Israel – The True Story

israelHey friends–

I’m grateful to belong to a pretty amazing church family. There are some messages I just have to share. With all that’s going on in Israel right now it’s important to be informed. Well, our pastor returned a few days ago from the war zone there and does a wonderful job at explaining what is really going on in that part of the world.

You will be amazed.

Israel is God’s Holy Land–the name Israel means’ governed by God. I pray these talking points may help to educate you about the history of this nation and why what’s going on there is going on in the first place.

If you choose to “watch” it, just fast forward through the worship to the message.  Just go to PART 6 – TRIP TO ISRAEL and click on however you desire to listen in.


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Be Encouraged Today

This morning I was reading through Nehemiah to prepare for The Better Together Conference next week and read these words by Pastor T.D. Jakes. I couldn’t have needed them more. They brought me to a much-needed place of prayer between me and God–of confession, and restoration of my heart.

I wonder if you need to read these words too? I pray they bless your soul. 


Naked Prayer, T.D. Jakesencouragement

In the Word of God, we occasionally read about a place of naked prayer. People who pray in this way have been stripped of their self-consciousness, their concern about the opinions of others, and their pride. Hannah was a woman who prayed like this. When she came to the temple and poured out all her locked-up bitterness, she appeared drunk (see 1 Samuel 1:12-18). Even the priest did not recognize this kind of consuming, passionate prayer.

God is raising up some men and women who will blow the minds of the most religious people! Radical Christians–those who have nothing to lose–are coming to the forefront. Like Christ, they have been laid bare on the cross and are speaking the truth under the threat of nails and spears.

When your options run out, your faith will grow. Think about it. Who needs faith for water when you can turn on a faucet? Who needs faith for the parting of the sea when there are bridges standing strong? faith is reserved for those times when there are not alternatives, when you must look to the Invisible to do the impossible!

Your crisis is a privilege God has given you to experience a deeper realm of a miracle-working power. Get up and start shouting! You have been chosen for a miracle. Faith must have the incubator of impossibility to grow. Don’t panic. This trouble is just a test–a test with a reward. So don’t stop short of the prize. The greater the conflict the greater the conquest.

Lay aside every sin that could trip you up. Forgive everyone who ever hurt you or disappointed you. Slip the spirit of heaviness from your shoulders–the old depression that is weighting you down. When you are stripped down to nothing but prayer let your request be made known to God.

You may have to walk the floor and pray. You may have to confess some issues you have not wanted to confront. You may have to forgive someone who wasn’t even courteous enough to ask for forgiveness. Do it anyway. Considering what God has done for you, you can’t afford any barriers to prayer.

Let the cool waters of His Word rinse the residue from your past. Spread before Him every issue; He can’t cleanse what you will not expose. Bathe your mind in the streams of His mercy. This kind of bathing is as holy as a christening and as refreshing as a shower. It brings the renewal that can only occur in the heart of a woman who has been through enough to open her heart, to board up her past, and to stand in the rain of His grace. The only way you can dress up for God is to undress. Present yourself as a living sacrifice offered on the altar in naked prayer.

I’ve Missed My Tennessee Home

2013 November 7 170We just returned home from a trip to D.C. and we are exhausted–at least I am. (My kids have supernatural bounce-back power.)

There was so much I learned and so much I photographed in the hopes of sharing stories about America’s history here with you. Whether I was reading words inscribed at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, or the Lincoln Memorial or even while at Arlington and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier–you can’t get away from the fact that God is recognized by our founding fathers. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

But, I’ll be sharing more about that later.

In the past three months we’ve had company come and stay with us four separate times, and we’ve traveled out of the country once and flown to Seattle, Northern California, New York City and just came home last night after being in our country’s capitol.

Yeah, it’s been kind of crazy. dixie

This morning, my adorable pooch Dixie woke me up and we went outside to the back deck for our morning ritual. While she runs around sniffing everything and attempts to hold me hostage with her favorite ball, I enjoy an enormous mug of coffee and spend time with Jesus.

I was grateful to be alone with the Lord at the break of day.

