Skull Place

Matthew 27:24-28:20

“When they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Place),” Matthew 27:33

Some of you are really gonna dig this.

Jesus was crucified on a hill named Skull Place. It was on this hill that through His death He conquered the greatest Enemy mankind has ever faced.

Jesus was known throughout both the New and Old Testaments as the Son of David.

Are you ready for this? If you flip back to 1 Samuel 17 you’ll find the epic fight between David and the biggest enemy he had faced up to that point in his life. The guy was like 9 feet tall, seriously, and probably had the most rippling muscles around. And there stood scrawny little shepherd boy David with his sling and his rock. Yet it wasn’t David that was outmatched, it was Goliath! He completely underestimated what David could do to him. With his first shot David slung that smooth stone from the river and nailed Goliath right in the forehead bringing him down to his level. Then with Goliath’s own sword David cut off Goliath’s head and according to 1 Samuel 17:54, “David took Goliath’s head and brought it to JERUSALEM.”

Now, while there is no proof in the Bible, there are rabbinical writings that state that David buried Goliath’s head just outside of Jerusalem. Perhaps in a hill they named, the Skull Place, aka Golgotha!!!!!

In Genesis 3:15, when God curses the snake for deceiving Eve He tells the serpent that while he may bite her child’s heel, her child (Jesus) will crush the serpent’s head!

My friend is that not precisely what Jesus did on the cross? He removed the fear and sting of DEATH from us! Forever! While Satan stood there watching Jesus die on the cross, he must have thought of how outmatched Jesus was. Satan underestimated the power of the Son of David. There Jesus was, literally standing on Goliath’s head conquering ALL the sin of the world with one strike to its forehead, it all came tumbling down. And Satan fell, like lightning, defeated.

Utterly defeated.


Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Lavish Love

Matthew 25:31-27:23

“Why this waste?” Matthew 26:8

Every time I read this section I cringe. Jesus and His followers are all reclining to dinner at a leper’s house and this woman comes in with a bottle of EXPENSIVE perfume and starts pouring it all over Jesus’ body. It’s a beautiful gesture of love and appreciation toward the Son of God. And yet the other men at the table look at it and say, “Why this waste? This might have been sold for a great deal and given to the poor.”


He is the Son of God! He’s been walking around with you guys for the last three years constantly telling you about how He’s going to die for you and this honor paid upon Him is a WASTE? You’ve GOT to be kidding me!

And yet just this morning, while I was still laying in bed and avoiding opening my eyes and fully waking up, the Holy Spirit confronted me with my own “wasteful” thinking. This past weekend I cringed at spending $20 on a game for my son. Now, this wasn’t just any old game, it was THE game that he has been longing for, for a VERY long time. It’s the game that all the rest of his friends play and they play online with each other… and he didn’t have it. Now, the big reason he hasn’t had it was simply because we didn’t have all the equipment to play it so that he could connect with his friends.

Two weekends ago, I cringed at spending the great amount of money for the game system to play this game. Why did I cringe? Was it the money, or was it something else? That same amount of money could have purchased things that I wanted. Things that I would like to have, but certainly don’t need. It could have paid debts that I would like to see eradicated.

But then something happened yesterday, Gabe was able to meet up with one of his friends online after school and play this game for the first time. I kid you not, he was giggling like a little school girl. No, actually, the little school girl in our house doesn’t even giggle as much as he was! He was SO HAPPY. And his happiness made me happy. So very happy.

