Sunday, June 30, 2013

Because I Love You

I wasted too many years. Plain and simple, I just wasted them. Having grown up in a very controlling, intimidating home, I grew up being a scaredy cat. couldn't do anything right, yet everything was my fault, yet I never knew exactly what I did that made my family so mad! I lived in constant fear of making someone mad at me. When I married my husband, I just slid him into the role my family played in my mental and emotional state. I automatically thought that he would be the same way. He was not, is not, and never has been, yet I did not realize that.

didn't realize it until God healed me…twenty-nine years later. Why did it take so long? Why didn't God just “zap” me into healing right then and there? I wasn't ready. I had to get to a place where I knew what was causing my continual fear, anxiety, panic, and depression. I had to get to a place where I knew I had been mentally and emotionally manipulated and intimidated into being controlled. The sad thing is…I was blindsided. I actually thought this was normal, yet somehow wondering how it could be so. Talk about confusion.

You see, even though I had trusted Jesus to save me thirty years beforehand, I had no idea that God had big plans for me. I didn't know that He had prepared me for, and instilled in me some great things. I still feared the people who raised me, the people whom I was supposed to be able to trust with my very life. I feared they would not approve of my life change. I even feared other people, that they wouldn't approve. I lived in a constant state of fear and intimidation.

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. ~Ephesians 2:10

But I had my priorities backwards. I loved my husband, still do, but I was still afraid to step out into our married life together for fear of what my family would say or do. Oh, my family allowed me to marry. But I couldn't leave. I was living in a real-life “Hotel California” situation; "You can check out any time you like... but you can never leave!" I was living in continual intimidation, and that is not real living. 

God didn't want me to stay that way though. Instead, He gave me a loving, understanding, supportive husband. God instilled in him all the patience and love that I needed to help me to grow and learn, to get me to the place where my light bulb came on and I realized, “Hey! I want to be healed!” The night that happened there was a shift in my existence. God became more real, He became more of my life, and He turned me completely around.

It was then that I realized how much time I wasted with worry and fear. I went, tearfully, humbly, and repentant to my husband and said, “I’m so sorry! How could you put up with me for so long? Why didn't you ever say anything?” His reply? “Because I love you.”

Because I love you

He loved me so much that he willingly sacrificed to help build me up to a point where I was able to function again both mentally and emotionally, which caused me to be able to function spiritually. This is also how God is. God loves us so much that He willingly sacrificed His only Son so that we could have life, and have such a life more abundantly than we could imagine! If we will only trust Him.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. ~John 10:10

My husband loved me enough to help me. God loves me enough to help me. God loves you enough to help you, too! He loves you, plain and simple. He loves you right where you are. In the middle of your troubles, in the middle of your mess, God loves you. He also loves you too much to leave you that way. That’s why He has made a way out for you. And once you are out, you are FREE! The enemy will try to tell you that you have slipped back in, but don’t believe him because he is a liar! Once you are free, you are “free indeed!” So stay that way!

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. ~John 8:36

Don’t waste another minute of your time wallowing in the mess you’re in. Go to God and let Him get you out. Let Jesus free you of whatever state you’re in. He doesn't want you to stay that way at all. He wants to help you, to heal you, to make you better than you've ever been before. You can ask Him why, but I’ll bet He’ll look at you and say:

Because I love you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Don't Be A Victim!

Our 30th wedding anniversary was June 18. It was a day like any other day, until that evening. What most women would have waited for, and enjoyed, would have been a wonderful weekend away, maybe at a bed and breakfast, a steak dinner, and maybe a lovely (if not expensive) gift. And while I am not complaining one iota, none of these things were to be on my anniversary. However, in my book, they were much, much better. 

My husband took me to the Extreme Exigency training; Personal Protection Pistol Pedagogy. In simple terms; instruction on how NOT to become a victim. 

The guys who teach the four-hour, personal protection classes are State Troopers with many, many years of on-the-job, hands-on, experience. They have extensive training in various areas including law enforcement, criminal investigation, firearms safety, and many others. 

What I found most informative about this class is that not only did the guys instruct us on how to protect ourselves to prevent becoming a victim, but they also taught us proper care and handling of firearms, basic personal safety in the home and while traveling, and how to properly hold, aim, and fire a pistol.

