History Matters: Get Two Ebooks on Church History

Church History Bundle

History matters. Understanding where we came from both shapes our understanding of who we are and gives us clarity of what to look for as we progress into the future. All believers, both new and old, can find importance in learning and understanding Christian history.

We can glean wisdom from saints of old, discover truths behind those who spread the gospel, and even share in pain of Christian persecution.

Vyrso bundled together two ebooks on Christian history, discussing people and events essential in spreading the gospel! Available through July 31, save 84% when you get the Christian History Bundle for just $5.99.

Here’s what you’ll get:

Sixty People Who Shaped the Church: Learning from Sinners, Saints, Rogues, and Heroes by Alton Gansky

The church exists today in its current form because of the people who have come before us. But we often wonder: who were those people and how does their contribution to history affect us today?

Discover a collection of inspiring biographical sketches of people who played pivotal roles in advancing the gospel. In rich prose and spanning through twenty centuries of church history, Gansky writes engaging narratives that range well-known Christians to the obscure.

You’ll read through relatable content, feel the past come alive, and gain understanding to the present state of the church today.

The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History by A Kenneth Curtis, J Stephen Lang, and Randy Peterson

This ebook was written to serve and simplify members of the church. In the preface is it noted that, “many Christians today want to know more about the roots of their faith and how many of the teachings and practices of their churches came into existence. But few have the time or inclination to take on a multi-volume academic work. This kind of book should help in serving that interest.”—Ken Curtis

You’ll be able to brush up on the people, places, and events every Christian should know about with this fascinating, accessible guide!


Don’t wait—gain understanding of the church’s major events and people when you get the Church History Bundle for $5.99 today!


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Enter to Win an iPad mini, Logos 6 Gold, and 5 Ebooks!

Good or God Giveaway

Through November 19, enter to win an iPad mini, Logos 6 Gold, and five ebooks from John and Lisa Bevere!

John Bevere and his wife Lisa are the founders of Messenger International, an organization established to help individuals, families, churches, and nations realize and experience the transforming power of God’s Word.

A minister and best-selling author, John delivers messages of uncompromising truth with boldness and passion. In John’s latest ebook, Good or God, John invites readers to engage with God on a new level:

“These days the terms good and God seem synonymous. We believe what’s generally accepted as good must be in line with God’s will. Generosity, humility, justice―good. Selfishness, arrogance, cruelty―evil. The distinction seems pretty straightforward. But is that all there is to it? If good is so obvious, why does the Bible say that we need discernment to recognize it? Good or God? isn’t another self-help message. This book will do more than ask you to change your behavior. It will empower you to engage with God on a level that will change every aspect of your life.” —John Bevere

August 2-January 22, they’re on tour spreading this message across the country. Check out their tour stops today!

To commemorate John Bevere’s new ebook and tour, we’re giving away an iPad mini, Logos 6 Gold, and five of John’s ebooks, including:

You’ll be able to read these ebooks with the free Vyrso app for iOS and Android, include them in your Bible study while using Logos 6 on your new iPad mini, or read online at Biblia.com.

Don’t miss out! Enter to win today:

Win an iPad mini, Logos 6 Gold, and 5 books!

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Today’s Deal: Beat God to the Punch for 99 Cents!

Beat God to the Punch

This July, don’t miss out on huge savings with Vyrso’s daily deals! You’ll find a new 24-hour ebook deal each weekday in July.

Today only,  save 90% when you get Beat God to the Punch:Because Jesus Demands Your Life by Eric Mason, on sale for just 99 cents.

Beat God to the Punch discusses the importance of God’s call of discipleship to every person, and challenges readers to take a posture of submission to the gospel.  This piece is written for anyone who has ever asked, “What does it mean to follow Jesus?” Believers and unbelievers alike will find both comfort and challenge on the pages of Mason’s work.

Read this excerpt from Beat God to the Punch, as Mason discusses lessons he has learned from walking in the Spirit.

Thru It All . . .

