Tara’s Blog

Melissa Kruger — New (Highly Recommended!) Blog

wits end

I am so happy that Melissa Kruger is blogging! I have already learned so much from her and I am absolutely sure that her just-launched-this-week-blog will end up being one of my favorites.

I encourage you to visit her at:

Wit’s End — Having Nothing, Possessing Everything

And also to read her books: The Envy of Eve – Finding Contentment in a Covetous World and Walking with God in the Seasons of Motherhood.

In addition to being a wise, biblically-sound woman, she is also extraordinarily humble, encouraging, and kind. I have no doubt that you will find her to be as delightful (and witty! the title of her blog notwithstanding) as I have.

Oh! And Melissa will be one of the keynote speakers at next month’s PCA Women’s Leadership Conference (Vitally Connected to Christ, His Word, His Church), so I will have the joy of LiveBlogging her in just a few weeks.

You can sign up for a reminder to join in on her keynote’s LiveBlog here:

 

Live Blog 2015 PCA LT #1: Melissa Kruger – Vitally Connected to Christ

(PS — I’m so sorry my LiveBlog graphic is so crazily out of control. Apparently the software is having a glitch tonight. I will try again tomorrow to fix it … hopefully the tech team at CoverItLive will have things figured out and fixed soon.)

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WHEN HOME ISN’T SAFE (PART 1) – by Dan Doriani

christmas not safe

I have always admired and enjoyed Dr. Dan Doriani. But I didn’t know this part of his life story until I read it on the Gospel Coalition’s website this past week.

This is worth the read, my friends:

Home for the Holidays When Home Isn’t Safe (Part 1)

 

Confronted. Again. (Not fun! But oh, so GOOD.)

Recently, I was confronted on an important topic by someone I trust and admire.

Thankfully, God had graciously helped me to prepare for this meeting by calling me to prayer, reflection (I mentally worked through the Scripture passages and questions in the very same “Peacemaker Workbook” that I use with mediation clients), and listening to two spiritually-mature, insightful friends who know me quite well (and thus, they know my strengths, weaknesses, and proclivities in general).

So I was in a pretty good place when the meeting started and I can honestly say that the vast majority of the meeting was deeply enjoyable for me. I had the privilege of discussing substantively rich content on complicated and eternally important topics. My mind was engaged. My heart was engaged. I really do respect and admire this person, and I am passionate about the topics we discussed, so all of that was great. But, then. Sure. Of course. The few minutes that my friend (bravely) spent talking with me about my (mistake? bad decision? flat-out error?) were not, shall we say, particularly pleasant. Even between two Christians who trust, respect, and care about each other, confrontation is never that enjoyable. But this confrontation was oh,so good.

This morning, I woke up praying for this friend, and also for the things we discussed, and mulling over what made this difficult aspect of the conversation / this confrontation so good. Before I had to jump into my family duties, I came up with four things. There are probably more, but here is a start:

  • First of all–this confrontation was good because this friend spoke to me rather than about me to others. Right there, with just that one step, aren’t we in the realm of that which is “good”?! I think so. And I think that every family, friend, workplace, church—every every relationship would be better if we all just followed this one rule and spoke to people rather than about them.
  • Secondly, my friend’s confrontation was good because it gave me an opportunity to learn and growThis friend’s confrontation helped me to remedy an error in my thinking and communicating. And, with God’s help, I truly don’t think I will make this same mistake again. (I hope and pray not anyway!) He was clear, direct, and I found his point to be persuasive. I think that is a gift!
  • Third, this confrontation was good because this person (to use Ken Sande/Peacemaker Ministries’ term) had “passport” into my life: I trusted him. I knew he cared about me as a person (not just about this substantive topic/issue). And he was competent to help in this situation for two reasons: 1) He had experience and expertise; and 2) He humbly recognized that he is a learner (just like me), with his own things to work on/blind-spots, etc, so he spoke to me as a fellow pilgrim, not (to use David Powlison’s term) from a “pedestal” with me way-way-down-there in the “pit“.
  • Finally, this confrontation was “good” because it was accurate. Not too harsh. But also not that passive “sort of” confrontation where someone just talks at an angle about something—but never just spits it out and says what is on their heart. Or worse! Hands out an article or forwards a link to a big group of people about a “general topic” (that is CLEARLY about one person). Yeeeky-yeek-yeesh! Or probably my least, least favorite: the fakey-fake-fake-”OREO” of confrontation where someone says something NICE about you and then whaps you upside the head with the negative thing that is REALLY the reason this person is talking to you at all, and then (to close out the “oreo”) tries to say something nice to whatever bloody, bleeding emotional lump is left of you. Whoa, Nelly. No fun. Maybe some people find it to be a wise way to confront, but I have never found “the oreco” confrontation model to be a particularly redemptive or helpful model.

