Category Archives: give aways

a prayer for Advent

My soul doth magnify the Lord (Luke 1:46).

I’ve been talking to my soul lately, asking it to keep pace with Mary’s magnificent declaration. Like her, I want my soul to amplify Jesus. I want my soul to make him bigger … more obvious to those around me.

But it’s hard. The trying times talk my soul into other amplifications—an alternate focus that sheds light on the struggles instead of light on the Savior. The everyday stressors are often given a place of prominence in my thought-life, thereby taking up habitation within my heart. And what grows there grows elsewhere.

Inward to outward.

Better be careful what gets in … right? If you and I want to sing alongside Mary this Advent season, then we’d better take note of our empty, inward spaces. They are fertile soil for wandering stressors.


Whatever is keeping you awake at night is what is growing in your soul. It can be an ugly and frightful declaration come morning’s light.

Look in the mirror. What does it say? My soul doth magnify _______________________.

In this season of life, I am ever mindful of the role that my soul plays in God’s kingdom development. Many days, I fall short of my calling. My soul doesn’t always magnify the King. On those days, I kick myself a thousand times over, beat up my soul until it’s bloodied by untruth. I bet I’m not alone. Why?

Because as Christians we understand (and are often enlivened by the fact) that our souls are designed to house the magnificent. That inside each one of us there is an extraordinary capacity to hold the burgeoning, holy-kingdom that cannot be fully explained in words, only magnified by expression. By attitudes. By generosities of the heart that exceed what’s customary … what’s expected.

When our souls do magnify the Lord, there isn’t room within for lesser soul-growth. The Lord’s great light fills a soul to overflow and burns a candle brightly where shadows once reigned. This is why I pray Mary’s prayer and sing her song and paste a sticky note to my desk to remind me of this deep desire. I want a soul filled with Jesus, and I want him to fall out of me and on to my students each day.

What a magnificent thought! What a magnificent agenda! What a magnificent trust!

This is who we are. Jesus magnifiers. May your soul and mine be so heartily inclined this Advent season. Thus, I prayerfully sing this thought tonight to the only One who can make it happen …

Soul … magnify Him! Amen. So be it.

Peace for the journey,

PS: One of the brightest souls out there is my friend, Melanie Dorsey. Her light shines brightly for Jesus. I’m giving away a set of her watercolor, note cards. Have you checked out her designs?  Leave a comment with this post, and your name will be entered into the drawing. The deadline to enter is next Sunday, December 6th, 6:00 PM.

my playdate with God (and book give-away) …

I watched her as she read to me a chapter from her book. It was her “tucking in time” and she closed the day with words softly spoken in her sweet, Amelia voice. I just listened – the holiest response I could give to the moment.

This was the highlight of my week. Really. After listening to the voices of fifteen others drown out my own, hers was a welcome refrain. She didn’t whine or whimper or demand her due. Instead, she just gave me words from her purest place, and I was transported to wonder and awe. All I could do was receive them and thank God for this close proximity to the sacred. That time with my daughter smelled and felt like heaven on earth – a moment that slowed down long enough for me to capture God’s kingdom come, coming down and tapping me on the shoulder.

Qualitative time vs. quantitative time. My friend, Laura Boggess, speaks to this kingdom pause in her new book, Playdates with God (Leafwood Publishers, 2014):

“There are two kinds of time talked about in the Bible. Chronos time, which is calendar time—the gradual ticking away of the minutes—and kairos time, which can be thought of as the appointed time—the right time. Kairos time cannot be measured; it is qualitative rather than quantitative; it is the perfect moment—for such a time as this. … When we speak of the kingdom of God being here—right now—we are talking about kairos time. …

Haven’t I felt the kairos? My eyes are open to the knowledge that each moment passing is unlike any other, and so I grab each one by the beard . . . slow it down and look it in the face. Those are the moments when time stands still, when beauty seems to speak in ways that make my heart weep, when I feel the presence of God like a second skin ….” (p.134-135)

Like a second skin. Yes, this is the beauty I felt while listening to my daughter read her words to me. In that moment, nothing meant more to me. Nothing. It was peace on earth; a life could finish well on a note like that, all wrapped up in tranquility and perfect perspective.

