Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Honor of the Veteran's Day

My father enlisted in the Marine Corp as a teen.  He ended up fighting in World War II.   He was a hero--Ray Shurtliff Jr.

Sadly, for most of my own teen years I did not understand the commitment of our military. However, as I became an adult I realized the freedoms that I enjoyed were the direct result of the men and women who served our country in our American military.

I thank God for them everyday.  But especially, on Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.  As a reminder, today I saw a emotionally moving scene.  1000 Flag posted in honor of our national heros.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Joy in the Journey

Yesterday I shared the celebration of The Crossing's 10-year anniversary.  As the Women's Ministries launched the Lord brought precious cohorts to help me.  One of the first and sweetest was my friend, Joy.  We met shortly before the first Sunday service at a women's Bible study. Joy volunteered to help in anyway I needed, but she wanted to always be behind the scenes.  Ha!  Jesus so had different plans for Joy.

We started the women's ministries with a Bible study. Then to welcome women who were new to the church we  held a newcomer's coffee--Mugs and Muffins.  (Of course, we were all new.  It was a church plant.)  I will never forget that I asked Joy to read a devotional. Her hands were shaking so hard that she could barely read it.

Alas, her husband switched jobs and moved my friend to Phoenix after only six months.  I was heartbroken and a bit angry at God and her husband.  But God saw a bigger vision than what I did.  Joy was only in Phoenix about a month before she became the Women's Ministries director of a new large church plant.  As an obedient servant to the Most High God Joy stepped out in faith.  She led Bible studies. Joy spoke at retreats.  Everything that she feared she faced. 

That was 10 years ago.  Our friendship has endured the time and the distance.  Joy has brought joy to my journey.  I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for the two of us during the next 10 years.

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel. (Proverbs 27:9 NIV)
Travel Mercies,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Journey Began

Ten years ago, I began a new journey.  Mark and I were part of a church plant called  The Crossing here in Las Vegas.  It's hard to believe that it was 10-years ago, but this past Sunday we celebrated our 10-year anniversary.  (I guess we can't even be called a "church plant" any longer.)

I was on staff for several years as the Women's Ministries director.  I have fond memories of launching Bible studies and MOPs.  We held retreats, teas, and even a Valentine Spa.  Fun stuff.  Jesus showed up and did some amazing things in women's life--miracles actually.

The Lord gave me two Scriptures when we began.

Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. (Isaiah 60:21 NIV)
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3 NIV)
On Sunday I watched women, whose lives have been transformed, worship the Lord God Almighty. He had fulfilled these words of promise, hope, and redemption.  His daughters rejoiced in His faithfulness.

Today I thank God for having had the privilege to journey along side of my pastors, Shane and Scott. Along with my dear friend, Connie and the other women who served on the women's leadership team.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

And God Shows Up

God cares about His girls.  This past weekend God showed up for His 400 girls in Williams, Arizona.  The retreat was held at the Young Life Camp.   The facility is absolutely amazing. 

Lots of girls means lots of laughter.  The shrieks that issued from the zipline and the swinging chair made me crack-up.  (I have to admit I wasn't brave enough to attempt either.) 
Then the do I even begin to describe Hosanna.  Five women who can sing like angels and with the ability to bring women right to the throne room of God.  And God looked down and smiled on us. His Holy Presence enveloped us.

Even in our laughter, especially when I said, "thong of women" instead of  "throng of women" I believe every woman was touched in some new and personal way by Jesus.  He challenged us in so many ways, but especially to go out and share our personal stories, so that others can learn of the grace and mercy of Jesus.  Each of our lives are miracles.  Can I hear an amen?

Women of Arizona you blessed my Vegas heart!

Monday, September 27, 2010

If I Had Nine Lives

One of my favorite movies scenes comes from Little Women (1994)  The scene evolves as Jo March sits with her romantic interest, the professor, and his friends.  The men debate whether or not women should have the right to vote.  Jo enters the debate with a stinging logical retort.  The dialogue proceeds,

Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.

Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

 Every time my husband and I watch this movie, which is every December, we look at each other and say, "I should have been a great many things."  Unfortunately, I have more interests and dreams that I have life.

