HAND in HAND with GOD...WE CAN HELP END HUMAN TRAFFICKING + SLAVERY

HAND in HAND with GOD...WE CAN HELP END HUMAN TRAFFICKING + SLAVERY
Order your copy today!(all profits from sale of the book go to the International Justice Mission(www.ijm.org) Click the book!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stop...Have You Taken Time With God Today?



"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7


Waiting on the Lord
Pondering His word
Delighting in His way
Praying through the day
Humbled by what He has to say.

Resting in His hands
He eases life's demands
Comforting my pain
Peace and joy exclaimed
Shining sunbeams through the rain.

Showered by His grace
Puts a smile on my face
Praise to Him I sing
My heart to Him I bring
Giving to Him thanks in everything.


I have a tendency to lose perspective of what is important in my life, getting caught up in doing things, an endless string of activity fills my days. All the "things I do" seem important, worthwhile and more often than not, provide a need for someone. My goal is to serve God, this is why I live. But some times in the serving, I get carried away. I find myself stressed out, my eyes lose focus on why I'm doing what I'm doing, and I find myself running from one thing to the next without much thought of Gods will in it, my eyes just focus on getting it done. The peace, joy, and contentment have drained away and in those times... God starts knocking at my heart. I've lost perspective..."doing" has taken the place of "being" and abiding in Him. I forget Jesus command in Mark 6:31, where after a long period of serving along with His disciples says: "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

Our society puts so much emphasis on productivity, in society our productivity defines us, our value, our worth. It is so easy to get drawn into this mindset, but God says NO...Our life with Him is not based on productivity at all, but in trust, believing, and obedience to His word. Time spent in quiet rest with Him is a huge part of serving God. This is where we come to know God's desires, He reveals the direction He wants us to take, He restores us and strengthens us to continue in His way. Remember to take time with the Lord, it is by far the most productive thing we can "DO"

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Operation

One week ago today I had surgery on my shoulder. The operation went well. I had never had surgery before, so I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I was knocked out by the anesthesia so quickly I didn't know or feel a thing! Piece of cake! This next 6 week phase, after the surgery is the challenging part. My whole life changed in the moment that I was fixed by the surgeon. I woke up with this huge sling holding my arm still(my right arm, and I'm right handed)I was given strict instructions on what I can and cannot do, and they scheduled me for a regimen of physical therapy to begin the very next day. For the past week, I haven't written much, but have been doing a lot of thinking about what God is trying to show me through this experience. This morning something hit me. A parallel between surgery and salvation!

Here's how it goes. My shoulder was broken,hurt, and in need of surgery in order to save and restore it back to use. We are much like my shoulder. Before we met with the master surgeon, Jesus Christ, we were broken, unable to function at our fullest potential. Something was missing, a part of us was dead. I went to the surgeon to regain use of my right arm, he was my only hope. We go to Jesus to restore our lives, He is our only hope. I had to surrender my arm into my surgeons hand, trusting his knowledge and experience to fix it. We too must fully surrender our lives into the hands of Jesus, trusting Him to come into our hearts and change us. In a couple hours, the surgeon fixed my arm, in a moment Jesus saves our life. It doesn't end there though, now I have to follow the instructions given by my surgeon to make my arm work again as it should, I need to listen and obey his instruction, trusting that if I do, I will be restored back to physical health. It's the same with our salvation. We made the choice to accept Jesus in to our lives, but that's not the end of the story, it's really just the beginning! In order to achieve the optimal benefits of our salvation we need to submit to God's instruction. God's word is our physical therapy! As we follow and obey, we become stronger and are able to use our spiritual muscles more and more. it's an ongoing process. Just as I, little by little, regain use of my arm by following my therapist's direction, by following God's direction we are becoming the person God has originally intended us to be.

Lord, I thank You that we can come to you for full restoration of our lives, that we no longer have to live enslaved with sin to hold us down. I thank you for your free gift of grace, I thank you for the invitation to come to you just as we are and that you willingly perform life changing operations everyday! Help us to follow your post-op instructions, trusting You with the outcome. Knowing You work all things for the good for those who love you according to Your purposes. Help us to be good patients and living testimonies of Your healing restoring power. All glory to You Lord...Amen




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh What A Love!

