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Side B Stories – Podcast

I was honored to be interviewed for the Side B Stories podcast. I have personally enjoyed this podcast because of the refreshing dialogue that the host, Jana Harmon, cultivates. Each episode features a former atheist sharing their own story peppered with thoughtful questions and comments by Jana. I hope you will enjoy my episode and add Side B Stories to the podcasts that you follow.

Preparing our Hearts for Christ

We usually begin our celebration of Advent on the Monday four weeks before Christmas, so today we will read Day One of our “From Creation to Christ: A Family Advent Devotional” book.

The paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99 and includes 25 devotionals with accompanying songs, scriptures, and full-color graphics. There’s also an ebook available that includes links to lyrics videos for all 50 songs.

You can download a free PDF for the ornaments here.

And checkout my advent playlist on YouTube.

The daily devotionals were originally published here on my blog in 2020. They are still available here, but I have made quite a few improvements since originally writing them. Hope you enjoy and pass it on!

Advent Season Starts Soon

Last year I published my fourth book – a daily advent devotional. This summer I spent two weeks updating it with comments I’d received from readers. I hope it’s as much of a blessing to you and your family as it has been to me and mine.

It’s available on Amazon or Kindle. It takes about 10-12 days for delivery so order today to make sure you have it before advent begins.

From Creation to Christ: A Family Advent Devotional Tracing the Story of the Savior Through Scriptures, Stories, Songs, and Pictures https://a.co/d/d0eN3sm

Please share!

Happy Children’s Day

In China, June 1 every year is Children’s Day. Here in the U.S., it seems like every day is Children’s Day. 😆

Have you ever heard the phrase, “We’re all God’s children?” It’s a pretty popular saying and somewhat accurate in that we are all God’s creation, or that we are all created in the image of God. Every man, woman, and child, born or unborn, has been created by God, after the image of God, for the intentional purpose of God. In that way, yes, we’re all God’s children.

But, today, as I was reading Ephesians 2, verses 2 and 3 jumped out at me. They say that we were all once by nature sons of disobedience and children of wrath. Verses 4-10 go on to explain that because of God’s rich mercy and love and grace, we have been saved from His wrath by faith in His Son, Jesus.

In order to be God’s children, we must be born again and be made new by the Holy Spirit. In order to call on God as our Father, we must be adopted as His sons and daughters.

I pray that today, as Children’s Day is being celebrated on the other side of the globe, you will call out to your Creator, that you will receive Him as Your Father, confessing your sins to Him and asking Him to welcome you into His family, coming to Him by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. I’d love to call you my brother or sister and welcome you into the household of God.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:1‭-‬10 ESV

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:9‭-‬13 ESV

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:14‭-‬17 ESV

for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Galatians 3:26 ESV

Friendship

Over the years, intimate friendship has always been tough for me. Maybe because I’m selfish. Maybe because I’m critical. Maybe because I can be too direct and intimidating. Maybe because I’m too busy, and genuine friendship takes work.

So, today, as I was reading James, I was captured by James 4:4

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James 4:4 ESV

Being friends with the world is easy. The world encourages me to be selfish and critical. The world is waiting for me every time I pick up my phone and veg out on the couch, or pick up a big slice of “poor me pie.”

But, God is a better friend than the world can ever be. God listens to me at all hours of the day or night. He’s never too busy. He’s never distracted. He never ignores my call. He’s never too tired.

God tells me what I need to hear, not only what I want to hear. God gives me wise counsel filled with His loving grace and mercy. God is patient with me. God knows my weakness and still loves me.

The world woos us, pretending to love us, calling to us to come and be filled, but really it is only speaking empty lies and deceit. When I’m chasing after the world, I’m turning my back on the lover of my soul, Jesus, my Savior and Shepherd who gave up His life in my place.

If you’re looking for a true friend, look up.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 ESV

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17 ESV

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 27:6 ESV

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:24 ESV

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 ESV

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20 ESV

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Revelation 22:17 ESV

He’s Risen – He’s Alive – The Tomb is Empty

My heart has been heavy this week. I feel surrounded by death and sorrow.

But my hope is not in anything that this world has to offer. My hope is not in a better government or in better healthcare.

My hope is in Jesus Christ – His love, His justice, His power to triumph over sin and death. Where is Your hope?

Please join me in prayer to the One who holds our future, the source of our living hope.

