Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Troubles

Psalm 119:71 (MSG)
My troubles turned out all for the best--they forced me to learn from Your textbook.

This is so true, isn't it?  When things are circumstantially difficult, I am driven to His Word for security, guidance, and truth.  When everything is coming up smelling like roses, I am less likely to fall to my knees in desperation for Him. 

Looming storm clouds.
I will never understand why some of us have to carry the weight of the world.  Nor will I ever comprehend the reasons for why there are those who bare so many more burdens than others.  Nope...I'll never figure it out this side of heaven.  But, if I were to get a tiny glimpse into a benefit of our troubles, this verse might just be the key to unlocking the first door.

For today...I take heart that my troubles might actually be assisting me to lean on Him to a greater extent.  Those trials could possibly be allowing Christ to shine out of me instead of "me" shine out of me.  Kyanne Weaver said it beautifully in her post "Camouflage" from her blog:  Cavewoman Speaks (Sending Out Hope Signals For Cave People Everywhere) when she said, "Be encouraged to know that it isn't, never has been and never will be you who shines for Christ. It's Christ Who shines for you."  (To read her full post click here .)

Thank you for Your Word that sustains us and teaches us to learn how to glorify You....instead of ourselves.
In Christ's Name,

Monday, December 2, 2013

Guest Post Interview with ERIN HEALY~Best Selling Author

Isaiah 7:4(MSG)
Listen, calm down.  Don't be afraid.  And don't panic...

Today, I count it an honor and a privilege to welcome Erin Healy to my blog!  

Best Selling author Erin Healy.
She is a best selling author and passionate lover of Christ.  Her soon to be released book:  Stanger Things is sure to capture your attention and bring an awareness to the horrific world-wide illegal industry known as human trafficking.  At the end of her interview, she has given us a link to read the first two chapters of this not yet released book, Stranger Things!  Also, don't miss the chance to get this book free by signing up for the "free book giveaway raffle" .  You may also sign up on Erin's Facebook Page! 

Erin Healy has already published seven books to date:

House of Mercy
The Baker's Wife
The Promises She Keeps
Never Let you Go
Books coauthored with Ted Dekker:

Erin Healy’s latest supernatural thriller, Stranger Things, comes to stores on New Year’s Eve.
Stranger Things by Erin Healy
Release date:  December 31, 2014

Library Journal says: “Serena Diaz’s teaching career came to an abrupt end when a student falsely accused her of sexual misconduct. Seeking solace in the woods, she discovers that a gang of sex traffickers has taken over a vacant house. Serena is almost captured by one of the criminals but is saved by an unknown man who has been shadowing her. He is shot, and Serena escapes with her life. But she is drawn to know more about this stranger who died for her. What follows is a suspenseful story of danger and pure evil. Whom can Serena trust in a world that seems intent on serving its own self-interests? VERDICT Healy (Afloat; coauthor with Ted Dekker, Burn and Kiss) has written an edgy, fast-paced spiritual thriller that will please Dekker fans.”

The following are questions that I had the opportunity to
ask Erin about her novel and more.....

How was your idea for Stranger Things born?

Two years ago, during a Good Friday service, my pastor (Kelly Williams of Vanguard Church, Colorado Springs) asked the congregation: “If a complete stranger died while saving your life, wouldn’t you want to know everything you could about that person? Wouldn’t you want your life to honor that person’s death?” He challenged us to consider Jesus Christ in a new light—as a stranger, as a savior we might not know as well as we think we do. This idea has roots in Romans 5:8—“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Before I ever had the chance to know Him, while He was a complete stranger to me, Christ died for me. The Message translation says “when [I was] of no use whatever to Him.” Why would He do that?  Have I investigated Him thoroughly enough to connect my own life with His purposes?  This is all background, though.  Stranger Things isn’t an overtly Christian tale as my previous novels have been, but it’s a parable about these questions.

Stranger Things sounds like a pretty dark read. Why did you choose to write about sex trafficking?

Human trafficking (of which sex trafficking is a subcategory) is the world’s third-fastest growing illegal industry behind drugs and weapons. It is the most horrifying kind of modern captivity I can imagine, and my research proved that even my imagination fell short of reality. I picked it because it’s a real contemporary crisis, but also because it profoundly symbolizes the kind of bondage that Christ came to end (Isaiah 61:1-3). Freeing the captive, physically and spiritually, is a high calling for followers of Jesus who want to express their gratitude for His sacrifice and demonstrate His love through the continuation of His work.

