Thursday, December 16, 2010

No dreams deferred

Not too long ago I was going through some old files and I came across a newsletter article I had planned to write called, "There are no deferred dreams with our God." To defer means to intentionally put off or delay. But don't we have dreams that are delayed?

I would answer NO. My WOW Moment today is realizing that God's timing is perfect...and where I see delay, it is simply not the right time. God is always at work to accomplish His perfect will and in due time it will be accomplished.

What we see as delay is our failure to see that we have not yet arrived at God's appointed time. And so, in many cases, we give up on a dream that God has planted in our hearts, or we become discouraged.

So I say to you today. Keep the faith. Lift up your face. Be encouraged. "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." Philippians 1:6

Trust God...not in what you can see, not in your circumstances, not even in yourself. Trust the One who never changes, who is faithful, who cannot lie. If God has given you a dream, a vision, then it is never deferred. Wait on His timing, and then rejoice when He brings it to completion. Give Him the glory because it is only through Him that any dream is realized.

Just believe it TODAY. And trust God to grow your faith. I leave you with this prayer found in Ephesians Chapter 3, Verses 16-21.

"I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Amazing Grace

I grew up singing "Amazing Grace" in church. And it was always just a nice hymn. It only took on new meaning for me after I surrendered my life to Christ to follow the example He set. It was only then that the power of those words were magnified in my heart, "Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see."

Today's message in church was so powerful because it was such a vivid reminder of the lengths that God went through to pursue me, save me, and have a relationship with me. It reminded me of what a personal God that I serve, that although He is the Creator of all things, He never loses sight of me.

There is a freedom that comes in knowing that my sins are forgiven and that God has made me in His image and is molding me every day to be more like His Son, the example that Christ lived out as God in the flesh, here on earth. It is more than just a Christmas card slogan, "And they shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us."

God came as a man to walk among us, to know our sorrows, our troubles, our joys, and triumphs. Then He died in our place, though we were totally undeserving because He loved us that much. Christ became sin for us, that we could escape the judgement, but reap the rewards.

Grace! It changed my life. I am redeemed. I have been bought with a high price....the Blood of the Lamb. Imagine that. I was in bondage, in darkness, a slave. But Christ seeing my condition and knowing I was powerless to save myself...He paid the ransom. That I could be set free, released, given a new life.

I hope you know Him and that you walk in that freedom each day, that you thank Him for the great sacrifice He made, that you live your life to honor the debt He paid.

The Bible says, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." WOW! There is no greater love. Words can't describe the joy I have that I get to live that out each day. It is what gives my life purpose and meaning for eternity.

What is it that you're living for? Not just for today, but for eternity?

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Dream

I haven't been very political in my blog although I am very passionate about politics. But something happened this week that I just had to share.

I talked to a child this week who cried on my shoulder because her Dad may be deported. It broke my heart, as I prayed with her and cried with her and tried to assure her that everything would be okay. I tried to comfort her with the reminder that her Dad loves her and wants her to have the best chance at a good life.

And what struck me most about that was earlier in the week I had watched CNN's Black in America special, "Almighty Debt." One thing that the featured pastor asked was "Why are other people risking their lives to come obtain the dream, but we who have been here, can't see the dream?"

I don't know the answer to that question. I struggle with that when I see kids, black and white, who seem to take it for granted that we get to go to school for free. Education is free in this country. We can't see the dream or remember what folks sacrificed for things we take for granted.

As Election Day approaches, all of these things have coalesced together in my mind. So my WOW Moment today is I am truly glad to live in this be an have liberties and freedoms that some can only dream of. I am grateful for those who died that I might have the life that I so easily live every day.

CNN also did a feature on "Who Votes" and I was astounded that in mid-term elections only about 46% of us as Americans vote. We were behind Afghanistan...who even with their country being torn up by war has 49% of citizens voting.

As an African American, it has not been that long ago since my ancestors were disenfranchised...mocked, harassed, sometimes beaten, sometimes murdered and yet they kept coming, year after year to excercise their right to vote as a citizen of this great country. Flawed though we are as a country, hey...we are all in need of redemption, we can change things with our vote.

As a woman, I remember that it hasn't been that many years since women, even in this country, could not vote. And in this year, two thousand and twelve, there are still many people in this world that cannot exercise the choosing of those who would govern them.

