December 1930, she quotes the words of her famous poem about her childhood experience of asking for blue eyes: ‘I find the Dohnavur Letter goes to quite a number of people who have kept the heart of the child. And more than one of that sort here has found an answer to many a question in the last line of this song – the question that answers itself. As for the genuine child, it never tires of the nonsense of it. We have baby song evenings in my room sometimes, and Godfrey plays on his auto-harp and the children crowd round with their own little Baby Song M.S. books. What shall we sing? Blue Eyes! They cry all at once, and with emphasis – so just to share our nonsense as well as our sense, her it is….’ She includes not only the words of her poem but the music to sing it as a song.”

As we prepare for fall, as we decorate with pumpkins, and as we choose costumes and dress up as someone/something different, let us remember that we are each unique, let us embrace that we each have a unique call on our lives that only we can fulfill,  and let us love and accept ourselves the way God created us just as Amy Carmichael did.

To learn more about Bingham and The Wild-Bird Child, visit HERE.

#MilesApart

posted on

This devotional is an excerpt from the free two-week devotional for couples by Hope N. Griffin available at www.HopeNGriffin.com.

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”Hope Griffin
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”
Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[e] have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
And Joshua did so.
— Joshua 5:13-15

Do you remember the story of Jericho? The one where they marched around the city in silence for six days and on the seventh day they blew their trumpets and the walls fell-down? Whenever I hear this story I can’t help but see Veggie Tales and think of the green-peas throwing insults at the Israelites.

The Israelites are victorious. But there is a small story before they march that is rarely discussed. I don’t mean Rahab, but rather this man who suddenly appears in Joshua 5 standing before Joshua with sword drawn. Joshua upon seeing this stranger simply asks are you with us or with the enemy. In other words, are you a threat or are you falling in line with our agenda? The man answers simply, “I’m not with you or them. I’m with God.”

I wonder how many times in life we are faced with the same confrontation. We get so busy defending our ground and drawing lines in the sand without stepping back and first asking “but are we on God’s side.”

Joshua humbly recognized that this battle was not his but the Lords. He responded appropriately and fell facedown in reverence identifying himself as being on God’s side. If he were not a humble man willing to listen more than command would he have had the humility to march in silence? Would he have trusted that God’s way was the right way?

Are you trusting that God’s way is the right way?

To learn more about Hope N. Griffin and her book Finding Joy: The Year Apart that Made Me a Better Wife, visit HERE.

Eternal Healing: A Letter from Our Publisher

posted on

Brooke Bartz

While September may feature pumpkins, football, and the start of fall, it also highlights and is recognized as Pain Awareness Month. At some point in life, we all experience pain on some level, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual. It is the one thing in life that cannot be avoided no matter how hard we may try. There are many individuals who battle pain on a daily basis due to chronic illness, and they fight every day to live a normal life.

Author Brooke Bartz discovered she had rheumatoid arthritis and gastroparesis early in her life. But she didn’t let her illness stop her from sharing the love of God with those around her. In her book, Chronic Love, Brooke points out that suffering is inescapable in this world, but the pain of our trials are not the end. She gives readers the Biblical encouragement that is needed to help overcome the daily battles many face while living with a chronic illness.

“To My New Friends,

In the following pages, you’ll discover an open book of carefully chosen words, penned in the quiet nooks of my heart’s journal and now, putting pen to paper, offered as hope-filled letters to you. If you’re a woman with a disease or disability, or if you’re a caregiver of one with disease, please know you’re not alone.

The disease or disability you’re enduring is God’s chosen will for you, and it may be gone tomorrow, or you may carry it with you for the rest of your life. I find comfort in the apostle Paul’s divinely, inspired words, “…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Like me, your life may be enmeshed with disease or disability – but your life doesn’t abound in it. If you’re a believer in our Lord, Jesus Christ, then experiencing a disease doesn’t ever change the fact that you’re an heir to the King and kept by the merciful and consuming affection of a Father who cares for you. He doesn’t turn His head in disgust or ignorance or dismiss your disease and the trials you face; but He has ordained it.”

