They stood with me. They stand with me. Yesterday, as I found myself unexpectedly reading a heart-wrenching, transparent, self-revealing piece of writing before the National Day of Prayer gathering at my local Town Hall, I found myself not only wrapped within the wings of the arms of the Lord, but I discovered I was accompanied by a humble man of God with the presence of mind to know I did not have the strength to share my testimony with the gathering of people alone. So the same man of God who prompted by the Lord led me to read my writing with the gathering planted his feet next to me and made sure I knew I was not alone. Then, it happened. Just as surprisingly as I found myself reading…

My brother in the Lord wrapped his arms around me a few days ago and refused to let go. Even when I tried to get outside of his hold as I have done for years when somebody hugs me, he refused to release me. Even when he felt my resistance that comes from years of battling the haunting of having been sexually abused, he held me even harder. Even though he knew I have been abandoned by my father, my family, and two husbands, he did not turn away. He just clung closer, he strengthened his grip on me, he fought for me to receive from him, and he carried on with his endeavor. I carried on with my mission, too. I felt the fear I have felt for so…

“Hope you and God are still writing,” my precious friend wrote me in an e-mail this morning. I was so blessed by the e-mail in its entirety that I missed the message the Lord had sent me through my dear friend. When I read it again hours later – after striving unsuccessfully in my flesh yet again – I got the message. My friend, a beautiful babe in the Lord, is so very humble and wise. She knew I would never make it anywhere in my writing without the Lord. So she became a vessel of honor for the Lord to use to remind me. Me & Jesus – together.Years ago, a loved one remarked over and again at his amazement that I could get an entire couch up a…

So you’re not perfect. Neither am I. In fact, I’m so far from perfect – even as a Christian, yes! – that I can barely fathom what the word even means. Thank God, He has placed a pastor, and friend, a man of God, in my life who is teaching me how okay it is to not be perfect.My pastor friend feeds me scriptures, he gives me messages from God, he encourages me, and he shares with me the revelation of the Bible that God has given him.And, day by day, by the love of the Lord, the gift of His Holy Spirit, and the power of His Word, I am finally coming to understand that I do not need to earn God’s love and approval. Nor do I need…

Some writers love a blank screen. Imagine all the possibilities. Some writers cringe at the thought. What could they possibly write? When I considered returning to my computer after lunch today, I had just an iota of dread about returning to my latest writing project. Where would I go next with it – or not? But then I considered my life, and thought about how different my life might be if only I had a blank screen life. But alas, at 44 years old, my life is anything but a blank screen.I have already traveled too far over the past decades to look in the mirror at my life today and see a blank screen. I already know too much about myself, have covered too much ground, and am far…

Ever heard the expression, “Expect the Best’? I have not only heard the expression numerous times, but I have fallen flat on my face from expecting the best – from humans. In fact, I just shared with someone I know how disappointed I have been lately in how many of my expectations have not been met – by people, by the way. And therein lies the problem.In the past weeks, and months, and years to be quite honest, I have been so incredibly let down by people that I have walked around much of my life discouraged, dismayed, disturbed, disappointed, and every “dis” word imaginable. Talk about getting “dis”-ed. Oops, I forgot about disgruntled – and disgusted. I never realized how many “dis” words there are. But more importantly, I…

Listen, debate, and obey. God did not speak these words to me today. He told me to listen and obey. I have such a very long way to go in learning to listen, and an equally long way it seems in learning to obey. But most of all, I need to learn how to listen and obey without debating.What exactly do I mean by this? When God tells me to do something, I often have a few questions first. Why? What’s going to happen? What will the other person say? What will those people over there do? Do I have to do this? Do I really need to do this NOW? What if I don’t do it? Is it really you talking to me, God?I am blessed to say I…

Have you ever felt far away from God? I do. I have heard it said, “God didn’t move. You did.” I know God hasn’t moved. But I am not sure I have moved either. I am reminded that the faith walk is not about what we see with our human eyes or what we feel with our human emotions. So maybe I am not far away from God at all. Maybe just like He hasn’t moved away, I haven’t either. Maybe I am merely responding to my emotions rather than walking according to what I believe. How do I feel? Far away from God. What do I believe? That is a good question. For a woman who has spent most of her life living according to what she sees and…