So as an African American woman...I say WOW...I am grateful that I get that chance on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Just take a moment and remember those who came before that you might have that right. Honor them with your matter who you choose to vote for, exercise that right as a citizen.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's great to have true friends

For those who know me, you know that I'm not really into hair and makeup and all of that kind of stuff. It's just not my thing. Not that I don't like to dress up every now and's just that I need some help most times to pull it all together.

So since I was trying to get ready for my first TV interview to promote my new book, "10 Things Every Kid Should Know About God," I had already planned to go to the salon. My stylist did an awesome job, but that was on Thursday. All I had to do was maintain the hair do for one day.

Well, as has happened to me many times in the past, I just didn't even know where to begin when I got up. But I figured I would make it work somehow.
Fortunately, my stylist had also volunteered to do my makeup. When I showed up, I'm surprised my stylist didn't pass out in shock to see my do. But graciously, she whipped out her flat iron and fixed my curls right up. Then she did my makeup and had me looking like a STAR.

So what does this have to do with a WOW Moment. The fact that my stylist took 30 minutes to redo my hair and give me the best makeup job I'd ever had, while her two other clients waited patiently was a true blessing for me. The fact that my friend invested in me to help me put my best foot forward. WOW...It's great to have true friends.

Then I was off to the studio. The interview went well and I was grateful for the opportunity. Another friend helped put that in motion.

As I left the studio, I went over and over the interview in my mind. I should have said that. Why didn't I add on and so forth.

But then I walked in the door, and saw the light on the answering machine blinking. A message of encouragement from a friend about the interview. Plus, a message on Facebook and an e-mail message. I needed that encouragement. I different perspective.

So my WOW Moment for today was an attitude of gratefulness for the wonderful, life-affirming, encouraging, uplifiting people in my life that I have the privilege of calling friends.

If you have those kind of friends, let them know what they mean to you and take the time to say a prayer and thank God for the friends He has placed in your life.

PHOTO CAPTION: My stylist, Tijuana, and me

Friday, October 8, 2010

Have you seen it? Part 3

This is Part 3 of the blog series, "Have you seen it?" which refers to seeing God's meticulous and intimate involvement in our lives.

In all we face, even in pain, sorrow and grief, it is not separate from God's plan for us.

His perfect will is for us to comfort others as He has done for us. He does that with compassion, love, long-suffering, empathy, and friendship. Likewise, when we seem crippled by our grief, it is God's will that other Christians come along side those newly-grieved and comfort them. That is part of the process. God is preparing us to minister healing to those around us.

It is not His purpose or design that we would grieve just to go through the process. His purpose is always part of a larger picture--to encourage and build up those in like circumstances.
He will give you peace when there is chaos around you. He will comfort you when no human hands, hearts, or words can ease your pain. He will grieve with you when no one else can even remotely understand. He will give you strength when all you feel inside is utter hopelessness. He will bring you through when you don't feel you can take another step. He will show you His Word is ture, He cannot lie, He is faithful to who He is all the time.

He gave me two Scriptures that helped me understand what He was doing in my life. Genesis 22:14 says, "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." Second Corinthians 12:9 says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

God began to show me how much He loved me and truly had a plan. God in His infinite knowledge could see the past, present, and future. While I was grieving in the present, He already saw the good that would come from it.

Abraham named the place on Mount Moriah Jehovah-jireh after God provided the ram as a sacrifice instead of accepting the death of Abraham's son Isaac as God had commanded. Jireh comes from the Hebrew word translated to see or to provide. His seeing is also forseeing because nothing is hidden from God. He sees what was, what is, and what is to come. In His forseeing of our needs, He also makes allocations for our needs--His provision. In His character it would be unlike God to see a need and not provide for it. In essence His forseeing or prevision and His provision are the same thing. Since God has foreseen all that happens in our lives, all of our needs have been provided for, past, present, and future.

Regardless of your personal experience, God has gone before you to prepare the way. Even though we respond to personal tragedy in many different ways, God is still the same. For many Christians, the loss is made more difficult to handle because there is the ever-present question of if God is in control of the universe, if He knows everything, if He really loves me, then why did He let this happen to me. Whatever the hardship, it is human nature to wish to be spared from these circumstances. That is why I had to examine my trust in God.

I could rattle off charateristics of God like loving, trustworthy, holy, perfect, sinless, merciful, and gracious. But when it came to accepting those characteristics in spite of my situations, I had to go deeper than just knowing about God, I had to really get intimate, and get to know HIM.