What does all this have to do with the “thin places” that you’re always talking about?

The traditional (Celtic) definition of a thin place is a physical location in the world where the division between physical and spiritual realities falls away, a place where we can see the greater truth of our existence. In my stories, I use the term “thin place” to define moments when a person experiences a sharpened spiritual awareness about what’s really going on in his or her life. Stranger Things  is the first novel in which I’ve combined both ideas. The thin place is a physical location, a burned-out house in a sparse terrain, where Serena discovers her purpose. “There are places in the world where you will encounter things so real that you will be surprised others don’t have an identical experience,” Serena’s father tells her. “But then you will realize that the clarity given to you is a gift from God. Perhaps this gift is just for you, maybe also it will touch the lives of others.”

Did anything surprise you while writing the novel?

I started with intentions to write about an Asian-based trafficking ring, but in the course of my research was distressed to learn just how close to home the problem lies. Though it’s impossible to get a precise count of how many people are victims of sex trafficking in the US, most estimates fall between 100,000 and 300,000 (mostly women and children). Since I learned this my own awareness has expanded, and I’m happy to see just how many efforts are already underway—not only in the US—to end this atrocity.  The Polaris Project is a great place to begin learning about global human trafficking.

What do you hope readers will take away from Stranger Things?

I hope the novel is layered enough to meet each reader individually. Maybe some will be challenged to investigate Jesus Christ further. Maybe some will use their new awareness of trafficking to do something about it. (I’ve joined the prayer team of a local home for girls rescued from sexual slavery.) To date my favorite response to the book was from the person who found herself looking in a new way at the strangers who surrounded her. She felt unexpectedly protective and concerned, on heightened alert to ways in which she might be able to help them. In other words, ways in which she might be able to do what Christ did for her. So many opportunities! If we all moved through the world with eyes like that, what might change for the better? I love to think of all the possibilities.

What made you chose Christian fiction as opposed to nonfiction as the primary focus for your writing platform? 

Fiction is my first love in reading choices, and when I became a book editor I quickly gravitated toward editing novels. I started writing while editing Ted Dekker's novels. He invited me to write two books with him, and that was the beginning. I guess my path as always pointed toward fiction.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming an author?

If you go into writing aiming to be successful, brace yourself for a real challenge. The percentage of hard-working, good writers who are successful from an economic, numeric, or literary point of view is excruciatingly small, though they do everything “right.”  If you go into writing because you have something to say and you believe God called you to say it, you’ll have to set aside empirical notions of “success,” because God’s definition of that word is largely hidden from us earthlings. He is the Master Creator of us creative types. We will always be His apprentices, and never the master. His opinion is the only one that ultimately counts. So you have to consider—when the rejections stack up, reviews are harsh, and you’ve only sold ten copies of your self-published work—if the ten people who bought those copies were exactly the people who needed to hear what you had to say. Maybe your book was for the person who borrowed it from the library and didn’t pay a cent. Maybe your book was just for you, to learn something about yourself in the process of writing it. Someday you’ll know. But probably not today.

It's obvious from your writing that you have the hope of Christ within you!  Is there one particular verse in the Bible which you find consistently encouraging when you are in the midst of a trial?

"Be careful, keep calm, and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart ..." Isaiah 7:4. The prophet Isaiah is speaking to King Ahaz of Judah, who is about to be overrun. The king's temptation is to save his own skin by making an unholy alliance with his enemies, and Isaiah is saying: don't do anything stupid, don't be rash. God promises that your worst fears will not come to pass (verse 7). Whenever I'm worried or upset, my instinct is to try to find the fastest way out of it. It's so easy to do dumb things when we're afraid. But over and over throughout the Scriptures is this wonderful chorus: fear not. So I remember Isaiah 7:4 and try to rest in God's wisdom rather than in my own panic.

Wow!  Thank you so much Erin, for visiting with us about your new book, Stranger Things and for encouraging us to never lose heart, because He is with us!  Your passion is contagious and I cannot wait for the release of your new novel! 

If you would like to read the first two chapters of Erin's new book:  Stranger Things, you can do so by clicking here.  Again, don't miss the opportunity to be included in a drawing for a free copy of the book that will be shipped to you after January 1, 2014, should your name be drawn!  You can enter your name each day this week, Dec. 2-6 (Monday-Friday) by visiting Erin's blog!

