Not long ago, Belinda Phelan was so angry at God she stopped going to church and hid her Bible. Today she is on fire for the Lord. “And I’m not stopping!” she declares.
What brought about the change in her life? God’s Word, which now comes to her in a daily e-mail from The Back to God Hour.
Phelan’s life has taken many turns, starting with her family’s membership at Heritage Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center, Mich. From there she moved through rebellious high school years, the discipline of the Marines, the birth of a daughter, and a failed marriage.
Finally, at age 31, her journey led her back home. “God brought me home because he knew that it was the best place for me and my daughter to be.” Phelan says.
Her mom and sister, still members of Heritage CRC, encouraged her to join the church and have her daughter baptized. Phelan joined a pre-profession class where Pastor Todd Kuperus gave her the advice that would fire the flame of faith.
“We were discussing how we all—even pastors—struggle with keeping on track being in the Word daily,” Kuperus said. Then he mentioned an idea that works for him: he signed up online to receive daily TODAY devotions via email.
“Having the e-mail staring me in the face each morning when I get to work, I can’t help but take time to be daily in God’s Word.”
Phelan went home and signed up for the TODAY e-mail, and now the idea is multiplying into a unique outreach ministry.
“The devotions were so helpful to me that I started talking about it with my co-worker Barb Dudley,” she said. “She asked me to sign her up. Then Ian, Barb’s 18-year-old grandson, wanted to be signed up.” And Ian signed up his friend Eddie.
Other co-workers heard Dudley and Phelan talking about how that day’s devotion related to what they were going through, and they asked to be signed up. Now a group of TODAY readers meets at breaks to talk about how the devotionals are making a difference in their lives.
“I feel so good that people are coming to me. It’s a simple way to share my faith,” Phelan says. “We’re from all different backgrounds, but we’re all connected by the Bible.”
Kuperus has seen Phelan’s faith grow—as well as her enthusiasm and confidence for sharing the gospel. “Six months ago she was struggling herself and may not have cared,” he said. “Now there is such fire there—and when she gets on fire, watch out!”
To receive the TODAY daily devotional by e-mail, go to www.btgh.org, and follow the directions in the upper left-hand corner of the page. If you prefer audio, go to the podcast button (below the Director’s message) to download the daily message.