UNSTOPPABLE: Running the Race your were born to win_Book Review

Wow.  I have been encouraged, motivated, inspired to stay the course and to keep running to win the prize to which God has called me heavenward. 

Christine Caine uses the analogy of the Olympic Athletic Competition she loves and that of the Baton Race.  Each runner must run his/her best and must be ready in the exchange zone.  She compares this race to the divine race of the Kingdom of God.
This divine relay is filled with exchange zones.  If the baton of faith passes fluidly form person to person, from generation to generation, we speed unstoppable toward the finish line.  But if the exchange is fumbled, the whole team, the whole church, suffers.  
Christ followers have each been given gifts, assignments, places and positions in life.  Understanding our calling and that we are uniquely gifted for the trials, circumstances and tests of life that we will face, will help us to see that life is not about us, but about the Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission.

We must Love our Neighbor as our selves and to spread the Gospel of the Good News to a lost world that lives even next door. 
 The church needs champion runners who never give up, who persevere no matter what they encounter, who run to win un-stoppable, no matter the cost.

I appreciate the way Christine discusses many issues in the Church today, but one of the encouragements that she gives has to do with those individuals who feel they are too broken, have failed, have not measured up in some way. 

Retelling the story of the little boy who gave all he had one day to Jesus Disciples, who had not even bothered to notice him or to count him in the first place, Jesus offered up thanks for the little boys gift and then he broke the bread and fish and then fed five thousand plus who had gathered to hear the word of God that day.

You’ve heard the saying “Little is much when God is in it.”  Yes. Well, that sounds all sweet and church-y.  Christine has another way of saying it: 


Yep.  That’s a different perspective.  After all, who of us is not broken? Who hasn’t been broken or felt invisible, uncounted, unqualified, uneducated, un_______-whatever it is that causes you a “less than” mentality when you compare yourself to recognized and celebrity-style Christian leaders.  The miracle is in the breaking.  And just like with the lunch that day on the mountain, He wastes nothing!

Christine points out that we are all called to not only take our place, but to embrace the place that our calling finds us.  We are all important in the body of Christ.  We are all motivated by our love for Jesus Christ who is our prize.  She does not hide the fact that the enemy will come to us with challenges to distract, distort the truth and to discourage us.  Nevertheless, step up to the faith challenge and do your part because you matter.

At the beginning of our race, we seldom grasp God’s grand plan and how interwoven, far-reaching and transformational it is. We run. Reach. Receive. Release. Repeat.  We embrace our place.The Winners’ Cup is SACRIFICIAL LOVE.

*I purchased this book through amazon.com.  I have not been asked nor have I been endorsed to provide a book review.  The review is my opinion.

Growing in Grace

At some point when The Boys were little I realized that I was not raising little boys, but rather, I was called to raise Men who would serve God in their generation.  As the Lord has allowed me the privilege to be a mother, I have found that this is the highest calling of my life.  They are in their young twenties just now, and my role as mother has shifted and changed with the seasons, but one thing is clear… Seasons change and we all need to grow up.

When The Boys were young, we read Dr. Seuss and watched videos over and over and over.  We sang sweet little songs and colored pictures. I never made them color inside the lines.  We made our own play dough, pudding paint and played in the sandbox.  Friends were always over and on several occasions our den was filled with nine or ten eight,nine and ten year old boys.  Yes. I was insane.

Growing up is hard sometimes.  We experienced hurt feelings, nosebleeds, black eyes, and chicken pox.  We went through a round of the stomach bug a few times, broken bones and stitches, strep throat, ear infections. We went though the emotions of being between two and three years old and then ten and fifteen.  We learned how to drive cars and drive each other crazy with our individual quirks and oddities. Transitioning between seasons can be wonderful, stressful and move us on in faith.

There have been moments when Mike and I could have parented in a way that seemed harsh to our sons.  Truthfully, we probably were harsh with them at times.  We could have been all about what is practical, logical and calculated when it came to school, sports, extra curricular activities, college prep and career planning.  But we opted to seek to teach our sons to be men of character and integrity and to seek the Lord for His best and their blessed life.  Prayerfully hoping that the Walk of Faith they have seen in our lives has motivated, encouraged and inspired them and not caused them to stumble or to become stuck.  We have prayed that their own walks with God will be walks that are full of journeys of adventure and challenge and hope and love and grace.  Oh, God… please, let it be so. 