Erin Healy can found on:

Subscribe to her blog

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Acting on God's revelations

Psalm 119:70(MSG)
They're bland as a bucket of lard, while I dance to Your revelation.

This is my sweet friend...lounging...after a LOT of playing!
A bucket of lard.  That's descriptive.  Pretty lethargic people being described in the first part of this verse!  But not the Psalmist!  He isn't lounging around doing nothing all day.  He is up celebrating in what the Lord has done for him!  That's so cool!  It's also a great segue for me to jump into my exciting news! 

Tomorrow morning, at 7:00am, I will be hosting Best Selling author Erin Healy on this blog with a Q & A session!  It is exciting to me in so many ways, but mostly because Erin is so passionate about the revelations of God...and she's acting on them!  I know you will find her transparency refreshingly invigorating as she talks about her new book:  Stranger Things!
So...whatever you do tomorrow...don't miss out on this wonderful interview with her!!
You will also be given a link to the first two chapters of her new book and the opportunity to win a complete copy free!  (If you are a winner, the book will be shipped to you after Jan. 1, 2014.) 

Thank you for the words of the Psalmist that remind us to dance in all circumstances...because our hope and our joy comes from You alone!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Keep your FOCUS!

Psalm 119:69 (MSG)
The Godless spread lies about me, but I FOCUS my attention on what you are saying;
Oh my goodness!  Is anyone else having a hard time focusing...or is it just me?!  I went into a local craft store the other day and came out with nearly everything under the sun except what I went in for.  Good grief! 

I don't think it is a coincidence that this verse popped up for today's post.  Nor was it a happen stance that opening the word of God for my daily reading landed me in 2 Peter 1:19-20(MSG) where I found these words: 

We couldn't be more sure of what we saw and heard-God's glory, God's voice.  The prophetic Word was confirmed to us.  You'll do well to keep focusing on it.  It's the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. 

Focus on the light of God's word...and keep looking
up to Him!

Wow!  These words are so strong and hold so much weight for our lives today.  Dark times?  Confusing times?  Scared?  Distracted?  What should we do?  Focus.  Direct our attention to the light of His words and move straight forward into His strength and love.  He will certainly confirm the Word of guidance and clearly define His way.

Yep...I needed to hear that!

You have allowed me to find peace and direction in Your word.  Help me to keep focusing on it and on You as we head into the season of Your Son's birth.  Thank You for the grace and favor that is poured upon us moment by moment.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: A BRIDE FOR ALL SEASONS~The Mail Order Bride Collection

Great book!
A Bride for All Seasons: A Mail Order Bride Collection by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher is a lively and entertaining book! 

A Bride for All Seasons: A Mail-Order Bride Collection by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher is a great compilation of four novelettes.  In each piece the reader is jettisoned back into the 1800’s to the commonplace practice of submitting an application to an add agency (The Hitching Post) for a spouse. 
Each author carefully weaves an account of intrigue and creative circumstances surrounding the uniting and eventual destination for each of the individuals seeking matrimony.  The couples are brought together by a masterful matchmaker, the owner of the Hitching Post, who allows his intuition and power to intercept letters and add to or subtract from the initial applications in an effort to knit the pairs together in perfect union.  As each detail of the character’s life emerges, the reader is taken on a beautiful narration journey with the end effect of stirring up emotions of joy, compassion, sadness, and hope.

I immensely enjoyed the patterned format of this book.  Once I read the first two mini-books, I recognized that the remaining stories would continue to utilize the same meddling character to orchestrate the marriages.  I found myself not wanting to put the book down in anticipation of meeting the newest characters and unearthing what was changed in their application that would actually become the glue to stick the couples together!

This is a quick, fantastic, heartwarming, and uplifting book to add to your collection.  In addition, I actually learned a little history as I passed through the pages.  I am confident that you will not be disappointed in these authors.  Enjoy!

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me with this review copy through the Booksneeze Blogger Book Review program.  I was not required to give a positive review.  The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Source of Goodness

Psalm 119:68(MSG)
You are good, and the source of good;  train me in Your goodness.