I’m under attack. I’m under attack. I’m under attack. Yes, I know I’m repeating myself. I might as well repeat myself in writing. I certainly have repeated myself verbally – for years. I’m under attack. I’m under attack. I know. You get the point. So do my friends who have prayed for me for so very long. They have prayed for me for years as I have sustained – rarely gracefully, mind you – attacks from Satan. They have also reminded me – lovingly – that I need to focus on the Lord rather than Satan, the defeated foe. Yet only this morning did I really get it. I truly had a DUH moment. Of course I’m under attack. I’m in a war. That’s what happens in wars. Why wouldn’t…

Mercy has been riding at such high speeds in her wheelchair that her wheel popped right off yesterday! Now she is waiting for a very special person who made the wheelchair in the first place to come to her rescue. In the meantime, she is patiently – well, sort of – laying low while she awaits the big fix….Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at http://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.

But God I don’t wanna love. Ever been there? He hurt me. She hurt me. I didn’t get what I want. I was taken advantage of. Look what they did to me. C’mon God, surely I don’t need to love that person. Right? But God – I was there again this morning. How could that person do this? What about me? Me, me, me. Imagine if God said that about us. Imagine if God stopped loving us because of the mistakes we keep on making. Imagine if God stopped loving us because of all we have done wrong. Imagine if Jesus Christ had not gone to the cross because He didn’t get what He wanted, because the world was too broken, because our sins were too grievous. Just imagine. Now…

“That man is crazy,” I thought. “Totally crazy.” That man, I confess, just so happens to be a wonderful pastor friend of mine from a local church. And not only did I think the man was crazy, but I told him just minutes ago over the telephone. “I thought you were crazy,” I told the pastor. Crazy? Who are you calling crazy? How could I not call him crazy? “I think you’re supposed to be writing,” he told me just weeks ago at a counseling appointment. He was counseling me, mind you. If anyone should have been thinking, or calling, someone crazy, it should have been the counselor. Right? Wrong. I had taken it upon myself to put the label on him. How could he possibly think I was supposed…

Obedience is not the be-all, end-all that I thought it was, or is it? It certainly is not. Just last week, I thought I had hit the home run of all runs – not that I know the first, or second, or even third thing about baseball. But suffice it to say, I did believe since I had achieved the ultimate victory when I found in several weeks time that I had surrendered the two big areas of my life I had so rebelliously been holding back from God. I could not have been more elated, more relieved, and yes, more convinced that I was headed for the vacation, and celebration, of all vacations. Not so. Not even close.The Bible has something to say about all this. And had I…

Wow. I never would have guessed when I began a 40-day different-kind-of-a-fast exactly 40 days ago that it would end right on Passover and Easter, nor could I ever have imagined what the Lord would do in this longer-than-I-have-ever-taken fast. I thank God for the pastor who advised me months ago to fast something in my life of great value and replace it with God. And I thank God for the loved one who felt led to begin a fast and to ask me if I wanted to fast also. Mostly, I thank God for what He has done in this special season of my life.Rather than fast all food for 40 days, which I am quite sure I could never have done nor should have done given my long-time…

“Do you know something?” I told four of my Walk by Faith Ministry dogs today. Not that Red, Jake, Traveler, and Joshua wanted to hear the answer. I, of course, proceeded anyway.”I am so happy today. And I don’t have the things that I wanted. But I have Jesus.” The dogs, of course, did not respond. But my heart danced inside, and my smile would be contagious if anyone could see it right now. I have almost nothing of what I ever dreamed of, and I have lost much of what I ever wanted. Most of my life has not turned out thus far as I wanted, as I imagined, or as anyone could have guessed.But I have a happiness, a deep joy inside, that far surpasses anything that I…

