Thursday, April 29, 2010


Reading through the Old Testament again this year. I am so struck by the spiritual battle to keep those Israelites on the right path.

I have that same heart - struggling to constantly remember all that God has done and stay focused on Him. As I look at my children, I wonder what I have done to reveal God to them and make them know and experience Him.

Remembering seems to be where the battle is spiritually:

And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua,
and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua,
who had seen all the great work that the LORD had done
for Israel.
Judges 2:7

The generation that saw the works of the Lord followed Him. Those that came after sought after idols and left the Lord.

How do we make God relevant to our children? My children have heard about the Lord since they were small and have chosen to commit themselves to the faith. I am praying this morning about ways to let them experience Him for themselves.

What do you think? Tell me what this looks like in your family with your children.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Teens and Social Media

How many US teens have a social media page? Would you guess 30%, 50% or 75%? You may be surprised.

I found out in this fascinating read on a study done by the Kaiser Foundation on how teens use social media. This study covers three waves of studies done over a ten year period, 1999-2009. You'll be surprised. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chainsaw Angels

Angels unaware--the Bible says we encounter them. Today we had two angels show up at our house--and we were fully aware that God sent them.

Last night a storm rolled through our neighborhood at 3 am. We awoke to a yard that resembled Armageddon. Four large trees lay roots up entangled in electrical lines. A huge splintered trunk blocked our country lane. Only on foot could you leave our yard;cars could not get through.

I used my iphone to post pictures of storm damage on facebook and check with friends to see how they fared. Soon after, a man from our church's home group called. "How would you like some help clearing your road?"

Did you know angels drive shiny red trucks? One rolled up to our home soon after. Out came two of our care group members, a chainsaw and food from Dairy Queen. In no time the road was clear again, our bellies were full and my heart was singing.

Thank you, Lord, for the Body of Christ. Thank you for chainsaw angels!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Visit with Francine Rivers

Today we have guest, Francine Rivers. I am delighted to have her share her testimony and information about her newly released book, Her Mother's Hope.

Can you tell us something about your Christian testimony?

I was reared in a Christian home. My parents were active in church, my father an elder, my mother a deaconess. I attended Christian summer camps, youth group and said grace at every meal. I thought being born into a Christian family and raised in the faith made me a Christian. It didn’t. Each person makes their own choice, and it took me years to surrender to Jesus – not until after I’d gone through college, married, had children and started a writing career.

Rick and I went to church, but came away dissatisfied and knowing there must be something more. We both had personal issues that brought us close to divorce several times. We wanted our own way and to have control over our own lives. Having control is an illusion. As a child, I’d asked Jesus to be my Savior. What I didn’t understand is I needed to surrender my life to Him and allow Him to be LORD of my life as well.

Our marriage was on the verge of collapse when Rick started his own business. We moved to northern California to be closer to family. We made many outer changes, but no change of the heart. As we moved into our rental house, a little boy came over to help and said, “Have I got a church for you!” We weren’t ready to listen. The lady on the other side of our fence also invited us to the same church.

Out of desperation, I went a few weeks later. It was my first experience with “expository teaching.” The pastor taught straight out of the Bible, explaining the historical context, what the scriptures were saying, and what they had to do with me in the present. I drank it in! I took my three children to church. They loved it.

Rick resisted (after having a somewhat disheartening experience with a denominational church in Southern California). I asked the pastor if he would be willing to teach a home Bible study. He agreed -- if Rick agreed, which he did.
Studying the Bible changed our lives. Our hearts and minds opened to Christ. We both accepted Jesus as Savior and LORD and were baptized in May 1986. Since then, God has been changing our lives from the inside out. The Lord also healed our marriage. We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this year.

What is your goal or mission as a Christian writer?

I want to whet the appetite for the real thing: the Bible and a personal relationship with Jesus. I try to weave Scripture throughout the story so people receive the Word and see what it might mean in their lives – how the Lord is present and real and passionately interested in each of us. He is not an idea. He is real, all-powerful, all-knowing, the embodiment of love, deeply involved in our existence, and He created each of us for a purpose.

Tell us about your current work.

I have just completed the second in a set of two books about mother-daughter relationship over four generations. This was intended to be one long novel dealing with the different ways generations have lived out their faith – but became so long it needed to be divided. Her Mother’s Hope was released on March 16, 2010. Her Daughter’s Dream will follow in September. There are numerous family and personal details woven into both books and I plan to share those things on my blog. You may find out more about my new book and more by visiting my web site at

PLEASE NOTE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.

A+ for "Her Mother's Hope"

My son saw the open package on the kitchen counter. My copy of Francine River's newest book, Her Mother's Hope, lay in the wrappings.

When he heard that I was chosen to review her book and post an interview with Francine on my blog, he somehow got a little confused on the meaning of "review."

