If It Wasn't About Moses.........

When I read the following passage in my study,

I had to circle it.

It jumped out at me in an extremely humbling way.


"Even though Moses was an exile in the desert, he was right on God's schedule, right in the fullness of God's timing, right in the middle of God's will. 

At the time God was about to deliver the children of Israel, the important factor was not what the will of god was for Moses. 

The important factor was the will of God for Israel."

Have you ever been in a painful situation and wondered what in the world God was up to in your life?

I sure have.

Have you ever felt as if God has sort-of abandoned you at a time when you need Him desperately,

leaving you in what feels like a spiritual desert?

Me too.

What if we could somehow transform our thinking to a God-perspective outlook on life and begin seeing even our "desert days" as opportunities to hear God's voice and join Him in something bigger than ourselves?

What if we looked at every moment in our life as a "royal invitation" to join the King at work?

If we're honest with ourselves, we have to believe there is something bigger and more powerful going on around us than simply what we are doing with our little human hands.

I sure hope so anyway.

If not, we are all struggling humans trying to pull off some sort-of huge story  all by ourselves, and I'm just thinking that even as a united force we could never do what the Creator of this Universe has done throughout the ages.

I learned firsthand last night about God's never-ending work in the world around me when

I experienced His pre-arrival at a fashion show Olivia and I attended with a childhood friend of mine.

photo (49)

I haven't really talked about what has been going on in our personal lives much lately, but I have to tell you briefly about last night.

Olivia recently interviewed and signed with a modeling agency in Louisville, Kentucky, to do some work in advertising.

Because of this, she was invited to work backstage at the Kentucky Derby Festival Spring Fashion Show yesterday.

I keep thinking of Esther and how God used her beauty to save the Jews,

and that has been my prayer for Olivia........

That God will somehow use her to reach a whole new world with His love.


When we arrived and met a few of the other moms,

I heard one of the moms tell another model who was walking by,


"I'm praying for you.  You did great last night!"


Then later as the moms were sharing about how sweet this particular group of girls is, a mom said,

"They have God in their hearts."



As I sat with my friend Lee and waited for the show to begin,

we had a conversation with the couple sitting next to us in which we were all sharing about our children.

Somehow Nick came up in the conversation and I was showing them the back of my phone with my Nick sticker.

When I shared about Nick, the gentleman next to me said,

"He's here with Olivia.  There is a just a thin veil separating us."

He went on to share of his father's death a few years ago and wiped tears as he told a beautiful story of how God brought Him peace just months after losing him.


Lee and I sat in amazement at this whole conversation, because we had just been talking in the lobby about the thin veil between us and Heaven and how God is always working to draw us closer to Him.

We had even talked about the cloud of witnesses and how Nick is right here, cheering us on, along with Abraham and Moses.


My prayer has been that God would allow us to take His love into the modeling world,

but last night I was humbled to learn that He is already there.


We are simply joining Him in His work.


I know everything won't be easy or perfect,

but God made it very clear last night that we are not alone in this new world with new people. 

He is with us every step of the way.


Today, I want to join Him where He's working in the world around me here in Grayson.


If it wasn't about Moses,

it's definitely not about me or Olivia.


Maybe you'll feel relieved to hear that it's not about you either.

It's about what God longs to do for others through you.


Today, open your heart, eyes, and ears..........

Experience His work by feeling His love, seeing the need, and hearing His voice in those around you.


I'm reminded of my friend Kim's son Tyler and his fight with cancer at the same time as Nick was going through his chemo.


Their family had t-shirts made that said,

"Fear not tomorrow.  God is already there."


I want to live fully aware of this truth.


No matter where I go in life,

God is already there.


I just have to listen and join Him in His work. Smile


Have a wonderful Friday with God!

He's there!!!


Just Clay in the Potter's Hands..........

If I imagine a container of Play-doh being dumped onto a table by a small child as what my life looks like in the eyes of God,

I can't help but smiling.


No wonder God loves children so much.


They teach without even realizing it!


Think about what a child does with Play-doh.  He rolls it, pounds it, cuts it, shapes it, and then starts the process all over again.

