How much longer?






how much longer?

hey hey,

In today’s short and snappy blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” to encourage you when it comes to God’s work in our lives through seasons, timing and grace.




“And He changes the times and the seasons…”

Daniel 2:22


Seasons. Timing. Graces. They are all so interesting. It’s so important that we recognize, yield, obey and flow in the seasons God has ordained, in His timing and by His grace.


By definition, seasons don’t last forever. They change.


By reality, timing is key. Being at the right place at the right time as led by the Spirit is divine!


By God’s divine influence, graces are the empowerment He dispenses to enable us to do what He’s called us do to in seasons and timing.


Did you follow all that?


So what season are you in? A learning, preparing, planting, growing, watering or harvesting season? A single or married season? Stay steady working or enjoy the rewards season? A fight the good fight or sweet victory season?


What about timing? Are you rushing things or moving too slow? Are you exercising patience with your faith? Do you recognize coming or cresting trends? Are you ahead of the curve or always playing catch up? Are you wondering “how much longer?” or saying, “please don’t let it end?”


How about the grace upon your life? Is everything a hard, uphill trudge? Are things easy, flowing and greased by God? Do things come easily or do you live on the struggle bus? Are there things you once did, but now you don’t sense God’s grace in that area? Or, are there things you didn’t do, but now you sense God’s permission to do them?


It’s good to prayerfully take inventory of your life to evaluate these things and to make whatever adjustments you feel led to make.


For Example…


When I think about various areas of my life through the lenses of seasons, timing and grace - things come into better focus. For example, I have been writing a version of The Basics With Beth blog (aka: Just Us Girls newspaper column, Jumpstart Daily Devo, BWB Devo, etc.) on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for 19 years, since 2004. (Whaaat?)


So, as I look ahead, (season) - I am asking the Lord, “How much longer (timing) does He want me to write the blog? Is It still relevant and effective (graced by God)?


Is there a new season of ministry where He wants me to share the wisdom and experience He’s given me in a different way? If so, what is His timing on phasing out what I am currently doing and what is His timing on something new and different? Where do I sense God’s grace — His energy and enablement?


I am looking within to hear His voice in my heart. I am also looking to you  (the readers) for feedback.


I’d love to hear from those of you who read the blog. I don’t always know if the time put into writing the blogs is helpful, effective or desired — so, if you would take a few minutes to let me know the answers to these questions that would be great.


>>How often do you read the weekly blog?

>>Does it encourage you?

>>Would you miss it if I phased it out?

>>Why should I keep writing it?

>>What else do I need to know?


As I read your responses and as I seek the Lord on these questions, I will keep you posted on the season, timing and grace associated with this blog.


But, enough about the blog — what about YOU? What are you sensing from the Lord on His season, timing and grace for the things you are doing?




Here are a few songs to encourage you about seasons, timing and grace!


The Rosebush, I wrote this poem after I graduated from Boston University in 1981 — and 42 years later, my son-in-law Zack Spangler surprised me by arranging and singing it to us as we passed the Lead Pastor baton at Valley Family Church. Little did I know how prophetic these words would be 42 years ago. I hope you enjoy.


10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman - I love this song and keep it on repeat. No matter the season, we can bless the Lord.


Good Grace by Hillsong - great song!


Cool Change by Little River Band - this is an oldie song from the 70’s - it’s not a Christian song and we don’t necessarily agree with all the "theology” in the lyrics, but if you listen with your heart, you might sense the Holy Spirit speaking to you.

peace, love and blessings,




How about a Dad Joke as Father’s Day approaches?! :)


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Winsome like Jesus.






are we winsome like Jesus?

hey hey,

In today’s blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” to encourage you to be “winsome” like Jesus.




“By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, ‘He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.’ “

Luke 15:1-2, Message


Luke 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament. I have always been inspired and challenged by the first two verses. In these verses (and many others in the Bible) — I see Jesus as “winsome.” Apparently, He is easy to be around, relatable, nonjudgmental, understanding and nice — while also being a powerful preacher, speaker and teacher who never compromised the truth of God.