Psalm 139 is of my very favorite Chapters in God's Word. This Psalm tells us some very important things about God's character and how He feels about each one of His children. In verses 1-4 tells us God knows us, intimately everything from the inside out. Verses 5-12 tells of Gods protection over us, He hems us in, goes behind and before us, He is with us always, shining His light, guiding our way. Verses 13-18 shows that God made us and values us, we are His creation made in His image formed by His hand and He not only made us, He planned out our whole lives for us before we were even born. We know He values us because His thoughts of us outnumber the grains of sand on every beach everywhere on this earth...imagine how many thoughts that is. Consider that...Valuable things are always given great thought and consideration. Verses 19-22 tell us that God who loves us so much deserves recognition and first place in our lives. He is our all in All and we shall stand up for Him at all cost. and finally Verses 23,24 tells that God has a plan for each one of us who loves Him. God loves us,He knows us, He protects us, He values us, He made us and He has a plan for us.

I pray you will commit or recommit your heart to God today and marvel at His love for you.


Psalm 139
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Loving Well

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34

We all face difficult relationships, even the best of relationships can be strained. God calls us to love, but let's face it, that can be very challenging especially when we don't agree with someone. So how do we love one another when we are feeling angry, hurt, betrayed, or mistreated? Our natural reaction is to withdraw, lash out, get even, and prove ourselves right at all cost.

So how do we love well? Let's look at this command, God tell us to love one another, but the next few words give us the reason/ formula for succeeding in it. When we understand our fallen human nature, we know it is impossible to love all people. When we add God to the equation the impossible becomes possible. "As I have loved you" Have you ever thought about that statement? How many times have we disappointed, hurt, betrayed, lied, ignored, and sinned against God? Yet God loved us so much that he gave His only Son over to death in order to save us from the penalty of our sin, and offering us eternal life with Him.(John 3:16)

We have got to be extremely challenging to love, self absorbed as we are. God does love us though, and unconditionally at that. He wants to have relationship with each one of us. He wants to share with us His best, He wants to rejoice with us and comfort us. He desires to breath good things into our lives. That's God's love.

You are probably thinking right now, yeah right...I could never love like that! Well you are right. By ourselves we would never be able to love like that. It is only by looking at people through God's eyes that we are able to love as God loves. When we realize how God sees us, as we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, then we are able to see others, understanding that we ourselves must be awfully hard to love sometimes as well. By looking at a person as a fellow traveler in the journey of life, struggling with many of the same things we are, we can have compassion because we know the difficulties met along the way. We can put our selves in their shoes because we will be there or have been there. God's love is not a self centered love, it is not self serving but other serving.

Meditate today on the words "as I have loved you." Thank God for loving you that much, and ask Him to show you how He sees you. Then ask for Him to show you the best way to love the difficult person in your life.

God does not leave us alone to figure out how to love well, He invites us to Him, to learn His ways. He listens when we cry out to Him in frustration and He provides the grace and answers to the question How? If God calls us to do something He will see us through it.

Why is it so important to love others well?

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35

Learning to love well is important for the body of Christ to function properly. We are Gods hands and feet here on earth, and the purpose of His body is to draw others to Him. We are a reflection to others of His love. That is why learning to love as He loves us is so important.

As we seek God, He will equip us with His eyes and power to love as He does.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Extracting Courage From Discouragement

Have storms and discouragement been plaguing your life? Your thoughts?


I think we can all relate to the apostle Paul and the story of the thorn in his side, given to keep him humble and leaning on God's strength. (2 Corinthians 12: 1-10) We can also relate to the life of David, who loved God so much but found himself in all kinds of trouble and trials before God lifted Him up to his prosperous position. (1 &2 Samuel and Psalms) And Elijah who believed God to win a battle but then turned around and doubted Him when he heard that Jezebel wanted to have him killed.(1 Kings 19) It seems in some things we can easily trust God will handle the storms in our lives and in others, we get in our heads that this next storm must be too big and we withdraw from Him. I can almost hear God asking as He did Elijah" What are you doing here?"(after he ran for His life, from fear and discouragement.)

That's the question we need to ask ourselves ..."What are we doing here?" Are we trusting God in our storm or are we withdrawing, fighting our on our own and forgetting God in the process?

Discouragement can be looming enemy in our life. Once allowed to take root, It does just what it's name reveals...it takes our courage, replacing it with fear, doubt, anxiety, and self -centeredness. It isolates, stripping us of God's perspective.

We are no different than those great men from the bible. God put their stories in His word to show us the way, encourage us to keep our faith, comfort us in our trials, and reveal that it is in His power and timing that His purposes are accomplished. God says "humble yourselves before Me and I will lift you up."

