Archives for February 2016

Some people remove our excuses & leave us changed. I just met one of those people! (Monday Music)

No matter what you're facing, let this truth comfort you: You are Loved. Listen to Stars Go Dim and learn about an amazing mouth artist and author, Paige Snedeker

Some people remove our excuses and leave us changed.

Paige Snedeker is one of those people. 

Paige can’t see you from across the room or call out your name.

She can’t run up and wrap you in a bear hug.

But she can change your life.

Paige is an author, artist, and philanthropist. She’s also deaf, legally blind, and quadriplegic.

She’s lived with a rare neuromuscular degenerative disease since the age of three.

So what’s our excuse?

I suddenly can’t remember any of mine.

I met Paige at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference. She came with her mother Julie and a loving entourage. She’s kind of a rock star.

We both took the Writer/Speaker as Storyteller classes taught by the marvelous Lucinda Secrest McDowell.

Paige isn’t satisfied with just being an author, artist, and philanthropist. She’s adding Speaker to her repertoire.

Again, what’s our excuse? [Read more…]

Sometimes I Can’t Look Myself in the Mirror, and It’s Not Because of My Haircut ~ FLAWLESS by MercyMe

Click to listen to "Flawless" by MercyMe. The Cross Has Made You Flawless. Amen!

Sometimes I can’t even look myself in the mirror.

It might be because that new hair cut was a mistake, but usually it’s when the past jumps up to haunt me.

That “past” may only be a few seconds ago.

The past can pop up when a song on the radio transports me back to a moment in time I’d hoped to forget — forever — back when I was a much different person.

Or when I overhear a conversation about someone who did something to someone else that I’ve also done. My shame reminds me I could’ve been that person they were talking about.

Other times it’s when I knew I should keep my mouth shut, but refused. I said it anyway and can’t take it back.

My thoughts love to torture me over the sheer number of times I bring outright shame to the name of Christ through the countless things I say and do.

Guilt wants to crush me, but the cross has set me free. [Read more…]

Enough With the Pity Party — IT’S NOT OVER YET (by for King & Country)

Listen to "It's Not Over Yet" by for King & Country and be encouraged to never give up. "Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5. (via www.JeanWilund.com)

Sometimes there’s just nothing like a good old fashioned pity party.

My friend: “Hey. How’s it going?”

Me: “My daughter Brittany is moving to Hawaii Tuesday! Waaaa!

In case you didn’t know, I live in South Carolina. She might as well be moving to the moon.

I’ve had this conversation about Britt’s move a lot. I’ve been inviting lots of people to my pity party.

But then someone had to go and spoil my party:

My friend: “I know how you feel. One of our daughters is getting married in June and moving to Alberta, Canada, and our other daughter lives in China.”

She smiled the whole time she said this. And it wasn’t the kind of smirk that says “I can one-up you,” but the kind that says, “Isn’t this a great day.”

You’d almost think she didn’t like her daughters. But I happen to know she loves them. A lot. 

So, I’ve cancelled my pity party.

My friend looked like she was having more fun than me, anyway. I’m joining her party.

The IT’S NOT OVER YET party. [Read more…]

When We Need Faith to Believe and Strength to Say AMEN! (by Steven Curtis Chapman)

Click to view: Give us Faith to Believe & Strength To Say Amen! Music video by Steven Curtis Chapman

Marco.

Polo.

When I call, God, You are there. AMEN!

It’s dark.

I AM the light.

When I can’t see, God, You light my path. AMEN!

It hurts.

I AM the comforter.

When the pain feels too much, God, Your grace envelops me. AMEN!

 

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
~ Psalm 41:13

 

You’ve given us Your life, Your love, and Your word.

Give us faith to believe.

AMEN.

Then Jesus said,
“Did I not tell you
that if you believe,
you will see
the glory of God?”
~ John 11:40

 

AMEN! [Read more…]

JOY — Illusive, Elusive, or Just Plain Gone? There’s Hope: The Joy of The Lord (by Rend Collective)

Click to read & view the Music Video by Rend Collective "The Joy of the Lord" and find strength and joy lift you up.

Does your joy feel illusive — no more than a non-existent illusion?

Or maybe it feels elusive. It’s visible, but out of reach.

Or maybe your joy is just plain gone.

No matter, be encouraged. There’s hope. 

Do not be grieved,
for the joy of the LORD
is your strength.
~ Nehemiah 8:10

Years ago, I found myself stuck in circumstances.

So I prayed. A lot.

But nothing changed, except my joy. It evaporated. 

My patience began to run dry along with my joy.

I decided I was done praying. 

I began praising instead.

I stopped focusing on my situation and focused on all the great things God has done from the beginning of time.

I praised Him for His unchanging, unfailing character — character trait by character trait.

I praised Him because He’s worthy of praise all the time.

As my praises rose, I experienced a startling development: my joy returned.

I’d stumbled upon something. 

Praise didn’t change my circumstances, but it changed me.

It brought me the joy of the Lord. And it brought me strength.

As joy filled my heart and mind, I felt stronger in the midst of my circumstances.

My thinking became more clear.

Truth overcame fear and doubt. Confident assurance of His unconditional love overwhelmed me. Peace rose up knowing He simply will not fail us. 

I felt motivated, empowered, and excited to follow the Lord. Wherever He led.

He led me to more praise, which led to more joy, which led to — you guessed it — more strength.

So, go ahead and pray for your trials and struggles, just make sure your praises far outweigh your prayers. The joy of the Lord springs from praise.

Our prayers say: Help, God! Because of our circumstances, we have no hope apart from You. (That’s good stuff.)

Our praises say: Thank you, God! Because of who You are, we have all the help and hope we could ever need. (That’s even better stuff.)

The Irish band Rend Collective with their fiddle-playing, foot-stomping, praise-inducing song The Joy of the Lord encourages us to make the best choice. This choice:

Step out on faith, walk on the waters of praise, grab the joy of the Lord by the hand and dance.

(After the music video, don’t miss Gareth and Ali from Rend Collective share the story behind this song.)

Now the music video:
[Read more…]