So then this morning as I lay in bed fighting consciousness everything came into focus, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” (Matthew 25:40) Jesus, plain as day, said it to me. “This gift you purchased your son, it was a gift to Me as well. It was NOT a waste. It brought MUCH joy to both him and his friends. That’s not wasteful, it’s love! Gifts are not love, they are a sign of love from those who give and receive love in that manner. It’s not a waste of money; it’s an abundance of love. And love spent on those you care about is NEVER a waste! Indulgence upon a fellow member of the Body of Christ is never wasted. Follow the direction of My Holy Spirit in how to spend your love, your time and your money and you will never go astray. I will not lead you into paths that will swallow you, though sometimes it may feel that way. Those paths are meant to strengthen and define you into who you are meant to be – made in My image. You are a cherished, Beloved Child of God – the One True King – He is the owner of ALL the sheep and ALL the cattle on ALL the hills… and He owns the hills too. You are His child in whom He is well pleased. He delights in your complete and total prosperity, you MUST believe that! If you, who are merely human, delight in giving good gifts to your children; then why is it so difficult for you to believe that your Father who is in Heaven would not also delight in giving good gifts to YOU as well? And you’ve got to know that I’m not just talking about spiritual gifts from a spiritual God. I delight in your joy and give you the things that bring you that joy. And as long as they don’t come between you and me, we’re good. But when that happens, well, then those things are no longer good for you because I am BEST for you; never forget that. Like a husband who loves to dote on his wife and children, I love to dote on YOU! Don’t be like the ill-dressed wedding guest and refuse My lavish love. I want to show you My love for YOU in wonderful ways today – let Me!

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Oil and the Holy Spirit

Matthew 23:1-25:30

When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them. Matthew 25:3

This verse struck me. I’ve always read it at face value and never pondered any deeper than that, until today. The moment I laid eyes on it one word stuck out like a sore thumb; oil. Oil through the entire Old and New Testament is a symbol for the Holy Spirit. It’s why all the priests and prophets and kings were anointed with it. They wanted all of their leaders to be anointed with the Holy Spirit in order to properly lead them in the way that they should go, according to God’s will, so as not to evoke His wrath.

After the resurrection Jesus told His Disciples “not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. ‘This,’ He said, ‘is what you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5

They were not to leave that very spot until they too had been anointed with the Holy Spirit. While Jesus had given them the Great Commission to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 They were not fully equipped to carry out that commission until they had been anointed or baptized with the Holy Spirit. Then Pentecost came.

“When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.” Acts 2:1-4

Tell me friend, what was it that the Virgins carried?

And what was it that the foolish ones forgot but the wise one brought with them?

And what is it that the priests, prophets and kings were anointed with?

And when oil is touched to a flame, what happens?

Oil burns! Oil, when placed inside a lamp and lit brings light to the entire area it is in. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire at the tops of their heads! Why? Because they had been anointed with the spiritual oil of the Holy Spirit and were now prepared to burn BRIGHTLY in this dark world. Which they DID!

My friend, today, I encourage you to pray this prayer and invite the Holy Spirit to come and fill you with His POWER and LIGHT in order to fully equip you to go and shine brightly in this dark world of ours.

morning prayer 4x6

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Soft Clothes

Matthew 20:17-22:46

“But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. “then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 22:11-13

I have to tell you, this passage transfixed me this morning! I kept trying to move on to the next passage, but I couldn’t. I just sat there staring at it. One question nagged at me more than all the rest, “Of course he wasn’t dressed for a wedding, the slaves had just pulled him off the street like you told them to. How could you be mad at him for that?”

I pressed on.

I read it again.

“Dressed for a wedding”, a wedding! This is a wedding banquet the King has thrown for His Son. It’s the wedding supper of the Lamb! It’s OUR wedding party!

But again I had to return to this poor soul sitting there joyfully eating the supper that others refused who then gets thrown out onto his duff in the middle of the sorrowful street. L Why? The question just wouldn’t go away, so I was forced to dig deeper.

In Jeremiah chapter 38 we find another king’s palace. In that palace there was a closet with “old clothes” in it that Ebed-Melech used to comfort Jeremiah while pulling him out of a muddy cistern. These clothes were kept specifically for the poor to use. It was a common practice for the king’s palace to store these clothes for those less fortunate in need of more proper clothing. Think about it when you go through your closet and pull out a bunch of “old clothes” and donate them to Goodwill. You look at those clothes and think, “Ugh, I’m so sick of these clothes.” But the person who’s shopping in Goodwill looks at them and shrieks, “OH! It’s perfect!” That’s how I picture the clothes from the king’s palace to be, “old clothes” that the king is just simply tired of wearing and lets someone else wear them for a while.

