Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Lyrics of our Heart

I'm digging the music and sound coming from The Jesus Culture these days. We did this song in worship this morning. It rocked our hearts.

I love it because the song is true. The lyrics reflect the truth of our hearts while drawing us into the truth of who He is!

His love never fails.

We have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead in us! Romans 8:11, Colossians 1:27. We don't have to be in the dark, be without joy, without comfort. In the midst of our darkest trial, He is with us.

Song lyrics reflect the heart of the songwriter. If I were to write a song it would say how in my darkest moments when I felt God was distant, He was there. How He came to me, spoke to me when I needed Him. How He delivered me from all my fears. His love never fails.

Tell me a few of the lyrics of your heart today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Becca By The Book, by Laura Jensen Walker

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Becca By The Book

Zondervan (January 1, 2010)


Laura Jensen Walker


Laura Jensen Walker is an award-winning writer, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor who loves to touch readers and audiences with the healing power of laughter.

Born in Racine, Wisconsin (home of Western Printing and Johnson’s Wax—maker of your favorite floor care products) Laura moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was in high school. But not being a fan of blazing heat and knowing that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good women, she enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduation and spent the next five years flying a typewriter through Europe.

Her lifelong dream of writing fiction came true in Spring 2005 with the release of her first chick lit novel, Dreaming in Black & White which won the Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her sophomore novel, Dreaming in Technicolor was published in Fall 2005.

Laura’s third novel, Reconstructing Natalie, chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006, is the funny and poignant story of a young, single woman who gets breast cancer and how her life is reconstructed as a result. This book was born out of Laura’s cancer speaking engagements where she started meeting younger and younger women stricken with this disease—some whose husbands had left them, and others who wondered what breast cancer would do to their dating life. She wanted to write a novel that would give voice to those women. Something real. And honest. And funny.

Because although cancer isn’t funny, humor is healing.

To learn more about Laura’s latest novels, please check out her Books page.

A popular speaker and teacher at writing conferences, Laura has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the country including the ABC Weekend News, The 700 Club, and The Jay Thomas Morning Show.

She lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband Michael, and Gracie, their piano playing dog.


Sales clerk, barista, telemarketer, sign waver...

At twenty-five, free-spirited Becca Daniels is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. What Becca doesn’t want to be is bored. She craves the rush of a new experience, whether it’s an extreme sport, a shocking hair color, or a new guy. That’s why she quit her bookstore job, used her last bit of credit to go skydiving, and broke her leg.

And that’s why, grounded and grumpy, Becca bristles when teased by friends for being commitment-phobic. In response, Becca issues an outrageous wager—that she can sustain a three-month or twenty-five date relationship with the next guy who asks her out. When the guy turns out to be “churchy” Ben—definitely not Becca’s type—she gamely embarks on a hilarious series of dates that plunge her purple-haired, free-speaking, commitment-phobic self into the alien world of church potlucks and prayer meetings.

This irrepressible Getaway Girl will have you cheering her on as she “suffers” through her dates, gains perspective on her life’s purpose, and ultimately begins her greatest adventure of all.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Becca By The Book, go HERE

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Supreme Court's Free Speech Decision

Over on Faithchick, I took a stab at explaining the Supreme Courts decision on free speech. Hop on over and take a read.

What do you think?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Of all gods, which one still speaks?

The Haiti earthquake. The Sir Lanka tsunami. The Florida hurricanes of '04. The Twin Towers bombing.

Disasters make us look up. Suddenly the God we ignore daily is accused, blamed and cursed. Cold, hard hearts become even more embittered at the idea of a loving God watching over us.

It's a gross misunderstanding of who He is, His plan and purpose for the universe. But there is no reason to be "in the dark."

There are 150 chapters in the Bible about the return of Jesus and the End of the Age. That's more than the entire New Testament. In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us the beginning of "birth pangs" is earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, famine. . .

In John chapters 15, 16, 17 Jesus exhorts us about the love of the Father and to be aware and alert. He tells us what's going to happen THEN gives us the Spirit, "the Comforter" who will do what. . .

