Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Merry Christmas Y'all

Can you believe that we only have two more weeks until Christmas!!

Where on earth has the time gone ~ or should I say, Where on earth has 2011 gone?

I hope that you're enjoying this time of year and not getting all stressed out with your Christmas to-do list. 

I have to admit that I'm quite stress-less. But, the reason why is because I haven't started Christmas shopping yet. YIKES!!  Nope, not even a single present has been bought and you think I'd been wigging out by now. Christmas shopping stresses me out so, I'm just avoiding it all together. That is until this weekend rolls around...

Actually, I've surveyed our boys and neither one of then have a clue as to what they'd like this year.  Translation: They have everything they could possible need or want. We are very blessed!

If you're looking for some last minute gifts, I'd love to tell you about a way to win some great gifts for FREE. The best part is YOU get to pick them out!!

My friend, Karen Ehman, is hosting the 12 Days of Christmas on her blog this month and today's special guest is my other P31 Pal, Whitney Capps.

Whitney is offering $30 worth of merchandise from our Proverbs 31 online store.

Click here to find out more and if you have a few minutes, check out Whitney's video. She talks about celebrating Christmas Adam.  Have you ever celebrated Christmas Adam> I haven't but I think it's a great idea. What do you think?

Merry Christmas Y'all,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Need A Good Laugh Today?

Are you in desperate need for some comic relief?  If so, take ten minutes and hang out with your kids. They're bound to say or do something that will give you a good belly laugh.

This morning I was at my hairdressers getting a well needed highlight and cut.  Our youngest son had woke up hours earlier complaining of a sore throat and headache but I wasn't about to cancel my appointment. 

Okay, before you send me any awful mommy fan mail, let me explain...

My husband was off of work today and the doctor's first available appointment was not until after three o'clock. So, I knew Carson would be in good hands with his dad while I hopped over to my favorite salon for an hour or two.

As I sat in the salon chair, quietly enjoying a warm cup of hazel vanilla coffee while flipping through the pages of a Pottery Barn magazine, my cell phone rang.  I could see from the caller i.d. that it was Carson.  My heart did a double beat as a thought flashed through my mind, "I wonder if everything's okay?".

"Mom, my hand is cramping up!"

"What? What do you mean your hand is cramping up?"

(Internal thought) "I knew I should have stayed home."

"Mom, my hand is cramping up from playing too much X-box and I just found a new controller on the internet that has this special attachment which will keep my hands from cramping. And, Mom, I really think I need to order it now! It's only $39.99 and if I order it within the next 20 minutes, they'll give me FREE shipping! Mom, I think having this new controller will really keep my hands from cramping!!"

(Calmly) "Carson, we'll talk about it when I get home. Get off of the X-box, get off of the internet and by the way...where is Dad?"

"He's taking a nap...."


Got any funny kid stories to share? Do tell so we can all get a good belly laugh today.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Very Expensive Perfume

Have you ever given away something that was very special to you? Maybe it was a family heirloom or a pricey item that you originally bought for yourself? If so, was it hard to give away?  Were you the slightest bit hesitant or felt pressured in the process? Or, did it bring you a lot of joy?

Check out this verse...

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3 

In John 12:3, we see a woman named Mary, take a jar of very expensive perfume and pour it over Jesus’ feet during a dinner party. Not only that, but Mary wiped His feet with her hair. Seems strange? I’m sure Mary thought that her act of kindness would be well received. But instead, the dinner guests became very upset with her. Everyone that is, accept Jesus.

You see, Jesus knew Mary’s heart and that she was giving up her expensive perfume as an act of worship. Yes, it had cost Mary a lot – about a year’s worth of wages. But, she wasn’t focused on the perfume or anyone else in the room. Mary was focused on Jesus.

Sometimes our worship can be costly. Like Mary, are we willing to give up our time to help others? Maybe put aside our own desires for what we know will please God? Will we give something valuable away to a friend or stranger that is in need?

