Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Thriller to Keep You Turning Pages

Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable.
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.

With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she'll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Audience of One

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14, NKJV).

            In addition to polishing a couple of manuscripts that need to go in to the publishers shortly, I’m focusing a lot right now on preparing for several speaking engagements, including keynotes, teaching, panel discussions, TV and radio. I enjoy all that, particularly the impromptu, spontaneous events that require few if any notes, such as media interviews and panel discussions. But the keynotes and teaching demand that I at least have a few notes jotted down about what I will say and how I will say it.
            All of that’s important, I know. So much more important, however, is what I say and how I say it in light of the Lord, who not only hears each word I speak but knows the meditations of my heart as well. How I want both to be acceptable in His sight! And how much more likely they will be if I am careful what I put into my heart and mind, for the Scriptures are clear that whatever words we speak come out of what we have stored in our hearts.
            Knowing that ultimately I speak for an audience of One, I must be much more careful of what I choose to store up in my heart, for that will determine my meditations as well as my words. No matter how much time I spend trying to perfect and polish the words I speak to others, it is God alone who knows the purity of my intent. We live in a world that bombards us with thoughts and words that demean our faith walk with Christ; may we continually ask the Lord to strengthen us and not allow those negative influences to enter our heart and taint our meditations and words.     

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Excellence Marriage Resource!

Before there was community, there was family. Before there was family, there was one man and one woman created to be family and to be the prototype for community.

For more than 40 years, David Stevens, D. D., pastor/founder of Christ Center Church of God,CEO of Sound Marriages has researched, developed and presented vital materials designed to help families reach their best life.

Sound Marriages over the last four decades has looked for opportunities to share the message of healing and wholeness by producing marriage and family videos, booklets, workbooks, workshop materials, family counseling, and countless seminars around the country.

Dr. Stevens is an energetic speaker who demonstrates a rare talent for presenting scholarship in a simple and humorous wrapping. He speaks from a solid scriptural base with the conviction that it supplies the only reliable foundation for marriage and family. He has authored, to date, four books on the affairs of the heart and as a relationship coach and counselor, many have continued to seek his wisdom and expertise. Now you can avail yourself of Dr. Stevens' vast experience and expertise through this excellent marriage resource, Marriage: Catching a Second Wind, by going to

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Scars of Devotion

But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions…what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me (2 Timothy 3:10-11, NKJV).

The Apostle Paul was no stranger to suffering, yet he was no whiner either. He patiently endured whatever hardships came his way as a result of his bold proclamation of faith in the risen Christ, knowing his Lord would keep him safe whatever happened.

Notice, however, that though Paul knew God would keep him safe, he didn’t expect Him to spare him from suffering. Paul understood that such things were part of the cost he must pay for serving the One whom the world rejected. Nothing much has changed in that regard, has it? Though we in many countries are free to worship God as we wish, others around the globe are not so blessed.

Jesus Himself set the example, didn’t He? Another Apostle, Thomas, wanted proof of that example. When he was told that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, he didn’t ask to see Christ’s face or to hear His voice. He said he must touch His wounds, the scars that proved His suffering on our behalf, before he would believe. Graciously, Jesus accommodated him.

Our redemption was bought at a great price, so great we can scarcely begin to fathom it. The scars on the risen Christ’s body are testimony to that redemption and the unconditional love that sealed it.

Can we, as followers of Christ, expect any less? Even if we are not openly persecuted for our faith, there is always a price to pray, a part of self that needs to die daily so our risen Lord can live within us. There’s no room on the throne for two; only Jesus has earned the right to sit there. When we are called to any sort of suffering in our walk with Him, may we endure it humbly, knowing that the scars it produces will provide evidence of Christ’s love for others to see, that they too might believe and be saved.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Wonderful MInistry Opportunity--Don't Miss It!

Please consider getting involved in this excellent ministry. I can personally vouch for the leader, a humble and godly woman named Marilyn Orton. These children need our help. Let's not let them down!

La Casita, a shelter in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, is a refuge for 75 pre-teen and teenage girls unjustly tainted by drug leaders. As children, their innocence is stolen as they are used to transport drugs. Many have a baby. Children having children.

Although the shelter is safe, the living conditions are deplorable. Most slept on boards with no mattress until Women of Worth International became involved. Now each girl has a new mattress, bedding and pillows.

