Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone

I spent a good portion of this past week praying with family and friends who are all in difficult circumstances this Christmas. Financial struggles, relationship issues, health concerns and a host of other prayers were lifted high to our Savior this week. On a particularly hard day, I decided to venture out on an errand and hopefully gain a fresh perspective. It was windy, rainy and cold. As I pulled into a parking spot, I wondered if my trip was really necessary. People were running with their carts and bags getting soaked. Surely this could wait another day. Then it happened…I watched a man jump out of his car, take his umbrella and run over to a lady pushing her cart through the rain with all her purchases. He walked all the way to the end of the lot, holding his umbrella over her, to keep her from getting drenched! It made me smile and I'm sure it did the lady too.

As I got back home, I thanked God for the fresh perspective. He provides what we need, when we need it. He's always with us.

"…And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…." (Isaiah 9:6b)

My prayer for you this Christmas and in the New Year is that you see Jesus. When you need wisdom or encouragement, He is your Counselor. When you need an advocate, someone in your corner, He is your Mighty God. When you need to be loved and comforted, He is your Father. And when you need to be settled and secure, He is your Prince of Peace. Look for Him, Your Emmanuel, He is with you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

For God so loved...

John 3:16-I've known this verse for as long as I can remember. If you grew up in church or have been around it for any time, you probably have it memorized also. Say it with me...

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

As I looked at the verse again this week, it occurred to me that I've always thought of it in light of Jesus' crucifixon-He gave His life for me and for you. That's a true statement. However, the giving of His life began when Jesus took on flesh and entered this world.

And the reason He did was because He loves us. I'm so thankful that in my quest to remember this Christmas season why He came, that Jesus gave me fresh perspective straight from His word! How sweet is that? Ask Him and He'll do the same for you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More on the reason He came…

In my quest to remember and reflect on why Jesus came this season, I came across some verses in Titus 2. Actually I read these a week ago, but posting took a back seat to life!! The verses are 11-14 and are in the New Living Translation:

"For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds."

Jesus came to reveal His grace to all people. Ephesians 2:8, 9 teaches us that it is by this grace that we are saved. Jesus came to save us and it's only by His grace, not by anything that we do. The passage goes on to tell us that our role as believers while we live in this world is to be wise, righteous and devoted to God, hopeful of Christ's return.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, the righteousness part of how we are to live has spoken boldly to me. Over the last week, I've truly been dismayed at the very critical nature of believers regarding stories in the media…namely Tiger Woods and Tim Tebow. I do not know either of these men and surely they don't need me to defend them. But neither do they need those of us called to a higher standard to belittle them. As believers looking forward with hope to Christ's return, our words and deeds must be about encouraging His kingdom, not tearing it down. I can't imagine how much God's heart broke over some of the blogs and facebook comments that were posted regarding these stories. As we look for more of Christ during this Christmas season, may we also be more Christ-like. And when we're tempted to be otherwise, let's remember that Christ gave his life so that we could be.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Reason He Came

It's December 1st and this time of year can bring about much anxiety for me. I get overwhelmed by all the additional activities that the holiday season brings. School parties, brunches, visits to the mall, baking, traveling, more visits to the mall and the list just goes on. Too often I have lots of plans and ideas that go undone, because there's just not enough time! This year however, I've decided to try something different. I'm keeping all the peripheral stuff simple and spending some time each day in December remembering and reflecting on why Jesus came.

This morning I began my pursuit by reading 1 Timothy chapter 1. Verse 15 says,

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-"

Jesus came to save us. He was born into this world to save us. It's the reason He came and the greatest gift we can ever accept. In what ways will you remember the reason Jesus came this season?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Story of Jesus

This week we wrapped up Every Day Faith with a look at the life of Jesus. I realize that the whole Bible is part of His story, but we took a brief look at some moments He spent on Earth. The first day we studied Matthew 4:1-11 where Jesus is in the desert being tempted by Satan. Jesus, even after fasting 40 days and nights, wielded the most powerful weapon He had-His Word. It can be so easy to just give in to temptations when we're tired or aggravated. However, if we will wield God's word in those moments, then our lives will probably be a lot less stressful.

The next day we looked at Matthew 26:36-46 where Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is such a powerful and moving portion of scripture. It is hard to picture Jesus in this moment. None the less, we see Him wrestling in prayer over His imminent death. The magnitude of this moment seems to be lost on the disciples. They're sleeping. In verse 41 Jesus tells them to watch and pray so that they will not fall into temptation. The power in praying, of taking our concerns to God, is averting those things that might cause us to stumble.

On the third day we focused on Jesus and the woman at the well. In John 4:7-26, we saw how Jesus went against the customs and spoke with the Samaritan woman. At first the conversation is focused on the physical need for water, but moves to the more important spiritual need for living water. It always seemed a bit odd to me that Jesus asked her about her husband in the middle of this dialogue. This time it struck me that Jesus, ever full of grace and mercy, was touching on the one thing that she probably thought made her unworthy of living water.

Next we studied John 13:1-17 where Jesus is in the Upper Room and washes the disciple's feet. The example Jesus sets is so humbling and powerful. He illustrates fully that serving is the greatest part of leadership. No matter what our role is, we should not think ourselves better than another.

Finally we finished the week with Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus is in Galilee and gives the "Great Commission." The command is to go and make disciples, baptize them and teach them. As believers, it is our command too. Spreading the love and hope of Jesus is a privilege. May we all go with the knowledge that Jesus is ever with us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The story of Joseph

Reading and studying the story of Joseph's life was exhausting! His life seemed to follow one major disaster after another. If you read through chapters 37 to 50 in Genesis, you'll see what I mean. Joseph encountered many challenges including living with brothers who hated him, sold him into slavery and pretended he was dead. Then Joseph was wrongfully accused by his master's wife and thrown in jail. And finally, he was forgotten by the friends he made in jail for two years.