In Corinthians, God reminded Paul that His grace was enough. That was all Paul needed--God's grace. God would provide everything else. It is in our weakest that we can fully realize and experience God's full power. We cannot truly see His provision until we have fully exhausted all human ability to address our situation.

At the precise time when we face our darkest moments, it is God who comforts and strengthens us. God never sends us where He has not led, nor leads us where His grace is not sufficient to keep us.

This blog is a revised excerpt from my book "Perfect in Weakness," Chapter 14 titled "Faith Lessons."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Have you seen it? Part 2

This is Part 2 of the blog series, "Have you seen it?" which refers to seeing God's meticulous and intimate involvement in our lives.

What I want you to understand and truly get down in your Spirit is that the Creator of all things, loves you. He sees you. He hears you when you pray. He knows all about you. He is with you. He has already made provision for you. Isaiah 65:24 says, "I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!" Get that! God saw your need before you even knew your need. But not only that, before you could even get it out of your mouth, He has already answered. WOW!

God is engaged with your life. He is vested in you. Not just as a chessmaster moving pawn pieces. But because He loves you so much. He looks for ways to bless you. He honors His covenant relationship with you and makes a way to redeem you. He justifies you by faith and calls you His own. He loves you dear one....YOU are His beloved one.

Get that today. God loves you. God has a plan for you. God's eye is watching you and His hand is upon you. God is with you.

He has gone further than you could ever imagine to bring you into His family. He will comfort. He will strengthen. He is all that you need. He is the I AM.

If you know Him, find comfort in these words today. If you don't know Him, then please seek Him. For He loves you just the same. And even when you do not seek Him, He still loves and pursues you. WOW! Even when we forsake Him, He will never forsake us.

Take time today to look for His fingerprint in your life. He is our Jehovah-jireh!

Look for Part 3.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Have you seen it? Part 1

This is Part 1 of a blog series titled, "Have you seen it?" which refers to seeing God's meticulous and intimate involvment in our lives.

Recently, I attended the homegoing services of my friend's young son, Daniel. As I walked into the auditorium and saw the place packed out...mostly with young college-aged students, it broke my heart. A young man with so much promise, and now he was gone. And whether this young man in his early twenties or my father-in-law who had just celebrated his 80th birthday, it still felt too soon.

And then it was the thought of my friend, Donna. What could I say to her, when just the Sunday before we had stood in this same auditorium and encouraged one another. She especially encouraged my husband since the recent loss of his father as she recounted how the loss of her own mother not so long ago had greatly impacted her.

But there was Donna, standing on the front row, with hands raised in praise to our Heavenly Father. She leads by example.

As the service started, you could clearly see that this was truly going to be a celebration of Daniel's life as friends recounted stories of his life and shared words of encouragement. I was moved so many times, but speaker in particular caught my attention.

Also, a young man, Jeremy Shelby, he shared how he was in shock at the news of the sudden and tragic death of his friend. It was the young man's custom to read a devotional each night before going to bed. But this night his heart was so heavy, he had planned to skip it. However, in his moment of deepest sorrow, he cried out to God to give him a Word that would help him to lift his head up. He was led to read his devotional anyway.

When he opened the lesson, he discovered that the devotional was titled, "Much Beloved" and was taken from the Book of Daniel. NOW...hold up. STOP!! Did you catch that. His friend Daniel was just tragically killed and when he asked the Lord for strength, his devotional reading for the night was taken from the Book of Daniel. But not just any passage in Daniel, but from Chapter 9. Verses 21-23 says, "while I was in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed." If that is not a WOW Moment...I don't know what is!!!!

But if that wasn't enough, the young man went on to read the rest of the devotional which was an encouragement to Daniel while in exile.

But here is the truly amazing thing to me--it is the extraordinary strides that God will go through to minister to His children, to provide for us. He makes plans long before we know what we need, He has already taken care of the details....every little thing. He loves us that much and He is always working on our behalf to ensure that His will is accomplished. God has done it before in my own life, but let me lay it out for you in case you missed it.

1. The young man was in the habit of reading a devotional each night. If you've ever been to a Christian bookstore than you know that devotionals of all kinds are available in multitudes. So first it was his habit, and also, he had previously chosen this particular devotional.

