Monday, December 31, 2012

The Perfect Giver

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 (NIV)
     As children, we had great anticipation of a birthday where we would receive a long-awaited gift! The days leading up to that special event seemed extremely long, and we felt we needed to remind the giver often of our desires. Our fixation on the expected gift that day perhaps caused us to overlook other wonderful gifts intended for us. We quickly tore into packages and tossed them aside without paying close attention to their contents. Why? Because our eyes were fixed on that gift that we wanted so much!
     Unfortunately, this behavior doesn't necessarily change as we grow older. If we think about our prayer lives and our petitions to God, we may recognize some of the same attitudes. We can be most thankful that we are able to share the desires of our hearts with a perfect and Holy God! That alone is a most precious gift! However, do we ever get so focused on a certain response from the Father that we miss many opportunities along the way? His word tells us that every good and perfect gift is from God. Every opportunity to serve Him, every good and bad circumstance, every encounter, every blessing...they all come from God for a very specific purpose.
     Each day is a beautiful package from God filled with exactly what we need! May we not toss today's good and perfect gift aside and miss some of God's richest blessings! He is the perfect giver!
Father, we thank you for the most precious gift of all-----Jesus Christ. Because of Him, we are able to share our deepest thoughts and desires with You.  May we be reminded that You are an all-knowing and omnipotent God. You alone know exactly what we need each moment. Help us, Father, to anticipate each day with joy and understand that You are the perfect giver and Your timing is perfect! Amen

Kelly Baucom, Guest Blogger

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Friends - Lynn Blackburn

Lynn Blackburn
Although Lynn and I have not had the chance to meet face-to-face, a connection was formed from the first time we read one another's blog. Lynn has a way of writing all her own. She pulls you in with her anecdotes and transparency. Funny and poignant, Lynn will inspire you to move to the next level with your heavenly Father.

Welcome, Lynn!

(1) Tell us a little about your family and growing up years.

I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and upstate of South Carolina.I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and I’m still very close to myparents and sister. She just moved five minutes away and I’m loving havingher nearby!

(2) When did you know God was calling you to write?

I only started writing a few years ago, but I felt sure of my calling atthe Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2010.

(3) Who is a person that is making and has made a strong impact on your life, and why?
I’ve been blessed with many wonderful role models. Right now, my children are making the biggest impact on me. They keep me on my toes—and on my knees.

(4) What is your life verse?

I don’t have just one. But related to my writing, I love Psalm 138:8 ~ TheLord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, enduresforever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

(5) Other than Jesus, what Bible hero would you like to talk to?

Peter! Big mouth, big mistakes, big impact for the Kingdom :-)!

(6) What in depth Bible study would you recommend to my readers?

I love Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and just recently discovered Kelly Minter. All of them have wonderful Bible studies that are perfect for women of all ages.

(7) Tell us of how you came to a saving relationship with Christ?

I can’t ever remember not knowing about God, but I do remember the night Iaccepted the sacrifice Jesus made for me. I was four. I remember the conviction I felt and that I refused to go to sleep until I had asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and come into my heart. And I remember the peace that flooded through me when I knew He had.

(8) Please give a word of encouragement and hope to my readers who may be struggling today.

When I’m down, it’s the Psalms I turn to. Right now, it’s Psalm 119:132that I’m dwelling on. Turn to me and be gracious to me as is your way withthose who love your name. I love this - and maybe some of you need thisreminder today - that God’s usual way of dealing with us is to be graciousand merciful.

Lynn lives in upstate SC and blogs at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Peace in the Midst of Fear

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 4:7, NKJV)


That's what I heard as I was sitting on the couch preparing to have lunch. "Grandma, Grandma!"

No Answer.

Once she finally recovered, she stood up. Boom! She's out again, and once again no answer when calling her name. It turns out that due to what we think is dehydration due to the flu, she fainted 3 times. Once I was able to calm down, while sitting at the hospital I had a tremendous peace. I knew that no matter what happened from here on out, it was going to be ok. Ladies, do you have a situation today that you need God's peace? Are you fearful? We were. Our family was fearful of the outcome. I want to take you to a God who will supply you with peace. He doesn't force His peace on you, He offers it for the taking. Will you reach out and take it today?

Dear Lord, thank You for your peace. Thank You Lord that even in the midst of fear, you bring Your sweet peace and assurance. I ask that for each reader, bring them peace like they've never known before. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What a Friend!

