Saturday, February 25, 2012

Books, Books, And More Books!

On Friday afternoon I got an expected phone call at an unexpected time. The shipping company had my books from the publisher and they needed to set up a time where they could deliver them on Monday. While I have been expecting this phone call, it’s a week early. I confess I had a bit of an emotional moment went the shipping man kept repeating, “That’s a lot of books!”

Many people have said to me, “Wow aren’t you excited?” Truthfully it’s hard for me to describe how I’m thinking. It’s true, for once I’m having a hard time vocalizing my inner feelings. I am excited. I’ve spent since I was 16 years old moving forward to write the books God put on my heart and I’ve been actively doing that since I was 21. So yes, I’m excited. I’m a tad overwhelmed. I keep thinking of all the things I have to do, I wonder how on earth everything is going to come together. I’m a bit nervous. I keep wondering how people will receive this message. I feel like this is such a NOW word for the church and I‘m passionate it gets out. I am like a little kid holding their mother’s hand on the first day of Kindergarten. I keep looking up at my Father in Heaven saying, “Are you sure about this? Really sure?” We know we heard from God that this was the route to take, but I keep needing Him to remind me to TRUST Him.

Isn’t it funny how God can lead you into situations that show’s you areas that maybe you need to grow in. I’ve spent a lot of years moving towards this mark. I’ve spent a lot of years declaring and decreeing what I knew God had spoken to me, but shifting into the manifestation of it has stretched me. It’s shown me areas that I’m still growing in.

Many of you have heard me say over and over again that, I believe maturity in Christ boils down to the simple phrase of trusting Him. You can’t get carried away by the tidal wave of emotions, but you have to renew your mind to what God has said, and stay stable on that rock!

Psalm 52:8(NIV)
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Do not conform 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.

You have to trust that whatever your going through, God has good plans for your life. He doesn’t lead you down a road meant for destruction. When you step out of the boat of comfort onto the waters of faith, it will be well. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

*****So now that I am getting a huge load of my books in my garage on Monday I will be mailing out the preorders. Please help me get them out of my garage and into the hands of people. If you haven’t already please send this link out to your pastors, friends, family, coworkers, hair stylists, dog walkers, iguana tamers, and lion wrestlers. For those of you who haven’t taken advantage of the incredible Buy One Book Get One Book Free offer, I am going to honor that deal until March 5th (which is ONE WEEK) from Monday. Then the books will be individually priced at $12 a piece. The cool thing about these coming a week early is that you can buy them from me, and get them a good three weeks before they’ll be in the book stores. J *******

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tag You're it!

Greetings my fabulous readers! So sorry my writing schedule has been a little off the last few weeks. I’ve been busy. I’m still working on my post book release schedule with both a Southern and Northern tour (so if any of you have any contacts of churches for me to minister at or bookstores please let me know), I’m currently working on my 16th book, and it’s a long story but I’m also co writing a book with a mighty man of God (will discuss publicly in the future) and the whole thing has been a divine door. Things may get a tad sporadic on my blogging schedule as I start traveling more, but know I love y’all and I’m too persistent to leave you alone that quickly. You will eventually hear from me. ***Smiles, smiles, grin, grin*** My itinerary is now on the website. I changed the events page to the itinerary/events page and those events are being updated as I get them. Please keep us in prayer that Rev 3:8 is tangible in our lives….that God opens the doors He wants opened.

As I began reflecting on what God would have me write for this blog, I wanted to speak for a few moments of some things that have been on my heart.

I am asked often about hearing the voice of God. I am asked how do you know its God, and other questions like that. I consider it to be like a game of tag. I pray to God that He knows how I think, and how I’ll hear Him, as long as I know that I know that I know, it’s what He is saying and where He is leading then I’ll walk in it. To me it’s often like God is saying, “Tag your it!” Then you have to do something with the tag.

Many of you know one of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” You see if you’re read that scripture you’ll realize however, there is a catch. You have to go the way God is saying. You have to be obedient to His leading, and His prompting. Many people never walk in the divine plan of God because they refuse to listen to what God is saying.

Sometimes the things God is putting on your heart may feel a bit overwhelming, but you have to stop looking at it like that. You have to settle it in your heart to go forward with what you can do, and stop focusing on what you think you can’t. If God called you to open a business, it may not be time for that business: so work on your business plan, get a logo together, or take a few classes. When you take tiny steps of faith in the direction God is leading you, before you know it the can not’s will disappear and God will make a way. Remember God sees those little steps of faith. When you’re obedient in the small things, He’ll reward you with bigger things.