Let's challenge each other today with this question... How can we worship Jesus today by giving sacrificially? What can we do to keep our focus on Him and not worry about what others think?

Mary’s story reminds us what’s most important. When we give our time, talents and even our resources to other it’s a beautiful expression of worshiping Jesus. By serving and loving on those around us we are also serving Christ.

If you've done some special lately for a friend, family member, or someone you didn't even know, I'd love for you to share your story by leaving a comment. Be sure to include how this special act of kindness made you feel

Wanting more? Check out these additional Scripture verses:

Ephesians 6:6-8 1 Peter 4:9-11 Acts 20:35

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Heart Surgery

Just imagine if you were told that you needed heart surgery today...

What would you say?

How would you react?

What would you do?

This morning I found out that I needed to have surgery. Not on my physical heart but on my emotional heart. Not with a metal scalpel but with a two-edged sword. Not by a surgeon's hand but by the healing Word of God.

Printed on the pages of my devotional book this morning...

"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NLT)

As I examine my heart today, I become painfully aware of deceitful emotions that need to be removed. Secret motives that need to be repaired. Private thoughts that need to be replaced.

Yep, surgery is required. A decision needs to be made. There is no time to put off.

Will I say yes to the Surgeon? Will I trust His delicate hands? Will I surrender myself into His protective care?

What about you? Do you need surgery too? When you examine your heart what do you see?

Joy or Jealousy

Gratitude or Grumbling

Love or Hatred

Faith or Fear

What are the secret motives that have settled inside your heart? Are their unhealthy rewards you long for? What about the hidden actions that you think no one sees?

He sees.

Yet He still loves.

He wants to repair your heart today.

Will you let Him?

Jesus, Help me to have a heart that is pure. Remove all the broken pieces of pain and loneliness. Replace all my grumbling and discontentment with thankfulness. Carve out any fear and doubt that has woven it's way into the delicate places of my heart. Repair those parts that have been damaged by hatred. And, insert Your joy and peace in all of the hollow spaces of my heart.

Please change my negative emotions and motives. And, let me actions and words not only be honoring to others but most importantly to You. Thank you for my surgery today. Thank you for a new and improve heart. Let it always belong to You...forever and ever!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Make Me Count to Three

Do your children always obey when you ask them to do something?

If so, call me right away because I want to know your secret!

Thankfully, my boys don't exhibit an in-your-face disobedient attitude or an openly defiant behavior. However, they have developed the crafty art of delayed obedience which basically is...disobedience. We've been trying to nip that in the bud for a while now.

Just last weekend, I had asked my son to bring his dirty clothes downstairs so that I could wash a batch of laundry. Now, I already know what you're thinking. "Girlfriend, you should have your son wash his own clothes!"

Yes, yes, I know but sometimes it's easier to do things myself and on this particular occasion I wanted to just get'r done. I wasn't in a "let's teach him responsibility for the future" mood. My washer was empty and I was looking to fill it. Just being honest here. (sigh)

Anyways, I asked him twice but he kept replying with a question, "Can I just finish this game on xbox first?" Have you heard that one before? Well, finally I posed a question back to my son.

"Do you know that delayed obedience is disobedience?"

With that, he stopped his game, silently gathered up his dirty clothes, and brought them downstairs. I didn't have to say another word accept.

This morning during my quiet time I came across a question in my devotional book:

"What does the expression "delayed obedience is disobedience" mean to you?"

I immediately thought of my son and his dirty laundry. A big smile spread across my face but then another thought popped into my head...

"That's exactly what you did yesterday with your prayer journal."

My smile quickly faded and was replaced with a puzzling frown as I remembered about my plans to write in my prayer journal over the weekend. It had been weeks since I last updated it and there was a lot to write about.

Lately, our family has been experiencing some amazing miracles in the area of our finances. I wanted to capture my thoughts on paper so I wouldn't forget them. I also wanted to write words of gratitude and thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness during such a tough time in our lives.

