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Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Want Jesus More

I mentioned in Sunday's post, Gifts We Bring, how I'm already preparing my CHRISTmas list for 2011.  My list will have 12 special gifts for Jesus and the first gift I plan to bring Him in January is... time.

Our church always begins each new year with a 21 day fast.  Last year we specified the fast to the Daniel Fast, which means we ate no meat, sweets, bread, white rice... yeah all the good stuff we love. 

This year everyone will choose the thing or things they crave the most and offer it as a sacrifice for these three weeks.

Although food is something I crave, a lot, I have already been on a restricted eating plan since the day after Thanksgiving.  So the next best thing I crave and would be a sacrifice for me is... sleep.

So my fast, and gift to Jesus, this January will be to get out of my comfy warm bed an hour earlier each morning and spend that time in studying the Word, prayer, and maybe even some exercise.  All things that will allow me to get healthier mentally, spiritually, and physically.

It will not be as easy as it sounds.  Ten of these twenty-one days will be spent in Jordan and Israel.  So with jet lag, the time difference, and very long travel days I am going to want every minute of sleep I can get. 

But... I want Jesus more.  So I am gifting Him my time and in return I know He will give back to me way more than I will ever give up for Him. 

Give away your life; you'll find life given back- given back with bonus and blessing. Luke 6:38 (Message)

What could be better than bonus and blessings from God?  Nothing.

Yesterday my hubs wrote a great blog with some instruction and insight regarding fasting.  You can click here to read it.   

Have a great Thursday,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Journey with God

I can’t believe we are finally at the end of not only 2010, but also the final pages of our One Year Chronological Bible's readings.

One of the first things I have done each morning this year is post on Facebook the day's reading.

I will miss that.

But, I am very excited to begin a new journey January 1st.

I call it a journey because that is exactly what our relationship with God is: a daily walk with Him as we grow through the vicissitudes of life.

Today’s world thrives on the fast paced, worry laden, I-want-it-all-now kind of life style. And God is the complete opposite of all three of these.

And if God does not exist like that, then why should we?

If you want to grow, it will take time…

If you want to be worry free, it will take time...

If you want to have the best in life, it will take time... time in the Word of God, daily.

So if you too would like to join me and about 80 others on this journey beginning January 1, 2011 then click here to order your copy of Solo Remix: An Uncommon Devotional.

Or, if you don't have an e-reader, you can download the Kindle app to your mobile device and have the book sent directly to your smart phone or iPad, instantly.  (My new fav thing by the way.)

Until tomorrow...   

Happy trails to us!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Marking Time

I try to catch NBC's Nightly News each night when I'm home. (Which means I don't watch much news.)

On our last trip to New York we toured their studio and there is just something about seeing where you once stood projected on the big screen.

Although that's not the reason I watch that particular news cast, it was neat to have that experience with my hubs and daughter last year.

Any ole who, at the end of the broadcast last night they played a video pieced together this time each year, a final farewell to those we lost in 2010.

I was moved. But not to tears... to action.

These people are not remembered because of a huge inheritance they may have left behind. They are remembered because every one of those men and women accomplished great things in their life.

Although thousands of people across the United States died this year, those who history will remember are the ones who had purpose, vision and a drive to win in life no matter what the cost... forever making their mark in time.

My take-a-way...

History, or NBC's Nightly News, may not sing our praises when we pass, but if we live with purpose, vision and a will to win no matter the odds stacked against us, we will make our mark on someone's life.

And that to me is better than leaving behind any amount of monetary riches.

Marking Time,

Click here to watch NBC's farewell video for 2010.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gifts We Bring

Every Christmas I promise the same thing... "I will not wait until December to start planning and purchasing my Christmas gifts."

And you have probably said the same thing.

Well, although it really is my intention at the time to do better next year, it rarely happens... because life happens.

I love giving my hubs and kids what they ask for.  And if I will intentionally set time aside a few months prior to Christmas to work on my family's list, then my annual promise might one day come to fruition. 

But what I am doing this week, and I pray you will as well, is beginning to ask Jesus what gifts He would like me to bring Him next year.  