For the percentage of people that then begin to choose to go down the path God is leading there is this crazy amount of people that simply give up after their first turndown or rejection. I find this so sad! Maybe it was my years of trying to break into the publishing industry, but it taught me the value of perseverance and persistence. God honors the diligently obedient. That doesn’t mean you earn your destiny. He’s already got that prepared for you. You have to choose to walk in it, and be made ready. It just means He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Patience, Persistence, and Perseverance are not things we really want to talk about. Let’s face it, we all want overnight victories. However, fulfilling what God has for you on this earth is a process. Checking out and doing your own thing will just leave you frustrated in the end.

Galatians 6:9 KJV
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

There were so many times I wanted to quit. I’d be lying to you if I told you otherwise, but I had to consistently choose not too. The Holy Spirit continued to encourage me, and I know it was His grace. You can do the same. You can determine in your own life you refuse to quit. Go through the process. It’s worth it. Living a life playing “tag” with God is so much more fun then settling for mediocrity. It will be worth it! I promise! Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Book Trailer!

Please share this with everyone you know. I believe this is a message the church needs to hear, and I can't get the word out on my own! I need your help to send this to anyone you think may have interest!

Thanks and Super Smiles!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yes, I remember the 80's

My girls had a “dress like the 80’s” day at school yesterday. I went about finding leggings and a skirt for them both to wear. Then doing side high ponytails that were semi ratted and semi curled that defied gravity, and then I curled their bangs to do the same. To which my oldest kept looking in the mirror going, “Mom are you sure this is what the 80’s look like?”

“Yes dear, I’m sure.”

“How do you know?” I could hear the fear in her voice. I realized that according to today’s style she was going to stand out at school.

“Hun, I was there. In fact, I was your age. You’re going to half to trust me.” I kept working on their look. While they looked good, I instantly regretted I did not have an armful of jelly bracelets to give them, or puffy layered socks, or my husband even suggested a huge boom box they could carry.

“But mom, are you sure.” I suppose it was then that it could have occurred to me to Google some pictures online. However, I did not.

Later when I picked them up I asked her, “Was I right?”

“Yup, you were right.”

I knew that what we had just experienced was a lesson on trust and in a 5th graders mind it was an ultimate test to possibly ridiculed and stand out by her peers.

Isn’t it the same with God when He tells us to do something? I’ve had the same conversations with Him.

“God are you sure?”

“Trust me. I know.”

“But God, what if I look like a dork?”

“It will be well.”

“But God, are you sure?”

I think the situation with my daughters yesterday reminded me yet again, God knows. He sees are end from our beginning. He knows what we’re walking through, and He knows where we’re going. He knows. Just like my oldest trusting me what the 80’s looks like God knows cause, he was already there. He knows.

Psalm 56:3 (ESV)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

The statement seems so simple, but it’s something I’ve been meditating and standing on a lot these days. He is faithful, and He knows what He’s talking to about. You can trust Him. It will be well. So let go, and trust Him. God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Window Washing Again

When I was growing up, my dad would pay us $10 for washing his car. That was a lot of money to me as a kid, so we would jump at the chance to wash it. The problem was my dad was not an easy employer. He is very particular about his windows. I can remember clearly washing the windows, and thinking I was done, only to be marched back in the hot car to do them again, and again, and again. The monotony got tedious and I know I complained. However, I kept doing them, because I was going to earn that $10. Eventually I did. I do not think stubbornness is necessarily a bad trait. It just has to be pointed in the right direction. Perseverance is what will usher people to win their race.

I think about that story now and as much as daddy’s perfectionism about his windows annoyed me at the time, today I realize he was giving me a gift much more valuable than the $10. Things like this were preparing me for the life God had for me. I needed to learn to keep plowing forward or I would have never made it in the places God has called me. I laugh when people call me bold, hardcore, or even the earned nickname of the “drill sergeant”. I always respond respectfully, “I’m like this cause you should meet my parents.” I mean that as a compliment. I realize had they not have instilled in me the value of hard work and dedication I would not be where I am today.

Too many people start on the course they know God has for them, and then choose to bail out because it gets boring, tedious, and the light at the end of the tunnel seems dim. We have stopped wanting to talk about perseverance because as a culture we want things “our way, when we want them.” I assure you the kingdom does not work like that. If you want to accomplish anything in life it is a process, and you must persevere.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up

Almost 11 years ago, I remember crying hysterically because I had just received my first turndowns for my first book. Back then, they did not use email much and everything was hard copy. My first turndown came in the form of two on the same day. I know, what are the chances of that? I was bawling, and Dan said something that stayed with me.

