Living Our Glory Days

Glory Days

Our pastor has been preaching on the book of Exodus for quite a while. It’s been a 13-week message covering many different lessons learned through the story of the Israelites.

I find that I can relate to so many parts of the Exodus story. One of the greatest biblical figures of all time, Moses for instance. Moses argued with God about his inadequacy. Sounds like me… 

But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” – Exodus 4:10

Ahem, hello. Hi, yes me too. Not a good speaker. That’s me.

I relate to the fact that Moses didn’t consider himself good enough for the job God was calling him to do.

What I love about this story most is what God says next…

Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”- Exodus 4:11-12

God says that HE made his very mouth! He didn’t intend to make Moses do it alone. He said that he would tell him everything he needed to say. Even still, there was a”but”…

But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” – Exodus 4:13

God doesn’t care about our “buts”. God turns our “buts” into “yes sirs”. He takes our discouragements and turns them into courage.


He told Moses that He would be there the whole way, even giving him help from his brother, Aaron. 

I can also relate to the Israelites. They worried constantly, didn’t they?

Will there be enough food?
Can we trust that we’ll find our way?
Even though God has done miracles for us before, can He really do more?

At the end of our pastor’s sermon series, the big question of why was answered. Why did the Israelites go through all they went through? Why did God choose a people that would rebel and continuously lead them back to Himself even though they worshiped other gods?

I couldn’t help but think it was a simple answer. But it’s the answer to anything and everything that God does. And the answer why we should do everything that we do.

For God’s GLORY.

When we live our lives like Christ.
When we stop feeling inadequate, as if God can’t use us.
When we stop our worry and simply trust.
When we leave Egypt and the wilderness in the dust.

Only then can we enter our Promised Land where our exodus will finally end.

These are our Glory Days. 

This is where we live to glorify God.


Glory Days Book

How the review of this book and the end of our pastor’s sermon lined up so well is beyond me. God had this planned the whole time. Family Christian gave me a chance to read Max Lucado’s newest book, Glory Days. You know I’m a Max fanatic. This book didn’t disappoint. (It’s pretty too!)

Glory Days is full of subject matter for the very things that I mentioned above. If you find yourself as a wandering, worrying Israelite, you will find encouragement among the pages of this book. 

Ever studied the book of Joshua before? No worries if you haven’t. Just read this book! Max Lucado breaks down the many stories of Joshua and the leading of his people with God’s help. My favorite chapter of this one is Chapter 13- You Be You. The entire book is jam-packed with wisdom. It’s all about learning to live out our inheritance!

Win A $10 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate


$10 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate Giveaway

This giveaway will end on October 12th, at 11:59pm CT. I will contact the winner and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them, I will name a new winner.

This book was provided for review purposes by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

You’ll Get Through This {A Cake Story}

Making Cake

If I only had a dime for every time that I heard someone tell me that “it’s going to be ok”. I would be filthy rich and I really would be doing alright wouldn’t I? It’s easier said than done. That person on the other side of your personal trial declaring that everything is going to end up fine. Thanks person. If only you were where I was.

I once offered to make a friend’s wedding cake. I had made one before. It just totally stressed me out so I didn’t make them often. So why did I offer to make this one? I think that it must be because I’m a glutton for punishment.

I was ahead of schedule with this cake the week of the wedding. So much, in fact, that I questioned why I ever hesitated to do more wedding cakes. The day of the wedding came and I was whipping buttercream and frosting those bad boys like a pro. I was feeling so confident.

Then it came time to roll out the fondant and over each tier. Mind you, this is my least favorite part of making a cake. I was kneading. I was rolling. I was ripping. Wait, I was WHAT?! The fondant melts, rips, and falls apart as if I’ve just been plucked from my kitchen and placed in a sauna to make this cake. I had not even considered the simmering 92 degree heat that day having an effect on the fondant.

I panicked. 

My heart is racing. There are only TWO hours until I have to deliver this cake and it isn’t covered in fondant. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to live to see another day at the rate of which my mental meltdown was happening. I was now on the floor screaming the phrase “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO” over and over with tears running down my face. My husband walks in, grabs my shoulders, and proclaims “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK!”. 

Yeah right.

He then tells me that he is going to the store to purchase new fondant and that we are going to get this done together.

