Friday, September 30, 2016

Being Made Complete...

"I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.  YOUR ROOTS WILL GROW DOWN INTO GOD'S ❤️ AND KEEP YOU STRONG. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be MADE COMPLETE with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."--Ephesians 3:16-19

What a precious gift God's Word is to my life!  Last Sunday our pastor shared about an unsettling experience he had on a small plane many years ago.  He said that he remembers flying for a business trip he needed to take.  As they soared over the water a fog began rolling in causing an unsettling feeling of being disoriented.  As he looked out at the storm he asked the pilot where they were.  The pilot shared that he had no idea, but he pointed to the aircrafts panel and told him not to worry.  

He said the Lord gave him two truths to hang onto from that experience:
  • We must fly by the panel
  • We must fly by what we know, not by how we feel


  • My bible is my panel
  • My feelings are real, but that doesn't make them true

The question then do we find truth in the midst of our storms or even on the best of days?


Going to church, being plugged into programs, listening to christian music, and doing good deeds will not save my soul or assure me that I am hearing God's voice.

Psalm 51:6 says, our hearts our hearts deceitful above all things. I cannot trust how I feel.  

When I get busy and begin doing, doing, doing, or going, going, going and don't read my bible I can easily mistake how I'm feeling as God speaking to me.

This morning as I sit in the presence of TRUTH I am reminded of the power of my panel:

Ephesians 1:18:  "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the CONFIDENT HOPE He has given to those He called."

Just as that pilot learned to trust the panel when the world around him was in chaos, I must also do the same....

"The Word of God is ALIVE and POWERFUL.  It is sharper than the sharpest two edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, joint and marrow.  It exposes are innermost thoughts and desires." --- Hebrews 4:12

"ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is TRUE and makes us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." --- II Timothy 3:16

"HIS Word is a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet" --- Psalm 119:105

So Mary, come BOLDLY to the throne of our gracious God.  There you will receive His mercy, and find grace to help you when you need it most!  ---Hebrews 4:16


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Classical Conversations--Community Visit--Tampa Campus


CC MISSION:  To Know God And Make Him Known

CC METHOD:  Community -- We're Better Together

CC MODEL:  Classical Christian Education


As a homeschooler I have been blessed to try different educational philosophies over the past 18 years.  I landed in Classical Conversations in 2010 after graduating my oldest son.  Little did I know that God was using this educational organization to transform my own education and how I homeschool my children.  I am so grateful for the Lord's faithfulness in my life. 

I love my job!  Laurie Curtis is a HOOT!  As a Support Representative I get to contract, love on, and walk with directors as they drill, tutor, and cultivate conversations with our children once a week.  One of my very favorite responsibilities is to do campus visits.  It is FUN to watch tutors and directors SHINE for HIS glory as they run their race.  They inspire my heart!  


Today I got to visit my Tampa community and they were AWESOME!  I just love how much this group of families love each other.  This is the Tampa Foundations director, Liz and her beautiful Essentials tutor.  

 I truly enjoyed observing the Abecedarian class.  The tutor was a beautiful example of beauty and grace.  She focused on skill set verses content.  She made drill FUN!   I looked at those little faces light up in the midst of their learning.

One of my favorite aspects of our Foundations program (Pre-K4-6th grade) is that our homeschoolers do Presentations each week.   It starts with a simple show-and-tell when they are young and turns students into amazing orators as they gain skill and confidence.  This precious little girl shared with us about her pet pigs her grandpa bought her when she was tiny and how she cares for them.

I was very impressed with the level of organization that went on while managing a large campus.  Liz had these handy dandy science bins put together perfectly with tutors names, science times, and materials.  

Challenge A

Mrs.Wallace and her class.

In Challenge A our students are learning how to draw the entire world by heart.  Amy (aka: Mrs.Wallace) uses a shower curtain of the U.S. as her big map.  

Their focus this week was South America

Challenge B
Mrs.Wiggins and Mrs.Stayte's class

We missed Ruth (aka: Mrs.Stayte) as she and her family are traveling to say goodbye to her beloved father-in-law.  It was such a blessing to see her sister directors rally around her to take care of her class while she's gone.  We love you, Ruth.  

