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An Introduction to Ephesians

Why does Paul refer to his fellow Christians as “saints” at the beginning of his letters, and how can this be true since all Christians continue to struggle with remaining sin? What does it mean to be chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, as Paul teaches in Ephesians? Does God choose us because of something good that he foresaw in us? And what is the significance of the idea that we have been predestined to be adopted as his very own sons? The host will discuss these questions and more as we begin a new series on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join us for this edition of the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“When God speaks, things happen. When God says, ‘Let there be light,’ in the Old Testament in Genesis, there is light. When Jesus says, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ he in fact does. When God, through the mouth of the apostle or here through the pen of the apostle says, ‘Grace to you and peace from God our Father,’ it’s not just imparting information. It is doing that, but it’s doing something more than that actually. It’s bringing the very thing that it speaks of. It is imparting to them the peace that comes from God on account of Christ.” – Steve Parks

Term to Learn:

“The Authority of Christ in Scripture’s Authorship”

Christianity is often called a book-religion. It would be more exact to say that it is a religion which has a book. Its foundations are laid in apostles and prophets, upon which its courses are built up in the sanctified lives of men; but Christ Jesus alone is its chief cornerstone. He is its only basis; he, its only head; and he alone has authority in his Church. But he has chosen to found his Church not directly by his own hands, speaking the word of God, say for instance, in thunder-tones from heaven; but through the instrumentality of a body of apostles, chosen and trained by himself, endowed with gifts and graces from the Holy Ghost, and sent forth into the world as his authoritative agents for proclaiming a gospel which he placed within their lips and which is none the less his authoritative word, that it is through them that he speaks it. It is because the apostles were Christ’s representatives, that what they did and said and wrote as such, comes to us with divine authority. The authority of the Scriptures thus rests on the simple fact that God’s authoritative agents in founding the Church gave them as authoritative to the Church which they founded. All the authority of the apostles stands behind the Scriptures, and all the authority of Christ behind the apostles. The Scriptures are simply the law-code which the law-givers of the Church gave it.

If, then, the apostles were appointed by Christ to act for him and in his name and authority in founding the Church—and this no one can doubt; and if the apostles gave the Scriptures to the Church in prosecution of this commission—and this admits of as little doubt; the whole question of the authority of the Scriptures is determined. It will be observed that their authority does not rest exactly on apostolic authorship. The point is not that the apostles wrote these books (though most of the New Testament books were written by apostles), but that they imposed them on the Church as authoritative expositions of its divinely appointed faith and practice. (B. B. Warfield, “The Authority and Inspiration of the Scriptures,”The Selected Shorter Writings of B.B. Warfield Vol. 2, pp. 537–539)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

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Unorthodox Train Wreck

Welcome back to the Unorthodox Man Podcast! This week, I get to sit down with a new friend, John Ruhlam. John grew up in a small town in North West Washington and is a fifth generation pastor. I’m talking very small – only about 800 people lived in his hometown. John grew up thinking that religion was all about rules – do this / don’t do that. He basically grew up thinking religion was all about rules. He missed the concept of a merciful, graceful God. So, like too many PK’s (pastor’s kids), John rebelled and ran away from God.

But, then, when he was 20-years-old, John gave his life to Jesus and moved from “religious rules” to a “relationship with God”.

However, that’s just the very, very beginning of John’s story.

Here is a sample list of bulletpoints that John shares about his life (although, you really should hear the story from John, himself by pushing the play button above!)…

