Archive for November, 2018

The primary way to overcome Satan is on our knees..png

November’s dim morning light shrouds the room in a blanket of calm as I greet the Father. “Lord, what work do you have for me today? How can I be like Jesus in someone’s life?” The words hang in the hush of a home not yet interrupted by the rush of bodies hurrying toward busy and I pause, wondering what the day might bring.

I can’t know that by the time the sun sits low on the horizon like a burnished orange dangling heavy on a tree, my heart will quake–grieving for a nine-year old child and wondering what her hours between school and bedtime might entail.

While writing is my passion, teaching is my profession and I love the children whose little bodies fill my classroom. Years ago, I chose to teach because I longed to be the person who might make a difference in a hurting child’s life. I wanted to be that child’s rescuer. Her hope giver. His I-believe-in-you and there-is-more-than-this-joy-bringer.

I wanted to be that child's rescuer.Her hope giver.His I-believe-in-you and there-is-more-than-this-joy-bringer. Click To Tweet

But, naive optimism sometimes collides with reality.

Today, my heart flutters rapidly when a small one says weakly, “I’m afraid to go home. I don’t know what he’ll do to me.” Her eyes seem to plead with me as she leans into my body and I wrap gentle arms around her fragile frame–just as I wish someone had done for another little girl years ago.

I do everything as expected. I make the calls to the State. Complete the required paperwork. And I ask, “Will anyone be able to visit the home before this child goes home?”

The woman on the other end of the line sighs. “Not unless you notice bruising or you were informed of sexual abuse.”

This child--every child--should feel safe.Protected.Loved. Click To Tweet

I thank the woman for her time, drop the call, and feel tears gathering at the back of my throat and drowning my heart. This child–every child– should feel safe. Protected. Loved.

Now, my thoughts and prayers hover over a brown-eyed child and I pray. I ask Jesus to be the one I am incapable of being in this little one’s life and He reminds me.

I Am the Savior who wept tears over a people in need of rescue. I Am the divine planner who lovingly leads a wandering, needy people to eternal hope. I Am the One in whom all things are possible.

I. Am. Able.

Still unsettled, I’m reminded of heaven’s King who exchanged Heaven’s glory for an inglorious manger. The fountain of peace for a world awash in sin. The throne of worship for the disgrace of a cross.

My assignment today was to love a hurting child, but the Father’s mission?                          To be the great I Am.

His power overcome that which is wicked.His purposes will prevail when life is unjust.His presence will guard the weak until the lamb is revealed as a Lion. Click To Tweet

His power will overcome that which is wicked. His purposes will prevail even when life is unjust. And His presence will guard the weak until the Lamb is revealed as a Lion.


I would love to know how God has shown himself faithful in your assignments this week. Leave a comment and encourage others with your testimony or let me know how I can pray for you.

Peace and grace,



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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace....png

When giving thanks doesn’t come easily and life presses in sharp, tearing at romantic ideals of holiday tables and merry-making, is celebration even possible? Perhaps you’ve been asking yourself this question as you grapple with a life-altering diagnosis. The constant reality that your dear one won’t be home for the holidays–now or ever. An all-consuming depression that seems to only deepen as you focus on the joy that isn’t yours.

When life presses in sharp, is celebration even possible? Click To Tweet

I am sorry for the pain. The fear. The aching loss.

I understand. I’ve been in that place and it’s unwelcome and ugly. Overpowering and overwhelming. Unyielding and unstoppable. Until, we remember God is with us in every situation, complication, and aggravation.

He is able to bring beauty from ashes, victory from calamity, and deliverance from disaster.Nothing is impossible for God. Click To Tweet

He is able to bring beauty from ashes, victory from calamity, and deliverance from disaster. Nothing is impossible for God. (Luke 1:37)

The Lord of all experienced the same hurts as you and me, Friend. He knew the separation of death, was intimate with rejection, and chose to spill holy blood for the loss of his broken beloved.

Because of Him, we can cling to hope.Even when our worst fears are realized, we know the truth. Click To Tweet

Because of Him, we can cling to hope. Even when our worst fears are realized, we know the truth.

Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33) that we might have an eternal hope (1 Peter 1:3-4). Christ came that you and I might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Christ is the hope set before us (Hebrews 6:18). The Promise for whom we can give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

In these promises, we can give thanks.