Beth (aka: Mrs.Wiggin's did a PHENOMENAL job with Latin!  They worked on finding Stems, declensions, gender, and number.  

Challenge III

Mrs.Curtis's class was incredibly interactive and full of ideas.  It was a joy to watch them in action.

The students did a great job diagramming difficult sentences.


 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.

--- 1 Corinthians 9:23-25

Monday, September 26, 2016

Freedom Workshop--Week TWO

"I am pleading with the Eternal for this ONE THING, my soul's desire: to live with Him all of my days--In the shadow of His temple, to BEHOLD HIS BEAUTY and to ponder His ways in the company of His people."

--Psalm 27:4

What an awesome night!  I loved watching the Lord weave His word in our hearts and our stories all night long.  I looked around the room and saw everyone's heart intimately connected to the Word and to each other.  It was a beautiful sight to behold.  Oh how He loves us.  

  • YOU cannot change your behavior.  It won't last!  God has to transform how we think.  As we think then becomes how we act!   
  • Don't look at the tempter; look at the TESTER
  • You are not a victim!  You are VICTORIOUS because of what Christ did on that cross.
  • We do not work for the victory, we work FROM the victory

  • Fly by the panel (BIBLE)
  • You fly by what you know, not by how you FEEL
  • Poise—Pause and move forward without shifting


I LOVED my jaunt through Galatians 5 today!  What JOY there is to stop, pause, (aka: Poise) and read back and forth with the Lord relationally.  Do not just read your bible academically.  Fall in love with the author as you interact with HIM!  Here is how He spoke to me in verse 22:

"The Holy Spirit Produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  LOVEJOYPEACEPATIENCEKINDNESSGOODNESSFAITHFULNESSGENTLENESS, & SELF-CONTROL." -- Galatians 5:22

How do I bear these beautiful fruits of the Spirit?  In order for my tree (my life) to bear fruit it must be pruned and fertilized. (Fertilizer is death and decay of my old man/sin nature)  Those things that keep me from the fullness of HIM.  I'm left pondering this question today:  What does the Lord want to peel away in my life so that NEW LIFE can be born?  

(Page 52)
  • Reading Chart page 4
  • Memorize Romans 8:12-14
  • Memorize Isaiah 1:18
  • My Sheep Will Hear my voice (Page 13)
  • Reading Relationally (Page 8-10)

“So for the person who does not WORK, but TRUSTS.  His faith is counted as righteousness."  Romans 4:5

“I have been acquitted and made right through FAITH.  I can experience TRUE and LASTING PEACE. -- Romans 5

Jesus leads me into a place of RADICAL GRACE.  Where I can experience the HOPE of HIS GLORY." -- Romans 5:2

"Love others well and don't hide behind a mask; LOVE AUTHENTICALLY" -- Romans 12:9

Do not forget to rejoice, for HOPE is always just around the corner. Romans 12:12

I urge you sisters to offer your body (your life) as a LIVING SACRIFICE. —Romans 12:1 (You will never be a victim again if you understand the honor it is to be a living sacrifice for His Kingdom)

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind--Romans 12:2

IF we share in His sufferings then we get to share in His glory. -- Romans 8:17

Fruits Of The Spirit!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Freedom Workshop Week One...VOICES!


"Quick!  Catch all those little foxes before they steal the fruit of your vineyard." ~ SOS 2:15

This week we talked about how easy it is to have conversations with ourselves and how dangerous that can be.  We are purposing to be intentional about asking the Lord to show us when we are letting foxes into our thoughts so that we can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, kick them out!  


One of my favorite activities was when the ladies began picking apart this verse.  They defined what Foxes and Fruit are and how to identify each one.


We often wonder why the Lord allows us to walk through deep pain in this life.   love this verse.  It's because this is not our home.  He is training us in righteousness.  He is building our faith.  He is giving us eyes to see that which cannot be seen with human eyes.  


Athletes in training are very strict with themselves, exercising self-control over desires, and for what? For a wreath that soon withers or is crushed or simply forgotten. That is not our raceWe run for the crown that we will wear for eternity. --- 1 Cor 9:25

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Looking Beyond The Pictures....Freedom Conference 2016

Oh my heart!  The Lord ministered to me during this conference in ways I cannot even articulate at this time.  Some things were so sweet and others were hard, but gave LIFE!  I'm grateful that the vision of the pastors at Faith Covenant Church is to have a heart for DISCIPLESHIP!  