His life was His gift to me.  My life is all I have to give back to Him.  More importantly, the gift is what I will do with the next 365 days of my life.  

So as 2010 comes to a close I'm already making my 2011 CHRISTmas list- and checking it twice- as I sing,

My finest gifts to bring...

To lay before my king.

What do you plan to bring Jesus next year? 

Although He may not post His wish list on the fridge as our kids do, He will certainly post it on your heart if you'll just ask.

I plan to give Him 12 special gifts next year.  I will be sharing with you later this week the first gift on my list.

Until then, wrap up... cause baby it's cold outside!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Made to Crave

One of my new fav things is the Kindle app.  Although the Kindle has been around a while I am just discovering its great benefits to my already crazy cluttered life.

If you are not familiar with the Kindle, or E-Readers in general, it is a electronic device that allows you to purchase and download hundreds of books onto just one little piece of machinery.

No more lugging books around every where I go...

No more books I have to find space for on a book shelf...

And the greatest of all to me... No more traveling to a book store or waiting for a book to ship!!

So, when the book I've been waiting all year for released a few weeks early, I bought it, downloaded it, and in a matter of seconds was reading it.

If you are someone like me who has the not-so-great eating habits Made to Crave is for you.

God designed us to crave Him.  Unfortunately we too often fill that craving with food.  We were made to consume food, but food was not made to consume us.

This is not a book about losing weight, although as you read it you may find yourself doing just that.

This is not a book about eating this and not that so you can wear your skinny jeans in just six weeks.

This is a book about how each and everyone of us craves something and how to direct those cravings to what is honest, pure, and true so you can be whole.

I can't think of a better way to begin 2011. 

If you would like to find out more about Made to Crave click here.

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Books in 2010

I wanted to share with you the books I have read this year.

As a child I hated to read.  

As a child of God I LOVE to read...  Although we do not have God to stand in front of us to teach us and train us, we do have His Word that transforms us.

And that is where my year began, reading the One Year Chronological Bible.  For those reading along with me you know we have only 35 out of 1668 pages left!!  So proud of everyone who stayed the course.

I also read Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity, You've Been a Bad Friend to Us. I will also be reading it again with our CCA ladies as we study the one thing that plagues us women and challenges our identity to the core... Insecurity.   You are invited to join in as we meet each Monday night in January at the Epicenter on Main Street in Alachua, Fl.

Get your tissues out for this one.  And if you ever considered adoption, beware, you may be filling out your paperwork before you put this next book down...

In Choosing to See; A Journey of Struggle and Hope Mary Beth Chapman shares her life's story that includes her childhood, teenage mistakes, marriage to a famous singer, and the accidental death of her 5 year old daughter when she ran in front of a car her brother was driving.  Great story of healing, restoration, and God turning for good the events that try to destroy.

The Mailbox was a great summer read!  It is the first novel written by Marybeth Whalen and was a sweet Christian summer romance story based on an actual location that I was very intrigued to learn about.  

Crazy Love, Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan was definitely one I could not put down!  When you read this make sure you go online and watch the short videos as it instructs you to.  If you miss this part then you will only get half the experience of the read.

Sun Stand Still, What Happens when you Dare to ask God for the Impossible by Steven Furtick is a great book for anyone who wants to dream and do the impossible for God.  And if you never had that desire to see the impossible, this book will stir you to that end!

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren (need I say more) is a short read that will keep you focused on this season's real meaning.  And you will learn how the three greatest purposes of Christmas will solve your three greatest needs.

Tomorrow I want to share with you the book I have been waiting all year for.  It was not scheduled for release until January but is now available and as soon as I learned that... I bought it!  And have already read half of it in a few days time.

I love to hear what others are reading.  It helps me decide the books I want to invest my time in next.  So I hope if you choose to read one of these books that they will bless you as they have blessed me.

By the way, only three more sleeps till Christmas!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Journey with Us

I can't tell you how many times our daily readings this year have been exactly what I have needed at the exact time I needed it. (click here to see the book we have been reading)

Like one of today's verses... Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Colossians 3:13

Yep, I needed that today.  And after posting it on my Facebook page,  I saw that many others needed it as well.