Kiwi Berries!  I learned about
them today and tried some...
yummy, good and nutritious!
I've heard it said that as we age...yes...I am aging and so are is important to challenge ourselves to learn new things.  It really is a marvelous idea!  In the spirit of this reminder, I have decided to take piano lessons!  I grew up in a home with three beautiful sisters who each knew how to play the piano to varying degrees.  I have a baseline level of knowledge on the subject, but lack any real depth and certainly have not had any consistent practice, so this is a true challenge that I'm undertaking. 

Selecting a teacher was simple.  My daughter is my instructor!  She has already given me my first lesson and I cannot applaud her patience and clarity enough!  What fun!  This is good!
God is good...and the source of all goodness!! 

What about you?  Is there something you have been wanting to learn but keep putting off?  I think you should go for it!  What have you got to lose? 

Thank you for Your never ending supply of goodness.  Help me to sense Your presence every moment of every day!
In Christ's Name,

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Extravagant Worship.....It's Happening All Around You

Psalm 119:67(MSG)
Before I learned to answer You, I wandered all over the place, but now I'm in step with Your word.

A quiet evening to reflect on our day.
Our message at church Sunday centered around the subject of "Extravagant Worship" and all the implications within that framework.  As I listened, verses from the Bible began swirling around in my head about the principles of this type "of full on" worship to our Lord.  Our pastor used the scripture verse and subsequent story from John 12:3 where, in overt fashion, Mary (sister of Lazarus) anointed Jesus with expensive perfume and then proceeded to use her hair to wipe His feet as a tender and genuine form of honor and respect filled worship to the King of Kings.  (If you would like to hear this sermon in it's entirety, you may do so by clicking here.) This action taken by Mary would have drawn a great deal of attention to the Lord and herself as she worshipped Him in this manner.

The behaviors of Mary made me think of present day and what extravagance in worship might look like even though it might be more covert in nature.  The definition of extravagant refers to going beyond normal limits to the point of excess and even possibly to the extent of wastefulness.  I decided that perhaps I am surrounded by "Extravagant Worshippers" every single day and because I'm so busy "wandering all over the place" as today's verse describes, I miss out on them!  As I pondered this further, my mind began to flood with recognition of those sweet faces that I encounter nearly every single day and how their actions exemplify the very nature and principle of what would be considered extravagant worship.  To some these actions might be viewed as a complete waste of resources, but to those who know Jesus.....who have faith to believe that His love and grace is never ending....they will recognize more quickly the true acts of worship happening all around us.  I thought of a few examples of some "Extravagant Worshippers" that I have had the distinct privilege to observe firsthand.  Beware as you read these examples....I might have seen you worshipping today!  Thank you for your covert exaltations!

I see Extravagant Worship in the young widow who is left alone with a child to raise, but continues to get up every single morning and wipe away her tears and thank God for the provision of a home.  She insists on teaching her daughter about a loving Father who will never leave them and will always protect them with His loving hand of grace despite the absence of her earthly father.
That is Extravagant Worship and courageous!

I notice Extravagant Worship in the mother whose only daughter is stripped from her hands and taken to heaven and yet this woman continues to serve the Lord with passion and conviction, refusing to become bitter and confused by this turn of events.
That is Extravagant Worship and encouraging!

I recognize Extravagant Worship in the father who is blessed with a son and has to stand by helplessly watching while this sweet infant suffers from a dreadful disease that ends his short life, but despite this enormous loss, this same father continues to serve in a leadership role mentoring other youth to know a kind, compassionate, and caring God.
That is Extravagant Worship and strength filled faith!

I observe Extravagant Worship in the parents of a special needs child who despite long and tiring days of extensive care, they refuse to complain and never quit serving and pouring out unconditional love to their child, because they are confident that one day (maybe not this side of heaven) their child will comprehend how great the Father's love is for every person He has created.  A waste of time...I think not.
That is Extravagant Worship and humbling!

I  have watched Extravagant Worship play out through the life of a single woman who has educated herself in the most prestigious of schools and instead of utilizing her highly esteemed credentials to climb the corporate ladder, decides to isolate herself in a foreign country surrounded by poverty and immerse herself in caring and praying for the needs of malnourished orphans.
That is Extravagant Worship and complete selflessness!

I have witnessed Extravagant Worship in the married couple who already have a full quiver of children, but have listened to the command of the Father and are opening their already "complete home" to take in orphans and foster children, so that they can take care of their physical needs, incorporate them into their family, and introduce them to the Savior.
That is Extravagant Worship and tireless service!