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, New King James Version)

Walking into the house on that October afternoon, I had no idea what to expect. I was walking into a place of unknown territory. I was nervous and afraid all at the same time. Those feelings fled however when one lady that I didn't know walked up to me and wrapped her arms around me. That lady was Edie Melson. She hugged me and told me how glad they were to have me as part of the group. The next thing she said really broke the ice. She told me that she was reminded by a dear friend to be sure she took really good care of me while there. Since that first encounter, Edie and I have become extremely close. While the 2 of us are really good friends, there's an even greater friend that we have in common. His name is Jesus. If not for Him our friendship would be nothing.He reminds us in this verse that He sticks closer than a brother. While I know Edie would do anything she could for me, I also know that her friendship can't bring eternal peace. It can't bring me salvation. Only one person can bring that peace that we have for all of eternity. Once again ladies, that's Jesus. While you may have close friends here on Earth, do you have a relationship with the closest friend you'll ever have? Once you have that relationship, your earthly friendship will be all the more sweeter. I can promise you that!

Dear Lord, thank You for the friends you've so blessed us with. But thank You most of all for the friendship we share with You. We know that no matter how close wemay be to one another, You want us closest to You. Lord draw us all closer to our dearest friend-You. Lord we love You and we praise You. Amen.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Friends - Cathy Baker

Cathy Baker
Readers, you're in for a real treat today as you get to learn a little more about my friend, Cathy Baker. Though Cathy and I have never met face-to-face, we immediately knew from our first email that we were kindred spirits. Cathy is an 
encourager by nature, and I really think you're going to enjoy what she has to say. 

Welcome, Cathy!

1.    Tell us a little about your family and growing up years.

My parents divorced when I was 8, but was blessed to have both sets of grandparents nearby. They left an indelible mark on my life. My husband and I have two sons, two amazing daughter-in-laws, one delightful granddaughter, and a grandson soon to be adopted from Uganda. We’re very excited!

2.  When did you know God was calling you to write?

Although I’ve journaled for years, it wasn’t until I visited Edie Melson and Vonda Skelton’s writer’s group almost three years ago that I realized God may have more than journaling in mind for me. That, coupled with confirmation from others, helped me to know I was where God wanted me to be.
3.  Who is a person that is making and has made a strong impact on your life, and why?

I would have to say the one person who has made, and continues to make a strong impact on my life is my husband, Brian. He not only allows me to stay home to pursue my love of writing, he encourages me to do so, which requires sacrifice. For this, and countless other reasons, he’s my Hokie hero.

4. What is your life verse?

I don’t have a particular life verse. God’s Word, from Genesis to Revelation, breathes life into this old soul.

5.  Other than Jesus, what Bible hero would you like to talk to?

Good question...and almost impossible to answer, but if I must choose, I’ll say Paul. Oh, the stories he’ll have to tell!

6.  What in depth Bible study would you recommend to my readers?

I would suggest any in-depth study on the Tabernacle. I believe it to be foundational in linking the Old and New Testament with every element grounded in Jesus Christ. I remember studying the Tabernacle through Precept Ministries as a relatively new Christ-follower. It changed my walk forever!

7.  Tell us of how you came to a saving relationship with Christ?

Almost twenty-five years ago, my previous husband left me and two little boys behind. I hit rock bottom. Isn’t that often what it takes? “The” God I’d learned about in Vacation Bible School became “my” God -- Jesus became my personal Lord and Savior.

8.  Please give a word of encouragement and hope to my readers who may be struggling today.

Never, ever, give up. The One residing within us longs to give us wisdom, discernment, freedom, hope, peace, and joy. Receive them. Jesus gave His life that we might experience this kind of life -- this kind of relationship -- with our heavenly Father. 

Cathy lives with her husband in upstate SC and blogs at

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Encouragement Well

Hebrews 9

Proverbs 3:4-6

We serve an awesome God who loves us so much that when we stray from His will He lovingly chastises us to bring us back into His arms.

As I reached the time of my college graduation, I had to do three internships. I had chosen the second one in a nursing home. I had chosen to obtain my degree in Recreation so that I could work with special needs children; knowing that this was what God wanted of my life.

As I walked down the hall to report to the Activities Director to begin my internship, I heard God say to me, "this is a ministry and this is where I want you." While there working out my internship, the Activities Director resigned and I was asked if I would like to have the job. Immediately, I said yes knowing I was in the field God wanted me to be. The Administrator said she would work with me so I could graduate and obtain my degree! God was at work! This was confirmation that God had me where He wanted me to be.

