Archives for January 2016

Do You Need To Tell Your Heart To Beat Again? ~ Danny Gokey (Monday Music)

Click to view the music video Tell Your Heart to Beat Again and the story that inspired the song by Danny Gokey via


No way to put the pieces back together again.

The lives of a family close to our hearts shattered recently.

A lady I admire tremendously is in serious condition.

Another friend is fainting under the weight of her children’s struggles.

What’s stopped your heart?

When my parents died, my heart didn’t know what to do.

My mind couldn’t make sense of how to move forward.

How can the world continue when your heart has stopped?

I found my help in Psalms 73:26:

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

God doesn’t just give us strength.

He is our strength.

He isn’t just the best part of our lives.

He is our life.

That’s why our hearts can beat again.

That’s why we can smile at the future.

Sometimes we just can’t. But He can. And He will. 

Listen to Danny Gokey explain the inspiration behind Tell Your Heart to Beat Again. It’s a fascinating story about a heart surgeon who did something unusual and saved a life. 

Danny shares this powerful message, and then he sings the song:

[Read more…]

Surviving Another Dreaded Bleh of Life – FIRST (Lauren Daigle)

Click to listen to "First" by Lauren Daigle and read "Surviving Another Dreaded Bleh of Life!" ~ Matthew 6:33

I’ve held onto too much in my life, unable to let go.

I’ve never been so happy as when I learned to let go of my rights, shame, unforgiveness, and that obnoxious shirt that hasn’t been in style since 1987.

But letting go of my children? Bleh!

That one feels like it just might kill me.

My baby, Carolyn, is headed to college. 

I typed those words last fall.

I thought our last child–our baby–moving 2 1/2 hours away to Clemson was tough. Imagine when our oldest daughter announced she got a job in Honolulu.

Yes, as in HAWAII.


How do I prepare to send her off across the planet with a smile on my face and a Bleh! in my heart?

Before I cry over my children, I will rejoice over my God.

Before I dwell on my pain, I will dwell on His presence.

Before I do anything, I will seek God FIRST.

“But seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.”

~ Matthew 6:33

Seeking God isn’t about getting what we want, except that it is.

When we seek God first — truly seek Him with our whole heart first and foremost — we actually do end up getting everything we desire because everything in our being actually desires Him.

God is our highest desire.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:25-26

Think about it. Even individuals who reach the pinnacle of success in their field only enjoy a measure of contentment for a period of time. They don’t stay content.

People who’ve lost hope and appear to desire nothing actually feel deep desire — a deep desire to stop feeling.

Desire never disappears until it reaches its truest and deepest longing in God.

I don’t want to stop desiring my children, but I do want that desire to stop hurting so much.

I want to be able to give them over to God and send them off into the world with my heart full of genuine joy, and without a quivering upper lip.

When God is my first heartbeat, my first breath and my first thought — my all — then all that I’m experiencing — all my sorrows or sadness — are covered by Him and His radiant glory, and His joy is mine.

“You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
~ Psalm 16:11, NASB

Living in the midst of our highest desire–God’s presence–will turn our tears into laughter.

Some pain shouldn’t be erased. It’s good to miss our children, so long as we don’t turn into a crazed Mrs. Bates.

Some broken hearts can’t be completely mended on this side of heaven, but fullness of joy relieves a lot of pain.

It has the power to wash away our bleh’s.

As I face the Bleh of Brittany’s exciting and wonderful move to Hawaii, I’ll seek God first.

And I’ll listen to Lauren Daigle sing “First” a lot. In fact, now would be a good time: [Read more…]

Facing an Epic Battle? This Could Be Your FINEST HOUR (Monday Music)

Are you facing an epic battle? This could be your Finest Hour Click to view music video FINEST HOUR by Wayne Watson. via

There’s going to be an epic battle tonight.

First there was David and Goliath near the Valley of Elah.

Then Aragorn and the Orcs in the Battle of Morannon.

Tonight, it’s Clemson and Alabama in the NCAA National Championship Game.

I mean no disrespect to Alabama by comparing them to Goliath and orcs. I only mean that Clemson is picked by most to lose.

Sure, on paper, it looks daunting.

Who am I kidding? It IS daunting.

But it’s no less daunting for Alabama to defeat undefeated Clemson.

They’re both facing an epic battle.

So. Much. Pressure.

Except, not according to Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney.

“Football is not pressure. This is a game. That’s the message I try to instill in our players all the time . . . 

. . . understand through this game you have a chance to bring some joy to people who really have pressure in their life, who really have problems . . .

. . . when you have the cross as the foundation of your life, football ain’t going to bring no pressure. I promise you that . . .

That’s why it’s fun. This is a game. It’s fun.

(Excerpt from: WATCH: Dabo Swinney says there is pressure in this world, but none on his team.)