But, although I had good intentions, I chose to do other things. A phone call to my sister, a trip to the grocery store, and those plants that desperately needed watering.

I told myself I'd get around to writing when the house got quiet and I could concentrate. But, those moments never came.

All weekend long thoughts of my prayer journal kept popping into my head but I kept pushing them aside. My strong desire to write eventually faded away and was replaced with an "I'll get around to it tomorrow" attitude.

Looking back, I honestly believe God had placed that desire in my heart this weekend. He was the one who kept reminding me about my journal but my response was similar to the "can I just finish..." answer I got from son regarding his dirty laundry.

My delayed obedience was disobedience - plain and simple.

Instead of feeling guilty, I was so glad that God gently pointed that out to me this morning. Besides, He would never want me to feel guilty to being with (Roman 8:1). I'm happy to report that my prayer journal has been updated!

So let me ask you a question.

Is there something you need to do BUT you just keep putting off?

Bring a meal to a sick friend?

Send a thank you card to a co-worker?

Have a consistent devotional time each day?

Fix your husband's favorite meal although it requires a lot of extra work in the kitchen?

Volunteer in your child's class?

Run an errand for your aging parent?

If your answer is yes, maybe you'll be encouraged and motivated to do that something today. I sure hope so.

I don't know about you but there's a wonderful sense of joy, peace and freedom that comes after finishing a task or project. Especially, if I sense that it's God who's given me the assignment in the first place.

You know what? I think it's the wonderful sense of obedience...

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Mom, That's Stealing!"

Would you consider yourself an honest person?

Would you go as far to say that you live a life of integrity?

I was challenged last week by my 16 year old when he caught me in the middle of agreeing to something that was not so honest. In fact, as he put it "it was stealing".

Last Thursday Brody was on Spring Break and went with several of his friends to a local amusement park. I agreed to pay half of his ticket and he would pay the difference to purchase a seasonal pass for the Summer.

Two days later, Carson was invited to a birthday party which was being held where? You got it...the same amusement park.

The three of us were sitting at the kitchen table talking about the party when Carson suggested that he could use Brody's seasonal pass instead of buying another ticket. "Mom, just think of all the money you could say. I look so much like Brody that they wouldn't even notice."

With little hesitation, I said "You know...that's a good idea."

A good idea? What was I thinking! I wanted to gobble up those words that had spilled out of my mouth but it was too late.

With the look of shock and horror on his face, Brody blurted out, "Mom, you've got to be kidding! That's stealing!!"

He was absolutely right and his words left me feeling smaller than a bed mite and stinkier than a skunk.

I immediately apologized, agreed that it would be completely wrong, and commended Brody for speaking the truth and challenging me to make the right choice in the situation.

Choosing truth instead of a lie.

Choosing integrity instead of dishonesty.

For years, we've drilled our kids with the motto "Honesty and integrity leads to righteousness." But, here my actions were speaking way louder than our family motto.

In all honesty, it's really embarrassing to share this story with you. Yet, there's such great lessons God's teaching me through this experience that it's totally worth it. If you can learn from my mistakes - more kuddos to you.

Here's what I'm learning...

Being an honest person and living a life of integrity requires a LOT of hard work. It's not something we can master all at once. It's a process.

Day by day.

Hour by hour.

Situation by situation.

Choice by choice.

The good news for you and me is that we don't have to accomplish living a life of integrity on our own. We can rely on Christ to guide us in every circumstance. He knows what it's like to live a
life of this earth with all the challenges and struggles the world offers yet do it with complete integrity.

I may have blown it big time last week in the area of honesty. But,today is a new day and my desire is to choose wisely. I'm asking God to help me live for Him so that my husband and children can not only hear our family motto "Honesty and integrity leads to righteousness" but experience it being lived out. I my life and in theirs.

Won't you join me?