Here are the things that I should have been. This list is not prioritized in numerical order. Nor does it take into consideration God's calling on my life.  But my heart and spirit whisper that life is such a wonder.  I should've, could've and would've been any of the following. 

1. Cowgirl barrel racer
2. Veterinarian
3. Peace Corp Volunteer
4. World Traveler
5. Train Conductor
6. Dairy Queen Worker  (age 5)
7. Author/Speaker
8. Bohemian Freelance writer
9. Astronomer (not smart enough)

A few of these I have accomplished.  Others were unrealistic for my natural gifts and abilities.  A few were clearly not God's will for my life--life is short. But regardless, I still say that if I had nine lives I would have been a great many things.  What would you like to do in your life?

Travel Mercies,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Geek Envy and my Writer's Heart

I couldn't believe my eyes.  There sitting next to me at the small town rodeo was a girl, around 8 years old, working on an iPad.  What?  My first thought was, "No fair!  I don't have an iPad, why should she?" 

My love for electronic gadgets has been unfolding since the first electronic word processors were launched during the 1980s.   They were so popular that my husband had to stalk Montgomery Ward to eventually buy me the prized possession.  (He earned many man points that day.)  I still say it was one of my favorite gifts of all time.  That was a long time ago -- manual typewriters and Montgomery Ward.  Am I dating myself or what?  

Anyway, I have transitioned over the years from a manual typewriter, to an electric word processor, to a DOS computer, to a PC, to a small Dell laptop.  I have loved every transition and each one has made my writing life so much easier.  So when the iPad released, I thought it was going to be the next step in my geeky writing journey.  But as I researched it, I found it doesn't meet the needs of a writer at all.  It's a great electronic toy for Googling things, playing games, reading books, etc.  In my life it would be just a toy, not a useful writing tool.  And if I was honest, it would probably distract me from my writing.  Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, said about the iPad, "It's a solution looking for a problem to fix." 

So my iPad envy was so unjustified. (Is envy ever justified?)  I truly do not want an iPad at this point.  But it was just looking over at this tiny kid tapping away that made the electronic geek in me think I "needed"  an iPad.  Really?  Like I would be writing instead of watching the rodeo in St. George, Utah. 

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Proverbs 14:30 

I do look forward to whatever the next writers' electronic tool will be, but for now it's not the iPad. Are you an electronics geek?   What helps you the most in your writing endeavors?

Writers write.  Keep writing,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Horse of a Different Color--Pink

This week I have rambled about helmet hair and roadway hassles, but the truth is these shouldn't even be considered minor inconveniences.  Not when there is still not a cure for cancer. October is national breast cancer awareness month. In the fight against breast cancer, this past weekend at the local rodeo in St. George, Utah they painted the wall of the arena pink and everyone was asked to wear pink--even the rough and tumble cowboys.  Cool thing was--they did. 

Here's a picture of the arena before the events started.  Can you see the pink railing?  All the pink shirts?  And what about the horse with a special pink coat?  The historic Dixie Sunbowl was filled to capacity with people all dressed in pink to bring awareness about  the need to find a cure for breast cancer.
I have several friends who are currently battling this horrific disease. It breaks my heart every time I hear of someone else being diagnosed.  But my heart is blessed when I see people who care enough to donate to research to  help find a cure and prevent breast cancer. 

This one is for you, Vern.

Think Pink--Donate!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Zigzag Through Zion

Surprise -- the road was impassable. My husband and I along with another couple rode motorcycles to Zion National Park this past weekend.  We were a pack of two -- two bikes and four riders.  (The two girls, me and my friend, are not "experienced" riders.) We paid our $24 per motorcycle to ride in Zion National Park, and began to wind our way up the incline only to discover the entire road through Zion was under construction--major construction.  The rode was unpaved.  It was only packed red dirt and hairpin turns.  This is extremely difficult and dangerous for motorcyclists.

Did I mention that the girls on the back of the bikes were inexperienced riders?  We clung to our Harley men for dear life until I finally shouted, "No more.  Let's turn around."   I think we made it about two miles before we chickened out.  We slowly poked our way back to the park gate and said we wanted our $24 back.  After a bit of an argument they refunded our money.  The ranger at the gate said, "I ride my motorcycle up and down it all the time.  I told him we were inexperienced.  His facial expression changed immediately and he said, "Well, in that case I WILL refund your money.  No problem." 

