Archives for June 2016

When God Clears the Mist

When God Clears the Mist of Our Understanding (Music Video: Who Am I? by Casting Crown)

We don’t always know what God’s up to. His ways can seem confusing, almost misty.

Sometimes He parts the mist and reveals what He’s doing.

Other times, He asks us to walk by faith, not by sight.

No matter how confused we may be about God’s ways, we can walk in confidence that He knows how to lead us — even in the dark.

My friend Traci Burns was living in a dark, swirling mist of questions after her daughter Anna’s accident, until one day:

When God Clears the Mist

by Traci Burns

I often wondered why I was not home when Anna’s accident occurred. — why my husband and I were hours away.  

Months after Anna’s accident I got my answer.

Before I continue, I would like to share a thought:

The way Jesus showed up for me may not be the same way He shows up for you.

Jesus knows what’s best for us.

He created us.

He loves us.

As you continue to read, please keep these truths in mind.  

One night, I was sleeping and woke up at just about the time Anna’s accident had taken place.  

I lay in my bed and two thoughts came to my mind.

What if I had been home the night Anna had her accident?  

What would I have done when the highway patrolman knocked on my door or rang my doorbell?  

I knew exactly what I would have done.

I would have gotten to Anna as fast as I could.  

I would have seen the scene of the accident.  

I would have seen my precious daughter.  

By every account, Anna died instantly when her truck went off the interstate. If I was home and had gone to Anna, there’s nothing I could’ve done.


I knew why I had been with my dear friends in Atlanta instead of at home when the accident happened.


Jesus knows me, and He knew if I had gone to the accident scene and seen my precious daughter I’d have those images etched in my memory forever.  

Jesus spared me that scene and that memory.  

He even took me hours away to accomplish this.  

But, He didn’t stop there. He also placed me with dear friends who showered me with love and comfort when I got the news.  

Anna and I had spoken on the telephone the night before her accident, and the last words we said to each other were, “I love you,” and “I love you too”.  

THAT is the memory I’ll always have.

The lyrics to Casting Crown’s song Who I Am reflect my thoughts about Christ’s love for me and what He did for me in my darkest moment.

It’s the same love He has for you.

 When #God Clears the Mist of Our Understanding. Who Am I? by #CastingCrowns Click To Tweet

It’s Summer Reading Time! Load Up On Great Books

Five Free books for Summer Reading with the purchase of Hungry for God, Starving for Time Summer Book Promo. Check it out!

I get more reading done on vacation than any other time.

I’ve discovered some of my favorite authors while reading on the beach in summer or next to a fire in winter.

I’m sharing some of my favorites over the next three months, starting with this one:

Hungry for God, Starving for Time by Lori Hatcher

Let me paint the perfect summer scene.

The sun has risen over the ocean, lake, or grandma’s home — wherever your family likes to vacation in summer.

You’re nestled into a comfy chair with a fresh cup of coffee (it’s never too hot for coffee, especially with a gentle morning breeze), your Bible (best book ever), and a great devotional.

Your day if off to a perfect start.

I did this recently at Middleton Place Inn on the Ashely River outside of Charelston, SC. I’m still floating from this peaceful memory.

One of my favorite devotionals is Hungry for God, Starving for Time by Lori Hatcher.

I’m on about my 10th copy now. I’ve given most of them as gifts, but my personal, author-signed copy went rogue, as much-loved books tend to do because I carry them around too much.

I’m not complaining though, because with this latest copy, I also got five free Kindle books, and I’m a huge Kindle fan. (With my Kindle, I’m never bored in a waiting room or long line. I’m always deep into a good book.)

I’m now loaded up for my Summer Reading.

Look at what I got with my latest copy of Hungry for God, Starving for Time:

• Praying for the Prodigal, a non-fiction book by Andrea Merrell

• Running from a Crazy Man (and Other Adventures Traveling with Jesus), a devotional by Lori Roeleveld

 Fear is Louder than Words, a novel by Linda Glaz

 Come Empty, Pour Out Life’s Hurts and Receive God’s Healing Love, a non-fiction book by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

 Chasing the Butterfly, a novel by Jayme Mansfield

I’ve already read Praying for the Prodigal and Running from a Crazy Man. I loved both of these books. Excellent!

I can’t wait to dive into the other three. I’ve got a beach trip coming up soon.

If you want to take advantage of this great offer, too, I’ll let Lori explain how to get your own copy of Hungry for God, Starving for Time, plus the 5 free books. 

Click on this link or on the photo below. It will take you to Lori’s website where you can learn how to load up on great books for free. And make sure to read her excellent posts while you’re there. 🙂

Summer Reading Excitement: Six books for the price of one, including Hungry for God, Starving for Time

Hello Summer! The only thing better than summer reads is FREE summer reads #buy1bookget5free Click To Tweet [Read more…]

Never Forget to Remember (Monday Music)

Never Forget to REMEMBER. Listen to The Passion band sing REMEMBER -- and remember the empty grave!

Never forget to remember.

When all looks lost — when everything’s at its worst — never forget to remember the empty grave.

Many of the Jews wanted Christ to be the conquering warrior. They wanted the Messiah of Revelation 19, not the crucified Christ of John 19, and so they refused to embrace the empty grave.

To the Jewish leaders who’d crucified Christ, the empty grave was a problem, not a comfort.