But after twenty five years of being Activities Director, I was ready to get out of the career. An employee at work was causing me trouble, which she did with everyone. However, I saw this as an easy excuse to get out of this career. I applied for an office job which I immediately obtained.
On the first day it just did not feel right to be in this position. People were unfriendly and unkind. The only friend I had was a squirrel who came up to the window and I would open the window and feed him peanuts. When the supervisor would come through the office, I would become physically ill. That was another sign that this was totally wrong. I was not where God wanted me. I had never become ill like this on a job over a supervisor. I had always obtained good relationships with past supervisors. Later I noticed someone had been in my computer and documenting wrong documentation as if I had keyed it in the computer.

After six months of this, I began looking for another office position. It was Christmas and I wanted to fine one desperately. Well I sure found one in my doctor's office working at the front desk for his partner. From the first day, I was thrown to the wolves. I cried and prayed for God to help me to know where He wanted me to be. No orientation or assistance at all. Heaven forbid if I asked the ladies in the office for assistance! They became rude and isolated me.

After two weeks of this torture I was fired. I was told I was not fast enough but I was good with people. My computer skills were good also. So the search began once again. I darkened the door of two temp agencies and even went through testing. However, nothing was available.

A friend told me about a position available in activities in a local nursing home. So I went straight to the home and put in my application. After three weeks of searching and finding nothing, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. "Why Lord? Why will You not allow me to find a job? I am single and must find a job." Then I heard Him say to me so clearly,"You were where I wanted you to be, yet you decide on your own that you wanted to leave the career I had chosen for you.. Well you did and now you see what has happened. You are not in My will." I prayed right then that God would bring me back into His will.

After about seven weeks my doctor called me personally and asked me if I would come to work for him in his office. The staff on his side liked me and wanted him to ask me to come to work with them! I thanked him and politely turned him down knowing I had to get back in the will of God. I was so miserable and at the end of my rope.

The next day I received a phone call asking me if I would be interested in a position in the activities department!! Of course I said yes and felt this was the first step of getting back in God's will. This could only be God's hand to get me back to Him and to continue what He had for me to do!

In December I have worked for 10 years at the nursing home. It was a very difficult time in my life, but He brought me back to His will. When we are God's child and we get out of His will, He lovingly chastises us to bring us back. I am glad God loved me so much that He brought me back to Him, No matter how hard it was for me. God is a loving God and will never let us wander to far from Him

He always brings us back.

Debbie Holman enjoys reading, contemporary Christian music, and Beth Moore Bible studies. She is Activities Director at a nursing home in North Carolina.  Her blog The Encouragement Well can be read at

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Need Comfort?

who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:4, NKJV)

Sitting in church today, I was comforted by a dear friend. My friend Suzie was comforting me with the comfort that God has shown her over the years. She was extending to me the hand of comfort and grace that she's been shown through her own trials. In turn, she can now comfort others. Do you need to be comforted? Are you in a storm? Ladies, we serve the Comforter. There are many names for the Lord, but maybe you need Him to be your comforter today. If so, let me encourage you, reach out. He has arms wide open and He's just waiting for you to come running!

Father, thank You for being our Comforter. Thank You that through others, You show comfort. Lord we love and we praise You. Amen.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Extreme Makeover...God Edition!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)

We've all seen the shows. We've all seen them go into a home where there was a need and do a total makeover. The transformation is speedy and normally has us transfixed until the final moment when the masterpiece is revealed. It's the same with us spiritually. Only there's a difference. Where the home renovation is fast, our spiritual makeover is continuous. We aren't "fixed" in a week's time. For us, it takes our intire lives. Our makeover isn't complete until He calls us home. Ladies, do you need a makeover today? ARe you in a place where you feel as though you're no longer transfixed on the makeover the Lord is doing inside of you? Let me encourage you, return to Him...return to that state of just being amazed by the makeover!

Lord, thank You for the continual makeover you're performing. Let us never become complacent in that fact. Help us always to see and even when it may not be what we think is "pretty" give us a thankful spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are You Comparing Yourself?