Peace and grace,


P.S. I’ve downloaded a printable gratitude journal for your use. Even recording one small word of thanks can turn our faces His direction. I pray you’ll be encouraged.

Thankful Thoughts Journal

Linking up at #gracefulTuesday and these other blogs:































































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spiritual warfare

The faintest light penetrates an inky sky as I awaken to the sounds of my husband shuffling about the house. I hear the clink of the coffeepot as it meets the edge of his mug and know that it’s time to ready myself for the day ahead.

Leaning toward the nightstand, I fumble for my glasses and then flick on the table lamp. My first impulse is to slip my fingers around the cool metal of the laptop waiting expectantly on my desk. I’ve been preoccupied lately, filling the first few minutes of the morning checking various email accounts and posting on social media.

None of these activities are wrong, but the quiet pre-dawn moments are the rare, uninterrupted  times I used to share with the Lord. Now, I’ve fallen into the habit of settling for less. Of forgetting that each day comes with its challenges. Of ignoring the importance of preparing for spiritual battle because I know I exist between the realities of the seen and unseen.

The sunrise my be beautiful, the house may be quiet, but the enemy is always prepared to infiltrate, attack, or ambush.

“The devil is working against (us). He is walking around like a hungry lion with his mouth open. He is looking for someone to eat.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Scanning Facebook instead of donning spiritual battle gear puts me at risk. Makes me vulnerable. And, worse, renders me useless as a woman living in her own strength rather than Christ’s.

If you’ve ever struggled to remain disciplined in prayer or Bible study, you understand.

But, there are souls walking around who need the hope we have. There are wounded hearts hemorrhaging for the love of Jesus. And, we are the ones called to serve as spiritual soldiers. With eternity hanging in the balance, it’s no wonder we’re told to put on the full armor of God.

I’m gearing up and strapping on, friend. Will you join me? Let’s get ready to stand our ground.

Action Step:                                                                                                                        Personalize the verses below as you pray them aloud by inserting your name in the blanks.

Finally, ______________, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you, __________,  can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For _____________’s struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, _______________,  put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Peace and grace,





























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We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.

(This is an excerpt from the book I am currently writing. May these words encourage your heart. Blessings, Tammy)

A perpetual champion of the underdog, I regularly root for the outcast because I’ve always consider myself a bit of a David—a next-to-nothing-unknown standing in the shadow of a man who caused grown men to tremble.  A man without regard for others and even less for God.

Do you relate? Your giant may have a different name or even a label, but he is no more immune to the Father’s power and justice than the Goliath of scripture.

A Giant in the Land

You may recall the story. Goliath of Gath was the Philistine’s war hero. Arrogant and puffed up with pride, he and the other troops taunted Saul’s army for forty days and nights boasting of their strength. Stories of Goliath’s conquests were certain to have spread among the Israelite camp and God’s mighty men quaked at the sight of this giant of a man who stood nearly ten feet tall.

But, David, a pubescent boy and the least of his family, gathered his courage along with five stones and embedded a rock into Goliath’s skull. The great enemy? Conquered. The threats of the previous days? Eliminated. David’s future? Full of promise.

In the same way, I lived with a giant of my own—a 6’4”, red-haired stepfather with a protruding nose, handlebar mustache, and bulldog tattoo on his upper right shoulder. Invited into immediate fatherhood following a month’s long engagement and subsequent wedding, Doug inherited a toddler and preschooler in need of a daddy. With a penchant for randomly shouting Marine jargon, his voice boomed loud on the average day and rose several decibels when drunkenness or rage coursed through his veins like a prairie wildfire scorching everything in its path.

Like a Philistine warrior, he’d swagger through the door of our trailer house spewing curse words and condemnation. “Where are those little brats? I never wanted to be their father.” And my brother and I would squat in the furthest corner of my tiny bedroom hoping the blustering would stop with the traditional after-work six-pack.

If the ranting continued, we knew. The approaching evening would be one of continued slurs and violent combat—husband pitted against diminutive wife. Her face and body bearing evidence to the events of the night before.

Giants like Goliath and Daddy Doug have a lot in common. They raise their fists to heaven, defying God and abusing his people. Empowered by the fear of those around them, they mock the weak, defenseless or powerless; mercilessly punishing anyone foolish enough to challenge them.

