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Between the Lines is a magazine of the Journey, a ministry of Christ Church

Fairview Heights, IL. © 2011, Christ Church.
Designed by Justin Aymer
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be pre-
pared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the
reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness
and respect . . . (1 Peter 3:15).
How many times have we been in a
terrible mess because we spoke too
soon, too late, or not at all? Or may-
be our words were truthful but spoken
without gentleness and respect. I have
experienced all of the above. I cannot
take my words back no matter how
I long for that to be possible. It’s like
squeezing too much toothpaste onto
the brush—try as we may, it will never
go back into the tube.
The verse quoted above must be
viewed in the rich context of 1 Peter
3:8-18. It was written by a man who
spoke words that caused him to weep
with deep, passionate regret; words
that were spoken before the rooster
crowed three times. His writings refect
renewed passion and restoration, all
for the cause of Christ.
According to the Hebrew-Greek Key
Word Study Bible, when we set apart
Christ as Lord, our reverence for him
gives us proper perspective for defend-
ing the faith. We must give a reasoned
defense of the faith out of awe for God,
not the desire to win an argument.
Are we in awe of God? Are we pre-
pared to give a reasoned defense of
our faith?
How do we prepare? By reading end-
less blog chatter, Facebook, or watch-
ing television shows with a panel of
judges that elevate man’s approval
over the approval and pleasure of
God? I hope we are doing some of this,
in moderation, because we have to un-
derstand our culture. The reality is, as
we participate in our culture, we will be
inundated with words. It becomes like
the “Waah, waah, waah. . .” spoken by
Lucy to Charlie Brown. The only words
we truly need are the words we fnd
in the Bible—every chapter and every
verse inspired by the Spirit of God. As
we dig into the Word, we can’t help but
be in awe of God.
The Journey team is feasting on the
Word of God in 2011. And God is pre-
paring us for future ministry. In April we
experienced the power of God when
invited to travel to Aledo, Illinois to
present a ‘Journey on the Road.’ Later
this year, the team speaks at a retreat
for Troy UMC at Lake Williamson in
October and at Calvary UMC in Bloom-
ington in November. Exciting plans are
already in the works for Journey gath-
erings here at Christ Church in April
and October of 2012.
We are in awe of God. We are commit-
ted to being prepared to give answers
for the reason for the hope that we
have in Christ. It’s a journey for a life-
time, and we’re glad you have joined
With respect and love,
Mary Ann
Dear Reader,
Between the Lines • Summer 2011 • Volume 1, Issue 2
Table of Contents
Off the Map? Let God’s Word Light the Way 4
Loving a ‘Friend’ 6
Collage: Words 8
Your Very Own Word 10
Make a Long Story Short 11
This Year of Delight 12
I’m Not Afraid Anymore 15
This Issue’s Theme: Words and the Word
Verse of the Season:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God” (John 1:1).
Meet the Contributors
Mary Ann Turner is the leader of the Journey Team at Christ Church.
A former elementary school teacher, she is the wife of Mark, mother
of two grown children, and grandmother to one precious little boy. She
enjoys great conversations, hiking with her family, and encouraging
others to grow in their Christian faith.
Lindsay Tallman is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in
Nature, Biotech, and Commerce magazines. A wife and mother of
three, Lindsay enjoys reading, traveling, and playing with her quirky
children. She and her family live in O’Fallon, Illinois and worship at
Christ Church.
Angela Moore grew up near Fairview Heights, Illinois, and her
parents, Keith and Kathie Rule, are members of Christ Church. After
graduating from college in 1998, God led Angela to Houston. The
wife of Brian and mother of Karsten, she enjoys cooking, writing,
blogging at, feathering her nest,
and serving at Gateway Community Church in Houston.
Roshaunda Cade, Ph.D., lives in the St. Louis area with her hus-
band and their two children. She loves to praise dance at her church,
West Side Missionary Baptist Church, and she is the Writing Center
Coordinator at Webster University.