“I know disease can deflate your heart at times. I know the suffering you go through yanks, jerks, and pulls your body like matchstick-thin shoelaces ripping through the loops of beaten up sneakers. Disease is like a stainless-steel faucet pouring out water upon you, cold and relentless, and the resulting tears you cry could fill the infinite ocean. I know your prayers to end this trial could fill a best-selling memoir, and your pain from suffering could overwhelm a skilled and strategic army, yet though you feel vastly outwitted and outnumbered, you have no reason to fear disease or tremble at death if you’re in Christ.

There is no fear in death when we have Christ as our Victor, Christ as our Reward. Death takes us into eternity, either with life and love eternal or with weeping and gnashing of teeth and separation from God. One day we will die, and when we take our last breath, we will either be in Heaven in serene rest or with Satan in eternal torment. As believers, we get to choose to die with knowing Christ as our Lord, our Forever Healer; we will die with confidence in His Truth. As a believer, you choose to live life in the confidence and faith that God is in control and that you can trust Him through the pain. You can choose to live with the choice of goodness and righteousness, being blameless like Christ who chose the Father’s will to be done. You can choose to live for the Father, to be content and wait; even with your earth-bound body in the throes of disease or disability, you can say, ‘Not my will, Lord, but thy will be done.’”

To learn more about Brooke and Chronic Love, visit HERE.

Five Things: Andrew Stone

posted on

Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Andrew Stone wrote Son of the Father, a creative storytelling of Barabbas, the man released in the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Here are Andrew’s Five Things:

Son of the FatherI think there must be a gene passed on within my family that encourages many of us to tell other people about Jesus. My grandfather sold Bibles door-to-door before becoming an ordained  church minister; my dad gave up a lucrative career in insurance so that he could successfully train for the ministry; my sister is an ordained minister as are both my wife and I. Meanwhile two of our children are leaders at the churches they attend.

When I was at school the only job I wanted to do was to work on a radio station. I did that for five years and during that time I asked what I believe must rate as the longest, most long-winded, verbose question ever broadcast. What the listeners wouldn’t have realised was that my interviewee was an elderly man whose dentures fell out live on air. My long question was to give him time to pick them up, dust them off and pop them back in again.

Nearly all of the significant things that have happened in my life have happened because my parents brought me up to be a Christian. For example, my first job on the radio was on the Christian Sunday morning breakfast show, the two magazines I have edited have both been Christian publications and, of course, the first book I’ve had published is a Christian novel. Most importantly of all, I met my wife, Alison, after I was invited to an event at her church.Son of the Father

Alison and I waited 25 years to go on honeymoon. When we first got married we couldn’t afford to go away and by the time we could afford to have holidays we had three children! But after 25 years of marriage the boys were all old enough to leave behind and so Alison and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and had our honeymoon at exactly the same time on one of the Canary Islands.

Apart from the importance of faith and family, the other significant issue my family have passed on to me is football (as an Englishman that would be soccer, not American). While one of my sons works for a London Premier League football club, it is the love of our home-town football team, Brighton and Hove Albion, that has been ingrained within the DNA of many generations of the Stone family. We all follow the Seagulls, as the side is affectionately known, although if we’ve just lost our last match it’s probably not the best time to call round for coffee!

Learn more about Son of the Father by visiting HERE and Andrew by visiting www.facebook.com/author.andrewstone.

Eternal Hope: A Letter from Our Publisher

posted on

Love Him Anyway

In this life, we are not promised that trials will never come. Instead, we are promised that when they come, we will never be alone. We will always have our Heavenly Father in the middle of the storm. We have this hope to help see us through the darkest of nights.

Abby Banks experienced the ultimate storm when her son, Wyatt, unexpectedly became paralyzed due to an autoimmune disease that attacked his spinal cord. Ultimately, she came to realize that often, our pain serves a purpose in our lives. She wrote about her experience and what she learned in her book Love Him Anyway: Finding Hope in the Hardest Places. I have chosen exerts from Abby’s book that show the purpose of pain and hope.