As a pastor in the inner city, it seems as if all seasons are lean. Ministering in a broken context and being broken yourself can lead to despair. I walk over trash, homeless people, liquor bottles and beer cans, boarded-up homes, thugs, Muslims, drug strips, and hopelessness every day as I go to work at our church facility. Most days I have to pray my way to the building. For some people, this type of challenge would seem to motivate them, but if I’m honest, I find myself wrestling. The only thing that makes sense out of moving my family here for ministry is the Holy Spirit giving me satisfaction with Him, and the affirmation of my calling here seen in the transformation that the gospel is bringing to the lives of our people. As the Spirit of Grace does His work in my heart and soul, I walk those streets with the dignity of the gospel because He uses the environment to help me learn where I am really finding my satisfaction. Over time, I am learning to submit to the Lordship of the Spirit in this matter. As this happens, I am bowing in satisfaction to the Lord as I am shown that goodness is stalking me. All of us have that as a blessed assurance.

Mercy is a beast of a term. It is that same Hebrew term of God’s hesed. We could translate it as His loyal-love. As we have already seen, hesed points to God’s relationship with the people or an individual, faithfulness, goodness, graciousness, kindness, loving-kindness, unfailing kindness, devotion, i.e., a love or affection that is steadfast based on a prior relationship. Our understanding of grace flows from this term. God’s unmerited favor toward us comes from His loyalty to place His affections upon us and keep them there. That is one of the reasons that Paul prays that the Ephesian church would know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).

We need these assurances of grace. The reason being is that life is filled with challenging valleys that need the throttle of goodness and mercy to get through. Just because we have these assurances doesn’t mean that the enemy of God falls back. It is possible for us to ignore goodness and mercy in the hard times of life. The psalmist wants us to be aware of the fact that no matter what we go through, we are being stalked by the mercy and goodness of God. Yet, the Bible also says that someone else’s character stalks us—that is Satan. Satan and God’s goodness and mercy don’t coexist per se, but we have to choose to whose reign we will submit. Sinclair Ferguson states,

“As soon as we come to Christ, we find ourselves in territory that is full of hidden mines—sinister explosive devices planted by malignant a hand in an attempt to destroy our Christian faith. Of course, Satan can attack but never ultimately destroy true Christian faith, because we are preserved by grace. Therefore, he seeks to destroy our enjoyment of the grace of God. In this, sadly, he frequently succeeds.”

There is a need for us to draw on the grace of God from the Spirit of God through goodness and mercy. As we experience God granting us strength throughout the differing seasons of our lives, we grow in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The old school translation says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4 KJV). I like the fact that we don’t pitch a tent in our problems, but the grace of God aids us in moving through our valleys [click to tweet!]. We were never meant to allow valleys to cause stagnancy, but we can thrive in our walk with Jesus Christ even through the most challenging of circumstances. Whether trials last a season or a lifetime, full deliverance will not come until we are with the Lord. Until then, all of our travels will have varying levels of turbulence.


This deal is available today only, July 24, get Beat God to the Punch for just 99 cents!

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Tutorial: Scrolling Options in Your Vyrso App

Vyrso App

The Vyrso app is a great way to read on the go—it can house thousands of ebooks, perfect for storing your digital library. Originally it was designed to read just like a book—instead of scrolling vertically like an online article, you simply swipe the screen horizontally like you’re turning the page.

Although many enjoy swipe navigation, others prefer scrolling to navigate. And with the Vyrso app you can do whichever one you prefer. Vyrso’s settings will let you choose between swipe and vertical-scrolling options.

You can access this feature and try it right now in your app!


How to switch to vertical scrolling:

Your app defaults to swipe navigation when you first download your Vyrso app, but it’s easy to make the switch to vertical scrolling.

On iOS:

1. Open any resource in your Logos app.
2. Tap the screen once to bring up your options.
3. Tap the “Aa” symbol in your toolbar.
4. Tap the option for “Scrolling View.”

On Android:

1. Open the settings menu.
2. Check “Scroll View.”

The vertical scrolling option is also available in the Logos Bible App, Faithlife Study Bible app, the Noet app, and the Verbum app—which are all free in your app store of choice!

Get the free Vyrso app today, and you’ll find the joys of Christian ereading right at your fingertips.

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Big Hurts, Bitterness, and the Path to Forgiveness: An Interview with Sara Horn

Proverbs 10: 12

Today we are sharing the second part of our interview with Sara Horn. Read the first part of her interview on Faithlife Women!

Sara Horn is the author of  How Can I Possibly Forgive? Rescuing Your Heart from Resentment and Regret. Get it free when you subscribe to Vyrso’s daily deals email list—you’ll receive your freebie in an email!

In your ebook, How Can I Possibly Forgive?, you talk about your original desire to avoid conflict by focusing on success and less on the people you worked with. How have you worked to shift your focus? What inspired you to do so?