Emily Climaco, Ph.D., is a Journey Team member and the volunteer
editor of Between the Lines. The wife of Phil and mom of Caroline,
she spends time riding her bike, drinking green tea, and chasing her
two-year-old around the house.
Off the Map?
Let God’s Word Light the Way
by Lindsay Tallman
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light
unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

My husband and I have two very dif-
ferent approaches to navigating while
driving. I’m a spontaneous driver who
likes to trust my instincts and assume
that, if we miss one turn or exit, we can
simply take the next one. I love to take
a road just to see where it leads. My
husband, on the other hand, is a pilot
who believes strongly in precise direc-
tions and following a map. After all,
these tools were invented for a reason.
As you can imagine, these differences
have led to some very “interesting” road
trips, and I can say without a doubt that
purchasing a GPS has helped us put
the fun back in family vacations.
While my way of navigating the road
has led to a lot of adventures and
pleasant surprises over the years, I’ve
also found myself in some places that
aren’t so desirable. Blinded by my own
stubbornness and pride, I can end up
lost, confused, and alone. Likewise,
when we attempt to navigate this world
without God’s Word in our hearts to
show us the way, we often fnd our-
selves way off the map.
Even though I grew up in church, I
failed to realize the necessity of study-
ing God’s Word and applying it to my
daily living. My own arrogance and
lack of understanding fueled me to rely
more on myself and those around me
than on God. I thought that being a
good person would somehow be good
enough. It didn’t take long for me to
fnd myself at the end of myself. Lost,
confused, and alone, I was a college
student hundreds of miles from the
friends and family who had kept me
in my cozy bubble, and that bubble
burst wide open. And that’s exactly
where God found me crying out for
help. I was overwhelmed by my past
mistakes and anxious about my future.
Through tears, I opened my Bible to
the frst passage I could fnd and read
these words, “Don’t worry about any-
thing; instead, pray about everything;
tell God your needs and don’t forget to
thank him for his answers” (Phil. 4:6,
The Living Bible). As I poured my heart
out to him and let go of everything I’d
been trying to do on my own, a peace
came over me like a warm blanket. “If
you do this you will experience God’s
peace, which is far more wonderful
than the human mind can understand.
His peace will keep your thoughts and
your hearts quiet and at rest as you
trust in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7, TLB).
I’m not recommending that we study
God’s Word so haphazardly, but I did
learn something about our Lord that
day that I’ll never forget. All those
years I had done things my own way,
he was wait-
ing for me to
turn to him
and ask him
for help. He
was pursuing
me even in
the midst of my ugly rebellion, sin, and
pride. His Word was not a set of re-
stricting rules to crush my adventurous
spirit, but rather his law was there to
free me to be everything he created me
to be and to keep me from wandering
off into places that aren’t good for me.
Psalm 119:18-19 says, “Open my eyes
to see wonderful things in your Word.
I am but a pilgrim here on earth: how I
need a map—and your commands are
my chart and guide” (TLB).
In my last year of college, a friend in-
vited me to join her Bible study. I kept
coming up with reasons not to go, but
she was insistent and I reluctantly
went. It felt awkward and uneasy at frst
and, frankly, I didn’t think a bunch of
“church ladies” would be much fun. But
the more I learned about God through
his Word, the more he began to work in
my life and give me new eyes to see.
The changes didn’t come overnight,
but looking back now I see how that
one small step opened the door to the
life-transforming power of Christ. He
changed me and kept my feet mov-
ing in the right direction even when I
wasn’t sure of the fnal destination. And
the more I learn, the more I realize I’ve
got a long way to go!
How often do we call everyone we
know and ask for advice or “Google”
a random question instead of seeking
God’s heart through prayer and the
Bible? I’m pretty sure the creator of the
universe can handle our problems if we
have the patience and perseverance to
wait for his answer in his time. When
we feel lost
and discour-
aged, we can
rest assured
that he will
help guide
us back on
the right path. “And I am sure that God
who began the good work within you
will keep right on helping you grow in
his grace until his task within you is f-
nally fnished on that day when Jesus
Christ returns” (Phil. 1:6, TLB).