I don’t know about you, but that’s how I want to be. I have missed the mark many times, but my desire is to be “winsome” like Jesus while also preaching His Word without compromise.


There are a few things we can learn from this passage.


When we look at these verses of Scripture, who wanted to hang out with Jesus? The people of “questionable reputation” wanted to hang out with Jesus. They came to Him. (They didn’t run from Him!) They wanted to listen to His words. Jesus treated them like old friends and ate meals with them.


As we think of our own lives, who wants to hang out with us?


In these verses, who was mad? The Pharisees and religious scholars got mad and vocalized their judgmental attitude. These self-righteous leaders didn’t like the fact that Jesus hung out with people who were known to be “publicans, sinners, gluttons, thieves, sexually immoral, drunkards, etc.” (Matthew 11:19)


As we think of our own lives, are we mad, self-righteous and judgmental?


If you listen to some believers these days or read too many posts on Facebook or Twitter you’d get the idea that Jesus is fed up and angry with everyone about everything. The way some people describe Jesus, He is someone you want to run from, not run to hang out with!


Sure, we live in a backward culture where people call “good evil and evil good” and we should speak up and preach the truth of God’s Word while also being winsome in such a way that people want to hang out with us to hear what we have to say.


I know it’s a tall order. Thankfully, Jesus is our example and as we walk with Him, He’ll show us how to do it. The litmus test of our effectiveness will be seen in the results — just like they were in Jesus’ life and ministry.


“The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” Matthew 11:19




Perhaps you need your heart to be stirred up with compassion to be more like Jesus and to love the lost like He does. I love how the original Christian music artists from the 70’s and 80’s were focused on reaching those far from the Lord. Let these old classic songs minister to you.


Your Great Name by Natalie Grant - such a great classic.


Don’t You Wish You Had the Answers by Keith Green - a 70’s classic that always stirs up compassion for the lost.


Which Way the Wind Blows by 2nd Chapter of Acts - another 70’s classic that helps  get into the heart of an unbeliever.


Until Your Love Broke Through  by Keith Green - still playing the Christian oldies - this is what we pray everyone experiences!


King of Hearts by Randy Stonehill - yet another 70’s classic!

peace, love and blessings,




Let’s love people like Jesus to make sure this meme doesn’t happen to those we know.

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Want to love life?






want to love life?

hey hey,

In today’s blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” to encourage you in “how to love life and see good days!” This is a simple and basic truth, but one we all need to be reminded of on a regular basis. I hope you are encouraged today!




“For the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.’ “

I Peter 3:10, NLT


Who doesn’t want to enjoy life? Doesn’t everyone want happy days? What’s the secret?


Our words.


>> If we will pay attention to two things, we can enjoy life and see many happy days!


So, what are those two things?

1. Keep your tongue from speaking evil:


Now at first glance, we think of the obvious “evil” things - hatred, malice, the occult, wickedness, rebellion towards God and the like. Anything that is contrary to the will and character of God would be considered evil.


We should be mindful of the words we speak, avoiding language that is hurtful, negative, perverse or untruthful. Our words have the power to build up or tear down those around us, and we should use them to bring encouragement and positivity to those we interact with.


But what else? Specifically, what is “evil speaking?” We see an example of this exact thing in the Old Testament. In Numbers 14, God promised the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey — a blessed land, the Promised Land! Moses sent out 12 spies to see the land and bring back a report. Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb returned with a good report,


But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land … spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:6-9)


Although they saw enemies and obstacles, they didn’t go by their five physical senses, they went by their faith and they believed God’s promise of a land flowing with milk and honey. They made sure their words agreed with what God had promised them. Their report agreed with God’s words. With their words, they got into agreement and alignment with the Lord … and God liked it!


As a result Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies who got to “enjoy life and see happy days” in the Promised Land.