Who is Debbie Friley and what is a Discipleship ministry?   I've been asked these questions often as I share about how the Freedom Workshop (and Salt and Light Discipleship) has impacted and changed my life. They have been a vehicle the Lord has used to begin the work of molding, shifting, and transforming this heart of flesh into a heart that pants for her Jesus. (noticed the -ing that shows it's IN PROCESS)  

The Lord knew I needed extra help and so He sent Debbie to not only introduce me to this message, but to walk intimately by my side.  Debbie is a woman who LOVES HER JESUS.  She LOVES HIS PEOPLE.  She SPEAKS HIS TRUTH and WEAVES HIS GRACE into the hearts of thousands of people all over the world.  

Let me share some of her favorite (and famous) sayings:

  • We're Better Together!
  • Catch those foxes ladies!
  • You are not a victim; you are VICTORIOUS!
  • Nothing can happen without the Lords permission!
  • We are working FROM the victory not FOR the victory!
  • Three words will change your life..."COME TO ME"!
  • Get FIESTY, Ladies!

Which brings me to a big part of our conference---The Photo Booth!

I had been at the church all day Thursday to help set up and was coming home a little tired. (But still super excited)  As I pulled  into my driveway the Lord reminded me of the Photo Booth we had at our church for Mother's day and an idea began to BLOOM!   I wanted to create one for our conference that had captions of Debbie's favorite saying's.  I thought I had lost my mind?!  Why would I add to the things to do, but I called my beloved sister  (Christa) and asked if she could help make the signs.  She took my over-the-top idea of hand painted signs and helped make it more doable with computer generated signs.  She even printed and glued them together for me.  They ended up turning out better!  Thank you, Christa!


Bernice and the girls somehow talked my boys into playing along.  They were not at the conference officially, but there to do all the heavy lifting and help in ways that blew me away!  I'm so proud of these strong young men God has given me.  The Lord showed me their servant hearts in ways I'd not discovered yet.  

We love you, Bernice!


Do you want to know what's hard about behind-the-scenes people?  They won't ever let you thank them or take their pictures.  This event could not have been any more beautiful and it had everything to do with the team God weaved together.  Leslie Gross and Jan Osborne have such sweet gifts that give attention to detail in ways I've never seen.  Leslie shared that she heard a pastor talk about exceptional hospitality and how that it impacted her heart.  I want you to know Leslie that his message impacted MY heart through your (and Jan's) giftings.

These were precious little Chinese boxes filled with candies for all the ladies.

The bookmarks probably took longer than anything else, but had one of the BIGGEST impacts!  Thank you, Paula and Leslie for spending so much time on this memento. I will treasure this bookmark always.   (The front is at the top of the page)

Debbie did an incredible job on our name tags.  They were preprinted, stamped, and had ribbon ready to go.  

We're Better Together!
"For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a MIGHTY SAVIOR!  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With His love He will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."  -- Zephaniah 3:17

This is just "some" of our servant team.  They were AMAZING!  We truly are BETTER TOGETHER!  We were trying to hurry and grab the picture before we began and missed a few. The Lord delights in His daughters!  What a privilege that we get to have moments of serving for HIS glory!

Affirmation Ballet opened our Saturday with the most beautiful worship dance I've ever seen.  It was to the song, "Say The Word".  

Listen to it here:  Say The Word

Chick-Fil-A is an amazing Christ centered business that graciously donated all of our lunch on Saturday!  Thank you so much to Chick-Fil-A 4th Street!  (BTW, your Kale salad was AMAZING)

Our delivery man who loves Jesus graciously prayed over our meal!  

One of my favorite moments was when this sweet trio sang, "Holy Spirit".

Listen Here:  Holy Spirit


So grateful for this girl.  My Brandon loved her first and now she is a part of our family.  What joy to pray together as the Lord showered His presence throughout our time.  


Oh how I loved the women the Lord brought together.


Communion was a sweet time in HIS presence.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.

~~  Isaiah 61:1