It takes a long time for them to be satisfied with their final product, and even when they are, it seems like they want to "try something new" with their mound of clay.


Now, I think God is a little more intentional as He works with us.

I think He's a lot more like a potter sitting at his potter's wheel.


Carefully shaping us into exactly what He longs for us to be,

God's Hands are always working, always molding us.


This morning as I read the next day's study in Experiencing God,

I read these words from Jeremiah:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:"Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message."

So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel.

But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands;

so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, "Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?" declares the Lord.

"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel."



I love that God saw an imperfect pot and wanted to reshape it into something He could use.


Do you ever feel imperfect?


I sure do.


I love that God looks down and sees us with all of our flaws and still longs to use us.

I love that He sees potential where we see failure or shortcomings.

I love that He sees what we can be instead of what we are.


Today, as you step out into another day, be fully aware of two things:


The devil wants you to focus on where you come up short, but God wants you to focus on how those very weaknesses or flaws can be transformed into something He can use to bring others closer to Him.


When we allow ourselves to just be "clay in the potter's hands," we are saying,

"Not my will by yours."


When we allow God to mold us into what He wants us to be it's as if we are offering our lives as living sacrifices.

Isn't that what Jesus did for us on the cross?


I love how Bible is a beautiful story of God's work from the beginning of time until now.


I love that each of us represents one piece of pottery in a big, beautiful collection.


Let's allow God to mold us today and tomorrow and the next day into exactly what He wants us to be.


From one piece of clay to another, I love you!

Experiencing God..............

As I looked through workbooks I already had on my shelf, I was drawn to one I started years ago but never finished.

As I read the back cover, I felt like this study spoke directly to where I'm at today in my faith journey.

EXPERIENCING GOD:  Knowing and Doing the Will of God

"Learn to hear when God is speaking to you.

Find out where God is working and join Him.

Experience God doing through you what only God can do."

experiencing God


If you would like to study along with me, CLICK HERE to order a copy of this workbook for yourself.

If you don't have time to actually do the workbook, I'll be sharing highlights from my study several days a week.


This morning as I began I was struck by these thoughts:


1.  When God called people like Abraham to join Him in His work, He didn't provide many details.  He simply said, "Follow me" or "Go."

Jesus worked the same way when He called the disciples.


In life, we don't always know what God has in mind for us, we just know that He longs to use us.


2.  In John 5:19-20, Jesus says, "The Son can do nothing by Himself, He can do only what He sees His Father doing..."

If Jesus needed God in order to be effective, I definitely do too; and

no matter what I think I should be doing, I need to join God where He is already working.



Today, I want to be available to work alongside God.  That means that I have to have my eyes and ears open.

I have to my heart tuned into the world the way God's heart is tuned into the world. 

I know He is has called me.  He's calling you too.


Where can we join Him today?

How can we trust Him more even when we don't know what tomorrow looks like?


I don't know about you, but my days are so much more rewarding when I am fixed on Him.

Life is an adventure when we reach a point where we can look at every challenge as an opportunity to trust Him more.


I have some challenges in my life right now, do you?

I have some things that weigh heavily on my heart.


I'm so thankful for a Father who "holds all things together" and "who leads me beside still waters."


He longs to hold your life together too.

And He is waiting patiently to lead you.


I'm praying for you this morning and asking God to allow you to experience Him in a whole new way in the weeks to come.


As I look back on my study of the book of James,

I am reminded that James was able to experience Jesus firsthand. 

They grew up in the same home.  Because of this, James had a faith that was unshakable even when it led to his death.


I want to grow up spiritually in the presence of God, so that I can have that same kind of faith until the day "my faith becomes sight."

I want  you to have the same kind of faith.


The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.

John 14:26

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothings.

John 15:5


Let's experience God today by walking beside Him in His work here on earth.


Open your eyes and see Him today.

Open your ears and hear Him today.

Open your heart and accept Him today.


When a Book Changes You.....

Have you ever been sad when you reach the last page of a good book?

Do you find yourself rereading the last few words several times thinking........."But what next, what now?"


