Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Gift #2

I am very excited! My family has not been to Disney World in a long time. With the kids at their current ages it should be SO MUCH more fun! Thank you to my husband who has a business trip in Orlando in February! HURRAY we can tag along! Thank you to my parents who will drive with me and my 3 children! Thank you to my uncle who works there!!

I can't wait!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

PMA #2

** The author of this letter's name has been changed for privacy sake**

Dear Mrs. Shea,

Thank you for being a chaperon on our trip to Camp Thunderbird. I really enjoyed going on the zip line because it was so thrilling, 70 mph! But I might not have done it if you didn't teach me positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude helped me out on a lot of things, otherwise I probably would not have done most of the activities. Canoing was also one of my favorite events, even though we got stuck a lot. One of my favorite activities was wilderness survival. It was so much fun because we made a fire and I was in charge of it. You also helped me a lot. You made the whole trip special for me because you always encouraged me. I am really glad you came to help out at Camp Thunderbird because you made the whole trip fun! So, thank you.


May this new year of 2008 be filled with PMA! If it can make a difference in this 10 year old, what can it do for you? 2008 is known as the "year of new beginnings". May you "rise above" all that surrounds you and positively embrace God's Truth for your life!

Have a TRUTH filled New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Gift

Camping #3

Dear Mom,

Thank you for coming to camp Thunderbird. I had so much fun on the zip line with you. I liked when you pretended you were on a bike. That was funny! Thanks for taking pictures of me on the rock climbing thing. I liked how you just kept cheering me on and keeping me company. I think you were the best chaperon there. I had a blast!!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Camping entry #2:

Now I admit that I did not have a great attitude about our camping trip (see prior post). Well, until I found out about the great weather. I will say though that I did ask God to speak to me while He had me out there in the wilderness. He did.

When I got on the bus to head to camp, I was accompanied by several adult chaperones and about thirty fifth graders. One of the adult's arrived and immediately began speaking ill will. Pretty much everything they flew from this person's mouth was about illness, pain, kids being in trouble, calling the school to have kids picked up....etc. Now first I was somewhat happy to see someone who was more of a not so "happy camper" than me. Well I felt less guilty for my attitude. Then I was very sad for this person. Their attitude was made up before we left the parking lot. I was able to share with the 3 girls crammed in my seat, that we should not speak so negatively. These are biblical lessons. The bible tells us that our tongue is hard to tame and that out of the heart the mouth speaks. We are warned in Proverbs and in the book of James about bridling our tongue.

Being a bible encourager I took this as a sharing opportunity and prayed it would impact three young lives. Of course my daughter rolled her eyes at me, but hey this was a valuable lesson and God's word never returns void!

Later that day came "Wilderness Survival". The camp counselor asked the kids to name what we MUST have within the first 3 seconds of discovering we are trapped in the wilderness in order to survive. Air, water, shelter came AFTER this vital need. That need: PMA.
Your "POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE" in the first 3 seconds of a crisis will frame how you handle a situation. HMMM a biblical principle for sure! You should have seen the look on the girls faces when I gave them the thumbs up and the "I told you so".

God just confirmed to them and to me the importance of thinking and speaking positively for proper survival! Remember, don't make assumptions based on how things appear.
Call those things that are not as though they were! Speak words of faith and His Truth. When we rely on what God says we will have all the PMA we need for our survival in our own wilderness!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I am back from the camp out AND PRAISE GOD I HAD FUN!!! For those of you who don't know me...I dislike camping, unless it is in a nice hotel. I HATE cold weather which is why I moved to NC from Buffalo NY! Worse yet, I HATE sleepovers with young girls who don't sleep. I NEED SLEEP. My daughter begged me to be a chaperone on this field trip. SO I filled out the form because I want her to SEE my love in action. I then begged everyone I know who stop laughing and pray!

Camping in December in 70+ degree weather, doing challenging obstacle courses, being a co-chaperone with a Girl scout leader who LOVES kids and camping….WHO SAYS GOD does not do miracles??? THANK YOU LORD!!

Lesson #1:
Prayer works!...COME ON...70+ degrees in DECEMBER!!!

Lesson #2:
Having a decent attitude is important. The weather forecast took care of one concern so I lightened up ALOT! Find out one good thing and focus on that. Then find someone more miserable than you are (there WAS one...she obviously did not appreciate the weather). It makes you realize how bad your attitude looked to others. Then pray for them!

Lesson #3: Ask God to speak to you about why HE has you somewhere you may not want to be. THEN GO and THEN LISTEN! This makes you more spiritually aware of what God may be inviting you to do!

Lesson #4:
The zip line.
As I was pushed off a 35 feet ledge to do the “zip line” in VERY high winds I felt ..FEAR. BUT I always wanted to do it so they strapped the protective gear on me. I saw the beauty of the lake and the soon to be setting sun and I was in awe of all God does for us. Once pushed off the ledge (sometimes we need a push because we aren’t brave enough to jump on our own), I felt for a few seconds what it was like to free fall. You are helpless. Then boom you are caught by the harness and you glide like a bird through the air. Isn’t that just like God? You need the push to do what He has asked you to do, you feel like you are free falling and then just when you think you will crash, He catches you and you begin to soar!!!! I was SO glad I did it! When you take the plunge for God, you will be glad you did too!!

Thank you for asking me to go Sydney! It was a blast!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Which One Will She Choose?

I never watch TV. It seems so pointless when I have a husband and 3 kids and a slew of emails who wait for my attention. Tonight, I got hooked. I am supposed to be packing for a 3 day camping trip with my daughter's 5th grade class. Yes I know it is 2 weeks before Christmas don't remind me. PRAISE GOD it will be in the 70's!!!