And wouldn’t you know it, when I looked up a commentary on the verse with our ill-dressed wedding guest; this king’s case was similar. It said that the king (God) is not making an impossible demand upon the man, since there was a custom of kings providing festal garments for those who needed but lacked them. And it hit me, RIGHTEOUSNESS! And He took me back to another verse in Matthew that stood out to me, 11:8, Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist when He asks the people, “What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? Look, those who wear soft clothes are in kings’ palaces.”

At the time I had just spent the day going through my closet and putting together (I’m not kidding you) TWENTY-EIGHT outfits for me to wear to my new job. 100% of those outfits are guaranteed to be softer than the outfits that people in third world countries are wearing today. I live in a King’s palace! I am a Daughter of God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He has told me over and over and over again,

Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky; they don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow; they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon (a KING) in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you – you of little faith? –Matthew 6:25-30

According to tradition, this man at the wedding banquet WAS offered clothes to wear, probably clothes more beautiful and luxurious than he had ever seen in his life! And he rejected them. He chose not to wear them. Oh, he chose to accept the King’s offer of food and a party, but not the clothes that – like Jesus’ on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:2 – shone as white as the light! He passed them up!

Which begs me to ask the question, “WHY!!!!?????!!!!!”

Want to know what the Holy Spirit’s answer was?

“Because he didn’t feel himself worthy of them.”

*Tears, streaming down my face.*

“Why not?”

“He couldn’t forgive himself.

I forgave him. But he couldn’t forgive himself enough to put on those robes of pure righteousness. My Beloved, today is the day, now is the time. Forgive yourself! Satan WANTS for you to hate yourself enough to reject the gifts that I offer to you. He WANTS you to feel worthless and un-reliable. He wants you to think that you can’t do what I’ve called you to do. HE LIES!!! Do NOT believe him! In Jesus’ name you ARE forgiven by God Almighty, who are you to withhold forgiveness from yourself? Go.

Let your anger toward yourself go. You are worthy in My eyes, because I don’t see you as you see yourself. My ways are not your ways and My thoughts toward you are nothing like your thoughts toward yourself.


I always have and I always will and there is NOTHING that you can do to change that or make Me love you less.”





Side note: Today was my first day as a Special Ed Aide at Sheridan Middle School!!!!! And wouldn’t you know it, when I went to leave my car was frozen onto the driveway! It took me 20 minutes and half a bag of salt to get it out and I ended up being late on my very first day! Ugh! But that’s OK, because I still made it. And loved every second of my day! 😀 Here’s MY first day of school picture:

I figure I make the kids do it so I’d better do it too. 😀

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 2 Comments



Matthew 16:21-20:16
Matthew 18:18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

It feels like forever since I’ve done a Sunday SHMILY post! So I figured now was as good a time as any for one. 😀












Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3, SHMILY!, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

If You Give a Mom a Mission

Matthew 13:31-16:20

“When Jesus heard about [the death of John the Baptist], He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone.” Matthew 14:13

Sometimes, you just need to be alone, even when you’re the Son of God. And that was my day today – alone.

I’ve been trying to share this with you all week long. Last Tuesday I spoke at the Northview MOPs meeting and I got enough positive feedback on the message that I felt it was important that I share it on the blog too! 😀 Enjoy!

The other day as I was doing my laundry and trying to tune in to God to see what He would like to talk to you all about tonight, I found myself doing the “If you give a Moose a Muffin” thing.

So I decided I needed to write the Mom version of that book:

It’s called if you give a Mom a Mission, by Tamar Knochel.

If you give a mom an adorable baby she’s going to need a camera to take pictures of it!

And when you give a mom a camera, she’s going to fill it up with pictures of that adorable baby.

When her camera fills up with pictures she’ll realize that she needs to dump them onto her computer.

When she goes to her computer to dump them she’ll notice that she has a new email.

When she checks her email she will notice that the baby is out of milk.

When she goes to the kitchen to fill the sippy cup she will notice the dirty dishes in the sink,

but won’t be able to do anything about them because as she is pouring the milk she will spill it on her clothes.

When she goes to change her clothes she will notice that the laundry hamper is overflowing and will take it to the laundry room.

When she accidentally drops a clean sock on the floor she will notice that the floor needs swept… so she sweeps the entire floor, because you know as well as I do that once you start you can’t stop!

