Book Launch

Hello, All! Most of you know that Devotions from Everyday Jobs, the fourth book in the series, was released earlier this summer. And, those of you who follow the blog, or our FaceBook page know, that I had a pretty major health scare this summer, which the Lord completely healed and took away–to Him be the glory! So, now, we are launching Devotions from Everyday Jobs with a great big, month long celebration!!

Starting today, you can order the book–autographed and personalized–directly from me for $12.00 (out-of-town orders add shipping; local orders are free delivery). Simply send an email or private message and we will get it to you.

We have gift sets! All-occasion, hostess, Fall, and Christmas! The Coffee Lover’s Mug Sets ($8) and The Calming Candle Sets ($5 each) are available with each book purchase, and yes, we still do free gift wrapping!

Places we will be locally with the book:

Saturday, September 23rd, River Rock Baptist Church Arts & Crafts Festival, 9am-5 pm.  2248 TN-99, Murfreesboro, TN 37128

Thursday, October 12th, Stepping Stones Arts & Crafts Festival at The Grove, 10 am-6pm. 3250 Wilkinson Pike, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Saturday, October 14th, Lighthouse Baptist Church Ladies’ Conference, 9am-1pm. 3145 N Thompson Ln, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

(We will be adding more events as they become available).

Please come see us or order yours today! We are here to help you get more from your Everyday Things!

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The Answer to Handling Success

There is an interesting chapter—actually three that cover the same account—in the Scriptures. It is the account of Jesus calling the Twelve and then sending them out to share the Kingdom message. In all three accounts (Matthew 10, Mark 6, Luke 9), the Gospel writers share the success of the Twelve. They also share the instructions that Jesus gave prior to their success, and how they were to handle the success that was coming.

1. Jesus sent them out two by two (Mark 6:7). Rarely, do we succeed on our own. There is usually a team of people of who have supported us, encouraged us, gone with us, on the journey to our success. We need to recognize those who are a part of our success and not be filled with the false pride of self-made success. Even if we were the ones who made the shot, closed the deal or opened the final door—others were there along the process who made those moments possible.
2. Jesus gave them power (Mark 6:7). Ultimately, any success we have is from the hand of the Father and the Son (James 1:17). We must recognize this fact and give God the glory for our successes (1 Corinthians 10: 31).
3. He commanded them to take nothing but a staff (Mark 6:8). We tend to overcomplicate our journey. We over-pack for an overnight trip; we overstock office supplies; we buy every gadget; we try every novelty. For this mission to work, they were to take the essentials. They were to stay focused on their purpose and not be weighed down with distractions.
4. Jesus told them to enter a house and stay there. There was no jumping ship; there was no house-hopping; they weren’t to try to get bigger and better, or rub shoulders with the best and wealthiest. In another passage, it explains they were to look for a “worthy house” (Matthew 10: 11). In this explanation, it wasn’t reaching the top as fast as possible, it was starting where they were welcomed and received, and working from that house to reach the city. In our journeys of success, we don’t need to rise so suddenly to the top that we crest the wave and crash out like an inexperienced surfer. Instead, we start where we are and work from there. So many athletes are careful to thank their parents as they reach the professional level because they understand the sacrifices their parents have made—the humble beginnings, the safe home, the place where they were accepted—long before their own faces began to be seen on television and their names were signed on contracts. We work with the people who welcome us, who believe in us, and we do not offend them by forgetting them.
5. Jesus goes on and tells them how to handle rejection as well. Part of success is that there will be naysayers and discouragers. There will be those who will not believe that God is doing great things in and through us. Jesus tells the Twelve to “shake the dust off their feet,” (Matthew 10:14). This is a symbolic gesture of not internalizing their rejection. Let their negativity and rejection stay on their streets, not in our hearts. We must stay focused on the next step of our purpose as we move forward with the mission God has given us. We cannot allow someone else’s rejection to make us bitter—we keep moving forward.
6. The disciples come back and tell Jesus all that happened (Luke 9:10). After their success, they spent time privately Jesus, telling Him all that had happened. We are wise to do the same. Talking to the God of the universe about our successes helps us to keep them in proper perspective. The Twelve did not get puffed up, they sat at the feet of Jesus. They didn’t tell everyone about their success, they told the Messiah that they had obeyed, and He had blessed. They turn around in the next few verses and witness Him feed five thousand souls. Jesus knows what it takes to keep us focused, successful and humble.

Our success is much like the Twelve’s. We are rarely successful on our own, our power comes from Him, we need to stay focused, we do best when we recognize those who have welcomed us, we are to shake off rejection, and we are to bring our successes to the feet of Jesus. A short account, written in three of the Gospels, yet it gives us the keys of dealing with our victories and making sure we know how to handle successes the way God intended.

