Category Archives: book release

lift them up

“ … lift them up.”

Chambers’ words have shadowed my heart today. They’ve stepped all around and into my thoughts, throwing down the gauntlet for obedience. I warm to them, slowly melt into them knowing that they are the remedy for this stretched-out submission to this certain calling. I need to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. Simply and, yet, profoundly to …

lift them up.


To a higher place, a kingdom that includes them. A kingdom that some of them have yet to see, but a kingdom that I know, from time to time, shakes the soil of their souls and softens their heart-ground to receive the Father’s heart-seeds.

There are days when I forget to lift. Some days, there is less lifting and more maintaining … less holding up and more holding on for dear life. Some days, I think I’ll crumble beneath the weight of this load. These are heavy souls, freight far too weighty for my weakened resolve. Still and yet, I choose to try because there is a lot to lose by not doing so—another year of lateral living, seeing only at eye level instead of seeing from a higher perspective.

I will not cripple the view from the top. Instead, I will do my best to take them there – to give them that better vantage point. One by one, heart to heart, hand in hand, and crawling on all fours if need be. I will carry them forward and upward. Jesus Christ has done the same for me. Should I do any less?

I don’t often think of myself as a saint. I’m just doing my part on this little parcel of ground, this tiny speck of earth that lies beneath my feet and within reach of my heart. Are you doing the same? Doing your part in your little corner of the world? Are you …

lifting them up?

Lift them up, friends. Show them life from up above. Extend your heart and extend your reach so that others might be elevated into the kingdom sphere and might begin to experience a little bit of heaven on earth. There is no greater joy than participating in the King’s work. This is the highest privilege of a saint, the gift of sacred participation – when you and I link arms with the Father to lift the veil, revealing eternity.

Warm words, indeed. May they melt into your heart and surround your witness with the strength of our King. Lift often. Lift willingly. Lift always in the mighty name of Jesus. Somebody needs to see the kingdom today. As always …

Peace for the journey,

Do you or someone you know need a lift today? I’m giving away two copies of Peace for the Journey. I pray it will be an encouragement to weary souls. Leave a comment today indicating your interest. Share about the give-away on your social media sites, and you’ll receive an additional entry for this give-away (indicate your participation in the comment section below).

“HeBrews: a Better Blend” Bible Study Release and Give-Away

HeBrews-Cover1-796x1024It’s been four years since my friend, Leah Adams, published her first Bible study – From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy. On July 1st, her second Bible study, HeBrews: A Better Blend will be released by Warner Press. I’m so excited to share this interview with Leah that highlights her new study as well as the author herself. Leah is a dear friend, and I am greatly looking forward to digging into God’s Word, utilizing her heart and pen as my guide.

Be sure an leave a comment with today’s post, and I will pick one winner to receive a copy of Leah’s new study!


Leah, I may have readers who have not met you online. What would you like for my readers to know about you?

I am a North Georgia girl who loves Jesus—A LOT. I asked Jesus to come into my heart at the age of 15. Within a few years, I made some horrible moral choices that drew me away from Him. I spent the better part of my 20s walking far from Jesus, and God let me go my own way until I was sick of it. Then, just like the prodigal son’s father, God welcomed me back, and overwhelmed me with a desire for His Word and His presence. He made it clear that nothing I had done, no sin I had committed, changed how He felt about me. God loved me with a ridiculous love. He lavished grace on the heart of His daughter, and ultimately called me into ministry in 2007.

My passion is teaching God’s Word, and He allows me to do that through two avenues: speaking and writing. I have had the privilege of speaking to groups all across the United States. While my signature message is about the legacy we are leaving for the generations that come behind us, the ultimate message is always about the grace, love, acceptance, and mercy that can only be found in Jesus Christ. I love speaking to women of all ages, but my heartbeat is for women under 40 years of age. My hope is that the words God gives me encourage and challenge women to walk intimately with Jesus every single day they walk the dusty sod of earth. I want them to know that Jesus loves them more than they can imagine.

Another area of ministry that the Lord has assigned to my husband and me jointly is ministry to international students who are studying in the US. Over 750,000 students from other countries study in America every year, and the vast majority of them are never in an American home. What a missed opportunity for the church of Jesus Christ to show the love of Jesus to students who might, otherwise, never hear about Him! Greg and I regularly host international students in our home, and have developed close friendships with many of them. In fact, we have become ‘American parents’ to a delightful young woman from Australia. God brought Bree, Greg, and me together, and she is now very much a part of our family. We love her as if she were our own.

What occupies your free time? Hobbies, interests?

I love to read. Christian fiction and biographies are what can be found on my bookshelf, alongside lots of biblical commentaries, Bible translations, and cookbooks. I enjoy cooking, camping in our fifth wheel RV, and spending time with my husband and my girlfriends.


