August 20, 2015

Prayer for our Children and our Schools

Each year as children and teachers head back to school, my heart turns toward prayer. Please join me in storming the gates of heaven on behalf of our precious children and their teachers!



Heavenly Father,

We pray the Armor of God over our children and their teachers:  the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, and the shoes of the gospel of peace.

Father, plant Your love, Your presence, and Your Word deep within their hearts.  May Your Word reach into the marrow of their bones and ignite a passion that is unquenchable.  Cause them to love You with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and let NOTHING override that passion.

Father, as they spend their days at school, let them be set apart.  May they be light in darkness, joy in sadness, peace in discontent, and order in chaos.  Let their character and integrity shine forth like the sun!

In their schools, Father, we pray that Your Word and the fear of the Lord would be the basis of wisdom and instruction.  Father, we ask that You take our prayers and blanket each school, placing them under the shadow of Your wing.

For those teachers that believe in You, strengthen them and uphold them with Your mighty right hand.  Father, give them an extra measure of wisdom, knowledge, and revelation to excel as teachers and shine in darkness.  Provide them with opportunities to share their faith with faculty, staff, and administration and give them the courage to do it.

We pray for every level of administration.  We pray for wisdom beyond comprehension as they make decisions for the schools and school systems.  We pray divine direction.  We pray that You would direct the steps of those making decisions for our children.  Make Your way clear and place those who walk with You in places of authority and decision-making.  Bless their efforts.  Give them favor.

Through Young Life, church youth groups, and other student ministries, use leaders and students to sweep each school with revival and evangelism.  Guide, bless, and empower the leaders and students through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Go before them and open doors.  Father, we boldly ask for many to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and yield their lives to Christ.

Father, as we end our time in prayer, we boldly as that You would grow each of our children in wisdom and stature and favor with God and with man.  Thank You in advance for all You will do in and through our prayers.  We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Please leave a prayer request for any child,  teacher, leader, or school who is on your heart today. And if you leave a comment, let’s knit our prayers together by praying for the prayer request in the comment above yours.

And if you would like a FREE copy of a similar prayer I wrote a few years ago for our children and their schools, please click here. Feel free to share it with neighbors and friends.

***** Winner of Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll is Jessica who posted August 18th at 4:00 a.m.

Please send your full name and mailing address to my e-mail at so that we can send you your book!*****

*****To find winners of Invisible by Jennifer Rothschild, visit the end of the comments in my August 11th giveaway post*****

Standing together with you in prayer,

August 18, 2015

I’m “Breaking Up with Perfect”Giveaway

Perfect is a bad friend. No matter what we do or say … we feel like it’s never enough. Perfect always demands more and wants better, but it’s never satisfied. Never! Have you been there? I know I have, especially with my Type A personality.


That’s why I love my friend Amy Carroll’s new book, “Breaking Up with Perfect!” God has called her to help us all break up once and for all with our unfaithful friend: Perfection! And today she stopped by to share her heart and her book with us – plus she’s giving away a copy too


As I rummaged through the damaged store, I hurried toward a colorful decoration that caught my eye. A hurricane had ravaged the seaside store’s merchandise, but there were a few treasures left.

My prize that day was a papier-mâché figure of Santa Clause directing a band of animal musicians. Since my husband was a band director, seeing Jolly Old Saint Nick with his conductor’s baton poised made my heart sing even though it was a balmy North Carolina summer outside.

I carefully carried the figurines to the cash register and made them mine.

Nearly skipping with joy down the sidewalk, suddenly I tripped and dropped my fragile treasures. My face fell with dismay as I peeked inside the bag only to see pieces of Santa and his friends lying jagged and free-floating at the bottom.

When I got home, I gently removed the pieces and lay them out on a table. One by one, I drew a thin line of glue on the narrow edges and began to put them back together.

The results weren’t altogether terrible.

Santa’s pedestal is webbed with cracks and the beaver is missing a leg, but unless guests get too close, they’ll never know the trauma Kris Kringle endured. He’s broken but still beautiful, and a smile stretches across my face each Christmas as I unpack him from his protective box.

Why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?

All of us have a level of brokenness from our own sin nature or from sin leveled against us. We all have cracks of insecurity, shards of sin, and flaws of failure, but for most of my life I’ve wanted to hide mine. I’ve wanted to glaze over my brokenness with a façade of perfection.

If I had found only a perfect Santa acceptable, I would have either tossed him after his fall, or I would have hidden him away in the box with the other outdated, worn-out ornaments.

That’s ok with an object, but we’d never do that to an imperfect person. We’re all in the same boat! So why are we afraid others will do it to us? That maybe God will too?

So we keep others at arm’s length, never allowing anyone to get too close, or we hide behind our walls of shame or false perfection. We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…

Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.

Jesus doesn’t despise us in our brokenness, tossing us away or hiding the fact that He loves us. He gently takes our pieces and glues them back together with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness. If we’ll only lay down our masks of perfection and surrender to His perfecting work, Jesus lovingly sets us out for the world to see and claims us as His own. 

