Sunday, July 15, 2018

LOVE at God's Table

With so much division and hatred in the world, and the U.S. in particular, Jesus' message of 'love your neighbor' has never been more applicable. 

Logging onto Facebook or other social media platforms can feel like a mind field, where we're forced to tiptoe through comments and posts that continue to keep us divided. What ever happened to disagreeing without demoralizing the person with a counter opinion? People are ending friendships over opposite viewpoints. 

I have chosen to stay out of the debates. And have been chastised for that as well. Apparently, I'm part of the problem if I don't engage in all the hostilities. There is a difference between burying your head in the sand and choosing not to dig yourself into a grave. Why bury myself in darkness and division when there is a better choice?

I want to be a light on the hill. Love in the midst of hatred. Kindness in places where people are feeling kicked to the curb for their beliefs. 

What can we do today, as Princess Warriors of the most High King? How about we put into practice those practical things that make a difference but are really quite simple, though not always easy to remember when we're walking through a mind field. 

Kind words. A smile. Offering a helping hand. Reminding friends you love them and care. Keeping your own posts focused on the positive in our world. There are so many amazing stories of good deeds and being a good neighbor available if you look for them. The nightly news isn't the best place to find them. 

I called a friend one night to ask how she was doing...what she was doing. Well, she was angry because she was watching the evening news and stewing over the injustices in the world, which there are many. I recommended she take a break from all the negativity and TURN OFF the news. It's one thing to be informed but another to find ourselves enslaved to dining on disaster and discouraging information. Some of us have been downright devouring the never-ending buffet of bad news.

We may need to make a change to our 'diets'. What we feast on, affects our health. What we think on and ponder, can actually become obsessive thinking that thwarts progress and positivity, even enslaving us. 

I want to challenge you too 'see' the amazing goodness and grace found at God's banquet table. Pull up a chair and leave the second-rate buffet behind. God's table offers blessing upon blessing, and there is always enough for everyone. 

 More amazing art by Delores Devlde available for purchase on her Fine Arts Page.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Bring out the Gold: Shine for Jesus

Before I dive into my post, I'd like to share the amazing art of Delores Develde. 

I will be showcasing her work with my posts as her art perfectly reveals God's love for us: His daughters; His brides; His princess warriors; His beloved; His children; His creations...

I highly encourage you to visit her page at Fine Art America. Just click on her name above, and you will be transported to her incredible world of God-honoring creations. She shares the scripture references and thoughts behind most of her designs, which can be purchased on pillows, tote bags, mugs, wall hangings...and more. I am going to look into a T-shirt! How cool would that be? 

In case you can't read the print on this post's featured painting, it says: 

Dear God, enlighten what is dark in me.
Strengthen what is weak in me.
Bind what is bruised in me.
Heal what is sick in me.
Bring out the gold in me.
So I can shine for you.

Delores has penned some powerful words to accompany her art work. Both the words and image, hit my heart, reminding me that I am to shine brightly, like gold, so those around me will be drawn out of the darkness and into His everlasting light. 

In order for our gold to shine the way it is intended to shine, it must be polished and clean, brilliant to look at, different from the dirty and fake metals that can be found scattered around our world, tempting us to settle for less than the best quality gold. 

Less than real. 

I remember the care my mom took with her 'special' sterling silverware. For her generation, owning a fine silverware set was a must. It was eventually passed down, becoming a treasured family heirloom, used only for the most noteworthy occasions.  

When that velvet-lined box came out of the china cabinet, I knew at a young age good times were coming! Something out of the ordinary was about to happen. A holiday. Wedding. Birthday. Family members visiting. A Graduation. Occasions such as these warranted, perhaps even demanded, the use of her precious silver. 

But she never tossed it on the table 'as is.' Oh no! She would spread out the individual pieces, and one by one, she'd use some (magical to me) cleaning product to polish away any imperfections caused by tarnishing. Once she was satisfied that the standard for shininess had been met, then, and only then, would I be allowed to help her set the table. 

I know. I'm talking about silver not gold, but the point I'm making works either way. Had she simply dumped the tarnished pieces on the table, they would have been no more special than what we used everyday. The guests of honor might not have felt honored at all, thus assuming the meal was like any other, nothing unique, nothing different from other meals they'd attended. 

I suspect you know where I'm headed with this. 

Once Christ's blood has washed up (shined us up with His glory) we stand out. We're brighter. Our light can pierce the darkest corners. Yet even after that first salvation experience, where Christ cleanses us with his grace, we still have to reach out and up to Him in order for that gold to flow in a way that differentiates us from the other lesser lights around us. 

Yes, we're saved. Eternity is secured. We are blood bought and forgiven. However, we are still in the midst of a battle. Our enemy who thrives in the darkest shadows will do anything he can to make us feel dirty again. He wants us to believe we are tarnished and unworthy to be on 'the table.' 

Not only does the devil work hard to keep us believing we are obscured by the shadows, we sometimes fall short; we sin. We mess up. We get stuck, pining over our past or fearing our future. We may even find ourselves imprisoned by a stronghold. Some of us have gone right out into a pig pen like the Prodigal Son and rolled around in the mud. Our godly gold becomes dimmer, and we begin to look more and more like that fake gold and filthy silver. 

But just as my mom so lovingly polished and brightened her precious silverware, there is hope that we too have someone who will help us shine again. 