When she finishes sweeping the floor and stands back to admire her work she will see the baby dumping milk out of his sippy cup onto the clean floor.

When she grabs a paper towel to clean up the mess she notices that the counter needs wiped off as well.

As she is finishing wiping down the counter she will look at the clock and realize that it’s time to feed the baby.

When she makes lunch for the baby she ends up making a mess on the briefly clean counter, but she can’t clean it up now because the baby is howling. Mental note: “Must clean counter later”.

When the Mommy is almost done feeding the baby it has a huge blow out all the way up its back, baby needs a bath!

When the baby is in the bathtub the Mommy remembers just how stinking adorable the baby is and must take future incriminating nude baby photo for its graduation party.

When she takes her phone out to snap the photo she hears her toddler from the other room throwing blocks.

When the Mommy goes to the other room to remind the toddler about throwing blocks she sets the dripping baby on the floor in order to focus attention on the wayward toddler.

When the still naked baby spits up on the carpet the Mommy has to use baby’s wet towel to clean the floor.

When taking the wet towel and dirty baby clothes to the laundry hamper it reminds Mommy of the wet laundry in the washer.

When she switches the laundry over she remembers she needs to sort the kids’ out-of-season clothes.

When she goes to the sink to get the bags for the out-of-season clothes, she will see the dishes and the counter have not cleaned themselves! How dare they!

When she sees the dishes and counter she picks up the washcloth to at least clean up her mess.

When she cleans up her mess she notices that it’s almost time to eat again.

When she starts cooking, her toddler asks her for help in the other room.

When her husband comes home and smells the smoke he suggests pizza for dinner.

When Mommy picks up the phone to order pizza she remembers she needs to pay the phone bill.

When she remembers she needs to pay the phone bill she decides to order pizza on the computer while she pays the phone bill. (Moms are champion multi-taskers!)

When she gets to the computer she sees the still open email from earlier… must… finish… email.

When the email closes she gets a Facebook notification, so she opens up Facebook.

Half an hour later her toddler comes up to her and says, “Mommy, I’m hungry”. Oh CRUD! PIZZA!


When the pizza comes she takes it to the kitchen where the dirty dish is running away with the dirty spoon and there is some cow juice that’s starting to look like the face of the moon! Siiiigh… paper plates will have to do.

When she pulls out the paper plates, the “bad mom” voice begins to chime in, “You can’t do this, you’ll never win…”

Who else has heard that voice?

I know I have! You know what?


Day, after day, after day we do everything we can to do what’s best for our families. And I don’t know about you, but for me it seems like the harder I try to be a good mom the more I feel like I’m failing at it. I want so desperately to do a good job and honor God by bringing these kids up in a way that will glorify Him. I pray about it often.

One day I was driving with a heavy heart full of this Mommy guilt when God pulled Matthew 25:31-40 through my brain.

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat;

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’

And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you; Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

And in that moment it hit me, who is less than a child? They have no money to give, no great awards of praise or gratitude. And yet how many times have YOU, my Mommy friend, filled a hungry belly?

How many times have you given a drink to a thirsty throat?

How many complete and total strangers have you instantly fallen in love with the moment you laid eyes on them in the hospital and taken them home with you?

How many times have you cleaned and clothed a naked little body?

How many times have you nursed a sick little soul back to health?

How many times have you gone to visit and free a prisoner from behind crib bars?

My dear Mommy friend, when you kiss those pink cherub cheeks, you kiss the face of God!!! No matter how menial, or unpleasant, un-noticed, or un-thanked we are for the job of mothering, if it’s done for Christ, it will LAST! We may “only” be tidying things for a fleeting second, but in reality the impression it leaves will last forever!!!

Matthew 6:19-21 says,

“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Every single “mom thing” you do places a deposit in your eternal treasury. We may feel like we’re not making any headway, but we are! This past weekend I sat in a room with three different families where there were three generations of each family present. And I could SEE the things that those grandparents passed on to their children had been passed on to their grandchildren! The things that those moms did at the time for their own children lasted. They were passed down to the next generation!