I’ve been on a journey to break up with perfect, and I’m finding that my relationships with others are deeper than ever when I’m real about my flaws. In the process, I’m able to point to Jesus as the Perfect One, our ultimate hero, and I’m resting in the lavish love I’m finding in Him.


Amy Carroll wants to celebrate the release of her new book Breaking Up with Perfect  with you! Please leave a comment about your struggle with perfection to enter to win a free copy. If you’re living life at warp-speed today, just say “I’m breaking up with perfect!” in the comments to enter. I will announce the winner on Thursday in a new post with a prayer for our children as they head back to school! If you want to get to know Amy better, visit her blog by clicking here.


August 11, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Jennifer Rothschild and Her New Book, “Invisible”



A few years back, I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Rothschild and her husband, fondly known as Dr. Phil by his friends, at She Speaks. I couldn’t wait to meet her because her book, Lessons I Learned in the Dark, spoke into my life at a time when I felt isolated, alone and abandoned by God. And meeting her did not disappoint. Jennifer shines the love and light of Jesus! She is the real deal. Authentic. Kind. Wise. Humble.

So when I learned she had a new book coming out, I couldn’t wait to share it! And the title … so intriguing …  Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are. So please take a few minutes to hear about her new book from the author herself. Her interview below will give you a taste of her beautiful heart, the book, and her deep desire for you to experience the power of God’s living and active Word to transform your life.

And the best news of all, Jennifer is graciously giving away two copies of Invisible! If you leave a comment at the end of  today’s post, I will choose two comments to win a copy of Invisible.

****Also, if you left a comment on my last post to win a copy of our First 5 Experience Guide, you will find the two winners at the end of the comments on that post.****


1. Your new book is titled Invisible. What do you mean by the title Invisible?
Sometimes women can feel overlooked, unimportant or insecure. And, when we do, we feel invisible. Think about it—a mom who spends her days changing diapers, driving the mini-van and washing dishes. She can feel only as valuable as she is useful—invisible. Or, a woman at work who is constantly ignored when she gives her ideas—she can feel invisible. Or, a single woman at a party, trying to be a part of a conversation but she constantly feels like she doesn’t know what to say, she feels like she is not smart or cute enough; like no one even notices her—invisible.

2. In Invisible, you share Gomer’s story —from the story of Hosea and Gomer. What drew you to Gomer?
So, I wrote the book Invisible because I have struggled with insecurity and insignificance; I have felt invisible too. And, then I read this story about a woman named Gomer—a woman chosen, loved and prone to wander. Bingo. That’s me! I think she did what she did because she didn’t realize that she was not how she felt.

3. How did you grow and change through writing Invisible?
Well, I learned that there is a big “me” in GoMEr!  I used to judge her—you know, like, I am not her. I could never be her. After all, she left her husband and went for other lovers. She had everything and she left what she had—security and identity—to go find it in all the wrong places.  I learned that I cannot judge Gomer because I am gomer. I have often left my security and identity in Christ to go find it in the other lovers of acceptance, popularity.  So, I was humbled by seeing myself for who I am and then, just plain amazed and overwhelmed to see that God not only loves me and wants me to return to Him, but He goes to whatever lengths He needs to to get me back. Amazing love.

4. The book of Hosea tells the story of how Hosea pursues Gomer even when she turns her back and rejects his persistent love. What is a time you were like Gomer?
I’ll be honest. I don’t have big dramatic Gomer Moments where I turned my back on God, but certainly have had moments where I found myself stuck in a pattern of getting my basic security and identity needs met in the wrong ways and wrong places. I open the book with a story about one of those moments. We were on a drive to a lake get away and by the time I arrived, I had been so drawn in by social media and how everyone else’s life’s were so perfect that I was a walking, talking, face book stalking identity crisis. So, here I was, “in Christ” but in full blown identity crisis.

5. What is one truth you hope readers will walk away with after turning the last page?
Oh, I hope there are a lot more than one! Gomer’s life is chock full of teachable truths that can free a woman from her chains of insecurity and get her out of an identity crisis.

But, if I had to choose just one…I hope the reader embraces that she is a gomer—I am a gomer—we all are gomer because we are all dearly loved and accepted. We lack nothing in Christ—we have the love we long for, acceptance we need and He makes us complete. That is who we are! Sure, we will still feel insignificant and insecure sometimes but I hope the reader will begin to internalize that how she feels is not who she is. I want women to realize that we are not the be-perfect or the be- tolerated, we are the beloved! Yes!  Bring it on!

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing a bit of your heart with us! Friends, leave a comment before Friday and share when you feel most invisible. I will choose two comments to win a copy of Invisible and announce the winners at the end of the comments on this post Monday. Click here  THIS WEEK to visit her website and grab a copy of Invisible and learn about her great freebies. 

And be sure to help Jennifer get the word out about Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are!


Jennifer’s new book, Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are is now available! If you order this week, you’ll receive several free gifts as Jennifer’s way to say thank you! Go to learn more and grab your copy.