Our Lord does something far greater than my mom ever could, he renews our minds and turns our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. When we cry out to Him, using words similar to the prayer above, He takes us lovingly into his care, cleaning and renewing us all over again. 

His mercies are new every morning. He can bring out the best in us, making our gold so bright those around us wonder why we shine the way we do. That gold (God's power and love in us) has the ability to push the enemy back where he belongs--into the darkness. 

So sisters, what do you say? Is it time to ask God for a good polishing? Are you feeling tarnished? Has your God-light grown dim? If so, do not despair. God is but a prayer away, waiting to brighten you so you in turn will bless others. 

Don't wait another second. He's waiting!

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8 ESV

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Mathew 5:16 ESV 

That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world...Philippians 2:15 ESV  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Exciting News!

I am excited to share that I will be releasing a new book soon. This story is a bit different from the other spiritual warfare, Soul Defenders' series. Guardian Watchers is more fantasy/speculative fiction/with a touch more romance. I think guys will still enjoy, but it is definitely a book women will  relate too. 

As with the Soul Defenders' books, the foundation is based on God's truth and has a great deal to do with trusting in Him. 

Think of Abraham and Sarah. They got tired of waiting and attempted to use her servant to force God's promise for a child, pushing for the birth to take place in their time-frame not His. The results, as I'm sure you recall, ended up rather 'messy,' to say the least. 

God knows what He is doing. 

When we try to interfere, imposing our will (as if we can actually do such a thing) on God's divine purpose, we will never come out ahead. 

Guardian Watchers takes this theme to a whole new level. Let your imagination run wild!

I promise I'll share more teasers and tidbits as the release date draws closer. The next step will be the big COVER REVEAL. I'll have some fun contests and other giveaway goodies down the road as well. 

The third installment for the Soul Defenders series, subtitled Cartel, is on the table, as well as, the long overdue Reign Real: Becoming a Princess Warrior for Christ (non-fiction). If you read my previous post, you will know why these projects are so delayed.

The book covers for Soul Defenders: Cartel and Reign Real have been revealed already, so take a peek!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Stuck, Frozen, in Fear

Not the most appealing title for a blog post, I know. But I want to talk about an issue that has plagued me these past few years, more than I care to admit. 

Three years ago, in March, my mother left earth for a new heavenly home. A great reason for celebration. At least that's what my 'head' said. I mean it's true. When we belong to Christ we have an eternal destination that will surpass our greatest imaginings. The Bible tells us so. 

Unfortunately, my heart wasn't in agreement with my head. My mom was my best friend. The last ten years of her life, she lived with me. As a single mom, she played a huge role in helping raise my two children, who are now almost 20 and 26. She was an incredible woman who gave far more than she ever received and never complained. I'm sure she received all the rewards she could ever want in the presence of our Savior. 

Regardless of her heavenly happiness, I spiraled into a realm of depression, anxiety, and ultimately fear that froze me in place. I'd spent years speaking regularly at women's events and retreats, writing, blogging, serving in ministry leadership, and believed my foundation was firm. It wasn't near as firm as I thought.

Grief ignited something in me that was not pretty and it definitely wasn't from God. 

I had trouble leaving the house. My mortality became terrifying as I watched more people I knew get sick or die. I've always known death was inevitable. And I had felt secure in my salvation, but for some reason, her death rocked my beliefs and the devil came striding into my life, spewing his hateful rhetoric and fueling my fear. Worse. I let him.

Instead of resisting his attacks, I rolled over and pulled the covers up over my head. Literally. As you probably are well aware, bed covers are no substitute for a godly set of armor. 

My church attendance dwindled then died. My devotional time and Bible study became a rarity rather than a regular part of my day as it had been for so many years. I started struggling with my own health challenges, some serious.

Thankfully, God doesn't give up when we do. I'd still manage a short prayer most days, and as hard as I tried to hide there were people, friends who were persistent, perhaps even pushy in their pursuit of me and my healing. 

Over the past year, I have slowly reclaimed my Princess Warrior identity. I've found a new church home that is perfect for me right now. I've started spending more time with other believers and am back in the Word on a regular basis. Do I still struggle with depression and anxiety? I am not going to lie. I do. But I continue to cry out, "Lord, help my unbelief." I've taken to saying the Lord's Prayer daily, savoring each portion of that prayer, trusting His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The plan and purpose he had for me to help other women navigate life's numerous pitfalls has not changed.

I have always wanted my writing, my ministry, and my life to encourage others who struggle. Believers who desire more of Jesus. People who know they're not perfect but who are passionate about change and want to live victoriously in a fallen world. 

These past few months I've discovered some wonderful Bible study companion books that helped me on my quest to find new freedom. I'd like to share them with you.

1. Happiness, Randy Alcorn
2. Unshakable Trust, Joyce Meyer
3. The Fearless Life, Jentezen Franklin (I'd never heard of this author/pastor, found it four a couple of dollars on 

All the books provided plenty of scripture references and the first two had study workbooks available, which I purchased. I continue to use the prayers found in book three as starters when praying is difficult. 

I was so ashamed of my depression and fears turned phobias that it was difficult to talk about. Of course, once I did, I learned like I always do, we're never alone in our feelings. We're here to love and lift each other up not to judge with ill intent and tear down. 

It is my hope that by revealing my fear fiascos it won't take you so long to reveal yours! 