  • Moved to Southern California for college and learns about a loving, grace filled, compassionate God
  • Gets involved with student government, serving his community
  • Starts a job as a football coach and history teacher
  • His pastor tells him he wants him to be a youth pastor
  • Turns him down then gets offered triple his pay and accepts
  • Served as a youth pastor for 11 years and then left to plant a church in Temecula
  • Church explodes and life is great – awesome time to be in ministry
  • Motorcycle crash and breaks neck, whole right side was paralyzed but left side still works
  • 4 months of rehab he gets full use of his body
  • This starts 10 years of pain medication addiction
  • Wife of 22 years leaves him because of his addiction combined with his over commitment to ministry
  • 2 years later he is completely out of ministry
  • No wife & no ministry leads to deep depression
  • In depression a friend introduces him to Meth
  • That starts 6 months strait of meth use
  • Meth changes you emotionally, spiritually, physically
  • Friend dies of drug overdose and decides to get clean
  • Starts an outpatient rehab and recommits to Jesus
  • Sobriety starts but consequences keep coming
  • Gets arrested at church for violating a restraining order
  • Car is broken into while in jail
  • Goes to the police – no help
  • Goes to arresting officers house – gets arrested for 3 felony charges
  • Gets remanded in court and is sent to jail
  • Sits in prison for 6 months when released from jail the judge mandates rehab and John happily accepts
  • While sitting in jail he realizes where life went sideways
  • Decided to work on himself before ever working on others
  • Advice for guys who aren’t taking care of themselves:
    • Knew all the right answers, but didn’t really live the truth
    • Don’t look to blame others, accept your faults
    • Realized that God was stripping everything away to get his attention.
    • Told God he has nothing left and was now was willing to follow
    • Now in recovery with nothing to his name he says, “I am a happy man – with nothing”.
    • When you start with nothing all you can get is a blessing

What’s Next?

Don’t want to get a head of God. Quit making plans and just go one day at a time.

No matter where I go I know God will use him for His glory.

John’s favorite verse:

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Jesus set John free from pain, addiction, jail, and depression.

John’s final words of advice:

Guys, we are surrounded by evidence of God, the next step is a step of faith.

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Unorthodox Treasure – An Interview with Alan Johnson

This week, I get to sit down with a new buddy of mine – Alan Johnson. Alan was raised in a Christian family in San Diego. He grew up as an athlete in the “Perfect Family”.

But, then they found out that his dad was having an affair… and the family blew up. This is when Alan and his brothers started drinking to cope with dad.

Alan’s story is one full of twists and turns, both figuratively and literally. Here are just a few bullet points we discuss in this week’s podcast:

  • After college gets a job working with disabled adults and realizes they had their lives together more than he did
  • Starts to work on himself to figure out who he was
  • Still wasn’t living like a follower of God but started to think about God again
  • Through different opportunities gets a chance to go to seminary
  • After seminary gets an opportunity to lead the college ministry
  • Working at the college ministry he starts to see success and eventually gets a full time position with the ministry
  • After a few years of college ministry starts a church plant and at first things were really good. Lots of conversions & baptisms.
  • But not everything goes well for long. Churchy folks don’t like Alan’s attitude but the un-churched loved the vibe.
  • Went from being a “Very Successful” church planter at denominational meetings to being someone no one wanted to talk to.Unorthodox Treasure - An Interview with Alan Johnson
  • This is when alcoholism starts to show up.
  • Alan has to close the church down and starts volunteering at other churches and his drinking starts getting worse
  • Found great joy in being a dad – spent as much time as possible being dad. But as kids got older the less they needed Alan and this started to hurt.
  • With ministry tanking and kids not needing him drinking gets worse
  • Gets a new job but drinks himself out of the job
  • Realized he was a “false perfect dad” just like his dad was
  • The worse things got at home the more he drank to push things away.
  • Goes to a family party drunk and drives home from the party even more intoxicated and crashes into a car. Ends up in jail, wife separates from him and he moves into a dive hotel.
  • Things go sideways at the dive hotel.
  • Ended up at Green Oak Ranch.
  • After burning out AA sponsors he was suggested to go to Green Oak.
  • Showed up drunk at rehab so got sent away for a week.
  • Slowly starting to see himself as a treasure and not the trash
  • He is enjoying being ministered to and not needing to be the minister
  • Feeling like the Prodigal son
  • Been lost in the world, felt alone, but finally feel like the Father is coming to meet him

Alan offers these words of advice to us all:

Develop eternal, significant relationships – take time to allow God to develop you! And, don’t try to look like treasure. Just be honest with God about who you are.

Alan’s favorite Bible Verse is Matthew 15:16, where Jesus asks:

“Don’t you understand yet? Why are you still so dull?”

You see, It’s ok not to get it – God wants us to ask Him about things.

As Alan puts it, “From a loser to other losers – don’t give up God wants to help you celebrate, just keep walking and going after God!”

You are NEVER beyond God’s grasp!