The things YOU do every day may disappear with the twinkling of your eyes, but they haven’t vanished forever. Those little touches that you put on dinner, that no one points out. That layer of dust that you removed only to have it reappear the very next day. That washer that never seems to get it’s fill of dirty laundry. Those things SEEM trivial, meaningless, pointless, they’re NOT!

They matter.

YOU matter.

And I promise you that everything you did today was seen by God, even if no one else saw it, He did. God saw YOU today because YOU matter to Him. What you do matters to Him. He wants a relationship with you so desperately. And if you don’t feel like you have a relationship with Him right now, then now is the time to start one! He’s been tugging at each and every one of your hearts about something lately, I want you to think about that thing right now.


Think about that thing that’s been weighing you down.

Hold your hands out like you’ve got that thing in them.

Now ball up your fists as tight as you possibly can.

With your eyes closed to the entire world around you see Jesus standing before you holding out His hands to you… to take that thing that’s been so heavy on your shoulders.

Now, open your hands to Him & Let it go.

Open up the palms of your hands and Give that thing to Him. Allow Him to take your Fear, your guilt, your shame, your pain. Let it go.

That “perfect mom” image that you have in your head, let it go.

God didn’t make you to be perfect. He made you to be YOU. Perfectly imperfect in every way. Sweetie, He didn’t give your kids to just anybody, He gave them to you and He gave them to you for a REAASON! He knew that you wouldn’t be, no that you COULDN’T be the perfect mom. And He doesn’t want you to be “that” mom. He wants you to be the mom He made you to be, filled with imperfections and glorious inability. He made you to NEED HIM. He made you to need His help and His direction and His love. He made you imperfect so that you would seek out His perfection!

Think about that for a minute, if you were perfect, you wouldn’t need Him. So why would an amazingly all-knowing God create you to be perfect? He wouldn’t. And He didn’t. And at some point you have to come to the point where you’re Ok with that. Where you’re Ok with not being perfect and God’s grace is sufficient for you.

No, you are not, nor will you ever be THE perfect mom.

BUT. You are THEIR perfect mom, and that’s a beautiful thing!

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3, The Crazy Mom Blog | 2 Comments

42 Weeks

Matthew 11:1-13:30

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I come to you today having JUST finished my last hour at Dollar General. I have been there for precisely 42 weeks. Get this, the DAY I interviewed at the middle school, I had been at DG for 40 weeks. Now for those of you who don’t know yet, the number 40 is very significant in Biblical terms. 40 anything: days, weeks, months, etc is significant. It’s the number that generally is associated with a period of testing. The law of first mention takes us to the very first time the number forty is mentioned in the Bible; can you guess where it leads us?

Noah of course! While Noah was on the ark, it rained for forty days and forty nights. Guess what it’s been doing all day here, RAINING! Right now the tapping of these keys is being accompanied by a tapping of raindrops on the roof and I love their symphony!

The thing is, part of me always knew that working at DG was a time of testing. Testing what exactly, well I’ve got plenty of theories, but I’m not sure about many of them. Patience was definitely a big one! My security was another; would I stand up for myself? And honestly, in the past, I never did stand up for myself let alone my beliefs. There was one instance where I was grocery shopping while fasting (never a good combo I might add). I went up to the deli to order some lunch meat for the kiddos who were at home and the high school student behind the counter offered me a free sample of the lunch meat I was ordering. I told him that was ok, I didn’t need to test it, I trusted him that it tasted good. But he pushed and was so insistent that I caved and took the meat and ate it.

Later, on the way home I was praying about the instance and God told me that He had used it as an object lesson – something that I would remember. He said, “If you can’t even tell a high-schooler ‘No’ in order to stand up for what you believe, how will you ever stand up to the sharks that will come to attack you for the Word you’re being sent to preach?”

Over the course of the last 42 weeks I have had to stand up for what I believe, time and time and time again. None of the occurrences were outwardly obvious that I was standing up for God’s Word to me, but I KNEW they were. Each and every time I had to say ‘No’ it was because deep down I knew that that’s what the Spirit wanted of me. It wasn’t easy by any means, but it did get easier through the process. I learned that I am the master of my time – not my employer.

