Monthly Archives: April 2014

“Beyond the Scars: daring to live forward” Book Release

$12.99 (includes shipping)
$12.99 (includes shipping)


On January 11, 2014, I wrote this post. My heart was in a terrible place of discomfort. The publisher of my two books had disappeared off the radar, leaving nearly 2000 authors scratching their heads and wondering about the future of their previously published works. It was a mess, an awful confusion, and time has proffered very few answers to our mounting frustrations.

What to do?

Well, after I spent an appropriate amount of time licking my wounds and ample time on my knees pouring out my heart to the Father regarding (what I believe to be) this criminal injustice, I dusted off my knees as well as my original manuscript for Beyond Cancer’s Scars and edited it for a second edition. The book title was changed to Beyond the Scars: Daring to Live Forward to more accurately reflect the content of the book. My next step?

Enter Kennisha Hill, CEO of NyreePress Literary Group and my long-time, blogging friend. Through her encouragement and because of my implicit trust in her, I forged ahead with re-publishing my second book. Today, I’m pleased to present it to you . . . again. The cover has changed, as has the interior formatting. The introduction and conclusion have been re-written. Overall, it feels better to me, and I am grateful to have Beyond the Scars back in print. It remains the witness of God’s faithfulness to me before, during, and after a long season of suffering. It is my Ebenezer, my 1 Samuel 7:12—my Thus far, the Lord has helped me!

The Lord has helped me, and by his grace, I want to help others through the spreading of this book. Would you like to help as well? If so, then I have a special offer for you—a way for you to link arms with me in this season of ministry.

Currently, there are approximately eighty copies of the first edition (Beyond Cancer’s Scars) sitting in my mudroom. I want them to find their way to good homes, to others who are experiencing the scourge of cancer in this season. Accordingly, with the release of this second edition, I am offering a free copy of Beyond Cancer’s Scars to accompany every purchase of this new book made through me personally at this website via paypal or a check (while supplies last). A two-for-one deal! Because of rising shipping costs, both books will need to be shipped to the same address (USA orders only). My only request of you is that the 2nd copy wouldn’t become a dust collector in your home but that you would find a practical outlet for its release.

If you don’t have anyone in mind to receive the extra copy, I’ll donate one to my local cancer center each time a purchase of the new book is made until the old books are gone. You’ll see a section on the paypal link to indicate whether or not you’d like me to SEND the extra copy to you or for me to DONATE it locally. If no indication is made, then I will donate the book locally.

The cost of the new book is $12.99 which includes shipping (*all books shipped at media mail rates). Beyond the Scars is also now available through these online retailers (Kindle and Nook versions coming soon):

If you’d like to take advantage of the two-for-one deal I’m offering, please use the paypal link below (credit card orders are accepted with OR without a paypal account), or you can email me your interest by following this link. Also, if you’d like to read more about the new book, peruse the press release, see what others are saying, or download the first chapter of Beyond the Scars, please follow this link.

And a final thought – I would greatly appreciate your sharing this post with others on your facebook, twitter, and other social media pages. If you’re so inclined, I would also welcome your review of the book at Amazon and other on-line retailers.

I need your help, friends, and so I’m asking. I cannot do this on my own. Thank you in advance for moving the kingdom forward by linking arms with me in this season. It means more to me than you can possibly know.

Peace for the journey,

**This offer is no longer valid. To secure a copy of Beyond the Scars – click here!

on starting the God-conversation


A few things occur to me this morning while reading Luke’s account of “Jesus sending out the seventy-two” (Luke 10:1-24). In particular, I’m focusing on two sentiments/phrases that Jesus instructed his disciples to use in their evangelism campaigns. What strikes me is their simplicity, while at the same time their capacity for profound, kingdom results. Those phrases …

1 – “Peace to this house.”
2 – “The kingdom of God is near you.”

And here’s my thought as it pertains to my evangelism campaign, maybe even yours. Wherever your feet take you today, whatever group you wander into (either by accident on through intention), whether he or she is a stranger or friend, why not start the God-conversation with a little, “Peace to this house” followed up by a little, “The kingdom of God is near you.” It might flow a little differently than that. Maybe something along the lines of:

1 – “Peace; God is near.” or
2 – “Peace out, peace in. Peace here, peace near. Peace everywhere.” or
3 – “Peace. God. Now.”

Words like that. Words that are reliable. Words that are true. Peace is here, because God is near. And wherever God is, his kingdom follows alongside. How do I know? Because he said so.

Once having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” –Luke 17:10 (emphasis mine)

If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you carry the kingdom of God with you wherever you go. Why not speak a little peace and a little kingdom into the hearts of those within arm’s reach today? It certainly would be an interesting way to start the God-conversation. It might even be effective.

Peace out, peace in. Peace here, peace near. Blessed Peace in and for our journeys, everywhere. I’ll meet you on the road!

Search and Work

“But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; … There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.” –Deut. 12:5,7


To that place I must go, to that task I must apply my hand.

These words have been my portion this year, the great search of my heart and the great work of my hands. Great, because all search and duty rooted in God and in the advancement of his kingdom are great undertakings. Worthy pilgrimages. Excellent yearnings.

If I’m honest, the now, almost four months of search and work in 2014 have felt anything but great. The search seems to have yielded little; my work the same. This has been an odd year of spiritual shaping. The soil of my heart has been disrupted by distractions, a few of them welcomed as friends but most of them shunned as intruders.