This is one of the prayers found in Franklin's little, power-packed book:

"Dear Jesus, forgive me for allowing my mind to be filled with fear. Help me to become a warrior instead of a worrier. I choose to obey Your commands and to go forward in courage even when I feel afraid. I say with David, 'What time I am afraid, I will trust.' I believe that will begin to see miracles in my life as I take Your Word and believe Your promises, declaring in the face of the enemy, 'It is written.' Thank you, Lord. Amen."

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Good Friday-The Ultimate Soul Defender

Please, take a moment to revisit an article I wrote for Campus Crusade for Christ a number of years ago. The message is never-changing because our Lord and Savior is never-changing. His plan of redemption is the same yesterday, today, and thankfully, forever.

Read about the ultimate Soul Defender this Good Friday.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Did you know?

I have discovered something exciting that many of you may already be aware of. If you shop at all on Amazon, you can use their 'alternate' site, called AmazonSmile. 

Since 2005, I have been honored to be a part of Bethany House's ministry in several capacities: as an employee, board member, and volunteer. Bethany House is a Christian program of healing and hope for single pregnant women and women with children who are in need of multiple support services. This ministry has touched literally generations since their conception in 1989. I invite you to take a peek at the amazing work they do, and then, if you are so inclined, when you shop on Amazon, simply 'switch' and use the AmazonSmile section. You can select any non-profit that is signed up to receive donations through the Smile program on Amazon. I, of course, hope you will choose Bethany House as one of your giving options!

The AmazonSmile tagline is: "You shop. Amazon gives." 

What's really awesome? You don't pay ANYTHING extra. You just shop as you normally would and buy what you would normally buy, and then a portion of what you spend on your purchase goes to the non-profit of your choice. Cool, huh? 

Again, I am providing the links and information for Bethany House, but there are thousands of organizations that could use our support. May God bless you as you bless others!

Click below and shop!

Support Bethany House when you shop for your Valentine!

Learn more about the Bethany House Program's mission of service: 

 Bethany House on Facebook
 Bethany House's website


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Never Forget Who You Belong To

Sometimes the enemy of our souls works extra hard to derail us, taunting and tormenting us with lies straight from the pit of his dwelling place -- hell. But we need not fear! Even when our days seem darker than dark, we have something to hold on to -- our Heavenly Father and the FACT the TRUTH that we are indeed His precious and powerful daughters. 

Just remind the devil of where he's headed and who has won the battle. We have defeated him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. That's something to rejoice over. 

So straighten your crown, tighten your amor, pick up that sword and shield and kick satan's you-know-what with God's Truth.  

Revelation 12:10-11

 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God. 11They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy 'almost' New Year

Wow...this feels so strange, to say the least. It has been a long, long, long time since I have kept this blog updated.

 My mom became very ill and then passed away, sending me into a tailspin of grief, as she was my best friend and most avid supporter. So the past several years have been difficult; that's putting it mildly. Add on a few major health issues, family and financial challenges, and my faith was tested beyond what I believed I could bear. 

Yet, here I am. Alive. Breathing. Living. Loving. Still a daughter of the King and His Princess Warrior. 

I have allowed the enemy to beat up and bully me for far too long. I've had enough! 

These past months have been all about re-embracing my identity in Christ and His awesome plans for my life. It's time to get moving, shaking, and praying in a way that rocks this world. Are you ready to join me? Considering 2017 is reaching its conclusion and 2018 is waiting to replace its predecessor, this seems like the perfect time to re-launch and recommit my life to the calling God has for me -- helping other Princess Warriors become who God has destined them to be in Him. 

Tonight I stumbled across an old article that I'd written about New Beginnings. I think its a good time to revisit what I wrote a number of years ago.

If you're a Daughter of the King...the best is always yet to come. Together we can accomplish so much! With God we can accomplish the impossible. Amen!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Soul Defenders: Jaden is here! I haven't been blogging much (at all) since May, as promised. But, I have good reasons. A major kidney infection reaped havoc in my body (and life). And...better news, I finished up book two in the Soul Defenders series. It went live on Kindle yesterday. 

To celebrate, the first book Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids is FREE until Saturday. Here are the links to both. Happy Ready. I will update more. 

Soul Defenders: Jaden (Book Two)  

FREE Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids (book one)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Staying Under The King's Care

Do you ever wonder why some days are so much harder than others? Ever feel like you're floundering in a sea of indecision, making one poor choice after another? If so, you're not alone. Reigning Real is the most rewarding way to live, but at times, can be the most challenging. In order to win our daily battles we must remain UNDER HIS CARE ...

Learn more in my article, Under His Care (click to read)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reign Real Now! Your Place is on a throne with a sword.

I want to give credit to the amazing artist who created this, but I cannot find the name. 

Greetings Princess Warriors! I didn’t quite make my seven day posting commitment … but I am close. I’m hoping the following teaser for my upcoming book: Reign Real: Becoming a Princes Warrior for Christ makes up for my lapse! I’d be thrilled to have your thoughts, suggestions, and comments, and I hope you take time to complete the activities at the end of the chapter. I believe they will challenge you and draw you closer to the One True King.
(Please note: The “sidebar” boxes will be on the sidebar in the actual book, not smack dab in the middle of the text. So use your imagination!)