SO while I am slowly packing I get hooked on a show on HGTV that my husband turned to as he left the room. Have you seen it? They look at 3 houses. One is beyond budget and 2 are in the buyers price range. This single girl has 3 choices. She could have the smaller newer one for more $, it was her taste and in move in condition . She could have one right in the middle of her price range but there is a college in the backyard OR she could choose the older bigger, needing newer everything house.

I was pleased she did not pick the "party" house with the college in the backyard. That seems like it could be fun, but we know that would get old after awhile. I was hoping she would go with the first choice. She was a pack rat and it had a bedroom converted into a closet. It also had a safe garage. It suited her perfectly and was just a bit out of her range. Now I am not saying we should spend foolishly, I am just making a point.

What does she do? She settles. She picks the one her dad had concerns about regarding the heat. Gee, has anyone who loves you had "concerns"? She picks the one she could afford "even though" the bedroom wasn't big enough, the kitchen needed remodeling and the appliances were old. She couldn't wait for the best fit, she settled.

As she sat on her couch in her "new living room" she did not convince me she was excited about her choice. Her bedroom was smaller than the one she had before and the entire place was a "work in progress". Isn't that like a lot of women with the men they marry? Instead of praying and asking God for the right man, instead of being patient, they settle and marry "the work in progress" because it should "make them happy" and it doesn't cost as much the beginning.

We know that we are all works in progress, but when we marry with the thoughts of changing someone it isn't the smartest move. It is better to hold out and persevere for "Mr. Right" than to settle for less than God's choice for you.

Oh and if you think you made that mistake, I have GREAT NEWS! God is in the remodeling business. Head to this website and God will tear down some walls and Christ will build you a new foundation! It's as simple as this.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Rocks and Duct Tape

I am sure my small group thought I was nuts last night when I asked them to duct tape a rock to the bottom of their shoe. I love visual exercises, you tend to remember them more than words sometimes.

SO our topic for the evening was Focus on God for Truth. God "downloaded" this idea into my head as I prayed for my Pastor on Sunday. Now 143 people were saved this Sunday so GOD WAS IN THE HOUSE! I took that the idea was from HIM and went with it. After all if it was my idea I would have dismissed it as "too weird". (Side note: I did mention to God that I was praying for Pastor and I felt guilty getting info for my group during that time. He rebuked me and reminded me that He is quite capable of hearing prayers and speaking to His children at the same time. Oh right, point noted).

12 women sat for over 1 1/2 hours with a rock taped to the bottom of their shoe. WHY? To illustrate what it means to stand firm on the rock of Jesus Christ. No matter what we go through in our lives..NO MATTER WHAT...Christians should stand firm on Jesus. Why the tape? So you stick. Don't you see when times get tough in marriage, in jobs, in relationships, people begin to doubt God? They doubt who HE is and WHAT HE can do. Why is it that Christians divorce at the same rate as non Christians...That is just one example. God was VERY helpful when He spoke to me about the TAPE. T- is for TRUTH stick to what the bible says in your matter what. A- Accountability partners are needed when it gets rough. They will hold you to those promises and remind you of who GOD is and what HE wants you to do. P- Prayer and Passion. Prayer is powerful and as you commune with Your Father your passion for Him will sore, making you more determined to listen to Him. E- Eager expectation for what God WILL do in your situation. When all of these things are present then when the storm comes your house will not fall as if built on sand, but it will stand because it is built on the ROCK of Jesus.

My friend Amy K. mentioned today how she loved the exercise(phew I confess I did have some doubts how this would go over). She said after awhile it was really uncomfortable and she thought it weighed her down. She had the revelation that she was actually grounded and that standing firm on the rock of Christ is not always a comfortable thing to do. How awesome that God speaks to us in so many ways!

Oh one more thing. Monday when I asked God if He REALLY wanted me to tape rocks to the women's shoes...He responded with this.

If you are having any doubts on what to do, go tape a rock to the bottom of your shoe and sit for awhile with HIS Word. Call your accountability partner, pray and wait in eager expectation. I know for a fact HE will speak to you!

Thanks God, YOU ROCK and I'm definitely stuck on that!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Floss or Die

You know I am growing to hate the dentist. Really. From the time they numbed and drilled both sides of my brain, I mean mouth and my tongue swelled so I could not breathe, to this last visit. It went something like this:

"Have you been flossing regularly?" .....side note: 1)the hygienist knows by what she sees that I don't floss "regularly". She knows that in 6 months I flossed...THAT morning just so I could say "I floss". 2) I love God and I am in ministry and I desire to be obedient and never lie. SO my response was "not as regularly as I should."

That did it. Many tools in my mouth and I got lectured on flossing. "your gums are red and inflamed, had you flossed they would not bleed so much". WOW I felt like a dirty grimy slob. Then the kicker, "you know the number one killer in women is heart disease and that can come from bacteria in your gums from lack of flossing."

WHAT???? SO when I was able to rinse and spit I responded with, "so what you are telling me is: floss or die?" "Well yes" she said. that a BIT much? I will admit I am flossing daily now. Not because I could die but just to prove to the dentist that I can do it. I really wanted to ask her if
she knew Jesus. Then I could say "Jesus or Die right back at you." I didn't though. I would rather do it in a more positive uplifting encouraging way.

There really is no purpose for this post other than to remind you to floss and to consider HOW we encourage each other to do the right thing.

Gotta go floss.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Leadership 101

I had a great brainstorming session tonight which included a Starbuck's lesson on latte's w/ whip. I am branching out!!! I have been a solid "nothing but a mocha frappaccino girl" for ten years. I broke out w/ a peppermint latte! I'm FREE. It was "delish".

As a small group leader I often pray, wonder, worry & contemplate if I am doing enough to facilitate life change. Am I bold enough in speaking Truth? Am I compassionate enough? Do I empathize enough? Am I tough enough? Questions like "if someone openly advertises their sin to the I openly tell them they are being a fool?" OK that is where I pray for compassion. Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect and I will never claim to be. But some times people will justify their sin and really believe it is honest, normal, accepted behavior. Speaking Truth in love is not always pretty, lets face it. It is, however, what we are called to do.