The other ten spies brought back an “evil report” (evil speaking!) and God didn’t like it. What was the evil speaking? They complained against God! They didn’t agree with His promises. The spoke words that were contrary to what God has said. They spoke evil words of unbelief! God didn’t like it at all!


As a result, these ten spies did not get to “enjoy life and see happy days.”


Here’s what the Bible tells us, “Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord. But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.” (Numbers 14:36-38)


Not only did their “evil speaking” affect their lives — they also affected their wives and children. Entire families were affected by their evil report — words of unbelief and complaining!


What does this mean to us?


I think it means we should pay attention to our words. Our words should always point us and the people we influence in the direction of God’s promises. Our words should agree with God’s words.


So, let’s be mindful to keep our lips from speaking evil complaining words, unbelieving words, negative opinion words, flippant words … and any words that contradict God’s Word.


2. Keep your lips from telling lies:

Again, at first glance, when we think of “keeping our lips from telling lies” we think of the obvious: being honest, not lying, being truthful, etc. We think of being truthful and honest in our words, avoiding lies and deception that can harm our relationships with others.


And all of these things are good and true, but there is another dimension of “keeping our lips from telling lies” we want to look at.


The opposite of a “lie” is “truth.” God’s Word is the ultimate truth — Jesus said, “…Your word is truth.” (John 17:17)


When we say things that contradict the truth of God’s Word, those words are: lies.


If we want to enjoy life and see happy days, we need to keep our lips from telling lies — that is, we need to refrain from saying things contrary to the truth of God’s Word.

This entire passage in 1 Peter emphasizes the importance of speaking truthfully and positively in our relationship with God and in our interactions with others. They remind us that our words have the power to bring life and goodness to those around us, and to our own lives as well — and we should use our words wisely.


If we want to enjoy life and see happy days, we must be mindful of our words.


Today,  let’s recommit to speak words that agree with God’s word — words that will glorify God and build up those around us.




I hope these songs minister to you and remind you to speak words of faith!


I Speak Jesus by Charity Gayle


In Jesus Name by Katy Nichols


I Believe, I Declare by Metro Life Worship


Surrounded by Valley Worship


peace, love and blessings,




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Takeaways from Israel!




just returned from israel…

hey hey,

In today’s blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” to encourage you around the topic of “Israel.” I just returned from a 10-day trip to the Holy Land, compliments of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), and I thought you might enjoy an update on my trip and some of my takeaways.


I’ve been to Israel several times before and my husband and I have even led trips there, but this recent trip was one of my favorites for several reasons. I hope you enjoy today’s blog.




“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.”

Psalm 122:6, NLT


Why is there always so much interest, conflict and passion around Israel and more specifically, around Jerusalem? After all, Israel is only slightly larger than the state of New Jersey. Why all the fuss about Israel and Jerusalem?




Israel is Loved by God as His Chosen People: 


“For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be a people for His own possession [that is, His very special treasure].” (Deuteronomy 7:6, AMP)

“Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne as king to rule for him. Because God loves Israel and desires this kingdom to last forever, he has made you king over them so you can rule with justice and righteousness.” (2 Chronicles 9:8) 

God loves Israel and Bible history tells us that God's enemy (the devil) has been against whoever and whatever God loves. Israel is considered a chosen people, with a special relationship with God.

God's love for Israel is expressed in various ways, such as through the covenant that God made with Abraham and his descendants, and through the many blessings and promises that God made to the nation of Israel. Israel is considered a chosen people, with a special relationship with God.

“They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.” (Romans 9:4)

However, it is important to note that the concept of God's love for Israel is not meant to suggest that God is exclusive or favors one people over others. Rather, the idea is that God's love and grace are available to all people, but Israel has a special role to play in God's plan for salvation and redemption. (This has been a point of contention for thousands of years among different religions.)


Jerusalem is the City of God, the Great King:


“May the God who has chosen the city of Jerusalem as the place to honor his name…” Ezra 6:12

God, the Creator of the ends of the earth could have chosen any city on earth as the place to honor His name and He chose Jerusalem! That is no small thing.  