For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord? (Psalm 89:6, NKJV)
I just had to wage the war between my brain and Satan. As this verse clearly states, noone or nothing can be compared to the Lord. In the same way, we can't compare ourselves to others. I was comparing myself to another writer by saying that she was better than I. She has more expierence than I do. While that's true that she does have more experience, through a dear friend I was reminded by a dear friend that God is using me in way that I don't know. Ladies, are you comparing yourself to someone today? Let me encourage you, don't listen to the enemy's lies!!
Lord, thank You for friends that point us to the truth. Thank You Lord that we don't have to compare ourselves to anyone else. You give us the talent, let us use it the way You desire. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

You are LOVED !

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

When ask by Jamie to write a blog for her page, I prayed and felt in my heart He wanted me to share a song that I wrote several years ago.
It is my prayer that you read this song and take the words to heart, praying you feel what I felt the day I wrote the song !
                                                   Let Me Tell You About Love

When I try to put in words, just what love means to me, my first thought takes me way back to Calvary.
To me that's the greatest love story, and it's not a fairy tale, Jesus hung there and He died there to keep my soul from Hell.

So let me tell you about love my friend, if your mind can comprehend, the pain and agony, that was shed on Calvary.
No greater love, has ever been shown and there are no words to describe, except it was for love that He died.

As we go along life's way, we'll experience love our self and at times we'll be hurt by this word called love.
But can you imagine how our Father feels when He's rejected everyday, still He paid the price for you and me and He still blesses us with each day.

So let me tell you about love my friend, if your mind can comprehend, the pain and agony that was shed on Calvary.

This one thing I know - I can not throw myself into Faith but withdraw myself from Love !

No matter what you are facing today, alone or surrounded by family and friends, YOU ARE LOVED !

...........Father I pray today that if anyone is reading this blog today and they feel that they are not lovable or feel unloved by family or friends that you will show Your Love real to them today.
In Jesus Name I do pray and believe ! Amen

Donna Hannah-Boswell
Second Coming Ministries
Griffin, Georgia

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Friends - Edie Melson

Edie Melson
It's my honor to welcome my dear friend, Edie Melson. Edie and I met in 2011 at the NCompass Writers retreat in SC. The thing that struck me about Edie was when I walked in the door a nervous wreck, the first thing she did was hugged me like she'd known me all of our lives. Edie's encouragement for writers is outstanding, and she's an encourager for life in general. 

Welcome, Edie!

*Tell us a little about your family and growing up years.*

I always tell people I’m creative out of self-defense. My mom is an
international artist and my dad is a classical musician and well-know
black-and-white photographer. They always encouraged me to follow my dreams.

*When did you know God was calling you to write?*

I’ve always written, but I felt God’s specific call in 1994. I’d just had
my third child and remember telling God I thought He was crazy. I couldn’t
even find a way to sleep through the night and He wanted to add something
else to my place? But I really felt like He was telling me that He’d
provide the way, if I’d be faithful and obedient. Turns out He’s true to
His word!

*Who is a person that is making and has made a strong impact on your life, 
and why?*

The person who’s had the biggest impact on my life is my husband, Kirk.
He’s shown me what unconditional love looks like in real-life application.
He’s always encouraged me to step out and follow God, no matter how crazy
it seems.

*What is your life verse?*

…Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for *such* a time as 
this? Esther 4:14

*Other than Jesus, what Bible hero would you like to talk to?*

The woman at the well. (John 4)

*What in-depth Bible study would you recommend to my readers?*

There are so many good ones out there, it’s hard to pick just one.  But if
I had to pick just one I’d Recommend *Just Give Me Jesus*, by Anne Graham

*Tell us of how you came to a saving relationship with Christ?*

When I was eleven something happened that would change my life forever. I
had told a lie about a classmate and gotten them into trouble. I felt
horribly guilty and the next day, confessed what I had done to my teacher.
She didn’t believe me. She thought I was lying to keep them out of trouble!
I was devastated. I had done this awful thing and there was no way I could
undo it. Worst of all, someone innocent was going to pay for my mistake.

That night I was spending the night with my grandparents and as I lay in
bed alone I remembered that they had always prayed to Jesus to help them
when they got into trouble. I decided I would give it a try. I cried out to
Jesus and told Him that I was worthless and if He could forgive me and use
me, He could have my life. I immediately felt an unbelievable sense of
peace and forgiveness. It felt like the best hug you could ever imagine.

*Please give a word of encouragement and hope to my readers who may 
be struggling today.*

To this day I know I can cry out to Jesus, no matter my struggle and He
will answer me.  He is with me through the good times and the bad and I no
longer fear who I am, because now I know Whose I am.

Edie lives in upstate SC with her husband, Kirk. She blogs at