Is it harsh to say "so you just choose to be disobedient?" Well, I have decided to try this approach. If someone is in a real life mess ask them the question "Do you want to be made well? If they say YES..PRAISE GOD! Then tell them to pick up their mat and walk.
To one, that could be discussing their salvation, to another showing them where they are being disobedient in the Word. Someone may need to forgive someone or seek forgiveness.

The great thing about this is 1) It asks a question that really needs to be answered. If they say no, all you can do is pray for them until God softens their heart.
We NEVER go wrong pointing people to Jesus. We never go wrong pointing them to God's Word. As leaders we must live our lives intentionally and show others who Christ is to us. But it is the power of God that will begin a life transformation.

So if you are mentoring someone in a really tough spot....ask them if they want to be made well. Each person's paralysis and how they pick up their mat will be different, but God placed you as a leader to point the WAY, then let HIM do the rest!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just DO it

I love the book of James. It is a small 5 chapter book of the bible but it is SO packed with wisdom!! I read it again this morning as a reminder of how God wants me to actually act. It is filled with insights like, being merciful instead of judging. I like the verse that says the tongue is a consuming fire that needs taming. It talks about not being double minded and how Go called Abraham his friend because Abraham had FAITH and acted on it! Faith without works is dead! Which translates to me that is like having no faith. You also won't have the promises of God come alive in your life if you don't ACT on the promises of God. Does that make sense?

I came up w/...well God gave me this acronym, DO as in D. O. and it stands for DETERMINED OBEDIENCE. We need to be DETERMINED to obey God. No matter what our circumstance, no matter how we feel, no matter what others say, no matter what our small minds think. Why? Because God honors a heart that obeys. God moves when faith and action go together. God is blessed when we do what He says and love Him above all else. I want to be a "doer" of the word, and then wait and see what only God can do!

I want to encourage you today to just "DO" it! Be determined, set your eyes on the prize and persevere no matter what. Then see what your friend, GOD, will DO with THAT!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Is God your Life or your hobbie?

That thought popped into my head tonight as I was thinking about the wives group I lead. They all love Jesus. I think every Christian would say that they do. To what degree does that love go though? Do you love Jesus enough to just show up to church on Sunday? Maybe you even go so far as join a bible study. What about feeding Thanksgiving turkeys to the homeless because it fits the "WWJD" mold. All of these things are very good things, but doesn't Jesus want more for us?

Now maybe you go so far as to allow the Spirit to convict you and you refrain from swearing, drinking too much or gossiping. That is good too.

When God is your life though, something really shifts. We still sin because our flesh is weak, but we have a deep desire to follow HIM at all cost. When we sin we repent and seek forgiveness. When we are offended we choose Teflon (see prior post).

The key factor, I think, to having God be your life and not just a hobbie is when things get tough. Do you step out in faith when God prompts you to, even when you don't know the outcome? Do you choose to act in obedience even when you don't feel like? Do you let some friendships go because they aren't healthy. Do you risk being seen as a freak? Do you fight through that stronghold because you KNOW that Jesus wants you FREE? Do you refuse to be a victim because God said you are a victor because of Jesus?

When something is your life you give your all. The fruit you bear will be more abundant too. It's a choice you have to make. If you love Jesus and know His Spirit dwells in you, ask HIM if He's your life or your hobbie, He'll tell you!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


WOW....its been quite awhile!

For the months that I have been on "blog hiatus" I have been thinking about what it really means to follow Jesus. The inspiring word from God that came to me was "TEFLON".
Hmmm.....How profound!!!!

A Teflon pan's great function is that "stuff doesn't stick". Have you been offended? Don't let it stick or bitterness will set in. Forgive quickly and with meaning so you won't be scraping the residue after its long been hardened. You risk scratching the surface and causing permanent damage. Yes sometimes we need to soak what has burned on for a bit. That helps. We must be sure though we are soaking our offense in the powerful Word of God not in the opinions of others or in our own feelings.

"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." - Hebrews 12:15

God's grace is desperately needed. It should be applied instantly to something that could fester into bitterness and resentment. Notice how bitterness "defiles many". It doesn't just work on you but affects others too. That diminishes the power and testimony of Christ in your life. The next time you pull out that pan w/ the scratched surface, thats the first place other food sticks isn't it?

Will people hurt us, yes. Stuff can stick, but it is up to us to decide what surface we have. It is up to us to decide how long it will stay there. We decide what to use to try and remove it. Will people cause us pain, yes. But deciding to be Teflon and choosing the coating of Jesus will bring us spiritual strength, stronger faith and a more authentic walk.

The enemy does his very best to keep stuff stuck to us. Our wounds will inhibit all that God has in store for us. So make the decision today. Overlook that offense, forgive or seek forgiveness and let grace abound!

The next time a fiery dart is thrown your way...think "Teflon" and let it slide.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

You Are Chosen

My family and I just got back from a week at the beach. I LOVE the beach. To me it is heaven on earth. I could sit and watch the waves all day. I feel closest to God there. I realize how big God is. The vast ocean, sky, and that God knows every grain of sand. It just amazes me. Then to think that a God who hung the moon and the stars over this beautiful scene cares so much about us. WOW.

I was feeling very frazzled when we arrived. Thankfully my kids are at easier ages and I was able to actually relax. I feel like the person I used to be a long time ago, not the short tempered impatient over exhausted shell of a human being I transformed into over the last few weeks. YES the one who wants to be Ruth Graham Jr. (see prior blog entry) actually felt more like Roseanne Barr in her sitcom "Roseanne".