Real Pressure

The apostle Paul knew real pressure.

He was imprisoned, beat, shipwrecked, and faced death repeatedly.

But the unshakeable foundation of the cross didn’t fail him.

Paul continued to rejoice. The guy just couldn’t be kept down.

In the midst of his epic battles, Paul experienced his finest hour:

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia.

We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.

Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.

But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. . . .

We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” 

(2 Corinthians 1:8-9, 12 NIV)


Faith Releases Power

Faith releases God’s power to work in our lives — to bring peace and power in the midst of pressure.

I don’t mean it releases power like a magic wand. Faith is simply agreeing with God that He’s able and willing to accomplish all He’s planned.

Our faith is proven when we face our battle.

Do we march onto the battle field despite the odds against us, confident that God is about to move?

Or do we grumble and complain about what’s going wrong?

Do we walk forward expecting God to work?

Or do we curl up, paralyzed and defeated by our circumstances?

Faith is a game-changer.


Sara’s Finest Hour

Every day Sara Frankl faced a real battle and her finest hour.

Sara developed ankylosing spondylitis, leukopenia, and Cushing’s syndrome.

This basically means that for the last several years of her life she faced severe chronic pain all day every day.

And she faced it all with joy.

Pain couldn’t shake her from her sure foundation — Jesus Christ.

Sara wrote:

I’ve come to understand that the only thing I can control is whether or not I open my heart.

Open it to embrace my circumstances.

Open it to be who He needs me to be in the here and now rather than assume happiness can come from the “If only…” and “When I get…”


This could be our FINEST HOUR

Football’s not pressure.

A National Championship game isn’t even pressure.

It’s a fierce, fun game, and I’m phenomenally grateful, win or lose, that my beloved Tigers are playing in it, but it’s not pressure.

I confess I forget that. A lot. God is still working on me.

No matter who wins the epic battle on the field tonight, the greatest battle both teams can win — that we all can win — is the battle of faith.

Depending on what we choose, today could be our FINEST HOUR.

Watch this music video of Wayne Watson’s powerful song Finest Hour set to The Lord of the Rings hero Aragorn battling creepy orcs. It’s the perfect fit for those of us facing our own epic battles.

Listen to Wayne Watson’s lyrics. Let them sink in. Then walk in them: [Read more…]

Christian Devotions Speak Up! Blogtalk Radio


Click to listen to the Christian Devotions Speak UP radio program

Guess what I discovered?

I can embed this great Christian blogtalk radio program, Christian Devotions Speak Up! into my post.

Next I’ll figure out how to embed it onto my home page so you can always see the link no matter what page you’re on. 

Step by step I’m figuring out this blogging stuff. 

I’ve already figured out I love CD Speak Up!

So will you.

Each Tuesday at 6 pm, radio host Scott McCausey brings live interviews on Christian Devotions Speak Up!

Some of Scott’s recent guests have included NFL player Jim Kelly and his wife Jill, comedian Brad Stine, and new recording artist Jordan Feliz.

Each week he speaks with different leaders such as pastors, musicians, authors, sports celebrities, missionaries, and businessmen and women.

Scott brings a variety of folks with fascinating tales and the same passion — making Christ known.

Scott’s easygoing, engaging nature draws out fabulous stories and unexpected moments from his guests.

Co-hosts Cindy Sproles and Eddie Jones team up with Scott to bring their own great sense of humor and passion for the things that matter most to the broadcasts.

Enjoy one of Speak Up’s recent shows below or check out their upcoming show (and archives) on their website by clicking here[Read more…]

When Stress Mounts — BREATHE by Jonny Diaz (Monday Music)


Click to view music video Breathe by Jonny Diaz (For those times when stress mounts) via

Is your stress mounting? Mine is.


I have more deadlines than time to meet them.


What if I can’t meet them?


I’m breathing all right. I’m breathing so fast, I might hyperventilate.

You will keep in

perfect peace

all who trust in You,

all whose thoughts are

fixed on You!”

~ Isaiah 26:3

When the storm clouds of stress mount, we can look beyond the storm to the Light … and breathe.

I can’t meet all my deadlines, but I can trust God to lead me each step.

If it’s to be, He’ll do it.

If it’s not, all the stress and work won’t make a difference.

We can trust God with our hopes, dreams, deadlines and results.

Don’t stress. Breathe.

Relax and listen to Jonny Diaz’s music video Breathe and let the light of God’s peace break through your stress today. [Read more…]

A New Year is Dawning (Praise Picture)

Click to view: A New Year is Dawning - Isaiah 43 via

Be bold in this new year.

Don’t waste an ounce of it.

God is doing something new!

A New Year is Dawning #PraisePicture #NewYear #2016 Click To Tweet