Extravagant Worship is also on display in the one who endures chronic and sometimes debilitating pain, but rather than quit and denounce the name of God, they chose to remain steadfast in prayer, love, and devotion to the Father. 
That is Extravagant Worship and an incredible example of perseverance!

Our worship is a response to the Giver of Life.....God Almighty and can only be obtained through a continual relationship with Him!  Sometimes this worship is overt, as in the case of Mary, and other times, it is less obvious, but one thing is for certain, God is worthy of all of our praise whether we are singing from the mountain tops to Him, or quietly caring for the needs of others in His name.  Both modes are extravagant indeed!

What about you?  Have you seen some Extravagant Worship taking place around you?  I would love to hear about it.

Thank you for the privilege of worshipping You and for allowing us to remain in step with Your words.  May Your name always be glorified in all that I do and say.
In Your Name~


Sunday, August 18, 2013


Psalm 119:66(MSG)  Train me in good common sense;  I'm thoroughly committed to living Your way.

What season of life are you in?
Oh my goodness!  What a beautiful day in the Ozarks, both from a weather standpoint and from a worship point of view.  It's been simply incredible!  The outside temperature is a breezy 78 degrees with slightly cloudy skies and gently chirping birds in the background.  If I didn't know that it was the middle of August, I would certainly think it was October. 

More importantly, however, was the contagious atmosphere inside the sanctuary of God this morning, where a message of hope found in Christ reached the chaos of our hearts!  This has become a weekly occurrence from the preaching team at our church and unless I'm confused, it should be an experience happening in all Gospel preaching churches throughout the globe!  Why?  Because the Word of God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and it is most certainly a life giving force!

Today, that Word was delivered by Pastor Robert Madu.  It was clear, concise, and received with complete joy to the gathering of believers!!  We laughed.  We cried.  We prayed.  We worshipped the King of Kings!  Can I get an "Amen?!" 

Pastor Madu had a lot to say about "God's Word power" and a clear message for us to quit trying to do life with our "will power"!  He eloquently reminded each one of us that we need the Word of God in our lives to understand and respond appropriately to the season of life that we are currently in.  If we will remain responsive to His Words and aware of the season of our life we are going through, then our days will be good and our years will be fruitful for the Lord!

You will be able to access his message at JRAG (click) within a day by simply scrolling over and then clicking the "message and resources"  tab on the website, followed by a search for his name and today's date.  If you are able to set aside 30 minutes to listen to his encouraging words, you will most certainly be refreshed and rejuvenated and thoroughly committed to living His way", as today's verse directs!  Seriously good stuff!!

Dear Almighty God,
Refresh and renew our hearts today and give us the common sense to remain in Your Word and to dedicate our lives to living through Your "Word power" instead of our willpower.  Please continue to bless Your message through Pastor Robert Madu.
In Jesus Name,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Be Good To Your Servant

Psalm 119:65(MSG) Be good to your servant, God;  be as good as Your Word.

Good-bye summer....
Well, something happened to the summer!  It's gone and I'm left with a school supply list.  I have no idea where the weeks went, but apparently it is almost time for academics to get back into full swing!  Oh my....that does not seem remotely possible.

I love this scripture.  It is the ultimate succinct prayer.  It clearly requests for the Lord to be good to us; for God to be as good as His word.  There are two things that I treasure about this verse.  First, I cherish that it calls to mind that I am a servant.  I am a servant to the living God.  The labor that I perform here on earth is for bring Him glory.  Secondly, I hold fast to the fact that God's word never changes and that He always keeps it...His word that is.  So, for Him to be "as good to us as His word" helps me to comprehend that when He says that He will not leave me or forsake me...He means it.  When He says that His love endures most certainly will.  When He promises a room in His house after this life on earth is will be there.  It is written...and so it shall be.
That is as good as it gets.

Bless Your servants tonight.  Fill us to overflowing with the love and promises that You have written in Your word for us, because You are as good as Your word says that You are!
In Your Holy Name,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Book Review: AFLOAT by Erin Healy

Great book!!
afloat, (click here) by Erin Healy combines suspense, mystery, humor, love, forgiveness, and faith all in one novel!  How did she do that?!  This is one book you want to read!

afloat, by Erin Healy is a great novel!  I became lost in the pages of this exceptional work to the point that no outward distraction could tear me away.  That, in my opinion, is the definition of a good book!  The narration and character development are phenomenal!  I chose to limit my information about this author and book before I read it to allow for a blank canvas to capture my imagination and therefore inspire a fresh review.      