“I wish I could put a pretty ribbon on suffering and tell you that it is easy to rejoice, but I can’t. It was hard the day Wyatt was diagnosed, and it was hard this morning when I strapped him into his wheelchair and watched him roll into school. Rejoicing can be hard, but it is healing. Rejoicing points us to the One who is bigger than our hurt. Rejoicing is not a superficial happiness that pretends the hard doesn’t hurt.”
“I don’t believe that rejoicing has to look the same for everyone. For me, rejoicing begins with thanksgiving. It begins with an acknowledgment of the blessings before me. Thanksgiving leads me to praise my Maker, and it moves my soul closer to my Father in heaven. It takes my mind off the things in life that I cannot control, and it reminds me of the One who is in control of it all.”

“As much as I hate to admit it, pain serves a function in our lives. It is not wasted if we address it. It can protect us from destroying ourselves, and it should spur us to correct what ails us. It should cause us to seek out the source of our pain in order to stop it. If our pain is physical, we go to the doctor looking for answers, but sometimes we find it more difficult to see the purpose of the emotional pain that destroys us from the inside out. It’s hard to cry out to God when we don’t know why we are in the darkness. It’s hard to accept that God has allowed pain in any form to find us. It can cause us to doubt His goodness and sovereignty.

“I don’t know your struggle. I don’t know if you are in the middle of a raging storm being tossed by ferocious waves or wading in calm, crystal waters, but I do know that Christ longs to be near you in either place. He is the same on the top of the mountain and in the valley. If you are a child of the Risen King and God hasn’t pulled you from the darkness, He has a purpose for it. You have not been forgotten, my friend. Call out to God and ask Him to show you His goodness and rejoice in the fact that our hope extends beyond the life we are living. Even if God doesn’t bring the healing we crave in this life, eternity beckons. This life is not the end.

“If you haven’t met Jesus yet, He is calling you in the middle of the darkness. He is calling you in the middle of the calm waters. He is calling you wherever you are to live a life that is filled with the hope that only He can provide. Open your ears. Open your heart. He is calling. He is calling you through a little boy in an orange chair.

“It’s hard to reconcile suffering with the goodness of God. It is a battle that I will never completely understand. There are still days when I get angry, confused, and bitter, but I choose to focus on what I know to be true. God loves me anyway. And He loves you. And that is where my hope will rest, not in medicine or healing, but in the unfailing love of a Savior. Who sees me. Who knows me. And who loves me in spite of it all. Anyway.”

To learn more about Abby and Wyatt and Love Him Anyway, visit HERE.

Stand or Fight, Press or Rest

posted on

‘To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven.’ Ecclesiastes 3:1

‘Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.’ Proverbs 26:5

‘Be instant in season and out of season.’ 2 Timothy 4:2

 

What to do when we don’t know what to do.

Do we have a crutch or is it a yoke, do we go fast or slow, do we soak or soar, do we press or rest, do we give comfort or courage? We have so many questions, and when we are in the throes of decision we vacillate and wonder if it’s God’s voice or our own and if were to stand or fight.

Jehosaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 faced a devastating circumstance. The enemies that the Lord told him to leave alone were now coming as a mighty army against them. Jehosaphat knew they had no might to defeat so he called the people together to seek the Lord. He laid out the details before the Lord and then they waited. The word of the Lord came to them through Jehaziel. The Lord told them the battle was not theirs and they would not have to fight. BUT He told them to go out to meet the enemy. WHAT?? How do you go out to the enemy and not fight. Is that defeat? This army is greater than you – such odd directions. But what did the wise king perceive? God inhabits the praises of his people. They sent out the praisers to worship and cry out ‘Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever’. This was a tough situation . . . yet they are to go out praising His goodness? He wouldn’t let them get rid of this enemy before and now they’re not to fight, but praise. Yup, that’s what they did. And what happened? The Lord sent ambushes and wiped out the enemy. By the time the Israelites got there the enemy was defeated and God’s people got to take home the spoils.

So, we never fight? But what about intercession and fighting like the Jews building the wall had to do, or the armies of the Lord that often went out to fight? Hmmm!