2. Now, if you know even a little bit about publishing....then you know that these kinds of things are put together months and months in advance. So that means...a) an editor had to make that assignment b) the writer had to choose that particular passage and decide to write the particular devotional c) the designer had to place that particular devotional on that particular page in the book that it might be in the right place for Jeremy to read on Sept. 16.

All of this was accomplished by God months in advance so that when his son cried out in pain, "Father God...give me a Word that will help me lift my head" the Word was ready to encourage His son. And then His son was chosen to speak on Daniel's program that he might comfort others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."

But I wonder today, Have you seen it? Have you seen God's provision in your life? Have you witnessed the tender love and care He has for His own? It is a powerful thing to behold that the Creator of the universe loves you personnally. He hears your prayers and He will answer.
WOW! WOW! WOW! Too much for one you'll have to catch Part 2 later this week.

PHOTO CAPTION: My friend Donna Covington and her son Daniel.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Here's a notice to all the ladies...if you're looking for the perfect man, you might as well give up....I've already got him.

Now you guys out there may be wondering how my husband got such a high rating on the "Perfect Man" scale this week...I'm more than happy to share it with's one word....RELENTLESS.

My husband and I have been attending a class at church called "Marriage Matters." In one of the first classes we attended the facilitator reminded us that we need to be relentless in pursuing our mate. In one example, he specifically challenged the guys to remember all the things they had done to win their mate.

Sebastian and I just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. On my desk is a framed copy of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Just a week or so after we started dating, as I was leaving for work at about 7 in the morning, I found this paper on the windshield of my car. If you look closely, you can see the faded handwriting which says, "I love you Tina more than you can possibly imagine" and the date of Sept. 9, 1991. Just shy of a year later on Sept. 5, 1992, we were married.

In those early months of dating and even early years of marriage, I was surprised many times with handwritten notes of love or beautifully written cards. Not so much now, at least not generally in a spontaneous way. Well, the relentless reminder was all my husband needed.

About a week after the class, I backed into someone's car while dropping the boys off at football practice. Didn't do a lot of damage, but I was sure our insurance premium would go up.

I didn't know how to tell my husband, but to just come out with it. If you know my husband, and you've ever seen him really mad, then you can surely visualize how he rolled his eyes and threw his hands up and shook his head at my news. I ancitipated lots of shouting, questions, general angriness. But not this time.

He didn't even say anything, but just walked out the house and drove away. Now you may be wondering what kind of twisted story am I recounting here....just....wait...for it.......

He returned several hours later, but didn't even mention the accident or our earlier conversation. I figured I'd better practice wisdom and silence and not mention it either.

The next morning when I went out to take the kids to school, I found a card with my name on it, sitting on the steering wheel of my car.

I opened it and in part it read, "Have I mentioned lately that I love you? Do you know how many times during the day I think of you?" So you can about imagine that I was already crying. And then I opened the card, and I saw his familiar handwriting on the side...and it started...."What do you say when saying I love you seems too small and inadequate? How do you show someone how much you love them when just being with them makes you feel loved?"

Well..I could scarcely drive home fast enough to catch him before he left for work. All I could do was run and fling my arms around his neck, and kiss him with passion and say, "Thank you. I really needed that."
I didn't expect it. And could argue that I didn't even deserve it. But isn't that like God to show us a picture of His love for us through the model of marriage.

So yes...I have the Perfect Man. Marriage is a lot of work. But you have to be RELENTLESS--both husbands and wives. Marriage IS putting the needs of someone else above your own. It is SACRIFICE. Love is NOT a feeling. LOVE is a COMMITMENT!

WOW. I am grateful to have my best friend to share my life with.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do you still stand in AWE of Him?

I attended a training on Saturday, that was totally AWESOME! And if you don't like that word, you're in bad shape...because I absolutely LOVE the word. The training was facilitated by Aaron Reynolds, author of "The Fabulous Revinvention of Sunday School." If you've never heard of him and you have a heart to minister to kids...find out who he is.

But it really wasn't about who he is, but what he reminded me "take away" if you will from the training. Now...don't get me wrong, I've already told you that the training was got it, totally AWESOME! I learned so much about storytelling and presentation that I'm trusting to transform my teaching the next time I'm in front of a group whether kids or adults.