As I moved through the pages of her story, I felt similarities in this author’s writing style to the works of Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker.  It was very interesting that I found out after reading it that she has coauthored two books ( KISS and Burn) with Ted Dekker.  The novel, afloat will take the reader on a journey of unpredictable adventure in addition to behind the scene looks at spiritual happenings.  In the middle of all of it, I also found myself pondering deeply personal questions of faith, forgiveness, and the true meaning of the word love.  There is a dual experience of entertainment, as well as, profound gems of truth sprinkled throughout the pages.  Again, how did the author do that?! 

Erin Healy’s book, afloat, ends with discussion questions to allow further reflection into the areas of security; confidence of God’s existence; reaction to adversity; levels of forgiveness; and the nature of life and death.  It becomes clear through her questioning, that she wants the reader to respond to the love of God and to search deeply within our heart for His truth.  The book goes well beyond the boundaries of entertainment and stirs a responsive state within the reader.  What a great job!!  I’m off to read some more books written by this great author, Erin Healy.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing through the Booksneeze program for providing me with this complimentary Review copy of afloat by Erin Healy.  I was not required to give a positive review.  The opinions within this review are strictly my own. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Psalm 119:64(MSG)
Your love, God, fills the earth!  Train me to live by Your counsel.

My Daddy taught me well!

Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there! 

Once again, I find myself at a  place of thankfulness for the people that the Lord has placed in my life.  My father is one of those people.  He has provided such consistency throughout my life that I find his mere presence to bring stability to any situation that I might be facing.  He has trained me to live by God's Word and be strong and courageous.  His smile and laughter fill my heart with joy.  Hats off to my Daddy on this day and every other day throughout the coming years! 

Thank You for blessing me with a father who has modeled grace, wisdom, and consistent love.  Thank you for his counsel and for guiding him to train me in Your ways!
In Jesus Name,

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Psalm 119:63(MSG) I'm a friend and companion of all who fear You;  of those committed to living by Your rules.

Celebrating our anniversary with a rainy walk along
 the shores of Cayo Costa Island.

Friendship and companionship.  What a great verse to ponder this week as my husband and I are celebrating our 25th year of marriage!  It has been so beautiful to spend these years with a man who lives with a deep devotion to God.  A man who stands firm in the face of adversity; stays consistent in his dedication to the Lord with a palpable reverence for His word; and models clear Godly leadership in our home.  I am truly blessed and so thankful! 

Thank You for providing Your word and Holy Spirit to guide and direct our lives.  May Your name continue to be honored in our home. 
In Christ's name,


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What To Do With A Sleepless Night

Psalm 119:62(MSG)
May snow storm?  Huh?  In the Midwest?!
I get up in the middle of the night to thank You;  Your decisions are so right, so true--I can't wait till morning!

Confession time here. I'm rarely thankful when I wake up in the middle of the night. I wish I could tell you that I am, but unfortunately, if I find myself coherent in the darkness of night when everyone else is sleeping, my mind is anything but thankful. First of all, this rarely happens, because I am a very good sleeper for the most part.  However, on those rare nights when I can't sleep, I will often succumb to a mind full of worry.  For some reason, the black stillness of the hour brings a deluge of thoughts and like a derailed train headed for catastrophe, if I don't reign those thoughts in, I'm headed for even more distress. 

This scripture gives clear direction for what to do the next time I find myself sleepless.  I will literally count my blessings with a thankful heart and meditate on the Word of God and His promises while I lift up every worry to a God who loves me.  I will not get my eyes on circumstances that I cannot change, but rather, I will choose to ponder on the promise that He will be with me in those circumstances.  In her book, Each New Day, Corrie ten Boom writes, "We are not called to be burden-bearers, but cross-bearers and light-bearers.  We must cast our burdens on the Lord."  Yep...good advice indeed. 

Thank You for bringing the light of Your word to the dark and sometimes scary places in our minds.  Your peace will always overcome our anxiety as we remain in You.
In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa Samson

The Sky Beneath My Feet”, by Lisa Samson is a well written and entertaining book!