Ding-dong! Ding-dong! The doorbell chimed impatiently.
With my overflowing candy bowl in one hand and my Gospel tracts in the other, I courageously opened the door to a crowd of dancing, hopping, and very noisy costumed characters. A kitty-cat, Superman, Batman, and one, two, three…little princesses squirmed anxiously, anticipating more tasty treats to add to their already overflowing buckets, bags, and plastic pumpkins.
“Mom, I wanted to be a princess, too,” the incredibly cute kitty-cat whined at her mother who hovered protectively nearby looking none too pleased by her daughter’s public proclamation. 
Considering the manner in which Miss Kitty-cat was eyeing Disney Princess number three, I thought a hiss and loud meow might be forthcoming. Thank goodness the animal control truck was rounding up critters in another neighborhood! Hurriedly, I handed out candy and the story of salvation to eager hands.
“Thank you,” they all chorused.
As the group scampered down the walkway, Kitty-cat stopped in front of Princess Three. “I wanted your costume because I’m a princess, but my mom said I had to be a kitten this year.” Her shoulders sagged with obvious regret.
To my amazement, the princess offered this fascinating explanation, “I wanted to be a ninja warrior, but my mom said I was a little princess. You can have my crown if you want.” Before her mom could protest, she dramatically removed her sparkling, jeweled treasure and placed it on Kitty-cat’s head, just behind the fuzzy-leopard ears. “There, now we’re both princesses, and I’m a warrior, too,” she added, proudly.
“Me, too.” Princess number two agreed, nodding enthusiastically.
Me too, I thought, still amazed by Princess Three’s generosity. A bit selfish at times, I’m not sure I would have parted with such a prized possession.
Thankfully, though, as a daughter of the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, I am royalty, created to reign forever with my Lord. Just like the delightfully dressed-up-princess, sometimes I reign with a wand and other times I brandish a sword. Living as a Princess Warrior, seated on a Throne of God’s glory, isn’t always easy, but it is the most rewarding and exciting position any woman could possibly have. Really.
Not to mention there are enough crowns for all God’s girls!
So, if you dream of becoming a princess — crown, gown, scepter, and all the royal trimmings — you’re not alone. If you sometimes envision yourself lifting your royal ruffles to launch a swift kick at an unrelenting enemy, or unsheathing your saber instead of your scepter, keep reading.
Ladies, when you belong to the Ultimate King of Heaven and Earth, you truly are a priceless princess and a worthy warrior. Although the two titles may seem decidedly incompatible, please, consider again.
Should you be reading this book with hair rollers dangling from the very lochs they’re supposed to curl, your mascara clumping on areas other than your lashes, and un-matching socks with holes in the heels (don’t ask how I know about this stuff) there is still a throne for you. The King says so!
Indeed much has been written about understanding our position in Christ and how to fight the good fight of faith. But, have we as women accurately embraced our inclusive identity as both princess and warrior?
If not, don’t worry. You can join me as together we discover how to reign real in an increasingly wicked world, accepting the thrones our Heavenly Father fashioned just for us. And remember, in this Kingdom, women with ample behinds (that’s me), messy hair (okay, me again), and a ton of imperfections (need I say more?) fit perfectly on the thrones they've been given.
A hallelujah moment: There’s no need to “get pretty,” lose weight, or visit the hair salon before sitting on your throne, scepter and sword in hand. Jesus Christ has taken care of all the details. It’s simply up to us to believe and hold on to Him.
And remember, because of Jesus, we really can live happily ever after, not like a false, fairytale princess, but as a godly warrior princess. Our happiness will not be fully realized in this world or this lifetime, but by reigning real here and now, we will reap riches and rewards beyond our wildest expectations in our eternal Kingdom to come. After all, the Kingdom we belong to will always exist; and not just in our childhood dreams, but forever and ever (that’s a long, long, time) in the presence of God Almighty.
Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
                                         Deuteronomy 14:2 NIV 