I’d like to reflect more on those four points, but I hear my kids moving around now, so my day is officially starting now and I need to scoot.

If you’d like to read more on the topic of confrontation and/or confession, here are some links that might prove helpful to you. Some of these I review often:

Hope these resources are helpful to you and that your day is a blessed one—

Your friend,
Tara B.

Family Holidays with Drunks, Addicts, and People Who Do Not Like You

miserable christmas

It wasn’t until God saved me as a teenager and I began to be invited into people’s homes and holiday celebrations that I learned first-hand that sometimes, families really liked to gather with one another at the holidays and that sometimes, decorations were lovely; music was redemptive; and food was delicious. (I had read about such things in books as a child, but never had the reality of the experience myself.)

My childhood holidays were different. I remember a lot of drunken yelling and slamming of doors and then sitting at an over-done formal table, plastering a smile on for the Polaroid to show how “happy” and “normal” we were. Then everyone scattering as fast as possible to a neutral corner to avoid having to interact with each other. (My sister and I were MASTERS at staying perfectly still, eyes not moving, not a muscle flinching, so as to avoid having the tsunami of rage turn in our direction and slam us down.)

And oh, yeah. Those were the “good” holidays when my family was still “intact.” Some of them even included trips to extended family gatherings or hosting people at our home. Oh man. Talk about ratcheting up the stress level. My mom didn’t clean our home very much when I was growing up—but OH WOW! Did we clean when we knew people were coming over. Murphy’s Oil Soap and Helen Reddy records a blarin’! We shoved piles into dark places and emptied overflowing ashtrays, threw away empty wine and liquor bottles by the caseload, and scrubbed nicotine off of every surface. (You don’t really dust when you live in a home with both parents smoking two packs a day—you really have to 409/scrub to even try to get that greenish-black paste off of everything.) And then we cut the tags off of our just-bought clothes from Kmart, duct-taped the dumpster-dived-tree to the wall to try to get it to stand up straight, and tried to look happy when the relatives we didn’t really know started showing up—many of them hugging us with too-tight of hugs, already reeking of alcohol, even though it was only 10AM.

(It was during one of those extended family holiday gatherings that an uncle distracted me with a cigarette-making machine. On a bed. Just the two of us. Until other adults “found us” and dragged him, screaming, from the room, and I was left there, so confused. My three year-old mind not understanding what I had done wrong. But it must have been something BAD because there was SO MUCH YELLING going on. You know. Right there among the fake Christmas greens and blinking lights.)

But holiday gatherings didn’t always have that level of drama. Sometimes we got to visit our mother in yet another hospital or detox center. (If you haven’t spent Christmas visiting someone in a locked-down mental institution, you probably can’t really relate to how bizarre, sad, and awful it is—and how strangely quiet it is, unless someone freaks out in one of the “commons” areas.) I remember those family holidays mostly as pathetic. My mom didn’t say much. (I assume she was heavily medicated or else in a lot of mental and physical pain.) I distinctly remember nurses trying to bless us with outdated Highlights magazines or treats of crackers and little plastic cups of powdered sugary drinks. (I now assume it was the electrolyte solution they gave to the people detoxing off of alcohol; at the time I just thought it was gross orange stuff in a cup.) We arrived. Signed in. Were searched for any hidden alcohol. Waited in a room filled with scary people until Mom was rolled in, or visited her in her room—but that was even scarier at times because she would often be “locked down” in restraints to keep her from hurting herself.)

“Here’s a card I made for you, Mom.”

“I love you, Mom. Feel better.”

Then I remember feeling SO guilty for being SO happy to get to leave. (What kind of child doesn’t want to be with her mother at Christmas?)

And then the divorce came. Holidays “shared” by court order. Being driven to a “neutral area” with one parental unit handing me off to the other parental unit. Knowing even as a young child that the parent that got to drop OFF the kids and get as FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE from their own children really felt that they had WON THE PRIZE. Off to the bar they went! Back to the lovers. Back to a day in bed with a bottle of Scotch. Back to anyplace and anyone that wasn’t me.