The Mighty Warrior doesn’t stand idly by—cooly observing calamity and chaos directed at His children without intervening.No, He was and is your Defender and mine. Click To Tweet

Friend, the Mighty Warrior doesn’t stand idly by—cooly observing calamity and chaos directed at His children without intervening. No, He was and is your Defender and mine. The giant in your land and mine may have invaded in an attempt to overthrow hope.  Plunder peace. Steal innocence. But he is no match for the one who defends His children. Just as Goliath continued his rampage unhampered for a time, your giant and mine will one day stand before the true King—his threats nothing more than blustery words evaporating in the wind.

Just as Goliath continued his rampage unhampered day after day, your giant and mine will one day stand before the true King—his threats nothing more than blustery words evaporating in the wind.. Click To Tweet

Giants cast imposing shadows and only those who’ve lived within the darkness of that shadow understand the way it stretches far and wide, nearly engulfing the landscape of a child’s spirit. Much like Saul’s men, a little one learns her position. She recognizes her own powerlessness and at the rattling of the giant’s saber, remains on the sidelines—aware that venturing beyond the boundaries not only invites danger into the midst, but guarantees she’ll be its target.

And, while witnessing turmoil from the edges of the crowd causes her knees to knock, bearing the brunt of Goliath’s hate and fury invites brutality. Reprisal. Retaliation. So the child remains in the relative safety of anonymity, praying her nonresponse will assure tacit favor. Hoping she’ll discover safety in compliance, avoidance, or aquiesence.

The reaction of the child is expected and even justified. After all, she relies on others for survival. They are the faces in the crowd that should raise up in battle against the giant—fighting on behalf of those who depend upon them for safety and protection. The parents, church leaders, and teachers. The neighbors, friends, and family members.

You may not have realized it, but there is a champion who stepped in on your behalf to wage a war for you. A rescuer who overthrew the neighborhood bully and claimed you for his own. . Click To Tweet

You may not have realized it, but there is a champion who stepped in on your behalf to wage a war for you. A rescuer who overthrew the neighborhood bully and claimed you for his own. The one who envisioned himself the great conqueror fell in defeat—his plans crumpled at the foot of the cross. Every abusive word, foul gesture, and spirit crushing blow cast aside.

When you and I lived in the land of giants, we believed we were surrounded. Unable to vanquish the enemy. But, in the power of the heavenly Champion we are more than overcomers. We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.

We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.. Click To Tweet

Whether you are at battle with a giant from the past or a hidden enemy like depression or chronic illness, you can trust that the battle has already been won. The foe is vanquished. Victory is certain.

This is the promise of Christ,  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)


Peace and grace,


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#Tea and Word Tuesday and…

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Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called ...

I’ve never been a fighter.

I’m the sort of woman who gets shaky when speaking with a disgruntled parent during a parent-teacher conference. The type whose stomach flip-flops uncomfortably when an acquaintance clicks ‘send ‘and fills the in-box with angry words. The sort who can’t turn off the tears when a loved one seems disappointed or disgruntled.

I'm not a fighter, but I'm engaged in a battle.You are, too, if you've professed faith in Jesus. Click To Tweet

I’m not a fighter, but I’m engaged in a battle. You are, too, if you’ve professed faith in Jesus. While scripture instructs us to live at peace with others (Romans 12:18), we’re also instructed to “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Did you notice the strange pairing of two words? Good fight.

We are instructed to fight.And if we are called to fight?Then God will equip us to win. Click To Tweet

Even the most conflict adverse among us are instructed to fight. And if we are called to fight? Then God will equip us to win.

But, what does this battle entail? How are we to know how to live up to this charge? Will we be ensured a victory?

Friend, we are to defend that which is valuable in our lives. To guard against and stand up under the enemy’s assaults.

Fight the good fight for our marriages.Our children.For a faith that makes an eternal impact.  Click To Tweet

Fight…for our marriages. Our children. Our family and friends on the prodigal road.

Fight…for the unborn. The orphaned. The hopeless and hurting.

Fight…for a faith that makes an eternal impact.

During the next few weeks, will you join me as together we prepare for battle with God on our side and our hearts and minds submitted to the word and work of the One who makes us “more than conquerors”? (Romans 8:7)

To launch this series, I’ve linked to several posts that you might find thought-provoking and helpful.


Peace and grace,




















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