The good news is that wherever Joseph landed, he found favor. In Genesis 37, Joseph is favored by his father. In Genesis 39 Joseph is favored by his master Potiphar and the prison warden. Finally in Genesis 41 Joseph has favor with Pharoah. I believe that although Joseph faced many hardships, he did two things that allowed this blessing.

  • Joseph gave his best no matter what situation he found himself in.
  • Joseph gave God the glory for whatever good he was able to do.

Today many of us are facing hardships that, like Joseph, we didn't cause. None the less, they are our reality. Hopefully as we press into God, we too can give our best and God the glory.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Story of Peter

Peter, next to Jesus, is my favorite person to read about in the Bible. His stories tell so much about his personality. For instance, you can read about him leaving everything behind to follow Jesus and think he's courageous. You can read about him walking on the water with Jesus and think he's bold. You can read about him rebuking Jesus and think he's arrogant. Or you can read about him denying Christ and think he's humiliated. Every story that I read about Peter seems to bring out another personality trait. One thing, however, always stands out to me -his passion.

I believe that Peter's passion is what Jesus knew would make him a great leader. In John 21:15-22, Jesus has two conversations with Peter that give clear direction for that passion. In the first conversation, Jesus asks Peter three different times if he loves Him and then tells him to feed and care for his sheep. Jesus seems to be reaffirming an earlier teaching he gave on what the greatest commandment is. In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." Basically, Jesus is saying love me and love my people. When loving God becomes our first passion, then a natural overflow will be to love His people.

In the second conversation between Jesus and Peter in John 21, Jesus tells Peter to follow Him. At first glance it might seem that Jesus is just asking Peter to get up and leave from where they are. However, when Peter notices that John is following behind them and asks Jesus about it, we get clarification. Jesus, seemingly emphatic, tells Peter not to concern himself with John, and says, "You must follow me." It can be easy to get distracted by others when we're passionate. However, as leaders our priority has to be a passionate relationship with Jesus. Then all those that God allows us to lead will know that Christ is the Way---we will be loving God and loving His people.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The story of Ruth

This past week we looked at the book of Ruth in Bible study. Much of our discussion centered on Ruth's humility, her commitment to Naomi and her tenacity in serving.

As one member noted, Ruth seemed to embody Philippians 2:5 which says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Although she faced the heartbreak of losing her husband and leaving her family, Ruth's resolve never wavered. She remained faithful. I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if we as believers had that same kind of dedication in our marriages.

"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." (Ruth 1: 16) These words are often read as part of marriage ceremonies and were read at my wedding almost 15 years ago. But do we really take them to heart? As the story of Ruth invades my everyday life, I'm praying for God to remind me that humility, service and commitment are the attitudes that reflect Him in my marriage. What about you? Will you join me?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This week I experienced one of the greatest moments of my life. I had the honor and privilege to lead several ladies in a Bible study that God allowed me to write! The study is the name sake of this blog, Every Day Faith. Basically the study takes you on an inductive journey through the lives of Old and New Testament Saints looking for how their stories apply to your everyday life.

A few days ago, someone asked me how I got the idea, what prompted me to write it? For a moment I didn't have a real answer, but for God, of course! Then God, of course, reminded all started with trophies. I grew up in a very rural part of South Carolina and attended a very small country church with wooden pews. Once a year, the church would attend an event called "The Sunday School Convention." The convention would take place on a Saturday and last all day. Part of the day was a Bible contest that the children participated in for the member churches. I always went along with another girl. We would study together and practice for weeks. At the convention, each team would take turns answering questions about the Bible. If you missed a question you were out of the game until the last group was left. We always did quite well. Still today there are trophies sitting in my home church that we won for answering all the questions right. Unfortunately it was all about the trophies then. But God, of course, had planted the stories in my heart.

Now as a believer and a tad bit more mature, I know that these Biblical stories are part of God's message to me. They're part of God's instruction for me, they're part of God's direction for me, and they're part of His plan for me. And they're part of God's message, instruction, direction and plan for YOU! How do I know? God, of course, told me so through the stories of the ladies this week. The greatest trophy I've ever received was hearing how the story of Naaman related to their lives. And this was only the first story and the first week of our study!

If you don't know the story of Naaman, look it up in 2 Kings, chapter 5. Send me a note and tell me how it speaks to your everyday life.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I read this article today. The title was "Why We Don't Have Revival" and it rattled my cage a little, in a good way!

You see I'm a person who thrives on routine. I like to have a plan and follow it. I like to make decisions and work them out. Change doesn't upset me so long as I know about it and can fit it into the plans. (That last statement almost sounds ludicrous, but it's the truth for me.) When I think about my spiritual life and how I want my faith to grow and become more and more a part of my everyday life, then change is inevitable. And well I already told you how I feel about change, so what's a girl to do?

In his article, Mr. McKeever, says "By "revival," we mean an across-the-board movement of the Holy Spirit as He touches hearts, changes minds, melts pride, and transforms sinners. In a revival, the hearts of God's people are broken in repentance and humility, the Lord's people come together in love and service, and the Lord's work of ministry and giving and witnessing and missions moves forward at warp speed."

If you ask me if I want that "revival" I'm going to say a big ole Yes! But do I really? Certainly that kind of revival means my cage is going to be rattled, my life unsettled and CHANGE is going to happen. I think what this girl is going to do is pray to want it…ask God to help me want revival. Amen.

Do you want revival? You can read Mr. McKeever's full article here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Fall!