These are the moments when the kingdom is most real to me – when I see God in flesh, spirit, and truth. This is how I know he’s real and that he is very much touch with what’s going on in my life.

I want more of them – more playdates with God. More times of noticing with him. More times of wondering with him. More times of celebrating with him . . . his peace on earth. I imagine we all want that, don’t we? And I imagine we all have that from time to time – kairos moments reminding us that there is but a thin veil between our now and our next and that, every now and again, God isn’t reluctant to lift the veil so that our hearts and souls might see beyond the temporal to take hold of the eternal.

Laura’s book is a field guide to this journey of discovery. Certainly, we don’t need to read a book to schedule a playdate with God. But I wonder … how many of us are really taking the time to pencil him into our busy schedules? Playdates with God is a generous, grace-filled invitation to do just that, to find God’s kingdom in the here-and-now, right where we are. In reading Laura’s thoughts and in hearing about her adventures with the Father, my heart is inclined toward the same. My hunger is not unlike hers – to seek, to find, and to hold holy moments that lead me straight into the arms of Jesus.

And when that happens, friends, the veil is lifted. What is unseen is seen and what is yet to come, comes.

The kingdom of God is near. It’s here. So, go ahead. Schedule your playdate with God and find rest for your souls. His holy playground awaits your presence. His presence is already there. As always …

Peace for the journey,

PS: Leave a comment to enter a give-away for Laura’s book. I’ll pick a winner with my next post. The winner of Peace for the Journey is Beth Herring.

“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.

Lent … It’s Killin’ Me (Guest Post by Leah Adams)


Having come from a Baptist background the only thing I knew about Lent was that it was probably a misspelling of the stuff that you clean out of the dryer. It was not until I went to Young Harris College that I even heard the word, much less had it explained to me. Consequently, I never partook in the Lenten celebration. Even as an adult, I have never felt the urging to participate, until this year.

For those who are not exactly certain what Lent is, allow me to offer the definition from

“An annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches.”

Fasting and penitence … sounds fascinating, huh? Well, fascinating or not, it seemed the Lord was calling me to participate this year. As I pondered the matter on Ash Wednesday, I tried to decide what I would give up, or fast. I’m not a chocoholic, so that never crossed my mind. I don’t spend inordinate amounts of time on social media, so I didn’t feel led in that direction. What would it be?

I asked the Lord what I should fast during Lent, and the Holy Spirit plastered Philippians 2:14 (NIV) on the walls of my mind. I could do nothing but follow His lead.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing ….”

Well, alrighty then! If I want to focus on Jesus and His work on the cross, and be more like Jesus, then I need to stop complaining.

“Hmmmpfff! I don’t do a lot of complaining,” my smug self told the Holy Spirit. “This should be pretty easy.”

I think in the distance I heard Almighty God laughing out loud.

About twenty-four hours in, I realized I might have been a bit too smug about the level of my complaining. Forty-eight hours in found me ‘telling’ our Australian daughter, Bree, about something someone else had done that had not pleased my heart. Suddenly, she looked dead-on at me, and in her most charming Australian accent said, “Weren’t you giving up complaining for Lent?”

BUSTED! I had not even realized I was complaining. Oh Sweet Mercy! I still had thirty-seven days left. This was going to be much more difficult than I had anticipated.

The next morning I spent time repenting of my spirit of complaining, and asking the Lord to help me be aware of when I complain. I’m certain He has a mind to answer that prayer. Probably I should just go ahead and duct tape my mouth closed for the next thirty something days. Alas, there is the pesky problem of my thought life. I may not voice my complaints, but I sure think them. Perhaps a long acting sleeping medication is what I need. You know, Rip van Winkle-ish for the next forty days.