That's how great our God is.  A book that was complied over hundreds and thousands of years, then broken down into a 365 daily reading by mere humans, has been used by Him to speak to me on the days I needed it most.

This year has been one of the biggest growth spirts in my spiritual life and I know a massive reason is diving into the Word... everyday.

I shared with you a few weeks ago that we are beginning another journey on January 1, 2011.  This one is a little different than just reading straight through the Bible.

In 2010 we read the Word but in 2011 we will seal the Word in our hearts with a one year devotional that is designed to help you think, pray and live the Word you read for each day.

I would like to invite you to take the journey with me and about 70 others who have already received their books.

You can click here to order and read all about The Message Remix Solo.  I promise it will be the best $10 gift you will give yourself or someone you love this Christmas.

Please click comments below and let me now you are joining us.  Then at the end of 2011 you will be able to say with me and many others, What an amazing spiritual growth spirt I've had this year!!

Take the journey with us.

You'll be so glad you did.

If you LOVE to read as I do, tomorrow I plan to post most of the books I've read this year.  I would also LOVE to hear some of your fav books of 2010.

Until then, stay warm!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Comfort and Joy

As we were leaving a restaurant in New York City a few years ago the hubs and I actually rode the elevator down 47 flights with a very famous movie and sitcom star. As soon as we were out on the street we were calling those closest to us and telling them, “You’ll never believe who I just saw!”

We were star struck.

And we couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it.

If you have been following our staff’s posts or listening to CCA’s sermons on iTunes this month you know that we are talking all season long about being StarStruck by Christ.

If you know Him, you too have been struck by Him.

But most people don't know Him because they are actually afraid of Him. But Christ does not want us to be afraid of Him, he wants us to run to Him.

The angel of the Lord told the shepherds in the field, “Don’t be afraid! I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.”

Here’s some joyful news…

We don’t ever have to worry about God rubbing our sins in our face… He sent His son to rub them out. John 3:17

Jesus came to save us… not scare us. John 3:16

God is not mad at you… He is actually mad about you. Psalms 139:17-18

God does not withhold His love… He wants to lavish you with it. 1 John 3:1

God is not playing hide and seek with you… If you seek Him, you will find Him. Deuteronomy 4:29

You may not know everything about God… but He knows everything about you. Psalms 139:1

If you never had a father… God has always been your father and will forever be. Ephesians 3:14-15

If everyone in your life is against you… God who is greater will always be for you. Romans 8:31

And lastly...

Jesus came the first time as a baby. Luke 2

AND this is how He is coming back the second time...

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1Thessalonians 4: 16-18

We take comfort in the promise of the King yet to come.

And this Christmas season, we take joy in the baby that already came, Immanuel, Christ WITH us.

After seeing Jesus, the shepherds told everyone what had happened. Luke 2:17

If they had access to cell phones back then, they would have been calling those closest to them as well saying, "You'll never believe who I just saw!"

They were star struck. 

Are you?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Months and Years

So what's the big deal about Christmas anyway?

There has to be something that makes it stand out more than the other holidays on a calendar year.  

While they only get one day of celebration...

Christmas on the other hand gets an entire month where songs are sang, movies are watched, lights are hung, halls are decked, parties are planned, and bank accounts are depleted.


Although we may be a little off track when it comes to our focus for the season, the reason for the season has never changed. 

Over 2000 years ago God wanted to communicate His love toward us.  He could have chosen hundreds of different ways to do this.  But He knew the best way to communicate with us was to become one of us.


Unto US a child was given.  Unto US a son was born. Isaiah 9:6

When my daughter Chrissy was younger we had this saying.  She would tell me, "I love you days and weeks."  And I would follow up by saying, "I love you months and years."  Yeah, I know it doesn't make much sense but it was our way of communicating how much we loved each other.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son.

That was God's way of communicating His love toward us.

He gave us His best gift.

It's a gift that is not just for you to receive, but for you to share.

So when you write out your list of gifts to give this year, don't forget to add the most extravagant, life changing gift there is... Jesus.

He is the reason for the season.

And although this was the most costly gift ever given... It won't cost you a penny.

I like that. 

And I love Him... months and years.