Thursday

Why I Write & Mother's Day Giveaway Package

I received my first royalty check from my publisher recently. 

 $142. 

If you do the math, this averages out to about 75 cents a book. Not even a tithe of the purchase price. After Amazon took its cut, the publisher got theirs (which they shared with my editor), and my agent received his meager share, 142 dollars remained. Did I mention I gave my intern a bonus because she works hard, too? And I tithed on it? 

My husband made me proud that day. Instead of saying, “Are you crazy, woman? What are you thinking?! You could be working a REAL job and earning REAL money,” he said, “Well that’s an unexpected bonus.

I love that man. 

He gets it. 

Not that I wouldn’t someday love to earn an income from my writing, but there’s more to what I do than the bottom line in our bank account. My husband works hard, manual labor to provide for our family, and part of that provision is enabling me to fulfill the calling God has placed upon my life. 

Four years ago, when our youngest daughter’s high school graduation galloped over the hill toward us, we had a talk about what I should do once my tenure as homeschool teacher extraordinaire was complete. The logical option was to work more in my profession—dental hygiene. The other option was to pursue the writing and speaking ministry that was stretching its fledgling wings against the walls of our nest. 

Since we’d now be paying for the education we’d been providing at home, it made sense to seek out a job that would generate income. Duh, right? 

 Only the doors to more dental hygiene work remained closed. Despite almost 30 years of clinical experience. Despite a stellar work history. Despite enthusiastic references. Despite a personal referral. 

But the doors that led to the publishing world were swinging open. My mentor and editor, Sue Duffy, recommended me as her replacement at Reach Out, Columbia magazine—small salary, great ministry. Then my blog, Hungry for God … Starving for Time grew legs and began to walk. No pay, but the chance to share God’s truth with thousands around the world. Then invitations to speak to women’s ministry groups popped up in my email box. Love offerings—oh, I hope they love me. 

The choice was obvious, and my wise, sacrificial, God-loving husband said, “Go for it. God will take care of us.” 

 Have I mentioned that I love that man? 

 Now, four years later, the lights have stayed on, the children are as educated as they want to be, and we’ve even taken a 30th anniversary cruise. I wake up every morning and sit before the Lord, eager and excited about what he wants to teach me. Like receiving a Whitman’s Sampler on Valentine’s Day, I can’t wait to unwrap the gift so I can share it with others.  Take a bite of that one; there’s something good inside. 

There is no greater satisfaction than ministering in the name of the Lord. Every time God uses my humble, imperfect writing to encourage, convict, or challenge someone, my heart sings. The Hanes underwear company’s slogan in the 1990s was Hanes—Makes You Feel Good All Under. Well I’ve got news for you, Mr. Hanes. It isn’t underwear that makes you feel good all under, it’s working with Jesus. 

Thanks for putting up with my nostalgic rambling. It must be my advancing age that’s causing me to wax eloquent. Or maybe it’s humble gratitude that 1 Thessalonians 5:24 is true: 


 “He who calls you is faithful.” 



What about you? Is God nudging you to take a step of faith for him? May I encourage you to step out? I promise—you’ll never regret it. 

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




Just in time for Mother's Day -- a special "Pamper Me" giveaway. Please feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter, and through email. I'd love for one lucky mother to win a gift package that includes a paperback copy of Hungry for God and gift cards to Target, Amazon, Starbucks, and Chick Fil A!



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Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

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May I tell you about my new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women?

 Today's women want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you. 

Wednesday

Special Mother's Day "Simple Indulgences" Giveaway

Just in time for Mother's Day -- a special "Simple Indulgences" giveaway.


I'd love for one lucky mother to win a gift package that includes a paperback copy of Hungry for God and gift cards to Target, Amazon, Starbucks, and Chick Fil A!



Please feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter, and through email.

We'll draw for a winner just in time for 
Mother's Day

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Monday

Remember Your First Crush?

Do you remember the first time you fell IN LOVE? 

I’ll never forget my first major crush. His name was Freddy. He had blue eyes, a sprinkle of freckles across his nose, and curly blonde hair. The fact that he had a really sweet ride didn’t hurt either. 

Because we lived in the same apartment complex and attended the same school, we saw each other every day. It wasn’t long before we were an item. Freddy and Lori sittin’ in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. 

I woke up thinking of him and went to sleep thinking of him. I even dreamed about him. Everyone knew we’d get married one day, but I knew it was serious when he let me drive his Big Wheel. 

Our relationship ended when I moved away in third grade. I cried for weeks. 