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Unorthodox Prison Time: An Interview with Meezilini Tha Messenger

How does a teenage, gang-banging pimp transform into someone who seeks God, takes to the streets, preaches God’s Word, and reaching the lost? A better question might be: How did Mark Miles Jr. become Meezilini Tha Messenger? We discover the answers to both of these questions and much more in this week’s episode, where I get to chat with the man himself: Meezilini!

Here are a few of the things Meezilini tha Messenger and I discuss:Unorthodox Prison Time: An Interview with Meezilini Tha Messenger

  • He was born & raised in Portland, Oregon
  • At age 14, he started gang banging with the Crips
  • At 18-years-old, he was sent to federal prison
  • After prison, he started pimping
  • Then, he got locked up for pimping
  • That time, while in prison, his soul was saved
  • That’s when he got started in Hip Hop
  • First stint in prison, he met Big Smurf – a big time gangster with ties in the local Hip Hop scene
  • Big Smurf heard him rapping at lunch and wanted to sign him… if they made it out of prison
  • Once they got out, the hip hop scene led to more criminal action
  • Getting locked up the second time, he still planned on coming back to do more Hip Hop and planned on using the crime and controversy to get people listening to him
  • God found him in prison
  • He was running his own crew in prison
  • But ,then he moved to a “100% Believer”
  • A friend told him, “Seek God and God will show up!”
  • So, he started praying… and things started changing
  • Through apologetics, he truly started to understand who Jesus is and committed his life to Jesus and felt the true change of Jesus’ love
  • When he got out of prison, he started his Facebook ministry
  • …And his life change continued!
  • His current ministry: Bossed Up Turf Missionaries – going into the streets, preaching the Word, and reaching the lost!

This is just part of Meezilini’s story. You’ve got to listen to what God has done throughout his life to transform him into a soldier for God’s kingdom.

Check out even more from Meezilini by following him all over social media:

Meezilini Tha Messenger on Facebook, @MeeziliniThaMessenger on Instagram, @Meezilini on Twitter, and of course, his ministry’s website: TurfMissionaries.org

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Unorthodox Warrior: An Interview with JJ Hewlett

Joining us all the way from the Land Down Under – Perth, specifically – is my buddy JJ Hewlett. JJ’s story is a long and winding road full of ups, downs, sideways, benefits and forfeits. As JJ said:

“I’ve given up a lot of authority and I cant get that back, but I want to get back what I can and start doing it right.”

Here are just a few of the topics JJ and I discuss this week:

  • Church experience & Growing Up
    • Grew up as a Catholic alter boy
  • Parents married, kids, divorce… all before they were 22
    • Had weekend visits with his dad until JJ turned eight
  • Dad wound
    • Dad’s new mother-in-law fell ill, so he moved to Tasmania
    • That was JJ’s mom’s opportunity to cut him out of their lives permanently
  • Mom remarried a violent man
    • Step-dad provided for the family, but he had a terrible temper
  • Mom divorced again & JJ reconnected with his bio dad
  • How JJ “became a man”
    • Went along with the crowd
    • Became a chef & lived a “very non-pious” lifestyle
  • Became a professional wrestler!
    • Grew up a fan of wrestling
    • Was already athletic and was able to learn the moves and beat pretty much all his competition within a year
    • His addictive personality helped him pour himself into learning how to lift and wrestle
  • Went into the business side of professional wrestling
    • Business became all-consuming… and all tempting!
  • Sin was crushing him but he loved it!
    • Desperately sought validation
    • Needed others to affirm him
    • Wasn’t drawn to drugs, not even huge problems with alcohol but…
    • Couldn’t keep away from women!
  • All this led to ten years of affairs
  • Tracy got pregnant with their son
  • JJ felt a “tap on the shoulder” to move back towards God
  • He and his wife separated for 14 months. He told her “Move to me or we are divorcing”
  • Still cheating but considered himself Christian
  • “If you’re a crap husband, you’re a crap dad”
  • JJ confessed to his wife over the phone about his affairs expecting to lose his family, but his wife chose to work with him and save the marriage
  • His infidelity caused him to lose his job… nearly everything!
  • Real momentum ministry – convicted him
  • “I can destroy a testimony with just five minutes of reckless behavior!”
  • How do you start taking the right steps?
  • Holding onto promises, focus on Jesus… or we can focus on our storms (the choice is ours)
  • If we call ourselves leaders, but no one sees us worthy of following, we are just fooling ourselves
  • Favorite Bible Verses:
    • In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
    • Be alert and of sober mind.Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

