Category Archives: Product Highlights

An Interview With Karen Stubbs of Birds on a Wire

Karen Stubbs is the founder and leader of Birds on a Wire, a ministry designed to equip moms through truth, encouragement and community. Recently, we were able to have a conversation to learn more about her, her ministry and her passion for helping mothers. Find the interview below.

Karen Stubbs

Pictured from Left to Right: Curt Andrews (Family Christian CMO), Karen Stubbs, and Ted Weyn (Family Christian SVP of Strategy & Development)

Family Christian: Who is Karen Stubbs? Did you always want to become an author?

Karen Stubbs: I am a wife to Greg Stubbs and a mother of four children, Kelsey, Emily, Taylor and Abby. I am also a grandmother to two beautiful grandchildren, Evie and Chapman. I live in Cumming, Ga. Being an author was never on my radar. I wrote a lot in college, and I love writing, but after I had my children, I stopped writing for a long time because I didn’t have time.

FC: What is Birds on a Wire? And where does the name come from?

KS: Birds on a Wire (BOAW) is a nonprofit ministry that focuses on equipping and encouraging moms. Being a mom is a hard job, and as I looked around, I didn’t see anyone truly pouring into moms to help them in their journey, so I thought I would start a ministry and do just that: to walk alongside a mom and encourage them.

The story behind the name is sweet to me. BOAW started off with eight moms in my basement as a small group. In the early years, it was not an organized ministry—we didn’t even have a name. There was an artist, Jenifer Tanskley, that attended and at Christmas the group gave me a painting by Jenifer. The painting was the picture of birds sitting on a wire. I instantly fell in love with the painting and hung it in my bedroom. I kept looking at the painting and one day I called Jenifer and I asked her, “What was your inspiration for this painting?” She said it was Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable then they?”

Oh my! It hit me like a ton of bricks. We as moms worry and are anxious with our children. We worry if we are going to mess up our child or not be a good mom. But, God has our children, and God has us. We don’t need to worry about anything—it is all in His very capable hands. So, I gathered a bunch of creative moms together, brought the painting in and read Matthew 6:26.

I said, “Ladies, we need to name this ministry today, and I want it based off this picture and Matthew 6:26, what do you think?” They all started talking it through and one sweet mom, Carla Grogan, said, “We are like those birds, and Jesus is our wire. When the wind blows we just have to hang on for dear life and trust in Him. We really are like a bunch of birds on a wire.” I thought to myself, that’s it! Birds on a Wire.

FC: How did God work in your life while writing and/or since the completion of writing Moments with God for Moms?

KS: God started working on my heart before I even wrote the devotional. My eyes were open to how it was a real struggle for most women to carve out time for a quiet time after they became a mom. Once I decided to write the book, I started “listening” to what moms were talking about in the grocery store, Starbucks line, at my children’s ballgames or wherever I was and started finding Scripture that specifically addressed the struggles of a mom. Every devotion in the book is taken from a mom’s point of view. I tried to make it as practical and “real” as I could because I believe God is in the details, even in our role of a mom.

FC: What do you hope mothers will take away from reading the devotional?

KS: I pray that every mom will be drawn closer to God in reading this book. My desire is that moms across the world will realize God is in this journey with them and He is a loving Heavenly Father.

FC: Do you plan/desire to publish more books in the future?

KS: I am always thinking about “next” topics to explore that would help a mom in her journey. Books are a way to connect with moms, so yes I am planning on writing more books.

FC: How does Birds on a Wire come alongside moms to give them practical advice (in addition to the devotional)?

KS: BOAW has an entire library of resources that help moms. I have six DVD curriculums and workbooks that moms can go through either in a group setting or by themselves. The DVDs are a video of me teaching on a topic such as Discipline, Time Management, Boundaries, Contentment, Comparison, Fear, Control and many other topics, and each of these will help a mom and give them practical advice on raising children. I also wrote a book called Letters to Moms, and this book was birthed out of that basement group in the early years; after certain nights, I would write the moms an email on certain topics, hence the name of the book.