People are messy! Relationships can have drama!

I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel that way some days. For a long time, especially in my twenties, my way to avoid conflict or drama or the “messy” parts of life was to focus more on accomplishments than relationships. I mistakenly took it as a badge of honor when friends always started their phone calls to me with the words “I know you’re busy but . . . .”

If I was too busy to be bothered with relationships, than I would never have time to be bothered with fixing relationships.

But as I started really digging into what the Bible says, I realized that Jesus never put work ahead of people. His work included people. Messy ones, sinful ones, hurting ones. [Click to Tweet!] Learning this hasn’t happened overnight, but as I’ve slowly tried to view people the way Jesus does, starting with my family, I’ve moved from always putting work first to putting people first.

How would you define “big hurts” and bitterness? 

Big hurts are painful disappointments, betrayals of trust, a realization that a friendship or a marriage or a relationship isn’t what you thought it was. We can experience deep wounds. We can also experience small cuts—someone repeatedly puts us down or breaks their promises or talks about us behind our backs— that, if received over and over, can feel the same as a deep wound.

Bitterness grows when our cuts refuse to heal and an infection of unforgiveness and resentment spreads.

What are ways we can free ourselves of bitter feelings?

I’ve found in my own life that to work free from bitterness, I have to first give myself permission that it will take time but it’s important to refuse to hold on to the hurt and let forgive. Expecting to work through forgiveness overnight isn’t realistic. Can God work in someone’s heart and completely wipe away hurt so she feels only peace? Yes, absolutely. But that doesn’t happen on our own.

Hurts often remind us of loss—so it’s important to focus on what we have. Adjusting our perspective to remember everything we’ve been given versus what’s been taken away can sometimes help us realize that we are more okay than our feelings might want us to think in the moment.

When we choose to forgive, we let go of something negative so it’s important we fill that space with something positive.

Often it’s easy to recognize what went wrong, but what are practical ways on how we can look forward recognize what needs to happen?

Forgiveness doesn’t happen by accident but with intention. [Click to Tweet!That means you may not have planned for the hurt in your life to happen but you need to make a plan to let go of it and move on.

This starts with addressing how you’ve been hurt and what you can do about it. If someone else has hurt you, the most straight-forward way to move past it is to address it with the person guilty of the hurt. Write out what you want to say; practice saying it. Avoid making it personal towards the other person but keep it personal to you. Instead of saying “You were a horrible human being for doing what you did to me,” say “I was deeply hurt when you did what you did” and explain why you were hurt.

If the person who hurt you is unwilling or unable to talk or apologize, you still need to let go of the bitter feelings you hold onto. Focus on what you have learned from the conflict—are you stronger? Are you more understanding of others who have been in the same situation? Are you now able to offer encouragement to someone else who has gone through the same thing?

Saying sorry can be difficult, what are some milestones you have had to overcome in admitting you were in the wrong?

Well, first, I’ve had to be willing to admit I was wrong! That’s hard! We don’t like to think of ourselves as capable of doing wrong—it’s much easier to look at someone else and all of their flaws and mistakes.

Admitting that you’ve made a mistake—like the time I passive-aggressively unloaded on Facebook about a situation involving a nameless friend instead of going directly to her to deal with it—is a humbling experience but important for your relationships with friends and family as well as your relationship with God. Because we are going to do wrong things. When we refuse to apologize, even for our part in something we think is someone else’s fault, we’ll also find it difficult to truly forgive someone else when they apologize.

Often we are hardest on ourselves and our own mistakes. What are the best ways we can work towards self-forgiveness?

I think we have to remember that God gives us second chances when we acknowledge our wrongs, and we have to give ourselves second chances as well. As my mother likes to remind me often, I am my own worst critic. I can have three things go well but the fourth thing that I didn’t do as well, or messed up or disappointed myself or someone else will stay with me for days.

God didn’t create us to be perfect, He created us to be available. [Click to Tweet!Recognize that with each failure, we can learn and grow. And then be intentional about it.

How can we overcome angry feelings with God’s love?

When life brings overwhelming disappointment—the death of a loved one, the death of a dream, the death of something we held dear—it’s tempting to point our finger at God and accuse him of no longer loving us, of no longer caring for us. But what we have to remember is that this life ISN’T about us.

Look to the two most important commandments that Jesus gives us: “. . .Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31.)

