My Christmas Gift to You

My Christmas Gift to You

My Christmas gift to you

A friend of mine once told me she was praying the 5 P’s over me — God’s peace, power, provision, protection and prosperity. I love that!

I have since prayed that prayer often, but I’ve added a couple more – presence and purpose, making it 7 P’s.

I so want to experience God’s presence in my life, in every decision and in every aspect of my day. I want my life to have purpose and want to live out HIS purpose for me.

One Holy Night

One holy night, Christ came down and blessed us with His presence as a babe in a manger. God came down. He left the splendor of Heaven to meet us here on earth. He came to walk beside us. He came to make the world right again.

Today, I’m comforted by this thought. I am NOT alone. HE is with me.

Through darkness and trial, in light and joy, He is with us.

One Holy, Living God

As my gift to you this Christmas, I offer this prayer over you.

I pray you will be blessed by the presence of the Holy, Living God this week. I pray that you will be able to put aside the worries and anxieties of this world and worship the One True God. May you fully experience the presence of Jesus like a warm blanket on a chilly night.

I pray that you will walk in His power and that you will embrace and rest in His peace at this time. I encourage you to see past the expectations of this life and the world we live in to experience the goodness of God. May you see your God-given purpose as clear as the Bethlehem star in the night sky. I pray that you would pursue that purpose without yielding to distractions or stopping at roadblocks.

May you see the provision He’s already provided and be confident in the prosperity that will come. I pray that you will listen to no other voice than the One who tells you that you are loved, you are valuable and you are not alone.

My friend, I pray God’s peace, presence, power and purpose over you. I pray for His protection, provision and prosperity in your life and that you would have the insight to recognize them.



Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.



My 91-year-old dad took off on his scooter to the local grocery store about half a mile from their house. Take a mental picture of this and let yourself smile.

Why? Because he needed some medicine for dizziness that wasn’t available the day before and mom wasn’t there at the time.

So . . . a man who can barely see battling dizziness rode his scooter beside a busy street to get to the remedy he needed. It’s a wonder he made it there at all! It had to have simply been God’s protection. He’s been known to run off the curb before getting to the end of the ramp!

But he was on a mission and determined to get the needed meds.

On a mission

Think for a moment of the story written 2000 years ago where a woman risked everything to seek healing from Jesus. When she heard Jesus was nearby, she tore through the crowds — on a mission — to get healing from the bleeding she’d suffered from for 12 years! She had spent all she had on physicians but not one was able to help her. She only touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment and was instantly healed. Luke 8:43-48

Surely there were many types of people in the crowd that day. With determination, she ran past the onlookers – those who were just there to observe. She ran past those with casual curiosity, as well as those looking to find fault.

But not this woman. She was there for a life change. And that’s what she got. The moment she touched the hem of Jesus’ clothing, she felt His power heal and change her. And He felt that same power leave Him.

A driving force

I want to be that driven to get to Jesus.

The woman plunged into the crowd, found Him, touched His hem and received the blessing — the healing — she sought.

Do we really seek Him? He is not hiding. He’s right here with us, waiting for us. He wants to bless us and He wants us to know how much He loves us.

I gently told my dad, “Now you can’t be riding down to the store like that. It’s not safe,” to which he responded he wouldn’t do it again. But with a look of mischief on his face, he continued . . .  “unless I need something.”

Let’s be driven to get to Jesus. Let’s stay focused as we run past the many distractions that demand our attention and steer us astray.

Seek Him. Know Him. Be changed by Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)


Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.


Recognizing the Protection of God

Recognizing the Protection of God

Have you ever felt God’s protection? I did just last week.

Upon taking my car to a repair shop to get an estimate for recent accident damage, the alternator belt came off as I arrived. Not only that, but the brakes went out as a result.

Thinking about my predicament, a key question came to mind. What if my brakes had gone out while I was driving? What would I have done? How would I have navigated that? 

My next thought was one of awe and gratitude. God protected me from harm that day and used that situation to encourage and remind me of His presence and protection.

Daniel’s story also tells of God’s presence and protection. The Jewish prophet served King Darius of Babylon and his successors while also remaining true to the God of Israel.

After being maliciously accused of breaking the king’s law, Daniel was sentenced to spend the night in a den of lions.

The result of faithfulness

At daybreak, the king “went in haste” to the den and cried out in anguish.

“O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Daniel said to the king, “O King, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king. I have done no harm.” Daniel 6: 20-22 (NIV)

Here are a few results of Daniel’s faithfulness to the Lord.

  • King Darius wanted to see God save Daniel. Verse 16 tells us that he declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” He had watched Daniel and wanted to see what Daniel’s God would do.
  • Daniel had been a captured young man at the first siege of Jerusalem. Yet he shows us how we can remain true to our faith and honor God in all of our circumstances.
  • Daniel sets the example of how to live a holy life. He prayed and gave thanks to his God regardless of the environment around him. The king even recognized him as a man who served his God continually.
  • The event changed King Darius. Verse 25 tells us that he wrote to all the peoples, nations and languages telling them to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

God or coincidence?

Often, we think of situations like mine as coincidences. What if they’re not?

Think about a time when you were spared from harm. Maybe you didn’t recognize it at the time.  But what if it was God’s deliverance?

Let’s try to live in a way that we are always on the lookout for the protection and presence and power of God.

God is in the Details

God is in the Details

The GPS left out some important details.

Driving to Memphis last weekend reminded me of the time the boys and I were driving home from North Mississippi. My GPS took me through a “shortcut,” putting us right in the middle of farm fields.

We ended up on a maze of dirt roads in the Mississippi delta. By the time we got out, we were at least 15 minutes behind our schedule. 

Aren’t you glad our God is a God of details?

In the book of Exodus, He gives very specific information on how to build the tabernacle, among other instructions.

