I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I pray you all have a Very Merry CHRISTmas.

Enjoy your family.

Stop stressing.

Celebrate Christ.

Pray for God's will for 2014.

I'll be back Monday, January 6th.

"If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth." 1 John 1:6 NIV

Not your usual Christmas scripture!

I hope you will take the time to ask God to shine His light on your heart, your motivation, your plans and your intentions. Are you walking in the LIGHT or dancing in the shadows?

What does Christmas mean to you?

What does following Christ look like in your life?

Does God have to bend to your will or do you bend to His?

Are you more concerned with building your own kingdom here on earth or about building His kingdom eternal?

Just some thoughts to leave you with.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Broken Onion

I’m an onion.

I’ve shared before that 2013 has been a year of learning how to DEPEND on God.

Here's what I've learned: Dependence can only come when I release myself into God’s hands (tweet please). 

But Dependence isn’t a one step process.

Layer by layer (like an onion) I’ve been peeled back, exposed, broken.

My plans, dreams, and securities have been shattered. 

My feelings have been trampled upon.

Each time a new layer is exposed, I think “pew…I made it. That hurt, but I can see I needed that skin sloughed off. Surely there isn’t much more God needs to strip from my life.

But I'm always wrong.

There is more that needs to be uncovered so I can learn how to truly and single-mindedly DEPEND upon HIM. 

And each step will require me to break in some fashion.

It will hurt. I won’t like it. But I take comfort  knowing that it is for my good.

God doesn’t break me because He gets some sort of twisted satisfaction out of seeing me cry.

He does it because He’s a loving parent.

Currently, my toddler likes to wrestle…but sometimes he’s too rough and I have to stop his “play”.

He doesn’t like it when I do. He also doesn't completely understand why he can't do certain things (like hit). 

But it’s for his good. He can’t go around thinking his “play” is okay when sometimes it hurts others. 

He needs to know how to control his emotions. 

And I need to learn how to control mine as well. So God, being my Father, disciplines me. 

Like my son, I don’t always understand. I think what I’m doing is “okay”. I can’t see that sometimes my actions hurt others and myself. 

So God has to BREAK me of certain behaviors. 

It’s only when I’m broken, AKA being Disciplined, that I truly stop and listen to instruction. It’s during this time that I’m able to learn, grow and mature.

God’s discipline doesn’t usually look like my toddlers. But sometimes it does. Sometimes I get things taken away. Sometimes I get put in a “time out” (waiting for prayers to be answered), and sometimes I feel as if I got my little hands smacked for reaching out to touch a hot stove. 

“God uses the crisis to break us open, to empty us of everything that is not of Him, and to soften the soil of our hearts with tears.” Sorge (pg 117)).

One of the greatest things God is breaking me of is self-sufficiency. I tend to think more highly of myself than I should. I think I can handle situations and only need God’s approval for the decisions I make. Sometimes I even tend to think it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission... because in my mind, my intentions are good and God is taking too long to get on board. 

So God is humbling me.

My pride and ego take blows. 

My systems, plans, and calculations prove inadequate.

And I’m coming to realize just how ill prepared I am to meet life’s demands. 

These lessons are producing fertile ground for God to produce fruit.

My trust in God is blossoming as my reliance on self is decomposing. 

“God wants to break us of our self-reliance and produces in us a deep humility and profound dependence upon Him.” Sorge (pg 117).

I’m pretty sure Sorge read my mind when he wrote that line :)

How about you…are you an onion being peeled by God? Or are you resisting His discipline by rotting on the shelf?

I have a tip if you’re trying to fight God, or are scared to say “yes” to what He’s asking of you- STOP!

“God isn’t about to relent until the breaking is complete.” Sorge (pg 118)

Re-read that sentence.

God WILL complete what He started.

Like I’ve heard so many tell their children, “We can do this the easy way or the hard way”. So go ahead, trust God to peel the onion of your soul!
Join the Book club discussing, “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge, by either grabbing a copy of the book and joining the weekly discussions and/or leaving a comment below. You can read more about this chapter from: Jason, Sarah, Rick, Dusty, Kari, Glynn,  and Joell. (and possibly a few more people- sorry if I left you out. Please let me know so I can add you to the list.)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Escaping in the Word- Guest Post, come find me please :)

Hi everyone,

I've been gone a few weeks and had a wonderful time with family. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well. So much to be thankful for, when we stop and count our blessings.

If you didn't get a chance to read my Dec Newsletter let me know and I'll send it to you. Rick Dawson was the Featured Blogger and did a wonderful job. There was also a great list of Gift Ideas provided and a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from me about my upcoming book.

Friday I had the honor of Guest posting for Dan Erickson. It's a post on why I write.
Here's part of the post: 

Escaping in the Word

I grew up in a family that didn’t talk about feelings. Our solution for problem solving was to ignore issues and pretend life was fine.

Writing became my emotional outlet, a way to get all the feelings out, so I too could pretend life was fine.

My journal was also an escape for me, the only place I could be ME.

I could write on paper what I could never say aloud.

Click here to read more

Next week I'll be back to posting on the book "The Fire of Delayed Answers" with the Book Club.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and I'm on Vacation! (And Prayer Request!!!!)


Hope you're all looking forward to Thanksgiving. It's a wonderful time to reflect on all the blessings of God.

Some days it is easier to count our blessings than on other days.

If you're having a hard time being Thankful this holiday season, I want to encourage you:

YOU'RE BREATHING! That means God isn't finished with you!

Take heart. There's more blessings to come.

I also wanted to let you know I'll be away from the blogging world till Monday, December 9th! 

If you haven't signed up for my Quarterly Newsletter you should. The next edition comes out Dec 1st., Rick from Planned Peasanthood will be the Featured Blogger. I have some exciting news to share with you there.

