Idol Chatter

castingcrownspromopicforgiv.jpgWhen we began our Casting Crowns CD contest a couple of weeks ago–asking, “How do you stay on the Christian path?”–we expected a strong response, maybe 75 or 100 entries. “Strong” doesn’t begin to describe it, though: Nearly 800 of you took the time to post your answer to this question, and your responses were overwhelming and wonderful. It was so difficult to choose who would win and receive autographed copies of “The Altar and the Door,” that we had to enlist back-up–in the form of other Beliefnet editors–to help judge. Of course, though we wish we had enough albums to send to you all as thanks for your heartfelt posts, here are the five winners we selected:
A poster named Christie wrote in to tell us about her baby, Morgan, who was born with inoperable holes in her heart. “Steadfast in prayer and with my faith in God, I prayed every day and every night for my little miracle. She was checked every six months, then every year. On June 3, 2007, her cardiologist told us that Morgan no longer has any holes. Praise God! Never underestimate the power of our God. If you have the faith of a mustard seed, with God, nothing will be impossible for you.” For her incredible faith in God and the power of prayer, Christie is a winner.
Poster Starlene C. writes, “I am nothing more than a cleaning lady for the elderly, the crippled, and the mentally ill, but each and every day I have the opportunity to show the love of Jesus to someone by helping them bathe and dress. I cook a meal, do a load of laundry, and somewhere along the way, the Lord blesses me with the blessing of helping those who aren’t able to do certain things for themselves. I often hear, ‘Why don’t you do this when you could make so much money working here or there?’ But for me, it’s not about money or a title. It’s about showing all people that they matter to God.” For her selflessness, Starlene is a winner.
Sandy S., who was told nearly 14 years ago that she should not have survived a serious brain infection, writes, “Today, to help keep me on the Christian path, I read several daily devotionals, listen to contemporary Christian music, try to read my Bible regularly, and give thanks to God for all that he has done for me…. I volunteer my time to my church and crochet prayer shawls and donate them to local nursing home residents. Does this mean I don’t stray from the path? Of course not! But I know that God is always there for me, waiting with open arms to welcome me back.” For Sandy’s devotion and volunteer work, she is a winner.

Poster Chad S. wrote in with his unbelievable story of strength in struggling with learning disabilities, overcoming drug addition, and being diagnosed with HIV. “I’m in school [now] to help children and adults who have learning disabilities. The Lord put me in a field to give back to those who felt like I once did. My life has been transformed by the blood of Jesus Christ. He is the one who told me I could be something and finally I trusted him on that. I had to give him all I had–my shame, my sorrow, my past, my regret, my hurt, my everything. Music is a way I worship him. I feel the spirit of the Lord surround me when I listen to the lyrics and the melodies which are inspired by his grace–because he gave me grace.” For Chad’s strength in getting through his negative past and becoming the person he is today, he is a winner.
Lastly, Jennifer F. wrote in about the unique way she stays on the Christian path. “I teach preschoolers about God and his many miracles. They are at the best age for understanding things without question. I love being the one who helps them understand God in a fun and exciting way. I also help guide some of the youth in out church by letting them in on my life and it’s many struggles. I use the mistakes that I made to teach them what not to do and help them make better decisions in their lives.” For Jennifer’s dedication to teaching others, she is a winner.
Since the responses you posted were so moving and choosing five winners so difficult, we wanted to highlight some more of the best comments. So here are several honorable mentions: Susan T., whose daughter was murdered eight years ago, and who struggles to forgive and be a good mother, through prayer, reading the Word, and listing to worship music. Beau. B., who works in a drug store and grocery store, and tells all of his customers about Jesus. Noel S. is involved with her church’s praise team, and participates in a jail ministry, and a dance ministry. Lisa B., who works in a prison, which she calls “the devil’s playground,” hums praise songs to herself at work, to keep her faith in focus. And Michelle E., who used to “leave message on God’s answering machine” now simply reminds herself each day how much Jesus loves her, to help keep her on track.
Thanks so much to everyone who wrote in. Check back often for Idol Chatter’s next giveaway.
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