L to R: Ray Minor; Jason Ashemore, Mayor of Sesser, IL. who attended
the class & gives his support; Mike Miller, Byron Farthing

Ray Minor, a good friend and State Trooper, taught the instructional part of this class. Byron Farthing assisted in classroom instruction, preparation, and demonstration. Mike Miller handled the firing range instruction and digital imaging for our pictures. All three of these men are wonderful instructors. They are very informative and their rapport with the class helped to give us all a calmness that was needed in such an important educational event.

While I've known Ray for more than 25 years, I had never sat in on one of his classes before. I'm so glad that I did. Ray brought forth some things that I had never taken the time to consider before. For instance, if someone whom you don't know approaches you and begins to talk to you, you need to be evaluating your circumstances. You need to be listening and making your plans. One thing that costs most people is this statement, "I just can't imagine that they would do such a thing." By this time, they already have, and you have become a victim.

Mike Miller & Byron Farthing preparing for class

Ray Minor, demonstrating proper two-handed grip of a pistol.

Byron & Ray demonstrating "sight picture."
Where your bullet goes when you point your gun.

I don't want to be too late in figuring out that I need to protect myself. I will also go kicking and screaming in the fight of my life if I have to. But I can guarantee that if someone chooses to attack me, I may not live through it, but they will be extremely hurt in the process, too. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

Class members practicing proper two-handed pistol grip,
using the plastic practice guns.

Below is a brief description of the Extreme Exigency, Personal Protection Pistol Pedagogy course:

This course will provide an understanding for the law-abiding citizen’s right to self-defense.  The participants will develop skills and attitudes essential for the safe and effective use of a handgun for the protection of self and family.  Further, coverage will be provided on mental awareness, how to avoid victimization, and mindset development for use of a firearm when faced with a life threatening encounter.  This course will review basic gun safety rules for guns in the home, travel and concealed carry. Also covered will be the responsibility of firearm ownership laws, how to legally travel with a firearm and the justified use of lethal force.

Students will be required to participate in classroom and firearms range activities and demonstrate basic live-fire handgun proficiency.  (Compliments of Extreme Exigency website) 

That would be me, with a smoking gun.
I grew up around firearms. I know the safety measures. I know how to load, aim, and fire them. I also know how to clean them. What I didn't know was how to properly aim a pistol. I could do it, but I never was a very good shot with one. I was better with shotguns and rifles. After the instructional part of the class, we were then instructed to go to the mobile range to qualify with the required firearms. I passed.

My target after 20 rounds with a .22 pistol.

While we were given many informational things throughout this class, one thing sticks with me even now:

"When the moment comes to choose whether or not to be a victim the urgency to prepare has passed.......Choose not to be a victim!!!!"~Extreme Exigency

You don't have to like guns to take this course. You also don't have to know how to use a firearm. Regardless of your experience, I would highly recommend Extreme Exigency to all women. It is highly important simply so that you can learn how to protect yourself and your kids against an intruder into your home, or someone you don't know who approaches you on the street, in the grocery store parking lot, or anywhere you happen to be. It's also a good class for men as well.

Extreme Exigency is a mobile training unit. They travel to different areas and will gladly set up a class for any group or organization that wants to train their members in personal safety and protection. It is also a great class for individuals.

For more information on Extreme Exigency, or to enroll in classes, see their website, Also "Like" them on Facebook.

Don't be a victim! You have every right to protect yourself. I am not going to let someone take that right from me, no matter who they are. You shouldn't either.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Half Empty, Half Full, or Overflowing?

We all need hope in our lives. In fact, Max Lucado states that we all HAVE hope. Joel Osteen teaches on hope. Joyce Meyer also teaches about encouragement and hope in her series, "Eat the Cookie, Buy the Shoes." Even my own pastor preaches about sharing the hope that we have by encouraging others. That got me to thinking; do we really have hope? Does every person have hope, even the ones who seem to be in the pit of the Black Hole with seemingly no way out? You bet they do! Though many don't believe it.

David writes in Psalm 121:7, “The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life.” It may not seem like He is, but trust me on this, He IS there!

