Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Fall Book Winner and "ONE REASON" Give Away

I'm thrilled that today I get to give "You Were Born For This" away today!!

Celia - comment number 7 you are the winner!!! E-mail me your address and I'll get it to you this week. :) (If I haven't heard from you by Wed. I will draw for another winner!)

Okay friends. "You Were Born For This" is all about experiencing miracles. It's about becoming a delivery person for God and participating in everyday miracles. Hmmmm...that makes me think of a song...


There is a great song on "One Reason" that is entitled "Everyday Miracles". Isn't it just God to send a song that just goes along with what He is showing me in "You Were Born For This"? So cool...

Anyway. I received my copy of "One Reason" on Wednesday. When I took it out of the mailbox, the package was absolutely destroyed. The envelope was ripped and honestly, I have no idea how the postal service knew it was to come to my home. I could not decipher the address label it was so battered.

I cut through all the tape and pulled out a cracked CD case. Thankful that the CD was in perfect condition, we immediately popped that CD in. Can I just tell you that the girls and I listened to the entire thing while we cleaned house and finished up our schoolwork. AND we have listened to it everyday since. (At my girl's request!)

Kind of like life isn't it? Sometimes we feel like we have just been beat up to the point of not being recognized. BUT, nothing and no one can take away what is on the inside. I think this week, Chynna was a beautiful example of this as she proclaimed Jesus Christ in places where it would have been really easy to use "acceptable terms" such as "faith" or "higher power". Once again, it excites me to see people be obedient to confess Jesus Christ. But really after what He did for us, how can we not?

I have been given the okay to give away FIVE CDs. FIVE PEOPLE!!! That is so cool. Here is how it works...

1. Leave a comment.

2. Send your friends this way.

3. Wait expectantly until Thursday, Oct. 1 when I will announce the FIVE winners!!!!

Come here real close so no one else hears....I sure hope you win! You will love it!

Praying you have a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Don't Forget

Today is the last day to enter the Happy Fall Book Giveaway!!!

Scroll down to that post and leave me a comment. I'll announce the winner Sunday afternoon!

Have a wonderful Saturday


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Going to the Mountain

This morning Emma and I were working on state studies. The subject of coal came up as we talked about different industries in this particular state. That opened the door to talk about how coal is used and how it is mined.

In the discussion of how dangerous coal mining is and just how hard it is...somewhere it hit me how those men and women dig into the mountain to get to the coal. They go deep in those mines to bring out the coal that will provide for their families. Their entire lives revolve around getting into that mountain and bringing out coal, often times it's at the expense of their health and life.

Immediately God began to weave our school lesson into the lesson He has been pressing into me this week about getting to the mountain.

Maybe because our Pastor is preaching a series on the Ten Commandments right now and I'm thinking about Moses being on that mountain w/ God, or because I have been reading about Jesus getting away and often times to the mountain to pray...but MOUNTAIN has been everywhere.

For so long, I have thought of the mountain as the place where you celebrate what God has done. It's the end of the time in the valley. The place where we ALL want to be and stay! However...

God's been talking to me about changing how I view the mountain. Maybe, just maybe the mountain is the place we should be going to everyday. Even those days when it feels like we're at the lowest point in the valley.

In Matthew 14 around verses 13-25, Jesus has just fed 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Seriously, that would be a mountaintop experience to see Him multiply and serve that. Can you imagine?

But what gets me, is that after this HUGE demonstration of God's power verse 23 says this:

"After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray."

He went to the mountain ALONE to pray. He went to spend time with His Father.

He had just poured out so much of Himself to those people, and now I wonder if He went so the Father could pour back into His son.

This is what I felt God impress on me. Just like those coal miners go into those mountains each day and mine out that substance that will provide for their family, God wants me to come to the mountain DAILY. Even when I'm in a valley.

He wants me to come back so He can pour into me the very thing I need to live! HIMSELF.

Why do we wait until we become desperate? Why do we wait until there is turmoil and crisis? Why do wait until......

We have the ability, and dare I say the choice, each and every day to go to the mountain for a mountaintop experience with God Almighty. We don't have to wait for a conference, or Sunday's Sermon, or your favorite blog to be updated. No.

God wants to meet with us and speak with us TODAY. God wants to meet with me, with you. He has something specific to say.

Just as those coal miners go in empty handed and come out with something that will meet their needs, we can go to the mountain poured out and completely empty. But our God, He will pour into us and restore what has been emptied. We can come down filled to overflowing. Even when life has us in a valley.