So I guess we will travel through Zion next year after the road construction is complete.  But here are a couple of photos to display the glory of God's handiwork.

Psalms 99:2
Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations.   (NIV)
Travel Mercies,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh Helmet Hair!

This past weekend I rode behind my man on his Harley Davidson.  Our friends, Harlan and Carol joined us as we toured southern Utah.  We saw  beautiful country and had some great meals.  This picture was taken at Oscar's just outside Zion National Park.

Now because I always wear my helmet, state law or not, my hair is a wreck.  There is no way around it--helmets create hair disasters.  As you can see, I wear a bandana or better known as a doo-rag.  It is NOT attractive.  Now my husband, he wears a ball cap to hide his helmet hair; oh wait, he doesn't have hair. :) 

My friend, Carol, cut her hair in a pixie and it's as cute as it can be.  She takes off the helmet,  runs her fingers through her hair--fluff--spike--darling. Sigh, I don't think my hair will spike up like hers. 

Ponytails, clips, etc. do not work because of the pressure point they put on your skull from the head squishing headgear.  Motorcycle Mamas, I need your help here.  Does anyone know how to avoid this small dilemma? I would appreciate your advice. 

Tomorrow I'll tell you about our "adventure" in Zion.

Travel Mercies,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nebraska Revisited

Nebraska happens to be one of my favorite States.  The primary reason is because one of my daughter-in-loves is from Nebraska.  I adore her and and her family--especially her mama.  So, that happens to influence me a bit. I usually drive across the entire state of Nebraska at least once a year on my way to Minnesota to visit family. 

I travel I-80 which is like drving on a washboard, but other than that small annoyance, it's a great trip.  I have plotted out every Startbucks and Runza. (My husband charts the Dairy Queens.)  Wait!  Did I hear you ask, "What is Runza?"  Good question.

A runza is a midwest meat pie.  It is seasoned meat swaddled in a semi-sweet dough and then baked.  It comes with or without cheese and is served with a dip.  (Midwestern preference seems to be Dorothy Lynch.)  I prefer mine without dipping sauce.  Since runzas are standard midwest fare, of course, someone began a Runza franchise.  So that is where I obtain my fix for runzas.  I eat one at a restauarant and then order 1/2 dozen frozen ones to go.  They are prepackaged with baking instructions.

Watch tomorrow for how to make runza at home.  They are tasty too, but a bit more work. 
Travel Mercies,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review--Angry Conversations with God

This is one of my favorite Christian books of all time. Susan Isaacs' clever idea to bring God into couple counseling and allow us to "listen" was hilarious. 
I loved this book. It's witty. It's inspiring with the ache of truth about our doubts of God's love for us. After reading it, I listened to it on my ipod. Both versions were good. If you are looking for a fresh look at your relationship with God, then read Angry Conversations with God. It especially works if you are a "middle-class white girl."

The book reveals God's mercy in circumstances we don't understand.  It's a great read if you like humorous and honest memoirs.  Plus, the writing is terrific.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Brouhaha on Anne Rice's Statement

Now that the brouhaha of Anne Rice's statement that she wasn't going to being a Christian any longer has died down. I thought I would chime in with my two cents on the topic. Its sounds to me like she's not tired of Jesus, but of the people. Here's what she said,

“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

Isn't that the saddest thing? I understand a part of her frustration. I have worked in ministry for 20+ years and working with people can be difficult. There's a joke that says, "The church would be perfect, if it wasn't for the people." HOWEVER, being with people is also the greatest joy that can be found in this life.

I wish I could share with Ms. Rice the flip side of being with Christ followers. There is no one that makes me laugh as much as my girlfriends, especially my Tuesday night Bible study. We're a group of seven women who have been meeting for about five years. Do we always agree? No! Do we irritate each other occasionally? Yes! Do we always have the same theological opinion? No! Do love each other? Yes! Would we do anything to help one another? Absolutely!

I think of my other closest friends--the one in Atlanta, my pal in Phoenix, and my lifelines in Las Vegas--I could not do life without them. They are all Christians. Maybe Anne Rice never made those type of connections, because I believe if she had, she'd be praising Jesus for the abundant life of friendships in Christ. In other words, Christians.