FC: Family Christian and Birds on a Wire have recently partnered to provide a Mother’s Day gift bundle, including your devotional, encouragement cards, a gift bag, a bookmark with a 60-day free trial to iDisciple and a free line of personalization. Why is the gift set so valuable to give to mothers on Mother’s Day?

KS: I believe this bundle is the complete package for any and every mom. The devotional is a daily encouragement and a way to connect to God, the encouragement cards are easy to use and so handy because you can place them wherever you are, at the sink doing dishes, your desk at work, in the car or by your bed, these cards are like a mini shot in the arm for moms, and remind them they are not in this job alone and the 60-day free trial with iDisciple gives moms a whole library of great authors, music and books that they may not have exposure to. Whether a mom is just getting started with a newborn or she is a grandmother of 10 grandchildren, I think this Mother’s Day gift is for everyone and will be a huge blessing for any mom.

Emerson Eggerichs and the Respect Effect

A mom wrote:

“I have been really struggling with my… son lately. Now I understand why every mother wants a daughter… because we “get” them! When my… daughter throws a fit about something, I know what angle to come from because I understand why she’s upset. When my son does something, I’m like, “Why did he just do that?” Again!”

Mothers love their sons more than they love their very lives, but they readily confess ignorance and confusion.

Every mother recognizes the woman in the girl and her longing for love. The feminine need for love rings loud and clear to all women. And, the desire to love is obvious. Who misses the nurturing nature of women and little girls?

Yet as I talk to mothers and tell them there is a man in the boy, some respond with curiosity about who that man might be. These mothers admit they are a bit in the dark on God’s virtuous design of testosterone, unlike the way they intuitively grasp the purity of estrogen. One mom quipped (about her son), “We love these kids, but Lord help us; if they don’t have the same XX or XY chromosomes that we do, it can be like navigating a foreign country without a map.”

But there is good news! In the book Mother & Son: The Respect Effect, I explain the attributes of mothernsonblogthe masculine soul. Both research and the Bible reveal the male’s need for respect.

This is a simple and revolutionary insight into the heart of a son that we have overlooked—and shockingly so. This book is about a mother going beyond her love and applying respect to the heart of her son. Every mom will begin to see for herself this need in her son of any age. She will see her influence increase, her son motivated, and the two of them connect in ways she thought were not possible.

I have collected hundreds and hundreds of e-mails from moms. You need to hear their testimonies. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your son.

——

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is internationally known for speaking on the topic of male-female relationships. Based on his personal experiences over three decades of counseling, as well as scientific and biblical research, Dr. Eggerichs has written numerous books and created the Love and Respect Conference for married couples.

Laughing In The Dark: Our Exclusive Interview with Chonda Pierce

Chonda Pierce is a platinum-selling, Emmy-nominated Christian comedian, who has been making audiences laugh for more than two decades now.

Chonda posing with a flower in her mouth.

Last year, she gave fans a more intimate look at her life in the form of a documentary style film. In addition to her normal stand-up performances, she showed the audience a behind the scenes look into her life, which showcased her struggles with loss, separation, tragedy and depression and finds hope and life through her relationship with God and her fans.

Laughing in the Dark comes out on DVD today, April 5th, and to celebrate the release, we spoke with Chonda to discover how she got into comedy, life as a Christian comedian and more.

Family Christian: How did you get started doing comedy?

Chonda Pierce: I was cast in a show at a theme park called, Opryland USA. Our show, Country Music USA told the history of Country music by impersonating various country stars. I was given the role of Minnie Pearl – mainly to exclude me from the big dance number that followed. Since I was taught as a child that dancing would send you to “hell in a hand basket!”

FC: What comedians inspired you early on in your comedy career? What comedians these days inspire you?

CP: Sarah Cannon (aka Minnie Pearl), Carol Brunette, Red Skelton and Lucille Ball

FC: Was comedy your dream job growing up, or did you have another career path in mind?