But here is where he got me...straight in the heart. As he told the first story of the paralyptic whose friends lowered him through the roof of someone's house, so his life could be changed by Jesus. Do you have friends like that? Friends that will go to any lengths to introduce you to the Savior. WOW! But even deeper than that, are you that kind of friend? Are you willing to go through any lengths to introduce your friends to the Messiah.

Okay...but get this...that was deep...and really God just gave that to me as I was writing...but here's where I was blown away....when Aaron finished telling the story, he challenged us to be awed by God and His Word. I couldn't help but cry. I was moved. It was as if I had heard the story for the first time and then to cap it off, I was awestruck by how amazing our God is. And then Aaron reminded us that we should be blown away because the Bible is telling real stories of real people.

WOW! Stop for a moment and take that in. Have we read the story of David and Goliath so many times that we have forgotten that on a battlefield years ago, a young boy believed God so much that he went into battle to face a giant of a man with nothing more than a sling shot and his faith? When is the last time you read the story of the disciples in the story and failed to be as amazed as they were? Mark 4:41 says, "The disciples were absolutely terrified. "Who is this man?" they asked each other. "Even the wind and waves obey Him!""

Are you still awed by the Word of God? Does it still move you to tears when you read it? Or touch your heart? Or feel you with overwhelming gratitude or peace? Do you still get it...that the Creator wrote a personal love letter to YOU?

Don't let His Word become so mundane, so routine that it ceases to speak to your heart! Do you still stand in AWE of Him? I can't answer that question for you, but I hope you will spend some time today to answer that question for yourself.

God bless!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Give Yourself Away

I get the privilege each week to serve at the Lexington Rescue Mission. Nothing major...but helping in a small way for just an hour each week. And I wonder, what kind of impact we, as followers of Christ, could have on the world, if we each gave a little bit of our time each week to a cause we believe in.

Sometimes God calls us to do something really big, but I believe most of the time, He just wants to use us right where we are in every day, ordinary ways to say, "Hey...God loves you!"

Isn't that in part what we take away from 2 Corinthians 5:20? It says, "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." WOW! You wouldn't believe what a WOW moment that was just now for me. Just reading that Scripture brought tears to my eyes.

Can you really grasp that today? We are HIS AMBASSADORS!! Not doing what we want to do, but doing what HE has sent us here to do. The part of the Scripture that stabs me in the heart is "as though GOD were making His appeal through us." Stop right there and really let that sink in. Do you live your life every day as if God Himself were making an appeal through you?

God WANTS YOU! He's interested in people. Each one of us have been gifted and called for a purpose and put here on this earth, at this time, in this place, to make a difference for the represent Him...and that means caring about the things He cares about. He cares about people! How are you going to live that this week?

When I'm at the Rescue Mission, sometimes I help fix trays, sometimes I pass out trays in the dining area, and even sometimes I end up at the sink washing dishes. I cannot tell you the joy I feel by helping someone in need. You know that saying, "it's better to give than to receive," it's not just talking about money. If you've never done it, I think you will be amazed at how blessed you feel when you take the time to give a little of yourself.

I love music so I'll end with lyrics from a song by NewSong, "Give yourself away, Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Give yourself away, Go out and make a world of difference. Let this be the day you see how far His love reaches. The greatest sacrifice of all is to give yourself away."

If you want to join me some time, stop by the Lexington Rescue Mission, 444 Glen Arvin Ave. They serve lunch every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. Just one hour of your time. So how about it? I challenge you this week to give yourself away.

For more information on how to help the Lexington Rescue Mission, visit

Friday, August 27, 2010

Skip the Apple a Day

Have you ever had a conversation that you knew absolutely was a God-thing? I have, and most recently it was with my doctor.

Amid talk of cholesterol numbers (mine are excellent) and body mass index (need to work on that), my doctor and I started talking about God's faithfulness in our lives.

We have both been through some very dark times in our lives, but we shared a common faith. As we sat there surrounded by the exam table, cotton swabs, old magazines, we opened up about our inability to pray, our anger at God, our yearning to find peace and healing.

As sisters in Christ, we encouraged one another and testified of seeing God's divine plan come to fulfillment in our lives. We marveled at the lessons we learned and the strenghth brought to our faith, after going through a time in life when God was truly the only place to turn.

If you are going through, know that God sees you, that He hears your cries, that He sees your tears, that He feels your pain. More importantly, He is with you. Ask Him to give you peace, to feel His presence, to know His will. You will make it. As desperate as you feel, there is hope.