It takes faith to believe and trust God has our best in mind. But I can believe that and I can trust God with my life when I hold onto his truth like we find in Romans 8:28 —“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” We live to fit with God’s purpose, God does not exist to simply fulfill our own idea of purpose.

Tell God when you’re disappointed (it’s okay—he already knows anyway!). But instead of putting up angry walls, ask God to help give you clarity and understanding. Ask him to help you move on from the anger and frustration and disappointment you feel, and replace those feelings with joy.

Paul probably stated it best when he talked in Philippians about the contentment he knew in living for Christ instead of himself. “I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).


Through July 31, get How Can I Possibly Forgive? by Sara Horn for free when you sign up for the Vyrso Daily Deals email list!


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Empire’s End: An Interview with Jerry Jenkins

Empire's End

 Recently we were able to interview Jerry B. Jenkins, American novelist and biographer, best known as co-author of the Left Behind series with Tim LaHaye. Jenkins has written over 185 books, including romance novels, mysteries, and children’s adventures, as well as non-fiction. 

Jenkins’ latest release, Empire’s End is a novel telling the story of the apostle Paul from a first person narrative. In this fictional account, Paul, a devout Jewish scholar, emerges as the greatest Christian theologian in history.

Get Empire’s End today as Jenkins brings to life the Roman Empire and Biblical world through the eyes of Paul.

You have an impressive resume of accomplishments from co-authoring the best-selling Left Behind series to writing over 185 books in a variety of genres over the past 40 years. What drives you to continue to produce more content?

Had my goal been to become a successful writer, I suppose I could have quit a long time ago, and certainly after the triumph of the Left Behind series. But my goal has always been to obey my calling, and the only way to succeed at that is to continue to obey.

Tell us about your new release Empire’s End, was there anything that inspired you to write this novel?

I’ve long been intrigued by Paul as one of the most zealous and convicting personalities in the Bible. I had written fiction based on the gospels in The Jesus Chronicles (Matthew’s Story, Mark’s Story, Luke’s Story, and John’s Story) and Paul was the next logical place to go.

For a writer, working with an author whose work has stood the test of two millennia was an intimidating prospect. And thrilling. I teach writers to never let the Scripture become a mere text book [Click to Tweet!], and believe me, the writings of Paul can never become that. The majesty of his words lifted me out of my chair daily.

Empire’s End is set in Biblical times, what kind of research did you have to do in order to ensure that the historical setting was as accurate as possible?

The Scriptures themselves are the main source, but fortunately I also have access to countless commentaries and Bible dictionaries, as well as detailed texts on manners and customs of Bible lands and times.

As you brought Paul to life, we get to see beyond the pages of the biblical letters and into his heart, what was it like envisioning Paul and seeing through his eyes as you wrote?

Very convicting. Here was a man devoted to God even before he became a believer in Christ. He sincerely believed he was doing God’s will when he railed against the people of The Way, the Nazarenes he was convinced were worshipping a cursed martyr because He had been hung on a tree. Then, when Paul was forced to face the fact that he had been wrong, that Jesus was alive and had assigned him to be His messenger to not only the Jews but even the reviled Gentiles, Paul became the most zealous missionary ever.

Here was a man who proved every day that he meant it when he said that for him “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” He was stoned and left for dead, flogged, imprisoned, shipwrecked thrice, snake bit, tried, sentenced, and finally beheaded, but never once flagged in his determination to preach Christ and Him crucified.

Did you ever find it hard to identify with him?

Daily. Whose life holds a candle to such an example of devotion?

Can you shed light on the character of Taryn and her influence on Paul?

In the end Paul was not free to take her with him on his missionary journeys, despite that she was willing. I believe that could have been his thorn in the flesh—a longing to enjoy what others have, the privilege to love and be loved. And in my fictional construct, she went beyond beauty and virtue to bestow divine forgiveness, which put her on a plane that only endeared her to him all the more.

How do you see Empire’s End influencing and challenging your readers?

I believe in our culture we are getting only a glimpse of persecution—and even that is from our brothers and sisters overseas. We “suffer” when we are ridiculed or laughed at or scorned or marginalized. Paul faced the threat of death everyday and used it as fuel.  There is much to learn from his example. [Click to Tweet!]


Don’t miss out on a great read, get best-selling author Jerry Jenkins’s novel Empire’s End today!