Slowly La Casita is being transformed into a real home, with newly painted walls, movie nights, and a new fence being built around the complex to keep the drug dealers from snatching the girls. Many of the girls have received Christ.

The girls sit on a concrete floor. You can provide a chair for them for as little as $3.00 . You can learn more, and make a donation at

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ready to Laugh and Be Blessed at the Same Time?

I'm not a slap-stick comedy fan but my husband is, so yesterday I accompanied him to an afternoon matinee to see "The Three Stooges." Though I wasn't extremely amused or entertained, I thoroughly enjoyed watching my husband ROFLOL. Well, today it's my turn. I get to tell you about a new book that made me chuckle--my kind of humor! I think you'll like it too. Here's the synopsis and ordering information:

Two Scoops of Grace is an inspirational/humorous gift book containing seventy chapters of 650-750 words each. Amusing, encouraging, and heart-rending stories of ditzy adventures and hellish nightmares fill the pages. Laugh with the author as she prays for a wife for the lonely new minister and ends up answering her own prayer. Squirm with her as she attempts to answer, “Can preachers have sex on Sundays?” Finally, grow with her as she seeks God’s face and some sanity through all the cow pies and chocolate éclairs of life in the real lane.

The transparent story-telling of Jeanette Levellie’s hurt-ridden yet humorous life in the real lane offers hope amidst the chaos. She openly shares her struggles to love and forgive spiteful people. She encourages readers to believe in themselves and the God who is bigger than any mess in their lives. Readers will find their hearts opening to God’s heart of grace and forgiveness. Burned-out Christians will take a vacation from their stresses, laughing at the misadventures of this candid yet wise lady.

Two Scoops of Grace speaks to the average Christian woman or man needing reassurance of a God who is interested in their hectic, often-frustrating life. They need confidence in their value to God and His kingdom. They longs to laugh more, at themselves and their crazy world. The humorous stories and caring suggestions in Two Scoops of Grace offer courage, hope and contentment.

To order go to:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making It Personal

Your own eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD

which He did (Deuteronomy 11:7, NASB).

I was 26 years old before I came to know the Lord personally. Prior to that I knew and, to some extent, believed the basic tenets of Christianity, including that Jesus “died for the sins of the world.” Unfortunately that didn’t impact me until I understood that He died for ME, for MY sins. That changed everything.

It’s amazing how me-centered we are, isn’t it? Even after we become believers and spend time growing spiritually, we still fight that tendency to think the universe revolves around us. And yet there are times that God wants us to personalize our faith; Deuteronomy 11 is a great example of that.

As a matter of fact, God spends a lot of time in Deuteronomy reminding and recounting His many amazing and merciful deeds on behalf of the Israelites. He wants them, as a nation of chosen people, to remember all that He has done for them so they won’t be drawn away by false gods or start thinking they accomplished anything by their own efforts.

But Deuteronomy 11:7 makes it personal: “Your own eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD which He did.” Yes, God is speaking to Israel as a nation, much as He speaks to the Church as a whole. But He also speaks to individuals, reminding us of what we have personally seen Him do for us. I am always blessed to read stories of what God has done for His people throughout the ages, but I am also blessed when I stop and remember all that He has done for me as an individual. My eyes truly have seen amazing things, times where God intervened on my behalf, and reflecting on those times encourages me when I face trials today.

Like the Israelites of old, we must not allow ourselves to be drawn away by false gods—and the world is full of them!—or be lulled by our egos into thinking we’ve accomplished anything on our own efforts. If we will make it a practice to meditate on God’s acts of love and kindness to us over the years, both personally and as a corporate Body of believers, we will certainly be more apt to cling to and trust Him for all that yet lies ahead.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Great New Resource for Busy Women!

To say today's women are busy is an understatement at best. Multi-tasking is our middle name, right? But every now and then a great resource comes along to help us put things back in proper perspective, and Always Before Me, an exquisitely written devotional from author Davalynn Spencer, is one of those resources. And with Mother's Day just around the corner, why not get a copy for yourself--and one for all the other busy moms, grandmas, sisters, friends you know?

What to give your mom/wife/sister/mother-in-law for Mother’s Day.

