Monday, June 30, 2008

Good morning all my bloggy friends! I hope you are having a great Monday! God has given you this day and has a great plan in mind for you. Are you ready to accept His plan for today irregardless of how you feel or how others treat you?

Thank you for praying for my speaking on Sunday. It was a blessing to be able to share God's Word. It humbles me to think that He gives me so many opportunities to share what He has accomplished in my heart and in my life. I pray that I can bring glory to Him.


Friday, June 27, 2008

I wanted to share a really great conversation I had with my 12 year old daughter. She loves kids and helps alot over the summer months with my daycare children.

Daughter: Mom, these kids are driving me crazy today!

Me: Why?

Daughter: I have played and played with them but they always whine and cry for more! We have already played 3 board games and when I told them that we weren't playing any more, they whine and cry. Their whining is driving me crazy!

Me: I'm so glad!

Daughter: (puzzled and disgusted look) What?!

Me: Now you know exactly how I feel when you are given so much and still want more and then when you don't get your own way, the whining begins.
Maybe God is trying to teach you how I feel when you act like these children

Daughter: (stomps off in a huff)

God is so good! He is always available to teach us what He wants us to learn. I can't say that I shouldn't have learned the same lesson. I struggle with wanting what I want and wanting it right now. I have even went to God with my whinings over what I want or think I need. My first step in trying to overcome this obstacle is to think often about all the wonderful things God has blessed me with. By having a thankful attitude, I am less likely to focus on what I don't have. This does help, but I continue to struggle with my selfishness. What tips do you have on how to be more content?

Have a great day

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Here's a powerful devotion written by my friend LuAnn Prater. For responses to her devotion check out her blog at

I Have a Headache
Luann Prater

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:3 (NIV)

A study done by Dr. Lew Losoncy revealed why women listen to advice from their hairstylists more readily than from their shrinks – because hairstylists have license to touch them. We all long for closeness, for someone we trust to reach out and touch us.

In the 1980s I owned a busy hair salon with six stylists. On late nights and Saturdays the place would be swarming with people anxious to tell someone about their day. We would hear stories that could curl your hair without a perm!

Our shop had both male and female clients, so we often heard both sides of the story. Unfortunately, we witnessed the decline and destruction of many marriages. Many times all three involved in love triangles were our customers; the feeling unappreciated wife; the husband wondering what happened to his princess; and the other woman looking for solace in someone else’s prince charming.

Divorce claims about half of all marriages, even in our churches. The number one thing couples fight about is finances, followed closely by sex. Yes, I said the 3-letter word. When we fall in love, our passion burns for our spouse. But over time, children, bills and routine can get in the way of true intimacy with our mate. That intimacy is essential for a couple, and if it is not found at home, Satan often takes the opportunity to show us other places to find it.

Wives in our salon admitted that they used sex as a tool or as a weapon in their marriages. Husbands would lament to us that the wind had to be blowing in just the right direction before their wives were “in the mood.” We saw lonely women, longing to have a man in their lives, making it their mission to find out and provide what pleased these unhappy, married men. An affair might start from a single deep conversation, or maybe a tender touch, or a gentle hug that lingered.

In Genesis 2:24 God tells us, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” When we make the commitment to become one, we no longer have sole ownership of our bodies. In 1 Corinthians 7:4 it says, “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.”

God tells us this for a reason. He longs for us to enjoy our spouse through physical intimacy. When we put stipulations on intimacy, or neglect this area of our marriage, we prime ourselves for trouble. Closeness with our spouse is essential for a healthy, happy marriage – and physical intimacy is a large part of that.

If your marriage or martial intimacy is on the rocks, God can help you restore it. If He can calm the waves and raise the dead, He can bring life back to a loveless or sexless marriage.

Dear Lord, give me the desire to love my husband sexually and the ability to enjoy him. Teach us both how to be more loving and intimate with one another. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
The Man You’ve Always Wanted is the One You Already Have by Paula Friedrichsen

Do You Know Him?