Chapter 1
Are you a Princess Warrior? No not Zena!
A Princess called Caraboo
Nearly two-hundred years ago in a small English town, a princess appeared. Ta … da! This striking beauty spoke an unrecognizable language, and was found dressed in exotic attire. A number of concerned (a nice word for nosy) and fascinated people attempted to decipher their mysterious visitor’s language, and the whereabouts of her native homeland.
Unfortunately, other than her highly unusual behavior that included sleeping on the floor (ouch), refusing to eat meat, dining on pineapple (fine by me), swimming naked (not fine by me), fencing, practicing archery, and praying to a god she called Allah Tallah, no one knew who she really was, or, where she came from.  She called herself, Caraboo, Princess Caraboo.
Eventually, a Portuguese sailor said he could translate her gibberish. A tale of intrigue unraveled, revealing the exquisite foreigner was actually “Princess Caraboo” and she had been captured by pirates who had kidnapped her from the island of Javasu in the Indian Ocean. Miraculously, Princess Caraboo had somehow managed to escape her tormentors by throwing herself into the channel and swimming ashore. (Is this girl for real?)
For several months, the lovely princess resided with a prominent and wealthy family who flaunted her exotic royalty to the local bigwigs, only to discover later that their infamous houseguest was actually a cobbler’s daughter named Mary Baker.
Sidebar box: Royal Reminder: Hiding doesn’t work! In a game of hide and seek even the best “hider” is eventually found. For whatever we do in the dark eventually comes out in the light. So, why bother trying?
Miss Baker had created her own royal personage and a language derived from gypsy words and her imagination. Following this untimely disclosure, Miss Baker continued her façade, traveling to Spain, France, and ultimately back to England when her act finally proved unsuccessful. Many years later, after becoming a “saleswoman” and selling leeches (the blood-sucking kind) to local hospitals, she died as a lonely, old woman buried in an unmarked grave.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
After first reading this tantalizing, and somewhat scandalous tale, I was intrigued (nosy), shocked, and then somewhat depressed. Why would a beautiful young woman go to such extreme lengths to “be” a princess? Why would someone reinvent their whole identity?
Instead of allowing myself to pass judgment on this haunting figure, I took an extended look in the mirror of my own life.
Sidebar box: Royal Reminder: Shining the light of God’s truth in your heart is like pointing your flashlight under a bed; you can no longer ignore the dirt.
There I discovered what many of you already know ― sometimes, oftentimes, we don’t believe we are worthy. We don’t believe we’re enough. We feel hopeless, helpless, hostile, and even hateful. We fantasize about what our lives would be like if only we had the perfect fulfilling career and lived in a luxurious castle, married to the perfect prince, with a perfect nanny and servants to help us raise our almost-perfect children. Did I forget the — if only I had the perfectly sculpted, toned, tanned, figure without having to work for it and all would be well syndrome? 
Sidebar box: Royal Reminder: If only: The two words that best describe dissatisfaction. How often do you utter the terrible two? Tell the truth, girls!
Some of us have taken our own dissatisfaction a step further and determined to become somebody different. In fact, as a young teenager, I had already survived several years of relentless teasing from a group of girls on my swim team. I’m not talking about a few unkind words here and there; rather, I was assaulted with menacing words, not only by my female teammates, but by several team moms as well. During this time, my vocabulary expanded with words that even a seasoned sailor might find offensive.
Why this attack started, I can only guess. I assume it was triggered by some sudden swimming improvements on my side of the pool, and the fact that a previous swimming-princess was dethroned, while I became the number one seated ten-year-old.
You’ve all read about the “cheerleader mom syndrome,” right? Well, unfortunately, I’d become a target of one such mother. As I entered my tender teenage years, I developed a strong sense of dissatisfaction with who I was. So as I sought approval from others who didn’t know me, I’d often change my name, my age, and behave in a way that was not properly suited for a young girl of thirteen. Needless to say, this “identity” led me down some paths I wish I’d never traveled.
I remember later in life, one brave therapist asked that I bring my photo albums to one of our sessions. Although I found this request rather odd, I complied. As we carefully explored the worn photos, page by page, something fascinating was revealed. The therapist, looking closely at my sixth grade picture asked, “What happened at this point in hour life?” (yes, I was ten) He went on to explain that my eyes had changed. The twinkle was gone.
Are you with me, ladies?
That was the very same time the swim team debacle had started. Hiding our pain isn’t as easy as we might believe. That camera sure captured it. Our hearts sure feel it.
Perhaps you haven’t taken on a whole new identity like Princess Caraboo, or pretended to be someone else as I did, but I suspect somewhere in the painful valleys of your life, you, too, have sought a mask or two, or three … to hide behind.
Maybe we no longer fit into those frilly princess costumes of days past, but with excruciating efforts we can force ourselves to squeeze into identities not created for us. Yet, why would we do such a thing when right now, this very moment, an eternal King has unlimited royalty positions open, enough thrones to go around, and heavenly real-estate priced at the all-time, rock-bottom, no-hidden-fees or gimmicks price of ― free. Yes, free! 
Sidebar box: Royal Reminder: Put away that checkbook! Heavenly real-estate prices and percentages never change. They are permanently secured at zero. No hidden fees to pay, no annual percentage rate increases, no late charges, ever. Jesus Christ covered the cost. With His life, He paid the price.
Ladies, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Heavenly King, we wear the robes of royalty. Our whole identity changes for the better. Not only do we finally find a real prince charming, but we also become destiny-filled, priceless princesses and worthy warriors who are able to reign real from thrones of grace. Hope is restored, and God redeems us and sets us free … indeed.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1a NIV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Xena, Xena, she’s not our gal
Before we go any further, we’ve got to talk about you know who — Xena “warrior princess.” Gorgeous brunette, curvy figure, leather attire, and an array of skin-slicing weapons with an unforgettable battle cry, yep, that’s the one. Please, don’t try the battle cry; it hurts.
I know; I shouldn’t have brought it up. So, if you’re curious (I can practically hear you begging me for more information about that notorious screech) go to handy dandy YouTube and do a Xena search. Just type in “Xena war cry.” After you’ve screamed like a banshee once or twice, hurry back to this page. Don’t tarry!
Now that you’ve returned, erase her image from your mind, most of it anyway. Certainly, we can find some parallels to our royal cause, but, quite frankly, a majority of the time, this captivating heroine stayed stuck in the warrior mode, and like Princess Caraboo, she was worshipping the wrong entity — herself.
For those of you who don’t know, Xena Warrior Princess was an American television series airing from 1995 to 2001. The show continues to have a cult-like following and anxious fans eagerly await Xena’s reappearance on the Big Screen someday. Like Star Trek’s infamous “to boldly go where no man has gone before” opening, the Xena voiceover proudly proclaimed its own unique message:  “In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings...A land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle. The power...the passion...the danger...Her courage will change the world.”
Ah … can you sense the excitement, the danger, the adventure? Surely there were some defining moments as Xena fought to overcome her hateful and dark past. I’m certain many of you can somehow relate to that process. However, Xena went about it all wrong. Her mission, to save so-called “innocents” from harm and redeem herself sounds noble, but it’s a lost cause. She bravely fought a long list of villains during the show’s 134 episode run (not to mention her appearances on Hercules) in an attempt to find the redemption she so desperately desired — redemption she could never earn.
Sidebar box: Royal Reminder: A sexy, leather-clad Xena may be worthy of a theme song, but it doesn’t make her deserving of a Throne. Real royalty is lifted from the ashes of sin and born again by the grace and glory of God.

