Halloween isn’t scary. Prayer is scary.

I love a good “controlled” scare. Would you believe there’s evidence that it might actually be beneficial?

Things like a good jump scene in a movie or someone sneaking up behind me. And I have a special fondness for rowdy roller coasters.

My son—grown, out of college, and on his own—still delights in making his mama shriek. But Mama has a few scary tricks up her own sleeve.

Like PRAYER.

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An interview with author Gina Holmes

I’m excited to feature my friend today, novelist Gina Holmes. Gina is the founder of popular literary site, novelrocket.com. She is a two-time Christy and ECPA Book of the Year finalist and winner of the INSPY, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award. Her books regularly appear on Christian bestseller lists. (And she occasionally appears at my house with encouragement to write!)

Gina’s newest release, Driftwood Tides, tells the story of an aging, alcoholic driftwood artist turned beach bum, Holton Creary, and young Libby Slater. Libby grew up with an absent father and a loving but cold, socialite mother. Leading up to her wedding, Libby and her groom-to-be go through genetic testing and she learns her blood type doesn’t match either of her parents…

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Regrouping after a season of overload

As you could probably figure out from my online absence, I’ve been swamped. When I returned from my month-long trip to the Holy Land, life kicked into high gear. So much is happening, but so little of it will find its way here to the blog.

Earlier this year I sensed the Lord pulling me toward more one-on-one ministry. As much as I’ve missed being online, I’m loving all the real-life opportunities He’s put in my path.

I’ve also felt a deep conviction about teaching the Word, which has resulted in more research than I’ve ever done. Since there are only so many hours in a day, it’s left less time for writing.

BUT … dare I even utter this, life seems to be slowing down a smidge, and so I plan to tiptoe back out here each week, with a new schedule and a little different focus. Curious?

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An interview and giveaway with #50Women author Michelle DeRusha

I’m always excited when a friend releases a new book, and this friend’s book didn’t disappoint. Michelle DeRusha and I “met” online a while back but got to meet in real life last October at the Allume Conference. (I’m going again this year, btw. If you’re going, shoot me a message and let’s connect!)

You may remember back in April I reviewed (and gave away) Michelle’s book, Spiritual Misfit. I’m excited to interview her AND giveaway a copy of her latest book, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know.

Leave a comment by Monday Sept 21, 2014 to be entered in the drawing!

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3 Tips to Beat the End-of-Summer Blues

I love August. This month usually breezes past us, which is good since those fluttering calendar pages are about the only breeze many of us get. But along with the warm temperatures, August also gives us a glimpse of the fall.

I can hear the marching band practicing at the local high school. The evenings turn cooler. The mountains here in Virginia are lush and green and the weedy undergrowth is fading into fall colors. I enjoy these simple pleasures, and then my mind wanders.

Like clouds before a summer thunderstorm, my “to-do’s” and concerns accumulate and darken my mind. Before long I’m fretting and dreading, longing for the beginning of summer when my schedule was lighter. Then I’m grumbling and complaining.

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A little of my story, via my friend Michelle DeRusha

I’m still in the midst of re-entry from my stay in the West Bank, and I’m so thankful for your prayers and concern. Our team is especially grateful for your ongoing prayers for the conflict in the Holy Land. As I tell everyone who asks, it’s far more complicated than westerners can understand. There are good and not-so-good people on both side of the conflict, so please be careful to pray for peace for BOTH sides. Also pray for changed hearts.

I’m breaking my online sabbatical to share a little piece of my personal story on a friend’s site. Here’s a snippet:

I sat stock-still in the ornate Presbyterian sanctuary with my best friend Lisa. I gawked at the palm branch she shoved in my hand. “You’re supposed to wave it,” she whispered.

I’d spent my entire ten years of life in church, but never once waved a palm branch. I raised it high, following along and mentally piecing together the familiar Palm Sunday story. I turned my gaze from palm branches to stained glass windows to shiny organ pipes suspended above the platform. “So this is the way everyone else does church,” I mused.

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Checking in and heading out!

I’m on my way back to the Holy Land!

Many of you have been praying for our trip with FCA and I’d like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU.

I’ll be there with my dad and a group of college students helping run FCA sports camps. Many of you know that Israel is just about my favorite place in the world, and I’m over-the-moon excited to be going back this time to spend time in the West Bank.

We have many prayer requests.

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Back in the (blog) saddle and a book giveaway!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I appreciate those of you who’ve asked about my absence. I’m humbled, actually.

To be honest, I needed a break from all the cybernoise. (To some degree, I still do.)

While on that break, I wrote quite a bit. I also read quite a bit and I’ll be sharing some of those books with you here on the site. I’ll also be sharing some guest posts and other random thoughts/friends as I prayerfully consider my posting schedule in the days to come.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen that I’ve got some exciting news for June. I’m also celebrating some exciting news with my friend Michelle DeRusha.

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On death and dying – a peek into my thoughts since losing my Mom

Losing a parent is hard.

The reality that the person who brought you into this world, who nurtured you, who helped you chart your course through life and who trained you up in the way you should go is GONE.

There is so very much to process. The programmer in me can’t help but compare it to the operating system of my iPhone: it’s as if a dozen apps suddenly launched and started running in the background, all of them vying for their time in the foreground. Notifications, Alerts, Pop-ups, etc.

It’s constant.

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