By Sandy Jones
Ten years. Really?! What a miracle and a blessing to get to do what I do. I’m forever touched that you would continue to invite us into your lives.
Over the course of time I have been privileged to share much of my life and my testimony with you, our readers. I am always deeply touched when I meet a reader and am told “I’ve been praying for you.” I may not know you personally, but please know my team and I feel every one of your prayers, and we thank you!
As Christians we marvel at how Jesus chose fishermen and a tax collector to change the world.
We’re awestruck as we read the accounts of the woman caught in adultery, or the woman with the issue of blood, and Jesus healing the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.
Sometimes we get so accustomed to these stories that they lose their full impact.
One thing these events all have in common – the choosing of the twelve disciples, and subsequent miracles – is how Jesus chose, and worked through, “the least of these.”
It’s easy to fall into believing that this age-old history was the only time Jesus did these things.
I am living proof that that is simply not true.
A genuine, awkward nerd in school, and clumsy as can be, I was often an outcast. A single mom at 19; then married and divorced by 29, followed by a series of poor choices and bad decisions. It wasn’t until my husband, Steve, suggested we find a church and get our lives together back in August of 1996 that I found solid ground.
Oh there were lies I told myself about God and Jesus. The deeper the guilt and shame; half-truths and mis-told lessons were revealed and peeled away like the layers of an onion. The more I learned, the deeper I fell in love with our Lord and Savior, and the easier it was to believe that He loves me; even more importantly that He has always loved me.
In so many ways, I am one of “the least of these,” and yet, He called me into this ministry, and has blessed me with the skills needed to fulfill His calling.
As we have prepared to celebrate Christian Living’s 10th anniversary, much of our team has shared how this journey, this incredible calling, has impacted their lives. No one is more surprised than we are that 11 years after this was just a concept, we’re still here.
I remember sending the first issue off to the printer, saying to our editor, Gaye, ‘who knows how long this will last – perhaps we’re just meant to touch one life and when we’ve accomplished that God may close this door,’ and we were both good with that. We still are today.
Over the last 10 years Christian Living has grown and changed. Changed owners. Changed from being an LLC to incorporating and becoming a 501c3 non-profit ministry. We’ve added a website that reaches readers in more than 150 countries around the world. In October of 2020 Christian Living Spotlight, our radio show was birthed, right in the middle of the pandemic, and earlier this year we were thrilled to announce that Christian Living Spotlight is now also a podcast and is available on most major streaming services.
Eleven years ago we believed that this magazine was going to be a sweet little community niche publication to encourage our fellow believers here in the Treasure Valley. We had no idea about the wild ride God had in store for us. If He’d shown us the entire picture then, I think we’d have all run off scared to death of failure.
We still don’t know God’s full plan for Christian Living Ministries, but we do know we’re all dedicated to continue saying “here I am Lord, use me,” and we are so grateful you have decided to join us!
A huge thank you has to go out to all of our advertisers and donors! Without them we would not exist – there would be no magazine, website, radio show or podcast. I know I say this often, but please frequent our advertisers as much as you can, and thank them for their support of Christian Living – our mission is as important to many of them, as it is to us!
We thank you dear reader for trusting us, encouraging us, and supporting us as we go forward into this blessed calling to serve our Wonderful Lord and Savior.
Until next time…