In the Bible, Jerusalem is referred to as the "city of God" and the "great king." It has been considered a holy and significant location for thousands of years by various religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

-For Jews, Jerusalem is considered the spiritual center of the world, and it is the site of the ancient Temple of Solomon, where God was believed to have dwelt. The city is also the site of many important events in Jewish history, including the binding of Isaac, the reign of King David, and the return of the exiles from Babylon.

-In Christianity, Jerusalem is the site of many important events in the life of Jesus, including his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection and the location of His second coming.

-In Islam, Jerusalem is the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which are considered two of the holiest sites in that religion.

The designation of Jerusalem as the "city of God" and the "great king" continues to be a focal point of religious devotion and pilgrimage for people of many different faiths — so it’s no wonder we are encouraged to love and pray for the peace of Jerusalem and promised God’s blessing as a result!

Interestingly, while Jerusalem is very important, Jesus invited everyone (whether in Jerusalem or not) to worship the Father from their heart -- in spirit and truth -- because that's the type of worship the Father is seeking.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.  You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21-24) 

With that background, here are a few takeaways from my recent trip to Israel.



Take Away #1: If God loves Israel, shouldn’t we also love Israel? I want to love what God loves — even if I don’t fully understand all the history, nuances or geopolitical dynamics.


Take Away #2: Israel needs our friendship and support. I have a renewed love and respect for the Jewish people. The Jewish people are in their God-given land going back to Old Testament times (a recent archeological find showed Jewish settlers there from the time of the 2nd temple).

Israel was officially declared a nation in 1948 and yet they continue to endure decades of persecution, hatred and anti-semitism. Our sobering visit to the Holocaust Museum, along with hearing from the Deputy Major of Jerusalem, the CEO of the Jerusalem Post and senior advisors to the Israeli Prime Minister reminded us that Israel is and has been surrounded by enemies for centuries. Their enemies are ruthless and in the current geopolitical reality the Jewish nation is surrounded by enemies in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza Strip, Iran and other nations. Their enemies are in pursuit of nuclear weapons and have publicly stated their desire to wipe Israel off the face of the map. As one of our speakers said, “You will notice, we don’t have many friends and we greatly appreciate yours.” Our brothers and sisters in Israel need and appreciate the love and support of believers.


Take Away #3: There is power in the weekly ritual of rest found in the Shabbat Shalom. We were fortunate enough to join a beautiful young family —  mom, dad and three amazing kids for their “Shabbat Shalom” meal on Friday night. This Old Covenant tradition under the Law instructs Jewish people to celebrate this day of rest beginning every Friday night at around 6pm. For those who are practicing, they take 24 hours to stop working, to turn off all electronics, etc. and they spend that day of rest with the Lord and their families.

As we went through the Shabbat meal by singing songs and reading Scripture it was wonderful to watch this family fix their focus on God. At one point the husband sang Proverbs 31 over his mother and his wife! (What a wonderful weekly tradition!!) And later the mom and dad laid hands on and prayed over their children. (Another beautiful weekly tradition!) Then each person went around the table sharing a testimony of God’s blessings from the previous week and then together everyone at the table toasted a glass of red wine and exclaimed, “L’chaim!” which means “to life!” It was a fun and beautiful experience.

I love the idea of a 24-hour period of rest — turning off electronics and spending time together, praying, declaring God’s blessings over our families and enjoying rest. I’d love to see more families adopt their own 24-hours of a Jesus-focused, family-filled rest time.

As you know, as believers in Jesus, we are under the New Covenant and we have received the promise of a wholistic rest (spirit, soul and body) because of the finished work of Christ. Jesus fulfilled the Law and finished it’s work so that we could enjoy His grace and favor through no self-effort on our part. In Christ, there is great rest for every believer. (Hebrews 4:1-10, Ephesians 2:8-9)


Take Away #4: We shouldn’t be indifferent. As I mentioned, we toured Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, and one word resounded in my mind and heart: indifference. The holocaust and the murder of 6 million Jews was the result of a wicked ruler, evil underlings and many everyday citizens who were indifferent. It's hard to comprehend.