God knows you by name

In Exodus 33:17, God tells Moses, “I know you by name.” That might not surprise you since God called him to deliver Israel out of slavery in Egypt. However, Exodus also tells us that God not only knew Bezalel by name, but He also filled him with the Spirit of God.

and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. (Exodus 35:31-33)

The chapter goes on to say God inspired him to teach others.

God provided the detail for the build, plus He also gave the craftsmen the skills and intelligence to do the work.

God provides the roadmap

My friend, when God calls us to do something, He also gives the roadmap AND the abilities necessary to complete the assignment, the task or project. Let’s consider what He did for the Israelite craftsmen.

  • God stirred the hearts of every craftsman He wanted to do the work.
  • He put skill and intelligence into the craftsmen to know how to build the sanctuary exactly like He wanted it.
  • And he provided the resources – over-provided — for them through the contributions of the people of Israel. The material was sufficient to do all the work and more.

Every detail is laid out. Every pillar, molding and curtain. Every ring, pole and vessel.

We need not worry about how we will accomplish the work God has called us to.

I so needed to be reminded of that today. I tend to rely on myself too much, get overwhelmed and end up in a maze of uncertainty.

When what I really need to remember, He will give me exactly what it takes to get to the end of the path He has laid before me. And he’ll do the same for you.

He is in the details.

Celebrating a Promise Fulfilled

Celebrating a Promise Fulfilled

After returning an item at a local store, I began to wander around – not knowing what I was looking for. Then my mind also began to wander, thinking about Matthew and how I miss him this Christmas.

Next, I headed to Sam’s to buy supplies for Christmas day, and I remembered how we used to go together to shop for Christmas. Our boys were much younger, and we enjoyed finding gifts that would surprise and delight them. Matthew was such a big kid himself.

How do we survive the holidays when our hearts are longing for more time with our loved one? There seems to have been so much loss and heartbreak this year. That alone is distressing.

Then I stumbled on this verse in a journal a friend gave me recently and God spoke to my heart.

Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you. Psalm 55:22

It was just the reminder I needed.

Make room for blessings

When we lay our worries and stresses at Jesus’ feet, there’s room to think about the gifts – the blessings – God has already provided. So that’s what I decided to do.

I thought about my boys giving me an early Christmas gift – both thoughtful and touching. Parker made an ornament on a piece of wood, painting the cover of my book on it. I think he got as much joy from giving it as I did from receiving it.

I thought about impromptu lunches with two friends this week — two days in a row — and how each one blessed and encouraged me.

I thought about our Christmas party and how I enjoyed spending time with friends and family.

And I thought about the gift of God’s word (like Psalm 55:22) that tells me I can release my burdens and focus on blessings because of a promise fulfilled.

A promise fulfilled

God made a promise. Then he fulfilled it when he gave the gift of joy by sending His son to live among humankind. 

The shepherds experienced it that beautiful and magnificent night when they were visited by a host of angels.

Mary and Joseph experienced it as they sat in awe and held their baby in their arms — the new King who had come to save the world.

The wise men experienced it when they visited the small family and kneeled before the Christ.

And we can experience it too.

  • As we face dark days. Lonely days.
  • When we trust even though we cannot see ahead.
  • As we sense the secret workings of God in our hearts.
  • As we receive the gift of salvation Christ offers.

While some celebrate Christmas with family, others miss the family member who’s gone. Some celebrate by attending events and parties. Others endure the days alone.

One thing is sure. No matter our circumstances, Jesus will do what he says. God spoke to the prophets about the coming Messiah and His miraculous birth. And it happened exactly as it was written.

And because of that, we can celebrate a promise fulfilled — whether with a large group of people or with only Jesus as our companion. Let’s celebrate Jesus. Let’s worship Him.

Is the spirit of God tugging at your heart today? Give thanks that he gave Himself for us. Give thanks for the gifts He has given us personally. 

  • A time of laughter with a friend
  • A bittersweet memory
  • A thoughtful gesture
  • A scripture of encouragement
  • A moment in the presence of the King.

As the shepherds rejoiced when they heard the angels’ proclamation, then searched for the Christ child, let us also rejoice and be on the lookout for precious everyday gifts.


    Used for good

    Used for good

    My books fell off the delivery truck. 

    I could write a complete page of issues, problems and just strange things that have come up as I have prepared to launch Grief Unwrapped: Discovering Joy in a Season of Sorrow.

    I ordered books for my Kickstarter backers and to have on hand for the upcoming launch party. 

    But I had a call one day from a friend to tell me someone from a few streets over found my book in the road. One lone book.

    I had already received a box that was partially open on one end with books missing, so I can only assume that box’s contents somehow fell from the truck.

    As issues have surfaced, I have felt battered — like someone was trying to discourage and hinder me in my goal to complete this book process.

    Satan himself is the father of lies and has a multitude of ways to influence our thought processes. Words of discouragement. Words to stop us from doing what God has called us to do. From the beginning of my book-writing adventure, I have stopped and started many times, questioning what I believe God was asking me to do.

    And now, two weeks before the book release date, my books fell off the truck. Not one, but a second box arrived a couple of days later – repackaged. All the contents inside were battered, smudged and swollen from water damage.

    I believe what was meant to discourage, God used for good.

    Stand strong and press on

    That neighbor who found my book researched and found me, too. Before she did, she read the book. And then she hand-delivered it to my door with words of encouragement that blessed me and gave me new strength to stand strong and press on.

    So . . . should you find my book somewhere, remember this story. And let it encourage you to keep moving forward in whatever God has called you to do.

    And while you’re at it, thank Jesus for the people he places in your life to encourage you and when needed, even to hold you up.

    Let God use for good what Satan wants to use for evil.

    You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20