Confessions of an Adulterous Woman: Lies that Got me There, Truths that Brought Me Back by Lydell Hetrick Holtz

Visit Luann Prater’s blog

Application Steps:
Begin to pray intentionally for your mate each day. Ask God to shine his light on your soul and reveal the things in you that cause strife in your marriage. Ask for forgiveness, and for intimacy to be restored between you.

Ask if your husband if he is willing to pray out loud together for your marriage.

Write love notes to your spouse and mean them.

Seek counseling if need be.

What did I love about my husband when we met?

When will I make time for him today?

How can I show him that I love him?

Power Verses:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (NIV)

Ephesians 5:33 “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 13:6-8, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (NIV)
I have been working with a marketing firm on making my messages more impactful and I have been working on rewriting my "Is that You God?" message which is about the different ways that God speaks to us and how to determine when it is God speaking. I will be speaking on it on Sunday morning at Colfax Christian Church so I'd appreciate your prayers for God's words to slip from my mouth.

Anyway, as I read the book of Jonah this morning, in chapter 2 verse 10 it said that the Lord spoke to the fish and it spit Jonah out onto the shore. I thought about how I spent many years of my Christian life without hearing God. It wasn't that He wasn't speaking, but that I wasn't intentionally listening. If God spoke to a fish, how much more willing would He be to speak to His children.

I want to encourage you to be intentional about looking and listening for God, today. He is always speaking, the question is - are you listening?

Have a great day hearing our God

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I popped over to Lysa Terkeurst's (President of Proverbs 31 Ministries) blog today and wanted to share one of her God experiences at She Speaks

She Sees
The gals at P31 often joke that one of the main reasons we do She Speaks isn't for a "she" at all. There is a man that works for the hotel that we've all grown to love. He used to be employed by another hotel where She Speaks was held. Then when he moved, we moved.We'll call him Tom.Tom keeps up with us all year and will often ask us to pray for him.So, it was no surprise this year that when our staff started experiencing spiritual attack before the conference, so did Tom. The day before She Speaks, Tom went to the dentist for a routine cleaning. While there, the dentist informed him that he had a hole in one of his teeth which would require an emergency root canal ASAP.Tom called LeAnn, our executive director, and told her about the situation. He would schedule his root canal around our conference. Hello customer service. Hello caring about us in ways that most companies can't even fathom these days.LeAnn told him to go ahead and get his root canal done right away even if it meant he'd miss the first day of She Speaks. He came back to the hotel to take care of a few things and ran into a bunch of us P31 gals before heading to the dentist. He told us about having to leave for the root canal and how he knew it was what us Christian women would call "attack."Well, Luann, our prayer room coordinator, would not let Tom leave until we prayed over him. She laid hands on that man and called on God to heal him. I mean she flat out called out for HEALING! Of a tooth! With a hole. That the dentist had just stuck an instrument in and confirmed the existence of with X-Rays.I was nervous.I knew God could heal Tom's tooth. But what if He didn't? Would this somehow negate all the spiritual investments we'd been making in Tom's life? The next day, Tom walked into She Speaks beaming. He'd gone to the dentist, gotten prepped for the root canal, and then when the procedure was about to begin the dentist started apologizing profusely.He couldn't find the hole. He couldn't find anything wrong with Tom's tooth at all. NOTHING!!!Tom shared his story of answered prayer with the hotel staff.The rest of the She Speaks weekend, our prayer room was not just filled with women from the conference. It was also filled with hotel employees as well.Do we do She Speaks for women?Absolutely.But can God take any situation and use it in the most unlikely ways to draw people to himself? You bet.Today, I'm going to challenge myself to stop looking at employees of the businesses I frequent as fixtures of the store. Rather I want to see them as people... real people...with real needs... who my REAL God dearly loves. God, help us all see more clearly.
I read about Peter being put in prison by King Herod for being a part of the church in Acts 12 today. As he was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with chains, an angel of the Lord awoke him and told him to get dressed and follow him. The chains fell off and he was able to walk out of the prison without harm or interference. This gave me such encouragement to know that no matter how dismal a situation may be, nothing is impossible with God.

