Living Hope

The opportunities to invest in the lives of people are unlimited, and we have a message of living hope to share with them.

“…a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” 1 Peter 1:3-4

As parents, Mike and I desire for our children to know God and have a personal relationship with Him. Therefore, teaching God’s Word is a priority, as well as living out our faith in front of them. One of our daily highlights is before bed, when we take time in God’s Word together. This provides us with an opportunity to learn and discuss more about the living hope that only God can provide, and together, we learn, grow, and discuss what it means to be like Christ.

Read the rest of guest post here: Living Hope 

Photo taken by Lea Goddard

“God, give me courage”

At the age of 18, a young lady left her parent’s home to marry her best friend. There was always someone to take care of her and her needs. Now, fast-forward 16 years, she was to travel and do everything alone. She can be quite independent when she needs too, but she had become comfortable. So when it came to kiss her husband goodbye at the curve of the airport, everything in her knew that she wasn’t going to be able to do it alone. That is where she whispered, “God, give me courage.” 

This was me. Last year, God provided me with a donation that would cover all my expenses to attend Raising Generations Today Thrive conference in New York. Little did I know that it would be an amazing opportunity to truly learn to embrace whatever God had for me.  

God used the three and a half days when I was away from my husband and family to allow me to face some of my fears by stepping out in courage and to intentionally move beyond what I am comfortable with and be taken forward – step by step, learning to truly embrace whatever God had for me, knowing that I was not alone. It was Him through me, a willing vessel to be used for His honor and glory. 

Book Review: FierceHearted

“FierceHearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely” by Holley Gerth challenges women to truly live, to love without restrictions. She comes alongside as a mentor sharing her personal stories of how each of us were created by God for a unique purpose.
Holley says,
A fierce hearted woman…looks life in the face and says, “You can’t beat me.” … [God] offers what she longs for most – for Him to tell her who she really is, to whisper in her ear that He has made her funny and wise and strong and brave.
I am learning that a fierce-hearted woman is one who takes steps to face some of her fears by stepping out in courage, to intentionally move beyond and be taken forward, to walk out her faith, and to abide in Him.
The whole book is awesome, and I have way too many favorite sections of the book to share with you here. The one section that stands out the most to me right now is when Holley talks about “FOMO” (fear of missing out). She says,
I have worried about what I might miss out on if I don’t hold on to everything. But I have never thought about the risk – the one that’s actually much more likely to happen – and that’s if I live that way, I will certainly miss out on at least some of what’s right in front of me.
I know that my email inbox, social media posts, and websites I visit “scream” DO NOT MISS OUT. Yet I came to a point a couple of months ago, where I realized that I was NOT MISSING OUT (or “NMO” as my mind calls it). I purposefully cut down my social media platforms to bare bones and became intentional on enjoying the here and now, especially those who God has put into my path. Because as Holley says,
I do not want to come to the end of my life and say, “I didn’t miss out on anything.” What I’m aiming to say is, “I missed out on exactly the right things.” 
“FierceHearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely” is a book that encourages and challenges you and me, women of God, to be fierce-hearted women. There are times that Holley makes you laugh and other times, where you lean in to hear and ponder the Biblical truth. It is a book for women of all ages, and I personally can’t wait for my teenage daughter to read it, because Holley has become one of her favorite authors and mentors. 
Girlfriends, you and I can become fierce-hearted women, who live fully and love bravely. How? Holley says it perfectly, “Stay close to the Maker; let the transforming come and do not be afraid of it.”
I highly recommend this book! I received a complimentary review copy by the publisher. This review is my honest opinion.

Learn more about “FierceHearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely” here: FIERCEHEARTED 

Learn more about the author: Holley Gerth


Book Review: Daily Power

In “Daily Power”, Craig Groeschel encourages every believer to set aside time each day to dig into God’s Word, to become learners of the Word, and to remember that the Holy Spirit lives inside each of us, empowering us to live out the truth of God’s Word.
Craig says,
He [God] delights in teaching us His truth. Through His Word, we have the opportunity to study His many lessons, each day discovering a new insight for a fresh angle to His truth that endures forever.
In a world that is full of discouragement and hopelessness, I find true hope in God and His Word. My worldview (the way that I see the world) is transformed with a Biblical worldview, as I learn more about God through His Word, which becomes my foundation and the truth that I stand on.
I learn to daily die to myself, knowing that my hope is in God.
I am empowered by Him, the Holy Spirit, to live out God’s truth daily. 
Craig’s style of writing is refreshing and empowering. The “Daily Power” devotional is a tool for spiritual growth written to enrich your daily time with God and His Word. Craig states in one of the devotionals:
We don’t have to be perfect; we just need to rely on God as the source of our daily power.
365 daily devotionals – each one with a daily Bible verse, practical application, which is usually brought out through real life stories, and a “live it out” reflection prayer at the end. Get “Daily Power” today. It is for every believer – adult or teen – who is ready to be challenged to grow and become transformed by God’s Word. 
I received a complimentary review copy by the publisher. This review is my honest opinion.