What are some items on your bucket list?

I would love to visit Australia, Germany, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Grand Canyon. Speaking gigs in any of those places would make the trip that much sweeter! My husband is a golfer, and we would like to attend the Master’s golf tournament. I sponsor two girls in Tanzania through Compassion International, and visiting them one day is definitely on the list. I would like to write another Bible study, or ten, if the Lord gives me the words. As I said, I love to cook, and attending a weekend Southern Living cooking school would be great fun. A return visit to a hummingbird haven where many different types of hummingbirds are together in one place is on the list. I’m amazed at those little fliers.

untitled-65How did you develop an interest in writing and when did you begin writing seriously?

I have enjoyed writing and public speaking from my junior high school days. I always excelled in English, and term papers were never a drag for me. I know . . . I’m a geek.
My deep-end dive into writing came in 2002 when my Daddy was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. As he progressed through his chemo treatments, I would write a weekly email to family and friends who wanted to keep up with his progress. Each email would close with a few inspirational thoughts that usually included Scripture. After my Daddy graduated to heaven in late 2004, people began asking if I would write a weekly devotion and send it out via email. After a year or so of doing that, over 125 people were receiving each email, but unfortunately, my ISP was deleting the emails as spam. It was at that point that I made the jump to a blog format, where I now offer my writing.

When the Lord called me into ministry in late 2007, I needed something to speak about, and that something was the topic of legacy. For my first speaking engagement, I wrote a 15 minute message about the legacy we, as Christians, are leaving for the generations that come behind us. Eventually that message grew into an hour-long message, and ultimately became the foundation of my first Bible study, From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy, which was published in 2010.

What is the back story behind HeBrews? What was the impetus for you to write this book?

I began writing HeBrews: A Better Blend purely out of obedience to the Lord. Several years prior to writing the study, I had done a pretty intense self-study of the book of Hebrews. It was my hope that the Lord might allow me to write something out of that time of study, but I wasn’t sure. Perhaps it had just been for my edification. In 2012, I sensed the Lord giving me the go-ahead to write a Bible study from the book of Hebrews. I’ve learned that when God says do something, the best response is ‘Yes sir’. So, write I did. I had no intention of publishing HeBrews, thinking it would just be an act of obedience, and perhaps a study that my Tuesday morning small group would do. God had other plans. When I was about halfway through the writing, my friend, Brooke, introduced me to the wonderful woman who is now my Editor at Warner Press. One thing led to another and before I knew it, God had opened the door for HeBrews to be published. It was totally a God-thing, and I often tell Him that this is His doings, and the responsibility is on Him to place HeBrews into the hands of the people who need to read it.

Share with us a bit about your book.

HeBrews: A Better Blend is an eight-week Bible study that takes the student through the entire book of Hebrews. The Old Testament constructs that were so important to the Israelites, i.e. Old Testament tabernacle, priest, sacrifice, and covenant, are examined alongside the New Testament parallels that we find in Jesus. Jesus was the BETTER priest, administering a BETTER covenant, offering a BETTER sacrifice, and ultimately bringing us into a BETTER tabernacle.
There are five days of homework each week, and most days the student studies from both the Old and New Testaments. HeBrews: A Better Blend can be done by individuals, and in group settings. At the beginning of each week of study, I offer a dessert recipe taken from my collection, or from the collections of some of my friends and family. Dessert definitely makes Bible study richer. No pun intended!

Why should someone read HeBrews: A Better Blend? What does it offer them personally?

The study of Scripture, God’s Love Letter to humankind, is as important to me as taking my next breath. Without it, I would be right back in the ditch of sin that I crawled out of 20 years ago. HeBrews: A Better Blend offers the reader a guided study of the book of Hebrews, as well as opportunities to apply faith principles to their own life, and grow in their faith in Jesus Christ.

How can my readers find you? Blog? Social media?

I would love to meet your readers. They can find me at my website and blog, The Point, at

I am also on several social media platforms:

Facebook Ministry page

HeBrews Facebook page


When and where will HeBrews: A Better Blend be available to the public?

The release date for the Bible study is July 1st. It should be available at major e-tailers, as well as Christian bookstores.


Any final thoughts you’d like to share with my readers?

I want to encourage your readers to fix their eyes on Jesus. My prayer is that they will raise their eyes above the horizon of their circumstances (good or bad), and look to Jesus for their strength and hope. He is everything we need. EVERYTHING! Developing an intimate relationship with Jesus will not happen accidently. It requires intentionality, perseverance, and lots of time allowing Scripture to speak to the heart. Once a heart gets a taste of walking in intimacy with Christ, there is no going back. I want that for your readers, because I know what a thrill it is to me.