I love the Fall...the crisp air, the beautiful colors, football, light jackets, fairs, more football, soups, and the smell of pumpkin. Recently I read here that there was a pumpkin shortage! How would we survive all things Fall and holiday-ish without some pumpkin? Then it occurred to me that I hadn't been able to find my favorite can of pumpkin in the local grocery stores. No one seemed to have it on their holiday "all things bakery" displays. I kept telling myself it was too early, ignoring the Christmas decor that was already out and on sale.

So I decided to take one more look at my local grocery store and found this huge can of of only two in the store. So this week I made my favorite pumpkin muffins for my Bible Study group.

These are made with chocolate chips and I add some walnuts in too. They are so good and the kitchen smells wonderful when you bake them. You can get the recipe here.

If you can find some pumpkin, try them; you'll like them!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bible Study

Bible Study-it's the thing I do, the thing I am very passionate about. This week I asked myself a question…Why? Why am I doing this? Why am I passionate about it?

The main reason for me is that I believe the Bible is God's Word and it is the primary way He speaks to me. As a believer, I want to know all about God and how He desires for me to live my life. 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 says:

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

I believe this is the truth. Do you? Do you study the Bible? If so, why do you study it? Please share.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Despair or Discipline

Do you remember what it was like when you were discplined as a kid? I do. I am the middle child, the overachiever and the baby girl in my family. When I got into trouble, it was easy to pout, fake cry or somehow manipulate my way out of punishment...sometimes! The point is I failed to reap the benefits of the discipline. I spent my time despairing over what I couldn't have or do and finding a way out.

Today many of us are facing our own discplines or challenges. Some of them major, some of them minor. The question is do we see the benefits of the discipline or are we just despairing? God's word has amazing promises for those who are trained by His discipline. Last week I "unpacked" Hebrews 12:10-11 in my Bible study. (I recently heard or read the phrase "unpack the verse". It's not mine, but I loved the visual so I'm borrowing it!!) Here's what the verse says:

"Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." NIV

God's discipline according to these verses is:

  • for our good
  • to share in His holiness
  • to produce a harvest of righteousness
  • to produce peace

As Christians, I believe we would all say we want these things. We also probably agree with verse 11 that discipline is not pleasant and sometimes is painful. The challenge for us is to not seep into despair but to be trained by the discipline.

Take some time to identify where God may be discplining you. Determine to not be despairing, but rather focused on the goodness, holiness, righteousness and peace of God that will come as you are trained by Him. Your faith will be stronger.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Check this out...a new bible study!

Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith, by Jen Hatmaker, is a new short-term Bible study from Threads.

If you go over to All Access you can win a free copy.

I'm going to check it out myself. Love me some Bible study.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Dark

I love driving down country roads and reading all the local church signs. Recently I came across one that has stayed on my mind. Probably because it spoke directly to the Bible study I’m currently doing, Walking by Faith by Jennifer Rothschild. Here's a picture.
The question I keep coming back to is this…can this be said of me? Do I really want to walk with God in the dark? When I’m not sure what is happening in my life or what the next step is for me, does my life say “I’d rather walk with God in this?” Do my actions, attitude and/or speech tell others I’m walking with God? Or do they say I’d really rather have some “light” on this situation? Seriously, I don’t want to walk around my own house in the dark and I know where everything is!

In this past week’s lesson, Jennifer had us look at one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It’s the story of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. You can read about it in Matthew 14:22-33. Often we hear this story used to illustrate a lack of faith, or what happens when we take our eyes off of God and focus on the storms of life. For me there was another lesson this week.
Peter asks Jesus, if it’s Him to bid him come. Peter doesn’t just want to go with any cool person who happens to walk on water. He wants to be with Jesus! After Peter gets scared and starts to sink, the passage says Jesus reaches out his hand to Peter. The next verses say they get back in the boat and the winds die down. I’m thinking Jesus walked (on the water) back to the boat with Peter. It was dark; the storm was still happening; but Jesus didn’t leave Peter.

No doubt I am a little biased toward Peter. My life is full of spontaneous moments that have gotten me into trouble or at least a slap on the hand much like we read of Peter! I can’t help but think that what if in the “dark” instead of asking God to shed light, I ask God if it’s Him, let me come to Him, let me walk with Him. My focus is no longer on me, but on the One who is directing my life. The One who made me, knows me, and watches out for me. Jesus is the One who knows where I might stub my toe, walk into a wall or fall flat on my face. When my focus is on the One, the dark is not so scary.

Friday, August 28, 2009


This week my Gather and Grow group started our next Bible Study. We're working through Jennifer Rothschild's study called Walking by Faith: Lessons I Learned in the Dark. For our "ice breaker" question we asked each lady to tell us about a favorite place they've walked or enjoy walking in. The responses covered everything from walking down the isle to get married, to walking in parks and enjoying God's creation, to the walk they made to receive Christ. I talked about a walk I took with my family last summer to see Black Beach in Maui.

Black Beach is a stop on the "Road to Hana" drive in Maui. You pull into this park area at the top of a mountain and then you take a pretty steep walk down to the actual beach. We took a picnic and ate some lunch before tackling the walk that day. But once we got down to the surf, it was amazing and so worth the trek. It's called "Black Beach" because the surf and beach side are full of black rocks, actually lava rocks. The rocks that are on the beach front are jagged and tough on your feet. But once you reach the edge of the water, the rocks are smoother and smaller. They've been tossed in the ocean enough to wear off the rough edges. Your feet feel like they're getting a constant's awesome! Defintiely one of my favorite memories from our vacation.

After I left the study this week, I couldn't help but think about how I almost missed this experience. The walk seemed so far and steep. The children might fall. We had so much more to see. The rocks on the beach front were killing our feet. All these things that I could see could have kept me from an amazing experience. All these things that I could see could have kept me from an amazing display of God's creation. I was almost blinded by my own sight.

God's word teaches us that we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Today be encouraged. Don't let what you see keep you from experiencing God's blessings.