For many years I lived in that black hole of despair, depression, and intimidation. Every time I would poke my head above the tunnel and into the light, someone would stomp me back down into the black abyss. But then, a hand reached out and said, “We’re going to help you out.” At first, I was a bit skeptical about reaching for that hand. Then when I looked there wasn't just one hand reaching for me, but many. And all the faces attached to those hands were smiling; sincere, warm, loving smiles. So I reached. What happened next is history!

Those hands were given to me by people who have hope and want to share it. They got their hope from the One Who was standing on the outside of the black abyss, waiting for me to come out, but also from the same One Who was in the black abyss with me, helping to push me out! It may sound far-fetched, but when the Lord says, “Enough!” He means it. I had been there long enough and it was time to come out and help others have hope. It was time for me to start reaching out, saying, “Come on! There’s a much better place than where you are. Take my hand, I’ll lead you there!”

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. ~Galatians 6:2, NKJV

There are so many people today who believe that they deserve to be in the state they’re in. That simply is not true. Whether it's alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, mental, emotional, or physical abuse, or depression, panic, and anxiety, you were not meant to live like that.  I have family members who are living in misery right now because they refuse to acknowledge that God has something better for them. They are “glass half empty” people. I choose to be a “glass full to the brim and overflowing” kind of girl. Frankly, because it is! I can eat the cookie AND buy the shoes and still have enough left over to share with the next person if I want to. And I want to!

In Psalm 23 David writes, “He restores my soul…” (vs. 3). God is the restorer of souls. It’s His thing, and He’s good at it. He’s so good at it in fact, that a few verses down David says, “My cup runs over” (vs. 5). God is not out to get you. Others may stand back when you are fighting for your life and say, “You brought it on yourself! God is punishing you. You’re getting what you deserve!” But God does not do that. Instead, He steps forward, reaches out, and says, “Let me help you out.” All we have to do is reach.

It’s time to get out of the pit! I know the way and I’m here to help you. There IS a better place than where you’re at. There IS hope. Take my hand. Let me lead you out. You always have hope, because you always have Jesus. He is our Hope. Come out of there and stop being a “glass half empty” person. Instead, be a “Glass Overflowing” one!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Whose Side Are You On?

I have seen a lot of hurt in the lives of many different women lately. Mainly because of broken friendships which could have been saved if both people were on the same side.

It's funny (odd) how you can be going along nicely, thinking your friendships are great, secure, and growing, and then the proverbial bottom drops out from under you and you're left wondering what just happened. I have had it happen to me quite a lot over the years. Not only have I had it happen with people I thought were my friends, but also with family members. It is very heartbreaking to discover that the relationship you thought you had with someone turned out to be only one-sided.

Be merciful and gracious to me, O God, for man would trample me or devour me; all the day long the adversary oppresses me. They that lie in wait for me would swallow me up or trample me all day long, for they are many who fight against me, O Most High! ~Psalm 56:1-2, AMP (emphasis added)

I'm so glad that my relationship with God is not like that. Oh wait... sometimes it is. Ouch! Of course, with God, He is always there for me. He is always listening for me. He always listens TO me. And most of all, He always loves me. But do I return those to Him? Grudgingly I admit... I do not. Oh how it breaks my own heart to admit that. Yet, I do. I admit it because what I'm saying here may make some people mad, may offend some, but I want you to know this much: I'm telling on myself too, so if I can admit my faults, so can you.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth. ~Psalm 145:18, AMP

Oh how we neglect the very person who is always there for us and Who will never let us down. Instead, we turn to the very people who will trash us behind our backs, tell our secrets, hurt us beyond imagining, and completely turn their backs on us. I have a theory about the reasoning for this behavior, not that this is how it is, but it's just my theory. I believe the reason we do this to ourselves is because the people we confide in, whom we trust, are tangible. We can see them in the flesh, we can touch them physically. They are there. And although God is there too, we can't see Him, nor can we physically touch Him. In our simple minds, "Out of Sight - Out of Mind" applies. Yet does it?