Let’s look at a few principles we learn from 2 Chronicles 20. They sought the Lord first of all and in that crying out to the Lord, they told the Lord exactly what they saw happening. And then He spoke to them. He will speak to you. It may be a Bible verse that will rise in your spirit. It may be a phrase from a song or something someone told you. It may be a thought you’ve never had or one that you’ve thought many times. Trust it. Hear it. Obey it. It’s okay to ask the Lord to confirm it. But they were told not to fight and yet to go out and meet the enemy. But He also told them to stand and see the salvation of the Lord. Then they sent out the praisers.

So crying out to the Lord, seeking Him comes first. Then listen – perhaps you have to wait a bit or it may come quickly. Prepare next to stand and see the salvation – salvation means wholeness, healing, deliverance, provision – of the Lord. Then send out the praise for whatever direction He gives you. Let praise precede all your action.

You may be wondering how you stand and go out. Have you ever stood in the water up to your waist? It’s not hard when there is no wind or waves. But how do you stand when the waves buffet you? Well, you have to fight to maintain your stance. It takes effort to stand when life is rough around you. In Hebrews 4, He tells us to ‘labor to enter His rest’. Another seeming oxymoron. We don’t just sit down and let life roll over us and say, “Well I guess that’s the Lord’s plan.” No, you stand, you work to enter the rest, you hide the Word in your heart so you don’t sin against Him. You ‘fight’ to walk in the Spirit so you don’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.

I can hear some saying, “This is so confusing. You’re contradicting yourself.” We sometimes think that about the Lord and the Bible.

Put yourself in a position to know His word, hear His word, and live His word. Realize that His perspective is often different that ours. Ask Him how He sees the situation. Sometimes that’s all we need. Ephesians 2:6 says He ‘raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ – that’s great perspective.

And as you walk in this way, you’ll learn His voice and trust His voice. When I was a 5th grade teacher and taught three sections of science each day, I was troubled about fitting three or four units in before the end of the year. It might seem a small thing to some, but to me it was big – this was my job and I wanted to do everything well. As I walked one day and asked God about it, I heard Him inside ask me “What if you just did the weather unit first rather than last?” It was like a light bulb in my head. Well, that was perfect because then the unit that would be last could be shortened if time didn’t allow. Again, it may seem to some that would be a logical solution, but I couldn’t seem to figure it out. God knew and straightened out my thinking.

Sometimes your decisions are huge and matters of life and death. God will speak to you. He will give direction and confirm His purpose. I’ve found that when I’m in worship and know I’m in the Spirit, it’s a great time to check my heart for His direction. Learn to listen. Get to know His voice.

Sometimes He’ll use amusing situations to speak to you – that’s because you have a special relationship with your Lord. Our parents, our mates often let us know their answers in creative and humorous ways. The Lord Jesus, the Creator of the universe has so many creative ways to answer. This, though, isn’t asking for some strange sign that we insist on – this is asking the Lord to reveal His purpose to our hearts. His answer may seem strange to our thinking but it will line up with the Bible.

Enjoy your relationship with the Lord.

As writers, we may often struggle with direction in our writing, with editing, with marketing, with events surrounding our writing. Things tug at us, and many advise us one way or 32 other ways. It can be so daunting. Set yourself to hear from the Lord and follow Him, set yourself to stand and see His salvation in every decision, every chapter, every post, every marketing venture. Determine to go forward first with praise, realizing that He has good plans for you and He will open the doors and lead you down the right path.

God could have told the Israelites with Jehosaphat to fight the enemy. And there were times He did. Notice in 2 Chronicles 20 that He said at this time they did not need to fight, just go forward with praise. Just because one time the Lord has you go one way, doesn’t mean that His policy with you is always that method. He knows each time the direction you are to go.Blood Moon Redemption

This week, enjoy getting to know Him and letting Him lead you with praise, rest, and joy, whether you fight or stand, press or rest, answer a fool or not, give comfort or courage, go fast or slow, soak or soar in His presence. He is your God.

To learn more about Judy DuCharme and her book Blood Moon Redemption, visit HERE.