Sometimes we need a little or a lot of help getting to that humble state. We feel justified to stew in our self righteousness. God is not interested in our works, successes, or victories in the world...His interest lies in our hearts. Till we come to Him with our broken and contrite heart/spirit, we will not experience his full presence. We have to come to the end of ourselves before we can live in God's power and presence. The offer is open, He beckons us to come and lay our burdens at His feet. He invites us to cast our cares on Him, He tells us over and over to take courage and not to fear. And yet somehow it's easier for us to hold on to the discouragement that infiltrates our lives. Why? Why is it that when we are offered treasures and jewels we settle for mud and rocks? We proclaim to believe in God...but do we really believe Him? Think about it. Will you trust Him? As Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water, we too must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we step out of our own boat, and just as Peter, when we find ourselves sinking...we need to cry our to the Lord, grab His hand and continue along the water...the only other option is drowning in the storm! (Matthew 14:22-35)

So let's choose to get ourselves out of His way, let's choose His encouragement over the enemies discouragement. Storms will come. They may last long. But with our hearts and eyes fixed on Jesus, we can rest assured that the storms of life will not destroy us.

God extracts the courage from our discouragement when weather the storms of life in trust and obedience to Him.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who The Son Sets Free Is Free Indeed


"So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed." John 8:36


The other day I was visiting and spending time in our local women's prison. Once a week, a fellow volunteer and I go and hold a Bible study with the ladies. We pray and then hand out song books. We always like to sing. Every week we ask the ladies to pick a song, and every week they pick a Song called "Jesus Signed My Pardon", I had never heard the song before I started going to the prison but the words are so meaningful and it has become the theme song of this group. I thought I'd like to share the word's with you:


Jesus Signed My Pardon

I was in sin's prison, oh, so dark and cold
Like a lost sheep wandering from God's eternal fold;
Then the door swung open, and He spoke to me
"I have signed your pardon, now you may go free."
Chorus: Jesus signed my pardon,
this I surely know
Took my place at Calvary,
now I won't have to go;
All my life I'll give to Him -
He gave His for me
When He signed my pardon there at Calvary.
Since the Savior led me from that awful place
I can hear the angels as they sing Amazing Grace;
I know I was pardoned from my sin and shame
When I joined them singing, "Glory to His name."
Chorus: Jesus signed my pardon,
this I surely know
Took my place at Calvary,
now I won't have to go;
All my life I'll give to Him -
He gave His for me
When He signed my pardon there at Calvary.
Life is now worth living since I've been set free
I'm so glad He was willing to save a wretch like me;
Now I have a mansion, not a prison wall
Jesus signed my pardon, Jesus paid it all.
Chorus: Jesus signed my pardon,
this I surely know
Took my place at Calvary,
now I won't have to go;
All my life I'll give to Him -
He gave His for me
When He signed my pardon there at Calvary.


We were all imprisoned, locked into a cell of sin before we accepted Jesus. He took our place at Calvary, and broke the hinges of the our cells door, setting us free at the asking. He has pardoned our sin and He has called us out to follow Him. It's our choice. Whether we are literally in prison or imprisoned by the storms of life, Jesus has already signed our pardon, We can step out of our cell of fear, shame, guilt, and sin and into His Glorious presence showered with amazing grace and peace. Our hearts have been set free and we can now freely live for Him, because He lives in us.

Have you truly accepted Jesus' pardon? Or are you still sitting in your cell? The cell door has been unlocked and swings on it's hinges. Are you ready to come out?...All my life I'll give to Him- He gave His for me, when He signed my pardon there at Calvary!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God's Way


Walking hand in hand with God is my hearts cry. I want to be so completely immersed in Him. I want to feel his presence next to me, as I do walking with a friend. I want His guidance and direction in all things. I want to hear everything He has to say to me, learn all his ways, grow to become just like Him in character. With every task I do, hurdle I leap, trial I go through, and trail I blaze, I want to do it in a way that points to Him.

Psalm 119:27 Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a Christian. It's not just a statement. Being a Christian is a lifestyle, it means being set apart and setting Jesus Christ apart as Lord and savior over my life. It means I follow Christ, walking in His footsteps. (I have this image in my mind of child walking behind a parent, trying to step in each footprint their parent has made.) Being a Christian is an active living daily choice I make to live as Jesus did, considering His ways in every decision I make. Placing all my faith in God, giving Him first place in my life. God's word breathes direction and wisdom and understanding over my days.

I pray, just as the Psalmist prayed, Lord, let me understand the teaching of your precepts, that I may keep step with you as I walk through this life; and let me meditate on Your wonders, never forgetting or taking for granted, that in Your power I will be able to stand, till we are walking hand in hand together for all eternity. Amen

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Refiner's Fire


See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. -Isaiah 48:10

We go through refining seasons in our lives. Times when God really puts us through the fire to rid us of impurities that take away from our being the person that He has purposed us to be. We need to go through these times as painful as they may be, because it's in these times when we are tested and proved.