This is just part of JJ’s story. You’ve got to hear what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the spiritual warrior he is today. As JJ says, “Find your pack and fight!” You can learn so much more by checking out JJ’s podcast: Warrior Rise ministry

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Unorthodox Bench Press: An Interview with Zack Quilici

Unorthodox Bench Press: An Interview with Zack QuiliciZack Quilici had it all: He played collegiate football at UNLV, had a cheerleader by his side, and even opened his own cross fit gym. But, when your world is all about yourself, sooner or later, things crumble.

As Zack puts it: “It was all Zack. It was the Zack show! I might as well written my own bible.”

Here are just a few of the topics Zack and I discuss this week:

  • Lover sports & outdoors
  • Mom took him to church in Junior High, but he got kicked out
  • Zack was athletically gifted, but never worked hard. He was involved in sports year-round (volleyball, skiing, mountain biking, football, etc.)
  • The summer before college, he started partying.
  • Got to college and felt entitled to play. But, he never worked hard enough to get on the field. Zack sat for two years, then after getting healthy, he never got be the man he thought he was. So, he decided to drink and chase girls and quit the team. He started partying harder and played intramural flag football to feed his ego.
  • Went to his last year of school. Moved out of the frat house and into a cheerleader’s house. He ended up falling in love with a cheerleader and joined the cheer squad. His old football friends and family came to games to watch football and Zack was on the sidelines cheering.
  • Opened a cross fit gym with his girlfriend and pursued becoming a pro athlete in competitive cross fit. In the pursuit of cross fit he destroyed his relationship. She packed up his belongings and walked away from the gym and Zack. Zack responded by falling into drinking and cocaine and spent all his business money on drugs. Has to sell his gym to get out of debt.
  • Showed up to work drunk and broken and his Christian friend asks if he can pray for him. Zack feels the power of prayer and wants to go to church. First time in church, he confessed out loud that he’s broken. His friend led him in prayer and he asked Jesus to save him. The next week he got baptized and his world was changed forever.
  • Going from selfish to secure what changed?
    • Confident in his giftings in Christ
    • Now doing what he does… all for Jesus!
  • Zack Talks about his book “Be Brave”
  • What are a few words of advice?
    • Be brave and be willing to share your story
    • Create an “I Exist” statement
  • Zack’s “I Exist” Statement:
    • “I exist to humbly use my gift of connectivity to motivate and inspire by leading by example – never ceasing to grow God’s kingdom. With grace first, I surrender everything.”
  • Favorite bible verses:
    • Ezekiel 36:26-27 – I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
    • Colossians 3:23 – Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
    • 1 Corinthians 12
  • Favorite exercise: Bench press – because you can lay down and nap between reps

This is just part of Zack’s story. You’ve got to hear what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the man he is today. As Zack says, “You are not alone!”

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“I like how you call homosexuality an abomination. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctions in Exodus 21:7. What would a good price for her be? My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insist on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean – Leviticus 11:7. Can the Washington Redskins still play football? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?” (Martin Sheen as President Bartlet in The West Wing, Season 2, Episode 3)

Bible lessons from a fake president on a TV show?

Oh, my faithful heart! Luckily, it knows better than to get a Bible lesson from a fake president on a scripted TV show (or any president, for that matter). Notice all these arguments come from the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy… Also known as the books of the Law. So, writer Aaron Sorkin, with an agenda, ignores context and the entire Biblical narrative.

The reference to slavery in Exodus 21:7 is not like American Civil War era slavery. It’s protecting a woman from poverty and exploitation and giving her work.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves doe. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as a daughter. IF he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, clothing, or marital rights. (Exodus 21:7-11)

The Sabbath laws were fulfilled in Christ – the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-3:6). Footballs are made of cowhide not pigskin…Google it. Leviticus 11 applied to ceremonial laws.