These days if we’re traveling and we
miss a turn, we simply listen as the
GPS states, “Recalculating,” in her
very calm voice. If you know you’ve
been going in the wrong direction or
you missed that last turn, it’s never too
late to chart a new course. If you’re
feeling lost and are in need of a good
recalculating, jump into a Bible study
and let God’s Word light the way. “For
the word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword”
(Heb. 4:12, NIV).
How often do we call everyone
we know and ask for advice or
“Google” a random question
instead of seeking God’s heart
through prayer and the Bible?
{ }
“A friend loves at all times”
(Prov. 17:17).
I can’t stand the frst grade and
can’t wait for it to be over. “Only a
little while longer” was my mantra a
few weeks ago. My daughter’s frst
grade journey has been one of my
most diffcult times in life, in large
part because she has coped with a
bully all year.
My daughter is an affectionate girl,
so early in the fall term she kissed
one of her friends on the cheek. This
friend just happened to be a boy,
and one of her classmates taunted
my girl and threatened to tell on her.
It got so bad that my daughter didn’t
want to get to school early, just so
she could avoid a playground con-
frontation with her tormenter. Plus,
my daughter is a stutterer, and the
more stressed she got, the worse
her stuttering became. The words
of this girl, whose birthday is only
one day after my daughter’s, turned
my girl into someone who couldn’t
even verbalize her anger and frus-
When she fnally told me about
what was going on, we turned to
the Bible and prayed. My 6-year-
old prayed that her friend—she re-
fused to believe that this girl was
not her friend—would fnd some
goodness in her life so that she
wouldn’t have to look for bad in oth-
er people’s lives. She also prayed
that her friend would accept Jesus
as Lord and Savior. The next day,
she invited her to church.
The playground torture fnally end-
ed but was replaced by extortion.
The same girl swindled my daugh-
ter out of all of her pencils. But the
nadir came at the campus store.
The kids can earn “bucks” to use in
a campus store that sells all man-
ner of tchotchkes enticing to the
elementary set. Well, one day my
girl had her eye on something with
a mermaid but ended up buying
pencils for the girl she called her
friend. My girl came home fuming
but didn’t let me know about the
situation until weeks later.
When I asked her why she didn’t
tell me what was going on, she said
she didn’t want her friend to get in
trouble. Again, we took solace in
God’s Word and prayer. This time
my 6-year-old asked God to let her
friend start to love herself so she
by Roshaunda D. Cade
a ‘Friend’
wouldn’t have to be mean to other
people. And again, she also prayed
that her friend would accept Christ.
Then, of course, the next day she
invited her to church.
The extortion eventually stopped,
but slander took its place. One day
in the throes of our recent icy win-
ter, my daughter and I saw some
snow that had turned blue because
of the rock salt used as a de-icer.
Excited about seeing blue snow,
she told her tablemates at school.
Well, her friend decided my girl was
a liar. Furthermore, she convinced
the entire table of frst graders of
this and coerced the children into
alternately snubbing and mocking
my daughter. As usual, my girl wait-
ed for weeks to tell me what was
going on.
When she fnally told me, and I
asked why she’d waited to tell me,
she said her friend needed some-
one to love her. Our ritual having
been established, we turned to
God through his Word and through
prayer. This time my 6-year-old
asked God to let her friend feel his
love and to surround her with peo-
ple who love her. Of course, she
also asked Jesus to come into her
friend’s life, and she invited her to
church again.
From August through March, my
daughter suffered this pint-sized
bully, but in April God did some-
thing very interesting. The girl ac-
tually started becoming the friend
my daughter faithfully insisted she
was all along. Now the two play and
squabble and make up, just like
most frst graders.
Then, the other day my daughter
told me in passing that her friend
confded to her that she wanted
to become a Christian. I asked my
daughter how she responded. She
said she asked her all the questions
about Jesus that can get a person
saved, and when her friend didn’t
know the answers, she said she
explained them to her. Then my girl
told her friend she needed a Bible.