Look around you and find a mountain...go there and see what happens.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rainy Day Treat

Today is an extra special day for two ladies....


You can purchase their first album in stores TODAY!!!! Or if like me you are severely limited at the places you can actually get to because of the water, you can go here to purchase it online. Deep breath...


Get yourself on down to the next post and entry for the Fall book giveaway.


HOLD ON FOR ONE MORE DAY..well...not really one, more like 4 or 5. This Sunday after I announce the winner of "You Were Born For This" I will be opening another giveaway.

Can you guess what for?

Not one but FIVE...yes FIVE of Chynna and Vaughan's Debut Album One Reason!!!!!!!!

In case you were wondering who or what their One Reason is, the following is from their blog.

"We want to share our hope with you. We have someone who is there for us and someone who is always with us. We want you to know about our Savior so you can have a chance to know his love and his mercy and his grace like we have.

Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your mind and with all of your soul, and love your neighbor as you would love yourself (Deuteronomy 6:5). This is the way we want to live our lives."

These girls love Jesus. (And they have a pretty cool sound too.)

OH...just so you know....Chynna and Vaughan will be very close to where I live in October. I would love for a group of us to go see them together. If you are interested or would like more info, let me know. :)


Sunday, September 20, 2009


Since the first of this year I have been waiting on something. I have been EAGER to get my hands on a book and even MORE eager to give it away.

Last March I shared with you an incredible experience I had. God did a mighty work in my life and He used Bruce Wilkinson to deliver a message to me. That message changed the way I look at life. You can read about it here.

Bruce's new book "You Were Born For This" is OUT!!! I'm thrilled to be able to give away a copy! I'm already praying for the person that is going to receive it,AND praying that each one of you will have the opportunity to read this book ASAP! I feel very strongly about this can you tell?!!?!

You probably recognize this author's name from "The Prayer of Jabez" or "Secrets of the Vine", or maybe "The Dream Giver". Chad and I however had our first encounter with Bruce Wilkinson in our young married Sunday School Class at Silverdale Baptist in Chatt. We did the Bible study "The Three Chairs". It was a pivotal time in our marriage and God used that study to challenge and grow us up. It was time to quit riding the spiritual wave of others and have a serious daily walk with God for ourselves.

Let me give you one quote from the end of part 1 of "You Were Born For This"

"God did not place you this earth to notice Him at work only once or twice in your whole life" Okay...maybe just one more.

"When a whole generation settles for less, the character and motives of God get called into question. His shining presence seems to fade in the world."

Enough Enough. Okay...I'm just beginning part 2 of the book, but can NOT wait any longer to share it with one of you!

To enter, first leave me a comment.

Then, go back to your blog/facebook/twitter and any other means of TELLING SOMEONE and send them here! (If they mention you in their comment I'll add your name as another if you send 3 people you'll be entered 4 times.)

I'll keep the comments open until Saturday, Sept. 26 and will announce the winner on Sunday the 27th.

Have a great week!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Check this out!

Go check out this site and see what made me SMILE today.

Happy Weekend!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Have a Little Faith"

"Will you do my eulogy?"

"Will you save me, Jesus?"

Two questions. One by an aging Rabbi the other by a young African-American man.

Mitch Albom, author of the highly successful "Tuesdays with Morrie" has done it again. He has written a book that not only tugs on the heartstrings, but makes you contemplate exactly what it is you believe.

Albom beautifully weaves the stories of his Rabbi Albert Lewis and an African-American pastor Henry Covington. Over 8 years he spends time with each man listening, asking questions and observing these men of God.

Albom sees that these men who have devoted their entire life to serving God, really do have a "life"away from the people they serve. However, their hearts are NEVER away from those in their congregations. Both men love the people that look to them for direction, advice and hope.

As Albom walks you through this journey of faith, I can't help but think about Hebrews 11. What we Christians call the "Hall of Faith". Verse 1 says

"What is faith: It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." (New Living Translation)

Both of the men Albom had the honor to spend time with hoped in things they could not see. I sat in tears as I read Covington's testimony. You will too. God was and is so faithful.

This afternoon I read the rest of Hebrews 11. I read about Noah, Sarah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau. I read about Joseph, Moses' parents, Moses,and the people of Israel. In this chapter it says "By faith" before their name and then lists a portion of their life story. I had this overwhelming urge to write:

"By faith Stephanie......" in the margin of my Bible. What would someone write after my name?

What will my eulogy sound like? Will it shine light to my faith? Will my brief time on this planet bring glory to God Almighty? Will I walk by faith each and every day? Will I remember the things my parents taught me as a child? Will I do my very best to teach those things to my children?