I spent quality time with God on my walks and when I my lounged in a hammock (heavenly!). I realized His love for me flaws and all. He is merciful and forgiving and He restores and refreshes! He revealed a scripture that took on a new fresh meaning to me. THANK YOU LORD!!

Maybe you can't get away for a week at the beach or in the mountains or where your "heaven on earth" is. God is everywhere though and He will meet you where you are. Hide in the closet or bathroom and call on Him. Turn off your radio while you drive or your iPOD when you workout. He will come through. I forget that when I get swamped with the duties of life. When that happens everyone around me suffers and I really don't like myself much.

No matter how hectic or crazy things can get, make time for God. I will be spending some time in John 15 . Realize you need to be connected to the vine! Understand that you did not choose God. He chose YOU and appointed you to bear fruit, fruit that will last (John 15:16). A plant apart from the vine doesn't bear anything. He chose you with all of your flaws and shortcomings. He is merciful and loving and forgiving when you fail. Dwell on the truth that He loves you and even if your attitude and actions resemble something from a scary movie you can ask Him to forgive you and you can start over again. Just remember to stay connected!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ruth Bell Graham

“Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team,” Billy Graham said in a statement. “No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.

“I am so grateful to the Lord that He gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we’ve had in the mountains together. We’ve rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day. I will miss her terribly, and look forward even more to the day I can join her in Heaven.”
The Rev. Billy Graham
(Assoc. Press)

I am in awe of Ruth Bell Graham. I admire her devotion to the Lord, her strength, and her gentle spirit. What most struck me though was when I heard Rev. Graham say that Ruth was the greatest Christian he had ever known. In all of his travels, in all of his associations his wife was the greatest Christian he had ever known.

Most of us aren't married to worldwide evangelists, but would our husbands say that about us? It was said that she would become so lonely sometimes she would sleep with his tweed jacket for comfort. Her children said she was pretty much a single mother. She said she was called to this position even though initially she thought of being an unmarried missionary. The Graham's always believed they were a team. She would provide fresh ideas and Billy would write his messages. She named "The Hour of Decision". She was also instrumental in him writing "Peace with God".

How many of us see our lives as a calling? Do we support our husbands even if we are lonely sometimes and feel like single mothers? Do we provide fresh ideas and support and edify our men? Or do we nag and complain? Have we rekindled the love of our youth (Billy says it can be done). Ruth was never known to complain. When asked if she ever considered divorce however she said, "divorce no, murder yes". SO you see she had her struggles, but her son said her strength came from the scriptures.

In case you think her life was perfect, Here is an excerpt from her journal in 1957:

“Four full-blooded little Grahams,” the young mother wrote in her journal. “ I feel this a.m. it’s gotten quite beyond me. They fight, they yell, they answer back. Breakfast is dreadful ... Now they’ve gone off to school looking nice enough (for once) and with a good breakfast but with the scrappiest of family prayers ... Grumbling, interrupting, slurring one another, impudent to me. So now they’re off, I’m in bed with my Bible thinking it through—or rather, trying to.”Ruth Bell Graham wrote this while her husband Billy Graham was off crusading in New York City. (Newsweek beliefs, June 14, 2007)

To me this sounds alot like my mornings, except I don't go back to bed with my bible, maybe I should! I am encouraged that she felt like I do many mornings.

Mrs. Graham, I honor your life and pray that I too will be the greatest Christian my husband has ever known. I pray my children will see that my strength comes from the scriptures. I know your children had their struggles yet you said they were your pride and joy. They now are all serving the Lord. I pray that I will always SHOW my children unconditional love, always point them to Jesus and trust God's plan for their lives. The world has lost a strong woman of faith and integrity. I love how you were fiesty and strong willed, yet allowed your husband to lead. Heaven is rejoicing in your coming home. Thank you Mrs. Graham for setting an example that I hope every Christian woman will follow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


One of my spiritual mentors received a word from the Lord for me ahwile back. I LOVE that when it happens. He called to say that God told him that I would receive the desires of my heart shortly. I was very excited. My excitement however immediately was replaced with, "what does that mean?" and "which desires?". I have alot of them.....

I then started playing the guessing game. Well, will it have to do with my desires for my family? Will it have to do with my ministry? What, when, where, how?
Then I realized God's definition of shortly is alot different from mine. To me, shortly is no more than a few days. To God 1,000 years is a day and a day is a 1,000 years. Then I got discouraged.

God's Word says if we delight in Him He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). I already KNEW that, but why would God want me to specifically know that from my friend? All I could do was ask GOD.

My question went something like this, "God why would you have him tell me that when you know how it will drive me crazy wondering what you mean? Why get my hopes up when I don't know what, where, when or how?"

God's response to me was a great revelation. He answered with "I want my children to wait in eager anticipation for all that I am going to do." WOW God THAT is REALLY GOOD! So good that I had to share it. The other great thing is that it is very biblical! Psalm 27:14 in the Amplified bible says, "Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord."

As His children we are called to live by faith and we trust in Him. So no matter what situation you find yourself in if you are being obedient then you can eagerly expect God to do something amazing! From my experience He may even give you some desires of your heart that you did not even realize you had! SO GET EXCITED!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Busy Busy

Ok I have been out of touch for awhile! Where to begin..... Well I mentioned that on Mother's Day our church baptized 209 people. The following week we did it again and between our 2 campuses about 426 were baptized! That was amazing!

My mom came into town during that time. My parents and grandpa are moving here. HURRAYYYY!!! SO my mom was house hunting and bought one. I wish I could say it was as easy as that sentenced sounded. We then went to Boone to see Beth Moore. If I can remember it all I will do a seperate post on that. The Blessings of Asher. Very interesting. Seeing her up close (I could have touched her) was incredible! Does she realize someday we will be friends?? No I am not a stalker, just a wishful prayer (Ephesians 3:20).