What about you? Are you pegging your complaining meter out like I am inclined to do? It is a huge issue, friends. Are you doing everything without complaining?


untitled-65Leah Adams describes herself as the “prodigal son’s sister” after spending several years walking far from the Lord in her twenties. Helping others understand the grace that is offered by Jesus to anyone who will accept it is the passion of Leah’s heart. In a works-based and failure-prone society, grace is a concept that many people have difficulty grasping, and Leah’s speaking and writing ministry, called The Point Ministries, seeks to point others straight to Jesus and his amazing grace. Although her ministry is to all women, Leah has a heart for reaching those who are part of the Generation X and Millennial groups with the love of Jesus.

An author and communicator, Leah lives in northern Georgia with her husband, Greg, who is also her dentist. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Mercer University School of Pharmacy. Leah is a CLASS certified speaker and is the author of a Bible study entitled, From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy, as well as a devotion book entitled, When Words Won’t Come. Her second Bible study, HeBrews: A Better Blend, will be released by Warner Press in the summer of 2014. In her free time, Leah enjoys reading, cooking, camping and sharing girlfriend time. You can visit Leah at her website, She can also be found on Facebook (Leah Adams – The Point Ministries) or Twitter (@PointMinistries).

PS: Leave a comment today to win a copy of one of Leah’s books – your choice. I’ll pick a winner with my next post.

the rest of God …

“Cease from what is necessary. Embrace that which gives life.”

This is the golden rule of Sabbath according to Mark Buchanan, author of The Rest of God: Restoring your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. Have you read these words, this extraordinary book that feels less like obligation and more like privilege, like a daily walk in the garden with Jesus?

It arrived on my doorstep as required reading because of my participation in Alicia Chole’s 7th Year, mentoring encounter in 2013. I see the wisdom in Alicia’s choice to include it on our selected reading list. It should be required reading. It is pure, liquid grace—life-giving and life-extending with every chapter absorbed. I run the risk of feeling somewhat covetous of Mark’s pen if it weren’t for the absolute gratitude I feel in my heart for the gift of his words. There are very few books that I’ll read a second, even third time, very few books that I keep on the bookshelf long-term. This will be one of them. Why?

Because The Rest of God grants me understanding and permission to rest with God so that I might more fully understand the rest of God—that which remains hidden to me. His vastness. His closeness. His willingness to be known. His willingness to fill me with eternity to the uttermost. Rest to restore the body and rest to restore the soul. This is sacred treasure.

And so as it pertains to Mark’s golden rule for Sabbath rest (ceasing from what is necessary and embracing that which gives life) this is what gives life to me today:

  •  The Sunday school hour with James 1:19-27 on the table, saints gathered around for discussion.
  •  The Communion hour with bread and wine on the table, saints kneeling down for prayer.
  •  The lunch hour with fish and chicken, saints sitting down for sustenance.
  •  The afternoon hours with bed and blankets, saints lying down for sleep.
  •  The evening hours, two saints holding hands for love.

This is Sabbath rest for me. Nothing necessary. No “have tos” in the mix. Only “get tos”. I get to keep Sabbath with the saints on Sundays. Some folks may tag it as obligation; I name it as privilege – the life-giving, life-extending rest of God.

I pray you’ve known a similar portion. If not, then these next moments can belong to just you and Jesus. As long as today is still called today, there is time to take a walk with God in his garden, to know him more fully, and to rest most assuredly in his love.

Keep Sabbath, friends. It is God’s gift to you. As always …

Peace for the journey,

PS: If you think The Rest of God might be a good fit with your heart, please leave a comment below, and I will select one winner to receive a copy of Mark’s book. 

Also, I’m having a final sale on my books, Peace for the Journey and Beyond Cancer’s Scars. Click here to learn more. I greatly appreciate your support as I walk through this transition in my writing ministry.

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