Who would have thought that 250 pages would have sparked so many questions.

Hebrews 11 is an incredible passage, go read it later if you get a chance...however, I want to share what chapter 12 verses 1-2 says (New Living Translation)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven."

I have to say, God used this book in my life. He used it to ask me questions. Some were easy to answer, others were not so easy.

The reason for my faith you ask? That my friend is easy and I would love to tell you. It's Jesus Christ. He says in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

I would love for you to get this book when it becomes available on September 29 and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Linger a little more.

Linger. It was on my heart WAY back in February. Apparently, it's something God is still trying to teach me.

When I sat down to post today, I had intended to go one direction BUT God said go another and I wound up reading this past post. I feel like He wants me to re-post it today. So that's what I'm doing.

This word has popped up in several different places and conversations over the last week. It's one of those words that, in my mind, sounds old. I like old things, so I have taken the notion to use this word as often as possible this week.

As I prepared for Bible study last week, and then again this week, this 6 letter word brought a dose of conviction. In the rush of getting everything together, I was not lingering with the Father very much, and I found that I missed Him.

Yesterday I was alone for a little while and found myself wondering why it's so hard for us to linger in the presence of God. Why is it easier to keep that t.v. on or the computer in your lap? Why why why do we waste so much stinkin' time doing things, watching things that turn the stomach of God and then question why we don't see the hand of God moving in our life? (And I'll just go ahead and confess that I am the biggest offender in this area.)

Here's what I felt the Lord impress on my heart yesterday, and I'm going to just type what I heard. "YOU DO NOT LINGER IN MY PRESENCE."

I'm ashamed to say that I rush OUT of the presence of the ONE who can change my day, my circumstance. And then I wonder why I don't hear Him speak! How dare I.

The Word tells us Jeremiah 29:13 that if we seek the Lord with our whole heart that we will find Him. He also tells us in James 4:8 that when we draw near to God HE draws near to us. If you're like me I crave the word, I crave time in in-depth Bible study that is not an issue for me..(it wasn't always like that so please don't think I'm trying to puff myself up) for me the issue is shutting up so I can hear God speak. Anybody with me?

Psalm 37:7 tells us to "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 62:5 says "My soul waits in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him."

Lingering is hard in the fast food world we live in isn't it?

Lingering may mean you don't watch tonight's American Idol, or NCIS, or the Bachelor, or heaven don't play Pathwords on Facebook!

Lingering may just mean sacrifice. It's a choice. And as one who has both lingered and allowed Him to speak and one who has not, I can tell you with my whole heart:

Anything you think you are sacrificing or giving up to linger in the presence of God will seem silly when you experience that sweet fellowship with your God.

This is long enough...but I want to leave you with a quote from the study we are doing on Tuesday nights.

"In essence, there is only one thing God asks of us - that we be men and women of prayer, people who live close to God, people for whom God is everything and for whom God is enough."

For God to be our everything, don't you think we have to spend time with Him? Maybe linger in His presence a little longer? What do you think?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Eyes that Really See

Thursday morning I walked into my kitchen to find what Emma affectionately referred to as an "OIL SPILL" all over my kitchen counter. It appeared that my coffee pot had sprung a leak. Not a great way to start my Thursday. I cleaned up the mess, made another smaller pot (W/ NO LEAKS) and went about my day.

Friday morning the exact same thing happened again..this time I was mad. I NEED COFFEE in the morning. I may have told Chad all about it when he called between meetings on Friday morning, and it MAY have been in a very urgent tone. Save the Library stuff could wait... his woman had not had her coffee and it was getting to be close to 11:00 Friday morning.

Can I just tell you that I love that coffee maker. Chad bought it for me the day we moved into this house. It's one of the last appliances that I haven't blown up.

So this morning, after last night's wild and crazy 50th surprise party for our good friend Ron G., I NEEDED coffee. But of pot is cracked. No coffee for me.

We had some errands to run and I figured that I could talk him into swinging into the gas station (since Starbucks was not on our way.) but no. We headed straight for the Home Depot and then the "new" Target.

He was looking at one thing and I headed to check out the coffee makers. I knew that the chances of finding one I REALLY liked and more importantly was in the budget right now, would be slim to none. BUT a girl can dream right?

I'm standing on the aisle looking at this adorable coffee maker with a splash of red on it and thinking THAT would look great in my kitchen when Chad walks up and says. "Look at this one?" It was the one I really liked. What he noticed that I did not, was that it was on sale. Thank you Lord.