I thought about Freddy today when I read Psalm 40. A psalm of David, this beautiful, poetic psalm describes God’s glorious redemption of sinful man. What caught my eye, however, and sparked a trip down memory lane, were the following lines.

Describing God, David writes, 


“Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to you in order. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (v. 5). 

If you’ve ever wondered what God thinks about, here’s your answer—He thinks about US! 




Not only thinks about us, but thinks about us all the time. Like a schoolgirl crush on a cute boy, God is enamored with us, besotted with us, and captivated by us. Thoughts of us fill his days and crowd his nights. He studies us, knows us better than we know ourselves, and eagerly wants to spend time with us. He loves bestowing gifts on us and thinking of ways to bless us. 

But he will never move away. He is committed to us FOREVER. 

How does it make you feel to realize that the almighty God of the universe thinks about you all day long? For me, it’s a very humbling thought. As my former pastor often says of God’s love, “I can't earn it. I don’t deserve it, but I am humbly grateful.” 

And gratitude, I think, is the appropriate response.Will you join me in prayer today?

“O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?” We don’t deserve to be in the center of your thoughts today, yet we are. I don’t know why you love us, but you do. Somehow, Lord, make us men and women who make you smile every time you think of us. Accept our love and gratitude this day, and help us tell others “how great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.”


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I'm so excited to tell you that Hungry for God is now listed among the 100 Top Faith Blogs for Christian Women on Women's Bible Cafe. Thank you, readers, for your nominations and votes of confidence.








Upcoming Event:
Praying with Power Women's Conference May 9, 2015
Hosted by Good Shepherd UM Parish in Brookville, PA

Session 1: Why Pray?
If God's going to do what God's going to do, why bother praying? Does it really work? The answer is YES, and this session will show you why.
Session 2: How to Pray
If you find yourself bored, distracted, or repetitive when you pray, you'll love creating your own personalized prayer journal.
Session 3: What to Pray
This session will show you how to discover God's dreams, desires, and power for your life.
Session 4: What Happens When We Pray
Is your spiritual life dull, dry, and lacking excitement? This session will show you how prayer can energize your faith and help you fall more in love with God.

For more information or to register, contact Lori Henderson (navymomkt@gmail.com) or Kathy Shaffer (flokat1990@gmail.com).

If you live within driving distance of Brookville, I'd love to see you there. Too far away? Invite me to come to your church or women's ministry event. Click here for my speaking information.



If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.



Delivered by FeedBurner



May I tell you about my new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women?

 Today's women want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you. 

Thursday

It's Great to Be Adopted

I celebrated my birthday recently, but my friend Melanie celebrated an equally special day—her adoption day.


Like a birthday only better, her celebration marked the day her parents chose her. She knows her position in their family came about because two people deeply desired her. They were willing to sacrifice to bring her into their family. They chose to pursue her, open their hearts to her, and give her their name.

Some of you know our family also has an adopted child. His name is Winston. Winston’s birthday is somewhere in mid-December, but his adoption day is March 26, my birthday. I tell him he’s the best birthday gift I’ve ever received, because I know he came from the Lord.

Several years before we adopted Winston, we had lost our 17-year-old “firstborn.” The only member of the family with brown eyes like me, Polly was a buff Cocker Spaniel with silky fur and a tiny stub of a tail. Her death left a gaping hole in our family, and we knew we needed another pet.

Instead of purchasing a dog from a breeder, we chose to pursue a rescue. Like many adoptive parents, we researched the best adoption (rescue) agencies. We carefully filled out an application, submitted letters of reference, and agreed to a home visit. Then I spent hours poring over picture after picture of adoptive dogs. The details overwhelmed me, and I finally cried out to the Lord.

Lord, if we’re going to adopt, I need you to send the puppy to us. May I please have a girl dog, because I can’t stand that leg-hiking thing? And if she could have a coat that doesn’t require much grooming, that would be wonderful. I loved Polly’s sweet Cocker Spaniel face and ears, and her easy-going disposition worked well with our family. And would you please send one big enough to take long walks together? Thank you, Amen. 

I prayed, and God, through my sister, worked. An email popped up in my mailbox one Sunday afternoon. “If you don’t look at any others,” it said, “look at the first one.” She had attached ten pictures.


This is similar to the first picture I saw.

A Cocker Spaniel/Irish Setter mix, Winston has the face of a Cocker, the smooth coat of a setter, loves to take long walks, has an easy-going disposition, and, though he’s not a girl dog, almost never hikes his leg.

He is a precious and beloved member of our family, and I know he is a perfectly chosen gift from God to us.