I recently was talking with a friend who is experiencing some really tough times. I could empathize as she felt like climbing into a hole and never coming back out. I could only pray and assure her that through God, we can overcome anything. I could assure her because I have seen it in my own life. I realize that sometimes that is much easier said than done, but just as in Acts 12, our God is always faithful - even and especially when you are in the midst of suffering.

Believe in your heart, today, that God will carry you through the circumstances you face. Trust in the One who is trustworthy.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good morning all my bloggy friends! I'm back home and on my normal schedule - whatever "normal" is. O.K., the whole flying experience was not what I'd hoped it would be. I thought since I didn't have motion sickness in the car, I wouldn't on the plane - not so much. But my sweet faithful Lord, got me where I needed to be and then back again. He is so trustworthy! The conference was good and I found myself in a different role than last year. God put many women in my path that were new to the conference and very nervous about their speaking and writing presentations. He gave me the opportunity to encourage and inspire these women to step out in faith and say yes to Him even when they were afraid. God is so good!

I heard someone say, courage is not never being afraid - but being afraid and doing it anyway! I pray that you will have great courage today.

Have a great day experiencing God

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hello y'all! I'm blogging from Charlotte North Carolina today, y'all. Y'all thought my southern drawl was bad before, just wait till I get back. God and I did it again. He pulled me through when I just wasn't too sure about doing the whole flying thing. I can't say that I enjoyed flying, but I can say that I did it - only with the strength of God. The flight to Atlanta was very odd - I felt as though my head was floating and was afraid if I moved it too quickly I was going to lose my breakfast so I spent much of the flight with my eyes closed and my head laid safely on the seat. The flight from Atlanta to Charlotte was better - we flew at a lower altitude and my head didn't float. It's always a positive when your head isn't floating. I'm not excited about the trip home, but again, I know that God will help me through each second.
God is already at work. There were 2 women sitting next to me on the second flight who were also attending She Speaks. They had missed the deadline to sign up for the shuttle from the airport to the hotel, so we gave them a ride in our rental car. As we waited at the airport for our luggage and car, I got to know them very well. They both are from Florida and have a great passion to serve God in their women's ministry in their local churches. It has been a blessing to meet them. We saw them again at dinner last night, before we went to our room for bed and then came to breakfast at the same time this morning. God has placed us together for a reason and I can't wait to see what it is.
I was also able to reconnect with LuAnn Prater this morning who was my speaker mentor last year. She is a wonderful woman and gave me the confidence to step out and speak about what God has done in my life.
God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

I'm off again to see what all our Lord has planned for me today


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nothing Is Too Small for God
Melanie Chitwood

“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 (NLT)

When I encouraged a friend at church to pray about a troubling situation, she responded in a way that, at some point, we may have all felt. She discounted my suggestion by saying, “God has much more important things to worry about than my little problems.” I assured her that nothing was too small to present to God, but I don’t think I convinced her.

Later as I thought about her response, I wondered what had led her to this incorrect conclusion about God. Had she heard this idea while she was growing up? Had someone important made her feel like her needs were insignificant and then she transferred this idea to God’s thoughts about her?

We have to be careful that our ideas about God come from God, not from someone else, not even from a Christian teacher or pastor or book. To know who God is and how He views us, we need to go to God’s Word.