How could something like this happen? Why didn’t anyone stop it? A few people chose to speak up, step up and save many Jews from the gas chambers — people like Oskar Schindler who is credited with saving 1200 Jews. But why so few?

It was: indifference — because of threats, fear and the very human idea of self-preservation.

It was easy to be indifferent then and in these days, too. In our culture, it’s easy to see the ways mainstream media, big tech, government, social media and culture work day and night to intimidate, censor, silence, shadow ban and discredit anyone who chooses to speak up for Biblical truth and/or against the lies, injustices or anything that goes against the accepted narratives. This is what happened just prior to the extermination of 6 million Jews — people were afraid to step up and speak up — it was easier to keep your head down and be indifferent.

I don’t pretend to know the most effective way to avoid being indifferent these days, but I do know that everyone has the God-given right to live, to speak … and to disagree and we should not be indifferent to these types of injustices when we see them. As God leads us, we need to step up and speak up.


Take Away #5: Traveling with women leaders is fun! Touring Israel with a group of 30 Christian women leaders was exceptional! Everyone was so fun, gracious, kind and easy going. There were no prima donnas ‘airs’ or high maintenance girls in our group. Everyone was very others focused and this made the trip a delight! Those of us who sat in the back of the bus has our own little party and a never ending supply of caramel apple charm pops!


Take Away #6: I should never take the security, freedom and blessings we have in the United States for granted! On Monday, the last day of our trip we toured the north Gaza area and border wall, in southwest Israel. We visited a school, drove along the border wall and fence between the Gaza Strip (controlled by the terrorist group Hamas) and Israel. We learned about and saw the bomb shelters that have been constructed every 100 yards or so on the Israeli side — so that when bomb threat sirens go off people can run to a nearby bomb shelter within 15 seconds! It was hard to get our heads wrapped around living under that state of constant threat.

This threat was made more real to us when we woke up on Tuesday morning to head to the airport. On Tuesday, in retaliation for the death of a Palestinian prisoner, Hamas began firing rockets -- over 100 rockets -- into the area of north Gaza where we had been the day before! Thankfully, no one was killed, but it was a sober reminder of the very “real and present danger” Israelis live with every day. 


Take Away #7: Everything in Israel is a take away! How can a trip to Israel not impact you in light of all the things already mentioned — then throw in a boat trip on THE Sea of Galilee -- standing on the Mount of Olives (the place Jesus promised to return to!), walking around the Garden of Gethsemane or walking down the Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried His cross? Every place we stepped was loaded with history and a revelation of Jesus -- the Messiah! I did my best to take it all in!


If you desire, I hope you get the chance to visit Israel before Jesus 2nd coming, but if not then, for sure we will all visit once He’s returned to rule and reign as King of kings from Jerusalem!




I hope these songs minister to you!


Yeshua - by Michael Koulianos - beautiful song!


As the Mountains - by Lamb - an oldie by the Christian-Jewish folk duo this song always stuck with me … especially as we saw the mountains around Jerusalem.


The Sacrifice Lamb - by Lamb - a wonderful gospel song from Lamb a Christian-Jewish duo that pioneered messianic music in the 70’s. Give all of their songs a listen!

peace, love and blessings,




When you know, you know. :)

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A "grace shift?"






when the grace shifts…

hey hey,

In today’s blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” to encourage you around the topic of “grace shifts.”




“But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me.”

1 Corinthians 15:10, AMP


Have you experienced a “grace shift” and not known what to do about it? Let’s talk about it. As you may know, everything we do is done by God’s grace — that is, by His ability and divine endowment of strength, know-how and favor. So, when His grace seems to shift in our lives, what do we do?


