Everything’s Turning Up Roses

It’s been a wild month for The Church Girl. Hosting an eyebrow-raising video shoot and an MLB World Series player, and having one of my devotions held by a worldwide publisher…will everything turn up roses? God willing – I hope so!

Sometimes the mountaintops after the deepest valleys are the sweetest and seem the highest. Even through the valleys, God is faithful to bring us out on the other side if we just keep walking with Him! He comforts. He makes me lie down and rest. He corrects and He protects. He anoints and fills to overflowing. Kinda reminds me of Psalm 23.

(Click HERE
to read it
the way I learned
it as a teenager,
in the KJV!)

Back at the beginning of the summer, our church media team came to me to ask if they could yet again use our home for filming a video, this time for the Men’s Conference, UNCOMMON 2018. I should have known something was up when they were specifically asking if I had fur, sheepskins, and a fireplace.

I loved collaborating with Clayton Hentzel (the 6’6″ pastor in the robe!) and Ryan Garity (the Emmy-award winning mastermind behind the camera). I added a few of the funny phrases and the visuals that you see, including Scout and Hedy.

Click HERE to watch and laugh heartily…

It was a little awkward explaining to our new neighborhood why I had a film crew and a very tall man in a robe who was not my husband standing my all-glass living room, which I affectionately call “The Fishbowl”. After all, I’ve told them I work for the church, and, well, um, The Crossing will do ANYTHING to reach people for Jesus…ahem…

So, clearly, I have a very open job description at the church, which I absolutely love. For this I am ever grateful to our leadership for giving me a place to explore and stretch my wings for the Kingdom of Christ.

(lookin at you, JH and AH!)

What position have you ever had where you get to use any and all gifts, resources, and talents for Kingdom causes?

When talent comes to town, I host, handle, and help them navigate their time with us. It’s been my great honor to care for punk bands Muchacha, Deals Gone Bad, The Kissers, The Assembly, Woolworthy, The Tossers, Carusella (from Israel), and Split Lip Rayfield, along with beloved missionaries like Studio 13 from South Africa, the CARE INDIA leadership, and Oscar and Lori Aguirre from Pan de Vida in Ecuador. (You can click on the underlined to link to these missions.) I have been humbled by the fellowship of Christian authors/speakers like Tiffany Thompson, Sheila Walsh, Jason Mitchell, and my beloved mentor, Francine Rivers, as they have spent time sharing, teaching, and preaching at The Crossing.

Well, now I get to add a sports dude to the mix.

Ready to rock…right before preaching!

The MLB eight-time All-Star, holding numerous World Series titles with multiple teams, 335 career home runs, and a batting average of .259, Mr. Darryl Strawberry, was such a joy to host. I’m a former coach’s wife and college athlete, so I fell into easy conversation in The Green Room with “Pastor” Darryl about his wife, his boys (who play basketball, not baseball!), and Jesus. He spoke beautifully encouraging words to our people, a clear testimony that he is NOT who he used to be, thanks to the power of Jesus Christ (and his praying wife!).

Hopefully, I will link his sermon HERE for you to watch. He was a home run for us.

The Upper Room, printed in 100 countries in 33 languages, is considered by many Christian writers as the gold standard for authors. When I listened to TUR’s senior editor, Susan King, teach about writing at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference, she explained only those gifted in the art of being concise, clear, relevant, and correctly dividing the Word of God across languages, denominations, and the world are accepted. Submissions are between 250-300 words. (This post is close to 850!) Their requirements are super-high; she mentioned that most submissions are rejected.

A month ago, I submitted my second devotional to The Upper Room called “Lost Without The Father”. (My first was politely rejected!) I was thrilled-to-squealing when I got the email letting me know that they were interested in “holding it” for consideration! This is a far way from being accepted, I know, but it’s an honor all the same.

I have now bravely submitted my third meditation called “Battlefield”, which is based on Dr. Debbie Woodard’s experience as a medical missionary team leader in Haiti.

Could you say a prayer for these, please? I really feel like God was stretching me as I wrote and I am trusting Him to open any doors. It’s a great task to consider absolute truths that could potentially go out to millions of people across the globe and reach the hearts of those who love Jesus. Pray for Christ’s impact on the nations if they are accepted.

Go ahead. Make your offering to the Kingdom for Jesus…

I’m in the season of roses, but I had to get through the prickly times to get here. I am so thankful for my Jesus helping me pluck out the thorns, that He wore that crown of thorns and doesn’t make me try to save myself. Now, I continue to see the fruits of the labors of loving Him; even though the valley was dark, He brought me into the light.