I didn’t want to work at Dollar General, it was NOT the place I chose, it was the place I was assigned. God had me there for His reasons and for His purposes, reasons that I don’t have to understand to accept. It was His will for me to be there, not mine. And I fought Him tooth and nail the entire time too! I was NOT a happy camper about working at that place. Not that there was anything wrong with this DG, it’s actually a lovely place. It just wasn’t my first choice for jobs; in fact it was my last choice. However, when God and I go toe to toe on things, He always gets His way.

He wanted me to learn that whatever He says goes, no matter what. And no amount of foot stomping, fit throwing, grumbling or complaining is going to change His will. He knows what’s best for us, even when what He says makes no sense to us at all.

Another thing I learned is that I need to, we all need to, look at ministry differently. Most people say that pastors and evangelists are “out there doing God’s work” and all the rest of us are just working. NOT SO! We are ALL called to preach the good news to ALL the world. We don’t need a stage or a platform to do that. Sometimes all you need is a register and a name badge and a smile that says “there’s something inside me that’s making me smile even though this is not where I would choose to be right now”. Some would say that’s hiding behind the smile, but when the ability to push past my own wants, desires and dreams in order to serve my God and my community in a VERY humbling position, then it’s not hiding behind the smile. It’s so much more.

Every time I went in there it wasn’t because I wanted to be there, it was because God had called me to be there and in reluctant obedience I went. It wasn’t the customer’s fault I didn’t want to be there, it wasn’t anything personal; it was just me being stubborn. It was for those customers that I smiled. I smiled because I know the power of a smile and a positive attitude. I know that a harsh word stirs up anger but a smile can turn away wrath. In those 42 weeks behind that counter I could count on one hand how many people were outwardly mean or rude to me and I can guarantee that it was because they were having a rough day already, not because of something that I did. But I can also guarantee that there were at least some customers that would come in having a bad day and would leave feeling at least a small amount better just because I wasn’t nasty to them while they were checking out.

And that reminds me of something else! I can’t even begin to count how many times I asked the question, “Are you ready to check out?” Did I ask that question with those exact words on purpose? You’d better believe I did!!! Did anyone understand what I really meant when I asked them? No. But it *might* have put a seed in them that will bloom later.

Are YOU ready to check out?

Are you ready to go and meet your Maker and see what this life has been all about? When you do, do you know what He will have to say to you? Do you know where you will go? I’m ready to check out. I know where I’m going and I know what He’s going to have to say to me when I get there too. He will say that I believed on His Son Jesus to atone for my sins. I have, am and will continue to trust in the Lord Jesus to save me from myself time and time and time again. He has saved me, forgiven me, redeemed me, loved me, protected me, and so many other things I can’t even begin to list them all. He is my King and I am so grateful for Him! In the beginning of my testing was I angry with Him? More than you could ever imagine! Am I still angry with Him? No. I wore myself out thrashing around in anger and frustration and finally reached the point of exhausted surrender. I am grateful for the fire that burned off the cords that were hindering me so that I could run this race and not get weary. Did I enjoy going through it, not all of it, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be either because My God was with me the entire time! Today’s verse is so fitting, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Enter into His rest today my friends!

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | Leave a comment

10 in ’15 Book List Announced

Matthew 7:21-10:42

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was great calm. Matthew 8:26

While reading this verse today I was struck with the way this version translated Jesus’ words that night out on the sea in the storm. Those three words: fearful and little faith, resounded in my brain. It was the juxtaposition of “fearful” and “little faith”. And it hit me, when we are full of fear it’s because we are empty on faith! Or to put it another way, when our faith tank is empty we end up getting filled with fear (about something or another).

It reminds me of one of my favorite verses in times of trouble, “there is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). My friends, love, God’s love drives out fear. If we are low on faith it is most likely because we are low on God’s love and need to fill up on it. Whenever we realize that we’re reacting in fear we need to stop and focus on God’s perfect love for us: that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. You see, God loved YOU so much, that He gave His one and only Son Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him would not die, but have eternal life!

Now that’s love!

And when we fill up on His love for us, we find ourselves filled with faith and emptied of fear! 😀

Drum roll please! ………………………………………………….

