Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good morning friends! The winner from yesterday's devo is Hannah. Hannah, could you please send me your address to

For those of you who would still like to have the CD "He is THAT into you: Finding Perfect Love in the Heart of God", click here to purchase it from Proverbs 31.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God Story

If you are joining me here today from my devotion with Proverbs 31 Ministries on Encouragement for Today, Welcome! My devotion was mistakenly linked to this blog which is no longer active. I'd love for you to click here to visit my current website at

If that's too much trouble, just relax and keep reading. As I promised today in my devotion, I wanted to share with you my all time favorite "God Stories". If you would prefer that I tell you the story, just watch the video below. You can skip to the time 9:47 to get right to it! Otherwise, just skip past this screen....

Greg and I first met at church in late spring when I was in sixth grade; he was in eighth. He called me and that was all it took. (There is just something about having someone like you first! Even more exciting was the fact that he was an older guy. Since we went to different schools and couldn’t drive, it quickly fizzled. The phone calls only came a couple of times and life returned back to normal. Or at least it did for Greg, but not for me. He was just not going to be one of those guys I got over. All through junior high I wrote his name all over my notebooks.

In ninth grade, my chance finally came. Our church was having a Valentine’s get together and Greg asked me. I was out of my mind! As a junior, he was a huge weight lifter (6’2”, 250 POUNDS!) and captain of the football team. His smile grabbed me. My parents let me go to the celebration, but since I wasn’t sixteen yet, I wasn’t allowed to “date”. Once again, the phone calls stopped.

Finally, I turned sixteen. I had decided to make a huge change in my life. Leaving the Christian school where I attended junior high, I transitioned to the high school two blocks from home. A couple of different motives came into play. Our youth pastor, PR, often encouraged us to share our faith with our non-Christian friends. Well I didn’t have any! So I decided it was time to get some. Motive number two was Greg.

It didn't quite go as I had planned. Honestly, my sophomore year was my worst. Greg’s locker was on the same floor as mine, so I would pass it and see him at least once a day. Even worse, his new girlfriend's locker was close by as well! Even though she was very nice, it was so hard not to be completely jealous of her! When she showed me a ring Greg had given her; my heart broke.
I didn’t do such a great job of controlling my thoughts; I let it all get to me. I remember sitting at home one weekend night, emo-type music pouring out of my speakers and crying my brains out. Why didn’t he like me?! What was wrong with me? The answer: nothing. It just wasn't God's plan for me to have a boyfriend at that time.
It took awhile, but I finally started to trust God. I quit trying to manipulate my relationships with guys and starting trusting him. When Greg was a junior in college, he decided that I was exactly what he was looking for. At that time, I was at Bible school. I shared with my counselor how the guy I had liked forever (seven years to be exact!) finally liked me. He had called me at school and said he was coming my way for spring break and was coming to see me. I could not have possibly been more excited. Then the bad news came: she reminded me I had made a commitment while I was at school I wouldn’t date. I had said I would give one hundred percent of my heart and attention to Jesus. Gently, she pointed out that it is impossible to give your all to two relationships at the same time (it wouldn’t be your all then, would it?). I knew she was right, but I did not want to hear that! I called Greg and told him that I couldn’t have a relationship with him. It was like ripping my heart out!
Seven months later, with school out; I went home to visit my parents. Guess who was at church? That’s right; Greg. We started dating and we were married a year later. I have been writing him verses ever since.
That history with God really built a foundation in my life; a stable start to knowing that He can be trusted each and every time in my life.
Do you have a young person who needs to learn to trust the Lord? My teaching CD "He is That Into You"might be a great thing to give them! I am giving away a copy today. Just click "comments" below to share how you are learning to trust God or just say "I'm in" and I'll include you!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Verses Every Girl Should Know!

Jesus is wild about us; we just need to KNOW that!
One way that we can do that is by replacing lies with His truth.

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

"My lover is mine and I am his..." Song of Solomon 2:16a (NIV)

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, and there is no blemish in you." Song of Solomon 4:7 (NASB)

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11 (NIV)

"God decided in advance to adopt us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do and it gave him great pleasure!" Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friendships That Are True

Will she talk about me behind my back? Will she keep a secret? I just don't know if I can trust her.

Thoughts like these tend to run through our head when we meet a new girl we think might make a new friend.

Spending time with the Lord this morning, I read this verse:

"A malicious man disguises himself with lips, but in his heart he harbors deceits." Proverbs 26:24 NIV

Malicious. Pretty big word for me and I wasn't all that sure I knew what it meant. To hate, be an enemy, to be unloved, shunned, to be an adversary or foe.

We've all met girls who have two faces; one in front of this group and another in front of that. So which girl is the real girl? Which one is the one trying to be your friend?

Before you decide whether or not a girl makes a great friend; know her. Truly know her. She may be trustworthy; she may be not. She may have had an experience where she has been betrayed; leaving her jaded or cynical. Bad experiences can make a girl be caddy; throwing out sarcasim for free. No one wants to be on the receiving end of painful words. When a person feels unloved, shunned or even hated, those same feelings can end up leaking their way out of their heart and often spill out onto others.

I have heard it said that wounded people wound people. It is a matter of self-defense for the heart.

When you meet a girl for the first time, what are you looking for in a friend and how do you know if she will be true? I know I could use some advice here! Just click on "comments" below!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How Far is Too Far?

Speaking at a conference recently, this question was asked: "How far is too far?"