Oh, how I hated the holidays. But even more so, I hated my life. My family. I hated me.

“Everyone else” it seemed to my naive, childhood mind) had a “normal” life and a “normal” family and holidays of laughter and love and light and goodness and … well … everyone loved everyone else and got along and didn’t get drunk and have fights (or attempt suicide or be unfaithful to their spouses or spend money they didn’t have …).

I longed for The Folger’s Christmas Commercial Family and Home and Golden Retriever. And then I became a Christian.

God saved me, everything in my life was perfect. Right?

Nope. In so many ways, for the first few years, when God, “being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved (me)” revealed to me that I was “dead in trespasses” and made me “alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2;4-5a), things actually got worse for awhile because I did what so many (well-meaning, but immature) Christians do: I forgot to read the rest of the verse (and really, the rest of the Bible).

So I was the caricature of The Christian Jerk at the holiday gathering. You know who we are. Maybe you still are one!

The Christian jerk puts herself up on some sort of moral high ground and self-righteously looks at all of the “sinners” around her doing all of their “worldly” things and forgets the rest of verse 5 in Ephesians 2: that we have been saved “by grace.”  That “this is not of our doing, it is the gift of God.” (v9) “Not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (v10)

  • The Christian jerk talks a lot, but listens very little.
  • The Christian jerk has STRONG feelings on all sorts of moral and political issues and she is going to make SURE you know “The Truth” before she leaves the table. (Or you can just check out her bumper stickers.)
  • The Christian jerk has all sorts of excuses and explanations for her weaknesses and sins, but makes not one charitable presumption about another person, a fellow servant, who is either her brother in Christ—or a fellow beggar who needs the very same Bread of Life and the Blood of Christ that God has graciously brought to her lips.

No one wants to sit next to The Christian Jerk at the holiday gathering. And who can blame them? I wouldn’t want to sit next to my baby Christian jerk of a self either.

But God is faithful to grow us up in conformity to Jesus (Romans 8:29)! He convicts us to how we are to walk–in humility, gentleness, patience (Ephesians 4:2). We begin to see that the filthy ashes from the cigarettes all around us do not even come close to the dark, rightfully damning stench of own sin and unbelief (Romans 6:23). Rather than thinking ourselves “other” when we compare ourselves to our unbelieving family, we see how similar we are! And our hearts overflow with love and a true desire to bless and never curse (Romans 12). To share the whole gospel with them because we love them not because we want to “fix” them. To pray that our lives and our words would be “gracious” and “seasoned with salt”  (Colossians 4:6) so that we do not “quarrel” or lead people into more ungodliness by our “irreverent babble” — but instead, we are “kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting opponents with gentleness, that God may perhaps grant them repentance.” (2 Timothy 2)

That God may grant them repentance. Not that we (Recovering Christian Jerks) may reason, argue, manipulate, or force them “into the Kingdom.” It doesn’t work that way! Thank God. Oh, how I thank God that it doesn’t work that way.

The truth is, God graciously saved us because it was in accordance with his “pleasure and will” to do so (Ephesians 1). And now that we are His children, He is growing us up in Christ (Who is our Head) to be a gracious, pleasing aroma (2 Corinthians 2:15)—inasmuchas it depends on us (Romans 12:18). Sure, some people are just going to always hate the stench that is the Light of Christ. We know this is true and we know what to do with people who hate us: Do good! Bless! Pray for! (Luke 6)

This takes time. This takes grief. Regular strengthening by the means of grace within the local church. Right worship of the One True Living God. Spiritual mentoring/discipleship. Friends who love us when we are still full of bitterness and hate. (But because they really love us, they not only refuse to add to our bitterness and hatred, they actually help us to repent). A heart fixed on eternity (our True Home!). The power of God to raise our dead hearts to life again. The grace to forgive. The grace to be forgiven.

