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Number of Pages: 156
Vendor: Russell Media
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.30 (inches)|
Author: Laurie Russell
Located in: Boise, Idaho
Submitted: December 19, 2013
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a wife, mom and co-founder of Russell Media (soon to be Elevate). We served as a missionaries in Russia (2 years), Chile (2 years) and in Germany (3 years). I love the outdoors and I'm a huge animal lover. I had a bad habit of adopting pets whenever my husband traveled with work. He's since cut down his work travel and I'm doing my best to kick the habit. My hubby, Mark, and I live in Boise, Idaho with our two incredible kids (two dogs, one cat, guinea pig and gecko.)
What was your motivation behind this project? One day, while preparing for a Bible study I began to question whether I truly loved God. The author of the study spoke repeatedly of her love for God and it was irritating me. I couldn't figure out why I felt this way. However, whenever I mentioned this to others they wanted to excuse it away - I was a new mom. I was living in a foreign country. Plus, I was a missionary...we of all people love God, right?! Something inside told me it wasn't my external circumstances. It was deeper. It wasn't until I was honest with myself and with God about losing my love for Him that my joy returned. God took me on a journey, revealing hindrances in my life and heart that prevented me from truly loving and experiencing Him. Whenever I speak to groups, there is always a number of men and women who approach me saying, "I'm right there and I don't know what to do. Please help me." Many times they are godly men and women who serve tirelessly in the church or a ministry. If satan can't get us bad, he'll get us busy to the point we neglect our love for God. None of us are immune to it.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? My desire is the stories I share in my book will encourage others to be honest with God and him or herself. God can handle our questions. If we approach Him with hearts that are truly seeking Him, He'll give us what we need to develop that love for Him.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I once played the role of a Christian. I said the right things. I served in the right places. I sacrificed the right things. The experience I share in the book showed me that Christianity is not a role it's a relationship. I had neglected my relationship with God by focusing on the wrong things and the wrong perceptions of God that I held. Because of this my love for Him faded, much like what happens in a marriage if you neglect it. My journey not only helped me rediscover and deepen my love for God but it solidified my trust and belief in God. I know have a sturdy foundation that has helped me endure some of the craziness of life that we've recently faced.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Philip Yancey's book, Disappointment With God, was a huge help to me during my time of spiritual crisis. His honest questions and willingness to "go there" help me the throughly search my heart for what prevented me from fully loving God and experiencing that abundant life with Him. Priscilla Shirer's many works have been a great encouragement. Her Bible study, He Speaks to Me" was very timely. John Eldredge's, Sacred Romance, directed me during my time of sitting still at God's feet, waiting for Him to help me rediscover my love for Him.
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