Is there an area in your life where you're being challenged to be completely honest? Maybe you're struggling to be honest with someone like your spouse, your children, a parent, a co-worker, or even yourself?

If so, take a few minutes to pray and ask Christ to help you live a life of integrity. To speak the truth and make wise choices. Then trust that He will and look to Him for help in every situation that comes your way. I promise He'll be faithful to guide you and give you the strength you need.

Day by day

Hour by hour

Moment by moment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy 25th Anniversary

Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Gosh, I can't believe we've been married this long! The years have flown by so fast and there is still so much I want to experience with Keith.

Trips we long to take a Mediterranean cruise.

Adventures we hope to camping in Yosemite Park

Hobbies we want to taking up golf or scuba diving.

Some of these things we've talked about and planned for years. But, either tight finances, raising our boys, illnesses in our family, or crazy work schedules have kept us from actually experiencing them.

And, time goes on and on and on.

This year's anniversary started out with a big bang at 2:00 am when the phone abruptly rang which scared me half to death. I hate those middle-of-the-night calls. My brain always conjures up the worst case scenarios.

It was a prerecorded state-of-emergency message notifying us that a tornado was in our area and included instructions to immediately take shelter in the center of our home.

I quickly ran upstairs to wake up the boys. Within 2 minutes all four of us were bundled under the covers of our king-sized bed with our Malti-poo, Chivas, curled up in a ball nearby.

At first, we laid there just listening to the sounds of the storm bearing down on us. No one said a word. Then, we took turns praying for God's protect over us, our home, and our community. By the time we finished praying, the winds had died down a bit and the lightening seemed to settle. It was still raining cats and dogs but the howling sounds had stopped and my heart wasn't racing anymore.

The boys eventually returned to their rooms and we all fell back to sleep.

Early this morning, as the sun was coming up over the horizon, we surveyed the damage outside. It was obvious that a horrible storm had ripped through our neighborhood. In our yard along, we had 3 large trees that snapped in half, a basketball goal that had toppled over, and debris everywhere.

After the boys left for school, Keith and I decided to sit for a while and have our morning coffee. I smiled at him and said, "Gee, I sure hope this storm isn't a sign of what the next 25 years of our marriage will look like!" He laughed and said "Yeah, no kidding!"

Yes, over the past 25 years we've definitely experienced "storms" in our marriage. Storms that sometimes felt like seventy mile an hour winds, furious lightening strikes, torrential rains, and tornadoes touching down.

But, in the midst of it all, we've huddled close together and prayed for God's protection every single time. And, every single time God has been faithful to see us through. Sure, there has been mental or emotional "debris" that needed to be cleaned up afterward but with God's help we've surveyed the damage and restored everything to new again.

As I look out the window right now, I'm amazed that there isn't a single cloud in the sky. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and there's a gentle breeze in the air. It's absolutely gorgeous and I'm getting to enjoy the calm that comes after a storm.

Yes, I hope this moment is a sign of what the next 25 years of our marriage will be like.

Absolutely priceless.

Happy Anniversary Honey...I love you so much!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

We Need to Talk

Do you consider yourself a good communicator?

I do but I'm always looking for ways to improve when it comes to talking with others whether it's my husband, my children, co-workers, or friends.

For me, it's easy to share a personal story, maybe a few fun facts, or something good that has brightened my day. I love to encourage others or tell them something that brings a smile to their face.

It's sharing the not-so-good news that I need help with. I normally beat around the bush or over explain myself. I tend to apologize profusely and drag things out instead of getting to the point. It's just really hard for me and I'm not good at it.

This morning I read a great article on Michael Hyatt's blog about this very topic. For those of you who don't know Michael Hyatt, he's the Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing and a SUPER smart guy.

He shares 6 important suggestions we can follow when it comes to giving not-so-good news to someone else. I don't know about you but I need to start implementing these suggestions today!

If you're interested in reading the article (it's short, to the point, and won't take long at all) click here

Then hop back over to my blog and tell me what's the one thing you're choosing to apply today from what you've learn. I'd love to know!