In gratefulness for my Christian friends,


Home Sweet Home

After being 30 days on the road I am glad to be home. We traveled through Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado. Whew! That makes me tired even writing it down. We had a great trip, saw some beautiful country and visited with family along the way.

Now the summer is at a close and it's time to get back into the routine of life. As far as ministry goes, my writing is taking priority this fall. However, I am starting Bible Study Fellowship again this year. They have added a new study on the book of Isaiah. I anticpate that it will be a life changing study. Plus, my favorite girls in the whole world, my Tuesday night Bible study group are going to study Revelation with a study guide written by Beth Moore. Should be great!

In addition, the Las Vegas Bookies, the book club I belong to will be in full swing. Whew! It's beginning to feel like a lot, but life is short and I don't want to waste a minute of it. I have decided that I am not going to do "stuff" that I don't enjoy. (Not counting housework, laundry, etc. -- those are not negotiable.) But the stuff that seems to intrude into the things I love to do is going bye-bye.

So I love to be with family and friends and to write. This is my life for now.

What are your plans for this new season?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Top Ten Favorites of Minnesota

Although I live in Las Vegas, I spend a lot of time in Minnesota. Since, I write so often about it, I decided I would list the my top 10 favorite things.
10. Wonderful libraries.
9. The four distinct seasons
8. Uptown--eclectic shopping/dining/living area in Minneapolis
7. The community attitude of Minnesota--Go Twins!
6. Minnesota State Fair
5. The trees and all the the lakes and rivers
4. Dunn Brothers Coffee--especially the one in Anoka.
3 . The people are so nice--Minnesota nice.
2. My granddaughters--Emily Susanne & Brianna Meg
1. My son, Jeremy, and his wife Stephanie.
We will be leaving Minnesota in just a few days. I plan on enjoying every last minute.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vanishing Bookstores--Disappearing Books

My favorite Christian bookstore vanished. I am in Minnesota and went to my favorite Christian bookstore--Northwestern Christian Bookstore. Poof! No longer there. It is now a Lifeway bookstore. Now I adore Lifeway stores, but the Northwestern store had a certain eclectic charm to it. Sigh.

Then today I read on Chip Macgregor's blog that non-fiction books are struggling due to the Internet and the economy. Honestly, it makes so much sense to me. If I am looking for information, the first place I go is to the Internet. It is very rare that I buy a non-fiction book now. A few years ago, I bought several a month. Interesting change in my own reading habits. Have you seen a change in your own reading style?

However on the fiction side of books, I am enjoying a variety of good books. Some Christian publishers, some general publishers. I am happy to say that Christian fiction now has wonderful books in all different genres. I just finished Dead Reckoning by Roni Kendig. It is a thriller that will keep you turning the page. Let's just say it has murder and mayhem. I recommend it if you like thrillers. If you are looking for good Christian fiction check out our She Reads, we have a list of titles that will intrigue your literary taste.

Happy Reading,

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Writer's Porch

Why is it that we writers are such procrastinators? I can have a whole day set aside to write--but then the laundry calls, my friends call, or I call my friends. Or the dogs need to be walked or the bills need to be paid--immediately. Before I know it the day has whittled away to 10 minutes of writing time.

Honestly, many writers need to leave their homes to write. Do I understand it? Absolutely. For myself, I find writing in coffee shops inspirational. My favorite is Dunn Brothers in Ramsey, Minnesota. (That's where I go when I visit my son and his sweet family.) Here are some pics of Dunn Brothers. Not only is the writing ambiance perfect, but they serve the best Cafe Americanos. I love sitting, sipping, & storying here. (Is "storying" a word?)

When I am in Vegas my choice is Borders right off of the 215 & Charleston.

Why I can't seem to do this at home, I don't know. But being out and about seems to put me in the writing mode. (The writer's muse works better in a coffee shop, with a jolt of caffeine.)

Where do you like to write? Share your favorite spots.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Internet Interrupted

I had withdrawal symptoms. There were no internet connections and I am addicted to wireless communications. I have been on a road trip with my husband where we ventured through much of Montana including the glorious Glacier National Park. It was beautiful, but for the most part, we had no wireless communication. Even cell phone reception was sketchy. I developed a new syndrome—Internet Interrupted. (For the record, so did my husband.)