To us, it means we can face pain, fear, and evil and stand in the knowledge that they are not the end. They’re the three long days before the empty grave.

For three days Christ’s followers saw the grave as total defeat.

They felt the searing pain of loss.

They feared they’d be next.

How could Christ’s death mean anything other than that the Son of God had been defeated by evil?

What hope could they hold for their future? For anything?

But on the third day, hope rose with the Son. He’s alive.

The grave stood empty.

The grave remains empty and Christ lives today, yet good people still endure pain and loss. God’s children still suffer. 

Christ overcame hell and death, but He didn’t charge out of the grave as the conquering warrior of Revelation 19. He didn’t set up His millennial reign on earth when He stepped out of the tomb.

He defeated the power of sin and death, but sin, death and Satan still affect each one of us — for now. 

Never forget to remember the empty grave.

The empty grave is our promise.

Never Forget to REMEMBER. Listen to The Passion band sing REMEMBER -- and remember the empty grave!This world is not the main event. It’s more like the Invitation to the main event.

It’s where we learn about Christ and the choice we have before us.

God is using everything that touches our lives to bring us to our point of decision to either accept Christ’s invitation or not. To accept the empty grave and believe in Christ, or deny it and its meaning.

And He’s using this world to mold and shape us into a shining reflection of His Son — the One who walked out of the dark grave and into the light.

Christ’s followers’ darkest moment had never really been dark. It had always radiated the light of victory, but they couldn’t see it until the end of the three long days. When Christ walked out of the grave.

If we embrace the reassuring promise of the empty grave, we can face today, tomorrow, and eternity, enjoying peace with God and the peace of God.

Hope is alive.  

Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
he who believes
in Me
will live
even if he dies,
and everyone who lives
and believes
in Me
will never die.
Do you believe this?”
~ John 11:25-26

Listen to “Remember” by Passion.

Passion’s song Remember speaks (or rather sings) of the exciting promise of the empty grave. Listen, and never forget to remember.

Embrace the empty grave and live. [Read more…]

Orlando, I’m so sorry! 6 Ways We Can Respond Better.

Orlando, I'm Sorry! 6 Ways We Can Respond Better via

Orlando, I’m so sorry!

I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. And I’m sorry for the many horrible reactions you’ve endured. We can respond better.

In fact, there are at least six ways we can respond better to tragedy, but first let’s briefly review the horrors that descended upon Orlando this past week. [Read more…]

In Christ Alone — The Hope of Christina Grimmie

Click to listen to Christina Grimmie sing In Christ Alone and be encouraged via
Christina Grimmie lost her life at the hands of Kevin Loibl, but she received it right back through the nail-scarred hands of Christ. (Ephesians 2:4-8)

Between the tragic, senseless murders in Orlando of singer Christina Grimmie on June 11th and the 50 souls at the nightclub in the early morning hours of June 12th, we’ve received horrific reminders that our hope is found in Christ alone

Even in the barrage of tragedies and atrocities, we mustn’t lose hope. 

Evil isn’t going away anytime soon. But neither is Christ. 

Therefore, we can still live in love and without fear.

Our hope — the hope of this world — is found in Christ alone. 

Christina died, but her hope was realized when she rose back up stood before her Savior in heaven. I pray there were many more who trusted in Christ among the 51 who died.

If you’re losing hope or filled with fear, I pray Christina’s voice and message will encourage you to receive Christ’s strength, comfort, and hope. 

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2

Christina posted her gripping performance of the song “In Christ Alone” on April 2012, stating:

Owl City’s cover of this inspired me to sing this for yu guys. Easter is one of my faaaaaavorite holidays! JESUS CHRIST IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR and i’m not at all ashamed of it.

And Christ is not ashamed to call Christina His own.

Watch this stunning and fun video and let her message become yours. (Watch it all the way to the end. You’ll be glad you did.)  [Read more…]

Do Not Fear. All Is Not Lost. ARISE (by Russell & Kristi)

Do not fear. All is not lost. Christ is the champion of lost causes. Watch the music video Arise by Russell and Kristi and find hope via

I get it. Really, I do.

We look at the headlines and throw our hands up in frustration. What’s this world coming to?!

Do not fear. All is not lost.

Go ahead. Throw your hands up, but not in disgust or despair.

Throw them up in praise because Christ is the champion of lost causes.

Consider this: Christ was dead. He was in-the-grave-wrapped-in-linen-sealed-with-a-stone dead.

But all was not lost.

He rose from the dead, left his grave clothes behind, and walked out of the open tomb.

All was not lost.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. ~ Matthew 28:5-6

The resurrection changed everything. It’s still changing everything today.

All is not lost.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.


Arise in resurrection power and overcome your doubts and fears.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your anger and hate.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your bondage to sin and shame. 


All is not lost.

We’ll still walk through trials. We might even face some we can’t imagine surviving. 

Apart from Christ, we have only whatever strength, peace, and joy we can manage to muster.

Apart from Christ, all is lost.

With Christ, His strength, peace, and joy fill us.

When we abide in Him, all of who He is spills out so we can rise up in power and live — really live.

Even if we can’t physically rise up, our souls aren’t held back. 

Arise and be encouraged. And listen to Russell and Kristi share this message through their song, Arise. [Read more…]