He said, “So when this does happen one day you’ll appreciate it more because you worked harder for it.” Truthfully, I wanted to smack him at the time and crawl in a hole. Now that I am on the verge of doing all these things I had only dreamed of, I thought about that the other day. Now 11 years and a bunch of books later, I have realized an important truth. I do think I appreciate it more because I choose to run the race, and I can honestly say I was not really as ready back then as I thought I was. God used the perseverance, the endurance, and the process to make me ready to step in the places I am stepping in now.

Do not run from the process. Embrace it. Even if you have to do something again, and again, and again. Eventually the harvest will be reaped. But you cannot quit. Be like a bulldozer, eventually you will start gaining ground. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Afghan Legacy

Down a small country road deep in the heart of Ohio where I grew up, we had the same next door neighbor for years. I was a young girl when she lived next to us. She had a small house trailer setting on her acre lot. Whenever I hear wind chimes I think of Dorothy because she had them all over her porch. Every year Dorothy would begin making an afghan at around the fall. As the cold nights began to set in the blanket would keep her warm as she worked on it with gusto. The time of the year could be measured by how big the blanket had grown on her lap. Then in the springtime she’d finish the afghan and give it to our family. We collected several blankets. I don’t remember when exactly Dorothy moved out of that little trailer beside us to go to a nursing home. I know she’s been gone for years, but her blankets are something we cherish. Since my sister and I moved out of my parents’ house, the collection of Afghans has gotten broken up. I took two when I moved out, I’m pretty sure my sister has two, and I know my parents still have some. Dorothy has been gone for years, but those blankets are still in use in my house on a daily basis. They are like cherished pieces of home to me that remind me no matter where in life God takes me, where my roots are on this earth. They go back to a little country road in the heart of Ohio.

Sadly few people realize that even the smallest things in life can create a lasting impression. Pastor Greg reminded our church on Wednesday the statistic “that even the most introverted person will affect 10,000 people in their lifetimes.” Our lives have ripple effects. Whether we realize it or not we’re affecting the world around us. On Saturday we had a memorial service for a dear man of God that passed from our church. This man was well known for his boldness in sharing his faith. I honestly had never met a person that won souls for the kingdom no matter where he went. George regularly evangelized to telemarketers when most of us would have quickly hung up on them. Maybe George’s passing has reminded me again of how important the legacy is that we’re leaving. Since your life has a ripple, what is your ripple saying?

James 4:14 (ESV) yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Even if we life a ripe old age of 120, those years would still be a vapor when compared to eternity. Our days are so short, and our eternities eternal. You have to continue to ask yourself what kind of legacy you are leaving on this earth. What is your ripple saying to the world? Will you be able to look at God one day and be able to tell him that you accomplished on this earth what He sent you to accomplish. You have a purpose. You have a destiny. Will you hear God proclaim over you, “Well done thou good and faithful servant?” (Matt 25:21) Too many people begin to think of these things on their death beds. I propose to you, life is too short to do that. God sent you hear for a purpose. What do you want you legacy to be on this earth? If you’re not going in the direction you know God called you to now, then I know for a fact God always accepts U-turns. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

....And I broke the Pickle Jar

Last week my oldest daughter came running to me for help. I had just bought a new jar of pickles and she could not open them up. Surely, Mom could do it and this was going to be an easy thing. I sometimes wonder how they get those lids so tightly on jars in the factory. I was not going to pull the wimp card but I could not get that lid off. I tried banging the bottom with the palm of my hand. I saw someone do that once. It did not work. I tried twisting it, and it would not budge. I even tried getting a butter knife and breaking the seal by trying to wedge it between the lid and the jar. Nothing was working. Dan was not home and even if he was, I really hate admitting when I cannot do something like this without his help. I was going to get that jar open! Finally I took the opposite end of a butter knife and whacked at the lid. I thought a couple smacks would make the jar open, and it did. Evidently, I do not know my own strength. With the sound of breaking glass cracking in the air, and the cold smell of pickle juice exploding in my kitchen all I could think of is “oops!”

In spiritual matters much like how I broke the pickle jar, we underestimate our selves just like this all the time. We forget too often that God is stronger than our circumstances. God’s strength is in us. So if He is for us then who can be against us?

Romans 8:31[More Than Conquerors] What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

We have to realize that we are More Than Conquerors! If we have asked Jesus to live inside of us, then His strength is our strength!

Psalm 18:32It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

Psalm 18:39You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me.

So therefore, we are more than able to go through the things of life, because we have God’s strength on our side. Do not sweat the circumstances. Trust in Your God! Do not underestimate Him! He put the stars in place. He created the world! He formed you so He knows how you think! He can level mountains in an instant! He can cancel debts! He can give you instructions that will change everything! He can make a way in the wilderness that you have not seen! So TRUST HIM! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world! Remember God has awesome plans for your life! Get Excited!