Author Archives: Guest Contributor

How to Break Free From the Control of Food


Written by Guest Contributor – Barb Raveling

I was driving down I-90 throwing cookies out the window at 75 miles per hour. My husband and I had just gotten married and were heading back to Montana in our little green Datsun pickup.

It was the only way I could keep myself from eating all the leftover wedding cookies.

I’ve had a problem with overeating since I was young – back in the days when they used to call me Butterball. Eating was that one thing in life I thought I’d never be able to get control of.

I was wrong. About 12 years ago, God showed me a discipline that has changed my life in so many ways.

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He Is Sufficient

He is Sufficient

My mama heart jumped as my four year old took a hard fall to her noggin, leaving a fast swelling goose egg.

After applying ice and checking her baby blues for proper dilation, I had her walk across the floor patting her crazy curls while simultaneously rubbing circles on her tummy. She giggled and passed with flying colors.

I knew she was fine, but that evening as I tucked her in for bed I fought a fierce spiritual attack from the enemy.

Oh yes. The devil knows how to get to me. He knows my deepest fears.

Irrational visions of my daughter being diagnosed with cancer, or having sudden internal bleeding in the brain from a bump to the head, were worst-case scenario lies he used to shake my faith.

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First Things First & A Giveaway!


Five Minutes for Faith is pleased to welcome author and speaker Kathy Howard, as she shares what she’s learned from her mother during our Mother’s Day series. You will want to read through to the end of the post, as Kathy has so graciously offered to give away one of her books, which I am sure you will want to enter for a chance to win!

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

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Come…An Invitation

“Come,” Jesus said. (Matthew 14:29)

I have read the story of Peter stepping out of the boat many times. I think of that moment as he gazed across the water and Jesus said just one word…COME.

An invitation.

Did Peter then turn to the others and say…Could you pray about this for me? Did he then write down the pros and cons of taking that step? No. He simply stepped out in faith. To walk on water towards Jesus. It was only when He took His eyes off of Jesus and looked at the water, that fear took over and he began to sink.

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The rustling of his two year-old tootsies against the crib mattress rouses me from my slumber. He scales the side of the crib and clambers over to me. Not yet enticed to vacate the warm hug of my flannel sheets and fluffy comforter, I whisk my son up into bed with me.

He snuggles up close and presses his soft, flushed cheek to mine. He is still.

All to soon, my little tornado will wreak baby havoc on our house. Meals will be rejected. Pots and pans pulled from cupboards. Clothing strewn across the floor. Perhaps an entire over-sized canister of rolled oats will coat the first level of the house…

But here, now…I relish the sweetness of a chubby hand cupping my face and the precious babble, “Bahdah bahdah,bahdah bahdah, Mama!”

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Love Is On The Way

“Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way.” (Jude vs2 -The Message)

I love that! I stumbled upon that in the beginning of the new year and it is still calling to me today! In the introduction to the book of Jude in The Message Bible, Eugene Peterson writes that when we are sick physically, the pain draws our attention and we do what it takes to get well – but spiritually, we can be sick and unaware for a long time.

In our family, we are normally blessed with good health and a strong immune system, but over the holidays our little household was hit fast and hard with the flu bug.

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Sky High

“Step. Slide. Hang on tight. Breathe.
Okay. Good. Now, repeat.
One more thing.
Whatever you do… don’t look down.”

I whispered these words to myself as I stood on a wooden bridge, high in the air. I was attached by a simple harness and pulley system, facing a fear I didn’t even know I possessed.

Going to Stone Mountain Park was my idea that hot summer day. Standing in line for Sky Hike, the adventure ropes course, was my idea, too. But fear was never part of the agenda.

Following each platform pit-stop is a pair of apparatus. Each climber must choose which path to take.

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The Master Planner

O Lord, you are my God;
  I will exalt you and praise your name,
 for in perfect faithfulness
 you have done marvelous things,
 things planned long ago. (Psalm 25:1)

I am a planner. You will rarely find me without my trusty little companion which I dote over, painstakingly planning the days and weeks ahead like a master chess player strategizing each move in a championship game.

It’s no surprise then when I see my day unravel, like a stray ball of yarn discovered and enjoyed by a playful kitten, I get a bit miffed. This is one of the reasons it brings me great comfort and peace to remember that my God is the one who is The Master Planner.

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