Here are just a few of our pics from that day. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gripped by His Glory

Several of the churches in our area are currently doing a series called "United". It is so encouraging to know that I can walk in the door of any of these churches and feel at home; a part of God's kingdom united by His glory. During the service this week, Mike, our pastor, talked about the fact that God has a grip on us and He never lets go. Sometimes we walk away from that, but God never lets us go.

At the end of the service, Chris Boggess came up and said something that has really resonated with me this week. Chris reminded us at the end of the service that what connects us as a kingdom of believers is not the "thing" we walk away from God to do, but the "grip" of God that never lets us go. It's all about God and His glory not our story.

This week I met with a group of women who go to different churches, who have different spheres of influence, who have different calls to ministry. The journeys we are on reach far and wide. The sweetest thing was knowing that we are connected by God's glory-the desire to make Him known wherever we are. That God would allow us to have an impact in His kingdom is a testament to His grace and mercy-not our stories.

I needed the reminder-thank you Jesus.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Thursday, August 13, 2009


How do you respond to storms, specifically the storms that come in your life? You know the things that happen and cause us to fret, to worry, to act differently than we normally would. Do you work harder, keep longer hours? Do you stop eating or like me eat way too much? Do you lose sleep or sleep more than usual? Or maybe you try to calm the storm by fixing everything? But what if God's plan is for you to weather the storm? What if He wants to take you through it? Maybe you come out a little battered, a little bruised, but very much aware of who your Deliverer is.

This morning I read Acts 27 during my quiet time. It's about a real live weather storm, a northeaster that causes a shipwreck. The Apostle Paul is a prisoner on the ship and for the most part the captain nor the crew will listen to him. As they grow more and more fearful in the storm, the crew begins to dump cargo and even the ship's gear. In verses 21-26, Paul tells them of God's promise to save them, all of them, and to deliver Paul to stand before Caesar. Oh and by the way, God also says they'll be shipwrecked on an island!

In verses 30 and 31, the sailors decide to try and leave the ship on the lifeboats. But Paul reminds them of God's promise; they'll be saved only if they stay on the ship...yeah the one that's going to be shipwrecked! So they cut the lifeboats loose. In the next few verses, Paul encourages the crew to eat. They have been so worried that they haven't eaten in two weeks. Again Paul reminds them that not one of them will perish. Then it happens; shipwreck. They hit a sandbar and the waves and wind begin to break apart their vessel. The storm was relentless. How would they survive? In verses 40 & 41, the crew was told to jump over and swim to shore. Those that couldn't swim hung on to pieces of the ship until they could be helped to land. Everyone survived, just as God promised they would.

I can't help but think that it's a good thing they ate! Had they not, they would've been too weak to make it to shore. What if they had gotten in the lifeboats? If the storm was bad enough to rip apart the vessel, what would it have done to the lifeboats? Today this makes me want to choose to respond differently to life's storms. I want to remain anchored to God's promises and to be ready for my deliverance even if it means swimming through the storm. What about you? I'd love to hear how you weather the storms of life with God?

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Happy Birthday to my hubby, Steve! I hope you have the best day ever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

He Spoke at She Speaks

I'm back and She Speaks was awesome. As I promised in my last post, today's post is going to be all about how God spoke at She Speaks to me.

For about a month before the conference I began to pray and fast. One word kept coming to the forefront of my time with God- Connections. My prayers centered on making connections at the conference. Connections for me, connections through me, connections with me, just simply asking God to make me aware of how my being at the conference would make a difference in this thing I'm doing called ministry. You see the last few months I had spent a lot of time writing a proposal to be pitched at She Speaks. Because I was somewhat clueless about the process, the isolation I felt while writing left me feeling lonely. And I am a people person!! And one of my most favorite things to do in life is to make connections! So here is a list; a long list of how my sweet Jesus showed off at She Speaks. Enjoy.

  • Friday night I'm on the elevator by myself. It stops and on walks two ladies and I realize one of them (saw her name tag) was a friend of a friend from home. Earlier this summer my friend had asked me to keep an eye out for her. This may seem insignificant to you, but in a hotel filled to capacity, 600 women attending the conference, hotel staff and the size of the hotel…there's no way it is a coincidence that we found each other.
  • Saturday morning we go down for breakfast and it's a crazy room packed full of women. As we begin to look for a place to sit, I spot someone I think I know. You have to understand that I've not had coffee and I don't see well in low lighting. So I throw caution to the wind, and call out her name (o-k… I yelled!) And sure enough, LJ was in the house…So much fun to see Lisa there. Again, only God can pull that off in a room so full and crazy.
  • Saturday morning-I had to leave a few minutes before the end of a main session for a publisher appointment. The speaker was Wendy Pope and I so wanted to meet her. I have a Gather and Grow group and she is the coordinator. As I rounded a corner on my way to the appointment, Wendy comes out of the session. We met, we hugged and she encouraged me for my appointment like crazy! After my appointment, I'm headed down the hall way for my next session in a daze! Who's in the hallway? Wendy Pope and Amy Carroll. They were so excited for me when I shared that the publisher liked my proposal and took it!
  • A publisher taking the proposal was huge for me. I've never written anything for a proposal and could not believe how gracious God was to me. This little girl from the middle of nowhere with no formal training was just riding on the wings of my sweet Jesus.
  • I had a second publisher appointment that night. As I sat waiting, a beautiful young woman came and sat next to me. We began discussing our proposals and I was able to tell her about someone I met earlier this year who is looking for exactly what she was doing! Oh sweet Jesus, we ran out of time before we could exchange names. It was my time to go in and I quickly tossed my business card to her and said CONTACT ME! That sounds rude, but I know this was God. Her proposal is so unique and wanted by my contact. This was probably the sweetest moment I had at She Speaks, because it had nothing to do with me or my calling. Just connecting someone else to help them.
  • My second publisher meeting was late in the afternoon and the meeting went well, but the outcome was a defining moment for me. They really liked my proposal, said it was solid, but they couldn't take it. They had just contracted someone else with a similar project. The meeting ended on a great note of encouragement, but I truly wanted to cry or throw up! When I went outside my sweet friend Dorilee was waiting for me. She sat with me and we talked for a second and then God opened my eyes to the possibilities. I felt the Holy Spirit began to say to my heart, if they're publishing something similar then there must be a need. Someone else will want it too. So I walked up to Sheila (she was coordinating the appointments) and asked her if she thought there was anyone left who would want to look at my proposal. She very graciously asked all the publishers and agents there. She was able to get me in to see one more agency. THEY TOOK MY PROPOSAL TOO! God was showing off in a big way and I could barely contain my emotions.
  • Later that night I was standing in line to meet Jennifer Rothschild (oh my word) with some of my friends. We starting talking to the ladies behind us and one of them had self-published their book through an agency that we wanted to know more about. So while we stood in line, she shared her experience, gave us advice, answered our questions and just helped us understand that process so much better.
  • One of my friends wanted to meet and speak with Van Walton. I knew what she looked like, but had not been able to find her. Sunday morning we are on a packed elevator headed down for breakfast. The elevator stopped on another floor and I hear the lady in the front say "Come on Van, we'll make room!" I peek around the corner and say to my friend, that's Van, that's her…go get her! So when the elevator stopped, she and Van connected. Van was so gracious and spent time answering her questions and giving her advice.