Have a wonderful weekend sweet friends...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras

This morning hundreds and thousands of people will line the streets of New Orleans to celebration Fat Tuesday, better known as Mardi Gras.

As a child, I can remember the excitement and anticipation this day would bring as our family headed out to the parade routes to watch the marching bands, beautiful costumes, and massive ornate floats as they'd pass by. As my daddy would securely hold me on his shoulders, I 'd holler out, "Throw me something, Mister!" in hopes that I'd catch a beautiful long strand of beads to proudly display around my neck.

King Cakes were also a big part of the Mardi Gras season and I can remember my mother making them from scratch. Memories of her pulling out this sweet sugary pastry from our double dutch oven still makes my mouth water.

In fact, my mother-in-law surprised us by shipping two King Cakes which arrived at our front door yesterday. I've been licking my fingers all morning, trying to keep cinnamon icing from getting all over my keyboard. Just one slice with a cup of coffee....oh, so good!

In honor of my dear friends and family who still live in New Orleans, I'd like to share the story of how King Cakes were originated.

The History of King Cakes

The King Cake is believed to have originated in France around the 12th century. These early Europeans celebrated the coming of the three wise men bearing gifts twelve days after Christmas calling it the Feast of the Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or King's Day. The main part of the celebration was the baking of a King's Cake to honor the three kings.

The cakes were made circular to portray the circular route used by the kings to get to the Christ Child, which was taken to confuse King Herod who was trying to follow the wise men so he could kill the Christ Child.

In these early King Cakes a bean, pea, or coin was hiding inside the cake. The person who got the hidden piece was declared king (or queen) for the day or was said to be blessed in the coming year. The bean or coin was eventually replaced with a small plastic baby to symbolize the Christ Child. The person who receives a piece of cake with the baby hidden inside is expected to carry on the carnival festivals by hosting the next King Cake party.

To order a King Cake or find out more, check out this video from Manny Randazzo's Bakery. People stand in line for blocks just to purchase one of their cakes!

Happy Mardi Gras, N'Awlins!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Calm My Anxious Heart

Have you ever felt anxious or unsettled but really didn't know why?

The other morning I woke up feeling this way. My to-do list was small, there were no major problems looming over me, and I had gotten plenty of rest the night before. But, I still felt so anxious inside. It was as if there was a car motor running inside of me that I couldn't turn off.

At first, I decided to ignore the feelings and just go about my day. But, as my day went on the "motor" kept running. My plan obviously wasn't working. So, I switched gears and decided to lay down for 15 minutes to rest and pray. As I did, it dawned on me that I hadn't exercised in days.

I normally go to the gym 3-4 times a week to keep my energy up and my waistline in check but lately I had slacked off. I had made excuses and it was starting to show.

For me, exercise not only keeps my scale happy but it also reduces my internal stress levels. With only 30 minutes of cardio, my body releases lots of "happy" chemicals called endorphins which leaves me feeling energized and stress-less.

It works for me and I bet it will work for you. Are you feeling anxious today and can't quite figure out why? Try taking a brisk walk with a friend or dust off your bike and go for a ride. If you belong to a local gym, take time to go. Make it a priority to exercise and take care of yourself. You'll be so glad you did!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Headline News Reports

Does watching the headlines news sometimes leave you feeling discouraged and frustrated?

Every morning I head to the gym for a quick workout before I start my day at the office. I always take my ear buds so I can listen to the news while pounding away some unwanted pounds on the treadmill.

For me, it's important to find out what's going on in the world and stay updated on the latest headlines. Hearing about the new fashion trends is always fun too!

Although I want to stay informed, I can sometimes get discouraged while watching the news. After 30 minutes of hearing about political disputes, fighting in the Middle East, natural disasters, and another disease outbreak, I'm ready to toss a 5 pound weight through the t.v. screen and run to the nearest coffee shop for a mocha latte and cinnamon roll.