Have a blessed few weeks.

"I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus." 1 Cor 1:4

If you haven't heard about the deal that occurred this weekend with Iran (or if you're unsure why it's such a big moment in history) I beg you to please read this article to help you understand how bad this could be for the future. Many are comparing this to the deal that allowed Hitler to rise unhindered to power. "Munich Agreement of 1938 in which European nations agreed to allow Nazi Germany to annex parts of Czechoslovakia."
Pray! I don't even know what to pray for, just let God guide you as you lift your voice and heart to God.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cultivating the Cry

(I will be taking the next 2 weeks off- so I’m jumping to chapter 7 in the discussion of “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge. I apologize for any confusion)

There’s so much I want to say about this chapter- I can’t go into detail, but I want to hit some of the highlights:

1.       As I mentioned in my previous post, God told me this year would be tough- that I would learn how to depend upon HIM. But how did I get to this point in my walk with Christ? Why did He give me such a challenging word?

Sorge says, “He put the cry there, and He destined an answer to that cry.” (pg 99-100) “Jesus never imposes this painful process upon us. Instead, He cultivates within us a great dissatisfaction and a deep cry for something higher and greater... Then, He answers that prayer.” (pg 106).

In the preceding year God cultivated a deep cry in me for MORE OF HIM. And in 2013 God set about answering that cry. Little did I know the amount of pain that would be involved in making room in my heart for MORE of Him. To have more of Him, there had to be less of me.

2.       I’ve also mentioned I have a toddler. Disciplining him isn’t easy. Sometimes I truly believe it does hurt me more than him. While shopping the other day he wanted a toy. I told him “no”. He proceeded to throw a HUGE fit. It would have been much easier to give in and buy him the toy. But for numerous reason’s, the answer was “no”.

Through this book and from my son, I am learning to appreciate God as being my Father.

“God does not discipline us simply to punish us for wrong behavior, but rather to restore us to right behavior.” (pg 101)

I don’t want to break my son or crush him. I don’t want to diminish his will or take away his dignity. I simply want him to learn how to resist giving into all his selfish desires and to think of others. My telling him “no” prepares him for a life time of challenges.

I’m also learning discipline doesn’t diminish my son's love for me- I'm his mommy no matter what. Likewise, I should love God more for who He is and less for what He gives me. I should long to be with Him even when He tells me “no”.

Finally, even in the middle of the biggest tantrums, my son clings to me…but do I cling to God like that?

I should, it’s what God wants.

“How did Jesus respond when the pain increased? He sought God more earnestly.” (pg 102)

3. As you know, I like politics. So it should come as no surprise that this next part captured my attention:

“True Christianity is seen only under intense pressure…The church in Laodicea knew very little persecution. The climate of Laodicea was that of religious tolerance. The Challenge for the Laodiceans was to serve Christ in the midst of a very permissive, hedonistic society. The Laodicean church had become lukewarm because of the fires of resistance had burned low.”(pg 111-112)

A common theme to this book is the need for God’s refining fire to purify us, to make us more interested in building HIS kingdom and less about building our own.

I challenge you to re-read the quote above, but to replace all the references of Laodicea with America.

America needs God refining fire…but can we handle the heat?

Has God created a cry within you?…if so, be ready, He will answer it.

 Join the discussion, “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge, You can read more about this chapter from: Jason, Sarah, Rick, Dusty, Kari, Glynn,  and Joell. (and possibly a few more people- sorry if I left you out. Please let me know so I can add you to the list.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just Jesus- Nothing More

“True faith doesn’t have a contingency plan.” (pg 89)


I’ve told you before (numerous times and in various ways) I like routine, I like to have “control”, and I tend to worry. 

So the above quote from “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge smacks me like a 2x4. 

Throughout my life it’s been my tendency to not only have back up plans, but to have back up plans FOR my back up plans! 

Talk about lack of faith. 

At the beginning of 2013 God gave me a word to guide me through this year. That word was DEPENDENCE.

I’m so very grateful God warned me of how hard this year would be, otherwise I’m not sure I’d  be blogging now- I’d have crawled in a hole. 

Each time a new trial would come, I kept remembering God’s promise that this year was to teach me to DEPEND on Him- not my spouse, my mom, my church, my friends, etc


It’s been a rough year. A year of growth in Christ. 

Without this year I’m not sure I would have ever been confronted with certain things that hindered my obeying God.

I’ve come to the point where I can honestly analyze if I am diligently seeking God or simply asking Him to bless my own efforts. The answer to that varies on the day and circumstance. But I’m growing. 

This year has also helped me realize that true faith believes when no answers are to be found. Faith believes the unknown. 

Like Peter when Jesus wanted to wash his feet, I’ve been known to say “no” because I don’t understand. But I’m slowly learning there is no middle ground in serving Christ. There’s no contingency plan. 

“Jesus is basically saying, “If you don’t allow Me to work in dimensions you presently don’t understand, then you have no part with Me.”” (pg 91)

I’ve also been learning what it means to WAIT on God and not take matters into my own hands. Waiting isn’t an excuse to be lazy, apathetic, or indulgent in this world. 

Waiting on God is about being ready for when He says “go”. (Please Tweet). 

So how do we prepare for His command to GO?

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."Matt 26:41 NIV

It’s that simple and that complex. 

No contingency plans. Just Jesus- Nothing More. Watch and pray.

Join the Book club discussing, “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge, by either grabbing a copy of the book and joining the weekly discussions and/or leaving a comment below. You can read more about this chapter from: Jason, Sarah, Rick, Dusty, Kari, Glynn,  and Joell. (and possibly a few more people- sorry if I left you out. Please let me know so I can add you to the list.)