Leviticus Instructions for Ceremonial Cleanliness:

  • Lev. 11:1-47    Clean and unclean animals
  • Lev. 12:1-8      Purification after childbirth
  •  Lev. 13-14       Bodily discharges
  • Lev. 16:1-33    The Day of Atonement
  • Lev. 17:1-8       The place for sacrificing
  • Lev. 17:10-16  Laws against eating blood
  • Lev. 18:1-30   Unlawful sexual relations
  • Lev. 19-20       General holiness laws
  • Lev. 21-22       Holiness laws for priests

And Jesus declared all foods clean, repeated by Peter and Paul.

Jesus declared all foods clean (Mark 7:19)

Peter was told this in a vision (Acts 10:13-16)

Paul taught all foods are clean (Romans 14:14, 1 Timothy 4:4)

A sentence of death wasn’t given for planting different crops or wearing two different materials. The Israelites were to reflect holiness in all practice in life, as the chosen people of God.

You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from all the peoples, that you should be mine. (Leviticus 20:26)

All the law points to Jesus Christ, who kept the law perfectly, and lovingly gave His own life as an atoning sacrifice.

Those who break God’s law will still perish on the Day of Judgment.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 6:23)

But, those who believe in Jesus will be forgiven their sins… including the sin of homosexuality, which is still an abomination.

…when we understand the text.

(This video is by WWUTT. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central.)

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Unorthodox Childhood: An Interview with Hayden Feindel

This week, I get to sit down with a friend of mine whom I’ve known most of his life – Hayden Feindel. Hayden grew up with a strong, gifted, resilient single mom who raised five boys and a daughter to be just as strong and resilient! As a boy, Hayden’s biggest dream was to be a professional athlete… to be part of a championship team… and integral part of something that is much greater than himself.

Yet, as he threw one interception after another, Hayden realized – quite humbly – that “pro athlete” would never be on his business cards.

But, that has never stopped him from becoming part of something bigger than himself. That didn’t stunt his desire to redeem himself and his family from the pain that was inflicted upon them nor his drive to strive for impacting the world!

Here are a few of the things Hayden and I discuss:Unorthodox Childhood: An Interview with Hayden Feindel

  • Growing up with a crazy older brother who questioned his faith.
  • Learned to ask the right people the right questions in order to grow
  • Hayden’s mom started dating a new guy who soon became Dad
  • Everyone was excited to have the “super fun and cool new dad”!
  • New dad took an interest in Hayden… and boundaries were crossed
  • Hayden felt guilty that everyone loved dad, but dad was abusing him
  • Hayden’s confusion regarding “This is what a Christian Man” does
  • Dealing with the fall out of secrets coming to light
  • Deciding to take pain and darkness and walking in the light
  • Advice for others dealing with past painful secrets
  • Key 1) Find someone you trust
  • Key 2) Be honest
  • Hayden’s advice for guys who feel they can’t share or be themselves
  • Don’t go to “that” church… be sure to find a church where grace and mercy are Biblically understood and lived out.

This is just part of Hayden’s story. You’ve got to listen to what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the man he is today… a man who loves living for God!

As Haden says, “The first step is honesty; we can’t have freedom unless we have honesty”.

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Steve “Skogger” Meketa’s Story of Rebellious Punk to Rebellious Christian

This week, I get to talk with a cool buddy of mine, Steve “Skogger” Meketa. Steve’s story is amazing, starting in Cleveland, where he grew up as an odd kid. He was bullied and outcast… but then he was introduced to skating & punk! For better or worse, the Misfits changed Steve’s life!

Here are a few of the things Steve and I discuss:Steve “Skogger” Meketa's story of rebellious punk to rebellious Christian