    There were 599 other women in attendance at She Speaks. This is only a small bit of what God did this past weekend…just my experience. But for what it's worth, there is no other place I would have rather been or no other way I would have wanted to spend the money. If you were there, I would love to hear about your experience. If you've never been, mark it on your calendar for 2010…July 30-August 1.






Wednesday, July 29, 2009

She Speaks

This weekend I'm off to the She Speaks Conference. You can read more about the conference here. Basically it's a Speaker/Writer/Women's Ministry Leader training conference and it is incredible. I had the great fortune to attend in 2007 and am going back this year.

Today I found myself getting excited to write about what God does...before it happens! Mentally I had a whole week of posts mapped out. So I thought I should take a moment or two to talk about what He's already done. Here's how God has already spoken before the weekend even begins:
  • I had an overwhelming desire to go back to She Speaks and had no clue of where the money to register would come from. God did and He brought it.
  • I felt like I should bring a proposal, but had no clue of where or how to begin. God did and He brought just the right people to help me out.
  • I wanted to know people going this year (I knew no one in 2007!). Not only am I going with some fabulous friends, I'm going to meet some new ones face to face finally.
  • I cried a lot during the writing process. Hard to admit, but there's a whole lot of reasons why writing is the last thing I feel called to. (Another post for another day..maybe.) God knew my fears and He brought me much comfort through the prayers of friends and even strangers.
  • Lastly I almost gave up so many times out of fear, I can't even remember how many. But God used His Word to comfort me.

"I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces." Psalm 34:4,5 NLT

I am going to She Speaks in full confidence that God has called me to go, that God has sent me and that God will be faithful through this process. No matter what happens, we're gonna be talking next week about how HE SPEAKS at SHE SPEAKS!

In the meantime, I'd love to hear how God is speaking to you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Times of Refreshing

Early this morning I awakened to rain falling against my window, thunder booming and lightning flashing. It was so refreshing, because we've not had a good summer thunderstorm in a while. Later I left the house and couldn't help but notice that the trees were standing taller and looking greener. My hydrangeas were all perked up and the blooms were so nice to see. Even though the sun was starting to come out and the temperature was rising, the rain had given everything a look of readiness.


It reminded me of one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Acts 3:19 says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"


As I spend time with God every morning, repent of my sins and let His word wash over me, I too am refreshed. I can face the day a little taller, a little more prepared for life. When the traffic is bad, the kids are arguing, the phone want stop ringing, and there's more to do than I can possibly manage, my attitude is so much nicer. I'm very grateful for God's presence and His word in my daily life.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Recently our family headed out on a vacation. We were going to be driving so my husband put the GPS on the dashboard and off we went. After several hours of driving, we both needed some coffee so we pulled off the nearest exit with the good stuff. After our pit stop, the kids noticed that the GPS was doing some funny stuff. Here's the conversation that took place with both children talking very loudly with ear plugs in while watching a DVD!! (We're really techie on our road trips.)

Hannah-"Daddy, why are you going the wrong way? It says to turn right."

Joshua-"Moma do you know that Daddy is going the wrong way?" (He knows who'll ask for directions…LOL.)

Once we assured the kids we had just taken a detour for some coffee, we were back on track and the GPS was happy. As we enjoyed our coffee, I couldn't help but think about all the warning signs that had just been sent our way. Thankfully for us, this particular choice wasn't life altering. But too often this week, I've watched or heard about people who have made bad choices and are suffering the consequences. It's been hard to hear. I keep thinking the warning signs are everywhere, why don't they just stop. And before you think I'm on a soap box, I've asked myself the same question. Why don't I just stop? And here's how I think we stay on the right path:

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."

(Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT)

For me these verses mean that although as a believer I have set my course to be like Christ, I have a real enemy that wants to trip me up. To combat those attacks I have to daily suit up with God's armour. Put God's word in my life- it is the Truth and it always stands. I must know that God is in control and have Peace. And finally I must keep praying for the strength and wisdom to make good choices. Will the attacks stop? Doubtful. Will I be more aware of the warning signs? Absolutely.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Girls Day Out!