We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. THANK YOU LORD!!! My kids are finishing up school, they are all on the swim team which is too cute for words. I had a great meeting with a wonderful woman from Love and Respect Ministries yesterday. I invited all of the "Great Wives God's Way" graduates and 16 people came. It was a great time of sharing.

SO I have been out of touch and very busy. All with good things. Yet I have been feeling very sluggish. As if I was walking through quick sand that is over my head. WHAT is that?? I just want to go to bed for a week or three. This great man of God, Derwin Gray, once said "BUSY" means being under satan's yoke. I think that is true. When we busy ourselves with all sorts of things, even good things, we get drained. I had some "God time" but not as much as I like. I did not intentionally fill my tank with the proper amount of His Spirit to begin each day.

I am thankful for a forgiving & merciful God. HE is always there ready to meet us when we seek Him with all of our hearts. He is faithful too. I saw His hand many times throughout these few weeks even when I was looking more to my "to do" list than to Him. SO when I am sluggish and tired I will lean on this. I will also make my time with Him more of a priortity so that being too busy won't suck me into the quick sand of life!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Mother's Day

I am exhausted. What a Mother's Day!!! It was definitely NOT typical and it was beyond joyful. I usually hope for breakfast in bed. It is "fun" to hear Mike and the kids trying to pull it all off. I live with 4 leaders of all different ages. Watching them all delegate to each other can be .....chaotic...??....!!!

I was up very early though. And took my post at church for all three of our Sunday services. A few weeks ago I was asked to help out with a "top secret" event planned at Elevation Church. The event pretty much can be summed up by this scripture.

So in stroll these wonderful unsuspecting people, many dressed in their Mother's Day best and they were given an opportunity to outwardly display their faith in Christ. 209 responded!! TWO HUNDRED AND NINE!!! This was not announced in advance either!! All the details were taken care of. Clothes, hair dryers, towels, flip flops, shampoo, gel...etc.

It was awesome! Tears of joy, cheering, applause...INCREDIBLE!!!

My kids were great and adjusted well to the change in our Mother's Day routine. I told them I will be very happy next weekend to eat my breakfast in bed and any other weekend they'd like to do it!!!! We ate lunch at IHOP (I let the kids pick) and I got my much desired nap. The day was topped off with a poem Sydney wrote for me:

My Mom Lisa
Mom of wishes
Who needs a vacation
Who loves Jesus
Who sees my future
Who wonders of being a speaker
Who dreams of being on a cruise
Who gives love to everyone
Who wishes of getting another rottweiler
Loved by Sydney

This brought me to tears. My daughter KNOWS I have hopes and prayers for her future. She KNOWS I love Jesus. She sees me giving love to people even if getting breakfast in bed seemed more relaxing. I was overjoyed to see God draw 209 to be baptized. I was blown away when it looked like there was no way we would have the right amount of a certain size clothes."Somehow" God multiplied them and there was "just the right amount".(We stood in awe in the changing room...speechless...NO JOKE).

It was this poem though that touched me the most. My kids are seeing what is really important. As I follow Jesus I will be equipped to be the best mom I can be. Knowing that makes it a VERY Happy Mother's Day!

Syndey, Samantha and Matthew, mommy LOVES you and I thank God for you!!!

Now about that vacation......

Sunday, April 29, 2007

WHAT IF.......

Did you ever wonder about what it is that you were created to do? Do you ever think, I was put on this earth to ______. Are you stumbling and fumbling through life in survival mode? Maybe you are skating through life and you are successful by the world's standards, yet something is missing or just not quite right.

I am leading a bible study with the book "CHAZOWN" by Craig Groeshel. I belong to an awesome church where we are greatly inspired to be who God created us to be. My pastor challenges us to step out of our comfort zone and dig out that ridiculous God given dream we have buried deep down for so long. God uses him to wake us up to GOD's reality!

So here is my question for you. Are you intentional about your purpose or intentional about mere survival? Unsure what your God given calling and destiny is? Well, start in prayer and ask HIM. Write down your dreams even if they sound silly and unobtainable. Read Chazown. Jot down your talents and gifts. Open your mind up to the fact you also have talents you haven't tapped into yet. Then consider your past experiences good and bad......battle scars make a great springboard for who you will identify with and who you can reach for God.

Then consider your biggest fears. I will share mine. I struggle with what people think. I never liked being vunerable especially in a group of women. I went to an all girl high school, need I say more? I always hated public speaking. Oral book reports in the 6th grade made me ill. Then God got a hold of me and when you put together my experiences and the gifts HE has given me....I know that I know I am called to speak to & encourage women who are struggling w/ marriage and relationships. To do that I have to be open and honest about who I am and how I feel....yes I have to be transparent and vulnerable.

Guess what? I LOVE IT, God shows up, it blesses me, I am energized my it, I was created to do it! So what the enemy wants to intimidate you with, GOD has already perpared you to do it! All you need is FAITH. When HE calls HE always equips!

So what is it in your life that keeps you from stepping out into your destiny? Fear of failure? Lack of finances? What others will think? I think you should ask yourself a better question. "What if......?"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Can You Here ME Now Part 2

John 10:27 says "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
If you clicked on the title of "Can You Here ME Now Part 1" it would have linked you to this passage.

How can we "hear" God's voice? The book of Matthew tells us that John the Baptist heard God's audible voice when he was baptizing Jesus. God spoke in a big way! God still speaks today. HE could do it audibly of course, but what about that still small voice? Sometimes we think it is our conscience, but who convicts us of our wrong doing to begin with? That would be God through His Holy Spirit.

Now I shared with you my fun T shirt experiences and my friends will back me up that the stories are all true and I am not a complete nut. Maybe just a partial one! I will share some ways that God has spoken to my heart and try to explain it the best way I can.