God is everywhere. We can see His handiwork in the things of this earth. The trees, the ground, sky, birds, animals and such. If we get quiet enough, we can feel his presence. And if we truly listen, we can hear His voice. But are we willing to do that? Are we willing to trust Him enough to wait on Him? Because God is a patient God. He is loving, kind, compassionate. But He also takes His time in answering us. I think He does this to make sure we are listening for Him and waiting for Him. All too often though, we get impatient and move ahead, only to trip and fall back down.

People are going to let you down. They are going to hurt you, and manipulate you, and yes, even turn their backs on you. Some will even go as far as to turn others against you. But God never will. God never goes back on His promises, and there are many in His Word!

... For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."~Hebrews 13:5b

I have learned in the past year to trust God for my friends. I have prayed and asked Him to reveal my enemies. It may sound off-the-wall, but I did. What I learned was, after asking God to do this, many people whom I thought were my friends, suddenly became very distant. Some even stopped talking to me at all! Even family members seemingly stopped contacting me. I learned very fast whose side they were on. However, as quickly as they left me, new people came into my life and have been such a wonderful breath of fresh air!

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19

So whose side are YOU on? Are you on God's side? Or are you on the enemy's side? Don't spend your time running after those who have hurt you. Don't set yourself up for more hurt. This is just what the enemy wants. Instead, run after God. Ask Him to reveal your enemies. Rest assured that He will send true friends into your life. Ones that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Healing Grace ~ A Book Review

It has been one of those summers already and we aren't even out of June yet. I have been so blessed to have writer friends who have allowed me to read their books. I read this one a few weeks back, then got busy, and didn't get a chance to write about it until now. So, here we go!

Another writer friend of mine, Lisa Lickel, has published her book, Healing Grace. This book was described as “Paranormal Romance,” yet it deals with Spiritual gifts which, to me, are “Supernatural.” However, it sure did keep me interested. This book just sucks you right into the middle of it and won’t let you go until you finish. I like that in a book.

Healing Grace is about Grace Runyon. Grace has a special gift, but she keeps it a secret. Just like her aunt and grandmother before her, she can fix anyone with just a touch. The cost for using her gift she never questioned. But she doesn't want anyone to know about it now. In fact, she is running from the very thing that she believes has caused the hardship in her life. After the death of her ill husband, Grace finds herself many miles from home and family. She truly believes that she let everyone down, including God, because she couldn't fix her husband.

But Grace finds out she can't run from God. Nor does God let Grace off the hook that easily. In her new little Michigan town, in her new house, she meets Ted and his wonderful little boy, Eddy, and God throws Grace back into the very thing she was running from; Her gift.

Although Ted has an unknown illness and a few secrets himself, he manages to finagle his and his son’s way into Grace’s heart and home. Will Grace face her past, accept who she is, and trust God to work through her precious gift? Or will she allow a terminally ill man to die?

The story is an up and down adventure into forgiveness, grace, hope, and of course… love. Watching Grace battle within herself, and a bit of small-town gossip, to find all these things helped me realize that anyone can relate to the struggles Grace goes through in this story.

Lisa shows that the wonderful thing about God is that He is patient and never gives up on His children, no matter who they are. He instills into each one of us a measure of faith, and also Spiritual gifts that He gives to us to use! Lisa did a fantastic job of showing the grace of God and His healing power through those who trust Him to use those gifts for His glory.

I found myself wondering though, exactly what was going to eventually happen with Ted, because one minute he was doing great, then the next he was doing bad. Would God be able to heal Ted through Grace? Would Grace allow it? Will Grace figure things out in time to save Ted? You’ll just have to read Healing Grace to find out.

You can find Healing Grace in eBook form through the links below at Muse It Up publishing or through Amazon. The print form will be released later this year.

Muse It Up Publishing:


Lisa Lickel lives with her husband in an old 160-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain, collects dragons and enjoys travel. Her published novels include the Buried Treasure cozy mystery series, Meow Mayhem, the award-winning romance Meander Scar and the linked novella anthology A Summer in Oakville with best-selling author Shellie Neumeier. She is a freelance feature writer for local news, writes short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. Lisa is an avid book reviewer, a freelance editor, a writing mentor, a hostess at Clash of the, and enjoys blogging at and She loves to encourage new writers. Find her at

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stop People Pleasing

I grew up as a people-pleaser. If someone was upset or mad, I felt it was my duty to "fix" them. I had to make things right. I don't really know when I realized this was my "lot in life," but long after I was married and had my own children I discovered a very shocking revelation in my baby book. There is a section for writing various illness and mishaps throughout your baby's life. In one section I found, in my mother's handwriting, "Hives, caused by nerves, prescribed treatment; shot and medicine." I was six years old. 