Woo hoo...I just spent the day out with my favorite girl, Hannah!
We got a pedicure, had some lunch and then went to see the Hannah Montana Movie. It was fantastic! I loved that it was a good, clean, family movie with a great message.
"Life's a climb; but the view is great!"
And no girls day out would be complete without some shopping, so we headed off and spent a little money...just a little.
Thanks Hannah for hanging with your Mom today...I had a blast.
You always make me laugh.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Last week at our swim meet, Joshua was swimming really late in a Free Style Relay. He kept asking me if he could skip it. It was late and he was tired. But I put my coach's hat on, and explained how much the team needed him, it was just Free Style and he was first. He'd swim down the pool in less than a minute and be sitting back in his chair in no time. It was a little chaotic with all the 7 & 8 year old girls and boys getting ready for their relays, but we went over and got in our lane.

The coach starts going through the line-up and mistakenly sends us to the other side of the pool. There are a couple of boys named Joshua in this age bracket, so it's confusing. I thought this was an error but we took off, because the race in front of us was coming to an end! (If you've ever been at a swim meet, this's crazy, it's hot and it's quick!) We get settled in our lane on the other side, we're ready to go and then I hear someone yelling "Joshua Turner, Joshua Turner"! You guessed it…we were supposed to start at the other end. So off we go again running back to where we started. Funny moment here- Joshua didn't know the lady calling his name, so he hesitated before taking off with her back around the pool. As we're running, I'm yelling it's o-k…just go! I was glad to see him hesitate to go with a complete stranger.

For those of you still here, Joshua is 7, he's tired and we've lapped the pool once and haven't even hit the water yet. We get in line, then the coach says, "I need Joshua to swim the last leg of this relay also." At this point Joshua's adrenaline has kicked in from all the running, so I say what the heck, he'll do it. Joshua has never swam two legs of a relay, so I told him to just sit on the side of the pool when he finished the first lap and I would tell him when to go again. The relay starts and he takes off. I run through the crowd back to the other end of the pool to meet him.

As I'm making my way, he finishes, the second boy jumps in and takes off. I can see that Joshua is looking for me and starting to hop out. So I yell his name and in a weird twisted moment, all goes crazy. A little neighbor friend (about 10 years old) sees me coming and she's standing in front of Joshua. She begins to scream, "GO, GO JOSH, GO!" "YOU GOTTA GO BACK, GO, GO!" So he turns around and takes off back down the pool. To this day I have no idea of what she was thinking, but I was mad. Really mad. (Insert out-of body experience here. Not pretty, not good to share.)

Myself and two other adults tried to call him back. But he was off like a bullet, swimming faster than I've ever seen him swim. I could not move. I could not speak. I think I stopped breathing. I watched as he got out at the other end and the coaches tell him to run back to me. (Yes, we've lapped the pool so many times now, I can't keep count!) I hear the coaches yelling, "make room, let him through!" I start to realize he's gonna swim the last leg too, but he's getting lost in the crowd. So I do what any good, competitive, crazy Mom would do. I go get him, and basically throw him in as the third leg is finishing. And then I went nuts (or nuttier)…I'm thinking if we're doing this, we're doing it BIG! I began to make my way all the way down the side of the pool, cheering him on, yelling for him to go fast, telling him not to give up! He didn't, not even for a second. He swam like a crazy boy. The coaches are cheering, people in the crowd are cheering. It's an awesome moment. And here's how the "JOSH MAN" finished:

1ST PLACE! Blue is a great color on him…don't you think? Good job, Josh.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Bible Study

Are you looking for a good Summer Bible Study? Here are two and both of these you can do on your own or with a group if you'd like.

BRING IT - This is our current sermon series at NorthStar on the book of James. Each week you can get daily devotions here called Digging Deeper that help lead you through the passages. The first one was May 31st, but you can catch up quite easily! The sermons can be heard here.

The second study is with Living Proof Ministries and they are starting on June 23rd with ME, MYSELF AND LIES by Jennifer Rothschild. You can find all the details for this one on their blog. I really like Jennifer and will get to hear her speak later this excited!!

If you have another summer study, let me know. I always feel like the schedule is a train wreck in the summer, but being in God's word is a priority.

Monday, June 1, 2009


During church on Sunday, we sang a song called Stronger (by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding).
I've heard the song before and really like it. During the chorus, our worship leader, Eric, moved away from the microphone. I don't think I've ever heard such great worship from MEN!
It was such an awesome moment, I just stood and listened and it took my breath away. Eric didn't ask only the men to sing, it was just that there were so many and they were really letting the worship flow. So glad I didn't miss it. Great job Eric!

Here's the chorus:

You are stronger, You are stronger,
Sin is broken, You have saved me.
It is written, Christ is risen
Jesus, You are Lord of All.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Pure Heart

Last week I had a conversation with a friend. We had both been vacationing in different states, and we're in different stages of life. However, we had the same thoughts concerning our weekends. We had been angry, impatient, aggravated beyond our limits. SINFUL. That's it...nothing pretty about it. We had both been dealing with family and friend drama, and came away feeling less than Christlike. And it was definitely weighing heavy on our hearts as we talked.

Later I began to read Psalm 51. This Psalm was written by David after he was confronted about his adultery, his sin. Verse 10 says, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."(NIV) David didn't ask for his heart to be repaired, or put back together, or to even clean it up. He asked for a new one. He realized that nothing good was in him, only through the power of God at work in him could he be made right. The same is true for me and my friend. The only way we can deal with our concerns in a godly way is to let God deal through us and in us.
The Message version of the same verse reads, "God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life." This week that's my goal. To watch God make a Genesis, a new creation, out of my chaos.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Today I went to a prayer service at a local christian school. My friend Tracie was the coordinator and it was so neat to watch the day unfold. Tracie opened the service by talking about how sometimes God puts a seed in your heart, a desire that you have. Our job is to grow that seed, to water it, fertilize it...not dig it up! We need to believe that what God says is true. I so needed to hear that. Too often I let the thoughts and concerns of others sway what I know God has taught me, what He has given me. God's word says in Mark 11:24 "whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." My prayer today is that I will be a pray-er and a believe-er.