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In Our Backyard: An Interview with Nita Belles

In Our Backyard

Recently we had the pleasure of interviewing author Nita Belles about her newest release, In Our Backyard. Currently she serves as the Managing Director of the non-profit In Our Backyard and the Regional Director for Central Oregonians against Trafficking Humans (OATH). A former Associate Pastor, she holds a Master’s Degree in Theology with a concentration in Women’s Concerns. 

Add In Our Backyard to your library today! You’ll get an ebook that is dedicated to raising awareness on human trafficking and it’s effects.    

Tell us more about your new release, In Our Backyard. What was your main inspiration behind writing it?

I felt there was a need for an easy-to-read book that tackled the horrific, but hushed facts about both labor and sex trafficking.

Some of my biggest inspiration was and continues to be notes and emails from those who have been informed by the book and are now doing something to stop human trafficking. Even more than that, I am overwhelmingly inspired by the notes and emails from survivors and/or their families who have read In Our Backyard and are receiving services and getting their lives back. I said when I started this, “If I could only help one person. . .” and I’m filled with enormous praise for a God who continues to multiply that number.

The book includes many stories of labor and sex trafficking victims, both children and adults. I tell stories of what it’s like to be a victim of these crimes, as well as stories of being a perpetrator—how the drive for more money and power feeds and increases that monster within. Woven throughout the stories are statistics and facts about human traffickingand ideas of ways that anyone can become involved in this fight. There are study questions at the end of each chapter to facilitate small groups who want to learn together.

What are some experiences that you have had in the field when trying to find and help set free victims of human trafficking?

Victims are often traumatically bonded to their captor, a condition commonly known as Stockholm syndrome. Often times I get word that someone wants out of the life, or has escaped, only to find that by the time someone arrives to help them, they have gone back to their trafficker.

The most rewarding moments are seeing survivors begin to come alive after they have been recovered. After her escape, one survivor was taken to a beautiful shelter. I stayed with her all day while she recanted her horrific story to multiple law enforcement personnel. As I was leaving the shelter that evening, she grabbed my arm. She said to me words I will never forget, “Today I am free. I am no longer a prisoner.” After living as a prisoner, locking herself inside closets so she wouldn’t be sexually assaulted in the middle of the night, she now lives free and happy. She sees her family, works full time, has her own home and is a valuable asset to her community. She is happy and free to love, to laugh, to worship regularly at her church. She is a beautiful example of a person coming alive.

Does your definition of human trafficking differ from how the public typically understands it? If so, what is your definition and what are the main differences?

The public rarely thinks of labor trafficking when human trafficking is mentioned, but labor trafficking is rampant in our country. It happens in restaurants, nail salons, farming, in people’s homes as maids/nannies, factories, really, any place that labor occurs could be an opportunity for a human trafficker to exploit someone. Typically, but not always, labor trafficking victims are foreign-born nationals.

Sex trafficking is often thought of as Asian women brought over in containers and kept in massage parlors. While that does happen, the large majority of sex-trafficking victims in the United States are American born [Click to Tweet!]. Once they are in “the life” it is very difficult to get out.

This world is real. While all trafficking stories share some similarities, here is no “ordinary” way that people are trafficked.

Many conversations about human trafficking focus on what happens in other countries, yet you emphasize that it is happening in the United States, literally “in our backyard.” How does trafficking in the U.S. differ from that in other countries? 

In some foreign countries, human trafficking is a part of their accepted culture to the point that there are laws that protect it. In the United States it is a part of our culture, but in more subtle ways.

In foreign countries it’s not uncommon for a person to go to a corner cop and ask them where they can buy sex. Here in the United States, for the most part, our law enforcement and other government do everything they can to enforce laws. Now we just need to continue to improve those laws, improve training and awareness about human trafficking for law enforcement, and provide better and more services for those who are getting free from this atrocity.

What are the best ways we can educate ourselves and our loved ones about the dangers of modern-day slavery?

My first suggestion must be to read In Our Backyard.  I compiled the best information I know in the book.

Second, talk about it! All the traffickers ask is that we remain silent about this, or pretend it doesn’t happen. We must not do either of those things. Go ahead and organize a community or church event. Bring in a speaker and then have opportunities at the end of the event for people to get involved in some way.

Awareness of the warning signs is the best prevention for our loved ones. [Click to Tweet!]


Keep yourself informed and get In Our Backyard today!   

