Monday, September 21, 2020

A Prayer for a New Purpose for a New Day

flower meadow title image for prayer for new purpose new day

I'm sharing my heart in this special prayer on purpose that I wrote with my new book in mind. Will you pray with me today?

"Loving Creator,

I affirm that you created me with a purpose that began before I was born. 

You have numbered each hair on my head (Luke 12:7).

Scripture tells of how you long to cradle me under your wings like a mother hen (Matt. 23:37).

Remind me of your devoted care and reveal your intention for my life. 

Gentle Potter,

I know that you are shaping me.

Sometimes I feel your watchful hand upon me, and sometimes it feels like I am broken in pieces on the floor.

I affirm that you know how to put every piece of me together. Help me to see myself as you see me—as your masterpiece.

I offer the clay of my life into your wise hands (Isaiah 64:8)..."

Pray the entire prayer with me on iBelieve

If your link was broken in last week's subscription email, you can find my guest post here. I shared the *inside scoop* on my book with author Laura Sassi! Congratulations to Ginny N. of VA for winning a free, signed copy of my book last week, and to Sandy M. of MO for winning the week prior!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

My Behind-the-Scenes Book Glimpse with Laura Sassi

This week I'm guest posting on the celebrated Christian children's book author Laura Sassi's blog to give you the *inside scoop* behind my new book! Laura is no stranger to my blog, and I am delighted to share special news regarding my book on hers! She asked me five questions whose answers I can't wait for you to read! PLUS, to win a free, signed copy of my new book, register by leaving a comment on my guest post by the end of the day TOMORROW:

Read my guest post

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Guest Posting with Author Glenys Nellist This Week!

This week I am excited to be over on Glenys Nellist's blog. She is a celebrated children's book author who is no stranger to mine. I wrote a special post for her blog on five scripture promises for living your life purpose as I introduce my new book to her audience! I hope you click the link below and stop by. BONUS: My guest post is accompanied by a giveaway for a free, signed copy of my book that you could win! 

Read my guest post 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

7 Biblical Characteristics of Risks Worth Taking

woman jumping over a rocky chasm

On a trust walk, you’re asked to follow the directions of your guide while blindfolded. The guide’s job is to lead you on a journey that successfully navigates obstacles. Your job is to carefully listen to your guide’s instructions and rely upon his or her advice. It’s scary but thrilling, and you learn something about yourself in the process. For instance, is it easy or hard for you to trust?

Imagine how a faith walk is similar. A thrill often awaits, and self-learning too.

The difference is that the terrain is trickier and the stakes are higher than a simple outdoor exercise. Lucky for us, we have the best Guide. He asks us to obey his voice and respond—to take that leap and initiate adventure. Whether it concerns a job, move, relationship, or a new course of study or opportunity, perhaps you’re considering stepping out of your comfort zone.

Here are seven characteristics of godly risk to help you discern and follow the voice of your Guide, based upon my new book on life purpose:

1. Godly Risk Is Rooted in Identity

Abram risks in the Old Testament and becomes Abraham. Saul becomes Paul in the New Testament and risks for the kingdom. Biblical characters are often renamed in conjunction with their purpose.

Theological risk should be rooted in whom God created you to be and his intention for your life. Ask yourself if what you are considering falls in line with what you know about yourself—and how you sense God wants to advance his purpose through you. 

For Characteristics #2-7, click here to find the article on Crosswalk!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

5 Tips for Raising Boys to Be Good Men

Cartwheel! Hooray! just commissioned my first piece especially for them, and this one couldn't be closer to my heart. While I am knee-deep in boyhood, there is something here for every parent. Tip #5 is a favorite. If you want your child to dream big, lead with wisdom, and have an open heart, I hope you read this!

My one-year-old at the beach recently

I always thought my first child would be a boy. My second son was a surprise. Fast forward several years later, and I am the proud mother of three growing boys, including a preteen and toddler. 

I still recall the day a friend of mine and I were talking about having boys while our oldest children, who were still infants, played nearby. “I want to raise gentlemen,” she said. “The world needs more gentlemen.” And just like that, a mission of mine was born. 

Raising sons who will become men is an adventure, especially for me who only had a sister growing up. I have been indoctrinated into a world that knows surprisingly less drama, or maybe it’s just masked in building challenges and wrestling.

Regardless, the enterprise of raising boys to be gentlemen has high stakes amidst a national backdrop of growing division, disrespect, and estrangement.

As a pastor and host of a faith and parenting TV show, I have distilled five tips for encouraging parents to raise gentlemen at such a time as this: 

1. Leaders Are Cultivated, Not Opportunists

As I examine my Twitter feed on regular occasion, I notice the loudest voice often wins. Snarky comments boost followings but also add to the growing divide. 

People are thirsty for strong leadership but are often drawn to places that end up dry. I have unfollowed more than one person recently who seemed more bent on sparring with others than leading with patience, humility, and wisdom. 

When I examine the Bible, I am reminded of Moses who had his calling right, but his reaction wrong. He wanted to lead his people away from injustice, but his immediate reaction was murder, which sent him into hiding. 

After decades in the desert, God matured him and enabled him to take a firm, patient stand to lead God’s people to deliverance from slavery. 

I want to impress upon my sons that kingdom growth is slow and abiding, and what happens behind closed doors is more important than what’s flashy

If God has tucked you away and is working on you, it’s not lost time, even if you have a heart for impacting more. Entrust your preparation to the Lord and trust his timing. 

2. Listen and Connect with Others

I recently had the Emmy-award winning journalist Linsey Davis on my show. Linsey is the bestselling author of a Christian children’s book on inclusion, and she shared her book’s backstory with me. She noticed how her young son naturally chooses friends based upon common interests (like Legos) rather than differences (like skin color, religion, or political views). While children notice differences, they don’t assign value to them like adults often do. 

I was challenged by her call to intentionally expose children to diversity. She said that she pulled her son out of a great school because he was the only black student. She said that that shouldn’t just matter to her as a black mother; it should matter to the other parents, too. 

Having the opportunity to interact and connect with different people is important learning for everyone. She notes that it’s relationships—not facts—that change people regarding any important social issue, like race.

I’m encouraging my sons to broaden their exposure. They can explore differing perspectives in their coursework, through books, or in relationship. It’s an essential step for their own development and leadership, and it resonates with the work of our Creator God, who must love difference because he made every single one of us. Linsey agrees.

Read Tips #3–5 Here

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

New Devotion: Train Your Focus

In this devotion, God says, "Do you trust me?" Read on for a fresh take on a familiar passage.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. —Genesis 3:1–6

Our Bibles begin with the familiar accounts of creation and original sin. While much has been written about the Garden of Eden and the events that transpired there, I have recently seen the temptation in a new light.

I can imagine Adam and Eve walking through the garden of plenty. They know God personally. They eat from abundance. They have no shame and experience true contentment—at least until the snake puts into sharp relief the one thing that they cannot have.

It’s interesting that God designed a garden of perfection knowing that there would still be one thing that Adam and Eve could not have. Today, God whispers to you and me: Do you trust me? Can you make your home amidst the many blessings that I have bestowed upon you and trust me with the one—or many—things you do not or cannot have?

Click here to continue reading, and discover the blessing and challenge of your trust walk with God today!

TODAY Video Clip