One example was when I was going through my troubled marriage. My first instinct was to leave. I was having thoughts in my head that said the kids would be better off if Mike & I divorced. I remember crying telling God that I did not understand why He would help me recover from my first bad marriage only to lead me to this one. Yet in that I told HIM I believed HE saved me before and HE would do it again. The "thought" that came over me was a deep impression from my gut that flowed upward to my mind. It was loving and gentle but very firm "inner voice" that said "Lisa how will you look your 3 children in the eyes in years to come and when they ask you 'mommy why couldn't you try one more time with daddy?' How are you going to say you couldn't? How are you going to raise Christian children to trust ME when you don't trust ME with your marriage?"

Here is how I KNOW that was God: Because it hit me in the gut, it washed me with peace, it gave me hope in a terrible situation. It was contrary to what my natural instinct thought I should do. Also God said "ME". I knew that I knew it was not my own thoughts but those of a loving, merciful God. Also most importantly it lined up with God's Word, the bible, because it was telling me to trust God in my marriage!

Since that time I have heard many other things, such as "Rise Above" which popped in my head in the shower which was confirmed by a Billboard (see Part 1). So again I learned that that "thought" was God. Sometimes He speaks softly, other times deeper and louder to your spirit and your heart. I am convinced that as you listen to HIM and "practice" you will learn how to hear His voice regularly.

There was another time I was finally alone and planning to run some much needed errands. I again was upset that my marriage was in such a bad place. I wondered if God was hearing me at all. I felt this urge to drive to our church's prayer room. I did not have the time or the energy but could not get the thought to leave me. I went in and knelt down feeling rather foolish to be honest. Why would I have to be in the prayer room when I could pray in my car? I happened to kneel where the prayer list was laid out for the intercessors (people who pray for others). I glanced down to see MY prayer request I sent in a few days earlier, ON TOP of a large pile of other prayer requests! I left there with a renewed hope and joy in my heart that God did hear me and He was in control.

One time Mike was helping a man in a parking lot who was having chest pains. He said "Lisa I just felt like I should have prayed for that man." Mike wasn't comfortable at that time just praying for someone he did not know, so afterward he felt very bad that he didn't. I explained that the kids and I did while we waited in the van, but explained "that was God telling you to pray, when you hear that voice again, you will know it was Him." So it was a strong impression that told Mike something contrary to his natural tendencies and that too lined up w/ scripture.
(Side note: It was a heart attack and Praise God "George" survived!!)

As we "tune in" and listen we will have a sense of peace knowing that even if our sitauation is difficult we are never alone. That if we "tune in" we will be led by God. (John 16:13-15)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Can You Hear ME Now? Part 1

When I was in the 6th grade I remember thinking, "why would God speak back then and not now?" If He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, then He should still speak today.

Of course He speaks through His Word the bible. All scripture is God-breathed (2Timothy 3:16). I love how we can read a scripture one time and it says one thing and another time something else is revealed! But God is not in a box and He can use other means to get our attention.

My friends laugh at me because God speaks to me ALOT through T shirts. HEY, if He can create the earth and everything in it, then surely He can speak via a t-shirt or two! Need some examples? GOOD I was hoping you would!

1) When I was at a red light telling God I could not do the "respect stuff" in my marriage, it was too hard; a jogger ran by with this printed on her back!

2) When I was debating becoming a Southern Living at HOME consultant for extra $$ and to help with my public speaking for the ministry, I was in an Outback Steakhouse 45 minutes away when I turned around to see the lady behind me wearing a SLAH shirt. OK I had NEVER seen one before and have not seen anyone wear one since! Yes I joined and it was a great experience! I met one of my dearest godliest friends through it!

Still skeptical? OK.

3) While driving through WV I was wondering why God chose me to start this ministry or any ministry for that matter. A girl in a McDonald's playground had this on her shirt to answer my question.

4) God then took bigger measure when I was wondering about the name Rise Above Ministry. In Pittsburg on a BILLBOARD was a picture of the 16 year old surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. It said "Me Quit?, Never" "RISE ABOVE". Did you know she is a Christian? Obviously God said "yes that is the name" and here we are!

There are several others, but God may not use a T shirt for you. I always pray for Him to make things VERY obvious so I don't miss Him. He may use a person to speak to you, a song (I did not know how many had "rise above" in them until I listened to Him on the name of the ministry). He may use your pastor or priest. You may find that page in the book that just "jumped off the shelf" that ministers to you. If you doubt it is God, ask Him to confirm it. He is always faithful. Stayed tuned for Part 2 on how I "hear" His still soft voice when a T shirt can't to be found!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Florida Trees Don't Move

That was the brilliant statement made by some guy after we crashed into a tree in FL last week. Here we were in a great restaurant watching dolphins for 45 minutes when raw sewage started to pour out of the restrooms....luckily we had finished our meal!!

SO as we were trying to escape the flowing river of yuck, we hop in the van for a quick get a way. All of us were focused on the plumbing trucks. Mike turned back just in time to miss the tree. HOWEVER the trunk of the tree had a knot in it. That knot went thru our back window......thankfully my van was not full of people and the back row was empty!!

The next day we drove back to NC w/ a plastic shower curtain duct taped to the van. That lasted about 45 minutes. The rain held off and we drove home (7 1/2 hours) w/ no back window. Ahh the memories our kids will have of that one!

Then I wondered...why God? why the "stupid tax"? $331 that we could use for something else? No one was hurt, praise God! But why? Maybe it was to remind us to always be careful and ALWAYS keep an eye on where you are going. $331 for our window was better than ER bills if it had been a person. It is better than hitting another car and having to pay for damage to 2. It may have been what detained us just those few extra minutes that saved us from a worse accident....Only God knows.

SO I rose above the broken window and the cranky husband (he was not happy about his error) and thought about how our kids will laugh remembering mommy holding onto a plastic shower curtain as it was blowing off the van at 80 mph on I-95. I chose to think that God somehow did or will used it for our good as His Word says "all things work for good..."