After quite some time, we realized that she had other patients to see. We connected. It was a WOW moment.

I'm glad I had to see my doctor that day. She blessed me, and I hope our encounter encouraged her as well. God does that. He arranges these routine things in our lives that turn into extraordinary acts of God's intervention...reminders that He loves us, and our hearts are knit together as His children.

So don't skip out on your doctor, not just for your physical well being, but for your spiritual health as well. There may be a blessing there for you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Enemy Like Me

I can't tell you how many times I have sang the song, "I am a friend of God." But there is an opposite of that too. At one time, I was His enemy. It wasn't that I just had not received Christ, or that I was choosing to make my own life choices, I was actually His enemy. Colossians 1:21 says, "This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions." Whoa....that was deep. I read that in a Bible Study last week, and it floored me.

I remembered the time before giving my life to Jesus when I really DID do my own thing. I wasn't concerned with God's will for my life, and I certainly didn't understand grace or the sacrifice He had made by sending His Son to die for me.

And if you think back in your life to that time, you will have to come to the same conclusions I did. Because we all must see the truth of that Scripture. None of us were born Christians. We all have that time in our lives that we were enemies of God...diametrically opposed to His will.

Enemy is defined as "one who is antagonistic to another," "an adversary," "a hostile force." I know, it's hard to think of yourself that way. But that's who we were before Christ....lost, in darkness, unable to save ourselves, helpless.

But then God's grace steps in and through Him we are taken from death to life. His grace is sufficient and I thank Him everyday for it, for giving me what I truly do not deserve.

I have peace and joy in my life. I know that I was created with a purpose and that my life is precious to God. I know that God has a plan for me and for each of us. I am not an accident and neither are you. We were not born, just to live and then die...and go into non-existence. God has you on this planet, in this place, space, and time...for such a moment as this. What are you going to do with it?
You are dearly loved. God has a plan for you. So my WOW moment for today is "WOW, God!! I can't believe you chose me. You loved me even when I was your enemy. And you have given my life more meaning that I ever thought possible."

My response to that love. Show me your will Lord. Help me in this day to live a life that pleases you.

What's your response?

[PHOTO CAPTION] Yep...that was me. Some years ago (smile). Believe it or not, I think I was about 18 in this photo.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happens in a BLINK

My father-in-law passed away earlier this week and it has been a surreal experience. I truly understand that it will not really hit me until I walk into the house tomorrow night and I'm not met with his warm hug and infectious smile.

The last time we saw him our whole family was together celebrating his 80th birthday. And when I talked to my mother-in-law, she just said, "It was too soon."

Even 80 years of living is still not enough, it goes by so quickly. The Christian group, Revive, has a song called "Blink." It simply says, "It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash, it happens in the time it took to look back. I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time. What is it I've done with my life? It happens in a blink."

Homer Bryson Jr. lived his life. He traveled to places like Australia, Alaska, and the Holy Land. He wasn't afraid to experience new things, to live his dreams. And along the way, he blessed as many people as he could.

Life is short. Don't live it looking back with regrets. You can't get back yesterday. And tomorrow may never come. So you have just this moment, in the present, right now. You have today. What AWESOME thing are you going to do today?!? Because even a small awesome thing is still a WOW kind of thing.

Don't live even one more moment despairing over the past. Confess your faults and failures to God, and rest in His peace. Don't waste another second hoping that tomorrow will be the day. Today is THE day and it is a very precious gift from God. Don't waste it. This is what you have...just today, 24 hours.

Allow God to use you today to do something truly like HIM. Are you ready? Then.....GO!!!

[PHOTO CAPTION] Three Generations of Bryson Men--Homer Bryson Jr., his firstborn grandson, Ellis Bryson, and his oldest son, L. Sebastian Bryson smile for the camera after Dad's 80th birthday celebration in Rome, GA.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let's Get Real

I was reminded this week of how many folks truly go through the motions in their relationship with God. They are content to go to church on Sunday, say all of the right Christian phrases, even read their Bible from time to time on their own...maybe. But they miss the most important thing--having and developing a relationship with God that is authentic, that is truly real and life transforming.

I believe that most folks on the outside looking in are turned off by our very lives as Christians. They are looking for authentic relationships, people living lives that have truly been transformed by the message of the Gospel.