Family commotion. Ministry complications. Writing dilemmas. Homeschooling stressors. Medical concerns. The list is full and, consequently, so is my heart . . . full of so very much. It’s tough to process some days, difficult to discern the next steps God would have me to take in each situation.

Where would I be without Jesus? Where would I turn if not to his Word? How would live if not for his sustaining grace that carries me from strength to strength?

Strength to strength. Yes, I see it in my mind’s eye and, by faith, I’m holding on to it in my heart. These have been valley days, times of grunting it out in between mountaintops. I know this; I’m not surprised by this, and, oddly enough, I’m learning to be OK with it – this seemingly endless wandering from peak to peak. This is how God is building my faith muscles, and while it’s not a new teaching strategy for him, it feels raw, new, and every now and again, great to me.

Why great? Because there is strength in movement and because there is great peace in relinquishing one’s heart and feet to the valley floor after years of trying to walk the tightrope suspended between two mountains. For so long, I’ve prayed about that place I must go, and that work I must do. It doesn’t seem as if I will ever reach that place of understanding and rest. What does seem to reach me, instead, is the ever-present search and work of the present.

This present. Commotion. Complications. Dilemmas. Stressors. Concerns. This is the valley floor, and this, too, is the place of God’s dwelling. To search for him here and to work for him here, well, this is something great, someone great to take hold of in the valley. Steady as we go, we walk these next steps together. I will not tumble to my death; instead, I’ll be held tightly through to the finish line.

To that place I must go. To that task I must apply my hand.

That that? Jesus Christ – the search and work of my present and my forever. By his grace and for his glory, I am sustained. I am blessed. And I am . . .  

Kept in peace.

my 48th year

I’m turning forty-eight this week … again. Let me explain. For the past year, I’ve been telling folks that I’m forty-eight. I’m not kidding. Somewhere in the madness of this last year called My Life, I lost a year. So when my birthday rolls around on Thursday, really I’ll have gained a year. Make sense? Me neither. Safe to say, I have another twelve months of being forty-eight, and it’s likely to be my most productive year ever since I’ve been granted these extra 365 days of fruitfulness.

Ah . . . the blessedness of an extra year! I know. Not really, but it’s a delightful consideration, is it not? To wake up and realize you’re not as old as you feel?

Somewhere along the way, I stopped counting my years. Candles on the cake (after nearly five decades) don’t garner as much enthusiasm as they once did. Turning double-digits and turning twenty-one were milestones met with eagerness. Back then, I had an entire world in front me. At forty-eight, there’s a whole lot of world behind me—a lot of life lived, enough experiences had, mistakes made, memories collected, and highlights celebrated to fill several dozen scrapbooks.

How much more can there be?

So much more.

Consider the possibilities of an extra year. With an extra year I’ll be able to . . .

  • Have the conversations I meant to have.
  • Write the letters I meant to write.
  • Make the calls I meant to make.
  • Pray the prayers I meant to pray.
  • Give the love I meant to give.
  • Send the gift I meant to send.
  • Drive the miles I meant to drive.
  • Invest the time I meant to invest.
  • Do the work I meant to do.
  • Pursue the dreams I meant to pursue.
  • Speak the truth I meant to speak.
  • Plant the seeds I meant to plant.
  • Share the fruit I meant to share.
  • Afford the grace I meant to afford.
  • Offer the apologies I meant to offer.
  • Extend the kingdom I meant to extend.
  • Enlarge the Jesus I meant to enlarge.

Indeed, a delightful consideration. With all of these extra days added to my year, I’ve been granted the rich benefit of more—a second chance of sorts, a way to re-invest my energies and my heart in the right and good direction. There’s nothing to dread. There are only opportunities to embrace. Another year, when cast in the light of sacred potentialities, is the gift that keeps on giving long after the cake has been eaten and the balloons have deflated.

This is the blessed do-over of my 48th year. I’m so grateful for another opportunity to live the life that I meant to live last year and to do so alongside the Giver of Life who graciously grants me this privilege.

Don’t dread the candles, friends. Instead, count them. Remember them, and then get busy living the life you mean to live. I’m so honored to share my 48th year with you . . . again. As always …

Peace for the journey,

when God drops diamonds . . .

“Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” –Rev. 4:6

Every now and again, God drops diamonds from the sky, dressing his earth with a glimpse of heaven. He did so today, right around dinner time.

I wonder if anyone else noticed the brilliance as they dashed past me on their way home after work. Likely, they didn’t. Busy days make for tired evenings, and when a soul is worn out—overexposed to the duty and function of everyday living—diamonds often go undetected.

Oh the many ways the Father adorns his earth! The heavenly dressing room is overflowing with enough baubles to accessorize an entire world without duplication. Today, he adorned the neck of my neighborhood in diamonds. Tomorrow, perhaps rubies or sapphires. The possibilities are endless because the Artist is endless, and he likes nothing more than to surprise his children with jewels from his heavenly treasure chest.

I pray that God awakens your spirit and opens your eyes to catch a glimpse of eternity today. Push duty and function aside (if only for a few minutes) and pull up a chair to watch his show. God has something more for you than currently meets the eye.

Diamonds really are a girl’s best friends, especially the ones God drops from his heart into ours. May you find yourself so lavishly adorned, friends. As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

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