The Sky Beneath My Feet, by Lisa Samson is one of the first fiction books I’ve read in quite some time.  I generally am drawn to biographies, autobiographies, or general information gathering genres, but the title of this book caught my eye.  Stop and think about it for a second.  The sky does not belong beneath our feet, right?  The curiosity for where this book was going didn’t end with the title, either.  What a fun journey the author takes you on!

The Sky Beneath My Feet centers around a middle aged wife of a pastor and mother of two teenage boys.  The reader is drawn into her life and, in fact, her every thought, as she walks through her daily life of leading a strong Christ centered home.  The sometimes mundane and at other times perilous and confusing obstacles that she encounters along the way are what the body of this book is about.  The intrigue only grows as you read further into the details of Beth’s life (the main character) and see how the actions of one person can have a ripple effect on all those around.

The theme of this book begins to surface about midway through the chapters after a flurry of well written narration.  My take away on this book’s message is that our positive behaviors work for the good of all involved and on the flip side, our poor choices could inadvertently serve to be a harmful catalyst descending toward despair.  Either way, the decisions we follow in life are ours to make and will set us on a course for better or for worse. 

I enjoyed reading this book.  It was entertaining, thought provoking, and allowed a bit of escapism from the daily realities of life.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a good read! 

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me with this review copy of The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa Samson through BookSneeze.  The positive review of this book was my opinion and not a requirement for receiving this review copy.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

His Plan For You

Psalm 119:61(MSG)
The wicked hemmed me in--there was no way out--but not for a minute did I forget Your plan for me.

Never forget God's plan for your life.  He has promised you a future.  He has assigned you a task, or perhaps many of them, here on earth and then upon completion of those assignments, He has a room waiting just for you!  I sure don't want to miss that! 

This verse sounds rather hopeless in the beginning, but it's ending assures me that I am destined for great things here on earth and in heaven!  As we head into this week leading up to Easter, I can't think of a better time to remember His plan of salvation for you!  Jesus lays it all out for us in the following verses shortly before He departs this world.  In my darkest hours.....when it seems there is no way out....I pray that I will not forget the plan that Jesus has for my life.  If you are reading these words right now, please know that I have prayed the same for you.

John 14:1-6(MSG)
"Don't let this throw you.  You trust God, don't you?  Trust me.  There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home.  If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you?  And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live.  And you already know the road I'm taking."  Thomas said, "Master, we have no idea where you're going.  How do You expect us to know the road?"  Jesus said, "I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life.  No one gets to the Father apart from me.

Thank you for the gift of Your son!  Help us to remember that You are always with us...that You will not leave us or forsake us...and that Your plan for our life is perfect.  Empower us with wisdom and strength to walk in Your ways with grace and love.
In Christ's Name,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Live The Love

I Corinthians 13:3-7(MSG)

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere.  So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

(What is love, anyway?)

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,

Father~Daughter Walk
Isn't always "me first",
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

I'm interrupting my regular postings from Psalm 119 to bring you Paul's definition of love on this Valentine's Day, 2013.  In a world where the word "love" is tossed around like a hot potato, it is good to remember what loving someone is truly about.....

Thank you for providing in Your Son the ultimate example of what love is.  May You empower us through Your Holy Spirit to love in the way You intended.
In Christ's Name,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

By Faith

Psalm 119:60(MSG)
I was up at once, didn't drag my feet, was quick to follow Your orders.

I spied this Blue Herring waiting to pounce on breakfast.
He must believe there are fish in there, huh?!

What a beautiful observation to see someone following the direction the Lord has given them.  I am ashamed to say that in times of confusion in my life, I have thought..."Well, if I had the writing on the wall as it's described in the book of Daniel (Daniel 5:5-7), I would certainly do what God told me to do, too.  I mean if He would just send some words on the side of my living room wall written by an armless hand to direct me in the way I should go, (including every detail...of course), I would certainly be 'up at once' to follow His instruction."  Pretty sad, huh?  I am so thankful for a gracious God who puts up with me!

The message delivered by my pastor this past Sunday reminded me that faith is NOT about seeing first, but rather it is about believing first!  At the point that I trust in the transforming power of Christ and yield my life to Him and His direction, then and only then, will I truly see God moving in my life.  It isn't necessary for the Lord to write on my living room wall in order for me to follow His plan for my life.  He has given me plenty of instruction in the Word of God.  I don't have to see, I just need to muster up enough belief to follow Him into action!

Hebrew 11:1-2~Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.