Just me and Him…and well, Dixie…and the cows behind my house yelling for their breakfast. It felt so good to be back.

I’ve missed my Tennessee home.



Where are you older woman?

JoanneKraft.comI’ve observed something while travelling across the country; the gatherings at church’s and women’s conferences seem to be missing representation.

While I love to encourage women at these events, there is a piece of womanhood that is absent. Sure, there are gaggles of ladies who gather still, sharing stories about their young children and a desperate need for a weekend of refreshment.  But, as I eye almost any room in the USA, above the cacophony of sing-song voices there’s a silent majority absent—the older woman.

The older and younger women are so needed to be in relationship. The Bible shows us two beautiful examples with Ruth and Naomi and with Mary and Elizabeth.  It seems to me the intergenerational friendships are few and far between these days and sadly, not given the spotlight it deserves.

The American church does a wonderful job of supporting young families. Pick up any weekly bulletin and you may discover a mosaic of monthly events for a young mom or a married couple.  While I understand a church will support and encourage anything God honoring and helpful, what I’ve come to witness is a problem that has me confused.

I wonder, do the younger women misunderstand the value of an older wiser woman in their life? Or, do the older women misunderstand the value of the younger woman and the value of being a vessel poured out into their lives? Which one is confused about their value? Could it be both are?

The absence of the older woman is apparent online, too. While writing my recent book, I asked for assistance from women, a focus group I prayed I could use to ask questions and receive answers.  I used their words in the pages to encourage my readers, moms in particular. While it has been an incredible group of ladies, my biggest mistake was thinking I’d find older women on social media. This generation does not hang out much there.

Older women still live by the traditional protocol of a phone call or a hand written note. They desire face to face conversation and appreciate a coffee date or a cup of tea in the same room.  According to an article in Forbes Magazine our only real method of connection is through authentic communication. Studies show that only 7% of communication is based on the written or verbal word. A whopping 93% is based on nonverbal body language.

Younger woman, do you have an older woman in your life? If your heart is desperate for godly inspiration, if your soul is parched for deep and loving wisdom it may take stepping away from the internet and stepping out of your comfort zone to walk down the street and knock on her door or send a note, or invite her face to face to spend some time with you.

My heart aches for what is missing in the church. It takes all I have not to cry out, where are you older woman? I pray you’re not discouraged. Where are you older woman? Do you forget how much your counsel and wisdom is needed? Where are you older woman? You are needed to comfort the hurting, bind the wounds of the heart, and breathe spiritual life into the younger generation. Like fine wine, the years you’ve travelled along life’s road are full of a sweetness not to be wasted but to be poured into another.

Precious older woman, your silence is not silent, it’s deafening. Do not shrink back or allow pride to swallow up the work still to be done.  You are missed and you are needed.

That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2:4-5

The Way Back From Loss

way back from lossLoss comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it is the loss of a job, a relationship, or a loved one, the pain associated with loss takes time to overcome. No matter where you are in the grieving process, Pastor Wayne Hastings’s The Way Back From Loss provides you with the comfort and encouragement you need to move on with your life.

Author, Wayne Hastings, has penned a resource that all of us will need at some point in our life. Maybe, that time for you is now.

For me, loss has taken many forms; relocation, divorce, cancer, death and a multitude of other trials that brought me to my knees. But, as a Christian, I yearn for encouragement to walk through loss better the next time it comes calling.

Hastings shares his words to comfort the hurting and tenderly bind the wounds of the grieving and through it all he points his readers to the fullness of Jesus Christ.

While I’m still working my way through this book, I encourage you to take advantage of something that will be a gift to your heart and inspire you to never fear loss again.



A world class author, speaker and business consultant, Wayne Hastings is delivering powerful

messages to business and ministry leaders today. Through his extensive research and hands-on experience Wayne shares a message of trust, hope and encouragement necessary for people to reach their full potential.

Wayne offers simple, yet paradigm-shifting concepts for industry and ministry leaders. He is committed to transforming organizations by helping people through a teaching style rooted in heart and truth.

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