First: Recognize Divine Grace Shifts


How do we recognize a grace shift? A grace shift may be evident when you notice that you don’t LOVE the thing you once loved! (Hold on … there’s more to say about this!) For example, perhaps you owned your own business or were working at your dream-job and you were loaded with vision, energy and success was flowing at every turn; but now, you don’t love it, your energy is drained, vision has evaporated and things are not flowing like they once did.


Is this a grace shift or just the general ebb and flow of life and the need to push through a tough season?


Good question.


Second: Ask God for More Grace


If you aren't sure if you're in a grace shift, but you are in a lull, bored and in need of fresh wind for your sails, one good way to find out if this is a “grace shift” or if you need to push through a tough season is to simply ask God for more grace! The Bible tells us God gives grace to the humble,


And he gives grace generously.

As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6


As you humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, He will give you more grace and in so doing you may find fresh vision and energy filling your heart and mind to empower you to keep doing what you are already doing.


Or, you may find God giving you grace for something new — a new vision, new energy and a new direction. Let’s talk about that side of the grace equation…


Third: Follow the Grace


If you determine you are in a "grace shift" -- you don’t want to “frustrate the grace” (Gal 2:21) but rather you want to follow and “access His grace” (Rom 5:2) -- that is follow the fresh grace He is giving you to do His will.


What does that look like? When we follow God’s grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will experience His joy, energy, vision, peace … and we can reign in life!


“... much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ…”

Romans 5:17


For Example


In 1991, my husband and I felt called by God to plant a church in Kalamazoo, Michigan and for 32 years we sensed His grace upon our hearts and minds to plant, build and grow a church to reach people for Christ and to make disciples. As God graced us, we always had loads of vision, energy, ideas, joy and faith to walk it out. As a result, we saw consistent growth and fruit and God’s blessing was upon us and our church — why? It was because of His grace.


We felt just as the Apostle Paul said, But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10, AMP)


We worked hard. We had late nights. We walked through many challenges. We kept our foot on the gas for nearly 40 years in ministry. But the truth is: it wasn’t us — it was the grace!


As we operated under that grace, we couldn’t imagine doing anything else and definitely couldn’t imagine ever turning the church over to someone else. Valley Family Church was like our 5th child and we treated her (and our church family) like a beloved member of our family!


However, between 2018-2020, we began to sense a “grace shift” but we couldn’t put our finger on it exactly until June 17, 2020, when I woke up and heard these words, “You have laid a good foundation, now another builds upon it…” and I knew it was the Lord. In my heart, I recognized He was talking to me from this passage, Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.” (1 Cor 3:10) and I sensed the Lord assuring me that my labor for Him had not been in vain, but rather “mission accomplished” and it was time for something new. As it turned out, in His kindness, He let me know about the “grace shift” we were in and gave me His game plan for the transition that was on the horizon.


My husband had a similar experience and the Lord spoke to him from 2 Timothy 2-4. As we talked about it, we recognized the “grace shift” and how the vision and energy we’d always had to plant, lead and build Valley Family Church had changed.


(As an aside, my husband and I have endeavored to live our lives and walk out every major decision based upon Jesus' words in Matthew 4:4, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God." We've seen this over and over, once God speaks to us through His Word (a Rhema word), we know we can "live by" those words and there is great joy and safety in taking steps of faith in line with His spoken word.)


As we followed the "grace shift" God was working in our lives, He gave us a new vision and the energy to develop a two-year plan to transition our church and pass the Lead Pastor baton to our youngest son and daughter-in-law and we would to serve in a new way in our role as the Founding Pastors.


In other words, as the “grace shifted” — the Lord was not “gracing” us with loads of vision, energy or ideas for the church, but rather He “graced us” with a vision to transition and pass the baton … and to mentor the next generation of leaders. And so ... we did ... and we are.


The Lord “graced” the whole process -- His grace was evident on every front. Our church family and all those who witnessed the transition were able to “perceive the grace that had been given …” (Gal 2:9) -- and the proof is in the fruit! Our son and daughter-in-law are doing a stellar “graced-filled” job, the entire staff is walking in the same grace, the church family is graced and growing and Jeff and I are graced with a wonderful new season!