It’s the list you’ve all been waiting for! Our 10 books to read in 2015! Everyone who reads all ten books with me and comments on the 10 in ’15 Book Challenge post at the end of each month will receive one SIGNED book of their choice from the “Books” tab on for FREE! And everyone who comments on one of the monthly 10 in ’15 Posts will receive the free e-book of the month! 😀

10 in ’15 Book List & Dates




Date of Book Club Post


Tuesday’s with Morrie

Mitch Albom

Feb 27th


The Horse & His Boy

C.S. Lewis

Mar 31st


Not a Fan

Kyle Idleman

Apr 30th



Laura Hillenbrand

May 31st


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Deborah Maggach

Jun 30th


What Alice Forgot

Liane Moriarty

Jul 31st


They Thought for Themselves

Sid Roth

Aug 31st



Karen Kingsbury

Sep 30th


100 Days of Favor

Joseph Prince

Oct 30th


Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem

Adam Hamilton

Nov 30th

In December I will send out your FREE SIGNED books!!! 😀


Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | 1 Comment

New Release! Jesus Loves You #3 Journal

Matthew 5:1-7:20

“Look at the birds of the sky; they don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?” Matthew 6:26-28

Today I was lucky enough to have the day off from Dollar General so I spent the entire day at the school getting my staff photo taken,

filling out paperwork and I even got to walk through my day today and meet all the kids and teachers… it was a LOT of kids and teachers. I have all kinds of names and faces swimming through my poor little brain right now, and it’s glorious!!! I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of these people’s lives!

Before I go today (yes, it’s a very short post) I wanted to let you know about the newest resource in the “Books” tab! I just finished it yesterday. It’s the journal

that goes along with the third book in the 365 Life: Reading Through the Bible in a Year Series.

I also wanted to remind you all about the 10 in ’15 Book Challenge,

I’m posting our final list tomorrow so there’s still time to put in your suggestions here in the comments section.

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | 2 Comments

10 in ’15 Challenge

Yesterday & Today’s:


Oh my dearest friends it is with the GREATEST JOY that I announce to you that I will be writing daily again!!!!! You have no idea how much I have missed you!!! Well, really it was Him that I missed the most of all, but I missed talking to you too. 😉

This week is a transition week for me as I phase out of one place of employment and phase into another. Tomorrow I’ll be taking my security photo and filling out paperwork at the school and then doing a little bit of touring to get my feet wet a bit. I also plan on getting some pre-planning done for the blog and writing. I’ve been doing a Facebook poll to see what book people recommend for me to read this year. I’ve had some really great suggestions too. If you’d like to put your bid in for your favorite book, or a book that you’d like to read with me you can comment below and add your own suggestions. I’d love to see them!

I’ll be posting the 10 in ’15 Book List and reading plan for 2015 by the end of the week this week. (I’m shooting for Wednesday, but don’t hold me to it.) I’m planning on starting it February 1st. It’s my goal to read 10 books in 2015, and while that doesn’t sound like that much, I assure you that for this busy mom (with a NEW JOB!), it is.

It’ll be fun! We’ll have our own little book club sort of thing. When I post the book list later this week I’ll have you comment below to let me know that you’re on board. Then every time I post a book report I’ll have you comment at the bottom of those posts as well and EVERYONE who completes all 10 books with me will receive any one of my books FREE!!! 😀 I will mail you a signed copy and everything!

We can read them together and all share in the joy of learning and growing together! There will be a mix of fiction and non-fiction (which may include a secular book or two as well, I haven’t completely decided yet). That way we’ll have a nice round selection. I’m sure I’ll have to throw in at LEAST one Karen Kingsbury book since she is my FAVORITE non-fiction author. Her book Forever was a huge inspiration for me when writing True Intimacy! And for that I will be forever grateful. (God used the writing of True Intimacy to save my marriage!)

So, how does that sound? Is anybody out there up for my 10 in ’15 challenge?

I can hardly wait to get started! But I’ll wait a little longer because I would love to see what books you all will suggest!!! Comment below and let me know what books you’d like to read with me!!! If you receive this post via email, all you have to do is reply your comment to it and it will automatically publish to this post! How handy is that!?!

Categories: 365 Life, Mark, Matthew, Season 3 | 1 Comment

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