There is a problem with that question. It's the wrong one. The real question should be, "How close can I get to Jesus so that all that is around me, all the temptations, fade?"

1 John 1:5 says "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." (NIV) In Him, there is no darkness at all.

So, if you find yourself asking question #1: "How far is too far?" maybe it is because you are not pursuing #2; getting as close to Jesus as you possibly can be.

Kathleen Dillard said, "You have as much of Jesus as you want." Let's be honest and look at our lives. Are we girls who want Him so much that there is no darkness in our lives?

Hard question, but the evidence should make it easy to answer.

God is light; in him there is no darkness. Maybe it's time for a change.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Perfect Love for Imperfect Me

I had it going on (or at least I thought I did)! I was part of the youth leadership team at my youth group. I was a good student. I was involved in the elite music groups at school; even sang solos in church! I ran on the cross country team. I didn’t get in trouble or hang out with those who did. I had it going on – or did I?

I wonder if any of you are like that too. On the outside, do you appear to have it all together, but on the inside you really don’t. Every day you feel like you have to perform a certain way to keep up with the expectations of parents, teachers, coaches, and friends when all the while inside things are not quite the way that they seem. Maybe we believe that no one knows what we are really like; they don’t get us. They just see the exterior “show.” Well, I knew what was on the inside. I remember every few weeks, I would hear the sermon preached in church, take a look at my life and think that I needed to give my life to Jesus again. Surely when He looked at me, He felt disappointed in me.

The really cool thing about Jesus it that he knows it all, the stuff others see and the stuff they don’t see. He knows and he still loves every part of us – inside and out. Even when we make bad decisions, things we are ashamed of; things we would be mortified if our parents found out about, he knows and it doesn’t change the way he feels about us. It doesn’t erase his love for you!

“One of the lies I struggle with is that I am who I am based on what I do. Drawing closer to Him has helped me to realize that it is ok if I am not good at everything! Mariah, age 14

Grab your Bible and check out Psalm 139:1 – 18. Psalms is the book of the Bible found almost right smack in the middle. Once you find it, I want you to read these verses out loud so that you can hear what Jesus is saying to you! I know it is kind of long and you’ll feel weird, but go ahead! It’s really important for you to hear this truth as you read it out loud.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139: 1 –18 NIV

Did you read that? Did you read that Jesus loves every part of you? Maybe you’ve heard the saying “love is blind”? Well this love isn’t! He has searched you. He knows you. He knows everything you do, everything you’ve done and everything you are going to do. Does any of it change the way he feels about you? No! Where can you flee from his presence? No where!

My friend, please know today that he is crazy for you. No matter what you've done or what is going on in your heart, it doesn't change the way he feels about you. Sure, there may be some changes to be made; big changes in fact. Just know, that he is right there loving you as you the two of you work through those changes together!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Right On Time

The screaming and whining could be heard all over the store. “But, Mommy, I want that one!” Passing by the toy department, I spotted the culprit. A little girl; I’d guess she was about 3 years old, was pitching a fit. Pointing to the beautiful china doll on the top shelf, she cried out again. “But, Mommy, I want that one!” I heard the mother trying to reason with her. “You really are not ready for that doll, honey. We need to pick a different one.” “I don’t want a different one! I want that one!” The child didn’t understand, or care, that the one she wanted was not the best doll for her. She just liked the way that it looked from afar and that was all that mattered.

My parents once gave me a gift I can still remember when I turned 16. On that sweet sixteen birthday, my parents gave me a unique keychain with a key to their car. I loved it! That key represented freedom; independence. Exactly what I was craving at that time! They took the time to pick out something they knew I would like. They planned ahead to have the key made. It was the right gift at the right time.

If, however, my parents had given me that exact same gift when I was 6, it would have been very strange; inappropriate even. At 6, I would have wondered what it was for. I wouldn’t have even known how to use it! My parents knew what to give and when to give it.

In James 1:17 we are told that God our Father gives good gifts to us, His children. Not only does He give good gifts, but He knows perfectly what to give and when to give it. His gifts are not spur of the moment because He forgot that a special day was on its way. His gifts are all about perfect timing.

When I was five, I couldn't reach my jacket that was hanging on the last peg just above the cement steps that led to our basement. I called out for help, but just refused to wait. A tumble down those steps produced a black eye that stayed with me for a very long time.I didn't trust that those who loved me would come and do what I needed when I wanted it.

The key is, can we wait patiently, all the while trusting that, in fact, His timing is perfect? Can we trust that He has our best in mind and is all the while working on our behalf?

Sometimes we are just like the 5 year old me. We grow impatient waiting for God’s gift. We want the gift and we want it now. So we make the mistake of trying to get the gift by ourselves. Have you ever tried to get something by yourself? Are you tempted, like me, to go and get it any way, even if there is a possibility that if it doesn't go just right you could end up with way more than a black eye?

There are times, with all of our prayers, (if we would admit it, maybe we are a bit like the screaming and whining child) He seems to be saying “no” or at least saying “not now”. It is here, in the place where our desires intersect His will, that we have to trust. It is here that we must trust that Father knows best and that every gift comes from the Father. Every time, in His time, the gift is good and it is perfect.

I have seen God's perfect gifts in my life as I have waited on Him. Waited on Him for a husband. Waited on Him to open doors for ministry. Waited on Him to draw my kids to Himself. Lord, I see my history with You. I'm going to choose to keep on waiting for your good and perfect gift.