I guess this weekend we’ll buy my
daughter’s friend her own personal
copy of God’s Word.
Although we have yet to bring a
frst grade guest with us to church,
I think my 6-year-old just might lead
her friend to Christ. I guess I’ll keep
my mantra from a few weeks back:
“Only a little while longer, Lord; only
a little while longer.”
Jesus, thank you for loving me,
and I love you too. Thank you
for dying on the cross for my
sins. Forgive me of my sins, and
come into my life. Make me into
the person you created me to
be. Thank you for making me a
Christian. Amen.
I’m a scholar of American
literature, which means
I’m both desirable to em-
ployers and popular at
parties. Okay, neither of
those is true.
But I do love language. I
love Ferdinand de Sau-
ssure’s theory that the basic unit of
language is a sign, composed of a sig-
nifer (a word, sort of) and a signifed
(a concept). The relationship between
the signifer and the signifed—and be-
tween a sign and its referent—is arbi-
trary. People like Saussure and I like
to crawl inside a word to check out its
moving parts.
While language at the molecular level
may be arbitrary, naming is not. When I
was in grade school, I wasn’t sure if I’d
have kids when I grew up, but I’d pre-
pared a list of baby names just in case.
The impulse behind giving a name is
thrilling and profound. While there may
be no logical relationship between the
word “baby” and a tiny human being, in
our culture, the name you give a baby
suggests many infuences. Trends.
Status. Tradition. Dreams. Creativity.
Genesis 2:19-20. “Now the Lord God
had formed out of the ground all the
wild animals and all the birds in the
sky. He brought them to the man to
see what he would name them; and
whatever the man called each living
creature, that was its name. So the
man gave names to all the livestock,
the birds in the sky and all the wild ani-
mals . . .”
To name all the animals! I wonder if





In the next issue:
Wisdom -
search for it like hidden
Adam was thrilled at the prospect. I
wonder if he suffered namer’s regret
after the fact. When Caroline was 4
months old, I experienced serious
namer’s regret. Suddenly, I feared
we’d made a terrible mistake because
she seemed nothing like a ‘Caroline.’
Around the same time, I also suspect-
ed my breast-pump was talking to me.
So there’s that.
Now well-rested, I can’t imagine call-
ing her anything else. Sweet ‘Caroline’
just fts. We chose the name not be-
cause of its meaning—we just thought
it sounded pretty. God, on the other
hand, gives names loaded with the
essence of transformation: remember
Abraham, Sarah, Peter, and Paul?
Revelation 2:17. “Whoever has ears,
let them hear what the Spirit says to the
churches. To the one who is victorious,
I will give some of the hidden manna. I
will also give that person a white stone
with a new name written on it, known
only to the one who receives it.”
God let Adam name the animals,
and he let our families name us. But
can you imagine God’s secret name
for you? This I know: it isn’t arbitrary.
I imagine that its infnitely complex
meaning might be summed up like this:
How much you’ve changed! I love you.
REDUCE – get the digital version via e-mail at
REUSE – pass along this issue to a friend when you’re fnished
RECYCLE – toss in a Paper Retriever bin at Christ Church
-Heather Asunskis, mom of two in need of a
25-hour day
-Christine Phillips, decorator, fower lover,
wife, and grandmother
-Betty Nelson, mom, wife, and seamstress
loving Abba.”
-Pati Church, wife, mother, “mimi,” teacher,
Make a
Long Story
In three words, what
does God mean to you?
The power of words is an amazing
thing. One word can lift you up or tear
you down, encourage you or devastate
you. Our lives are flled and sometimes
bombarded with words and messages
from every angle. We are thrilled when
our child says his or her frst word and
frustrated when they discover the pow-
er of the word ‘No!’ In home décor these
days you will frequently fnd words and
quotes applied to walls, or a carved
out word may sit on your bookshelf or
mantle. I have a plaque in my kitchen
that says ‘Simplify’ as a reminder to do
just that.

