Champions in the Wilderness: Fifty-Two Devotions to Guide and Strengthen Emerging Overcomers

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Have you ever felt as though you were navigating desolate spiritual territory? Do you find yourself parched, wondering why your spiritual life seems so dry? You are not alone! The reasons we enter a spiritual wilderness may be many, but one thing is certain, our heavenly Father wants us all to emerge as flourishing champions of the Christian faith. More

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About Bob Santos

Bob Santos burns with a passion to grow and equip a generation of world changers for Christ. After 16 years of investing in young people through college ministry, Bob and his faithful wife Debi founded Search for Me Ministries, Inc. in 2006.

A primary focus of SfMe Ministries, and now SfMe media, is to produce Biblically-based teaching resources that lovingly deal with the root issues affecting spiritual growth. Bob's writing takes people deeper into the things of God, and his books are being used by college ministries, prison ministries, and recovery ministries as well as local churches and mission-sending agencies.

In addition to serving as the President of SfMe Ministries, Bob is currently the southwest Pennsylvania area representative for Elim Fellowship.

Bob likes to fish, hunt, garden, and tackle DIY house projects as time allows.

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Reviews

Review by: Dave King on Dec. 26, 2013 :
For many years, I've been intrigued -- and frustrated -- by the book of Daniel. Here's this great man of faith, a man that God used to do amazing things! But who was this amazing man? Why none other than an employee of the most-powerful tyrant of the age! And what happened to Daniel? Did God use him to overthrow this tyrant? Not hardly.

Near the conclusion of Champions in the Wilderness, the author hints at how Daniel's story, the story of a "wilderness-walker," gave him the idea of the main theme for this devotional: "Through the years, I have come to realize that the book of Daniel also serves as a handbook of sorts for those of us who must navigate the often desolate wilderness of the end times."

Mr. Santos breaks down living a Christ-like life while living in the wilderness into four distinct phases: "Understanding the Nature of Your Journey"
"The Wilderness Faith Walk"
"Finding Rest, Purpose and Security in Desolate Places"
"Journeying with a Purpose"

Throughout the book, he includes events, tragic mishaps and even a few personal foibles to accentuate how his wilderness experience continues to shape him into the person God wants him to be.

The autobiographical sequences includes how Mr. Santos went from working as a chemist for a coal-mining/refining operation (becoming a well-rewarded manager of that company) to taking on a much-lowering paying mission in order to minister full-time to college students.

This well-written, well-edited book concludes with three appendixes: Inspirational Bible Passages and Promises, How to Join the Family of God, Tips to Help Find a Local Church as well as an About the Author section.

Now here are a few tidbits that especially stuck out for me:

"Having been created in the image of God, each of us is wired for glory. But kingdom glory is of a very different sort than human glory, which is driven by a constant desire for self-elevation. Kingdom glory shines only as our fleshly tendencies are defeated, not exalted. When we forgive those who have callously injured us, God’s glory shines. When we pray for heaven to bless what we view as a competing ministry, God’s glory shines. When, in the midst of painful circumstances, we thank our Lord for His goodness, God’s glory shines."

"Wired for glory"! Now that's a faith-building phrase if anything is!

"Through his imaginative fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien brilliantly developed a host of biblical themes in creative form. Real life, the sage Tolkien understood, is but an Epic Battle for Control that plays itself out in unfamiliar wilderness territory. And our options, it seems, are only two. We either wisely surrender our human desires to the will of God, or we seek control for ourselves, foolishly playing into Satan’s schemes. To put it into biblical language, we fully embrace God’s kingdom rule, or we become hapless and disposable subjects in the kingdom of darkness."

Real life is "but an Epic Battle for Control"! So true!

"As a kid, I watched my share of cowboy movies on television. The hero was usually a strong,
masculine, self-sufficient character who rode off alone into the sunset at the end of the story. The
common folk merely stood by and watched in awe as this larger than life figure faded into the
distant horizon. The solitary cowboy’s glory fed every little boy’s dreams.
Rugged individualism may have its benefits, but there are not many."

Wham! This sure hits the idealistic notion of the "American Hero" squarely in the face!

"In J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of fantasy, hobbits were often called 'halflings' because of their small
stature and fear of adversity. While men were bold and brave and fit for war, hobbits appeared to
be insignificant in the grand scheme of life. However, in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy,
a hobbit by the name of Frodo Baggins was assigned the task of destroying a golden ring that had
been forged by the evil Sauron to rule over all of Middle Earth. Because of — rather than in spite
of — his small stature, Frodo succeeded where many gifted and well-trained warriors had failed.
The book series is, of course, a work of fiction, but Tolkien, as a devout Christian, creatively
used fantasy to effectively illustrate complicated spiritual truths. His books are pregnant with
meaning!"

Awesome! Any devotional that effectively borrows from LOTR has to a great one!

"David, however, was a halfling of a different caliber because he understood the nature of his covenant relationship with the Lord of hosts. In spite of his small stature and insignificant status, David could not be content with the status quo; he desperately longed to see God’s glory revealed through His people. Thus, a mere shepherd boy overcame impossible odds, displaying the courage of an emerging overcomer to
become the most beloved king in Israel’s history. Perhaps this is where Tolkien’s imagery is most powerful."

And yet another great connection of LOTR!
(review of free book)

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