I write this because I am currently being put through the fire, looking at my situation in this way brings me hope and assurance that God has something important for me to learn through it. He is also using my testing as a means to witness to others as a source of encouragement and proof of His great power and grace when we choose to stand in our faith in Him. Don't get me wrong, though God gives me His grace to get through this time of fire and testing it HURTS! There is pain involved in this process, but as I continue to look to God, He is faithfully revealing His purpose in the pain. With eyes on Him I can endure. There is far more at stake here than my circumstances...it's a kingdom thing. Because i choose to look at it with Gods view point, knowing His power is made perfect in our weakest of times, I am waiting expectantly for His power to be manifested through the situation.

I just wanted to share this thought, in case any of you are going through fire right now too. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Remember in Isaiah 61:3 where it says God will bring beauty instead of ashes? If God takes us through the fire, He will surely bring us out a stronger more lovely creature than before we entered...We just need to keep trusting Him.

God has set the plan for each one of us before we were even born. He calls us, and when we accept the call, our mission begins. He allows things into our lives, defining moments that will test our faith, bringing us back to his perfect will for our lives.













Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Battle


But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9


It is very easy to get caught up and overwhelmed with all life throws at us, but the battle in our own minds is probably the most brutal of all battles many of us may ever face. It's fierce and merciless at times. How we think about our circumstances can be far more damaging than the circumstance itself.

When we go into this battle armed with the God's truth, understanding God has a purpose already planned out for us to achieve the goal of bringing His kingdom full circle, our battle becomes an honor to fight. Knowing that our response to each circumstance we face can be a testimony to God's Power and every choice we make in it will either bring God glory or defame Him really shines new light on the battle.

With the eternal mind set, it is no longer our battle but His. Unfortunately, sometimes in our broken human state we need frequent reminders that God has already won. He sent His son Jesus to conquer sin and death. The perfect sacrifice for our freedom. We are already free, yet we live as captives, ensnared in our own thoughts. Let's think about this...Jesus came and opened the door to our prisons, He broke the hinges so we would never have to be imprisoned again. Jesus took all our sin to the cross and died for me and you. He went to battle FOR us. and He won! He was placed in the tomb, and rose again to live in all who will believe.

Christ's power is made perfect in weakness. Jesus, as our sin was being heaped upon Him was in His weakest state, He hung bound on the cross, nails piercing his skin, completely helpless to move. But when it was finished and He gave up His spirit to the father, the earth shook, the dead were raised to life(dead people got up and left their tombs) and the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. Now that is power!

Jesus knew even though He was helpless by man's standards, that God was far more powerful. God would win. Jesus thoughts were continually on God's will, God's purpose, and Jesus knew when to give up His spirit. That is my point. When Jesus gave up his spirit God's power was unleashed, and boy was it ever.

As we go through life, remember where our power lies. It's not in our own efforts, as we often feel as Jesus must have, bound, and helpless. But the truth is, God's grace and power are made perfect in our weakness. It is when we are weakest that God can be glorified most...if we let Him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Make the Call


'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' Jeremiah 33:3

Sometimes the answers we seek are only as far away as the call. God is always waiting for our call and the best part is, He is always home to pick up.

In this age of technology, it is so automatic for us to pick up our cell phones or shoot e-mails and text messages to our friends. We search for answers to our problems and look for direction from friends,counselors, books, television, and Google; but how often do we call on God? How often do we use His resources? God is the source of all life, who better to run to first? He knows ALL the answers we seek before we even ask. He watches our futile efforts at trying to solve our life's problems on our own, and He waits. God waits for us to pick up that direct connect and contact Him.

So what are we waiting for? The answers we are looking for are wrapped up in Him. The only way to unwrap them is to call and get to know Him, spend time talking with Him and listening to Him. Follow the advice He gives through His word(The Bible), discuss with Him our hopes and dreams, ask Him for the direction we should go. God speaks throughout our day in many different ways. When we are tuned in and attentive, they will be revealed. Once God reveals something THEN go call your friends and share the revelation, share the power, truth, and promise of the One who created the heavens, the earth, and me and you.

Will you make the call?


Thursday, March 4, 2010

We Are Family

I am praising God for His grace and mercy, wonderful friends, and the gift of children. This has been one eventful week so far...Steven's life was saved, Chris enrolled in college and as of April 10th will be off probation FOR GOOD! He also recently got a job working for the very same drug and alcohol rehab the he, himself went through, Jon applied for college, and Zachary brought home 2 excellent grades on tests! In our time of crisis all three boys rallied with us for their brother, and I am very proud to be their mother. Though Jon is very angry.(and rightly so) He also is the first one to jump in and help. I am blessed beyond measure with my boys. I love and appreciate them and want them to know it!