I am so at peace. It is morning, and I could curl up with this sweet peace of surrender and go back to sleep – a deep, restful peace. For months, for years, I fought surrender. I held onto my life as though it were my own. Jesus died on the cross to give me this life, but even when I invited Him into my life I didn’t give my life to Him. I gave Him part of it, alright. I gave Him the pieces I no longer wanted, or the ones I felt I could give up. But there were areas I would not surrender. Only in recent days, and weeks, did I surrender all. And now this sweet peace of surrender I know, it makes me understand the…

“God, this is what I want,” I told God this afternoon for the umpteenth time. As if He does not already know. “I want to write fiction.” It’s not as though I haven’t told God this a zillion times. It’s also not as though I didn’t start writing fiction as a little girl and have written it on and off (with a lot of off in recent years) ever since. And it’s not though He doesn’t know I want to write Christian inspirational fiction as part of my ministry work. Most importantly, it’s not as though God doesn’t know all of this without my needing to tell Him – even once. He is God, after all. But the point, really, is none of this at all. The point is that…

What would Jesus think? The thought crossed my mind just a few days ago. No pun intended. I really did think it. What would He think? Would He think the way I do? Not in a million years. God’s thoughts and ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9 KJV), and yet He has given me the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) through faith in Jesus. And He tells me in His Word that the issues in my life will come from my heart (thoughts and feelings) (Proverbs 4:23). Well then, I have a big issue on my hands, don’t I? Why do you think God says that our lives will be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2)? Because it is true. All I have to do…

I have met two people at a church that are always fine. Everything is always good. Everything is always fine. I used to be annoyed by this. I suppose I was either envious, or perhaps more self conscious of the challenges in my life. Maybe I was both. Now I am not envious, nor am I more self conscious of my own life. One of these people is the pastor of a church, and the other attends the same church. Now I understand what I missed all along. My opportunity to pray. But I must not limit my prayers to this one church, nor to these two individuals. I am actually concerned for the Body of Christ as a whole, for His church.The truth is that not everything is fine.…

I learned a wonderful lesson recently on receiving godly counsel. Though the Bible certainly recommends godly counsel, the Bible is altogether clear that we are never to exalt anything or anyone above the Lord Himself. Sometimes we learn lessons from the Bible, sometimes we learn them from others, and sometimes we learn them from our own mistakes. I learned this lesson from the mistake I made, and now hope divulging my mistake might help somebody else not make the very same one.”Pastor, I need to meet with you to get help with something,” I told my beloved pastor. That was my first mistake. But how could this possibly be a mistake? My pastor is a Spirit-filled, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, wise man who also just so happens to be my father in…

Have you ever wanted to be farther along than where God has you? I have. I have wanted this more than I have ever wanted to be right where God has me. Leave it to me to think I know where I belong rather than to trust God that He always knows best. How often I have run ahead of God like a little girl skipping into the future – only to come running back to my Daddy in heaven to say, “Ouch. This hurts. I’ve scraped my knees. I’ve bruised my face. I’ve fallen once again.” Does a good father send his child off on an adult bicycle before she learns to ride her child’s tricycle? Does a good father send her off on her very first bicycle with…

I have a confession. A big one. Some might call it small, no pun intended, but to me it is big. Very big. I am 5 foot 5, and two weeks ago I stood on the scale at the doctor’s office and weighed in at 100 pounds. I should not have been surprised. I am the one who opened the door to anorexia. I am the one whom God delivered from an eating disorder decades ago but has spent all the years since flirting with it, stepping back in and out of it. But rather than humble myself before the Lord as I stepped off the scale, I turned to the nurse with a ridiculous question. “Is it possible your scale is broken?” I asked in all seriousness. If you…

Beware of the wrong open doors. Just because a door is open does not mean the Lord has opened the door. I have heard countless people through the years use the expression, “When one door closes, another one opens.” I have heard numerous people pray that the Lord would open doors. I have even heard people pray that the Lord would close doors He wants shut, and open doors He wants open. I have prayed this way myself. Just recently, I heard a woman say essentially that she had made a decision because there was an open door, and God had not said no. The Bible refers to Jesus as “the door”, and truly any other so-called “open door” does not necessarily guarantee that the Lord has opened it. In…