"Disclose to us ALL things."

Christian theologians paint God as silent far too often. Folks I'd consider mature believers tell me, "God doesn't speak to me."

But John 10 is clear, "My sheep hear My voice."

Let's put it into the practical. If there was a disaster in your home, and your child ran into you with wide, scared eyes, "Daddy, what happened?" You'd tell them! Maybe not every detail, but you'd say, "Baby, we had a storm and the electricity went out. But the electric company will fix it. Let's light candles."

Now she's comforted. She understands. She can boldly face the trial because she had a glimpse of what is to come.

Why would God not speak in the same manner to His Bride? He died for us! We disqualify the Cross if we say He won't speak to us, comfort us. We are Kings and Priest before Him. I don't get the thinking that "we can't know what God is up to."

I'm a Word person. I love the Word. All hearing begins in and with the Word. Don't go around speaking for God then claim you struggle in prayer and the Word. I've honed my own ear to Him by reading, praying and singing scripture.

Even more, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. Romans 8:11. We can and must hear God. Yes, He is Holy, high above me, His ways are not mine, YET, He chooses me as His partner, to live in me. This is the mystery of the ages. Col 1:27. It's a divine paradox.

Our God lives and speaks. Muhammad is dead and doesn't speak. Buddah is dead and doesn't speak. Jesus is alive and speaks. His Word is living and active, sharper than a two edge sword. Heb 4:12

God speaks. If you're not hearing, ask Him to teach you. What is God saying to you?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

All the leaves are brown

I'm not sure I've ever seen this in central Florida. If I have, it's been a long time. All the leaves are brown and wilting. The grass is dead. My neighbors palm trees are slumping over.

The January cold snap with night after night dipping into freezing has turned our world brown. Plants are dying. In the spring, trees and bushes will have to be severely pruned for them to bloom again. If at all.

I can't help but think of how easily it is to allow our hearts to turn cold. Toward each other. Toward God.

Bitterness, busyness, selfish ambition, any number of things, laziness, can prevent us from keeping our hearts warm, open and yielded to the Spirit of God.

A frozen heart is a dead heart.

We must strive to keep before the flame of Jesus's love. Matthew 25 He reminds us to keep our lamps (souls) trimmed with oil (His Spirit.) Otherwise, in our hour of need, we will not be prepared.

We are all watching the outcome of the Haiti earthquake with pain and wonder. Boots on the ground in Haiti in the midst of an earthquake aftermath is not the time to cry out, "Oh, God, where are you?"

We must be crying out now, seeking His face, yielding to His will. We must be full of Him in the good times so that when and if crisis comes, we have oil remaining to burn.

Don't let your love grow cold. Don't find yourself only crying out to God in the midst of crisis. There will come a day when it will be too late.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Sweet By and By Launch party

Had a great time in Nashville at Davis-Kidd for The Sweet By and By launch party. Sara sang, answered questions, then we signed lots of books.
I had a blast.

It was great to meet some of you I know on Facebook and Twitter, and Linda, the winner of the Fly Away contest and her friend Stephanie.

Me, April Schaffer, Sara Evans.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Pondering a few things today. Trying to make sense out of a situation. Believing Romans 8:28.

"You work all things together for my good!"

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Soldier's Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt

Please welcome my friend and author, Cheryl Wyatt!

A Soldiers Devotion

U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper Vince Reardon was headed to a lifesaving mission.

Until a too-pretty lawyer crashed her fancy car into his motorcycle—sidelining him for two weeks.

Vince can barely accept Valentina Russo's heartfelt apologies. Ever since his brother was wrongly convicted -- and killed in prison -- Vince has lost respect for lawyers.

But wait -- is that Val volunteering at his refuge for underprivileged kids? If Vince isn't careful, this lady of the law might just earn his respect and his heart.


Born Valentine’s Day on a naval base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military and rescue romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged- About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. She is a Reviewers Choice Award Nominee. www.CherylWyatt. com


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Oh, the irony?

Is this your heart toward the Lord? Some days, I know it's mine. It makes me sad.

"Come fan the flame, Lord!"

