Archive for the ‘Letter from Our Publisher’ Category

Eternal Healing: A Letter from Our Publisher

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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.

Eternal Hope: A Letter from Our Publisher

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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.

A Father’s Love: A Letter from Our Publisher

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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.
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“’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.”
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“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.”
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“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.”
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“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.

The Highest Calling: A Letter from our Publisher

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Letter from our publisher

As you celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, we hope you were able to remember and celebrate the mother, grandmother, or the mother figure in your life. The woman who came next to you and encouraged you, taught you, and loved you.

Mothers often go unappreciated for the hard, dedicated work that they do. Their days are often filled with laundry, cooking, cleaning up after everyone else, working, helping with school, and driving children to activities. But a mother’s days are also filled with snuggles from their children, kisses, “I love yous,” big bear hugs, every one of their child’s firsts, holding small hands, and so much more. That’s why it is so important to set aside a day to honor mothers and to say thank you for the hard work and dedication.

In The High Calling of Motherhood, author Chimene Shipley Dupler explains that the role of motherhood is a high calling from God. It is an opportunity you are blessed with to help mold the next generation and show them the love of Christ. In the excerpts below, Chimene explains that in today’s generation, we have devalued motherhood and fail to see it as the gift that it is. We have failed to see that one of the greatest callings of a mother is to teach their child about Jesus.

“We have lost the meaning and purpose of motherhood and the responsibility that comes with the high calling and gift that it is. We have forsaken it as a spiritual matter and used it as another stroke for our own ego and advancement. Motherhood has been orphaned and disdained by our culture. Instead, we rejoice in our self-entitlement and celebrate freedom from responsibility. We don’t want to be inconvenienced or burdened. And we definitely don’t want to have to work harder than necessary. This have-it-all culture of self-entitlement and convenience is the antithesis of motherhood. Yet, if we truly intend to raise up a generation of world changers, the calling of motherhood must be resurrected with a call to action by our society.

“Motherhood is messy and hard. But it is also a gift. We are leaving a legacy. We are impacting the culture and the future. We are leaving our mark and handprint on society. To do so, we must be intentional and purposeful. That begins with understanding our own individual purpose as mothers. Motherhood is, indeed, a calling- a high calling.

“As parents, we have been blessed with the responsibility to teach our children about Jesus, and we need to be fully ready ourselves in order to be up to the challenge. We need to step up our game. It is not a Christian school’s job. It is not the church’s job. God has given the family, the mother and father, the authority and the responsibility.

“Our job as moms is to point our children to Jesus, giving them a firm foundation with a biblical worldview. But when we remember that this is a spiritual battle we are facing, we realize that we are not alone in this fight. I have learned not to take things personally. I have to remember that my fight and my struggle reaching my child’s heart is described in Ephesians 6:12, ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ We are in a spiritual battle as parents.

“Our mission as mothers is to reach our children’s hearts for Jesus. Our impact has an eternal significance. You have the potential to directly impact and influence lives. You are holding potential. Don’t discard what God has given you, thinking that the role of motherhood is an insignificant or unworthy career. Don’t bury your talent. God has called you and equipped you. We were made to thrive, not just survive, in our roles as wife and mother. Let’s be mothers who will change the trajectory and go to battle by raising up a godly generation.

“Moms, you are chosen. You are leaving your mark on history. You are making a difference. You are personally impacting the next generation. Motherhood is the highest of callings. While culture and society has abandoned and orphaned the high calling of motherhood, God has never orphaned or abandoned the high calling of motherhood.”

This past Mother’s Day and every day beyond, may every mother be able to join Chimene and say, “I am a difference-maker. I am a world changer. I am a mom.”

We hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!

To learn more about Chimene and The High Calling of Motherhood, visit HERE.