For as long as I can remember, I truly thought that living in a state of everyone yelling, and me trying to make them laugh, or just make myself invisible, was "normal." I was constantly performing. On the rare occasions when I stayed all night with friends, their homes were quiet. So quiet in fact, that I thought they must be in trouble. This confused me because the only time our house was quiet was when we all got sent to our rooms!

Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting--and conflict. ~Proverbs 17:1, NLT

It wasn't until years and years later, after my own children were grown and out of the house that I realized that I wasted so many years trying to please the very people who could never be satisfied. Truthfully, it was not my place to satisfy them! The only thing to satisfy a restless soul is Jesus. And although I knew Him, I didn't know Him intimately until a year ago when He healed me mentally and emotionally. It is a truly strange and wonderful experience when you can actually feel your soul heave a restful sigh.

...My soul magnifies and extols the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior... For He Who is almighty has done great things for me -- and holy is His name... ~Luke 1:46-47, 49, AMP

Pleasing people no longer held my self-imposed itinerary. My agenda became filled with pleasing the Lord. My itinerary became filled with writing dates, because my goal was to get my story out to those who are suffering in the people-pleasing-rat-race.

Pleasing the Lord is not difficult, either. It is very simple. Get up, talk to Him, read His Word (the Bible), then do your daily tasks. When in doubt, seek His advice. Seriously. Ask God what you should do about something you are concerned about, or a decision you need to make. Seek the Lord when you're concerned about someone. If someone is giving you a hard time, tell the Lord about it. He already knows anyway. Might as well talk to Him about it. He is your "Audience of One." He is the only Person whom you need to please.

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God... ~1 Thessalonians 4:1(a), NLT

My Audience of One. He is always listening to me, listening for me, watching out for me, and always ready to bless me. You may be wondering whether or not He feels the same way about you. He does. But He will not force Himself on anyone. He quietly and patiently waits for you to come to Him. Until then, He will not do anything, even though He desires to!

I may have grown up in the people pleasing rat race, but God helped me to turn off that road and onto His. He helped me because I asked Him to. He even helped me to forgive those who have hurt me. And I try to ask Him to continue helping me every day. Of course, I have days when I don't get to have my quiet time with Him and I miss it. But whenever I get a chance, I slip off and He and I have a conversation. I always feel a lot better after talking with Him.

Are you trying to please people today? Stop wearing yourself out trying to. You don't have to perform. Because God, your Audience of One, already knows what you're all about... and He's crazy about you!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Two Wheels Toward Heaven

Riding down the highway on two wheels gives us a sense of freedom. Some people get it with a convertible. Others get that sense just driving fast. But for weirdos like D.A. and me, who love riding motorcycles, our freedom is on the open road riding on two wheels.

Leaning into the curves is an awesome sensation in itself. But when we’re in the mountains, riding through the twisty, curvy, switchback roads, not only are the roads beautiful, but the scenery around us is nearly indescribable.

Yet for us, it’s also so much more than the scenery. I consider the scenery and the enjoyment of the curvy roads a bonus, really. Because when we go out on the road, it’s more than a pleasure ride. It’s a ministry.

We believe we get the best of both worlds. We get to ride motorcycles and we get to tell people about Jesus. It may sound crazy, and not everyone is cut out for it, but this is what God has called us to do… so we do it.

I realize that many people who see us out on the road don’t understand the concept of the casket. I also realize that many of those who don’t “get it” will never hear why we do it. Because many of these people pass us on the highway, give us a strange look, shake their heads, and drive on.

However, a few of those people end up stopping at the same gas station, or restaurant that we do, and we get to talk to them and explain why we pull a casket. Still, even with an explanation, some get it and some don’t. But we have come to the conclusion that the ones we actually get to speak to are the ones that God has scheduled a Divine Appointment for us with.