We are walking in new graces now and we never dreamed it would be this fun! We are finding joy and new fruit at every turn. I’m so glad we didn’t try to hang on to something that wasn’t graced by God.


How about you? Do you sense a grace shift? Are you trying to figure out what to do? During these type of transition seasons it’s always best to humble yourself to receive more grace, obey the words He speaks to you from His Word and follow His grace-filled promptings to do the good works He has prepared for you! (Eph 2:8-10)


God's best to you as you live in His grace!



May you experience more grace as you hear these songs…


Yet Not I But Christ in Me, by City Alight - I love this song!!


Grace by Which I Stand, by Keith Green - an oldie that has touched my heart many times


Good Grace, by Hillsong United - a great song!

peace, love and blessings,




I need more grace!


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Fully convinced?




fully convinced …

hey hey,

In today’s blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” to encourage you in the basics of your faith.




“He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”

Romans 4:21


God loves faith! Over and over, the Bible tells us that God is pleased when we have faith in Him and His Word — that’s because He knows the blessings that come into our lives through faith! God wants His children to live by faith. Faith gives substance to the things we hope for. Faith is the believers secret weapon and supernatural advantage!


So, what is faith? Simply put: faith is taking God at His Word.


Faith is being fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises!


What has God promised you? Can you be specific? Do you have a Scripture and verse? When did God speak this promise to your heart?


Are you fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promised?


If you are fully convinced, what do you do? Do what Abraham did and “give glory to God.” Abraham never weakened in his faith, he grew stronger and continued to thank and praise God. Through his faith (and patience), he inherited the promise!


“No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.” Romans 4:20-21, AMPC


If you aren’t convinced, what do you do? Get more faith until you are fully persuaded. Faith only comes one way — through hearing God’s Word. The more we search God’s Word for His promises, the more He speaks to us and as His Word comes to our heart, so too - faith comes! Don’t let doubt or indifference keep you from experiencing God’s promises — add to your faith until you are fully convinced of God’s ability to fulfill His promises to YOU!


“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17, NLT


I hope you’ll review God’s promises to you and once you’re fully convinced God is able to do whatever He’s promised — give Him glory and watch what happens!




Faith comes as we hear God’s Word and often His Word can come to us through songs, give these songs a listen and build your faith!


Your Word - Hillsong - let faith arise!!


Hold On - Katy Nichols - let your faith be strengthened!


The Name of Jesus - Sinach - let this take your faith to another level!


peace, love and blessings,




Won’t He do it? :)


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Feeling overlooked?




feel overlooked?

hey hey,

I hope you are having a great week! Every Wednesday this month, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” by sending you this blog with a short podcast to encourage you. Today, I pray you are reminded of how much God loves you — you are not overlooked by Him!




My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

Luke 15:31


Everyone loves the Prodigal Son and the amazing story of the Father’s unconditional love and forgiveness…but what about the “other brother”?


What about the older brother who had been faithfully serving his father, but felt overlooked, hidden and unappreciated.


What is the Father’s heart toward faithful Christians who feel overlooked?


Give this 11-minute podcast a listen to get a fresh perspective. Just click the box below




I hope you let these words penetrate your heart and experience God’s love for you afresh! All that He has is yours!


God Really Loves Us - Crowder, Dante Bowe - simple truth to put on repeat.


Your Nature - Kari Jobe - so good - listen and let this truth get in your spirit.


peace, love and blessings,




Don’t lose your joy!

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Dealing with obstructions...




block the blocker …

hey hey,

In today’s blog, I am sharing “A Word, A Song and A Laugh” around the idea of removing any obstacle trying to block God’s plan! From time-to-time, when the Lord puts a specific topic in my heart, I like to record short messages to encourage you — so, I pray today’s blog and short podcast does that for you!




