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The NEW John Simmons

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  The New John Simmons   I grew up in a two-parent family in St. Louis, Missouri. My grandmother used to take me to Sunday School and church, so I knew something about God early on. They were teaching me at the church how to pray and kept saying, just ask God for what you want because he answers prayer.    One Sunday night when I was twelve, I had a project due at school the next day and I hadn’t done it. So, I prayed to God I would have Monday off. The next morning, I woke up and saw my clock and school had already started. My mom must have let me sleep in. I thought, Wow. Prayer works. Then she came in the room and explained that my father had passed away from a heart attack during the night. That event broke my relationship with God up and made me feel so guilty. I was thinking, if God is going to answer prayers like this, why would I want to pray? Why would I want to be involved with a God like that?   I carried that guilt about my dad's death around

The Dress

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The Dress I grew up in a pastor’s home, the eldest of three girls. My dad was bi-vocational, so he worked a normal job in addition to being a pastor. My mom worked really hard at a Christian school teaching piano and other classes. She worked to help pay for our tuition at that school, which was a very expensive proposition for our family. But my parents wanted us to go to a school with a God view. It was that important to them. We actually drove thirty-five minutes to get to school, which was kind of unheard of in that time and place.  We didn’t have a lot and there was stress about money between my parents. I mean, we were very well taken care of, we never lacked for anything, but there was no room for extras. In my teen years that anxiety about money became more and more of a thing in my life. There was peer pressure of course and a lot of different income levels at our school kind of drove that. Understanding how tight money was and not wanting to be a burden to my parents I trie

The Story Thread

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    Psalm 127:3 – “Children are a gift from the Lord.” (NLT)   Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)    Fifty years ago, most couples married relatively young, compared to today. This was true for my parents. They were both twenty-one at the time. My mother was a strong believer in Jesus Christ and she brought my father to God through their relationship. And as most couples did back then, they also immediately began to try to have a family. However, after a few of years of trying it just wasn’t happening. In fact, after five years, they ended up going to a doctor and having tests run. The doctor’s sad conclusion was that they would never be able to have children.    This was devastating news to both of them, but my mom accepted the situation with grace. She believed in God having a plan for them and that He would do what was best in His own time. My dad however, struggled m

Christian Indie Publishing Association announces that A LITTLE FAITH: A FATHER'S MIRACLE STORY OF FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, AND A MICRO PREEMIE is the winner of the 2021 Christian Indie Award for Best Biography/Memoir!

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  The Christian Indie Publishers Association announced today that my book, A LITTLE FAITH: A FATHER'S MIRACLE STORY OF FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, AND A MICRO PREEMIE won the 2021 Christian Indie Award for Best Biography/Memoir. I'm very honored and humbled for the book to get this kind of recognition from peers, readers, and publishers. Thanks everyone for all your support. All glory to God! You'll find more information on the book at https://www.beliefbooks.com Blessings, Bob 
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  "Proven Wrong by God. Again."        We lay there in the pitch-black living room sprawled about on couches and chairs. A bunch of 17-year-old boys chilling after a night of “going out.” It was 3 am.   We were now ruminating on the general topic of girls, girlfriends, and marriage. I declared into the dark something like, “I can’t see any good reason to get married.” I can’t remember if anyone commented back. Maybe everyone else was asleep. I continued with assurance however, “That’s not for me.”        It was the first of many times that God would prove me wrong. Eighteen months later I was at the altar saying, “I do” to the woman I’ve been married to for eleven years and share three wonderful kids with.        That summer of my negative proclamation about marriage, I took a job at a new pizza place that had opened in a local shopping center. They were hiring lots of high school kids as hosts and servers, so it was a fun place to work and meet people our age. I

Kind of a Sad Story

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Did you ever read a story in the Bible that made you sad? This one did to me. Matthew 13:54-58   - Coming to his hometown, Jesus began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Every time I read this I feel sad. At first, I wasn’t sure why. I do remember reflecting on those people in Jesus’ hometown and thinking, How could they not believe in Him when they saw all this? Miracles! Healings! Amazing teaching! As I thought about it though, I realized many of us sometimes do the same thing. M

The Man Who Just Showed Up

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  The Man Who Just Showed Up   Immediately after graduation from college I got my first job. I was twenty-two and was slated to be the director of a chapter of InteVarsity Christian Fellowship on a college campus in a small city in North Carolina.   Now that I had a job, I wanted to build some equity, so with a little help from my parents I bought a small run-down house in a rougher part of my new town. As it turns out, it was a lot rougher than I had thought.   My neighbors were very sweet, but across the street was a brothel and I actually took occupancy of my house by removing a prostitute and all her drug paraphernalia. Drug dealers routinely used the sidewalk in front of my new house to do their transactions. I often heard gun shots. The neighborhood was full of abandoned houses. I was the only white person for blocks.   The house itself was a real renovation project. No electricity. No running water. It should have been a tear-down, but being young and naive, I did