How interesting that in scripture Jesus
is referred to as ‘the Word.’ “In the be-
ginning the Word already existed. The
Word was with God, and the Word was
God. He existed in the beginning with
God” (John 1:1, NLT). God created the
world with his words and God has giv-
en us his Word, the Bible, as a guide
for our lives. Words hold power and in-
fuence, but God’s Word holds the ulti-
mate, divine power and infuence.
In January 2007 I made a decision
to choose a word for that year. Not
just any word, but a word that I felt
would encourage, focus, and remind
me of God’s promises. Going into
2007 I faced an incredibly tough jour-
ney ahead. I was in heart failure and
needed a heart transplant—a second
heart transplant at that. I knew the
pain, uncertainty, and hardship that
awaited me, but I also knew that God
had proven his faithfulness to me and
would see me through the dark valleys
ahead. After much prayer and search-
ing the scriptures, the word ‘steadfast’
seemed to encompass my life spiritual-
ly, mentally, physically, and emotional-
ly. Psalm 112:7 states, “They will have
no fear of bad news; their hearts are
steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Isaiah
26:3 states, “You will keep in perfect
peace those whose minds are stead-
fast, because they trust in you.”
Whenever I began to worry about what
loomed in my future, I would bring to
mind these scriptures, these promises,
this Word to lift my spirit. I reminded
by Angela Moore

myself daily that I needed to remain
steadfast and trust that God would
work out the details. He did! On Octo-
ber 23, 2007 I received a perfect new
heart, and more than three years later
I’m thriving and healthier than I’ve ever
been. Nothing I did during that time
allowed me to get a heart faster, but
remaining steadfast on what his Word
promised gave me peace and joy dur-
ing a stormy time in my life.
At the beginning of 2007 I liked the
idea of choosing a word, but I had no
idea how powerful this yearly exercise
would become for my spiritual life. Ev-
ery year since, I have spent time pre-
paring my heart and mind to choose
a word that would set the tone for that
year. I typically choose a scripture to
reinforce my word—this way I have
God’s Word backing up my chosen
The year 2008 would be a year of res-
toration physically, emotionally, spiri-
tually, and mentally. I chose the word
restore to mark that year. Psalm 30:2
states, “O Lord my God, I cried to you
for help, and you restored my health.”
God had faithfully restored my health,
my life. Just nine months after my
transplant, my husband and I climbed
to the top of a 14,000 foot mountain in
Colorado; my health was restored.
In 2009 I was recovered and needed
to fnd a new purpose for my life. “And
we know that God causes everything
to work together for the good of those
who love God and are called accord-
ing to his purpose for them” (Romans
8:28). I was blessed to return to teach-
ing elementary school full time, serving
in our church, and fnding new ways to
use my God-given talents.
I knew that 2010 was going to be
a year of seeking fve things in my
life: God, Vitality, Discipline, Bal-
ance, and Adoption. The word ‘seek’
bookmarked that year, as did Mat-
thew 7:7-8: “Ask and it will be given
to you; seek and you will fnd; knock
and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives;
the one who seeks fnds; and to the
one who knocks, the door will be
As 2011 approached I began search-
ing for a new word. I had prioritized
seeking God, vitality, discipline, bal-
ance, and adoption, but felt that
there was a component missing. In
a quiet time one day I came across
a familiar verse. Psalm 37:4-5 says,
“Delight yourself in the LORD and
He will give you the desires of your
heart. Commit your way to the Lord,
trust also in Him, and He shall bring
it to pass.” Delight—that’s what I
desired. I had grown accustomed to
seeking God, exercising and eating
right, practicing discipline, fnding
balance, and working through adop-
tion paperwork, but it had all become
mundane, part of my routine, some-
thing to check off my mental and
physical checklist every day.
I mentioned earlier that one thing I,
along with my husband, were seek-
ing in 2010 was adoption. I am
thrilled to report that on April 10,
2011 we adopted a perfect, newborn
baby boy. I believed that if I delighted
in the Lord, committed my plan and
desires to him, and trusted him to
orchestrate the behind-the-scenes
story that he would bless us with a
child. I had always imagined adopting
a girl, but the moment I laid eyes on
our son there was no doubt that God’s
fngerprints were all over him. He is our
dream come true and a great delight
to us.