 For more information on Nita Belles and her work, please visit www.inourbackyard365.org

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Today’s Deal: Kelly Tough for Just $1.99

Kelly Tough

Don’t miss out on huge savings in July with Vyrso’s daily deals! You’ll find a new 24-hour ebook deal each weekday through July 31. The best way to know what’s on sale is to sign up for the Daily Deals email list—you’ll even get a free ebook when you subscribe! Once you subscribe to the email list, you’ll receive your free ebook in an email.

Get an inside glimpse into the family life of NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and the struggles he and his family faced from losing a son and when Jim Kelly himself struggled with cancer.

For the next 24 hours you can get Kelly Tough for just $1.99—that’s 80% off.

Erin, the oldest Kelly daughter, starts the book with what you can expect as you dig into the Kelly’s story:

Toughness is overrated. Trust me—I’ve seen it up-close-and-personal. [Click to Tweet!] And being Kelly Tough, well, you’ll have to continue reading to understand what that really means and why it just might matter to you and your story. What you’re about to read is a love story. A love between a father and his daughter. And a greater love between your heavenly Father and you.”

Kelly Tough is an intimate, personal account of life inside the Kelly family. The ebook shares the heart of a young woman—Erin Kelly—who has experienced the loss of a sibling and stood by her father’s side as he battled cancer.

In the ebook you’ll discover never-before-shared photos, journals, and stories—go behind the scenes with the Kelly family and experience their private struggles and failures as well as their determination and passion.

The Kelly family authentically demonstrates their closeness and love one for another, but does not stray from the realities and struggles of life that they face. And how they choose to approach the situations they face shows a real, lasting love and hope that digs deep and goes beyond this temporary life. Kelly Tough is a story of finding strength in weakness, hope in the midst of heartache, and joy in spite of suffering.

Available today, July 8, for $1.99—save 80% and get Kelly Tough today.

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Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate with a Cobbler

Berry Cobbler

The Fourth of July is a historic U.S. holiday filled with warm weather, rich traditions, and most importantly good food!

This Independence Day, make everyone’s mouths water with affordable, easy-to-make recipes from Jonni McCoy’s Healthy Meals for Less: Great-Tasting Simple Recipes Under $1 a Serving.  

Using the Healthy Meals for Less recipe below you can bake a delicious Berry Cobbler for your friends and family! Bring your culinary creation to your Fourth of July celebration.

Find more delicious desserts and dishes when you get Healthy Meals for Less today!

Berry Cobbler

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes


4 cups fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or boysenberries)*
½ cup brown sugar
2 T. whole wheat flour
½ tsp. lemon juice
1 T. water

*My favorite combination of berries is 2 cups blueberries with 2 cups blackberries.


3 T. cold butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup brown sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup low-fat milk


In a small saucepan, combine the berries, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, and water. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once a thick sauce forms, remove from heat, and pour into a greased 2-qt. baking dish or bread pan.

In a large mixing bowl, make the crust by cutting the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Add the brown sugar, baking powder, and salt, and mix. Stir in the milk to form a sticky dough. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the berry mixture, covering all the berries. If desired, sprinkle the crust with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. If desired, serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Cost per serving (1¼ cup): $0.51

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories: 189
Fat: 7 grams
Cholesterol: 16 mg
Fiber: 5 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 342 mg


Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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Forgiveness Always Wins

Sara Horn

Today we have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from Author of the Month, Sara Horn on the topic of forgiveness. Sara has written more than seven books including the popular My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife and her latest release How Can I Possibly Forgive? Rescuing Your Heart from Resentment and RegretGet it free here!  

He walked into their church on a Wednesday evening and they welcomed him. As they did every week, the members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church settled into a time of Bible study, with no idea that before they were through, Dylann Roof would pull out a gun and murder nine of them solely for the color of their skin.

We have no words when something like that happens. How could something so ugly, so vile, and so heartbreaking happen in a place that should never know those things?

But then we hear the words of the victims’ families, words they spoke to Roof after he was arrested and he stood in court to hear the charges against him.

“Hate will not win.”

“I forgive you.”

“May God have mercy on your soul.”

No one might expect any of these families to utter those words in the aftermath of what happened, but they did. Through muffled sobs and obvious pain, they released what our world would say was their right—to hate, to seek revenge—and relied instead on God’s grace to sustain them. They made the choice to put their trust for justice not in man, but in their Heavenly Father. Though Roof had showed no mercy where their loved ones were concerned, those families instead looked to God for his mercy in their time of need, and for his strength in their time of sorrow.

