Saturday, 23 June 2018

C Columns

Publisher's Corner - Grumpy? Me? Well, yes, sometimes...

By Sandy Jones

 

On  Good  Friday  I  awoke  in  an  unusually  bad  mood.  A  genuine  funk.  I  wish  I  could  say that  I  had  a  cup  of  coffee  and  it  passed.  Nope.  I  fought  that  malaise  off  and  on  all  day  long.

I’m  generally  a  pretty  happy  person.  We  all  have  our  ups  and  downs,  but  come  on  now!  Really?!  Good  Friday  is  not  the  day  I  would  choose  to  be  crabby.

I  repeatedly  reminded  myself  what  Good  Friday  is  all  about.  Chided  myself  for  succumbing  to  my  own  shallow  self-pity.  After  all  the  pain  and  suffering  Jesus  endured,  what  do  I  have  to  complain  about?

I  prayed  repeatedly  to  bind  the  enemy  out  of  my  day,  but  clearly  somehow  I  was  inviting  him  right  back  in.  As  painful  as  it  is  to  admit,  that’s  a  part  of  being  human  that  I  believe  most  of  us  struggle  with.

I  didn’t  give  up  on  God,  or  myself.  I  plugged  through  the  day  and  admit  I  was  relieved  to  fall  into  bed  that  night,  where  upon  reviewing  my  day  I  realized  that  most  of  the  world  never  knew  of  my  struggles.

I  managed  to  smile  at  many,  hold  my  tongue,  and  contain  my  frustrations  while  trying  desperately  to  maintain  my  focus  on  the  crucifixion  and  keep  in  mind  that  “Sunday’s  coming.”

Regardless  of  the  fact  that  I  kept  caving  in  to  the  spiritual  warfare  meant  to  distract  me,our  God  had  heard  my  pleas  and  had  carried  me  safely  through  the  day!

This  makes  me  recall  the  story  of  the  woman  accused  of  adultery  who  was  brought  to  Jesus  in  the  temple.  Her  accusers  were  sure  that  Jesus  would  condemn  her  of  her  sin,  when  instead  He  met  her  with  grace  and  mercy.  Not  ignoring  her  sin,  He  told  her  to  “go  and  sin  no  more”  (John  8:11  NKJV).  I  realize  that  sometimes  we  need  that  check  to  remember  we’re  told  that  “all  have  sinned  and  fall  short  of  the  glory  of  God”  (Romans  3:23  NKJV),  but  like  that  woman  in  the  temple,  Christ  will  meet  us  with  grace  and  mercy.

And  the  long-awaited  announcement  (insert  trumpet  sound):

We  are  pleased  to  share  with  you  that  we  are  officially  Christian  Living  Ministries  Inc.dba  Christian  Living  Magazine,  a  full-fledged  501(c)3  nonprofit.

Why  a  nonprofit,  you  might  be  asking.  The  short  answer  to  that  is  that  our  readership  has  simply  grown  faster  than  our  revenue  stream,  leaving  us  with  a  growing  distribution  debt.  From  a  business  standpoint,  it’s  obvious  that  you  can’t  keep  going  backwards  and  stay  open.

After  months  of  prayer,  God  showed  us  that  while  Christian  Living  Magazine  is  the  primary  focus  of  our  organization,  we’ve  grown  into  an  actual  ministry.  We  have  readers  who  call,  email  or  message  us  through  Facebook  for  prayer,  advice,  counsel,  and  help  connecting  them  with  others  who  can  assist  them  with  the  more  serious  issues.  We  also  bring  other  ministries  together  —  in  short,  we  often  find  ourselves  connecting  people.

I  am  often  not  qualified  for  some  of  the  needs  that  cross  our  paths,  and  have  learned  to  lean  on  the  quote,  “God  doesn’t  always  call  the  equipped;  rather  He  equips  the  called.“  When  I  find  that  I’m  in  over  my  head,  I  quickly  stop  and  pray  for  discernment,  wisdom,  the  right  words  and  the  right  connections  to  help  these  individuals.  We  are  humbled  by  the  trust  many  have  placed  in  us.

Our  online  stats  (from  our  website,  Facebook  page  and  free  e-subscription)  show  that  we  are  reaching  the  U.S.,  Canada  and  41  countries  around  the  world.  We’ve  been  asked  to  consider  opening  in  other  markets,  as  well  as  extending  our  current  distribution  area  here  into  the  Sun  Valley  and  Magic  Valley  areas.

Our  stories  have  helped  many  local  ministries  and  organizations  by  sharing  their  information  with  our  readers,  as  well  as  helping  our  readers  themselves.  Many  of  these  groups  have  reported  back  to  us  that  they  have  received  substantial  assistance  by  being  featured  in  Christian  Living  Magazine.

Please  understand  that  our  becoming  a  nonprofit  doesn’t  give  us  a  free  ride.  Most  of  the  ads  in  each  issue  will  still  be  taxed  at  the  corporate  business  rate.

What  becoming  a  nonprofit  does  is  it  allows  us  to  write  for  grants  that  support  ministries  such  as  ours,  and  it  makes  donations  to  our  ministry  tax-deductible.  All  of  this  will  help  us  to  retire  the  debt  we’ve  incurred,  and  to  grow  our  geographical  area,  while  continuing  to  help  a  multitude  of  ministries  and  organizations  by  highlighting  them  in  our pages.

We  thank  each  one  of  you  for  your  prayers  and  the  many  words  of  encouragement  you’ve  shared  with  us.  Along  the  way  there  have  been  many  times  when  it  would  have  been  easier  to  quit,  to  simply  give  up.  Each  time  God  made  it  abundantly  clear  that  this  is  exactly  where  we  are  supposed  to  be.  Perhaps  it  was  an  unexpected  phone  call  starting  with  “I  was  sitting  here  praying  for  you  and  decided  I  should  call,”  when  we  had  no  idea  that  person  might  be  thinking  of  us,  let  alone  praying  for  us.    

Perhaps  it  was  the  pastor  telling  us  that  our  magazines  are  all  over  his  church,  and  emphatically  stating,  “We  love  your  magazine!”  Perhaps  it  was  one  of  the  many  readers  who  have  reached  out  to  us,  telling  us  how  we’ve  helped  them  in  one  way  or  another.  It  could  have  been  any  number  of  things;  there  are  too  many  to  mention  here.  Just  know  they  have  all  made  a  difference  in  our  lives,  while  we  are  trying  emphatically  to  make  a  difference  in  so  many  others'  lives.  Again  we  say  “THANK  YOU!”

As  we  head  into  May  and  June  we  tip  our  hats  to  all  the  Moms,  Dads  and  Grads  who  will  be  celebrated  in  the  coming  days  and  weeks.  We  pray  that  God  blesses  you  with  what  you  need  the  most.  Give  each  other  an  extra  hug,  and  love  with  the  love  that  Jesus  demonstrated  and  calls  us  to  share.

Until  next  time  –  God  Bless!

Please  frequent  our  advertisers  and  thank  them  for  their  support  of  Christian  Living  Magazine.  We  couldn’t  do  what  we  do  without  them  —  we  are  extremely  grateful  for  each  and  every  one!

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