Sunday, May 31, 2009

Invitation to TRUE discipleship...

In an increasingly narcissistic, self-centered, all-about-me world, the call to move “beyond me” to the limitless possibilities and purpose of serving God and others rings loud and clear! In BEYOND ME: LIVING A YOU-FIRST LIFE IN A ME-FIRST WORLD by Kathi Macias, named “top pick” in the Christian Living category by Christian Retailing and best book of 2008 by The Book Connection, believers are encouraged to step outside the limited sphere of serving self and dare to walk the selfless road to Calvary, following in the footsteps of the One who truly modeled a you-first life in a me-first world, even to the point of submitting to the Cross. With practical application questions following each chapter, BEYOND ME is the perfect guide for anyone who is serious about becoming a world-changing disciple of Christ.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Praise for My Son, John

Kelly Kiggins-Lund, Richmond Christian Book Reviews Examiner, applauds My Son, John. To read the the glowing review for My Son, John click on the Review link. Review In addition to the review, an interview was also conducted. To learn more about author Kathi Macias and her newest fiction release My Son, John, click on the Interview link. Interview

Basking in God's Presence

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [focused] on You,

because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).

When I was young, I never even heard the term “multi-tasking.” Now that I’m in my (early) sixties, I’ve become an expert at it. What’s wrong with this picture? Shouldn’t I be slowing down as I age, rather than accelerating to warp-speed? Of course, it might not be so bad if I were actually getting more done, but… Well, I think you get my drift because I’m sure a lot of you are in the same situation.

Life is WAY too busy, isn’t it? With all our modern conveniences and expensive gadgets, the “simple life” has nearly faded into a nostalgic memory, a casualty of the “do-more-but-accomplish-less” generation. Seriously! We get up before daylight and skip breakfast so we can “relax” on the golf course, but we’ve forgotten how to sit on the porch and watch the sunrise. We squeeze in three committee meetings weekly but can’t find time to visit a neighbor. We manage to watch every episode of “24” but can scarcely find time for daily prayer and Bible study.

May I repeat the question: What is wrong with this picture?

The answer is sad but clear, particularly as it applies to those of us who call ourselves Christians: We do not believe what we say we believe.

We say that “apart from God we can do nothing,” but we spend our days apart from Him, trying to accomplish all sorts of things on our own.

We say that we love God and others more than we love ourselves, but we dedicate our time to serving self.

We say He is our peace—and yet we have none.


The prophet Isaiah spelled it out for us: If we have no peace, it is because our minds are not focused on God and we don’t trust Him. I wish I could find a way around that truth, but there is none. If we have no peace in our lives, it is because we have been sucked into the black hole of lies that contradict the truth of God’s Word and tell us that it’s all up to us and we’d better do/be/experience all we can while we can. The only way to escape that black hole is to consciously reject the lies and begin once again to flood our minds with the Scriptures—read them, meditate on them, memorize them, and act on them. It may not change our circumstances or erase our problems or diminish our responsibilities, but it will replace our pointless busyness with focused purpose. With that comes “joy unspeakable” and a “peace that passes all understanding.”

Time is short, beloved. Don’t waste it on pursuits that have no purpose or promise of eternal value. I, for one, do not want to breathe my last having wasted my life on empty activities instead of giving it away to honor God and serve others.

May the peace that comes only from basking in His sweet presence envelop you this day and always….

***Please take a moment to visit my website at to sign my guestbook or leave a comment on my blog for a chance to win one of my new books. Please check out my new blog as well:

***Also, please visit, where I serve as Spiritual Director. Come as you are…leave with a new beginning! Drop us a note or prayer request while you’re there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Leave a comment--win a great prize basket!

(Tulsa, OK) - "It's an honor just to be nominated": familiar words for Emmy and Grammy nominees. Still, Brent and Deanna Higgins never believed the phrase would pertain to their family. Outreach magazine has recently honored the Higgins' book, I Would Die for You, with a nomination as Outreach Resource of the Year.
That nomination, however, came with a great cost. I Would Die for You chronicles the life and death of their young son, BJ Higgins; along with his faith; his passion for missions and his love for God. Compelling excerpts from personal notes, blog entries school assignments and journals reveal his clear calling and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel of Christ. BJ's challenging words and example combine to inspire readers of all ages.

After returning from his second short-term international mission trip at the age of 15, BJ became seriously ill. Six days before his sixteenth birthday, he died. His story lives on throughout the pages of his parents' book.

In spite of the inevitable grief , Brent and Deanna share their son's message of selfless sacrifice through both I Would Die for You and Awe Star Ministries, the nonprofit ministry that coordinated his mission trips. Their prayer? That countless others will embrace BJ's vision and give their all for the cause of Christ.

Interview with BJ's parents:

1. Describe how BJ became involved in short-term mission trips. How did these trips impact BJ’s faith?
BJ watched other members of our family participate in church mission trips. He couldn’t wait for his turn! When Brent led a team to Kentucky to serve in a school, BJ went along. At age fourteen, he learned of an opportunity to minister in Peru. He served there with Awe Star Ministries two consecutive summers and his heart broke over the world’s lostness. His mission service ignited a passion to see the Gospel reach the nations.
2. Even as a young boy BJ’s passion for God shone through in his life. How did you see that passion then and as he grew?
In his childhood, his passion sometimes came across as judgmental. When he learned to share out of love, his witness became much more effective. He was bold and unafraid to share the Gospel in any way possible. After his mission trips, his heightened passion led him to spend more time in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, and worship. BJ could turn almost any conversation to the things of God because he genuinely loved others.
3. Share the story of BJ’s illness and the time when God called him home.
Three weeks after his 2005 Peru trip, BJ became critically ill. On the way to the hospital, he told Brent, “Dad, I know you’re scared. I believe the Lord will deliver me through this. But if he doesn’t, I’m going home to be with him, and that’s okay with me.” Friends began a blog we still maintain, It received thousands of hits as people across the world prayed for our son. After a six-week battle with a mysterious infection, BJ went to heaven days before his sixteenth birthday.
4. How did BJ’s faith journey become the inspiration for the song, “I Would Die For You” written by MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart Millard?
Within a week of BJ’s hospitalization Bart (a friend from the band’s early years) called Brent. Our oldest daughter had posted some of BJ’s journal entries on our blog and Bart was amazed at his spiritual depth. He emailed fans encouraging them to pray. MercyMe grieved deeply when BJ died. Our son’s life and writings inspired Bart to put words to a tune he already had, now the final song on the “Coming Up to Breathe” CD.
5. BJ’s life and death have touched many people. Which of his qualities and/or experiences seems to impact others the most?
People didn’t realize it was possible to live a life as sold out to Christ as BJ’s. They’re amazed at the boldness he showed when God told him to witness to four Peruvian policemen carrying uzis. As he wrote, he was “mucho scardios,” but all four accepted Christ. His passionate declaration, “I will not be satisfied. I will not let my passion be hid in a bottle” still touches people in deep ways.
6. As you both continue to partner with Awe Star Ministries, what are your hopes and dreams for this ministry? For this book?
We hope to impact students’ lives, discipling and partnering with them in missions. We long for them to realize that surrender to Christ can occur without crossing borders. God calls us to live a missionary lifestyle within our own culture. Our hope for the book is not that our son be glorified but that God multiply his message. We pray that God draws those who read it to embrace their Savior and live for Him as never before.
7. Where can readers learn more about BJ and I Would Die For You? Where can they learn more about Awe Star Ministries? contains devotionals, complete archives, pictures, and BJ’s own words. Recently, we posted a video of his life at You’ll find I Would Die for You anywhere Christian books are sold. contains a link for a free companion Bible study. Friend us on Facebook: Brent A. Higgins; Deanna Tucker Higgins.
Visit to learn more about international missions opportunities. May God use you to extend BJ’s passion to reach the nations and “raise a revolution” in Him.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For such a time as this...

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom
for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

I would like to tell you that throughout this past week I have been a spiritual rock, standing strong for my family as they gathered together in what appeared to be my mother’s last days. I would like to say that—but I can’t. Not only has God spared Mom to live out the full number of days He has allotted to her, but I have (once again!) been reminded of my own weaknesses and fallibility.
Weary is the word that comes to mind, and with it a desire to escape to some quiet place where rest is an achievable goal. And yet…
Though my body cries out for rest…my soul is at peace.
Though details and responsibilities seem to multiply at a ridiculous pace…my soul is at peace.
Though others encourage me to take care of myself in the midst of caring for others…my soul is at peace.
Though all these things are true—my body needs rest, my to-do list is far too long, and I must take care of myself if I am to care for others—my soul is still at peace.
For God, you see, is the Source of my peace. He is my strength and my rest and my joy—and my great Reward at the end of the day. When all else changes, He remains the same. Even when the earth shakes (which it did here in Southern California this past Sunday evening!), God remains unshaken.
And that is where my focus must remain, particularly when well-meaning loved ones and friends tell me that God would not want me to wear myself out, that He wants me to be happy and fulfilled, to even have fun once in awhile….
Really? Hmm… True, moments of happiness and fun sometimes invade our lives, and I am grateful each time that happens. But is it our purpose? Or is that purpose so much higher than a self-serving life?
Again, I don’t discount the need to care for ourselves as best we can, for health and well-being enables us to effectively serve God and others. But when Mordecai confronted Queen Esther about interceding with the king to save the Jewish people from extinction, the queen’s personal happiness and fun were not even figured into the equation. Knowing that she would be putting her own life on the line to approach the king uninvited, Mordecai challenged Esther to lay down her dreams, her comfort, her security—everything—in order to fulfill God’s calling and purpose for her life: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Did Queen Esther realize the seriousness of this challenge? Absolutely! She accepted the challenge and said, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
As it turned out, Esther did not perish and, in fact, was instrumental in saving the Jewish people. But if she had perished in the attempt, would she have failed? Would she have wasted her life?
Not if that was God’s purpose for her being here in the first place! Though we don’t all have such a world-changing calling or purpose as Queen Esther, we each have a specific, God-given purpose for walking this earth—a purpose that far outweighs our need to be happy or “have fun” along the way. If fulfilling that God-ordained purpose means that we perish in the process, so be it. How better to be assured that when we step from here into eternity we will hear those wonderful words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
At the end of the day—or of our earthly lives—does anything else really matter?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

looking for a roommate for ICRS

Any of you ladies planning to attend ICRS in Denver in July? If so, I'm looking for a roommate.

another update

Mom is coming home from the hospital today. Hope to get back to some semblence of normalcy soon. Blessings!

Monday, May 18, 2009

update on Mom

The news is good! The doctors have discovered that Mom's bleeding was caused by her arthritis medicine, which they will change immediately. They will also be treating the damage with medication, rather than surgery. If all goes well, she will be released from the hospital in a couple of days. Thank you all for your faithful prayers/encouraging notes. Blessings!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Greetings, dear readers:

Just a quick update to let you know I'm in the midst of caring for my aging mother, who lives with me and whose health is declining rapidly. We may have to take her to the hospital today. Family is driving/flying in to see her. I will update more when I can. Your prayers are appreciated! Blessings to you all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer Reading Contest

Be sure to check out the Summer Reading Contest sponsored by The Christian Pulse at the following link:

Lots of fun reading and prizes for everyone!