Now I thought it would be fine. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be disconnected for a few days? Then I’d log on and everything would be up to speed. No so much. I have been without wireless communication for a week Ugh! Every so often, my husband would grab our cell phones to see if we might have service. Invariably, the phones would say, “No Service.” We pulled into our campground and no Internet connection. It felt weird, kind of like a Stephen King story or something. I even imagined my skin was itchy due to the internet interruption.

Of course, because I couldn’t connect. I thought of a bazillion things I just HAD to do via wireless connection. Emails, phone calls, blog post, you name it, I thought of how much I needed to do.
Anxiety began to set in around the fourth day. We pulled into our campground in East Glacier, Montana around and few little bars of service appeared on our cell phones. My husband grabbed his phone and wanted to post something on Facebook. Ha! There wasn’t enough of a connection to post anything anywhere. I had some relatives who were in Glacier National Park and we couldn’t reach them by cell phone in their motel—Internet interrupted.

Now I am with AT&T and I have always been quite satisfied with their service. However, I do think the commercial stating that Verizon has more coverage areas than AT&T is accurate. My relatives with Verizon did seem to have an easier time with their cell phones connecting. (Sorry, AT&T, I am just saying.) Anyway, tonight we are still on the road, but finally managed to find some Wi-Fi service. So, for the past couple of hours I have answered emails, sent emails, blogged and surfed the Internet. I have to admit it was great to reconnect!

Monday, August 9, 2010

On the Road Again!

Every year my husband and I like to go to the Minnesota State Fair. (Best cheese curds on the planet!) Problem is we live in Nevada--my oldest son lives in Minnesota. So the past two years we have planned a huge road trip to make our way to Minnesota to be there for the fair.

So we load up our small RV and head out to see the world. My husband loves to eat at Guy Fieri's Diners',Drive In's and Dives. So we plot them out on a map--basically we eat our way to Minnesota.

Yesterday, we ate at The Blue Plate Diner in Salt Lake City. It was a 20 minute wait with very eclectic people hanging around. (I fit right in.) The food was good, I had some kind of very different cornbeef hash. I guess my husband and I are considered foodies.

By the way, if you are a foodie check out LeAnn Rice's blog. She has some amazing recipes.

Happy Eating,


Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm Back!

After taking a sabbatical from my blog--I am back. After finishing and releasing my newest book Embraced by the Father and speaking at six weekend retreats this spring, I needed to take some time away from writing and speaking.

Here's a snapshot of my summer. I brought my granddaughter, Emily, for a week's stay in Las Vegas. She's 4 and said, "Vegas sure is hot." I went to Brianna's 3rd birthday party in Minnesota -- jump house and the whole works. And I tried to watch my grandson Michael as much as I could since he is starting preschool this fall. I am going to miss having my "little boy blue" around.

Mark and I took a weekend trip to Laguna, California. We so needed it. It was fun to reconnect, soak up the sun and eat fabulous food. Can I say, "Creme Brulee Oatmeal"? So yummy that I tried to make it when I came home--didn't taste the same somehow. :)

There are a lot of exciting things happening around Proverbs 31 Ministries and my life. I am ready to be writing and speaking again. We had a marvelous She Speaks! Conference and it jazzed me. So stay tuned for what's next.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Embraced by the Father--Book Trailer

Check out my newest book, Embraced by the Father: Finding Grace in the Names of God.

Monday, April 26, 2010

She Speaks! Scholarship

We have a winner!

Cindy Haux is the winner of the full She Speaks scholarship that we gave away during our tour of blogs last week.

WOW! Thank you for your huge responses. All of us at Proverbs 31 Ministries hope that each one of you will find a way to make to She Speaks! Please read below for some information on how to create your own scholarship fund for She Speaks.

"We try very hard to keep the cost of the conference at a minimum, but we do understand sometimes financial circumstances may prevent some who really feel called to attend. Because scholarship information is subject to change, please contact the office to find out if funds are available at a given time. We also encourage you to let your friends, family members, co-workers, and people from your church know about your desire to attend the conference. Many women have been afforded the opportunity to attend in years past just by getting the word out. We have prepared a letter that may help you in your fundraising efforts. For a copy of the letter,

Or, please email Samantha at for more information. Should you decide to raise support, you will need to register for the conference to ensure your spot AND send your mailing address. This is imperative to making sure your funds are allocated to you.