It's then that I have to remind myself that although I live in a world that is so imperfect and scary at times, I serve an awesome God who has overcome it.

In John 16:33, Jesus tells us that the world is full of troubles and difficulties. But, He also says that we should take heart (be confident, courageous, assured) because He has overcome the world.

Sure, I can't dig a hole in the sand and stick my head in it to avoid knowing what's going on in this world. But, it's important for me to keep a healthy perspective and focus on the fact that God loves me, is always with me, and promises to take care of me no matter what is going on in the world around me.

Knowing these truths helps me stay confident, courageous, and assured.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Change Your Teenager's Thoughts

Wishing you could change the way your teenager thinks?

Below is article that I found this week which gives great tips on how to help your teenager renew his/her mind. You may even discover these concepts can rejuvenate your own thought life!

Teaching Teens the Life Skill of Renewing Their Minds.

The world is full of counterfeit truth claims, but you can teach your teen to live according to God's reality.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).

The most important skill you can teach your teen is the renewing of his mind. The mistake many parents make is to try to renew their teen's mind for him. Renewing the mind is a day-to-day process of thinking biblically. You might remember in our last issue we talked about how to choose God's reality as the Bible defines it rather than alternate and counterfeit versions of reality. The car commercial that promises significance through horsepower and luxury is presenting a "truth claim" that is counter to the truth claims of the Bible.

The world is full of counterfeit truth claims, but you can teach your teen to live according to God's reality. When the mind is renewed, God's will and reality become clearer. You may be thinking, But how do I teach my teen the skill of renewing the mind?

To get started, you should first prepare your teen.


Begin by making sure your teen has the right set of expectations. Some people approach God's Word with the wrong set of expectations.

For example, does the Bible promise that if you follow all the commandments, you will have no struggles in life? Of course not. But it's not uncommon for a person to read the Bible with this kind of faulty expectation.

When your daughter opens the Bible, what should she expect? Teach her to look for who God is and what His world is really all about.

Next, help her understand that reading the Bible is having a conversation with God. As she reads, she can look for things that apply to her own circumstances and place in life.

The next step in helping your teen to renew their mind is to give them a biblical perspective.


Put God's Word into the context of your teen's everyday life. Many parents make the mistake of assuming their teen's world is the same as their own world.

Start by looking closely at your teen's world. Walk in his shoes. Listen to the messages he gets when he walks into the classroom every day where a biblical worldview is challenged.

Consider the effect of video games he plays or TV he watches. Your first challenge is to step back and evaluate the messages your son is getting throughout the day.

Next, help your son gain a biblical perspective on these messages. Ask:

  • "What did you hear today that would have sounded out of place at our dinner table?"
  • "What are the promises that you heard on TV tonight? Are they true?"
  • "What message does that video game convey?"

Speak about God's truth in contrast to the other messages. You might say: "The Bible says you and I are going to live forever, and we have a unique opportunity every day to do things that will last into eternity. What do you think we could do today that would last forever?" Or, "When God looks at you, what does He see?"

In addition to helping your teen gain a biblical perspective, you should also teach them about spending personal time with God.

Personal Time With God

Help your teen carve out regular, daily time with God to study the Bible and pray.

When I was a new Christian at the age of 17, a Young Life leader said to me, "If you read your Bible every day, God will tell you all kinds of things that will help you know how to live your life!" Boy, that got my attention.

Encourage (don't nag) your teen to commit to a specific time every day. Have him pick the time and spot.

In my own parenting, this challenge led my wife and me to talk with our 14-year-old son about canceling all the video game time for the rest of the school year to make room in his life for prayer. Commitment takes sacrifice.

Here's another suggestion:

Start out small (perhaps 10 or 15 minutes to begin). Divide the time into three simple activities:

  • Pray (ask God to speak through His Word and to give understanding)
  • Read
  • Reflect (ask "What did I just hear or learn about who God is and what His world is like?")