CP: I was always interested in the performing arts. Even as a young child I loved the theater and filled my days with community theater, high school productions, college theater, etc.

FC: When did faith begin to play a role in your life? Were you always a “Christian” comedian or did your faith get put into your acts later on?

CP: My faith is never a part of my “act.’ My faith is a part of my life – my life with Christ will always bleed over into EVERYTHING I do.

FC: Some Christian rappers have said they don’t like being known as “Christian rappers”, but rather they are just rappers who also are Christians. How do you feel being labeled a Christian comedian?

CP: Sadly, the secular world deems the “Christian” artist as soft, less than or not as interesting. It’s a silly judgment… But it exists. Looking back – I see now what a distraction calling myself a Christian comedian can be when trying to legitimize my talent as a comic. But, frankly, I was so excited to not be going to hell that I wore the title proudly!! HA!

FC: How has God spoken to you and worked in your life in the areas of darkness and depression? And how have you been able to use this to be an encouragement to others?

CP: Talking honestly about depression has become somewhat of a calling. I wrote a book called Laughing in the Dark. You should read it sometime! HA!! HA!!

FC: Since creating the film, Laughing in the Dark, has God worked in any new ways?

CP: God has certainly surprised me with the overwhelming success of this movie. I don’t feel like anyone “created” anything… I simply lived my life and someone filmed it. GOD did ALL the rest.

FC: Do you have a specific verse or verses that you lean on during troubled times?

CP: Favorite scriptures vary with moods, circumstances, etc. Just like favorite songs! But my overall LIFE verse is: John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing…” Puts EVERYTHING in perspective doesn’t it!?

FC: Do you hope to make more films like this in the future? If so, can you share some of your plans?

CP: NO! A documentary of the most trying times of my life??? No, thank you!!! I’d love to do some fun movies, some serious acting. But, I’m ready to take a break from tragedy!!

We can’t thank Chonda enough for taking the time to answer our questions.

Check out Laughing in the Dark today!

An Interview with Glenys Nellist

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Glenys Nellist, author of Love Letters from God, Little Love Letters from God, and Snuggle Time Prayers. We learned what an average day for her looks like, where she draws her inspiration from and more.

She also discussed how adults complicate salvation and gave us insight into how she simplifies this idea for children by offering them an invitation to “join Jesus’ team” by way of a small postcard found at the end of the each book.

Check out the full interview below:

What Is It About Small Children?

Have you noticed the super powers small children wield?

I was riding the NYC subway one morning, when the doors opened and into the car walked a little child.

She was maybe 2.

Instantly, all of us—these defended New Yorkers, all avoiding eye contact, all guarding our space—were transformed. We smiled at her. At her mother. At each other.

Her gentleness disarmed us. Barriers of race and age and status vanished.

She changed everything.

When people asked Jesus, “Who’s the greatest in your Kingdom?” Jesus showed them a little child and said, “Become like this little child.”

It’s not always all about what we teach children.

It’s about what they teach us.

I’ve learned that from writing for children. Writing for children keeps you honest. You have to dig deeper. Work harder. Understand it better. Your job is to distill—to take the profound and make it simple enough for a child to understand.

When I was writing THE JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE, I couldn’t rely on jargon. A little child has no concept of what sin is, for instance. I had to find other ways to describe it. I wrote that: sin is not just about breaking the rules, it’s breaking God’s heart; it’s like poison that makes your heart sick and stops it from working properly; it’s like running away from God and hiding in the shadows.

Writing for children demands nothing short of excellence.

The funny thing is—if you write with the excellence that children deserve you reach everyone. C S Lewis said: “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

Excellence, it turns out, is the most inclusive thing.

THE JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE has broken out of the boundaries typical for a children’s bible storybook—read by college students, theologians, pastors, couples; read in schools, prisons, old people’s homes. (It’s so popular with adults that we have published their own edition: THE STORY OF GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU.)