Later in the service, another friend shared how God had answered prayers over the course of the past couple of years for she and her family. In the midst of some very scary and life-altering moments for their daughter, she was able to be gut-wrenchingly honest with God. The rawness of knowing God hasn't left you, but feeling like He has, was hard to hear. But even more amazing is that we can actually speak that honestly with our Creator and know that He loves us and He's not forsaken us.

Today I hope that you take some time to pray.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2nd Place!

Congrats to Hannah and the Rampage Girls! They came in 2nd place in their softball season.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Villain Part 2

This week I've pondered much about part 2 of the Villain series we're doing at church. One sentence has played over in my head all week.

"Sometimes when we're tempted we feel like we're out of God's will, when in fact we're right where God wants us." This statement is based on Luke 4:1 which says, "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert...." Verse 2 thru 13 tells the story of the temptations that the villain begins to throw at Jesus and how Jesus uses the scriptures to refute him at every turn. The truth prevailed.

What I've most held to this week, is that the TRUTH of God's word is still the most powerful weapon we have has believers. No matter if the temptation I'm facing is physical, relational, financial or otherwise, God's Truth prevails...everytime.

You can read some great devotionals on this week's sermon here.

James 1:27

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27NIV

I read this post today and it is a must read for any student of scripture...especially the next to last paragraph on this verse.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Elf on the Shelf

This past weekend I got to meet one of the co-authors of The Elf on the Shelf book. Her name is Carol Aebersold, and she mainly came to speak about her experiences with getting the book published. It is a fascinating story and I was amazed at how God's hand was evident in every step. If you get a chance to hear Carol or her daughter, Chanda Bell, I encourage you to go.

As I've looked back over my notes, I was suprised by how many times Carol talked about be confident, to overcome obstacles, to seek direction. Her advice was "to bathe everything in prayer." I love the visual of saturating all that we have and all that we desire in prayer; making it pure and clean before God.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


This past weekend our church started a new series called Villain.

During the sermon our pastor said "Satan will always act according to his character." And what is his character? Glad you asked. He is a liar, murderer (John 8:44), stealer and destroyer (John 10:10), just to name a few.

However, what struck me in the comment was could the same be said of me? Do I act according to my character? And what does that say about my character? This week I have challenged myself to respond in ways that hopefully resonate a godly, Christlike character-peaceful, graceful, merciful and loving.

You can listen to the sermon and see the notes here. Also there are daily devotionals that help take the message into your week called Digging Deeper.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break

The following took place during Spring Break 2009. Yes, I'm channeling Jack Bauer in 24, because something about the opening statement makes me happy. (And if you don't know what I'm rambling about, just enjoy the pics!)

First ever Turner Family Camping Trip...hopefully not the last. Yes I actually put that in writing. I am not a camping girl. Steve jokes that my idea of camping is a hotel without a coffee pot. However, I must admit this was a good trip. The coffee, not so much, but the time away from phones, tvs and all things electronic was good for us. Here's a few pictures.

CAMPSITE-our home away from home

SMORES-no camping trip would be complete without them. The kids discovered that roasted marshmallows are not too shabby either.

GUMBO-that's our dog, not the food. He was exhausted after a hike on Saturday.

PERSONAL NIGHT LIGHT- the moon was beautiful and really kept the tent lit just enough at night.

Hopefully you and your family had a great Spring Break also.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I have the utmost respect for nurses. Anyone who can handle blood and needles has my respect. It's not my deal....not even close. Well, this past week I had a minor surgical procedure done. While I was being prepped, the nurse said words that I really didn't want to hear and couldn't believe she said.
As she reached for a needle, she says, "I've actually never done this before. The doctor made me take the book home last night to learn how. I didn't read much of it, but I looked at the diagrams and think I have it down." People, she was about to put the IV line in my arm!!

Seriously, lady, you shouldn't have told me that. My blood pressure probably shot through the roof and my thoughts were, in a word, inappropriate! I managed to turn my head and all was going well, until she hit a nerve...really. I screamed, and she said I'm sorry, but you need to hold your hand down a little more. It already felt like she was trying to break my wrist, but I just sat there and had more inappropriate thoughts.....
At this point she could probably read my face, because I gave her the LOOK! She quickly finished and gave me the "happy stuff" that made me relax until the doctor came. For some reason, I no longer cared that I was a pin cushion. Happy thoughts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I read this quote the other day as I waited in my doctor's office. It was in the Feb/March 2009 issue of Working Mother magazine.

"Motherhood is relentless. It's not like, "Okay, today I want to sleep in."
Nope! You're going to get up and you're going to do it again."
Jennifer Lopez
I don't know Ms. Lopez, but for me, she hit the bulls eye! There are days when I think, not again. Another meal to cook, another load of laundry to fold, another floor to clean, another ballgame to attend, another _______________(you fill in the blank). And yet, I get up and do it again. Why? Because in the words of a great Darius Rucker song, "It won't be like this for long." Savor the days.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

I have been so longing for a snow day this winter. And yesterday we got one...yes it was Sunday, but the snow was beautiful. It is simply one of the neatest and prettiest things God does!