Friday, January 01, 2010

Setting up for success over failure

I am a fan of goals. They are vital sign posts on our life road map. No goals, no plan leaves us in debt both physically and emotionally.

Far to often we let the tyranny of the urgent or the power of our weaknesses rule our lives. We want to live for the moment instead of living toward the overall plan. We let circumstances, the emotions and will of others dictate to us.

After high school I dated an FSU man (I know, what was I thinking?) who asked me to marry him. At nineteen, I wasn't ready for marriage even though I loved him. See, I had a plan. College. Career. Living on my own, becoming my own woman.

Marriage was for the "some day" the future would bring 'round. I always had this sense I would be older when I got married. Hubby proposed a few months before my (our) 31st birthday.

I made a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions in my life, but I honestly believe more bad decisions were thwarted by having plans, goals, and dreams.

As a Christian, I always consider the God factor. What is His will? What does He need and want me to do? His Kingdom come, His will be done. Yet, I'm convinced following and surrendering to God does not require me to be a limp rag, kind of muddling through life waiting for "God to speak."

God speaks way more often than we are willing to listen. But far too often, not as much as we'd want. Or in the manner we want. I don't stub my toe and ask, "God, what are you saying?" Beloved, we really need to learn to discern, be lead by the Spirit. Connect with the Spirit of God that lives inside you! Col 1:27.

For me, following God requires complete surrender, but surrender of specifics. My heart and mind, my desire for college, for marriage, for a writing career. I put it all at His feet.

I even surrendered my right to have children. He asked for it. I gave it. And in this life, He didn't return my surrender to Him like he did marriage or writing. But I'm going to live forever (Ecc 3:11) and I can't even imagine what He has in store for me in the realm of motherhood! Can't wait.

This life is a vapor. We can't get to wrapped around the axle of wealth and beauty, fame and acceptance or what others think because the age to come is beyond our comprehension. We need to live for the eternal not the temporal.

So back to goals. How can we make the most of this life so we are prepared for the next? Are you facing 2010 with a realistic view of yourself, of God? Are you like me, tend to want to do everything? After watching the One Thing Conference from Kansas City via the web, I was ready to be a full time intercessor-singer!

But God has called me to write as well as pray.

Most of our soulish eyes are bigger than our soulish stomachs. We bite off too much in January and by March are sliding down the mud hill of failure. I suggest we avoid that this year!

Here are my thoughts on setting goals for 2010.

1. Get before the Lord in prayer. Pray with your Bible open, reading and talking to God. Getting Divine inspiration from the Word.

2. Evaluate what's already on your heart. What do you love? What passions are humming beneath your skin? Answer this question: "Whenever I hear (x) my heart skips or I get glow of excitement." What's (x)? If you don't have the (x) factor, ask the Lord to awaken your heart.

3. Believe God has a destiny in Him for YOU. Believe He has called you, He loves you, He has good for you. If you don't believe it, say it, pray it until you do.

4. When you feel confident about a few things, write down your goals. One or two. I'd say no more than five major goals. Spread them out so you aren't starting all five at once. NOTE: I highly recommend you do not start dieting and exercising at the same time. If you are already doing one, sure, add the other. But if you are a couch potato intent on shedding a few pounds this year, choose one to start out: exercise or diet. Not both. You'll fail at one, then the other and quit. Unless you go on the Biggest Looser. Then you have no choice.

5. Share your goals with one or two other people for the purpose of accountability and encouragement. Cause sooner or later we all stumble along the trail.

So, what are some of your goals for 2010. Be specific. Last year, one of my goals was to complain less. I think I did pretty well. Not perfect. But I did repent a lot of complaining!

This year, I plan to be more intent about prayer and the Word. I am really focusing on being diligent with my time. I don't have TV, and we don't watch a bunch of movies so I have plenty of time to write, read and serve the Body of Christ but I seem to waste time on email and Facebook. Perhaps for me, I need a realistic plan about the part of my writing life that involves communication with readers and maintaining a cyber presence. Food for thought.

Well, there's one from me. What are you all doing?