Quality Time With God's People

Learning from God's Word is a corporate activity. Your teen should learn from God's Word with other people, starting with you.

Listen to Dr. Dobson or another radio teacher on a regular basis, discuss Sunday's sermon at the dinner table on Tuesday or attend a family camp this summer.

Psychologists say your teen's peer group is important to his development as a person.

Find rich environments where your teen can learn from God's Word with his peer group. Often that will be a Bible-focused youth group, but it also might be a Bible study you start in your home, or a conference teens attend together. Continually evaluate the quality of the teaching and converse with your teen about what he is learning.

Finally, in helping your teen to begin renewing their mind, emphasize the importance of the quest for truth.

Quest for Truth

Discovering what it means to live out our faith is a lifelong journey as we integrate what we believe with every area of life.

God will be with us, which is the most important part of the quest.

Teach your teen that God desires to reveal His truth to us. God is personal. He talks to us all the time: through creation, through others, and most clearly through His Word.

We can trust God's Word, expecting that He will do what He promises: speak to us, lead us, provide for us, give us everything we need for life and godliness in Christ Jesus.

Share your own quest with your teen so he knows the power of your story. Learning to think like a Christian requires renewing the mind. Teaching your teen how to do this and live according to God's will — and why that's important — might be the best gift you can give.

Learn the art of asking great questions. Jesus asked so many good questions. In fact, He often answered a question with a question!

Start by carving out time for you and your teen to talk. Engage your teen with life questions that apply directly to your teen's circumstances. For example, you might ask, "Have you ever read anything in the Bible that might apply to that?" or "Have you looked at Proverbs to see what God might have to say about that?"

What you can't do is ask a question that has an obvious answer or that implies you already know what the right answer is, kind of a "warmer, warmer" sort of hunt for the answer. Make the question a legitimate one so your son finds the answer on his own.

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules. Recently my son accompanied me on a business trip where we had a heart-to-heart talk. I was ready with life questions to get us talking. Before I started rattling off the questions, I asked God what He thought I should focus on. His answer surprised me: "Ask him what was his favorite part of the day."

Wasn't this a great article? What is the one thing that really stood out to you in this article? Which one of these tips will you start applying to your life or your teenager's life today? Do tell....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday's with Robin's Nest


Our trip to Canada was incredible. The weatherman said there would be snow all weekend long but we had blue skies and the sun was shining the entire weekend. God is so good!

Our flights were great too and as for the women of Calvary Baptist Church in Oshawa...well, let me just say they are some of the most precious and tender-hearted women I've ever met.

Thanks for your prayers, words of encouragement, and great scripture verses! I'll be sure to include them in my new spiral index scripture memory pack for 2011.

As for the winner of the Starbucks Gift Card... it's Chef Diane!!! Diane, please email me ( your mailing address so I can send that gift card out to you this week.

Please stop by again to say hello, share another scripture verse, or even a prayer request. I'd love to stay in touch and pray for you.

Sending cyber hugs your way!

If you've hopped on over from Robin's Nest, I"m so thrilled that you're joining us today.

I'm on my way to Toronto, Canada this morning with my dear friend and ministry partner, Renee Swope. We'll be at Calvary Baptist Church in Oshawa, Ontario. I've never been to Canada before so I'm very excited to say the least. The weather will be way to frigid for this southern gal but I'm taking lots of coats, scarves, boots, and gloves .

I'm tell you a little secret about myself...

I really don't like flying. Actually, I'll go as far to say I h-a-t-e flying. So, whenever I board another plane and travel to another city to tell another woman that Jesus loves her, it's out of complete obedience to God. I may turn gray a few years sooner than I had planned but He's totally worth it. Besides, there's always Clairol, right?

I told Robin that it would be so much fun to have a give-away. The prize? A Starbucks gift card. All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite scripture verse below and if you'd like to tell me something about yourself that would be awesome too.