Sweet, loving, & oh so shy, spayed, vaccinated and housebroken HOPE needs a safe & loving home with a special somebody who respects this special dog is shy until she gets to know and trust. She is very gentle, athletic, & is wonderful with kids & loves other dogs.She is great with people after just a little bit of warm-up time, but is definitely shy in public when there are lots of noises and commotion. She loves to walk, loves to hang out with other dogs, and LOVES THE BEACH! Hope is a boxer mix, and more information can be found at www.walkbyfaithministry.com.If you are that special somebody that Hope is waiting for and are approved for adoption, Walk by Faith Ministry will offer a 50% discount on its normal…

When a friend thanked me for sharing my struggles in my writing, I didn’t think much of it. I share my struggles because they are part of my journey, because I want my whole life in the light, because I seek and value the prayer and support of others, and because I am a living testimony. But then it dawned on me. My propensity to share my struggles is far from the norm, and at best many people I meet share their struggles in retrospect rather than during the storms in their lives. While I prefer to “report live” from the storms, many people seem to refer back to their trials and tribulations once they reach the other side. As for those I meet who are involved in full-time ministry as…

I attended an outreach event with the church I attend today and was disappointed right from the start. I was not disappointed with the event. I was disappointed in myself. I found myself so sleepy, lethargic even, that it did not take me long to realize I carried with me a spirit of oppression. Quite frankly, I did not fit in. I had looked forward to the event, had certain expectations about the ministry opportunity I suppose, and most importantly had expectations of myself. I assumed because of my passion for the Lord and my call to streets ministry that I would be energized, excited, and enthusiastic about this opportunity to reach out to the low-income population in a neighboring state. But the truth is that I simply did not…

I know people who have paid a pretty penny to invest in what some companies probably claim is the best detox ever to rid the human body of toxins, troubles, problems, and pains, but I can promise that nothing even comes remotely close to what I know definitively is the best detox ever. And, to top it all off, the best detox ever is entirely free because the price has already been paid by the wealthiest philanthropist in the universe.Just this morning, I took the best detox ever. And I am more than happy to share my secret with you. In fact, the best detox ever is not a secret at all. The trouble is that those responsible for marketing do not always step up to the plate. So I…

“I believe I obeyed,” I told the Lord in my heart. “So why does it hurt?” As soon as I had spoken the words to the Lord as I sat soaking up the hot South Carolina spring sun, I realized what I had said. I had wondered why my obedience would be accompanied with pain, and then I remembered. Obedience comes with a price to the flesh.Just last week, as I have done many times in the past, I sent a letter to someone per the instructions of the Lord. I was completely clear that the Lord had wanted me to write a letter, I was clear that He had given me the words to write, and I was clear about the very day He wanted me to send the…

Just how uncomfortable are you? A little? A smidgen? A bunch? A whole lot? If you think I’m going to tell you what the world will tell you, I am not. If you are very uncomfortable, I will not tell you to get out of your uncomfortable zone to satisfy your flesh. Instead, I will recommend you seek the Lord’s face and find out if you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.Because if you have made a decision to follow Jesus Christ and are actually following through on your commitment, you just may find yourself a whole lot more uncomfortable than you had imagined. The truth is, following Jesus is not about finding comfort. It is all about going to extreme lengths in following Jesus.A woman I know once…

What a quiet weekend I have had. I would not have chosen it to be this way. I thrive off of being active. Rest, though easier than it used to be for me, remains a challenge. But I am quite certain the Lord has called me to rest. But why? I am led to share something I have learned over the past year or so, and it is something I admittedly tend to forget. I believe the Lord does not call us to rest just because we need rest from whatever we have been doing in the past. I believe He also calls us to rest because He knows our future.Strange though it may seem for us humans who cannot see the future, the Lord does see the future. And,…

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