Tuesday, March 23, 2010

She Dreams

I'm a dreamin'-wanta-start-a-wildfire-with-words kind of girl. Want to share the story of my sweet Savior like that. But I need some help. And lots of encouragement. So, I dream of attending She Speaks!

She Speaks?

Yeah! The creme de la creme of Christian writing conferences.

A gathering of talented writers and speakers and renowned editors and publishers. And a great place for writers at all levels to gain both knowledge and confidence in the writing/publishing process.

And guess what? Like, I'm so excited!

Lysa Terkeurst, founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, is offering a few scholarships for bloggers who want to attend this year's conference.

These scholarships are valued at $575.00 each!

Wow! is right.

The link to her post that explains the scholarship contest is at the end of this post.

Ok, ok. So, I just lost half of you. Cause you scrolled right on down to that link and are headed over to Lysa's as I speak. I mean, type.

Note to self: Next time discuss conference first...contest last!

Anyway, for those of you who are still with me, I want to tell you a little bit about She Speaks. And then you'll probably want to click on that link like everyone else has already done.

She Speaks offers something for everybody: writers, speakers, and those who are in women's ministry.

Because my dream is to write for Him, I'm most interested in the writer's track. All of the session descriptions for each of the three tracks sound wonderful, but I'm especially interested in the following classes:

"From Blog to Book Deal" - Can you imagine?

That really happened to Emily Freeman. I'm so not kidding. And the same thing could happen for one of us. Oh, how cool!

By the way, Emily and her editor will be leading this session.

And then there's "Magazine Writing 101" - I've always wondered how it would feel to have an article published in a magazine. I'm thinking it would feel sweet. Real sweet. What are you thinking?

Oh, but before I get way caught up in this wanting to win a scholarship thing, you need to know that Lysa will be leading a session called, "How to Write a Book."

Now that should be informative and fun!

What did you say? Ok, yeah, you're right. I should have an idea for a book if I'm going to that class. Didn't think about that.

Guess I'll just have to enter incognito, won't I?

Can you tell that this is going to be one-rocking-Concord, North Carolina-startin' a fire for Him-July 30th - August 1st conference?

Feel the heat. Feel Him.

Are you dreaming yet?


Here's the scholarship link that I promised. Click and go, sweet girl, if you haven't already done so.

Hope to see you at She Speaks 2010!

We were like those who dream (Psalm 126: 1b).

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Do You Really Want to Settle for Less?

He took his family with him: son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. Left his home behind. Set out for a new land. A place of promise. Terah knew where he wanted to go, but he never made it. Instead, he settled for something less.

He had good intentions.

I think Terah dreamed of reaching the promised place, but something happened along the way.

"...together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there" (Genesis 11: 31).

He got off to a pretty good start. He set out. And that's important.

But Terah stopped short of his destination. Why?

The Bible simply says that he stopped in Haran and settled his family there.

He settled there.

Not in Canaan. But in Haran.

I wonder if the popular culture of that day influenced Terah: "Uh, Dude. Are you for real? You headin' where? You can't be serious! Haran is the party place--where everything's happenin', man. Come on, stay here. Be cool. Just hang with us.

Or did Terah's stopover in Haran last a little too long? Long enough for him to unwind and relax. You know, establish a casual, comfortable lifestyle. Set up a comfort zone and stay there. Feels good, right?

And don't forget that Haran was much more convenient than Canaan. I mean, duh, he was already in Haran. Why go any further? Way too much trouble. Terah had followed that dream far enough already.

So, he settled.

In Haran. For Haran.

Like Terah, I've been guilty of settling in places where I don't belong. I've settled for less than what God has been promised. And for many of the same reasons that old Terah settled.

I got too cozy with culture.

I developed a casual attitude toward Christ.

I placed an unhealthy emphasis on personal comfort and convenience.

So, is there a way to keep from settling in Haran? Or a way to get out of Haran?

Oh yes, there is a way. Jesus Christ is the way. We have to focus on Christ and follow Him. His commands. And His promises.

He will lead us to all that's been promised.

We won't have to settle for anything less.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sarah's Syndrome

Sarah, sweet and good. Submissive. Followed her man to a foreign country. She took her dream with her and waited. It seemed to her that she had been waiting for this dream to come true almost all of her life.

Seemed that she had been waiting on God forever.

Waiting on Him to give her the baby that she dreamed of holding and cuddling and tending and loving.

Because God had promised her man, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them" (Genesis 15:5b).

Ok. So, what to stars have to do with dreams and babies? Well, that was God's way of saying that He planned to give Sarah and her man a large family. Um, more like a nation, actually.

Sure God had made a promise; still, God wasn't doing anything. Right?

I mean there were no sons. No daughters.

It didn't seem like God was working.

Sarah waited year after year. Nothing.

So, she gave up.

And that's when she succumbed to the syndrome.

Sarah--tired of waiting on God to fulfill His word--traded the truth of God's promise for lies from the father of lies.

She decided that God was withholding something good from her.

She determined that it was fine to get what she wanted on her own even without God's blessing and His permission.

Definately, not good.