“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Luke 10:19


Do you sometimes feel as if there have been unexplainable blockages or obstructions trying to halt God’s plan in your life? Ever faced an unusual resistance? Unreasonable delays?


You’ve done everything you know to do, but still there seems to be a blockage? You’ve prayed. Cried. Repented. Apologized. Worshipped. Fasted. Anointed with oil. Labored. Believed. But … nothing. Nada!


What’s behind the blockage? Could it be spiritual?


What do you do now?


Give this 7-minute podcast a listen to get a fresh perspective. Just click the box below



Weapons of our Warfare - Rhema Singers and Band - a classic oldies and still just as powerful as ever!


I Speak Jesus - Charity Gayle - sooo good - put it on repeat and sing it!


Authority - Elevation Worship - good reminder!



Sing out the authority Jesus has given to us!

peace, love and blessings,




You also have the power to “block!” - it’s in your hands! Ha! :)


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I'm frustrated ... help!





pray it out …

hey hey,

Are you feeling frustrated? Disappointed? Impatient? Don’t know what to do? In today’s blog, I have good news for you. I pray you are encouraged with “A Word, A Song and A Laugh.”




“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:26-28


Today, I want to share this “Basic Thought” podcast I recorded in my car a few weeks ago.


How do we pray when we are frustrated, disappointed or at a loss on what to do? How do we pray when we have a “weakness” — an inability to get results? The good news is -- there is a way to pray to get results according to God’s perfect will.


We can "pray it out!"


I describe these feelings of "frustration or weakness" within us like having a “ball of yarn” on the inside that creates angst. (This ball of yarn is a metaphor for our frustration, disappointment and feelings of helplessness.) So, what can we do with the ball of yarn? Rather than being passive and allowing the frustrating ball of yarn to stay within us and thus, feel discouraged -- we can use all of that internal frustration energy and turn it into prayer.


We can pray out the ball of yarn and get that bundle of frustration, disappointment and helplessness into God’s hands (or, to stay with the analogy, get it into His knitting needles!) He will then cause all things to work together for you good!


For all of this to make sense, I encourage you to click the title below and listen to this message:




My Prayer for You - Alisa Turner - a new song to me, but so good!


Like Incense - Hillsong - an oldie, but one of my fav prayer declaration songs


Hear Our Prayer - Hillsong - an oldie, one of my go-to’s in times of prayer!



Be encouraged, there is hope in a time of frustration and discouragement.

peace, love and blessings,




Everybody is going through something! Pray it out Lucky! :)


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Why the cross?





a free gift for you!

hey hey,

As Good Friday and Easter Sunday approaches, I wanted to remind you of how much God loves you! God’s love was manifested and demonstrated toward us through Jesus and His death on the cross.





For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16


We are sending you the entire audio version of my book, “Why the Gory, Bloody Details” — to encourage you with a full understanding of the passion and the cross. I pray you sense the Lord reviving your heart in His love as you listen to this audio book. Click the box below…





Each week, I like to share an eclectic mix of new songs and oldies that emphasize our blog theme and that touch our hearts - enjoy! Here are a few bonus songs to celebrate Easter!


At the Cross by Darlene Zschech - from one of the best worship leaders of all time - this song is so anointed, so get alone and let the Lord minister to your heart with His love!


Thank You Jesus for the Blood by Charity Gayle - put it on repeat!


Mighty to Save by Hillsong - a classic and so good.


Ain’t No Grave by Bethel Music - here’s a bonus song to fire you up for Easter Sunday!


He’s Alive by Don Francisco - a legendary song - I heard this 1980 song when I was a new Christian and it’s impact still touches my heart.


Easter Song by Keith Green - he was a world-changing song writer and singer in the 70’s and his music shaped a generation of believers — like me! He was tragically killed in an airplane crash when he was 28 years old - his music lives on.



May you experience Jesus and His love in a fresh way this Easter week!

peace, love and blessings,




Go ahead … get to church Easter Sunday! :)

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