I want to make a point here. Here I am in the present looking back on this cake story and thinking about how truly awful that day was. Horrific, just terrible. But do you know something? Everything was ok.

I made it through. 

I thought life itself was over that day. God has a way of taking end-of-the-world moments and turning them into good, doesn’t He? It’s not always something we see in the midst of the storm, but that we look back from a place of resolution and see. Times are hard. Trials are rough, but Jesus calms the waves. When we come out on the other side of that trial we see where Jesus’s hand was.


Like for instance, the day I made this cake. After my crisis ended and I was able to deliver the cake (covered in fondant- hubby to the rescue!), not a single person had any idea that it was different fondant and that I had such a hard time. The cake was a hit and tasted wonderful! I see how God got me through those last couple of hours. I see now that He wanted me to go through that in order to look back on it now and know that even in the roughest times, He got me through. I obviously didn’t have the strength or mental state to get through it on my own.

This goes for any trial or tribulation that you may go through. Job loss, financial troubles, health problems, marital problems, you name it. It can seem so dark at times with no way out. God pulls us through these very situations so that we can see how He has rescued us and then remember it for the next storm.

John 16:33 says, I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. God never says that tribulations are easy. He says that we are going to have tribulation (or terrible experiences making a wedding cake). But the very same God that overcame the world through his son, Jesus is here to help you get through your stuff. Can I get an Amen to that?

You, my friend, will get through it.

By the way, if you’re ever considering, oh I don’t know, offering to make a wedding cake for a friend in 92 degree heat: be sure that you do a trial run to see if your fondant is going to hold up in that heat. Or even better, opt for no fondant. Ummm kay?


Youll Get Through This 3

I read another Max Lucado book. (No real surprise there, eh?) It’s so good. Talk about tribulations. This book is called You’ll Get Through This and I think it’s one of my favorites of his. Full of stories of trials throughout the Bible, Max Lucado does a great job reminding the reader of ways that God does and can turn evil to good. 

Youll Get Through This 4

This book is encouraging, especially for those currently going through their own storms. The first time I read this book I was struggling with some serious things and it comforted me. It really did. 

The one thing that he says over and over in this book is this:

You’ll get through this.

It won’t be painless.

It won’t be quick.

But God will use this mess for good.

Don’t be foolish or naive.

But don’t despair either.

With God’s help, you’ll get through this.

I may have despaired just a teensy bit in that cake trial. Ok, maybe more like a whole lot. We don’t have to despair. God has got this. We can lean on the promises that we find all throughout the Bible.

Youll Get Through This 1

You can get You’ll Get Through This at Family Christian online or at your local store!



I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Savor: A Devotional For Living Abundantly

Savor 1

I was pretty excited when Family Christian asked me to review a brand new devotional that recently came out. Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist came out in March and I heard great things about it. So I set out to get my hands on a copy and to my surprise (sorta), they were out at my local store. Next thing I knew, I received this opportunity to review it and of course I said YES!

Savor 2

A few things I want to point out about this devotional:

1) It is simple. This isn’t a super deep, studying, and very involved devo. Shauna is to the point sharing her heart through her stories.

2) It makes you think. It may be simple, but there is still time for reflection. The Bible verses and thought-provoking questions are great for helping you to relate each daily reading to your walk with God.

3) It is real. My favorite part of every day is reading Shauna’s experiences. Some make me laugh. Some make me cry. But they are all accessible and remind me that we’re all human. They truly are encouraging.

4) It has recipes too! I loved coming across all the recipes. Each one had a little story to go along with is so you know that it is a Shauna favorite.

This is a great devotional for daily encouragement. We all need this daily. It is all about living abundantly where you are, as you are. Spending this time each day in God’s presence and reflecting on His love for you and your walk with Him is so very important.

I am thankful for resource like this one!

You can get Savor by Shauna Niequist at Family Christian right now for $16.99. Or you can enter my giveaway and get a copy for free!

 Savor 3

Savor Devotional by Shauna Niequist Giveaway

Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are Giveaway

I was provided with a copy of Savor by Family Christian for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

This giveaway will end on Thursday, June 18th at 11:59pm CT. I will contact the winner on Friday, the 19th and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them, I will name a new winner. US entries only.

Let The Journey Begin

Let The Journey Begin

It’s hard to believe that I graduated from high school 12 years ago. Wow does that make me feel old!