After a conversation with our youngest recently that could have resulted differently had we not approached the moment in grace, I realized for the millionth time of parenting, that we have seriously tried to be the best parents to these boys that we could. We have sought the Lord, prayed diligently, believed God’s word over their lives and then prayed some more.  We have believed the word of God and tried to teach them in the way they are naturally inclined to go… adjusting our parenting to their learning styles and personalities.  We are not, have not, nor will we be perfect parents… but we have desperately wanted to be. 

I am thankful that while we have had some ups and downs and some really regretful parenting moments, we have a great relationship with these young men.  I count them my best of friends whom I love most to be around.  They are funny, intellectual, handsome, kind, loving and honest.  I love them so!

I am also thankful that God, in His great mercy, has enough grace to make up the difference between what we lack and Who He IS… Almighty God and Father of us all. 

The Word. Worship. Prayer.
These are my Roots.

Did you know that I manage a small coffee shop for my community?  I live in a rural area near Greenville SC.  We have several fast food places nearby, but no coffee shop to just hang out, get a great cup of coffee and stir up some conversation. 

Standard Business Cards by Vistaprint

Our goal and mission is to provide a place for community where conversation reveals Love and Grace.  We desire to cultivate our community to see ourselves in light of how huge our world really is by bringing attention to social issues and then opportunities to be on mission both near and far.

We proudly serve up Land of 1000 Hills Coffee that is a high end specialty coffee that makes a difference in Rwanda.  You can read more about this great coffee here.

In the meantime, if you are ever in the Greenville SC area I hope you will stop by and say hello.  
We are not currently open every day, so check our website or Facebook for details.


No Longer Slaves

"From my mother's womb you have chosen me..."

A Few of My Favorite Things...

I wanted to share with you a few of my FAVORITE THINGS... just a silly post to make you smile.. hopefully.  

It is a dreary day here in the upstate of South Carolina, but there are hints of Spring all around... flowers trying to pop up out of the cold ground.  

My BFF, Donna Cothran got me interested in Aloette Skin Care a year ago, I signed up and can now be a Beauty Consultant... so let me consult with you on a few beauty insider secrets that I LOVE!  

These are some skin care items that make me feel great! 

 My morning and evening ritual makes me feel pretty and fresh faced.  I now don't mind so much to be seen without makeup, and THAT is huge for me.  I have never felt confident about my skin's texture and coloring.  But now I feel radiant and confident.  (that sounds like a skin care commercial, doesn't it? well, there ya go!)

I am not trying to make a living on selling Aloette Skin Care, but if you are interested in a part time or full time income with a great company, then just let me know... I will HOOK YOU UP!! 

Seriously, I DO really enjoy these products and highly recommend them to all of my friends.  

I was recently asked via Facebook how I never aged. Well, because I refuse to... (in my mind) and also because I take care of my skin and use these great products.  

Aloe is a pure all natural healing plant and Aloette uses the best grade of aloe possible in their products.  
Check them out!

Some other things I found this week while clicking around the internet you might like too.  

I found this sweet shirt on Big Mama Blog and it can be found on the Milk and Honey Tees Etsy store.  

I am not a T Shirt kinda girl (usually).  My close friends who know me well know that I am picky about what is plastered in print/design over an area of my body that already has too much going for it and it makes me a little self conscious when I feel eyes reading my chest... 

BUT I really do like this T Shirt and I may just purchase one soon.  It reminds me of one of my new favorite songs by Bethel Worship  YOU MAKE ME BRAVE.  

And... I love Katniss too. 

This past Sunday I wore a necklace from Noonday Collection that I purchased at a sale from my good friend Susan who is a Noonday Consultant.  Jewelry from Noonday is made with love by women who have been provided a job that will keep them from being trafficked and will help their families out of poverty because of jobs and education.  How good is that??

Well, that is it for today.  I hope you have a lovely day. Spring is in the air...

New life springing up. Birds chirping out the window... a fresh wind blowing in... 

God's Mercies are NEW today and that makes today a very good day indeed!

Be Blessed!