When we look at Scripture we see that God’s character is strikingly different from this lady’s conclusion about who God is. God’s Word affirms over and over that He is a God who cares about the details. In Matthew 10:30 God is so intimately acquainted with us that “the very hairs on your head are all numbered” (NLT). Psalm 147:4 tells us that God “counts the stars and calls them all by name” (NLT).
In Mark 5 we learn about a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years. Perhaps this woman in Scripture is like my church friend. She’s believed God has more important things to worry about than her small health problem. However, in her desperate desire to be healed, she decides that if there’s even a chance that her suffering will end, she’s taking that chance. Scripture tells us she “touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” (Mark 5: 28-29 NIV).
Immediately Jesus stops and asks who has touched Him. Considering the circumstances, it’s astounding to see Jesus pause for one woman. With a huge crowd pressing in on Him, with dust and noise and pulls and tugs, Jesus stops. He stops for one small woman who had the faith to reach out with one small touch.
Scripture tells us who God really is. He’s not a God who loves from afar. He’s a God who cares about the details of our lives. Nothing is too small to present to Him. Nothing escapes His attention, His care, and His love.
Dear Lord, I am amazed that You are intimately acquainted with the details of my life and that You, the Lord of the all the Universe, care about me and the small matters of my life. Thank You for being such a personal God. Thank You for the ultimate proof that You care about me, Your death on a cross. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Our daughter is in the midst of a 3 day, 12 game, basketball tournament. Basketball is her passion and oh does it make her daddy proud. When she was a baby, he emptied the few baby dolls I had placed in her crib and replaced them with basketballs and baseballs. During the season, he and her would sit and watch basketball together from infancy. It's no wonder it's her passion after all these years of brain washing!

I will be leaving this morning to watch her games for the next two days, and then coming home long enough to pack up and head out again. I then am going to Charlotte NC for the She Speaks Conference. It's something I have looked forward to ever since I got back last year. It was a life changing experience and I know I will come back changed once again. God is faithful and will show us more of Him if we would just seek Him.

I will be flying for the first time and am so excited to see God's faithfulness in another aspect of my life. For many years I let fear guide my life, but I will no longer fear. I will only trust in the One who is trustworthy.

I pray that not only will I be blessed by this conference but that I may be a blessing to others that I come in contact with this weekend.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to post again, it may not be until I return.

Have a great day living in expectation of great blessings from our sweet Lord and Savior

Monday, June 16, 2008

Good morning all my bloggy friends! Hope this post finds you doing great! As I read Psalm 103 and 104 this morning, something jumped out at me. Both chapters were about how great our God is and how we should praise Him at all times. They are very encouraging and inspiring. 104:29 said ....when You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. It was a great reminder to me that God gives me every single breath that I take - something that I take for granted and very seldom think about - breath. If there are times in our lives that we are in the midst of our own pity party and think there is nothing to be thankful for - just remember, there are many reasons to be thankful, even down to each breath we take. God wants to have a part of every aspect of your life, are you allowing Him to?

Breath easy today, my friend, for if God is for you - who can be against you


Friday, June 13, 2008

God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good. I praise God for allowing me to tell others about what amazing things He has done in my life. I regret saying no to Him for so many years because I was too afraid. I can see now what I've been missing out on. I will no longer allow fear to guide any part of my life.

God spoke the words to the high school students I talked with last night. What a great group of young people! I pray that their hearts were touched by God.

I have shared with you about the medical issues of my gramps. We have been stumped for months as doctors search for a reason for his paralysis. They have finally concluded that cancer has spread throughout his body and is attacking his spine. I have wanted an answer and now I have one - just not what I was hoping for. I will thank God that He is in control and ask that you pray for our family as we endure difficult times.

Enough about me - I would like to encourage you to remember something today:
There is no high or pleasure in this world that compares with the Most High. Don't sell yourself short by looking elsewhere for what you need - He's right in front of you

Have a great day and weekend

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thank you for those praying over my message for last night. It was such a sweet blessing to speak to the women of Pontiac Bible Church. God was able to use my mouth to impact those who have lived their lives guided by fear. What a wonderful and hospitable group of women.