I remember last year when my high school classes were reading Hunger Games, that's how we felt when we reached the end of Katniss' journey.

You bond with the characters and you bond with the storyline so deeply that the it's hard to believe they can just stop existing and moving through life with the simple non-climatic words,



That's  how I feel this morning as I finish the daily workbook sessions in my James Bible study.

Finishing the intense study of a book of the Bible is so different than finishing a work of fiction, though.


The Bible has the power to change us from the inside out, and this morning I'm reflecting on just what the book of James means to me.


I have grown to love this book so much, and honestly, it may be the most life-changing book I've ever read in the Bible.



Faith that does not doubt and faith that moves us to good works

Patience - even in suffering

Slow to anger

Quick to listen

The right priorities

Compassion for the sick and the poor


A tame tongue

I still have so far to go, but thankfully I know which way I need to be heading........


James has changed me and he changed the world around him significantly while he was alive.

He was a powerful leader in the New Testament church after Jesus died.


When James was killed because of his belief that Jesus was the Son of God, the church struggled greatly.

Within eight years after his death, the temple was destroyed and Peter was also killed for his faith.


Beth Moore ends the workbook with the question,

"What happens next for us as we end our study of James' teachings?

Now that he won't have the daily influence on our lives that he has had for the past few months."


Thankfully, I still have several video sessions to watch in Sunday school, so I'm not totally saying, "Goodbye," to the study,

but I still feel convicted enough to ask the question,

"What is next for me?"


I know myself well enough to know that I need "the next" study.

I need the daily influence of God's Word to keep me in tune with His desires for my life, His will for me.

So, I'm not going to bed tonight without combing through my bookshelf to find a workbook to start tomorrow morning.

I need something that causes me to dig deeply into God's Word,

because the deeper I dig, the more I discover about the One I love most.

And the more I discover about Him, the more I learn about how I am suppose to live.


I can't make it on my own.


In my chronological Bible yesterday I read a verse from Judges 21:25 that really struck me,


In those days Israel had no king;

everyone did as they saw fit.

I need a king to guide me daily.

I need a book that changes me from the inside out.


So, I'm thankful this morning for the Bible and for every book in it.........

If I could challenge you this morning with one thought, it would be this.


Give God the chance to change you.


He longs to be your king....not to rule over you, but to lead you in a life more abundant than words can express.


Are you wondering how to give God this chance?


Start by opening a Bible and asking God to speak through His Word.


I'm not sure what I'll be choosing next for my morning quiet time, but I'll let you know tomorrow.


Maybe we can study together!


I love you all so much!


My Heart is continually thankful for you and forever transformed by His Words.


I want to know Him more...............

The Imagery of God........

This morning I've been reading about the destruction of the temple in AD 70 and how this relates to our lives as Christians today.

I'm amazed all over again with thought of each of us being a "temple of God."

Peter even refers to us as "living stones, being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ," in I Peter 2:5.


If you combine these two thoughts, God has created quite a picture of the "new temple."


Each of us, as mini-temples and living stones, have a very special purpose in the history of Christianity.


Ephesians 2:19-22 says,


"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."


I love the thought of the church worldwide being joined together to form a "holy temple in the Lord."


As Christians, we have the honor and responsibility of providing a home in which the Holy Spirit can live, but together all of us form a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.


That's a deep thought for a Monday morning, but I just had to share!


How amazing is it to think that on this Monday, March 25th, as we all begin different kinds of days, we have a purpose together (worldwide) of forming the dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.


It's a lot more difficult to feel alone in your daily struggles when you realize you have such a higher calling and purpose, isn't it?


Today, no matter what you're facing know this:

As a Christian, you are part of something bigger than yourself, something extremely significant in the Heavenly realm.


Feel encouraged today, knowing that you are part of the spiritual restoration of God's temple that was destroyed with human hands in AD 70.

You are part of something formed by God's Hands.

I don't know about you but that makes today seem much more worthy of my best effort!

From one "living stone" to another, I hope you have an amazing day!

Winners of Two Give-Aways!!

Winners of the movie Foolishness are:

Holly Hannum

Aaron Chambless


Curtis Fields


Winners of the book Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turle are:

Mary Cline


DesaRae Nickell


Congratulations to all!


