The Overcomers:
Outstanding Christians Share the Secrets of Successful Living

© 1978  Russell Chandler

All Rights Reserved

Published by Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, NJ

1. Christian biography 2. Christian life
BR1700.2.C46 ~~ Dewey: 209/.2/2 ~~ LCCN: 78016621 ~~ OCLC: 4004575 ~~ 158p.

The Overcomers is presently held by 50 libraries including Seattle Pacific University and the Library of Congress.

Table of Contents

   Introduction          7

1. His Will Brings Her Joy : Elisabeth Elliot          13

2. Towering Theologian : Carl F. H. Henry          26

3. They Just Praise the Lord : Bill and Gloria Gaither          40

4. Hang in There, Brother : Edward Victor Hill          52

5. Woman of Prayer : Vonette Bright          64

6. Changing Her World : Ann Kiemel          77

7. Yielded Novice : Maria Von Trapp          89

8. Thoughtful Quaker : D. Elton Trueblood          97

9. He Tries God : Walter Hoving          107

10. Pastoral Partners : Frederick W. and Ruth P. Cropp          118

11. Southern Singer : Joanne Cash Yates          131

12. Elder Statesman : Paul S. Rees          144

  Conclusion : Through It All . . .          155

Even outstanding Christians face problems related to health, aging, worry, vocations, money, marriage, success, failure. How do they face major crises victoriously and cope with the hassles and irritations of everyday life? Where do they turn for spiritual strength when they are disappointed, confused, depressed or scared? Where can all Christians turn in times of need? How can we overcome?

Now well-known Christians who have a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ share their insights with you. Men and women, young and old, of different races and backgrounds, they can show you how they overcome their problems through the Spirit of Christ. Their own personal experiences reveal how the Lord sustained them as they worked towards success or dealt with the problems that resulted from that success.

All Christians can learn from the lives of some of God's most remarkable people. They offer varying advice, but all stress the importance of reading God's Word, prayer and fellowship with close friends and believers. One common thread runs through each testimony, providing the key to overcoming — "Jesus Christ is to be trusted, obeyed and loved." The lives of these outstanding Christians are an inspiration to all.

Russell Chandler has been a religion writer for the Los Angeles Times since 1974. A graduate of UCLA and Princeton Theological Seminary, he also attended Stanford University, New College in Edinburgh, Scotland and the Washington Journalism Center in Washington, D.C. Russell Chandler is an ordained United Presbyterian minister and has served as religion editor for the Washington, D.C. Star and as news editor for Christianity Today magazine. He has written or coauthored four previous books and received an award for the best religion writing in the secular press from the Religion Newswriters' Association.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *

Everyone wants to be successful. But first, he or she must learn how to overcome the obstacles in the way of personal progress. These people can show you the secrets of successful living —

Ann Kiemel

Elisabeth Elliot

Maria Von Trapp

D. Elton Trueblood

Bill and Gloria Gaither

Well-known personalities like these and many more tell the exciting, true stories of how they have dealt with problems in their lives. Men and women, young and old, of different races and backgrounds, they can show you how they overcome their problems through the Spirit of Christ. Their own personal experiences reveal how the Lord sustained them as they worked towards success or dealt with the problems that resulted from that success. Their personal stories will inspire you and guide you in the face of major crises and everyday hassles and problems.

Page 7

INTRODUCTION

One clear evening in the spring of 1977, Ernie Owen and Dick Baltzell of the Fleming H. Revell Company and I sat down in the Velvet Turtle Restaurant in Los Angeles to discuss book possibilities. I had just read a report in the April Issue of Redbook magazine. It said that 90 percent of women surveyed believed that God had helped them through specific critical situations in life. And an overwhelming majority said they had felt God's presence in a special way through a born-again experience similar to that described by President Jimmy Carter about himself.

   With such an interest in personal religion, why do so many people still seem to be floundering? And if, on the other hand, so many do feel God's guiding hand can help them in crises, wouldn't it be a blessing for well-known Christians who have found spiritual sufficiency in Jesus Christ to share their insights with others?

   Ernie and Dick liked the idea. Out of our conversations came the framework for The Overcomers.

Page 8

   The book, we decided, would present testimonies of specific spiritual help experienced by evangelical Christian personalities, most of them quite well known. The persons would be young and old, men and women, and of different races and backgrounds. The main theme would go beyond merely recounting their life stories or conversion experiences.

   What was needed, I thought, was to explore how Christians can face crises victoriously, as well as cope with the daily hangnail irritations of life.

   Where can we turn for spiritual help in times of disappointments, struggle, and testing?

   In the process of interviewing these fourteen noted Christians (five men, five women, and two couples), I found out. It lifted my faith to learn how they overcame. And I grew excited about passing along spiritual truths and practical lessons to you through their book. For it is, after all, far more their book than it is mine.

   The Overcomers digs deeper than telling how they did it. It tells how they do it — and how you can, too, through the Spirit of Christ. The Overcomers is relational, based on the proven experiences of some great Christians, who, despite their well-known successes and stature, are nevertheless not that much different from you and me.

   This book is for all Christians, especially new ones, struggling ones, tired ones, and mediocre ones. It is also for people who think there just might be something worth exploring in the Christian faith — that Jesus Christ, just maybe, could make a difference and bring an abundant life.

   I conducted interviews throughout the country, mostly in the summer of 1977, with these gracious men and women. Here are the questions I asked:

1. Once you became a Christian, what was the most trying or difficult time or event(s) in your life?

Page 9

2. Where did you turn for help? Who helped you? How? What did you read? Did you pray? Did it help?

3. What do you do now about recurring doubts, anxieties, or disappointments? In other words, how do you get the victory when things seem to be going wrong?

4. What lifts you out of daily anxiety?

5. How do you plug into these resources?

6. How would the spiritual lessons you have learned benefit others? Would they have to have the same problems you did to be helped?

7. Can a Christian be sitting on top of the world all the time? Should he or she try to?

   Actually, most interviews went far beyond the suggested questions. We came to grips with the kinds of problems all humans face and from which Christians are not exempt: worry, health, aging, death, vocations, money, sex, marriage and divorce, identity and self-actualization, child rearing, and success and failure.

   The concluding chapter draws together common threads from the interviews and shows how the Word and Holy Spirit can link God's help to human hurts. It incorporates some of my own views and interpretations about how Christians can overcome. The writing has been fun — not only because the project came at a significant crossroads in my own life, but also because interpretation and a little editorializing are delicious morsels not often savored by a straight reporter who writes news of religion for a large metropolitan newspaper.

   A very special thanks to Marjorie Lee Lund, an accomplished writer, a constant source of encouragement and inspiration, who typed and checked the manuscript.

RUSSELL CHANDLER

Psalms 32:8

Click here for Chapter One to start the book

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