I think it has something to do with that place inside of us all that remains a child still, the place God loves to speak to us—the place where we are undefended, humble, open to wonder. Open him. The place that tiny child spoke to us all, in that NYC subway car that morning.

In THE JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE I captured the plotline of the Bible. As adults when do we ever hear that plotline? Even if we go to church regularly, we may never hear the whole story in one sitting.

But when you distill the story down so that you can read it in one sitting, immediately it is startling. Because most of us think we know what the Bible is about—and it’s not good. We think it’s a book of rules you follow so God will love you. Or a book of heroes you copy so God will love you.

But it’s none of those things.

It’s most of all a Story.

The Story Of a God who breaks into History and comes down to rescue his children. A God who moves heaven and earth to be near them, to love them—though it would cost him everything.

The Story of a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. The Story of a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves.

The Bible is simply this: THE STORY OF GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU.

And I don’t know anyone—young or old—who doesn’t need to hear that story.

Sally Lloyd-Jones is a New York Times bestselling author whose books include: Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing, a children’s devotional which won the ECPA Christian Book of The Year award in adult inspiration, and The Jesus Storybook Bible, now available in a format for adults with a new design and title, The Story of God’s Love for You. Sally also has a new picture book coming this spring, Baby Wren and the Great Gift.

A Note from Karen Kingsbury

People ask why I chose to write about angels, why I was drawn to the light side of the supernatural. The easy answer is this: It’s in the Bible. In Hebrews 13 we are advised to entertain strangers, because in doing so some of us have entertained angels without knowing it.

But there is another reason I wrote my Angels Walking series.

It happened in 2007 on a hot, summer afternoon, when my father suffered a massive heart attack. One minute he was talking with my mom, and the next he was out. Laid back in his recliner like he’d fallen into a deep sleep.

My nephew Andrew was thirteen at the time. He called 911 and an operator talked him through giving my father CPR for the next fourteen minutes. By the time paramedics arrived, my dad was blue and unresponsive. Andrew ran into the next room and started sobbing. He thought he’d done something wrong.

The house was chaotic, the paramedics working feverishly on my dad. Suddenly a police officer rushed into the house and pulled my mother aside. “Do you believe in Jesus?” he asked.

“Yes!” she cried. “We’re believers.”

With a peace-filled intensity, the man looked straight into my mom’s eyes. “We’re going to pray that the power that raised Lazarus from the dead breathes life into your husband right now.” He pointed back to where young Andrew was still crying. “Otherwise that boy will spend the rest of his life thinking this was his fault.”

The very second the officer said, “Amen,” from the other room the head paramedic yelled, “We have a heartbeat!”

My dad lived another six weeks. We laughed and talked and remembered every wonderful moment. We prayed every possible prayer. When he died, our family was at peace. Later my mom tried to find the officer who randomly came into the house to pray with her that day. She called the police station.
No one had ever heard of the man.

We came to believe that the officer was an angel, sent in response to prayers being cried out from Atlanta to Los Angeles. An angel maybe on an Angels Walking mission. Now you know why I wrote this series, and why I can’t wait for you to read the final installment: Brush of Wings.

Q & A with Logan Wolfram

FC: Your life has taken you from wife, to mom, to blogger, to CEO and Host of Allume and now to author! What has that journey been like for you?

LW: Um….pretty nuts actually. If ever there was a person qualified to write about following God curiously into the unknown it’s me! And funny enough I’ve felt completely UNqualified for pretty much all of the tasks…but God, He makes his own set of qualifications for where He takes us and the first one is just “Will you follow me into the unknown?”

But also, to really answer the question practically, it has taken a lot of shifting within my family and friends to accommodate the changes in pace. I’ve had to ask for lots of grace as I learn to balance new responsibilities that pile on top of the ones that were already there. Some days it means being ok with chicken nuggets for dinner and falling asleep putting my kids to bed at 8pm too. Honestly I’m just trying to steward the moments and the opportunities well so that when I stand before the Lord in the end he says “well done my good and faithful servant.”