They forgave someone who didn’t deserve forgiving.

As believers in Christ, we know that forgiveness should be our auto response but generally it’s not. Maybe that’s why the Bible talks about it so much.

Here are just a few of the verses we find in Scripture about forgiveness:

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)

“For if you forgive others their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.” (Matthew 6:14-15)


Shortly after I’d turned in the manuscript to my last book, How Can I Possibly Forgive?, I was confronted with a situation that required forgiveness—and brought its own share of deep pain, hurt and a realization that my trust in this person had been sharply betrayed. Though they were sorry for their actions, there were lingering consequences—consequences which directly impacted me, though I’d done nothing to deserve what I suddenly faced.

In that moment of my friend’s confession, I realized I had a choice: forgive this person, or withhold forgiveness. I could willingly keep a suddenly broken, far from perfect relationship and take steps to repair it, or I could cut it off completely. Though it was difficult, choosing to forgive my friend reinforced what God had taught me in the previous months before.

Not every situation we encounter will result in a renewed relationship or friendship and in certain cases, it shouldn’t. Some relationships can be toxic, or distracting. Sometimes we’ll encounter someone who refuses to be sorry or admit any responsibility for what’s happened between you. Sometimes filtering a relationship out of your life is necessary.

But is forgiveness still possible in every situation? I believe it is [Click to Tweet!], especially when we think less about that person’s unforgivable actions and more about the forgiveness God extends towards each of us.

Forgiveness is intentional.

It is a daily choice to “forgive freely,” as we find in the meaning of the Greek word charis or charizomenoi. Do a word study as I did—it was interesting to me how often the word “forgive” is used as a verb. Something to act on.

If we believe that “love is a verb,” as the popular phrase goes—then doesn’t it make sense that forgiveness is a verb as well?

Here are three truths about forgiveness we can remember and act on, starting today:

1. Forgiveness is possible with God’s help. God loves to help us come back to him, and when we are dealing with a hurt that brings up pain and resentment and other negative emotions, we are inching or sometimes leaping away from him. But forgiving someone will never keep us at arm’s length from God; our forgiving actions will only bring us closer to him.

2. God expects us to forgive. This has no room for negotiation, friends. God wants us to forgive. He wants us to forgive our enemies who do us wrong, forgive our friends who say careless things, forgive our family members who make us want to cry or tear our hair out. He wants us to let it go, and he expects us to do it. Jesus said in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

3. True forgiveness releases hard feelings. The person you need to forgive may never offer an apology or admit any wrongdoing. But your forgiveness for their wrong releases those feelings that keep you from walking forward, maybe even from starting a new friendship or pouring into your current relationships because you’re afraid or because you now have great doubt and mistrust of other people.

Other emotions could be holding you back from the plan God has for you. When we keep kindness and compassion in our hearts (Ephesians 4:32), it’s difficult to hold anger and cynicism at the same time. Get rid of the junky feelings —get rid of those negative emotions that come when we refuse to forgive someone. Offer up forgiveness, breathe in God’s grace, and let that grace shine out to others.

That day my friend came to me with news that hurt our relationship could have been the last day we spoke. But instead, it was the day God led me to lead my friend back to a renewed and right relationship with God. It’s now been over a year, and I have had the blessing of watching my friend grow stronger in their relationship with the Lord, something that might not have happened had forgiveness not occurred. You never know how God will use you for his purpose if you make yourself available to be used. [Click to Tweet!]

The families of the victims of the Emanuel AME church shooting chose to show God’s love to Dylann Roof despite their own human pain and emotion. Roof reportedly wanted to start a race war, but he failed. Because of the actions of those families—not of hatred but of hope, not of spite but sincerity—Roof lost. But there is hope even for this killer.

Even through the process he will undergo for conviction and sentencing, he may still have time to confess, repent and receive salvation as one victim’s son implored him to do, the same opportunity Jesus offered to the thief who hung next to him on a cross. We never know how God may use what those family members willingly offered—grace and forgiveness—to change a killer’s life.

Hate will not win.

Forgiveness always will.


Get Sara’s ebook, How Can I Possibly Forgive? for free when you sign up for Vyrso’s daily deals email list!

 To learn more about Sara, visit her website at sarahorn.com, sign up to receive updates and receive a free printable of Forgiveness Scripture Memory Cards to help you in your own study and pursuit of forgiveness. It IS possible!

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