Choosing a word for the year has
taught me a great deal. There are times
when we have to surrender our plans,
our hopes, our desires to make room
for God’s plans, hopes, and desires
for our life. It’s not an easy process; it
requires spiritual maturity, prayer, and
confdence that his plans are always
better. I can attest that there is nothing
better than delighting in him, commit-
ting our ways to him, and trusting him
to intervene on our behalf.
Consider the power of words in your
own life. What words resonate with you
in a meaningful way? Is there a spe-
cifc scripture that is a guiding light in
your life? Are the desires in your heart
God’s desires for you? Singing prais-
es, journaling, reading his Word, serv-
ing others, keeping a gratitude journal,
and surrendering your plans are some
of the ways you can take delight in the
Creator and Provider. How do you take
time to delight in the Lord?
Choosing one word to focus on
each year is a spiritually creative
exercise. Sometimes the word and
accompanying verse will come to
you quickly, and other times it may
take weeks of refection to fnd the
word that best fts a particular
season of life. I encourage you to
prayerfully choose a word for the
remainder of this year. What area
of your life seems chaotic or lack-
ing? What word would help you
focus on God’s promises and plan
for you?
In your next quiet time, purpose-
fully read some favorite scriptures
to see if a word sticks out. Often-
times I will search biblegateway.
com to look up specifc words to
fnd a scripture that reinforces the
meaning of the word I have select-
You could also make this a fam-
ily exercise. Take time around the
dinner table to discuss what words
build us up and tear us down, then
select a word that will remind you
of what God’s Word says. Once a
word is chosen, create a remind-
er—anything from an index card to
a canvas with the word and verse
will keep you focused on your
word, but most importantly on
his Word. You might even choose
a different word for each month,
season, or school year.
To read more about Angela’s year of
delight, visit her blog at:
As Christians, we enjoy immediate ac-
cess to God through Jesus, the Word
made fesh (John 1:14), and the Bible,
God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17). But even
after many years, sometimes God illu-
minates his Word for us in a brand new
way. Pat Beckner experienced this
kind of revelation earlier this year, and
her life is transforming.
It all started with 31 Days of Prayer by
Ruth and Warren Myers, a book with
31 brief chapters designed to be read
over the course of a month. Pat dove
into the book, and “It taught me how
to pray,” she says. It became not just a
casual daily reading but a full-fedged
pursuit of truth. Every prayer in the
book is inspired by scripture, and this is
where Pat began digging into the Bible:
“I copied each scripture down—right
on the page—because I was amazed
at how they spoke to my situation,” she
Having unexpectedly lost her beloved
husband Bobby, Pat was terrifed that
she wouldn’t be able to lead her fam-
ily. When God began to heal her, the
changes were dramatic. “Reading the
scripture made me want to read more,
and the more I read, the more it sunk in
and changed my heart. Sometimes I’ll
say something to my daughter or even
a stranger and wonder, ‘Where did that
come from?’ But the words aren’t mine.
God leads me through his Word, and
I’m following.” Pat has been surprised
again and again—by speaking wise
words to others in need, feeling peace
in troubling times, trusting God com-
pletely—and she wants others to know
the immense riches found in the Bible.
“I could say that this book [31 Days]
made all the difference, but that’s not
the whole story. This book helped me
dig into the Bible—and that’s what
made a difference in my outlook and my
interactions with family.” The biggest
difference so far may be a changed
perspective about her future and the
world around her: “I’m not afraid any-
more. I can say that in all honesty: I’m
not afraid.”
Pat’s favorite verse in this season of
life is Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him
who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine, according
to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in
Christ Jesus throughout all genera-
tions, forever and ever! Amen.” May
God grant you, dear reader, the de-
sires of your heart, immeasurably
more than you can ask or imagine!
‘I’m Not Afraid
One Woman’s Encounter
with the Word
[ ]
by Emily Climaco