Our worth is not measured by material successes or possessions but rather by the successes of the heart and those characters of God possessed with in it. It is so easy to be sucked into focusing our problems, but where does that lead? Unfortunately only to more problems. When we focus on the promises of God however, we have hope; because God is all good and when we choose to believe what He says we can approach His throne of grace with confidence and know that His grace over our lives abound.

So many times we look to God for the things He can do for us, but we so often forget to ask what we can do for Him. When you really think about it, God was not created for us, but we for Him. As I went through the painstaking possibility of once again losing my son, it hit me, God loves him so much more than I ever could. God has a plan and purpose for his life, and God will use this for His glory somehow. So what is my role here? I want to glorify God with my reactions. I heard God's voice say trust Me. I serve the God who has put the planets, stars and moon in place, created mountains, land, and sea. He fashioned each human being, with unique and intricate detail. Knowing this, how could I NOT trust Him? God holds the universe, our world, and each one of us lovingly in the palm of His hands, he always has our best interests in mind.

All who belong to God are family, family sticks together, and I am forever grateful to be part of it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our Heart, God's Home

This week my house was thrown into turmoil. It is in complete and utter chaos. Everywhere I look there is a mess to be gone through and cleaned up. It's to the point where I just look around and feel so overtaken at the magnitude of it all. It seems too overwhelming to conquer, so I just push it off. The only problem with this is that the mess isn't going anywhere, it's actually growing bigger and bigger.


I think that's what happens with our heart sometimes too. The trials of life make these impressions in our hearts, and if we're not careful and diligent in cleaning them up(taking them to God with bucket and scrub brush in hand) then they accumulate and grow to seemingly unmanageable proportions.

Today I was reading my Bible and came across this passage in the book of Haggai, chapters 1&2. The word of the Lord came to the prophet Haggai concerning the condition of Gods house. God asked why the people of Israel were neglecting the disrepair of His house. He chastised them for concerning themselves and being content with only with the building up of their own homes. He pointed out their contentment in striving for more was only adding to there mess and they were finding themselves living in total chaos, running in circles and never finding peace, always searching after what would make them happy but never able to grasp it. All the while Gods house is being neglected.

God's word for them was simple, you are putting your priorities in the wrong places. God says He is first priority and when they start putting their efforts on Him then the state of their own houses will fall into place. God ends His message with this" be strong all you people of the land, and work; for I am with you. This is what I promised you, My Spirit is among you, do not fear.

God's message in His word is very clear, but we tend to get so caught up in our own messes that we miss it. God wants first place in our lives. He wants our full trust and obedience. He will never force it, as He is a gentleman. But He says over and over in His word that when we choose to prioritize Him, then we will have help, peace, hope, grace, provision, protection, and life abundant, and eternal.

I thought about that in regards to my heart. Has my heart become like my house? In total chaos? Am I looking for refreshment and restoration in temporary fixes or by ignoring the issues altogether and letting them build up? Sometimes God has a way of shaking things up for us and pointing us to the things that really matter. HIM!

When we realize that our hearts are God's home, and He wants His home to shine with His glory for all to see, it puts a different perspective on how we go about caring for it.

Lord, thank You for wanting to come and dwell in our heart, Help us to keep up with our messes, so they don't pile up and threaten to overwhelm us. Thank you for Your patience, provision and promise to always be there to help clean up. May we bring great blessing to You as we put You first. Amen






Monday, March 1, 2010

Coming soon...Hand in Hand with God...

I've been working on a publishing a book of poetry for the past several months. I am feeling this stirring of excitement as it nears it's completion. To be able to hold the compilation of my thoughts all together in my hands is to me, like scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl or the game winning home run in the World Series.

I started writing this collection of poetry a few years ago, during a difficult time in my life. In many ways it is my journey with God through that time. Thus I entitled it "Hand in Hand with God" He has been my "coach" so to speak, in this experience, and I give Him all the credit for training me to score!

I wanted to share a little bit about this journey in my life, because I think so many times God uses difficult circumstances to reveal the direction and purpose He has for our lives. He reveals diamonds in the hard, dirty walls of our caves, and shines light and perspective in dark places of our lives. God brings beauty from ashes, and turns mourning to gladness.

God has taken the ashes in my life and transformed them into something beautiful as only He can. I look forward to sharing more as publication nears and especially to share God's love with you.

Blessings,

Mary