What would it look like if all of us who have trusted in Christ as Savior would no longer be satisfied to just look like a Christian on the outside...going to church, saying "to God be the Glory," and carrying our Bible?

What would it look like if we actually believed and lived like the body of Christ....not the church, the building where we gather on Sunday, but the hands and feet of Christ? What would our communities and our nation look like if we didn't just say "to God be the Glory" but that in our relationship with Him, we lived a transformed life that was a living testimony to His redemption power in our lives...and that through our lives we really gave Him the glory. What would our families, marriages, neighborhoods, and churches look like if we didn't just carry our Bible, but each day we worked to read it, study it, understand it, and most importantly live it so that the truth of God's word would change us from the inside out.

I'm no longer content to just go through the motions. Are you? If you are not already living a life sold out to Christ, what will it take? What will motivate you to step out and do something radical for Christ, to turn your world upside down with a life lived in a way that only God can achieve, to trust Him to truly make you into His image. Are you ready? I am! Let's get real!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

God is up to something

Some weeks ago I read a Facebook post that simply said, "I don't know who this is for but God said, "Be still but be ready." It spoke to me immediately.

If you've ever struggled with God...then you know what it is to realize that the struggle really isn't even with God, the struggle is with yourself. We know what God has called us to do, but we might be afraid, uncomfortable, or just not want to follow. And therein lies the conflict and thus our flesh (what we want to do) collides with the Spirit (what God is directing us to do).

Several months ago I made a very big decision. I had no idea of what God was doing, but I had peace. Later, I began to doubt and second-guess, and wanted to go back. But I kept hearing God say, "Be still." So in obedience, I was still.

Then came the post, and I felt Him saying, "Daughter, I'm up to something. I am moving. I am work" And in those words, "Be still, but be ready," I heard my Father's voice. Yet the internal struggle continued. Then God spoke to be me through a children's book, reminding me of the story of Lot's wife...I was fortitified. "Don't look back!"

Friday, God gave me a glimpse of what He's up to. I met a phenomonel woman of God, who has such a passion for children...the same heart for God that I have when it comes to people. She has such a beautiful spirit, and lives her life to please God.

In meeting her, I understood. My heart rejoiced to see His plan unfolding, to see the confirmation of what He had said to me almost a year ago. If God is telling you to "be still," be obedient. He's up to something.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Meal Smiles

Do you know those kinds of smiles your kids get when you tell them you're stopping by McDonald's for lunch? No matter how else the day has gone...they just break out in this large grin. I'm still not sure if it's the french fries, the chicken nuggets, or the new toy...but you can't beat that look.

I had the same look last week when a new friend stopped by my book table at the Children's Ministry Expo, held at the Lexington Center July 15-16, 2010. As she walked slowly, but deliberately toward me, I knew I recognized her...but couldn't quite placed the face. Then as she got closer, and reminded me of our encounter in St. face broke out in that Happy Meal smile as the recognitions set in. We grabbed hands, hugged, and started jumping up and down like typical high school girls....(I guess you never really grow out of it).

It was just the total incredibleness of the moment. You see Barbara and I had just met about two weeks prior when I attended the International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis. Again, another event promoting "10 Things Every Kid Should Know About God." We me while standing in line to get a free copy of a book. Along with Karen, a filmmaker, we also met in line, we talked and talked as if we had known each other for a life time.

It was truly a WOW moment. I was soaking it all in as they talked about their kids and more importantly how they affirm their children every day. That is something I struggle with, but I was amazed by these women. And I truly felt when I walked away that it was God-ordained. That He was speaking to me through them...reminding me of the power of words and the impact they can have in our lives and the lives of our children and those around us.

I took that message back home and was already beginning to implement some of things that they said in the conversation. Now...don't get me wrong, they were not "instructing" me...we were just three women standing in line talking about our families, why we were at the show, and how amazing that the line was moving so fast. We did stand in line for 30 minutes. But by daughter loved the book.

That is just how God works. He gives us divine encounters....we just have to recognize them. So when I ran into Barbara just two weeks later...WOW God!! He is truly amazing.

I look forward to our friendship....and in anticipation to see what God is up to! He doesn't do anything by happenstance, consequence, or by the way...I'm in for the ride.

Think about your life this week. Has God given you a divine encounter? Did you recognize it? Are you in for the ride?

I hope so.

see Barbara's website at,