The book of Hebrews (chapter 11) goes on to describe each of those "ancients" who "by faith" sprang into action for the Lord despite not having a complete picture of how things would turn out.  The common denominator present in each one was their belief that God was in charge...even if they couldn't understand or see the outcome.


I'm asking for faith to believe You in every area of my life today.  Teach me to rely on You more and to step out in action wherever You call.  Help each of us to do great things for faith!

In Christ's name,


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: GRACE by Max Lucado

The book, GRACE (More than we deserve.  Greater than we can imagine.) by Max Lucado was a refreshingly quick read filled with the deep and yet uncomplicated truth of God's unending hand of grace upon the lives of those who accept it.

I chose to read the book titled GRACE by Max Lucado, because the whole concept of grace is a bit confusing to me from an application stand point.  After reading this book, I have cultivated  a deeper appreciation of what it means to accept the grace of God in my life.  As with every book that I have read from this prominent author, I would highly recommend it.  I am confident that if you read this book, you too will experience a sense that enough is really enough and we do not need to do flip flops or run marathons to earn God's approval, we simply need to accept His grace

One of the most powerful and yet basic conclusions reached within the first few pages of the book is that grace is God changing you, rather than you changing first to "clean up your act" so that you are good enough to meet Him.  This premise is the foundation for the remainder of chapters that are filled with relational examples of how God's grace is for you and I today.  Max also utilizes the characters within the Word of God to illuminate the love and power of God's unfailing grace in their lives and thus showing the parallels within our own lives.

As an added bonus, this book has a "Readers Guide" by Kate Etue.  It is organized nicely into twelve studies with the intent to work through one study a week.  This section can be used as a small group study, or individualized for a personal quest to enhance your understanding of God's grace. 

The whole premise of grace might seem overwhelming, however, the book: GRACE by Max Lucado brings tangible meaning to the word with scriptural verification that provides the reader with a renewed sense of hope and a deeper level of responsiveness to the Savior.  

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishing for this complimentary copy of GRACE by Max Lucado provided to me through BookSneeze.  The opinions  given in this review are entirely my own.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Katie's Hope

Psalm 119:59(MSG)
When I took a long, careful look at Your ways, I got my feet back on the trail You blazed.

Trailblazers.  Those people who literally burn a path through the thick brush and tangled web of obstacles that stand in their way to accomplish a very specific goal.  Webster's New World Dictionary defines a trailblazer as:  a pioneer in any field.  A pioneer being one who goes before preparing the way for others.  What an inspiration those individuals are!

I believe the Lord frequently uses people to motivate and inspire us into action.  In fact, this verse today defines God Himself as the initial trailblazer and the ultimate guide for all of our endeavors.  The Bible, of course, is full of people whose stories shake us off the couch and infuse us with a plan of action to change circumstances for God's glory.  My personal favorite trailblazer in the Bible is Esther.  In the book of Esther, I read about a young lady thrown into a kingdom of luxury in which she could have used to absorb herself in personal comfort, but instead, when made aware of a deep need within her Jewish family, bravely chooses to stand before the King on their behalf in an attempt to save them all.  Despite it being against the law for her to do so, punishable by death I might add, she is so convicted of her assignment that she proceeds forward stating, "If I perish, I perish."  (Esther4:16).  Hello?!!  What?!  Who does that?!  Seriously?  Only someone empowered by God with a genuine conviction that the Holy One of Israel has truly paved a trail clear for her!  That's who. 

Katie's hope is to bring clean drinking water to all those without.
Enter my new friend Katie.  She is a modern day trailblazer at the ripe old age of about 18!!  I am so excited for you to meet her.  Her hope in action has ignited within me a fresh fire and new desire to serve Him more!  As you read her story, I'm confident that you will sense the passion that God has given her;  A passion that is highly contagious and graciously given in response to the recent request she laid before the Lord.  She simply asked God to "break her heart for the things that break His."  What a brave prayer.  What an incredible role model.  And now, without any further writing, it is my pleasure to introduce to you~Katie Kearbey.  (Click on her name to go to her story!)    

Thank you for the amazing passion You have given Katie to help Your children all over the world tonight who are suffering from water born diseases.  Please give her new ministry, Splash of H2OPE, funding and resources to provide clean drinking water to those families in need.  Bless her with the wisdom, resolve, and persistence of Esther.
In Jesus Name,