FC: Curious Faith. That is a curious title! How did you land on that for a title and theme of your book?

LW: I talk about it in the book, but mostly the thought of curiosity as a theme of faith occurred to me when I was watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory one night with my kids. I was looking at these kids in Wonka’s factory and the thought struck me that in these 5 children I saw pieces of myself. Throughout the movie they were disqualified from the tour because of pride, selfishness, gluttony, impatience, etc, and the kid who won the whole kit and caboodle in the end was the one who was humble and curious and trusted the vision of the creator. Once that thought occurred to me, I realized that it totally applies to the Kingdom of God. God calls us to have a childlike faith, and by my estimation, that lands us squarely in the middle of a curious one too!

FC: Writing a book like this often causes the author to deeply examine their own faith/life. What surprising thing(s) did you learn about yourself while writing Curious Faith?

LW: Oh mercy! SO MUCH! Writing a book is so hard because I think throughout it’s such a clarifying process too. Not only do I have to wrestle with the Lord on things in my own life, but I have to do it to such a point that I can turn around and sufficiently explain the process and lessons to others. I have to REALLY REALLY learn what I’m talking about, otherwise I just won’t make sense. And also, after writing the book when life just started to get overwhelming, I’ll be honest and say pieces of me started to lose my own curious faith (which feels practically blasphemous to say that I lost my own curiosity after writing about it), but I went back and reread my own book and God used the testimony of my own words to reignite my own faith. It’s sort of like you write all this and then the enemy comes after you and the Lord allows it as if to say, “Did you mean what you wrote?” So the rubber of faith means the road of living and in the end what I can tell you is that “YES…I meant every word and still do!”

FC: You say you want to help readers to “rescue your now”? What exactly does that look like?

LW: It means that there is manna for today. There are blessings of God to uncover NOW. That even in the midst of not knowing where we are going, we can still be curious about what God has for us right where we are. In the book I wrote it this way and I think it sums it up, but “The certainty of our faith isn’t found in where we are going, but in the ONE we are following.” When you know WHOM you’re following, your now…your today…and even your unknown tomorrow can be rescued and given new hope!

FC: If there is one idea you really want your readers to grasp from reading Curious Faith, what would that be?

LW: Ack…that’s so hard! I wrote nearly 250 pages and I hope lots of it sticks! But the biggest thing I hope is that people fall in love with the Lord all over again. I pray that they remember who He is to us and who we are to Him…because it’s from that place of security that we walk in the freedom of a curious and open-handed life. When we remember that, and we apply it throughout different circumstances, we really do rediscover hope and possibility.

FC: Speaking of reading, we would love to know what you are reading right now?

LW: Right now I’m actually doing the Open Your Bible study from my sweet friends Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams of SheReadsTruth and I love it! Also as an author I get lots of books in the mail so I have a big stack that I’m desperate to get through faster than I have time to do! I got a book in the mail recently called Praying Upside Down by Kelly O’Dell Stanley and honestly I have a huge heart for prayer and was intrigued by it. It’s really good so far!

FC: So…..Curious Faith is releasing on 3/1. Do you have any plans after that? Another book in the making? Big family vacation?

LW: Oh heavens I actually hope to sit still for a little bit. I’ll be returning from CHINA on the night of March 1 because my little brother is getting married on Feb 27th! He has been living and working in China for a few years and is marrying a precious gal who is Chinese, so we are loading up the whole crew and heading to China. I’m contracted for another book but plan to take a good while before diving into that. I always want to write out of the overflow, so I plan to be intentional about taking time to fill back up after all this book fun too!

FC: We are so excited about Curious Faith and appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today. In closing, we’d love to ask how we can be praying for you and your family?