We all make mistakes and we can chose to learn from them so they don't get the best of us!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Well I am back from Florida! I will share how I rose above a restaurant w/ a sewage back up problem and a big tree in the middle of a parking lot a bit later ..But.....THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT!!!!!!


THIS SATURDAY APRIL 7th AT PORTER RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL, 2839 Ridge Rd. Indian Land NC ...register at 10 am. Egg Drop at 11 am!!!!! For kids 12 and under. Children ages 1-4 will have Eggland with age appropriate prizes!!
Check out the info at this website!

GREAT PRIZES!!!! Such as a Sony PLAYSTATION, XBox 360, iPODS, Nintendo Wii's and 1000 of other prizes!!! GREAT FUN!!! GREAT CHURCH WHY??? Because we serve a GREAT GOD!!!

DO NOT MISS THIS! Just Don't!! IT WILL BE THAT AWESOME! We missed it last year and we have regretted it! Not this year my friend NO WAY!!

Monday, March 26, 2007


My husband is a HUGE College Basketball fan! I knew that when I met him. I even was "coached" by male co workers on how to talk "basketballese". I played the pools in the office. I started to like March Madness.....but now its different.

This year has been a "MAD" March. "Mad" in a crazy "God is awesome" and "this is either God or insanity" sort of way. Let me recap it for you.

1) My husband chose to attend a leadership conference over an NCAA game...Completely mad....(don't you DARE dog him out about it was AWESOME...just shows he is a man who honors God. Plus I fight like a girl so watch out :))

2) I was at a leadership conference WITH my husband when 3 years ago we were in a counselor's office and I was told to "throw him out" to get his attention. I did not listen to that advise but listened to this instead.

3) My friend's husband accepted Christ...we prayed for about 2 years. He was baptized w/ her and their son and his dad...3 generations together....we knew God could do it but when He DID....more jump up and down,scream, cry and laugh "madness".

4) God has led me to a church that fires my spirit and makes me want to pursue God for all He has planned for me....a church can do that?? No GOD does that but its important to find the right church. Pray about it . When you are connected with the right pastor and the vision for that church...not the programs you are used to or the traditions but when there is a spiritual connection, something happens. Your life changes ...Positive Madness.

I remember telling a dear mentor friend (I have several, they are great...go get some if you don't) how I did not want to keep "bragging" on all God was doing. She said something that stuck with me. "Every week people stand up and cheer their favorite sports teams, they go crazy, the jump up and down. It is a shame that more Christians don't give God that kind of enthusiasm & praise." I am going to keep cheering for the ONE who wins every time!

So Lord THANK YOU for my March's "Madness". You orchestarted every detail to show me who YOU ARE and I give YOU all the honor and credit. Thank You that I can be a raving lunatic watching "The Big Dance" that you call your Kingdom on earth. In case you are wondering I am the one cheering "GO GOD".

Friday, March 23, 2007

Steve & Barry's

Why is shopping such a challenge? It wasn't even the fact that I attempted it w/ my 3 children while they were off of school. Which, by the way, I don't understand. Had it been next Friday we would have had 1 extra day in Florida....ok back to shopping.....

This was my second trip to the BRAND NEW STEVE & BARRY'S.....the first time did not go well. After searching and trying on several items while trying to keep my 5 yr old son happy, I found what I wanted. $60 worth of clothes (alot of clothes...great deals...very inexpensive...I am all over that!) The customer service was in need of an injection of ....happiness. We were the only ones there. It was hard to find help and I was greeted at the register with a minor hand smile. Now I understand bad days like the rest of you. This is a brand new store though.....OK it gets better. I hand over my Visa Gift card...They don't take it! they take Visa, they take debit cards, they take their gift cards...but NO Visa gift there I left the entire 45 minutes worth of clothing and I walked out.

One week later I am thinking about that $5 long sleeve white t shirt that I have "needed" all winter. I ignore the fact that its EIGHTY degrees and I have THREE children with me and head across town, like an IDIOT.

Gee...long lines at the cash registers, I think to myself. WARNING....don't assume its because there is no school and it is an inexpensive BRAND NEW store that caused the lines. After trying to "relocate" the clothes I did not buy last week (no luck except the T shirt...praise God), I head to the long line...."its ok" I say to myself, they have several cashiers. HA HA HA HA HAAAAA. No the computers were down and they were HAND WRITING receipts. People had 10-15 items....I had THREE children with me ....then I heard words that almost made my head explode..."CREDIT CARDS MAY BE FASTER"......AHHHHHH I HAD CASH. OK breathe...breathe....breathe. The woman behind me mentioned she had tried to return her items 4 times and left the store....I told her she should call it a wash and just leave the stuff there. The refund was not worth the insanity.

God is GREAT though. One of my spiritual mentors came into the store. It was like an angel descending from above to keep me from losing it.

So I got my $5 t shirt and the kids got a few things and we left. We won't be back. It is not worth the drive or the "savings" to get my blood pressure up or the temptation to cause me to "lose my Christianity" . Sorry Steve sorry Barry. But that is how I will rise above that. You know the life lesson here is deep: sometimes trying to take the cheap way out of things isn't always the wisest!

I also know this promise: Romans 5:3-5(NIV)

Not only so, but 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.

So I considered this a spiritual agility test. So actually, thanks Steve & Barry God used you today to build some character in the Shea family!!!!

PS:I hope you don't think I am criticizing, (see prior post), this was just my honest experience. And remember constructive criticism can be a good thing :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rise Above Criticism

This is a tough one. I HATE being criticized. I think it comes from childhood wounds from the playground or something. Even constructive criticism stings doesn't it? I think we just want everyone to think we are great. The truth is, many don't and won't. Some will tear you apart just to make themselves feel better and others actually think they are doing you a favor. Why do we forget that it doesn't matter? We should get our accolades from God not man anyway. Don't get me wrong, we NEED people to help us out sometimes and God will use people to keep us on track. We just need to be selective and trust who we really listen to.