It feels like it was just yesterday. It was such an exciting time!

13 years of school was about to come to an end. I felt like such an adult all dressed up in my cap and gown.

Isn’t it funny how much more life there is to be had after graduation? I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was just the beginning. Each year another chance to learn and grow into the person that God made me to be.

I remember thinking that I already had life figured out. And in the last 12 years, God has shown me that I, in fact, do not have it figured out. That I will constantly need His help to get through each and every trial and tribulation.

Sometimes, I wish that I could go back in time and tell myself things that I know now.

You know what though? I am thankful to look back over those years during my journey so far and see where God has been there helping me every step of the way. I see His mark in so many places and though I had no idea what I was doing, God did.


Let the Journey Begin

Max Lucado has a book for every season of life I have decided. He didn’t forget the graduates! I got the chance to check out Let the Journey Begin which makes a great gift for those who have just walked across that stage for their diploma.

It is chocked full of quotes, scriptures, inspirations, and encouragements for those setting out on a new journey. They are excerpts from Max Lucado’s other books that are so full of wisdom.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “You will never forgive anyone more than God has forgiven you.” So. good.

This is one of those books that makes for an easy devotional in the morning or just a quick pick me up when you need some direction. PERFECT for your graduate. I would have LOVED to get this book when I graduated.

Family Christian is a great place to pick this one up. Let The Journey Begin is $14.99 right now. You could get this as a graduation gift or even just as a little something to slip into their things as they pack up for college. A great reminder that God is with them everywhere they go.

Enjoy and God bless!

I was provided with a copy of Let the Journey Begin by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe



Max Lucado, my favorite encouraging Christian author surprised me recently with a new book. I have found so much comfort and healing among the pages of his powerful writings. So of course I wanted to hear about this new one.

This is not just any book, but a novel. How’s that for a little twist in your Max Lucado collection? I have read some of his children’s books that were fiction, but I’ve never seen him write a novel.

Family Christian sent me a copy of Miracle at the Higher Ground Cafe to check out. The cover itself being different from what I’m used to, (very cute!), but the story line brings out everything that I would expect of Max.

The setting? An old-fashioned coffee shop with the newness of its grand reopening.
The characters? Interesting and charming at the same time.
The story? A heartwarming one that features the main character, Chelsea’s struggles as a single mom and coffee shop owner, and the help of her guardian angel, Manny which we may never have seen coming.

She wants to revamp the coffee shop and when other methods (ahem- even cupcakes) don’t work, the cafe begins offering internet to draw new customers. Boy did that change things! A mysterious blog comes up and allows the patrons to ask God anything and receive actual answers. Wouldn’t that be nice!

Miracle 2

If you’re a Max fan like me, be sure to check out Miracle at the Higher Ground Cafe for yourself! The chapters are short and the cover is pretty. Not to mention that there is a lot of talk about lattes and God! French Vanilla with whip and yes please!

You can get this one written by Max Lucado with Candace Lee and Eric Newman at Family Christian. Stop by and check it out!

I was provided with a copy of Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe for review purposes by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Grasping Easter On Calvary’s Hill

Over the last few years I’ve felt a tug on my heart around Easter. Not the usual tug of simple remembrance, but a real tug like God wanted me to know something.

I’ve known the meaning of Easter for as long as I can remember. I’ve gone through the motions, but it’s only been recently that I felt God seem to say, “I want you to hear my son’s story. I want you to feel deep compassion for Christ who came to save your life on the cross.”

I have watched The Passion of The Christ many times. It’s pretty easy to see those scenes and to think, “Wow this is terrible. Oh my goodness. Lord have mercy on him.” etc. But I really wanted to get into the word and into the things that Jesus said and did leading up to and during his Crucifixion and also when he rose again in glorious victory.

As painful as it was, it was supposed to happen.

Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed! We—every one of us—have strayed away like sheep! We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us! – Isaiah 53:4-6

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

It was God’s will that his son die for our sins. It was this way from the beginning. It’s hard to believe that the purpose of one’s life would be to die, but we NOW know that he didn’t die and that he LIVES! So thankful for his Spirit living inside me.

The devil must really have been laughing to himself as this went down, but you know I think God was probably snickering himself. This terrible scene lead to the salvation of the WORLD. Hallelujah!