"Cool! So do you get to highlight it and mark it up with a pen and send it back to her ?"

"No!" I was horrified at the thought. Then I realized that he thought I was to review it like I graded and reviewed his homeschool papers.

I did read Francine River's new book and it gets an A+. The only markings in the book are my favorite parts. Don't wait -- get your copy. You'll love it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Arts and Crafts

I always kept a treasure trove of art supplies available for my children when they were little. Construction paper, glue, colors, pipe cleaners, tape, water color paints and stickers were kept down low and readily accessible. My young ones never had to ask--they were free to create. No, they were invited and encouraged to create.

My children made jewelery, flowers, notes, animals and the list had no end. One morning when I was too busy to pay close attention to my son, he pulled out the whole stack of black construction paper.

I was aware that he was quite busy tearing and gluing. Finally I noticed him standing on tip-toe grabbing the stapler off of the desk. I spun around to find him stapling a long black Zorro cape to his t-shirt. A hand torn, glued black mask tilted askew over one eye. Zorro--what a wholesome role model.

I'm sure times have changed. Some of your children probably create on the computer. I've seen commercials for those crayola markers that only mark on the paper--not the carpet of couch. Wish I'd had these when my kids were little. I'll have to invest in these new things for my grandchildren some day soon.

What is your child's most unique artistic creation? Post a picture on the fan page!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bread of Angels

Yet he gave a command
to the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
He rained down manna
for the people to eat,
He gave them the grain of heaven.
Men ate the bread of angels;
he sent them all the food they could eat.
Psalms 78: 23-24

What a picture of abundance! He also poured forth water from a rock in the middle of the dry dessert. He dropped quail at their tent openings--they didn't even have to hunt for it. Their clothes and shoes didn't wear out for 40 years as they wandered the wilderness.

God did all of this for the Israelites in the Old Testament. God still provides today. I love this modern day story of God's provision.

My friends are missionaries in the desert of an African nation. The husband works in a hospital. Years ago the Muslim government begrudgingly gave the Christian medical missionary group some land to build a facility. They didn't exactly give them prime property--just sand in the middle of nowhere.

The group accepted the land and began to build a hospital and drill for water. God is full of surprises in His provision. As the workers drilled down they hit a huge underground aquifer. This land in the middle of the desert, off the beaten path was in the prime location with God's provision of water beneath.

Do you have a need? God is in the business of giving good things to His children. In fact, He can open the doors of heaven--or the depths of the Earth--to provide.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Word of Instruction

As a parent, you've probably been at the end of your rope with your children's sibling rivalry. Today was just such a day.

I listened to my teenage son and daughter argue about washing the dishes, putting away the groceries, emptying the trash and feeding the dogs. Unlike the first two daughters I have taken a different approach with my last two children. I don't jump into the middle of every disagreement. I wait to let them work things out.

Not today. The verbal barbs continued. I finally raised my voice, "Stop!" I doled out the punishment, time out from Facebook until you give some thought to your part in this argument AND bring me a verse from the Bible that pertains to what happened. What can you learn to improve this behavior for the future?

My son appeared first with his Bible in hand. He stood before me, stiff and formal, his Bible raised in front of his face.


"Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men (sisters);
protect me from men (sisters) of violence,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's;
the poison of vipers is on their lips. "

Psalm 140:1-2

His twinkling eyes peered around his book followed by a mischievous grin. "Just kidding!"

He did end up with a pretty good verse and a heartfelt lesson. I wonder if God was chuckling, like I was, when Ryan read his verse from Psalm 140.

Garden Warrior

Each spring I can't wait to start working in my gardens. Forget the veggies; I am strictly a flower gardener. Winter might find me growing ornamental kale but that is the closest that I get to anything that might be served on a plate.

As I begin working the soil in my beds, I use my trowel and sift through the dirt. I break up hard clumps and work in the compost and fertilizer pellets.

When my son was four he wandered over to where I was "playing in the dirt." He often heard me say, "stay out of the dirt," on Sunday mornings or other times that we were dressed up and headed out the door for town. To see me actually down on all fours getting very messy was a thrill to my son.

As I dug through the soil, I found grubs. I always made a point of removing them from the beds and killing them. I explained to my son that these were the enemy of my plants. They could chew the roots and kill the beautiful flowers.

Ah! Now this was a gardening task my son could get into. He decided to become my garden warrior. He would protect me and my flowers from the enemy grubs.

My son had me line the grubs up on the stone edging and he would whack them with his sword /stick, putting and end to my grub/dragon.

After a few blows had been dealt, I asked my boy warrior if he had killed the grubs. He peered intently at the grubs. "Nawww," he drawled, "but they are a lot thinner than they used to be."

Perhaps his stick could be marketed as a dieting plan.