And stayed tuned to our blogs as more opportunities will arise for winning a scholarship.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Before the Throne with Mandie

For myself, music draws me nearer to the heart of God than anything else. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege to work with an ASTOUNDING worship leader--Mandie Pinto. The Lord has arranged for us to be together at several retreats, and honestly, when she opens her mouth to sing I feel myself float right to the throne room of God.

Mandie is gifted--she can sing rock and then roll into a beloved hymn. She has several CDs that show the variety of her talent. Check them out!

Here's a few talent tidbits about Mandie:

In 2005, Mandie had the distinct pleasure and honor of both co-writing and recording with her friend, Blake Ewing, the ending credit song "Along the River" for the major motion picture, End of the Spear distributed by 20th Century Fox. This film was released nationwide and portrayed the touching story of missionaries Jim Elliot and Nate Saint.

Mandie is currently the Worship Team Leader at Real Life Church in Santa Clarita, California. She has been blessed to work at Real Life Church since the day its doors opened on October 1st, 2000. Her job consists of music selection, organizing a community of musicians and singers (approximately 30 participants), transcribing charts, creating charts, team leading, playing keyboards, and vocal/song arranging.

Throughout the last 15 years, Mandie has had the privilege of singing the National Anthem and/or Canadian Anthem at major sporting events throughout Southern California, including the Staples Center (Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Lakers), Anaheim Stadium (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Arrowhead Pond (Mighty Ducks), Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers), World’s Women’s Tennis, U.S. Olympic Swim Trials and the U.S. Olympic Men’s Gymnastic Finals.

Mandie has recorded for Nintendo, NAMCO, Toyota, Disney and the theme song to Miss Spider on Nickelodeon, as well as many children albums.

So, if you are a women's ministries leader and are looking for a the perfect person to lead worship for your special event check out Mandie. And then let me know, 'cause I want to come listen and be led to the throne room. Mandie lives in California, so she is perfect for us West Coast girls.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When God Shows Up

There have been a few times when God shows up in my life and I stand speechless. I have been attending the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks conference for several years. Without fail, God shows up at She Speaks! and I am without words.

I remember one time, I was at the airport and ready to fly home. I called my husband and he asked, "How was the conference?" I stood in the middle of the waiting area and cried. I couldn't even begin to tell my sweet man how I expereinced God over those three days.

Wouldn't you like to attend She Speaks? and see how God might move in your life? Well, Proverbs 31 is giving away a scholarship! All you need to do to enter the contest is to leave a comment on my blog and you will be entered in the contest. Check out the other Proverbs 31 Ministries blogs and enter a comment there too. (See below.) It will increase your chances. This Proverbs 31 blog tour contest ends on Friday. So don't delay and maybe I wlll see you at She Speaks! I will know God will meet with you there!

Now take the blog tour and enter your comments.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Land the Plane

There is nothing like laughing with girlfriends. One Saturday night, I sat at a table with eight women. We laughed until our sides ached. Here's the coolest part, we had all only met that weekend. It happened during one of the recent retreats at Forest Home.

I am sure staying in the mountains, celebrating God's goodness and being served gourmet meals helped to induce our merriment. However, what struck me the most was the fact that total strangers could bond together,share life and laughter.

What we laughed about was the phrase,"Land the plane!" One of the women explained that her husband would imitate with his arms a plane landing when he wanted her to quit prattling on about whatever she was saying. In other words, he was saying, "Get to the point." Now I guess the hilarity came from the fact we all recognized that we might talk too much and lose our guy's interest. I told them that my husband's eyes glaze over and I know that he is no longer listening. I guess I need to "Land the plane quicker."

We eight gals sat at the table for over an hour and talked and talked. Not one of us wanted the others to land the plane. Now that is girl talk!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Life in Repeat

The last few weekends have been like the movie Groundhog Day. The past five weekends I have spoken at retreats in the San Bernadino mountains in California. I would pack, drive, speak 4 sessions, pack, drive home and then begin the whole process again--5 times. It was a wonderful time each weekend, but I have to admit it's nice to know that I don't have to leave tomorrow morning. Although I will miss the beauty of the mountains.