Ladies, we cannot liberate ourselves. No one, not even Warrior Princess – Xena can perform enough harrowing rescues or good deeds to obtain salvation. No matter how many toilets we scrub, noses we wipe, business meetings we attend, church committees we’re on, no matter what we “do,” we will never measure up … without God’s grace.
This book isn’t about powering through life in thigh-high boots, with a baby on one hip and a sword strapped to the other. Although, that makes an interesting picture, it doesn’t make sense, nor is it God’s desire.
Rather, in the following chapters we will discover what a godly, princess warrior does from her throne and the protocol that allows her live faithfully as her King’s daughter. I think you’ll be surprised to discover she spends a great deal of time helping others find their thrones, while eliminating those things that try to topple her from her own.
Royal Decree: The position of Princess Warrior is open to every woman who believes and belongs to Jesus Christ. If you have not yet accepted His gift of eternal life, please, don’t wait another moment. For we are not snooty princesses or ruthless warriors, we are the real deal, and reigning real only makes sense when you’ve been crowned as part of His royal court, God’s family. Dear sister, your throne waits …
Sidebar box: Royal Reminder: All of Heaven applauds your decision to wear the Crown of Christ. Go ahead girlfriend … put it on!

Right now, I’d like to pray for you.
    Dear Heavenly Father, my mighty King and valiant Savior, I ask that you reach deep into the heart of my sister. As she reads this prayer and the words from Your love letters, the Holy Bible, may she find hope for her situation, and may she drink from Your living water in order never to thirst again. Allow her to see Your truth and the amazing fact that You died a horrible death on a filthy Roman cross to save her. Had it been only her, You still would have died to set her free from sin and death. Give her the courage to reach for You, Jesus. May she ask for your healing, forgiveness, and grace. In Your name, Jesus, we pray, amen.               
If you already belong to the King, hallelujah! I’d like to invite you also to pray the above prayer, inserting the name of any friend, coworker, or family member that does not yet know the King of Kings.
From the King’s Desk…God’s Love Letters to His Princess Warriors:
I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
Psalm 18:3 Amplified Bible
Jesus is "the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone. Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one." Acts 4:11-12 The Message
God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
 Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
 Romans 12:9 KJV
From the pen of a princess:
At the end of each chapter, you will find several questions or activities specifically designed to help you further embrace God’s truths and will for your life. Take time to explore and share what you are learning. Feel free to use these activities for small group discussion.
·         When you were a little girl, did you want to be a princess, or envision yourself as a warrior? If so, please explain.
·         Was there a time in your life when you, like Princess Caraboo, pretended to be someone else? What circumstances or feelings led you to take on a different identity?  What type of “masks” have you hidden behind?
·         What about Xena? Is there anything about her that you find appealing? If so, what? and why? If not, please explain.
Timeless Truth:
God loves His daughters with an everlasting, unceasing love. As a Princess Warrior there is no need to hide your face, ever, for you are free indeed.
Enter His Throne Room and Bring your Blunders:
All right girls, now is the time to lay it on the line, to air the dirty laundry, to take out the trash. Are you ready? A key to reigning effectively is the ability to confess our sins to God and one another. I call it “telling on myself.” When we keep secrets we become weighted down. One popular cliché states that we’re only as sick as our secrets. So … let’s lighten our load and stay spiritually fit.
·         Share at least one way that you have acted phony or fake in relation to others this past week. For example, have you been dishonest, devious? Do you pretend to agree when you really disagree? Are you pretending to be okay when you’re really not?  Let’s check our honesty levels, ladies. The truth will set us free.
Dear Holy King,

Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love. Your grace is truly amazing. Thank you for Your compassion, for You pursued me with love even when I tried to hide from You. Today, in this moment, I choose to lay aside any dishonest statements, actions, false identities, or useless masks, and instead put on the robes of royalty, a heavenly crown, and the powerful armor You have provided so generously for me. You have saved me from the law of sin and death. I am willing to serve You and reign real in this world, helping others see Your love shining through me. May I be Your light in the darkness, Your voice in the desert, and Your hope for the hopeless. I love You, my King, Jesus. Amen.

Thank you for taking time to read the introduction and first Chapter in my upcoming book. Again, I welcome (would love to have) your feedback. This book is for you. I will be posting chapters two and three as well. I hope God spoke to you and touched you in some small (or big, mighty) way. Blessings to you, my sister in Christ. You are indeed a Daughter of the King.