Some of the resources that have helped me the most about these things:

  • The Bible (Read it. Every day. Just read it. And then make sure you’re in a church that is preaching the whole counsel of the whole of Scripture. Get into Bible studies—sure! Great! But first? Every day. You and God’s Word. It really is living and active, separating bone from marrow. Don’t just read about the Bible. Read the Bible.)
  • Addictions: A Banquet at the Grave (If your childhood, your life, has been touched by addictions—especially if you have confusion over what you have learned and seen and even been tremendously blessed by in “Twelve Step” programs like AA, NA, OA, read this book. It is life changing. One of the few books I read over and over again in life.)
  • Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom (Oh, friends. Nancy Leigh DeMoss hits it out of the park with this one. Are you stuck in anger and bitterness and even rage toward people who have done great evil to you or to someone you love? Do you “know” you “should” forgive someone—but you feel you “can’t”, especially after decades and decades? Read this book. Read this book with a friend. It will help you. It has helped me.)
  • Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection (If any of this post is resonating with you, then you probably know the gray, hard-to-define-but-crushingly-strong-feeling-of-not-good-enough-ness = shame. If so, get this book. Read and re-read this book. Or if it’s too long, read Judy’s wisdom in our chapter on Shame in Peacemaking Women.Remember! I’m just the example of how NOT to be in “Peacemaking Women”—Judy brings all the wisdom! :) !)
  • Loving Well — Even if You Haven’t Been (I’m so sorry that you haven’t been loved well. I’m so sorry that people didn’t genuinely LIGHT UP when they saw you walk in the door as a child. I’m sorry that you were not loved well—but you don’t have to spend your life defined by the sad reality of your childhood, your first marriage, the cult that called itself your “church”. You can change! Life can be different. God is bigger than your biggest sorrow. He gives us a way out. He gives us His very self.)

Oh. And even if you’re thinking this post doesn’t apply to you because you’ve had a relatively happy childhood and you have relatively happy family get togethers? Mostly, I just want to say, “HOORAY!” I love love LOVE hearing about husbands and wives who love each other; daddies and mommies who are functional adults who snuggle and protect and provide for their children whom they ADORE. I am THRILLED to picture children in clean homes with clean clothes (not Pinterest Perfect Homes with Pinterest Perfect Clothes—just not squalor; not in need of basics like clean underwear and shoes that fit; having access to needed, basic personal hygiene supplies and never having to try to figure out as a five year-old how you were going to find food to eat).

If you get to go to a Christmas Eve celebration tonight and there will not be slurred profanities screamed and no frozen, glassy, eyes stoned in a catatonic state? Rejoice! I rejoice for you! But I also ask you to please move with compassion toward those of us who had a different life story growing up—and we are just now trying to learn how to live this new life in this new way. Please be patient with us. Remember that there might be really, really good reasons why it is really, really hard for us to risk and trust. We have a duty to do so! And we are growing! But sometimes we have years (even decades) of pain and abuse to overcome before we can even begin to try to love as we are called to love.

“We are God’s children now!” (1 John 3:2) Now we know what love looks like because we have seen JESUS! He laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16). And so …

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.” 1 John 4:18

So off we go to our holiday gatherings. Pleasant or unpleasant. Perfect or imperfect. (And all of them, by the way, are imperfect!) With hope and faith and confidence and love. Because God first loved us–we are ultimately safe (John 16:33). Wanted, cherished, protected … loved.

Blessings to you my internet-friends & real-life friends too!

Yours,
Tara B.

PS
Please don’t interpret any of this to mean that I think children or adults should be put around dangerous people in dangerous situations! I have an entire section of this blog devoted to protecting children from abuse and after that horrific situation with that uncle when I was a child? Even my family knew enough to never allow my sister or me to even see him ever again.

PPS
If you are more of an auditory learner, I have a number of free audio recordings (including my testimony and one specifically on holiday strife) on this page of my website: Free Audio Downloads. And if you would like an extended teaching on HOW God specifically helped me (and is helping me!) to move into the lives of people who have hurt me deeply, you can watch a keynote I did on Romans 12 at a Peacemaker Conference here.

Elizabeth is the Winner!

Congratulations, Elizabeth! Random.org chose YOU for the Journal of Biblical Counseling & Quick Scripture Reference guides!

elizabeth winner

Please make sure I have your mailing address and I’ll have them into the mail as soon as I can. (It may be a few days before I can swim through the crowds at the post office to take advantage of that media mail shipping rate …)

Many thanks to everyone for participating! I always love hearing from you.

Blessings,
Tara B.

Forgiveness is at the Heart of Every Redemptive Encounter in the Church

sm both of us with books for faces

Thanks, Dave! I needed this today.