LW: You know, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that the enemy doesn’t like when people follow hard after God. And if you’re following hard and being super public and inviting others to do the same, it just about puts a target on your back. When I feel the fiery arrows I figure I must be doing something right for the Kingdom of Heaven, but it can sure make the day to day messier and harder. And my family has seen that increase significantly since I started writing this book. And the closer it has gotten to launching, the more complicated things all around us have gotten too. Mostly I’d love to ask you to pray that our faith would continue to increase, that our family would grow stronger through the things the Lord asks us to walk into together, and that Jesus would be magnified even in our messy moments! And for stewardship of this all. It is my heart’s desire that I steward this opportunity in such a way that I honor the Lord and that the Kingdom expands because of my obedience in doing the small part God is asking me to do.

Letter from Holley Gerth

Hello, friend!

Since I first wrote my book You’re Already Amazing, almost one hundred thousand women have accepted my dare to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. As I connected with many of them as an author, life coach, and speaker, I often heard women say they wanted more ways to apply the message in deeper ways or wanted to do the book as a study at church or with friends but weren’t sure how.
You're Already Amazing
That’s why I’m so thrilled to be bringing you the You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide and DVD. It builds on the foundation of You’re Already Amazing by giving you everything you need to do the book as a group study. It also offers brand-new concepts, bonus material and activities you won’t find anywhere else, and even more ways to apply the message so you feel like you have your own personal life coach every step of the way. This study won’t just give you more information—it will lead to true transformation.

You really can know who God created you to be and what he’s called you to do, and you really can have a realistic plan for pursuing his purpose for you. I know that’s true because I’ve already seen thousands of women’s lives changed in powerful ways. Now it’s your turn.

If you’d like to join me, check out a sample of the LifeGrowth Guide and videos online. Then perhaps gather a few friends (and your favorite coffee, tea, or other treats!) and get ready to embrace this life-changing truth—that you truly are already amazing!

Cheering you on,
Holley Gerth

Youth Revival!

Back in 2013, Hillsong Young & Free debuted with a new wave of music defined by a young generation of believers. Their album, We Are Young & Free, quickly rose to the top of the charts, hitting #1 on the Billboard Christian/Gospel Chart.

Through the worship and praise of God, Young & Free aims to bring truth to the youth and young adults of the world. In their own words, they “sing passionately of their belief grounded in the love, grace and freedom found in having a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Bringing more new energy to the worship scene, today marks the release of their second full-length live album, Youth Revival. Each song seamlessly blends electronic beats with lyrics that are the overflow of their hearts and a reflection of life in Jesus. The album is passionate and praise-filled, with songs that will make you sing, dance and be thankful.

Hillsong Young & Free is about more than just making music. Their mission is to awaken their generation to Jesus and to empower youth to step into their calling.

They believe that through their music, “hearts will awaken to the light of Christ, captives will be set free and the name of Jesus will be made known.”

Check out the new album today >

Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram

We’re all born driven to explore, marvel, and experience the adventure of life. But as responsibilities pile up, we slowly exchange that unbridled curiosity for a sense of control and routine. Wolfram shows you how to rescue your now by exploring what is possible with a God who is unlimited, unpredictable, and ever-loving!

Family Christian is very excited about Logan’s new book.  We had the opportunity to catch up with Logan and get this little video to share with you.

Logan Wolfram would give you full access to her pantry if you lived next door. She is a plate-juggling mom and interior decorator turned writer, speaker, and host of the Allume Conference. She is a passionate leader who desires to see women live fully in Christ.

We first heard of Logan as a blogger.  She had a great blog Curious Faith by Logan Wolframwhich eventually led to her starting a Christian blogging conference called Allume.  It has been a joy to watch her journey from blogger to speaker to author.  She has an authentic voice and when you meet her, it is like having coffee with your best friend.

We are proud to be selling Curious Faith and excited to give you chance to win a copy!  We are giving away 2 copies of her book Curious Faith and 2 t-shirts!  Each winner will win 1 book and 1 shirt (randomly selected size).

Enter below for your chance to win.