Friday, April 4, 2014

It's Time to Begin Anew

Precious Princess Warriors, it has been a very challenging couple of years. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia. We did everything possible to keep her in our home. However, eventually, due to her obsessive need to go out the front door, and I mean obsessive, we made the heart wrenching decision to transfer to a nearby memory care program. She is doing as well as can be expected. In addition, I lost my "day job" of six years, and struggled with chronic pain and exhaustion related to Fibromyalgia. Let's just say it's been a tough two years that have challenged my faith, my warrior heart, and my desire to serve. I discovered the desolation of desert living and spent time wandering in circles, stuck in my pain, and lost in questioning thoughts.

I did very little ministry outreach, and spoke only at events where the planners found me, no longer reaching out to 'promote' my ministry or offer my services. But little by little, as I clung to my Princess Warrior identity, and who God was, is, and always will be, I began to smile again. He is always good regardless of our circumstances. He works together for our good even through tragedy. He loves us despite our mistrust and misgivings. He forgives and forgets our transgressions. He gives us hope for better tomorrows. 

My better tomorrow's have come. I believe that and hang onto that statement through the trials and tribulations that are part of everyone's life on this fallen planet. Until we celebrate together in our heavenly home, tears will continue to be a very real part of our lives, but so will smiles, laughter, and times of joy. 

If you're new, I'd like to welcome your to my website/blog, if you've stopped by before, welcome back. Here we reign real. We lay it on the line. We're women who love God in all our imperfections and weaknesses. Together we learn to depend on our King, and support one another with his love, encouraging all women to embrace their identities as His Royal Daughters. I'm back. I'm speaking. Sharing. Praying. And ready to once again encourage you. I hope if you've visited over the past two years you have enjoyed your times here and have been touched and moved to draw closer to Jesus through my older posts. 

Now it's time for the new. 

I am committing to share with you at a minimum of once a week, likely more. But learning not to over commit is just one of my recent lessons. So I'll start small and dream big! I will also be updating the sections on the site that were left empty and waiting. And I encourage you to share you prayer requests, encouragements, lessons, and comments on the "prayer page." 

I'm expecting God to move in BIG Ways as we come together, as His Princess Warriors. I'm finally working on the book that was waiting for me to finish. I'll leave you with the cover art. I hope it inspires you and reminds you of His beauty. I can't give you a release date just yet, but it is coming. 

Remembers, sisters, with Him and through Him, all things are possible. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year: New Choices. (Choose Patience)

Paving the Road with Patience: Living in the Light

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
Proverbs 14:29

I could barely see beyond my rain-splattered windshield. Thankfully, I managed, with the wipers on high speed, to locate my exit. Letting out a sigh of relief, I prepared for the final leg of my journey home following a long day at work a stressful day to put it mildly.
            Just as I merged onto the off ramp, another vehicle sped by, cut in front of me, and headed up the ramp, only to slam on his brakes and skid to a stop before redirecting his car back onto the freeway. To make matters worse, he performed a certain, unacceptable hand “gesture” as he raced away into the stormy night.
            Shocked, and more than a little dismayed, I analyzed my choices:
1. I could tear off and follow him in a radical display of road rage.
2. I could yell not-so-nice things about him the rest of the way home.
3. I could choose to pray and behave in a patient and kind manner regardless of the fact that no one was watching.
Honestly, I started with number two before remembering that I did indeed have an audience of One. This particular “audience” was the One that mattered most. My Savior had a front row seat to my actions. He could hear my words. He knew my heart.
I realized right then that ranting and raving in my car, at a driver already a mile down the road, was just plain foolish. I could follow my Lord’s example or act as ridiculous as the stranger I was angry with had. Thankfully, I stopped my fuming and instead prayed for God to protect this person as he drove away so recklessly, and, in the end, I made it home in one piece with a sense of peace that comes from exercising patience. Patience is possible. Remember, no matter what the circumstance — practice patience and experience peace. We’re foolish not to!
Prayer: Dear Lord, Your Word instructs me to avoid folly, instead making wise decisions in my daily life. One wise choice that will help me avoid foolishness is practicing patience. It may not be easy, but with Your help, it is possible.
Action Step: Take a moment to remember the last time you lost your patience and the choice resulted in foolish actions or words on your part. What could you have done differently? Commit to choosing wisely when future opportunities arise. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Not Again!

(An Article I penned in 2004 just seemed appropriate to share today when so many people I know and work with struggle with the "not again" syndrome. Myself included. Thankfully, we have hope)

