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Volume 2, Issue 8 - April 2006

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

~ Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 ~


Hello and welcome to the April Easter issue of FaithWriters’ Magazine. My prayer is that it will be a blessing to you from first page to last.

Of all the beautiful songs ever composed about our Savior’s sacrifice, the one that never fails to bring me to tears is Isaac Watts’ glorious hymn, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." I think it is because in this song all self is stripped away--completely and utterly--as we focus on the One who paid so dearly for each one of our seemingly insignificant lives.

In the midst of hot-cross buns, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and chicks, we fix our eyes on Jesus--and as we do, everything else seems trivial and insignificant. We are left in awe.

This April, as we come once again to this time of remembrance, with its sorrow and its triumph, I hope you will join with us as we, with fresh eyes and open heart, survey the wondrous cross anew.

Sacrifice, love, surrender, forgiveness and grace--these themes shine through the pages of FaithWriters’ Magazine this month, and our front page story is the epitome of them all. It should be every Christian’s heartbeat, and I feel privileged to share this true story with you this month, together with the author’s interview.

Salvation at Midnight’s Stroke by Karen Elengikal will move and stir you.

Salvation at Midnight’s Stroke--A True Story
By Karen Elengikal

Suddenly my eyes snap open. Yes, it’s morning, I observe. Getting my bearings, my sleepy thoughts recollect, Oh … yes, India.

I calculate it to be about 7am and already the tropical heat is bearing down, making sweat run freely on my skin. Check for the vital signs, I urge myself. Yes, the fan is moving. Yay! We have electricity. Pulling my heavy body up from the bed, I check the still peacefully sleeping family. All is well.

Read Complete Article...


No Ordinary Life--Meet Karen Elengikal
Interview by Lynda Schab

FWM: Karen, I am so happy to be conducting this interview with you. Reading over your FaithWriters profile, I was impressed and intrigued by so many things. So let’s get started!You met your husband, George, in an unconventional way. Tell us about how you met and fell in love.

KAREN: Lynda, I love your choice of the word, ‘unconventional.’ It certainly was unconventional for one Aussie missionary, and even more for an Indian evangelist and church planter.

Read Complete Interview...

This one small glimpse into the life of the Elengikal family during their time in India is a powerful reminder of exactly why it was that Jesus’ died. But don’t stop with the story. I really encourage you to read Lynda Schab’s interview for the month, No Ordinary Life--Meet Karen Elengikal.

True confessions here--both Lynda and I tried to trim this interview down a little, but we both found it almost impossible to do. Karen has a God-given gift for storytelling, and we were both captivated by every part of her interview, from start to finish. I think you will be too.

In a similar vein, Tim Manzer shares A Homeless Lesson in We are the Church. His story is an absolute must read for all Christians. This was a true life experience with a twist, and although his writing style caused me to chuckle more than a few times, I can honestly say that his message hit home like a sledgehammer. I knew all too well what Jesus would have done, but I kept wondering what I would have done in the same situation. I’d love to hear your feedback on this very challenging article that again takes us back to the reason for the cross.

We see a return of Through Their Eyes this month, with David Ritchie’s very special Bible story re-telling, Diary Entry--Easter Friday--Joseph of Arimathea. Then, for another Easter short story, head over to Heaven Bound and read The Promise by Jessica Schmit. I’ve read this story a couple of times now, and the ending has impacted me in quite an emotional way each time. Both stories are perfect for this very important time of year.

In The Joy of Family this month, I really am delighted to introduce a new author to you (one of a few wonderful new contributors this issue), and I think you are going to love her stories. I was hooked on Lynette Carpenter’s writing the minute I read Independence Day--and no, I haven’t got my seasons mixed up. Enjoy and be blessed! I think you’ll be reading more from this lovely lady in the future.

As always, this is just a little taste of what’s in store in this month’s FaithWriters’ Magazine. Personally, it has been a particular joy to prepare this issue, and every story, article and poem has had an impact on me in some way. But without question, the one that moved me to tears, and will remain in my heart forever, can be found in Journey of Grace.

Early in March, we received the news that a very special friend of FaithWriters had died. Howard Pierce signed up as a member of FaithWriters.com on September 24, 2003, and since then has shared 240 poems and messages on that site--each one marked with the gentle spirit that characterized this dear brother in Christ. Howard never pushed himself into the spotlight, but was a faithful supporter of FaithWriters and was always so willing to allow us to use his work in the magazine. So many of his poems transported the reader back to a time when life was slower and kinder than it often seems today. This seemed to be his nature, and many were blessed by his words.

This month, as a special tribute to this gentle man, we are including his very last article at FaithWriters--And Then There Was THAT Piano. Howard submitted his article on February 27, and then went home to be with the Lord on March 9. When you read his last story in Journey of Grace, you will be left in awe at the way the Lord prepares His children for the point in their journey when they step over into eternity.

With that, I will wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter, and pray that it will be a time of renewal, rejoicing and peace in your life.

Deb Porter
Editor, FaithWriters’ Magazine