Tonight I head to Little Galilee Christian Camp in Clinton IL to speak during campfire for a group of high school students. I pray that my transparency about my mistakes as a teen will inspire and encourage these young people to stand firm in their faith.

God is so good and faithful. His will for all of us is abundant life - a life filled with His joy, love and fellowship. Just say yes and let God do the rest.

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spiritual Sleep

“But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.” Matthew 13:25

A woman asked me how she could keep satan from attacking and discouraging her. I gave her the true, but typical answers: Pray, stay in the Word and keep in contact with other Christians. I could easily give the advice, but I wondered to myself, why I had recently felt “spiritually asleep.” The next morning, as I read Matthew 13:24-30, when Jesus told the parable of the weeds, verse 25 stuck out and spoke clearly to my heart. This verse reminded me that satan could only do what I allow him to - when I am "sleeping", or not paying attention, he can plant weeds in my mind. When I am more focused on myself than God, I am "sleeping" spiritually. It is the best time for satan to attack. We must do all we can to stay awake and attentive, which does include praying, studying the Bible and fellowshipping, but with an open heart and mind to God! Keep your focus on God, and do not give satan the chance to sow weeds in your life.

Dear Lord, help me keep my focus on you because I know that when it turns to me, I am easily distracted by satan. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application steps: Look back over the times that you have felt “spiritually asleep” or far from God. Decipher what you were and weren’t doing that would be pleasing to God. Work hard at avoiding those things that lull you to “sleep”.

Reflections: I have discovered a few things that personally, tend to put me to “sleep” – focus on myself or things around me, poor diet, lack of exercise and disobedience.

Power Verse: John 14:30-31 “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.”

Have a great day being "awake"!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! What a great day to give praise to our Lord. I am truly blessed and so are you. If you don't "feel" like praising God right now, make a list of all the things you have to be thankful for - I guarantee it will put praise in your heart and a spring in your step.

I began reading the book of Lamentations this morning. As I read, I quickly realized that there have been times in my life when I lamented and had good reason to - but God held me up during those times when I couldn't stand on my own, He comforted me and pulled me through. I began to praise Him and thank Him for all those difficult times because without them, I wouldn't know in my heart how faithful our God is. I am humbled by His sweet love and grace.

Have a great day with a grateful heart

Monday, June 9, 2008

Good morning my bloggy friends! Hope this post finds you well. You will never guess what I was able to do over the weekend, something I haven't done in a looong time, - REST. It was very strange, but as I watched my husband drag more and more everyday last week, I realized that it was time for both of us to take some time off from our busy schedule. Today, I'm ready to start again. I ask for your prayers for my speaking this week - I have an opportunity to speak to a group of women on Wednesday and a group of high schooler's on Thursday. I have been working with a marketing firm who has helped me to rewrite my messages in order to have more of an impact for Christ. I will be using my renewed messages this week for the first time and I am so excited. Please pray that God will prepare my heart and the hearts of those who will hear His message

Have a great day

Friday, June 6, 2008

Principles of obedience - you want to teach your child to obey:
1. Immediately
2. Completely
3. Without Challenge
4. Without complaint

Ways you as a parent undermine this process:
1. Threaten disicipline and then repeat instead of taking action the first time
2. Bribing
3. Negotiate with you child during conflict

Whining is a learned trait. A child whines because you accept it and because you have given in to it. They whine because it works!

Your child's conscience is like a moral warehouse. When they are born it is empty and it is the parent's responsibility to fill it. When a parent fills the warehouse with good moral values, when a child is older, they will find the answers to how to act and what to do in certain situations. When a parent does not fill the warehouse, the child will just do what everyone around them is doing.

Just a few more tidbits from the parenting class I attended. That wraps up this session on parenting, I hope you were able to take something from it to apply in your life. It is a hard job, but it comes with great rewards and blessings.