“Oops, I did it again…” the teen-theme song blared from my neighbor’s boom box as the fourteen-something, belly-baring-girl shimmied around her mom’s car, soap dripping from the sponge turned microphone in her hand.  I didn’t know car washing could be such an event!  But the lyrics of this seemingly mindless melody caught my attention. 
Sadly, in my before-Christ and even my after-Christ life, I had danced to the beat of that same theme song.  I’d find myself saying, “How could I be so stupid?  Why, God, why did I do this again?”  Well, the answer, although simple, is not always easily understood, and breaking free from the I-messed-up-again-cycle can seem like a daunting task without the right steps to follow. 
I learned the why was fairly obvious – because I am human, and I have fallen short of the glory of God.  When Adam and Eve sunk their pearly whites into that luscious fruit, we, the people of today, were deeply affected.  In fact, throughout history, the mantra “I did it again” has been repeated more than a few times, by more than a few people.  Every time I eat that second serving of dinner (or third) that I promised myself, and God, I would avoid, I repeat that age-old mantra.  When I used to be involved with drugs and destructive relationships, I’d continually beat myself with the “not again, not again, not again…” club, which I had grown very accustomed to swinging.  Stopping seemed like some elusive ideal, achievable only by those super spiritual individuals who lived in isolation, far away from the wear and tear of daily life in a mixed up, torn up world.  However, as I have gotten to know my Savior and His Word on a deeper level, I have discovered we truly can start singing a new song—a song of hope, redemption, and love.
Thankfully, we serve a God of second, third, and even three hundred chances.  In fact, most of our biblical ancestors messed up really bad (I mean bad) and they were still able to find forgiveness and a new hope in their Lord when they were truly repentant and sought His Way.  I’m certainly not implying their personal consequences vanished, or all godly correction was avoided, but they did find forgiveness and grace to continue on and influence us for the better, today. 
Paul’s famous words explain that our internal battles are not only expected, but with God they can be corrected, and even conquered.  Romans 7: 14-15 (NIV) states -- We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.  Now granted, we can gain a sense of comfort in these words just by the knowledge that the great Apostle Paul struggled, too.  However, left with these words alone, we’d still be stuck in our “not again” syndrome. 
Thankfully, Paul doesn’t stop there.  In Romans Chapter 8 (NIV) he reminds us, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
The good news – there is a solution.  In our relationship with Jesus, we can find freedom from this vicious cycle of sin.  Utilizing the “Three R’s” we will discover no matter what our mess might be we serve a God who is in the transformation business.  He doesn’t just leave us stuck in the muck of our mistakes.  Our incredible God can and does take those ugly, messy, mishaps and somehow finds a way to turn these experiences into calling cards that highlight His goodness and glory.
First, we must Recognize our mistakes.  If we don’t remove our rose-colored glasses and take an honest appraisal of our mess, or possibly multiple messes, we will remain rolling in the mud of our sinfulness.   God doesn’t cleanse us when we stand cockily, with our hands on our hips, shouting heavenward about how we don’t need His help…thank you very much.  Recognizing and accepting that we have made a big, smelly mess is the first step out of the darkness of denial.   
Have you ever noticed when someone makes a mistake, often times he or she starts blaming anyone and everyone but him or herself?  The old “he said, she said” fault finding madness begins.  As a former vocational counselor, who worked in a drug and alcohol treatment setting, I witnessed this phenomenon on a daily, actually hourly basis.   The story goes like this:  The client enters my office and shares they relapsed and used drugs, again.  Then, instead of saying, “Hey, I made a mistake.”  The list of whose fault it was is rolled out in front of me for examination. 
The dog died.
My shoelace broke.
I was angry.
I was sad.
They hurt me.
I hurt them.
They made me.
I couldn’t help myself.
Yes, life happens and life hurts.  However, just like Eve had a choice in the garden, we have a choice today.  Life is so much easier, and freedom is attainable when we simply start off by recognizing we have made a mistake and created a mess.  When we do this we open the door to the clean-up-step.  The Second “R” stands for Repent and Release.
Once we recognize that we have fallen short of God’s best, and fully understand the choice was ours, we can confess and turn from our mistaken ways.  I have a friend who described mercy to a group of school age children with the following story.  She explained one way to understand God’s grace and mercy was to picture Him working away in a humungous kitchen.  Every morning, He welcomes His children, us, around a magnificent table.  Here, He dishes out a fresh batch of mercy that He whipped up for the new day.  After all, God’s mercies are fresh every morning. 
When we repent, and release our sins into His capable hands, we can expect to be fed a fresh batch of grace and mercy prepared specifically for us.  We no longer have to wallow in our mess.  Just as the Prodigal Son rose from the filth of the pig pen to return to his father, we must recognize we are in the mud, climb out, and release our sin and heartache to our loving Father. 
Finally, like the robe was draped around the returning prodigal, our Heavenly Father wraps His love around us.   The third “R,” God’s renewing power, revives and revitalizes.  This is the step, where God steps in, takes over, and does His incredible work in our lives.  Scripture compares our Lord as to a Potter is to his clay, a Vinedresser to his vineyard, a Silversmith to his precious metals, a Father to his child, even as a mother hen is to her chicks.  In other words, He is now at work restoring and renewing his creation – us.  Although, this restoration and renewal process may be painful at times, we can expect the end result to be beyond our wildest expectations.  Just as a designer carefully draws his plans to restore an old, dilapidated house, and as the builder makes changes on the outer structure, and the remodeling specialist enters and works on the inside of the home, our God is at work on, around, and in us.  This particular Designer, Builder, and Restorer has our best interest in mind, always.  
Instead of saying – oops, I did it again -- when we sin, we can quickly recognize our mistake, repent and release it to God, and expect Him to renew us once more.  No mess is too dirty.  No sin is too ugly.  Nothing is too difficult for our Lord.   He takes on the toughest projects and is able to complete them all using His perfect design plans.  No matter how messy our lives may be, or how many times God has started to clean up our “insides,” no matter how many times we have cried out… “Not again!”  God still loves us with an everlasting, unceasing, and eternal love.   The best way to avoid messy mistakes in the first place is to stay close to our First Love -- Jesus Christ.  When we begin to understand the depth of His love, life will never be the same again.