One glance in her direction, and I knew that she was carrying a terrible ache in her heart.

Maybe it was the way her head was lowered, covered up by the golden locks that frame her face.

Maybe it was the way she flicked her husband’s hand away from the back of her neck as he tenderly tried to comfort her.

Maybe it was because I knew some of her story.

Maybe it was because God needed me to notice.

Regardless of the reason for my knowing, it was clear to me what she was so desperately trying to hide . . .

Her grief. Her loss. Her something.

“Everybody has something. Your something might not be my something, but at some point in your life, you’ve had a something. Maybe not a big something, but something large enough to rock your inner equilibrium and force your outward response. It’s not particularly important what your something is. What is important is what you do with your something. Somethings come and go; what will endure, however, is the memory of how you handled yours.” (from Beyond the Scars, p. 13)

I think she is handling her something as best she knows how. Somethings don’t come with a survival manual, and the last thing she needed in those moments was another “how to” on how to handle her grief loaded on top of the already burgeoning responsibility of carrying it. Instead, what she needed was for God to notice her and to do his noticing through one of his children, through the unexpected hands of a servant who isn’t normally included in her inner circle but who was willing to momentarily charge in to deliver a message of hope.

And so I entered in and interrupted her grief to give to her what God had given me moments earlier. To wrap her up in my arms, cradle her pain, and strengthen her with heaven’s declaration.

“This is not the end of the story.”

In that sacred pause between us, I knew that she believed me . . . believed God, and I felt the burning of a great love inside of me for a woman I barely know. I am grateful for those flames because they remind me, even as they reminded her, that I am alive and that . . .

“This is not the end of the story.”

Not for her. Not for me. Not for you either.

I don’t where you are in this season of life. I don’t know the suffering somethings that have walked these many miles by your side. But I do know what it is to lower my head in sorrow, to wet my lap with bitter tears, and to flick tender caresses away from my neck. And I know what it feels like to feel alone, to feel so buried beneath my grief that I didn’t even know that I needed God to notice me. When all I could see, all I could hear, all I could absorb was the terribleness of my something.

Like a death march to a bottomless grave.

Maybe today you’re marching in similar stride. I don’t know how long it will last, friend. I wouldn’t dare try to talk you out of your grief. Grief walks its own timetable, and I’m not in charge of the clock. There’s a seasonal work taking place in your soul, and it can only be accomplished by your willingness to walk it through. Piece by piece, step by step, until one morning you wake up and you feel the warmth of something stronger, a peace that surprises you and that reminds you . . .

“This is not the end of the story.”

That day is coming, and it isn’t very far from now. Our God has taken notice of your pain; your something matters to him. It matters to me as well. Rest easy in the arms of Jesus, friend. There are more lines to your story, and our very good God is working on a way to make them all count for the kingdom . . . even when you can’t feel past the pain.

Especially then.

I love you dearly.

If you or someone you know is walking through a suffering something right now, I have a resource that will serve as a gentle companion to you and to them while moving through the pain. It was written with you in mind; it is released to you in love. Click here for more details.

Also, my friend, Laura Boggess, is hosting a give-away of the book at her website. Click here to learn more.




coastal daybreak . . .

There are many moving parts to my story. They change on a regular basis, moving on to the stage of my life without warning and, just as quickly, making their exit. I cannot predict the flow. I only know to expect it—an ever-shifting current of ins and outs, ups and downs, heart-highs and heart-lows.

This is survival.

It’s not easily defined and even harder to defend. Each day is a fight—a deliberate choice to enter the fray, to live forward and to do so in the shadow and strong witness of Calvary. Because Jesus survived the cross I, too, can survive mine. He is the standard-bearer for survivorship, conquering the grave and stepping forth into resurrected light. I want to step accordingly, to greet each new morning with the expectation that what has not yet been wrought in me will be cultivated in me by the hands and willing grace of God.

As the sun rises, so does my hope. Daybreak heralds the arrival of possibility . . . opportunity. A new day for a fresh work of God, by him and for him. There’s so much yet to learn, so much yet to become. I am limited in my abilities, worn and torn by the struggle of my flesh. I am renewed by the truth that spirit trumps flesh, that eternal wins out over temporal, and that the pulse currently within me caters to them both—my now and my then.

Who, but our God, could fashion such a form to house both the seen and unseen seeds of forever? What mystery exists within us! The moving parts of our stories make for interesting dialogue, and for as long as our earthly tenures continue, we should our conversations with the Father. This is how we get to know him. This is how we move closer to holiness. When we tether our words to him, he tethers his Word to us.