As we were checking out, the man of my dreams hands me "coffee money" and says "How about a Starbucks?". Do I really needed to tell you that I nearly skipped over to the Starbucks counter? I didn't think so.

Here is where God tugged on my heart today.

The sweet young lady behind the counter was working alone. There was one family ahead of me with several drink orders. She took my order and told me it would be just a minute. I paid and noticed she seemed on the verge of tears.

I waited a LONG time for that coffee but that was God letting me see her. She was working hard and fast and could not get ahead. She apologized again as she wrote my name on the cup that would hold a Venti White Chocolate Mocha.

As the family in front of me moved on, she had a few more customers waiting in line. Her stress level was through the roof and those eyes were looking like they were about to spill some tears.

When she handed me my coffee I looked her in the eye and said "Thank you. You are doing a great job." As I walked away, my heart sank. I wonder what is going on in her life. Is it just a bad morning at work, or is it more? Did she break up with her boyfriend last night? Is life just hard right now?

I went into Target this morning to look at a coffee maker. God gave me one, AND a cup of my favorite brew BUT....

He also gave me a lesson in the importance of seeing past ME to the person standing right in front of me. Eyes that really SEE...that's what I'm asking Him for.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Final Thoughts from OnGoing Call (#3)

It's been a week since I posted #2! I needed some serious time to process this last thing. God had to give me some practical application before I could really understand how serious He was about this.

Transformation by the Word of God was the theme of the previous post and goodness,who doesn't need a transformation!

Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things. Proverbs 27:19 says that "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man". I want so desperately to reflect my Jesus and only my Jesus. To do that, my deceitful heart NEEDS the transformation only the Word of God can bring.

Over the last little while, God has reminded me through several avenues to ask Him to break my heart with what breaks His. He's been doing some serious heart surgery on me. Showing me what has to go so that He can be seen.

Several weeks ago, God impressed upon my heart that there was something in our home that needed to change, or better said...something needed to go. This particular thing (9 times out of 10) does not line up with Philippians 4:8. Very little of what it puts out is pure, lovely, true, or ANY of the attributes that passage describes.

I did my best to ignore it for several days. Then, the impression began to grow and I felt like if I didn't tell Chad I was going to choke. So I casually brought it up one night. I just let it hang out there. You see, the removal of this particular thing is going to HAVE to come from him. He is the head of this house and I feel very strongly that if this is to be removed the ultimate decision has to come from him.

A couple of days later he commented he had been thinking about what I said and asked if I was still feeling led to do this. Dadgum it. I knew this was God confirming it. I think in the back of my mind I was secretly hoping that Chad would totally disagree. (That way if we kept "it", God could take it out on him not me! Real spiritual isn't it...) Anyway..we agreed to pray and talk again after I returned from Winnsboro.

In my mind I had made a mental pro's and con's list. With the con's side significantly longer than the pro's. The more I thought on the list the more disgusted I became. Yes, God I see. For right now, it has to go.

During the Saturday sessions as Jill was continuing on with the transformation theme, she quoted a book. "5 Laws of the Dying Seed" by Fuschia Pickett.

This quote. Oh my goodness. It totally made me realize WHY God had placed this radical thing on my heart.

Do you want to know what the quote says? I thought so. Get ready....

"When we embrace the mind of Christ, HE pierces the carnality of our mind."

God immediately spoke to my heart. I have been asking Him to break my heart with what breaks His heart. THAT is what was happening. He was answering my prayer. I saw things a different way. He showed me just how carnal (worldly, sinful, everything opposite of holy) that "thing" is. AND, it disgusts me.

He transformed my thinking. He pierced my unholy mind and let me see just how broken His heart is when I entertain that "thing".

He challenged me to not just quote Romans 12:1-3, but to LIVE IT OUT. To no longer conform to the world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. He didn't just pierce my mind to hurt me. He pierced my mind to show me how much it needed to be renewed! Verse 1 of Romans 12 tells us to present our bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God. Girls, your mind is part of your body.

As you can see, I'm not broadcasting what this thing is that will be leaving our home this week. That is between us and God. He told us to do this, not you. It may be for a season, it may be for the rest of our life I don't know. However, I do know that Romans 14:12 says that each of us will give an account of himself to God. We are responsible for what God tells us to do, as you are responsible for what God tells you to do.

As Jill read that quote and I heard the word pierce, my mind thought of how Jesus was pierced for my sin. After what He did for me, how can I not obey?

So..there it is. Has God pierced the carnality of your mind? Is there something that you feel like He's calling you to put aside for awhile?