Will that special woman in your life really appreciate the calorie-laden candy and soon-to-wilt flowers this Mother’s Day? Sure, it’s the thought that counts, but have you thought about how crowded it will be at her favorite restaurant on that day?

Davalynn Spencer, author of Always Before Me: Devotions for Women, says calories and crowds are something she can do without. “I want something that will be there tomorrow, something that affirms me for who I am and the challenges I face every day.”

Is that special woman too busy to take care of herself? “God knows the many things we do, and he is willing to meet us in every situation,” Spencer says. That’s why she’s compiled thirty brief, inspirational readings to help women find strength in the struggle.

Ten minutes a day can change a woman’s life. “Thanks for sharing God’s word and your life experiences,” said Julia Sondrol, wife of Cañon City Vineyard Pastor Cory Sondrol. “I loved the parallel between the warning signs and the warning signs of God: ‘slow down, gossip ahead. Don’t drift into envy of others. Watch out for potholes of greed. Yield; forgive.’ Awesome!”

Always Before Me will help start the day in peace with a verse of scripture, a short anecdotal devotion, and a brief prayer of focus. The book concludes with a chapter on recognizing God’s presence in common, everyday situations.

This Mother’s Day, don’t give her more of the same. Give her something more. She’s worth it.

Order here:

Davalynn Spencer is an award-winning journalist, writer, speaker and adjunct professor of writing at Pueblo Community College. She is a columnist for the Cañon City Daily Record and the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys. As a novelist, she is represented by Hartline Literary Agency. Davalynn and her husband make their home in Cañon City, Colorado. Visit her website at and follow her bi-monthly, inspirational blog at

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pausing from the Busyness

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10, NKJV).

With all the running around and deadline-meeting I’ve been doing lately, I wasn’t surprised to find myself immersed in the Psalms, focusing particularly on the first part of 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” That’s a scripture I come back to often, reminding myself of the need to break away from all my busyness and just listen to God. But today I found myself snagged by the rest of the verse: “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Isn’t is amazing how we can make even the verses of the Bible “all about us”? I mean, seriously, we know life doesn’t work that way, and we even proclaim it—sometimes loudly and often. But oh, how often we forget that great truth and go right back to that tiny little universe that revolves around ourselves!

As I read and re-read the second part of that verse today, I realized God wasn’t telling me to be still and remember that He is God simply for my own sake (so I could rest and reflect and re-prioritize, though that is certainly a byproduct of practicing this scriptural admonition), but rather He is telling the residents of the earth to abandon their own pursuits and realize that only His purposes will be fulfilled—and that it is His Name that will be lifted up and glorified among the nations, not our own or anyone else’s, for that matter.

What a reminder this has been for me! Though I realize God wants me to slow down and make a point to spend time with Him regularly, He is also calling out to all mankind to stop its futile self-worship and to honor Him—while there is still time. For one day very soon God will no longer extend His mercy by withholding His final judgment. That day will come suddenly, and judgment will arrive with no more time for repentance or reflection or re-prioritizing. It is time for each of us—all mankind, in every nation, across the earth—to “be still” and know that God reigns supreme, and His Name will indeed be glorified throughout the earth. For those of us who have acknowledged Christ as Savior, what a magnificent day that will be! Meanwhile, may we rededicate ourselves to praying for countless multitudes who have yet to bow their knee to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. May they do so before it is too late!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Exciting New Book about "How Great Women Lead"

Author Bonnie St. John is a dear friend and an amazing woman of God. Now she's co-authored a book with her daughter, Darcy Deane, and it's one you do NOT want to miss. Check it out!

In boardrooms and lecture halls, on the field and at home, strong female leaders are making a statement around the globe. In HOW GREAT WOMEN LEAD: A Mother-Daughter Adventure Into the Lives of Women Shaping the World Bonnie St. John and her teenage daughter, Darcy Deane, explore the qualities that motivate some of the world's most powerful women. Through engaging, out-of-the-spotlight interchanges, the authors discover commonly held values, behaviors, and attitudes, as well as the subtle, special skills inherent in female leaders.

From the ethics of Dr. Condoleeza Rice to the fortitude of Hillary Rodham Clinton to the enthusiasm of Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp and the discipline of Geena Davis, each woman in this book shares the exciting story of her rise to the top and the unique qualities it took to get there.

Links for ordering:

barnes & noble: