Craig ran away from his Michigan home at seventeen with his girlfriend. He had sold the love of his life on the romantic idea of living in the wild, wild west. So they wrote goodbye notes to all of their family and friends, packed the car and left on a sunny June afternoon with three hundred and fifty dollars between them.
God rudely interrupted the fanciful journey at a rest area west of Chicago with a one-in-a-million chance meeting. Craig walked through the entry door to the old facility at the same moment his cousin exited. Joe, who is twenty years older, just happened to be moving to Colorado that day with his family. Long story short, Joe appealed to their sense of family and encouraged them to call home before they continued westward.
That phone call wrecked the dream and saved their lives. Hearing your tough-as-nails father break down and cry for the first time in your life can do that. Plus his girlfriend's father had the State Police looking for them, she was sixteen.
Less than nine months later, that not-so-impressed father of his girlfriend was arm in arm with her, walking down the aisle. Dad reluctantly signed over his parental rights to the eighteen year old pimple faced kid that had impregnated his daughter.
There were only two people out of the fifty-six in attendance that day who believed the young idealistic couple had any chance to make it. They chose not to say one word about it. Craig discovered who that was almost forty years later while doing research for his first book.
Does this story make Craig qualified to be an author? Hell no. Neither does living forty years with the same women he married in high school and the three kids they raised (and seven grandchildren). It is only by the grace of God they have survived and through that same grace he writes. Yet, Craig’s true gift is in storytelling and many of those skills were learned the hard way, living through the myriad of life altering choices he has made over the years. Imagine that. Life happens.
Craig listens to people, striving to see them the way their Creator does, while asking pertinent questions along the way. Hearing stories of God’s kindness has been foundational to his journey, living one has transformed him. His pastors heart motivates him to teach those that struggle with addictions. He leads small groups of men toward relational wholeness. Combine all of those experiences with a love for creating, an insane imagination, and you may begin to understand his story.
Craig wants to inspire you to live in the truth our loving God has for you today.
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The call of freedom has propelled millions of immigrants to journey thousands of miles from all corners of the globe to come to America over the last four hundred years.
This story details the incredible cost that some are willing to pay to drink from freedom's fountain.
My grandfather crossed the Atlantic Ocean seven times to come to America. He fought in a global war, and nearly died in combat in the French countryside, wearing the uniform of an American.
My grandmother, at nine years old, came to the States with her family and within three weeks of arrival her father was dead. Her mother was pressured to remarry by the leader of their secretive church. Grandma married seven years later, at sixteen, to escape her abusive stepfather, only to walk into another devastating tragedy.
Shortly thereafter the worldwide pandemic broke out and life got even more challenging.
This is their unbelievable tale.
In the end, instead of becoming bitter, the epic struggles transformed both of them from isolated Immigrants, to genuine Patriots. The freedom and faith they fought for, changed them and through the hardship came the blessing. Those precious gifts were passed down to me and now I want to share them with you.
One family's struggle for freedom and faith in a world gone mad.
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Teri M Brown