Have a great day and weekend

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Some additional information I received at the parenting class:

Different types of parenting -

1 Permissive - Permissive parents are fearful parents. They are high on love and low on discipline. (They have few rules and what rules they do have aren't enforced)

2 Neglectful - Neglectful parents are forsaking parents. They are low on love and low on discipline.

3 Authoritarian - Authoritarian parents are fighting parents. They are low on love and high on discipline.

4 Authoritative - Authoritative parents are fellowshipping parents. They are high on love and high on discipline.

Which one do you fall closest to? The balanced, authoritative parent who combines high levels of support with high levels of control typically produce children with high self-esteem, good coping skills, and a positive relationship with parents.

A father's mandate:
1. Cultivate a sense of family identity (take pride in your last name)
2. Demonstrate an ongoing love for your wife
3. Keep your promises
4. Give your children the freedom to fail
5. Be the encourager of the family (it's not just the mother's job)
6. Routinely embrace your children

Have a great day being the parent God designed you to be

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Good morning my bloggy friends! Just a quick update on my gramps - we did move him into a nursing home since the doctors cannot figure out why the lower half of his body is paralyzed. Please continue to keep him and grams in your prayers as this is a huge transition for them after being married and living in the same house for 65 years. I believe that nothing is impossible with God and that He will bring healing and my gramps will dance for joy.

I told you on Monday that I attended an excellent parenting class on Saturday. I would like to take the next few days to share little bits and pieces of what I learned so you may have the opportunity to apply the principles to your parenting life.

The place of the family - principles:
1. A husband and wife are a family. Even when children are added, this is the priority relationship in the family.
2. Quality of the parent/child relationship depends on the husband and wife relationship.
3. All other relationships are subject to the marriage relationship.

Problems caused by child-centered parenting:
1. Children become selfishly independent
2. It diminishes the importance of the husband and wife relationship
3. Minimizes communication between husband and wife unless it focuses on the children


Take 15 minutes of "couch time" with your spouse each night. This means uninterrupted conversation between you and your spouse while the children are still awake! Teach them to allow you to have this time each day while it is still early enough that you are not exhausted and ready for bed. This is a skill that your children can learn, but you will have to be very determined in teaching them - no interruptions/without exceptions.

Just a little tid-bit for you to chew on today. Is your marriage relationship a priority?

Have a great day and take the opportunity for some "couch time"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nature makes me stand in awe of God. Living in the country with no other distractions, makes me stand in awe more often than ever before. As I look around me at beautiful flowers, trees, grass and other things that only God can create like fire and water - I am amazed. I can see God in the beauty of His creation.
Think about what makes you connect with and see God's awesomeness in. Be intentional about seeking God each and every day.
Have a great day enjoying what sweet blessings God has bestowed on you

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wow - what a weekend! I went to a great parenting seminar on Saturday which I will share more with you about later and then left for Indiana to return home last night. Our friends had a daughter graduate from high school, a son graduate from 8th grade and a daughter turn 13 so we went to celebrate with them and had a great time. They recently began attending a new church and we went with them yesterday for our first time. It was an amazing experience! The church was called "Church Alive" and was a group of people who where hungry for more of God. There was such a sense of freedom to worship and God's presence was apparent. It was a great revival for me.
Many things that were said impacted me, but there is one thing imparticular that I want to share with you today:
Have you heard the stories or seen the movies about people who have been in plane crashes in below freezing climates and eventually, the survivors eat the frozen bodies to stay alive?
When someone is held underwater they will claw, kick, bite or anthing else to get above water to get air
What these two stories have in common is that when you desperately hunger something, you do things that you would never do otherwise.

Do you desperately hunger for God - for more of God?

Is your life filled with doing things that you would never normally do because you want more of God so badly?

Are you willing to risk looking ridiculous in the sight of others? Are you willing to be ridiculed and mocked? Are you willing to be called a "Jesus freak" or "Bible beater"?

Do you really want more of God?

If you answered yes, then show Him