My friend Melanie will tell you that there’s something very special about being chosen. If Winston could talk, I think he’d agree.

This is why, when I read in Ephesians 1:4-5 how God chose us to be adopted as his children, I feel pretty special, too.

“For he chose us in him . . . In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

He sought me. He bought me. He wanted me. He welcomed me into his family, and he is my forever Father. He is yours, too, if you’ve trusted him as your Savior.

By law in every state in the union, a parent may never disown his adoptive child. It is a forever contract. Parents may disown their biological children, but adoptive children are theirs forever. So it is with Christ. When we are adopted into his family, it is forever.

 Doesn’t this make you feel special? Cared for? Secure? Loved?

If you’re struggling today, I pray the words of Ephesians 1 will remind you how much God loves you, what great lengths he went to adopt you, and how secure you are as his child.

If you haven’t yet experienced the joy of adoption, I encourage you to click here to read more about how to become part of God’s forever family.

As Melanie, Winston, and I say, “It’s GREAT to be adopted.”




You want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you.



If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.



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Hungry for God is on Facebook! Will you take a moment and LIKE my page? CLICK HERE to help HFG share 5-minute devotions.
 

 

 

Monday

Do You Have Spiritual Alzheimer's?

For the life of me, I couldn’t remember where I’d put the stamped envelopes my husband asked me to address. “They were right here on the counter,” I said in frustration, “but I moved them when I cleaned before the party.” 

And that check. Did I deposit it or just think about depositing it? 

And how many times have I gone to the back of the house to get something only to forget what I went there to get? 

I see you nodding your head, because, if you’re busy and over 40, you’ve done the same things. We’re overextended and trying to do too many things at once. 

And it’s not a new problem. My grandmother used to say, “I’d forget my head if it wasn’t sewn on.” I know the feeling. 

In an article titled “10 Early Signs of Alzheimers,” The Alzheimer’s Association states, “One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.” 

Thankfully, the other nine signs are not a regular part of my life . . . at least I don’t remember that they are. . . . 

I don’t have physical Alzheimer’s, but I am often plagued with SPIRITUAL Alzheimer’s. I suspect you might be, too. 

I forget how God saved me, and how he transforms me. 

I forget the thousand prayers God has answered. I forget how, for over 30 years, God has met my family’s needs. 

I forget how God provided scholarships, grants, and anonymous donors to provide for four college educations. 

I forget how God has protected my family in cars, planes, and trains. In the United States and out of the United States. On land, on sea, and in the air. 

I forget how God has been with us as we rejoiced at the birth of babies and wept at the death of saints. 

Spiritual Alzheimer’s—do you have it, too? 

People with physical Alzheimer’s are fearful and anxious. They question their caregivers and struggle with trust. They fail to seek help and often panic in uncertain situations. People with spiritual Alzheimer’s are also fearful and anxious. We question our Father and struggle to trust him. We fail to come to him for help and instead panic when new challenges enter our lives. 

Perhaps this is why, every year at Passover, for thousands of years, Jewish fathers have retold the story of God’s deliverance, care, and provision for the children of Israel. 

Remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,” Moses reminded the Israelites. 

“You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out” (Deut. 7:18-19). 

“Remember well.”

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years” (8:2).

“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God . . . Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 

“He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ 

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant” (12-18). 

If you’re struggling with uncertainty and fear today, perhaps you’re suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s. 

I have good news for you. 

There is a cure: Remember what the Lord your God has done for you. 

Would you like to remember well what the Lord has done for you? Why not begin by leaving a comment? Maybe your comment will help someone else remember.


Upcoming Event:
Praying with Power Women's Conference May 9, 2015
Hosted by Good Shepherd UM Parish in Brookville, PA

Session 1: Why Pray?
If God's going to do what God's going to do, why bother praying? Does it really work? The answer is YES, and this session will show you why.
Session 2: How to Pray
If you find yourself bored, distracted, or repetitive when you pray, you'll love creating your own personalized prayer journal.
Session 3: What to Pray
This session will show you how to discover God's dreams, desires, and power for your life.
Session 4: What Happens When We Pray
Is your spiritual life dull, dry, and lacking excitement? This session will show you how prayer can energize your faith and help you fall more in love with God.

For more information or to register, contact Lori Henderson (navymomkt@gmail.com) or Kathy Shaffer (flokat1990@gmail.com).

If you live within driving distance of Brookville, I'd love to see you there. Too far away? Invite me to come to your church or women's ministry event. Click here for my speaking information.


If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.



Delivered by FeedBurner