Dear Lord Jesus, Darkness, sorrow, and death surround us. They press in on every side. The world feels hopeless – but our HOPE is in YOU. You are still on Your throne. You have risen and You are coming again. We look forward to Your return with hope. May we be found waiting and watching and hastening that day. I pray that we would live holy and godly lives, sharing the good news of Your resurrection and return with those who have no hope. Thank You for Your grace and forgiveness, without which we would be lost and hopeless. We love You and can’t wait to see You face to face. Amen

Can you see the birds?

Can you see the birds? Neither can I – but I know they’re there because I can hear them.

I could plug my ears and pretend the birds aren’t singing. I could make excuses for the sounds I hear – maybe someone is playing a birdsong CD inside that bush. But I’d only be lying to myself. The clear and logical answer is that birds are singing inside that bush.

We can’t see God, but we know that He exists because we can see what He has made. We can pretend the world evolved over millions of years – but we would be lying to ourselves.

Thank You, Father, for the beauty and majesty of your creation. Thank You for giving us a conscience that we know deep in our hearts that we are sinners in need of a Savior. Lord, I pray that as we see spring bursting into life around us, that we would fall on our faces and confess Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God, our Father. Amen

A Dream Come True

When I was a much younger mom, about to begin my second year homeschooling, I stumbled upon a history curriculum that blew me away. It was exactly what I was looking for – Biblical, mom-friendly, and kid-friendly. It included extra ideas for crafts and read-aloud books. Through this history book, I finally became aware of how interesting it can be to learn about history! It was the first homeschool textbook that I became an outspoken advocate for.

In the twenty years since Linda Hobar published that first history textbook, The Mystery of History, God has grown Linda’s ministry, adding three more history volumes spanning from ancient history to modern history – and I’ve loved them all. God has helped Linda to become an incredible spokesperson for homeschooling from a persuasive, winsome, intelligent Biblical worldview.

About ten years ago, I had a crazy “fan girl” experience when I ran into Linda in the bathroom of my church during an exercise class that she and I were both participating in! How does this happen? I’d heard that she had moved to Memphis — keep in mind I originally found her book while we were living in St Louis and she was living in Texas, I think … and here she was in MY CHURCH BATHROOM! What is going on?

In the years since then, her husband became my older son’s baseball coach, and I had the blessing of chatting with Linda at several homeschooling events, but we’d lost touch in the last few years.

So, I was super excited to run into her again at my church women’s retreat a few months ago. We had some time to catch up and she invited me to join her in her latest venture — hosting a podcast, The Mystery of Home Education. (I’ve listened to every episode and loved them all. I know you will, too!)

But I hope you’ll especially take 23 minutes to check out today’s episode, January 20, 2022, where Linda interviewed … *me.*

What??? Me??? Kim Endraske???

Former Evangelical Atheist turned Evangelical Christian… Homeschooling mom and Wanna-be author and speaker. Me?

Isn’t God so good to work all things together in His perfect time and place??? I hope you will be encouraged to hear more about my journey of coming to faith and walking out my faith.

Thank you, Mrs. Linda Hobar. You have greatly impacted me and my children. You have mentored me and my family through the books you have written and the talks you have shared. May the Lord bless and grow your ministry and in turn bless and grow His kingdom!

Lord, let me not despise small beginnings. You are my Creator. You have purpose for my life, and for Linda’s, and for every person reading this little blog or listening to Linda’s podcast. History is indeed YOUR story. History is His Story. To the glory and fame of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

A Cord of Three Strands

If you’ve ever spent more than a few hours with me, you’ve probably seen me whip my hair back into a simple little braid. While together with family for the Christmas holiday, I asked someone (I can’t remember who ☺️) if they could do that and they replied that, no, they couldn’t, it must be a special thing for my curly hair.

So, yesterday, while getting my hair out of my face by quickly braiding three strands of my fine, curly hair behind my head, I suddenly remembered Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

But, then, my mind went to this — that three-fold cord takes effort to stay tight, to stay woven and together. I can’t just throw my hair up in a braid and expect it to stay for the rest of the day or week or month. This reminds me that my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, or my sister, or my children, or a good friend, needs attention to remain tightly held together. Something to ponder.

Father, please help me to abide in You, to hold fast to you, to cling to you. Help me to weave myself into Bill’s life and to be his faithful helper. Grant me your strength to love others and to serve them by your love abiding in me. Thank you for giving me Your Spirit and for the promise that You will never leave me or forsake me. Help me to hear Your voice and to walk step by step holding onto Your loving hand. By the Grace of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

“And though a man might prevail against one
who is alone, two will withstand him
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV

Ecclesiastes 4:12 KJV “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”