Learn more about the book “Daily Power” and author, Craig Groeschel here: Daily Power

1/3 of our Homeschool Year is Completed!

Our Homeschool year began July 1st, and it has been filled with all the main subjects like math, language, history, science, and reading, but it has also been a time of serving at conferences, trips to First Nations communities, opportunities to use the Spanish they know (and learn more), and fun times like exploring the creek where Mike used to play in as a child and eating an impromptu meal of meat, cornbread, and cake at an Ache First Nations home.

Our children’s homeschool is unique, and they absolutely love it!

They are our first ministry, and together as a family, we takes steps beyond our comfort zone to serve the Lord. We count it a joy and privilege to homeschool our children, but even more so, the opportunity to ground them in God’s Word and walk alongside them as they get older, encouraging them to obey God and His Word. 

This week, it is extra hard to keep focused on our main subjects, as we are only one week away until our Florida vacation that has been planned for over 10 months! We didn’t take a vacation last year due to ministry changes, and we look forward to taking advantage of time at the beach and spending time with both sets of grandparents as well as some uncles, aunts, and cousins. 

Pray for Trisha as she guides the children in their homeschooling. Pray for safety and a time of refreshment during our trip to Florida.

Book Review: Ordinary Graces

In “Ordinary Graces: Word Gifts for Any Season”, Lucinda McDowell encourages the Christian follower by using short devotionals that include a daily Bible verse, where she selects one word and expands on it by sharing a reflection, short story, a quote, and/or commentary and then, ends with a prayer. 
In the beginning of her book, she says,
To me, ‘Ordinary Graces” are surprising gifts that come to me while simply living my story. If I am in a hurry, I will miss them. If I am distracted, I will ignore them. But for anyone weary from effort yet thirsty for more, God offers grace, strength, gratitude, and life.
These four words become the key words for the 120 daily devotionals in her book. 
While I read, I was encouraged by every devotional. The one focus word for the day allowed me to see and reflect on the “gift” that God has given me.  One of my favorite devotionals was “Chose”, under the section of Gratitude. The key verse was John 15:16 NLT You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit. In the devotional, Lucinda quotes,
Choose in the New Testament Greek is eklego, which means to ‘pick out or select, especially with the motivation of love and kindness’. God’s grace is a gift to all and, as we embrace it, we each become a chosen one-specially selected. The question becomes, will we choose to accept this gift?
Lucinda’s style of writing is unique as she focuses in on one word from the Bible verse, allowing each devotional to became a time of personal growth and reflection.
When you read “Ordinary Graces: Word Gifts for Any Season”, you will find encouragement and hope as you take time daily to read a devotional and learn more about God, the One Who gives grace as well as word gifts that are taken from His Word – for every season of life. 
I received a complimentary review copy by the publisher and author as a part of the launch team. This review is my honest opinion.

Through inspiring devotions, Lucinda Secrest McDowell reveals biblical blessings that remind us that: God’s promises give us strength, God’s grace can be most evident at our weakest points, a proper response to our abundance of blessings is simply gratitude, and the “more” we are all looking for is the same abundant life that Jesus came to give us.  

Learn more about Lucinda Secrest McDowell and purchase a copy of Ordinary Graces: Word Gifts for Any Season. #ordinarygraces

Serving Him Wholeheartedly

At the young age of six years old, I was challenged to walk out my faith and go beyond the borders of my country to an ethnic group that did not have access to the truth of God’s Word. Now, I did not truly understand what serving Him wholeheartedly meant, but I did know that it was something that I wanted to do. In my early childhood, I heard stories of ethnic groups in Papua New Guinea in need of someone to tell them about God.
My life verse became Romans 10:14-15 NIV: 
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Read the rest of my #WalkItOut story, Serving Him Wholeheartedly, on Tricia Goyer’s blog. 

Book Review: Walk It Out

In “Walk It Out“, Tricia doesn’t shy away from challenging the Christian follower. Be ready to be challenged to the core to walk out your Christian faith by obeying God’s Word and impacting the world or don’t read this book. I can guarantee that if you take the challenge to read “Walk It Out“, you will never look at your Christian life the same again.    
She quotes,
God designed us for a purpose that will impact His kingdom. The purpose we all share as Christ followers is to worship God, love Him, love others, and live a godly life.

Move Beyond

I’m so excited that I had a part on Stacey Thacker’s launch team for “Is Jesus Worth It?“! This article was inspired by the book. Learn more about “Is Jesus Worth It?” and read my book review here.

Stories of excitement, passion, hardships, and challenges. Stories that show a heart of obedience as well as disobedience. Stories that shout out God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Each of us have a story. Each one is unique. Yet often times, we have a hard time moving beyond our fear to speak up and share it.

“I know that there are girls who need to hear your story. Will you teach a session?” This was the question asked of me by a friend recently, who also happens to be the director of a Paraguayan organization which organizes a yearly missions event for youth.