I think it is so easy to fall into the trap of defending yourself. Now of course if you are accused of something horrible that you did not do....fight for the truth with grace and love. If you did do something horrible, admit it and repent! What I am referring to are those comments that are made by people who don't know you very well or don't know you at all. If you have integrity, if you seek God and hear HIS direction for your life then the great news is...HE is your vindicator. I love what it says in Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still". Now that is one set of muscles that I want watching my back!

Public ministry can be very difficult. Things you say are taken out of context or things written are misconstrued. It is "funny" how many times God will use people w/ insecurities to be in the public eye for His service. I think that keeps you humble....but it also leaves room for the enemy to get in, if you let him. You have to check yourself from not becoming prideful yet not let the negative comments destroy your God given focus and throw you off track.

As Easter approaches I think the best reminder of letting God have the last word is in Acts 8:32 "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth."
This is very hard to do when we are unjustly accused of something. Or when we just want to clarify our point of view. Maybe we just want validation. But Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit in them. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead! Ephesians 1:18-20 says "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead...."

If the Holy Spirit can raise Jesus from the dead then the Holy Spirit can guide you in keeping still and remaining silent. Let GOD fight your battles, He wins everytime!

Friday, March 16, 2007


Mike & I returned from a great all day leadership conference called "UNLEASH" at Newspring Church ( in Anderson, SC. We went w/ other Elevation ( leaders and it was amazing! 50 FUN God loving enthusiastic "Elevators" in matching t-shirts hop off a bus to be encouraged in our church growth. Sr. Pastors "own the vision" which comes from God. That's right the man in charge of the building gets his "stuff" from the man upstairs. My Sr. Pastor Steven Furtick ( rocks and his vision is right from Heaven. Not only that his vision "coincidently" matches what God has put on my heart over the last few years!!.....Just look "Elevation" and "Rise Above Ministry". Our Church's motto is to reach people far from God and bring them into the abundant life in Christ. OK....we started attending in November. Since August God has given me John 10:10 a total so far of 62 times!! "The enemy comes to steal kill and destroy but I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly".......hmm abundant life in Christ....coincidence ...NOT! Who says God doesn't speak today??

The very first sermon Pastor preached was Feb 2006. I did not know the church even existed. He preached on who we are in Christ (From the series Core 1-6 check iTunes Elevation Church). At that time I was teaching a marriage bible study and alot of it was who we are in Christ!

So it is very easy for me to support my pastor and the vision God gave him. God was preparing me to support this vision by stirring the same thoughts and giving me the same burden. What an honor to support and help fuel GOD's idea! "UNLEASH" confirmed that too! There is a God given vision and then a team who supports it. Watching Newspring in action w/ 9000 church members was awesome...knowing Elevation will explode even more and being a part of God's work is SO EXCITING!

Thanks for including me in the conference Elevation! I am "unleashed" and ready for the ride of my life!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

God Know's My Heart

This has got to be one of those "christianese" statements that has haunted me this past week. Whenever someone says it I believe they think it is a "good thing". To me it is scary. You see God knows our hearts better than WE know our hearts. God has a way of revealing our hearts to us so that we can seek forgiveness and by His grace & His power we can change. Be careful when you say that phrase, using it as an excuse when you don't have the courage to step out in faith is deceptive to you and others.

You see it is NOT OK with God if you know you should do something but you doubt or fear that you can't. You may know you should be respectful to your husband, but not do it because of fear of rejection or being made a fool of. You may know that you need to focus on God's promises for a situation but you give up because you don't see change quick enough or it is too hard. What if Esther said to Mordecai "God knows my heart. I want to plead for the Jews, but it will be too hard for me to approach the King. I could lose my life." Sorry, God wouldn't have given her a thumbs up because she "meant well" but did not follow through.

What if David would have said "God knows in my heart I want to kill Goliath, but he is just too big." What about Mary, "God knows deep down I would love to be the virgin mother of Jesus, but my reputation is going to take a beating. It is OK though because God knows my heart". What about Jesus himself? "God knows my heart but now that I think about it, crucifiction while being insulted and spit at, can't do it."

There comes a point in time when we need to realize God DOES know our hearts. He also knows our potential in Him and He knows what hinders us. Sometimes we need to fight the good fight of faith. Scripture tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). So knowing about faith and acting in faith are two very different things! Pastor Jim Cymbala in his book "Fresh Faith" says we only have as much of God as our faith permits. The promises of God are appropriated only by faith. He states that God is looking for people who will take Him at His Word no matter what the circumstances. Anyone in the bible that experienced the mighty hand of God ACTED on faith.

Don't use "God knows my heart" as an excuse not to step out in faith. Chances are God will allow more circumstances to show YOU the heart that He knows you really have. James 1:6-8 says that we should believe in God and not doubt or we are like a wave in the sea being tossed about. That man will not receive because he is double minded and unstable in all he does. Make the decision to align your head and your heart to grasp God's Word today!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

You Have to Start Somewhere

My very audio/visual technically talented brother would be proud of me! I am an official "blogger" . Why is my face so big over to the right.....yikes. I will need help w/ that....minimizing I mean...can't do much w/ what God gave me :)

Thanks to some great encouragers especially my husband this blog is here. Because some people think I have a neat perspective on things and because I think WAY TO MUCH I can now share my thoughts here!

My purpose is to share my life as a wife and mom of 3 great kids while applying God's promises to my circumstances. I made a decision along time ago to choose what God says regardless of what a situation looks like. So I hope that this will encourage you to Trust in God no matter what!

For more info on what Rise Above Ministry is all about check out We take prayer requests, you can read a shortened version of my testimony and learn how to replace your negative thinking with the words of a very positive God!!

I look forward to sharing life with you!