(From our Redeeming Church Conflicts site …)

Forgiveness is at the Heart of Every Redemptive Encounter in the Church
by David V. Edling

In prior posts we have noted the distinctions drawn by the Scriptures between the wisdom of this world and the wisdom that comes down from heaven. James 3:13 through 18 is one place where we see that distinction being drawn:

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

There are other places in the Scriptures where God communicates that what passes for wise living in this world nowhere even comes near to what passes for holiness or wisdom from his eternal perspective. Consider, for example, 1 Corinthians 1:20 through 25:

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

One of the latest examples I came across of the difference between the truth of God’s wisdom and the deception of the wisdom of this world was written about in a Wall Street Journal article titled When Forgiveness Isn’t a Virtue (WSJ, October 30, 2012). In that article, the author does make some observations about forgiveness that are consistent with a biblical worldview:

Remember that you have likely hurt people, too, and reflect on what it felt like to be forgiven. It is best to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. We sometimes judge intent when it wasn’t there. Often people did not intend to hurt you.

It’s important to be empathetic, to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see why they did whatever they did. Is your spouse under a lot of pressure at work and that is why he or she blew up at you? Try to see your part in the situation.

But the main gist of the article is that forgiveness is best seen and best used as a tool of manipulation in order to get the other person to change:

A psychology professor has been studying the costs versus the benefits of forgiveness. The potential cost of forgiveness is that it doesn’t hold the partner [other person] accountable for the behavior.

Forgiveness always makes people feel good immediately, but the question is what does it do to the person I am forgiving?

Experts believe emotional hurt serves as an evolutionary defense. You feel sadness and fear so you don’t want to go back to the person and get hurt again. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to remain in the relationship. It is possible to forgive and leave.

Reading these quotes reminds me of what Ken Sande noted about biblical forgiveness in his book The Peacemaker:

Forgiveness can be extremely costly, but if you believe in Jesus, you have more than enough to make these payments. By going to the cross, he has already paid off the ultimate debt for sin and established an account of abundant grace in your name. As you draw on that grace through faith day by day, you will find that you have all you need to make the payments of forgiveness for those who have wronged you (page 208, The Peacemaker, Third Edition).

God’s wisdom is that we are to be expansive in acts of forgiveness just as he has been expansive in his forgiveness of us. That is the whole point of the parable of the unmerciful servant we find at Matthew 18:21 through 35. The king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants called before him one who owed an unimaginable sum of money. The man couldn’t pay and since he didn’t like the potential consequences (he and his family being sold into slavery) he begged the king for mercy. The king said “OK. Your debt is canceled.” This is truly unbelievable grace!

But then the servant who had been forgiven his huge debt (an amount so unrealistic it would be impossible for any person to amass such a debt) immediately goes out and harshly demands that a fellow servant who owes him a week’s wages pay up…now. Unable to pay, the previously forgiven servant has his fellow servant thrown into debtor’s prison.  The others seeing what has occurred report this action back to the king (the master) who becomes rather indignant that his act of compassion wasn’t likewise followed and confronts the ungrateful man by saying:

I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?

The lesson, God’s wisdom coming down from heaven, is clear is it not? We are to forgive others just as expansively as God has forgiven us our debt for sin, an unimaginable indebtedness that no one could ever pay. What debts are owed you that could ever compare?

It is only unmerited forgiveness that gives any of us the hope of eternal life in Christ. In the same way, only unmerited forgiveness will enable a church to redeem its conflicts and enjoy the fruits of reconciliation. Forgiveness is at the heart of every redemptive encounter in the church. Forgiveness is the “other-centered” act that God bestowed on us so that we might follow in his steps and do the same. Forgiveness may be the most “God-centered” act we will ever undertake, an act intended to fulfill God’s goal of unity in the church rather than any personal goal of fulfillment or trying to teach somebody else a lesson. It is costly activity but you have the expansive account from which you can afford the payments.

For peace among God’s wise people,
-Dave Edling

Win (Lots of Copies of) The Journal of Biblical Counseling AND Two Quick Scripture Reference Guides

journal  jpg giveaway

Again celebrating the move of Peacemaker Ministries from Billings to its new location in Colorado Springs …

And again thanks to the generosity of the Peacemaker leaders who are allowing me to giveaway (AMAZINGLY GOOD!) resources from their old library …

Today, our family is happy to announce our next Christmas giveaway:

  1. The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling;
  2. The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Youth; and
  3. A HUGE STACK of old issues from  The CCEF Journal of Biblical Counseling.