Riding in the mountains, we still run into many people, including other bikers. This is what we ride for. They approach us, we talk, we laugh, we hand them pictures, we let them take pictures, then we all ride our separate ways.

Still, it’s not just about riding in the mountains either. Because right here at home we get to do the same thing that we do in the mountains. Our favorite hang-out is Sonic. It is usually there that someone approaches us and asks, “What’s the casket all about?” and D.A. gets to take them over and give them a tour.

One at a time. This is how it’s done. One person at a time, two wheels toward heaven each time. Although I have my own bike now and ride along once in a while this way with D.A. it doesn't take away from the effect of the ministry. Because while the casket draws people to us, God decides which ones D.A. ministers to, and which ones I minister to. Our ministries have merged.

Often times he will start a conversation, then the person will turn and address me and I finish the conversation. Other times it’s solely D.A., or solely me. Then other times we each get someone to talk to. We never know, yet we make sure we’re always prepared. It’s almost like a game.

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. ~ 1 Peter 3:15, NLT (emphasis added)

I say that because it’s really awesome how the Holy Spirit works in these situations. D.A. always gives a picture of our bike and casket to people. But sometimes when I’m talking with a woman, she will say something to me that the Holy Spirit says, “You have a connection here. Give her a pair of mismatched socks.” So I do, and to see her face light up as she understands the concept of the socks is priceless.

Two wheels toward Heaven. It’s a journey. It’s a ministry. It’s life. One day we’ll ride through that tunnel and come out on the brighter side. I hope you’ll be there, too.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

You Want Me to Do WHAT?!

You want me to do WHAT?! Oh...Okay...I'll go.

How many times do you think God has heard that first statement? "You want me to do WHAT?!" How many more times has He watched as His kids go in the other direction? Too many to count, I would say. Then, He gets a kid like me. A little skittish, a bit on the ornery side at times, just a tiny bit outspoken, and more often than not one who goes through life taking everything God says literally and just rides along on the spiritual current, stopping to make jokes and laugh with others! But it wasn't always like this.

Many years ago, I was a broken, hurt, wounded beyond healing, pastor's wife who, when spoken to, looked down instead of straight at the person speaking to me. I kept myself backed into a corner because to come out in the open caused me more attack. I allowed others to tell me what to do and when and it got so bad that I could hardly function, let alone function in the church my husband was pastor of! Then it all changed.

When God healed me, I came out smiling. I came out of that corner swinging. When people addressed me, I looked them in the eye and talked to them. I found laughter again. I found my voice again, only this time it is stronger, my spirit is stronger, and there is no more skittish-ness about me. And here is the greatest thing of all: It's not me, it's all GOD!

You see, I couldn't do this without His healing touch. I couldn't do this without the help of the Holy Spirit. God has raised me up a little higher and I can see and hear all kinds of wonderful things now that I couldn't before. Why? Faith. Healing. Grace. Mercy. Love.

For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. ~Romans 12:3, HCSB

When you visit me here on this website, you will find a lot of things. My hope and prayer for you, dear friends, is that you find forgiveness, that you find grace, and that you find hope. But above all of that, I hope that you find Jesus among these words. Because when it's all said and done, it's really all about Him anyway. I couldn't do this without Him. I couldn't do this without His healing in my life.

So when I said earlier, "You want me to do WHAT?! Oh...Okay. I'll go." I meant it. A year ago, He called me to write my story. He called me to minister to you. It was spoken over me that I would minister to other women. And let me tell you something, I have got to meet and talk with many different women all over the place! You ALL are just amazing people, did you know that? Well, you ARE!

My point is that God has a job for you. He has a plan for you. But often times we are so beat down and abused that when we hear the call it scares us half to death and our response is, "You want me to do WHAT?!" instead of saying, "Okay, I'll go." Just before God healed me, when the words were spoken over me that I would minister to women, my first response (in my mind) was, "Oh NO! Not THEM!" because women have always been the ones who have intimidated and abused me throughout my life. Yet, here is something quite amazing and wonderful; just after I had that thought, God healed me in such a way that I wanted to talk to other women!