Over the time spent with some of the most wonderful women I have ever met, I laughed, I cried and I rejoiced in the goodness of Jesus.

Over the next few posts, I would like to share some of those thoughts and experiences.

Stay embraced by the Father!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lord Almighty--God of the Mountains

Last weekend, I was up at Forest Home Ministries and the glory of God showed up in friendships and a glorious one day snow storm.

I will be speaking up there the next three weekends. I wonder what our Lord Almighty has up His holy sleeve. Can't wait to find out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Writer's Porch -- Celebration

I remember when I just couldn't wait to be published--to see my name in print. When my first book came out I shrieked, cried and celebrated. Now, four books later, the thrill is still there. However, it is a bit different. I read a blog written by Kathi Lipp on Rants & Ramblings. It made me laugh because it is so true as a published writer.

Basically, this is what she said, "Your first book, everyone wants to help you sell the book. Your friends and family are thrilled to know an author. After the first one, they yawn and say, 'That's nice.'"

So here's the deal! Let's party together over my new book, "Embraced by the Father--Finding Grace in the Names of God." During the next week, February 20-27th, purchase a copy of Embraced from my website,, and I will send you in addition a copy of a Joy Mahoney CD and a copy of my Birds in a Mustard Tree Bible study. Let's celebrate together.

How would you celebrate the release of a new book?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Different Daddy

The antiseptic smell of the intensive care unit assaulted my nose as I sat next to my father’s bed. Machines whirred and beeped with each labored breath he took. One collapsed lung and the other full of pneumonia predicted the outcome for him.

“So this is how it ends,” I pondered. For years, a love-hate relationship with this man influenced many of my decisions. Some good, some bad. I always sought his approval, but rarely did he grant it.

Until two years ago, when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. At the age of 79, my earthly father discovered the Father God’s unconditional love. I struggled to believe my father could transform from a mean bitter man to one full of love for others. I traveled five hundred miles just to look into those crinkled hazel eyes to see a new dad peering out at me. Our relationship changed drastically. Finally, my father became the dad I desired.

Now he lay dying. Two years was not long enough! Yet strangely, I felt a deep peace. I knew he was going home to his Father in heaven. I leaned over to kiss his damp forehead and using a name I had not called him forty-five years, I whispered, “I love you, Daddy. I’ll see you soon.

We use many terms to refer to our fathers. Father, poppa, pop, dad and daddy all recall certain images in our minds. Our hearts were designed for a father type of relationship. Perhaps your experience with your father was like mine, not the best. Or maybe you had a wonderful daddy, if so count your blessings. Whatever the relationships between you and your father, remember he is human. No one is perfect. We all have faults.

Many of us remember the old television show of “Father Knows Best.” We smile fondly as we recall the perfect family with the father sowing his wisdom in all sorts of different scenarios. What a family! Dad wore suits, mom wore dresses, and the children behaved with admirable manners.

However, in today’s culture we watch bumbling television families. The Simpsons or the Osbournes appear nightly across the television screens of our homes. With such examples of fathers traipsing before us, how do we perceive our Heavenly Father?

The God of the universe is our Heavenly Father. He loves us as his daughters and longs for us to love and trust him as our “Daddy.” Scripture tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17 NIV).” God is the ultimate father who bestows good and perfect gifts to his children. He does not change; he is worthy of our trust.

For me, eventually learning to trust my earthly father allowed me to call him, “Daddy.” In the same way, when we trust our Heavenly Father, he becomes a perfect daddy to us. In our key verse today, “Abba” translates as daddy. God desires to be our Father God, the perfect Father, our Daddy, and our Abba.

Will you trust him today as your “Abba Father?”

My prayer for today: Dear Father God, help me to know in my heart that you love me with a perfect fatherly love. Begin to teach me how to relate to you as my “Abba, Daddy.”

Because you are God's children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into us to call out, "Abba! Father!"

Thank you for all your comments concerning how we feel about our fathers. It is a subject that has lots of emotion. The winner of Embraced by the Father is Tania. Congratulations, Tania!