Even Jesus feared.

How human does this make our Savior! I’m not the only one…

 He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to be filled with horror and deepest distress. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is crushed by sorrow to the point of death; stay here and watch with me.” 35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the awful hour awaiting him might never come. 36 “Father, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take away this cup from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” – Mark 14: 33-26

He walked away, perhaps a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed this prayer: “Father, if you are willing, please take away this cup of horror from me. But I want your will, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him, 44 for he was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with great drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly. – Luke 22:41-42

Jesus wanted the fear and impending circumstances to go away if it was God’s will. He feared so much he sweat blood. I have been in some serious fear before, but never sweat blood. His was completely warranted I would say.

I love that he said “I want your will, not mine”. Thank you God!

This is how much he loved us.

A man that loved a broken world, DIED for us so that we may live. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. When we’re wallowing in lack of self-worth we should always remember that there is One who loves us so very much that He sent his only son to die for us. 

With Easter coming up, let’s really try to grasp this.

And let’s also grasp the JOY that came with the Resurrection of that same selfless man! He is alive! Not even DEATH could hold down the Savior. He overcame so that each and every one of us can overcome.

I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

I adore this verse. Makes me think of Jesus as saying, “Hey, you’re gonna go through some crap, but don’t lose heart, I’ve overcome the worst for you!”

On Calvarys Hill 2

If you’re really wanting some great reading leading up to Easter this year, I have just the thing for you. My favorite author, Max Lucado has a great little companion for getting into the season. On Calvary’s Hill is 40 readings for the Easter Season.

It’s a compilation from several of his books that relate to Easter and what happened to Jesus during this time. It has got some really great stories and goes into pretty much every aspect of the Crucifixion and Resurrection story. But with an awesome Max Lucado twist, of course.

I especially love that it’s excerpts from so many of his awesome books. Put together they tell the incredible and redeeming story of Jesus Christ.

It’s goooooood stuff y’all. I’ve been trying to read one per day leading up to Easter Sunday.

On Calvarys Hill 1

You can get a copy of One Calvary’s Hill by Max Lucado at Family Christian for $9.99! Makes a fantastic gift idea.

OR you could win the $10 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate and buy your own copy! Enter my giveaway below.

$10 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate Giveaway

This giveaway will end on March 25th, 2015 at 11:59pm CT. I was given a copy of this book for review purposes by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Out of the Heart the Mouth Speaks

Out of the


I’m a fantastic listener. It’s a good thing that people like to talk to me. I can sit for hours and let folks unload their verbal baggage on me. That’s an imperative part of being a friend, sibling, spouse, and even parent. People like be heard. It’s a good thing that I like to listen.

The problem that I have isn’t with listening. No, my problem is speaking.

I’ll admit that it’s an issue of mine mostly around those that I’m closest to. My family.

Let me be real honest with you. My husband, bless him, tends to get the brunt of my words. And when you live with someone, your filter can wear a little thin. I won’t lie to you, there are times when I say things to my husband and almost immediately I think why did I have to say that? Perhaps my honesty with him is less filtered because I know he isn’t going anywhere. Even still, our spouses deserve the same respect that we show others.

God has really been ministering to me about my speaking the last few months. I read an article recently that said that every day we say enough words to write 50-60 pages in a book. In an entire year, we could author 264 books with at least 200 pages. If your books went on sale right now at Barnes and Noble, would you stand behind the words written in them?

I would burn some of mine.

Words are powerful. What you say and what you don’t say matters.

Matthew 6:45 says …for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If within our hearts we only want to build others up, our words will reflect that. If we say unkind things, we may have a heart issue. The point is to fight the urge to let our hearts become hard and say those things that do build others up. It’s not easy every time. Our flesh and inherent sinful nature will always be resistance, but we can choose to hit the override button and say only things in truth. 

Jesus was all about relationships. Relationships depend heavily on words. Make them good ones. Make them count. Make them uplifting, inspiring, cheerful, heartfelt, motivating, encouraging, truthful words.

Lord I pray for the hearts reading this right now. I pray for you to wash over our hearts and to refresh our spirits with truth. Help us to say only what is good for building others up like you have said in Ephesians 4:29. Give us guidance for when we should speak and when we should be silent. For when we should talk and when we should listen. We pray that you would shine through what we say and that it would bring you glory. 