  • Straight Edge and the Angry Teenager: fighting locals, run in with cops and things get weirder
  • Started his first band, sang about murder & insanity, strived to be offensive.
  • What attracted Steve to punk pushed him away from church. Church kids were weird but punks were cool… “Fonzie or Potzie”?
  • Days in the scene, horrible attitude, insulting and attacking…
  • Transition into who Steve is today, illness and hospitalized… then he got cancer
  • Guy gives him a bible, no idea who the guy was, still didn’t understand what he was reading.
  • 13 more days in the hospital, reading and talking to friends, growing ever since.
  • Released from the hospital and went back to the scene, then left everyone behind to pursue Jesus, and got back into skating.
  • Moved to California, found “Skogging”, but then his mentor got sick and passed away.
  • Steve then got into church and worship, but didn’t understand the church culture or fit in.
  • He found a new church, which was an answer to prayer!
  • Steve learned to “Major on the Majors”.
  • Steve prays: “Lord, If I am wrong then God fix me, if they are wrong God then You fix them.”
  • What would Steve tell a younger Steve or a friend from the past?
  • Would he change anything? Where he is today is built upon his broken past. THIS is the hardest thing he’s ever done
  • Steve now has a heart to pray for people that he’s afraid of. He prays for the homeless and police officers.

This is just part of Steve’s story. You’ve got to listen to what God has done throughout his life to mold him into the man he is today… a man who loves living for God!

As Steve says, “You can change… your life can change… EVERYTHING can change!”

Follow along with Steve’s skogging adventures at Skogging.com and WhateverSkateboard.com

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“I don’t want to do this, I change my mind.” The words fell out of Daphne’s quivering mouth as nurses ushered her into the dimly lit room and onto the blanketed bed. “No, no, no. I don’t want to do this anymore!”

“You can no longer make that decision,” the doctor responded.

due date of grace

Daphne lay on that blanketed bed on May 10, 2007. Only months before, she received the news and quickly began planning for her new life as a mom. She loved kids—even worked with them daily—and now she was having her own. But it wasn’t long until her entire life crumbled at her feet, leaving her seemingly alone, fighting for the life that was now inside of her. She eventually caved and agreed to the wishes of her parents and the father for her to get rid of the baby.due date of grace

After the procedure, Daphne had difficulty finding the will to live. She often fell asleep on the cold floor of her bathroom, crying in regret, with white tissues all around her. She felt robbed—as though she made the right decision at the last moment, and no one even cared. “I was so mad at this God I didn’t even know… that he could do this and let this happen to me.”

Then, two of Daphne’s co-workers began reaching out to her, encouraging her to wake up each day, and sharing about the freedom and forgiveness found in Jesus. Through many honest conversations about her issues with God, they persevered and continued showing her God’s love through their actions and words. On the baby’s presumed due date, Daphne’s coworkers had flowers and a card waiting on her desk as she came into work. On the card was a verse from the Bible:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11)

due date of grace“I read that verse and my soul knew that it was true. And I, by God’s grace and the Spirit, believed that things couldn’t get any worse, and that God was going to restore me.” On that day, Daphne started walking with Jesus.

A few months later, Daphne was living with her cousin in Cedar Park, working at a hospital, and attending The Austin Stone Community Church. Although God continued working things out for her good, Daphne battled with what she thought of as a tainted testimony of how God brought her to himself. She struggled with guilt, shame, and even feeling like she deserved the bad things that happened to her. Before long, God brought Daphne the man who would be her husband, a man who understood the depth of grace and the way it covers all sin.

They were married, and God blessed Daphne and her husband with a baby. The pregnancy was a difficult one, high risk with regular appointments every few days, but on the last appointment before the baby’s delivery date, the unexpected happened.

“You have to deliver today. Your fluid is low and your placenta is dying. Baby’s got to come out. Today,” the doctor said. It was May 10, 2013—one month before the original due date, and exactly six years from the date of her abortion.due date of grace

“I was a little overwhelmed with it at first, but I realized how much God wanted to own the full redemption. I felt like God was telling me, ‘I take what was a horrible day every year and I claim it for my glory, and I give you a reason to celebrate it with life.’ And I couldn’t believe God was so gracious even in the details,” Daphne remembers.

“I think the constant battle is doubt. … [I] doubt God’s goodness, doubt God’s wisdom. But God constantly reminds me that I am fully purchased. Jesus’ blood is fully redemptive. There’s no condemnation, nothing left to pour out on me. Staring at a baby everyday is like a direct reminder, but it gives me joy for what is now and what isn’t anymore. It’s done. I am fully redeemed.”

due date of grace

The Austin Stone Story Team is a community of artists who tell stories of gospel transformation. We are photographers, writers, editors, filmmakers, and musicians on a common mission to use our gifts for His glory.

(By The Austin Stone Story Team. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

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