Once we got home from church, the snow just kept falling and falling. We went outside and made a huge snowman, threw some snowballs and had a blast! Here's some pics of our day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Washing Machines

Washing machines are a critical part of my life...or so I found out this past week! On Monday morning I put in a load of clothes, a big load of clothes. Lots of socks, t-shirts, undies, etc. Added a little bleach, some detergent, turned the knob and went in the kitchen to do my Bible Study. Then there was this noise...a thump. It was loud and it scared me. I didn't see the washing machine coming through the door, so I ignored it. A few minutes later, more noise. This time I knew the washing machine was dieing. When I entered the laundry room, I was sure that smell was not good and the noise, well it confirmed my fears. I spent the next two hours wringing out the socks, shirts and undies, rinsing them and wringing them out again!

I'd like to say that my immediate reaction was good, but well it took me awhile. But thankfully, at some point during the rinsing and wringing, God pierced my heart to start praying. So I prayed for my family, thanked God that we had clothes, that we had a way to dry them, that we could replace our washing machine and before I knew it they were all done and in the dryer.
Unfortunately we were not able to get a new machine until Saturday morning. FIVE DAYS without a washing machine and the mountain of clothes in the picture is what you get...not once but twice!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ramblings of a 1st Grader

Joshua: "Moma is it legal to have boyfriends and girlfriends in 1st grade?"
Me: "No son, it's not legal."
Joshua: "Well some people are breaking the law. Jack has 10 girlfriends and Paul likes Terri."
Me: "Really, Jack has 10 girlfriends! Do you have a girlfriend?"
Joshua: "No, but Kathy likes me! But I'm trying to break Paul and Terri up. I don't want Terri to go to Kid Jail!"
Me: "Do you like Terri?"
Joshua: "Don't make me hurt you Moma. Paul likes to twist Terri's arm and I don't want her to go to the hospital or Paul to go to Kid Jail."

I think Joshua will be a great police officer one day!

**Names have been changed to protect the innocent from "Kid Jail."**

Monday, February 9, 2009

Boo Mama

I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers at Going Beyond this Weekend. We talked about this post of hers, which still just warms my heart.
She was as sweet and genuine in person as her blog is! Sophie, I hope that your GPS did not fail you and you were able to get back home safely. These Metro Atlanta roads can be tricky!!

Going Beyond

This weekend I went to a women's conference called Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer. It was such a fun event and very inspiring. Priscilla taught about living the "Interrupted Life". I'll post more about that later, once I've had some time to process it all. For now, let me just tell you about my Saturday afternoon, just after the conference ended and how God had me immediately practice what He'd taught us!

On my way home, I realized that I had developed a rash on my chin and upper neck. It had really started to itch. When I got home, my husband reminded me that our daughter had the same looking rash the week before and ended up with strep throat. My son and husband had also had strep throat the week before, but I had somehow escaped it! Really I did not want to spend the rest of my Saturday sitting in a doctor's office, but that's exactly what I did. No strep throat, but some steroids would be needed for the rash. I still have no idea what caused all this craziness, but it cracked me up that God would allow me the opportunity to so quickly experience an interruption.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Sometimes when we hear words like those in my last post they resonate with us. "The dark is getting darker. We must raise our level of passion to impact the world for Christ." In my case I couldn't stop repeating them, replaying them over and over in my head. I keep asking myself where is my passion meter? Is it low and I'm just apathetic and in a pit or is it high and I'm consciously looking for ways to see God at work and where He can use me? Truthfully I probably land somewhere in between those two levels on most days. Then last week God did something that just encouraged my heart--pumped it up really!

We were at a party for our Puerto Rican mission team. At the end, we watched a video of our pictures set to some great worship music. It was awesome to share all the stories and faces with our families. My daughter was sitting next to me and I kept whispering little details to her and my son was almost asleep in my lap. When everything was over my son sat up and said, "Mommy can you put that music on my ipod?" I almost cried because I thought he wasn't paying attention. But he had been moved by songs like "Hosanna, Mighty to Save and How He Loves." My son is 6 and you bet we will be putting that music on his little Mp3 player (Shh...he doesn't know it's not an ipod yet.) Because as his parent I want to raise his level of passion for the things of God. Later my daughter came over and asked me if there was a family mission trip that we could go on together. My heart was sailing people!! And we will definitely be looking into that as she becomes a tweenager....yikes. God was so sweet to us that night and I was totally reminded that the things my husband and I are passionate about overflow to our kids.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Live DVD Recording

Sunday night I went with my friend Tracie to see Travis Cottrell, Cindy Morgan, Shaun Groves and let's not forget Beth Moore! Travis was recording a live Worship DVD/CD at First Baptist Church of Woodstock. Tracie and I both love christian music, so this was a blast for us. It was a great night and I left with a quote that has been marinating in my brain since then.

"The dark is getting darker. We must raise our level of passion to impact the world for Christ."
Travis Cottrell

Still marinating....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yes I realize this is a little late...but what else would I title a post that follows our Christmas picture?
The holidays were great. We had Christmas at home with just the four of us and it was sweet. We visited my in-laws in Louisiana for about a week afterwards and had a blast catching up with the parents, siblings and cousins.

Favorite Christmas gift-Wii Fit from my husband (I asked for it!) We are a competitve bunch and let's just say it's provided hours of entertainment thus far. This week I discovered the balance game section and to put it mildly...we're a little out of balance. If we could just stop laughing, we might be able to dodge the shoes, cross the tight rope and walk in the bubble just a little longer. But then again, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.
Speaking of Games-my sister in-law brought this fabulous card game, Phase 10, for us to play while we were in Louisiana. She and I played with the daughters, age 7-10, and it was a blast. The game went on for hours the first time and then we all got the hang of it and the gloves were off! Seems the competitive bug runs on both sides of the family.
My mother and her two sisters came to visit last weekend, so I got a set for us to play. There were five generations of women playing cards around our kitchen table for several hours. It was a sweet memory for me and hopefully for my daughter. One of my favorite things to do growing up was to sit around my grandmother's kitchen table and listen to her tell stories.
Hopefully this is the start of a new tradition for us...taking time to make memories.