But I have to tell you that I'm susceptible to Sarah's syndrome. It's hard to wait on God when I don't think I see Him working in my life. At those times acting independently of God can appear to be logical or justified. And believing a lie about God becomes easier than waiting for a promise to be fulfilled.

Do you know what I'm saying? I can understand Sarah and how she felt and what she thought and how she tried to manage things herself.

Sarah's dream did come true. God kept His promise. She had that precious baby. And named him Issac.

I believe that God is going to keep His promises to you. And His promises to me.

So, I think I'll put on my jacket--walk outside--and look up at the sky.

I want to see how many stars I can count tonight.

And for each star that I count, I'll wait on the fulfillment of His promises another day. And another. And another.

Because He has the cure for mine and Sarah's Syndrome.

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Monday, March 8, 2010


He had a dream. He wanted to dig wells in countries where people didn't have clean water to drink. She said that she would follow him and his dream. Now, they live in Africa nine months out of the year. They drill wells.

Their names are Gary and Elizabeth. They're the founders of By Provision. And we're partnering with them to fulfill our own well-drilling dream. We believe that our loving God led us to By Provision, and He has given us PEACE in making this decision.

Gary and Elizabeth can drill one well for $5,000. Thanks to the generosity of our Sunday School class, we're half way to funding our first well!

You can visit Gary and Elizabeth at http://www.byprovision.org/. They would love to have you stop by and get to know them.

Thank you for the LOVE and concern that you've shown toward Jody and Kim and their family. I appreciate all of the comments, E-mails, and prayers. You are the best! Jody and Kim are improving, and the girls are doing fine. Your compassion amazes me and humbles me.

And now for the 13.1! All of you runners out there know what 13.1 means. But just in case you don't know, I'll explain. A half-marathon is 13.1 miles.

And I ran my first half yesterday! No, it wasn't pretty at all. I struggled to run the last four miles. Had to run/walk. Actually, a lot of walking.

Really, really struggled.

But I made it.

It took two hours and forty-five minutes. After I finished, I felt nausated and weak.

But I got my tee shirt and my Vera Bradley tote bag. It's way cute.

I'm sore today.

But the sad thing is that I'm already thinking that I want to run another one.

Now, how crazy is that?

I run in the path of your commands, for You have set my heart free (Psalm 119:32).

May you sense His perfect PEACE and His amazing LOVE this week. And may you run/walk your 13.1 in obedience to His word.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

How He Wired Me

TJ Max. Belk. JC Penny. And Walmart. Some of my favorite stores. The problem? No one wants to go shopping with me. I create a scene entering and exiting stores. It has something to do with how I'm wired.

Like sometimes when I leave a store, I set off the electronic security device.

For no reason.

You know how the alarm beeps if the cashier forgets to remove the tag on certain merchandise. Or when a customer forgets to pay for merchandise--aka shoplifting.

Well, I don't fit in the first category. Sometimes the alarm goes off when I don't have any merchandise.

And I so don't fit in the second category. Enough said about that. I hope!

Still, greeters, clerks, and assistant managers hear that familiar buzz, and they dash to my side. If I have a package, they check the receipt and the items; of course, they find everything in order. Then they say, "Uh, I guess we have a glitch in the system."

And like, if I don't have a package, they say, "Well, maybe your cell phone caused the alarm to activate."

But I know what they're really thinking. I mean, wouldn't you?

I can also set off the alarm as I walk into a store. Talk about weird looks. Like I'm an alien or something.

I've become accustomed to this phenomenon, but it's so embarrassing for my friends. Especially if this is our first shopping extravaganza. (And usually our last).

I don't how it happens. Don't know why it happens. It just happens. Not always. But frequently. It isn't my cell phone. It's not the wiring in their security system.

It's me. How I am. How God wired me, I guess.

You know, God created us. He wired each of us with unique--sometimes quirky--personalities. With different temperments. Goals. Ambitions. Dreams.

He wired me with a dream about writing. I have, like, this love for words. For His word. I always have. Even when I was just a little girl.


I love to read His word. Study His word. Teach His word. I love to share what He's teaching me through His word. I love to share my sweet Savior like this.

With words.

Like articles. Devotions. Bible study lessons. That I long to write.

But then He said to me: Be still, sweet girl. You've got more to learn about loving. About loving Me with all of your heart. All of your soul. All of your mind. All of your strength.

I think He said that to me because that's really how He wired me. Actually, that's how He wired all of us.

To love Him like that.

To trust Him like that.

To believe in Him like that.

Because while I believe He gave me the dream, my hope is not in my dream; my hope is in my God. The Dream Giver.

I don't trust in my dream--I trust in my loving God.

I'm trusting Him to shape me. To shake me. Sift me. So that I will fit His dream for me.

And He will.

He knows me:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" (Jeremiah 1:5a).

Oh, yes, sweet friend. He knew me before my life began. He knew you before your first heartbeat.

He knows what He's wired you to do and to be.

Do you know what's on His mind? If you do, please feel free to share your story. If you don't know exactly what He has for you, I'd love to pray with you about it.

Oh, by the way.

Is anybody in the mood for a little shopping spree with me?

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