A Father’s Love: A Letter from Our Publisher

posted on

Letter from Our Publisher

 As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, let us each take a moment to remember the father or father-figure in our lives. Take a moment to remember the time they sacrificed to counsel you with their wisdom, the late nights they spent worrying over you, the money they gave to help you succeed, the encouragement they provided that gave you confidence, and the prayers that they offered on your behalf during difficult times. Take the time to thank them and show them appreciation for the investment they made in you.
The love of a father is a unique thing that each of us needs, and it is important to give gratitude to those who have offered that love. As we celebrate this Father’s Day, we are reminded of the love of our eternal Father in Heaven. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are” (1 John 3:1). There is no limit of love offered to us from our Heavenly Father.
This month’s excerpt, chosen for Father’s Day, was picked from Ambassador’s archives  and extracted from a book first published by us in 1986. Joseph and Ruth: A Classic Combination, written by Derrick Bingham, describes what the job and love of a father should and shouldn’t be. It demonstrates how Joseph’s father stepped onto thin ice when he showed him favoritism above his brothers. As a father, it is important to encourage your children and love them equally.
….
“’Father’s Day,’ the small boy pointed out, ‘Is just like Mother’s Day only you don’t spend so much!’ A father has been defined as someone who carries pictures where his money used to be. Parenthood is no easy task whatever its definition, and one of its deadliest traps is when a parent shows favor to one child above another.”
…..
“It is so easy to indulge in what seems a legitimate luxury which, in your heart, you know to be playing with fire. Favoritism fuels jealousy so deadly it can kill. You think I exaggerate? Joseph’s brothers very nearly got around to killing him because of what their father had created in their hearts by his behavior. As a father, watch out for that look of deference in your eyes, that touch, that planning, and those gifts towards your children. If you don’t, long after you are gone, that look, that touch, that plan, that gift will rancor in the heart of those who were not deferred to.”
…..
“I shall never forget a young man who came to see me one day about the unreasonable behavior of his father towards him. He poured out his story; words were tripping upon words as he told me the havoc his father was causing in his life. I identified with his hurt and agreed that his father’s behavior was most unreasonable, but slowly, there arose in my mind a feeling that I should warn him (it came from a line I once read in one of Frank Boreham’s books asking, what if the person receiving the spiteful letter you have just written were dead by the time your ‘I’ll-set-him-right’ letter arrived?).
Gently, I pleaded with the anxious chap in my study not to say anything to his father which he would regret as he might have to stand, God forbid, at his father’s graveside. He promised not to say anything hurtful but to wait for God to unravel His plan for his life. I am no seer, nor the son of one either, but the very next morning, his healthy father slumped over dead. Ashen faced, that young man returned to thank me for having warned him of the dangers of berating an unreasonable parent. He told me to share his story with others if I felt it would help.
The Scripture speaks of a man finding Joseph wandering in a field at Shechem. Poor Joseph! I can see him there in that field, unable to find his brothers, and maybe, in his heart, wishing he wouldn’t. Enthusiasm is always easier than obedience, but Joseph obeyed his father. Again, there are shades of the Savior in Joseph. The Father’s sending of his Son into the world was no irresponsible act, but we see the Lord Jesus ask in Gethsemane, ‘Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.’ It was not possible, and in obedience, He faced the jealous men who shouted for his blood. Obedience, though it seemed to bring disaster, actually brought incalculable reward.”
……
“As Joseph lay in the pit, due to Reuben’s intervention, I’m sure he didn’t shout, ‘Praise the Lord! Don’t you fellows know I am to be Governor of Egypt and free you one day from death and starvation? This pit is marvelous because it is the actual highway of God’s guidance for me!’ No pit of suffering in our lives ever appears to be the path to blessing. Joseph thought he was merely doing his duty and suffering for it. So it is in all matters of guidance. Let us do the legitimate duty of today, no matter what it costs, and God will use it to lead us on to greater things. After all, the will of God for me is to do the legitimate duties of today. ‘Do as the occasion serves you,’ said Samuel to Saul, and it was good advice. The warning to fathers against favoritism and jealousy come like beacons from Joseph’s story to us today. Let us despise favoritism and jealousy.”

“The glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6).

Let us remember these words as we honor our fathers on this Father’s Day.

To learn more about Derrick and Joseph and Ruth: A Classic Combination, visit HERE.