"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:7-8 NLT

God is crazy about you. You are His child.  His princess. He showers you with every good thing.  Instead of obsessing over what you don’t have, think about all you do have.  His love and attention.  Fresh air.  Clean water.  Food.  Shelter.  A place of...

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:4

Teaching. Counseling. Shepherding. Showing mercy. Giving. As Christians, God gives each of us different gifts. Some of you know what your gifts are—it’s just obvious to you. You may be comfortable speaking in front of a crowd, leading a Bible study group in your church, counseling others, or maybe...

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34

Becky can’t sleep at night.  She keeps having nightmares about her mother, who abused her as a child.  Even though her mother has been dead for ten years, Becky still struggles to forgive.  Why would God even ask Becky to forgive someone who caused her so much pain? Giving...

"Surrender to God!" James 4:7 CEV

Why do we feel safer driving our cars than flying when we know that we’re more likely to wreck our car than die on a plane? Because we’re in the pilot’s seat—in total control (or so we think). It’s like this every day—in most situations. We desire control in circumstances because we feel safe when...

"... we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5

Loss. Divorce. Death. Cancer. Ever ask God why? I think we all have. But to "rejoice in suffering?" If making sense of pain in our lives is not difficult enough, now we’re also told to rejoice in it? You're probably wondering what Paul was thinking when he wrote this. "Was he in his right mind?"...

"Relish life with the spouse you love. Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God's gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one!" Ecclesiastes 9:9 (MSG)

Living God’s dream means living in close relationships. There’s nothing more precious than spending time with those we love. From time to time we should review what’s really important in our lives and rethink how we spend our time. It’s what life is all about—meaningful relationships. Solomon...

"When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10b

Job is one of the most fascinating and well-known men in the Bible. He lost his children, his vast wealth, eventually his health, and was left with only an embittered wife and unwise friends. Can you imagine? Yet, Job knew he was not alone. He understood that God knew who he was,...

"Arise, go to Zarephath… See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you." 1 Kings 17:9

The ministry of Extraordinary Women was born out of the belief that God can do extraordinary things using ordinary women. The widow of Zarephath is no exception. In the midst of the various trials and heartaches of losing her husband, nearly losing her son and her own life, this ordinary woman...

"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Sleep. Need more of it? I do.  Sleep is the most important component of renewing our bodies every day. But our fast-paced society has robbed us of it as we overexert ourselves trying to take care of our children, husbands, homes and work. The result is that we tend to neglect our own bodies...

"I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High." Psalm 7:17

Remember that acclaimed classic, “The Sound of Music,” with the lovely Julie Andrews as the governess for the spunky and energetic, Von Trap children? To this day, the musical line of “Do-Ray-Mi-So-Fa-La-Ti-Do” is used in music classes all over the world, yet I have never heard it sung more lovely...

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble, with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Loss of a loved one. Cancer. Your kids grow up and move out. Job loss. Marital difficulties. You name it. Whether it's your wound or someone's you love, God won't waste it. He'll work in it to reveal Himself. To show that He can be trusted... that He is faithful and loving. He is there to comfort...

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:31 NIV

What if you were given $86,400, every day for the rest of your life?  What would you do with it? Let’s add one caveat. You have to spend all of it each day! Could you do it? How would you spend it? Tough decision, right?! Guess what—God gives you 86,400 seconds every day... and you spend every...

Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8 NIV

Isaiah proclaimed his wonderful prophecies of the coming Messiah and King during treacherous and dangerous times. The nations around Judah were conspiring to invade. They were "plotting the ruin" of the nation. So when Isaiah was called by God to be His spokesperson, he was accepting a daunting and...

"Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you." Revelation 3:20 MSG

How many women do you know who are really free? I don’t know a lot. The bondage is everywhere. We’re haunted by our pasts, burdened by self-pity, unwilling or unable to forgive ourselves or others, and held captive by our need to control. Instead of living big lives, we live small ones. Instead of...

"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Sleep. Need more of it? I know I do.Living God’s dream for your life is not always lived on easy street. In fact, our fast-paced society takes a toll on our bodies as we overextend ourselves trying to take care of our children, husbands, homes, and work. Add to that the stress of finances,...

"For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity." Proverbs 24:16 NJKV

Failure is never final until a person quits trying. As the person continues to try, failure is really no more than a setback... a possibility to learn from mistakes and try again.Righteous people may fail time and time again, but they continue to “rise again.” To get up and keep trying. When wicked...

"... Your works are wonderful...." Psalm 139:14

In Yosemite National Park, there is the most beautiful and tranquil lake one has ever seen—"Mirror Lake." There are days it sits so perfectly still that you can see your complete reflection just as if you were looking straight into a mirror. It is perhaps one of God’s most beautiful creations....

"God told them, 'I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!'" Jeremiah 31:3 MSG

God loves you. And because He does, He is chasing after you—yes you! Even now, you might struggle to believe, with so many people and so many problems in the world, God still has time to pursue you, but He does. It’s time to let yourself be caught. His love is like no other. Receiving it...

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

Parties are so much fun! Celebrations bring so much joy! (Unless, of course, you are the one planning it all!) I just recently planned a surprise birthday party for my daughter, Megan, which took weeks of preparation and scheduling. The hardest part was trying to keep it all a secret! I thought I...

“I will question you, and you shall answer Me.” Job 38:3

Childhood Diabetes. Pancreatic Cancer. Lost Eyesight. Is His presence in your life enough?Throughout all of human history, no one person could have suffered to the extent Job did. He cried out, but God did not answer. At least not directly. Instead, God revealed His sovereignty over all creation,...