Not only that, but something else amazing began to happen; women began to approach ME! This was not just in my church. This started happening everywhere I went; the grocery store, the gas station, when we were on a motorcycle trip, in restaurants, or just standing on the sidewalk, women would approach me and just start talking. This is God. This is how He works. This is a "God Idea," and I want God Ideas in my life.

I pray for God Ideas in your life today. He loves you SO much, did you know that? He does! Look for ways today to brighten someone else's day. Whether it's just a smile, saying hello, or even making small talk, it's the little things that make the big things in life.

I love you, did you know that?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots!

I love to read a good book. And boy did I get my hands on a good one this time!

My writer friend, Karla Akins, has a new book coming out in August titled, "The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots!" And she was ever so kind enough to let me have a sneak peak at a first-read of it! 

The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots! is a zany, exciting, and hilarious story of Kirstie Donovan, a pastor's wife from Eels Falls, Indiana, who decides (with the help of a few friends of hers) to get her very own Harley and start riding motorcycles. This, much to the chagrin and of course disdain, of a few not-so-supportive members of her rural little church, the First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls. 

Kirstie has a lovely knack for getting herself into trouble. Between wearing leathers to ride her bubble gum pink Harley, and trying to minister to rough around the edges bikers, Kirstie and her "gang" of Lady Eels on Wheels, find themselves in many adventures and a bit of trouble throughout the entire book.

And of course, every pastor's wife has that one person (or more) who does their level best to make the pastor's job more difficult, and Kirstie and her husband, Aaron are no different. But they continue to show the love of God even to these people, while ministering to and drawing in bikers to their little 100-year-old church. As the Harley's rumble in, things start jumping, and Kirstie finds that she has a motorcycle ministry!

Between the excitement over the pastor's wife and a couple of matrons (that means old ladies) of the church riding motorcycles, bikers clad in leather, do-rags, and biker boots inundating this little conservative church, and one disaster after another, (including a very old secret of some church members), this story reaches in and grabs the reader. Then it's like riding along on the back of Kirstie's pink Harley with the Lady Eels on Wheels!

What I enjoyed about following this over-forty-something pastor's wife, was that she reminded me of... well... ME! Many of the things Kirstie goes through as a pastor's wife, I have been through. And I imagined vividly each of the places she and her Lady Eels rode to because they are real places and I have been to those as well! So the story is like reading into the life of an actual pastor's wife. Probably because it is written by one! Karla is also a pastor's wife who wears biker boots. *gasp!*

Karla striking a pose on her beloved bike.

If you love a story that is full of adventure, laughter, and excitement, The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots! will meet all your requirements and then some. From the moment I started reading, I laughed, I cried, I got mad (hey, sometimes people just make me mad - real OR fictitious), and I laughed some more. Along with that I found myself watching and cheering as one person after another either came to know the Lord or grew in their faith in Him.

Karla's motorcycle in the Smoky Mountains (beautiful view)

I have to admit though that while I had no intention of ever owning or much less riding my own motorcycle again, after the first few chapters of The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots!, the fever hit me again. Yes, I grudgingly admit that zooming off on my own two wheels sounds like a whole lot of fun once more.

Me with my new ride. A 750 Honda Shadow.
Hairdo by Helmet ;-]

So guess what I got? Yep, my own bike! And it's all your fault, Karla! Thanks though, for introducing me to Kirstie Donovan and her pink Harley! Let's go on a ride sometime!

Karla's book is slated to release on August 9, 2013 through Pelican Books. You can pre-order your ebook or paperbound book online at the  links below. Or you can find it on Amazon after the release date.*

For ebook: 

My friend, Karla Akins, with her pink motorcycle helmet.

Karla Akins is a pastor's wife who rides her own motorcycle. She is the mother of four boys and one step-daughter, and grandmother of five. She lives in North Manchester with her husband who is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, her twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer's and three rambunctious dogs. Karla and her husband have been in ministry together for 30 years. You can contact Karla for speaking engagements via her website at

*[Since Karla's book has been out for a while, the links have been changed to Amazon for Kindle eBooks. Get this book. You won't regret it!]

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