Dear Abba, thank You for showing us how to handle success. May we give You all the glory for the power and purpose, and may we recognize those You have sent with us, and those who have welcomed us, on our journey. Help us to be focused and to shake off rejection so it does not embitter us. Help us to sit at Your feet and tell You about the great things You have allowed us to do. Help us remember through it all that You are the One who loves us and gives us all good things! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Handling Success

Hello, Everyone! I just got back from an amazing week of success! One of the privileges I have is to coach a Horse Studies team in one of our community programs. For seven years, I have been learning alongside, coaching and watching these young ladies grow and learn. Last week, they won third place at a national competition! So, how do we handle our success? We have more competitions, college admissions, scholarship applications and lots and lots of studying to do! We enjoyed and celebrated on Friday, but now it’s time to get back to work.

What about success? How do we keep it in perspective? How do we enjoy the rewards of our labor, and yet continue to press on? Please leave your thoughts and ideas below–would love to hear from you!

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Getting Past Indecision

What do we do when we don’t know what to do? When a big decision is looming, how do we work through it? There are some good things to remember, and a few we should forget, when we are making tough decisions.

1. Forget the Fear. We cannot allow fear to paralyze the decision-making process. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Fear cannot keep us from the power and the mind God has given us to rise to the challenge and make the decision.

2. Remember the List. No, not the To-Do List, or the Procrastinate List–God’s List of things we need to do. For example, 1 Thessalonians 3 gives a list of thirteen things we are to be doing as believers. Things such as: respect leadership, admonish the idle, encourage the faint-hearted, rejoice always, seek good, test everything. If we keep doing what we know we are to do, the decisions get easier because they have to fall in line with what we already know is true.

3. Remember the Source; Forget the Doubt. James 1 tells us if we are lacking in wisdom, we can ask God. It doesn’t mean He will write the answer in the clouds or yell it across the universe. What does happen is His sweet Spirit communes with our hearts and gives us the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4). He gives us direction and He gives us patience in the waiting.

4. Remember the Praise. There are so many times God has come through for us in so many different decisions. Remember to praise Him for the things He has shown us in the past, and to keep moving forward in praise because He will do it again with the decision of the moment. His timing is not ours, but He is also never late.

If you are facing a decision with indecision–forget and remember. Prayer, praise and obedience will get us through to the answer He has for us. Go looking for it, in the right places, today.

Father, thank You that times of waiting are good for us and fear has no place in our decisions. Help us remember to pray, praise and obey, knowing You are leading to the next step of faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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What are we supposed to do when we don’t know what to do? How do you handle indecision? What works to break through the unknown and find a direction? Comment below. Thanks!

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Handling Hypocrisy

We put up with them at work, in the gym, even at church. Hypocrites–those pretending to be something they are not, or pretending to not be something that they are. The sad reality–most of us can look in the mirror and see a hypocrite in at least one area of our lives. Maybe it’s that diet that we have tried and tried to follow, and still ate that bowl of ice cream last night after dinner. Or, maybe it’s that gym membership that we have paid for for months and only been one time. Or, how about the project at work that we say we are giving 100%, but we know deep in our hearts, it’s only 75%. What about church–we say we are faithful, committed, but are we really?

Hypocrisy–the shadow lurking behind human decency. What are we supposed to do with it? When we see it in others, when we see it in ourselves, where do we go?

John the Baptist called them out–in fact, he called them snakes! (Matthew 3:7). So did Jesus (Matthew 12: 34). But, Jesus also sat and talked with one of these snakes late into the evening, and what He tells Him should give us all hope for the hypocrites we know, and the ones we are.

In John 3, Nicodemus, a Pharisee (one of the snakes) comes to Jesus at night. Nicodemus starts with flattery, but Jesus cuts right to the chase–you need a new life. Nicodemus is so confused–how can I be born a second time? He is thinking on the physical level, Jesus is talking on a spiritual plane. Nicodemus, and every single one of us, needs a new life, a rescue from our hypocritical hearts. Jesus goes onto explain, that we don’t understand the wind, but we feel it and know it is real. He uses water and the Spirit to compare and contrast the physical with the spiritual, and in probably the most well-known verse of the Bible, He gives the cure for hypocrisy–“For God so loved the world, He gave….”

God’s love and grace is the only cure for hypocrisy, and when we realize that those around us who are without Him, who do not know His love, are eluding the only cure, we should become bold in our faith and love them enough to tell them. Hypocrites need new hearts.

What about when we look in the mirror and still see hypocrisy, even after we’ve received our heart-love transplant? John tells us what to do about that too. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:7-9). The fix for the shadow of hypocrisy is the light that Christ walks in, the fellowship we can have with Him and each other, to keep us honest and keep the shadows of hypocrisy from falling over our lives. 

So, when we feel like lashing out at a hypocrite, whether the one in the workplace, or the one in the mirror, lash with love. Give God’s love, share a measure of grace and walk in the light–and watch the shadows of hypocrisy fade out. When it comes to shadows, love and light make all the difference.

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How are we supposed to handle hypocrisy? What are we to do when we see it rear its ugly head in others’ lives? Or worse, what should we do when we discover it in our own lives? Should we stand by and be silent? Should we confront it head on? What is God’s idea when it comes to dealing with hypocrisy?

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