In Jesus name, 


Keep It Shut

I told you that God has been working on me and my words? He sent the book Keep It Shut to my door. God isn’t always subtle, is he?!

Family Christian sent me this book written by Karen Ehman to review. I gotta say, this one had me reviewing myself more than the book. It challenged me. It really did.

Karen covers pretty much every aspect surrounding the tongue in Keep It Shut: gossip, people-pleasing, truth-telling, social-sharing, manners, motives, lying, listening, and love. It’s all there!

She is funny! She uses the Bible as a model for which to go by. And she addresses such common issues that life throws our way and also how to react with our words. It’s divided into chapters that cover all the different things that I’ve talked about.

In this book, you will find lots of great tips and many great Bible verses.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to work on their words.

You can find Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman at Family Christian….OR you can win it below!

Keep It Shut Giveaway

Keep It Shut Book Giveaway

This giveaway will end on Monday, February 15th at 11:59pm CT. I will randomly select and winner and I will contact them on Monday the 16th and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them, I will randomly select a new winner.

I was provided with Keep It Shut by Family Christian for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook

Baker Illustrated Handbook

The following is a review and post written by my darling husband!


I have been a student of the Bible for about two years and make it a goal to dig deeper into the Word in a variety of ways: through One Year Bible daily Bible reading, Verse by Verse ministries audio Bible during my commute, and learning memory verses.  So I was excited when I was recently asked to review The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook.  This handbook has a load of full-color pages, color photos and illustrations, cool maps and charts, and articles by leading evangelical scholars.  It is intended to help the reader grasp God’s word and understand how each book of the Bible fits together into God’s overarching purpose.  It will help you more effectively interpret the Bible and apply it to your life.  Below are my key takeaways.

This is not a Bible

I thought I would be reviewing a Bible, but I found out pretty quickly once getting into the book of Genesis that I, in fact, was not reviewing a Bible.  Instead, this is a reference guide to the Bible — as indicated in the title, it is a Bible Handbook.  This can be seen as a supplement and guide to reading your Bible, but not a replacement.  I will point out that by the nature of being a summary of the Bible, it is inevitable that certain details are lost in the process.

Bible Handbook

High Level – 50,000 Ft. View

This handbook does a good job of summarizing the Bible.  This would help someone new to the faith or young in the faith to grasp the vision of the overall message of the Bible and to see how the books of the Bible fit together.  Each book of the Bible is almost like a cliffs-notes version of the book.  Some examples of this book that I particularly enjoyed are The Grand Story of the Bible showing how the grand story is summarized into Opening, Problem, Resolution, Climax, and Closing as well as How the Bible is Organized which shows and explains the sections of the Bible (Old Testament: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Psalms, Wisdom Books, Prophets, New Testament: The Gospels, Book of Acts, Letters of Paul, General Letters, and Revelation.)

Baker Handbook

Going Deeper

This handbook also does an excellent job of arranging facts, maps, and charts of information, simplifying what would otherwise be complex.  A great example of this is found in the The Beginning and The End section which gives a chart matching up events in Genesis (“The Beginning”) and Revelation (“The End”) showing how the beginning elements in Genesis find their conclusion in Revelation.  An example would be:  Sinful people are banished from the presence of God in Genesis 3:24; But God lives among his people in Revelation, effectively restoring them to His presence (Revelation 21:3, 7, 22; 22:4.)  Digging deeper, for each book of the Bible, this handbook covers important historical context as well as information on the author of the book, the audience, the heart of the message being communicated, and any interesting / unique facts about the book.  It includes letters from Bible scholars throughout.  It also has Part II and Part III sections which respectively cover How the Bible Came to Be and Digging Deeper into the Bible.


In summary, this is a great and unique companion resource for the Word of God.  It is easy to read and understand and is well organized.  I am excited to own a copy and plan on referencing it.

Grab a copy of The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook for $29.97 at Family Christian right now!

And you might just be able to use this to do it…

$50 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate Giveaway
(can be used in-store and online)


$50 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate
This giveaway will end on December 26th at 11:59pm CT. I will contact the winner on December 27th and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them, I will then name a new winner.
The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook was provided for review purposes by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.