This is survival. Real survival. This is how we rise above the madness and make sense of the many moving parts of our stories. This is how we live forward. We keep talking to God. In doing so, we acknowledge the Holy, and we open up our hearts to receive fresh words of consecration that, not only validate our survivorship, but also move us into a place of effective, kingdom ministry.

Two years ago, I couldn’t have predicted the parts of my story that have now moved on to the stage of my today. It would have felt too weighty back then; it barely feels a reasonable load right now. Still and yet, this is my story to receive and then to live. No one else gets to move the puzzle pieces. Just God and, then, just me. It scares me sometimes—this responsibility called my life. But what scares the most is not ever really living it, not daily making the most of it.

And so, this morning, to honor the moving parts of my story that belong to my Father and, then, to me, I said, “Yes!” to the morning’s light and joined Ben Ball on his radio talk-show, Coastal Daybreak. I trembled with the responsibility, and then I let it go . . . gave it to God, and said “So be it. Do with it what you will.”


(to listen to my radio interview with Ben, click on the following link: Elaine Olsen on Coastal Daybreak)


I don’t imagine I have a future in talk-radio, but I do imagine that God could take something as fluid as my story and give it a voice to further his kingdom purposes. In my weakness, he is elevated. In my brokenness, he is seen. In my survivorship, he is celebrated. And with my story, he is remembered.

When Christ is elevated, seen, celebrated, and remembered because of the moving parts of our stories, then we live the kingdom forward. We move it forward as well. What could be more honorable than this? What better way to finish the walk in front of us?

Keep moving, friends, and leave a kingdom trail behind you as you go. It’s the best that any of us can do.

Peace for the journey,


PS: The winners of Lisa Shaw’s book/CD and Cindy’s cards is Cheryl! I’ll be in touch, friend.

living life forward . . .

I recognize this girl. Perhaps you do as well.

Every now and again, she shows up on the front curb of my heart, marks off her thirty-six inches of personal space, and refuses to budge from her spot . . . not even for the garbage truck. She’ll risk a little stink in order to stay there . . . stay stuck. There’s something about the sidelines that appeal to her. It’s safer on the curb, less risk and less trouble. Life is hard, cruel at times, knocking her out of the game and keeping her mired in the pain.

Life on hold instead of life lived forward. This is how the hurt never heals.

She doesn’t see it that way; she can’t, because she’s yet to take the first step in a new direction. No one blames her. They’ve stood by and watched the world take out its frustration on her body, mind, and soul. Heartache has numbed her desire, crushed her spirit, and pressed her to the curb. What used to be no longer is, a realization clearly seen and deeply felt there, along the sidelines, while the world journeys on without her. She grieves for yesterday, for what might have been had that soul-eating “something” not arrived to rob her of her progress. And so she stops moving forward, at least for today, and tells herself that tomorrow she’ll get in the game; tomorrow she’ll do the hard work of soul-survivorship.

Life on hold instead of life lived forward. This is how the hurt never heals. This is how the hurt never even has the opportunity to heal. A life resigned to the sidelines is a life resigned to less—to an existence shackled to pain rather than an existence shaped by its prod.

Yes, I recognize this girl—her tears, her frustration, her resignation, and her fears. Maybe you recognize her as well. Maybe she is you. Maybe you’ve been wounded by life . . . by a game-changing punch to the gut that has mocked your strength, rocked your faith, and kicked you to the curb. Life’s been cruel, leaving you with scars that continue to throb their witness. You carry around in your flesh a tumor or two, a soul-eating something that continues to devour your health at a rapid rate. You don’t identify it as a cancer—a disease that occurs when abnormal body cells replicate uncontrollably, thereby replacing the healthy ones. Still and yet, a hidden malignancy exists, and left untreated, it threatens to hold you captive to the one person you thought you’d never be—

A boy, a girl, . . . a man, a woman resigned to the curb—life on hold instead of life lived forward. A life where the hurt never heals.

God wants more for you, for you to live forward with hope and with movement. He hasn’t created you for life on the sidelines, despite the many sorrows and sufferings that have, understandably, pushed you to the curb for a season. Instead, he invites you, even as he has invited me, to take hold of his hand and to find your place on the road of faith—the journey of trust that leads you onward toward wholeness.

This is why I wrote Beyond Cancer’s Scars, an invitation for the wounded—those who suffer from all manner of ills and aches and soul-eating “somethings”—to step courageously away from the curb and to enter the fray to lay claim to a stronger spirit in Jesus Christ.

Life lived forward instead of life on hold. This is how our hurt begins to heal. One beautiful, courageous, and intentional step at a time. If you are someone who is living life on hold, then I invite you to take hold of my hand and, together, we will take hold of the heart and hands of Jesus Christ and start living forward. Time to get in the game, friends. Life is so much better with you in it. As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

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