I love ALL of the “Quick Scripture Reference” guides—and oh, friends! If you are not already familiar with (and subscribing to!) The Journal of Biblical Counseling, I strongly urge you to do so today. I think the articles are the best (most rigorously biblical, imminently practical, and always Christ-exalting!) articles that are being published today. This stack o’ issues would be a treasure for your church library (or personal library—but I encourage you to share! :) ! )

To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment on this post by 5:00PM Sunday, December 21, 2014
and I’ll let RandomNumberGenerator pick the winner!

** NOTE ** If you share on any social media, just let me know how you shared,
and I’ll give you AN EXTRA ENTRY FOR EACH SHARE! **

This is truly just a Barthel-Family-Giveaway—so, as always, we will NEVER give your contact information away to ANYONE.

No risk of SPAM! Why not join in the fun?

Much love and big hugs from Fred, Sophia & Ella too!
Tara B.

PS
If you are still looking for a Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for church leader, friend, or family member, I don’t think you can do better than the 30-YEAR-Archive of The Journal of Biblical Counseling and Education for ONLY $69 (!!). (I make no money from CCEF and I am in no way affiliated with them other than through prayer and a monthly donation and LOTS of appreciation. So I am truly just mentioning it because it is a TREASURE that I really think would be a blessing to you/someone you love.)

PPS
Please be sure to check back and see if you’ve won after the 21st. If I don’t have your contact information within one week, I will choose another winner. Thanks!

Paige Benton Brown Giveaways!

Apparently there are quite a few of you (like me!) who think that Paige Benton Brown is phenomenally gifted as a Bible teacher. (I know this because her name is constantly in my list of top-ten searches on this blog.) But have you found it hard to locate her resources online? I know I have.

Therefore, as my little Christmas gift to us all, I’ve decided to compile as many Paige Benton Brown links as I can to hopefully make it a little easier on us all to be edified by her wonderful teachings and writings.

Hope these are a blessing to you!

(And just in case you ever see this—HIGHLY DOUBTFUL!—Thanks, Paige, for serving the Lord and His people so well. We appreciate you.)

Blessings,
Tara B.

LINKS FOR PAIGE BENTON BROWN

Robin G & Kelly M are our Winners!

Congratulations, Robin & Kelly! RandomNumberGenerator picked you!

dec drawing winners

Please send me your mailing addresses and I’ll have your books/resources in the mail to you ASAP. (If I hear from you tonight, I might be able to ship them tomorrow—otherwise it’ll have to be next week because Soph & I are heading out for her birthday trip on Wednesday.)

Thanks, all! It was great to hear from you.

I hope to do another giveaway soon!

Gratefully,
Tara B.

Give a Gift to Your Pastor (or Keep it for Yourself)! Enter to Win $100 in FREE RESOURCES!

giveaway sm

As you may already know, Peacemaker Ministries has moved to Colorado Springs. In the course of emptying out the old offices here in Billings, I came across some (wonderful!) resources that were going to be given away—so I asked if I could give them to YOU and Peacemakers said, “Sure!” So here is the first Barthel family giveaway for this holiday season …

Our family is giving away two sets of over $100 in beautiful (biblical, practical, helpful!) books and one audio book on CD that I’d be happy to have you keep for yourself—or maybe the stack would make a nice gift for your pastor or another church leader if you win.

I love all of these resources, but the first one (“While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks”) is one of Dave Edling’s favorites and the “Quick Scripture References”? Well. I love them all—and I’m hoping to do another giveaway soon for the women’s version and the youth version too.

For today? All you have to do is leave your name in a comment and you’ll be entered to win one stack of all of these resources! (I have two sets to give away.)

Just leave a comment on this post by 5:00PM (Mountain), Monday, December 8, 2014 and be sure I have a way to contact you if you are one of the two winners. (If I can’t reach you within one week, I will let RandomNumberGenerator pick another winner.)

That’s it! Hope you win! Please be sure to enter by next Monday so that I can have the resources mailed to you in time for you to give them away as Christmas gifts if you are so inclined. :)

Grateful for you!

And grateful for all of our church leaders who shepherd their flocks so well—

Yours,
Tara B.

PS
Just a quick reminder that our family would NEVER give your name or contact information to ANYONE for marketing purposes. And we would never SPAM you. So please feel free to enter this giveaway without any fear of risk regarding such things. Thanks! tkb

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