Mary left before dawn. Her father would not see her off. Her mother had asked a friend who had business in Jerusalem to escort Mary. "Tell no one," mother had said. Mary walked in silence preparing her heart for the coming storm of more unbelief, accusations, anger and discipline.
The Shepherd's Sword by Leslie Crouse ...continued from The Shepherd. Belial had not been informed of Heaven's plan. But Darkness had heard the angel's announcement. All of creation did. He quickly rallied the powers of Darkness for a counter attack. If it was war Heaven wanted, war it would get. This invasion was not to... Continue Reading →
The Shepherd by Leslie Crouse ...continued from The Innkeeper's Wife. Shammah slid loaves of bread, raisin cakes and dried figs into his pack. Strapping on his canteen and bed roll he was almost ready. He just needed his staff, his rod and his sword. He did not usually carry a sword, but he had a... Continue Reading →
The Innkeeper's Wife by Leslie Crouse ...continued from The Innkeeper. “That MAN! What was he thinking?!” Outside Evie took a deep breath and then another. She knew what Hananiah had been thinking. That infuriating, practical, wonderful man of hers was thinking of her. She saw that look in his eye at dinner. For twenty, long... Continue Reading →
The Innkeeper by Leslie Crouse Hananiah sat amidst the noisy dinner guests watching them fight over the last of Evie’s famous challah bread. His wife was the best cook in Bethlehem and he was big enough to prove it. Evie’s heart was even bigger. He watched her serve their guests with that soft smile and... Continue Reading →
Social distancing means the community that was once outside the walls of our home, is now entirely within. This brings us closer as a family physically and relationally, but exposes weaknesses as well. What to do with them?
Rejection can linger for a lifetime. What can we do to root and establish our children in love?
Family living room worship? ... It seemed like we stumbled into a more beautiful realm of practicing faith as a family.
Are the kids fighting all the time? This childhood struggle is the source of the many scars we wear today as adults. Let's navigate the inevitable and train our children to be compassionate.
When our structure shifts, return to the basics. We have the perfect opportunity to teach Christlike, generous and community-centered values to our children.
We forgive and we restore. But what if the person continues the same hurtful things as before? We are called for forgive, but not live painful patterns. Be wise and use boundaries.
Forgiveness is hard enough, restoring may feel like we are inviting heartbreak all over again. Yet, if the family unit is to endure and relationships to last, we must build the bridge or restoration.
Never underestimate the power of Forgiveness within a family. We teach with words, but it finds roots in our own modeling. Be the living example.
Things had escalated fast when suddenly she screamed, "Get out of my house!" "We aren't done talking about this." "Get out! ...Fine! I'll leave my own home!" Anger fits both of us like a well tailored suit. Staying calm and not raising my voice took all the power of the Holy Spirit in me. As... Continue Reading →
There is hidden treasure in mealtimes. The sit-down-at-a-table, family meal is usually the first to go in a busy life. But the sit-down, family meal holds a wealth of opportunity. From homemade feasts to easy takeout the act of sharing a meal brings people together. No shows. No phones. No iPads. No tablets. Just the... Continue Reading →
In a society that worships productivity and a church that values the tireless servant it is easy to find yourself entirely too busy. The spirit of busyness hails from a place of darkness that would keep you so consumed with the demands of life you have no time to spend in God’s Word or prayer,... Continue Reading →
Is there anything more earthly than time? Establishing a family foundation that endures is important since the framework of our lives is Time. Time is the most finite thing in life. While time can be utilized well, it cannot be stretched or multiplied. It is what it is and we must learn to live within... Continue Reading →
Joseph stared at the gold, wagons, horses, food and other gifts they had left Jesus. It was unbelievable. Where could he hide it all? Herod would find out for sure and come for the boy.
The Birth of Christ by Leslie Crouse Mary could hardly breath with each pain, but when Joseph and the innkeeper, Hananiah, ushered her into the stable it was like walking into the arms of an old friend. Every smell warmed and comforted. The fresh hay. The soft sounds of the sheep. Hananiah gave them some... Continue Reading →
Belteshazzar choked on his wine when Arash's voice suddenly broke into his peaceful morning thoughts. “Sir! We have found it among Daniel's writings!”
Joseph by Leslie Crouse Joseph planted his feet and stared him down. “Balaam, I will not tolerate your stubborn antics.” He hated this donkey. The typical, rebellious gleam was in Balaam’s eyes. Every time Joseph needed him, the creature would dig his back hooves into the ground making a stubborn last stand. Or sit, if... Continue Reading →
Mary's Hiding Place by Leslie Crouse …continued from The Shepherd's Sword. ~ FIFTEEN MONTHS BEFORE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST ~ Mary fell back into the fresh hay finding comfort in the clean, grassy scent of her father stable. Every morning before dawn she came to the stable to pray. Few understood it. But Sarah, her mother,... Continue Reading →