I'll have the drawing on Sunday night so be sure to check back Monday morning to see if you won!

Until then, have an awesome weekend and know that I'm praying for you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hitting the Bull's-Eye

Last week Keith took our oldest son, Brody, skeet shooting.

Honestly, I was a little stressed out about the idea. Seeing my son hold a 20 gauge shotgun in his hands was a wee bit too daunting for me. It didn't take long for that imaginary movie reel to start playing in my head, displaying frightening full color images of the "what if's" that could happen during what appeared to be a pretty dangerous outing from my point of view.

I almost threw my hands up and shouted "NO WAY"! Instead, I hit the stop button on my "what if" thoughts and reminded myself this was a trip they had been planning for months . Plus, Keith and Brody would be shooting at target posters and clay pigeons at an official shooting range so it wasn't like any blood would be shed. At least, I hoped not.

Keith did a lot of hunting with his dad when he was young. Now it would be Brody's turn for that same rite of passage experience with his dad. Ya know, one of those father-son bonding things.

Here is my precious 16 year old son with a shotgun in his hand. He was SO pumped up!

Someone is getting feisty. Keith thinks he's Wyatt Earp

I'm not sure who's more excited about the trip - Keith or Brody?

They are such great buddies. I just love this picture :)

Here are their target posters. Keith's is on the left and Brody's is on the right.

This was Brody's first time shooting a 35 caliber and take a look at the bull's-eye on his target (right). Brody's second shot landed smack dab in the middle of the target! When he walked in the house with the poster in one hand and a big smile plastered on his face, I wasn't sure whether to be excited or a little freaked out. Now, that is what I call precision shooting and where on earth did Brody get such accuracy? The only target practice he's had is on Xbox 360.

It makes me think of the targets in my own life...

The personal goals I'm hoping to achieve.
The adventurous moments I'm waiting to experience.
The pie-in-the-sky dreams I'm longing to fulfill.

I looked up the word bull's-eye in the dictionary and here's the definition:
1. The small central circle of a target
2. A direct hit.
3 . The precise accomplishment of a goal or purpose

What if I could know for sure that I would hit the bull's-eye every time I set a personal goal for myself? What if I could aim my life along a specific course and be guaranteed a direct hit? Or, set out to accomplish something big in my life and have 100% assurance of knowing I'd meet my goal or purpose with complete accuracy?

I often wonder if my own fear of failure or lack of confidence keep me from trying in the first place?

What about you? Have you ever set out to accomplish something in your life but half way through the process you became discouraged and weary? Maybe your target appeared to be moving away from you instead of closer like you had planned. Or, what started out to be an important goal has been reduced in your mind to "not that big of a deal anymore". Maybe you tell yourself, "This is way to hard and it's just not worth it". I know I do.

There are times when I loose confidence in myself or want to just give up on a particular goal I've set. Do you ever feel that way too? When that starts to happen I'm reminded of what I should do next.

Here are a few scripture verses that I've memorized over the years. When I start to feel discouraged or begin to think that I'll never obtain my goal, I pause then shift my focus off of my feelings and onto God's truth. His Word tells me....

Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up, do you not perceive (see) it? Isaiah 43: 18-19

For I am God's workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which God has prepared in advance for me to do. Ephesians 2:10

Blessed is the woman who perseveres under trials (difficulty), because when she has stood the test, she will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36

You may be feeling discouraged today. Maybe you don't see any progress in a certain area of your life and it totally frustrates you. I can so relate!

Let's look at the Truth together and not be swayed by our feelings. How about we shift our focus and allow God to remind us that our perseverance will be rewarded and that He is doing a new thing in our lives. That God has hand picked special assignments for us which have been prepared before we were ever born. Let's look for that new thing that He's doing in your lives today.

As for the skeet shooting trip, they had a blast. Now Carson, our 11 year old is begging to go. It's time for this momma to throw up her hands and shout, "NO WAY"!