Email me at tammynischan@yahoo.com with your address if your address if you live out of town.  If you are in town, I will deliver to you!

The Reality of the Nativity Scene........

Last night, Tim and I decided to watch the third episode of "The Bible,"

because I was out of town on Sunday evening when it first aired.


As I watched the story of Mary and Joseph unfold,

I was struck significantly by the moment when Mary leaned forward and kissed Jesus' tiny forehead just minutes after His birth and just moments after naming Him, "Jesus."

mary and baby jesus

Kissing Jesus, the Son of God.

Could anyone ever feel closer to Heaven than Mary did in that moment?


I remember kissing Nick's head many times in those last few months of his life,

and I remember thinking I was kissing the head of a very precious boy.


I don't think I realized just how close I was to Heaven in those last few days of Nick's life,

but I knew in a very deep way that we were not alone in those dark hours.

God was with us.


One of my friends whose husband died of cancer just a few years before Nick,

shared several stories with me of times when her husband saw angels in the room signaling for him to wait and then finally seeing one that shook her head, "yes,"

as if saying, "It's now time for you to come Home."


I wonder if Mary saw angels on the night Jesus was born,

and I wonder if she saw them again when Jesus died.


I have to believe God walked closely with Mary all through her life as the mother of His Son.

And I have to believe He longs to walk closely with each of us who have chosen to call Him Father.


The reality of the Nativity scene is this:

God longed to be with us so much that He sent His only Son.

Emmanuel, "God with us."


When Mary kissed Jesus' forehead she kissed the Son of God.

That's enough to make me smile today,


Because when Jesus was born,

our lives were forever changed.



Suddenly, God was with us..............

Turtles, Truthfulness, and a Give-Away!!

After teaching for 30 years, Robin Densmore Fuson has decided to put pencil to paper in a whole new way!

Combining her knowledge of grade-level appropriate reading material and her love for God, Robin has written her first book in a series of books geared toward elementary-aged children.

Her first book is entitled Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turtle.

In this story, 8-year-old Rosita meets a giant, but shy, sea turtle in a cove of the Pacific Ocean and tries to convince her family throughout the book that Toby the sea turtle is real.

She shows her dedication to her family all along the way as she continues to complete her homework, do her daily chores, and help with her baby sister.

In a world where honesty and respect are needed more than ever, this book offers a chance for parents to talk with their children about the importance of both in life.

Leave a comment below or post a comment on my Facebook page under this post in order to enter yourself for a free copy of this new chapter book.

Winners will be announced Monday evening, so you can receive your book in time for Easter Sunday!

CLICK HERE to order a copy for your family today!


sea turtle

Happy Thursday!

I hope your day is filled with smiles and laughter.


Mine will begin, again, with the filling of 40 helium balloons..........


I'll be thinking of all of you and saying a prayer with each balloon we fill!


Thankful to share life with each of you!



Invitation to Rest............

One thing that strikes me about most students I encounter in life is this,

most of them are tired.

When I'm walking down a hall and pass a student and say, "How are you doing?"

The response is almost always the same,  "Tired."

Actually, many of my friends would say the same thing, "I'm so tired. I'm just worn out."

Last night, I realized that I had reached a point of exhaustion.

A three-day trip away from home with high school kids combined with an already incredibly busy month had pushed me against a wall that was bringing out a side of me I do not like.

I decided the best thing to do was crawl in bed......at 7:30.

I ended up reading for a bit but by 9 p.m. I was out for the night,

and this morning I'm feeling a little better.

Sometimes, we just have to know it's okay to pull away from our normal routines and rest.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how technology has affected our lives, and I'm just wondering if teens today aren't more exhausted because of the never-ending access to cell phones, laptops, IPads and on and on....that keep them "connected" to friends from the minute they wake up until the minute they fall to sleep.

When I got home from school as a teenager, I was really home and away from all the activities of school life unless the phone rang and a friend called.

Nowadays kids have to deal with non-stop relationships every minute they are awake.

So do adults unless they choose to set boundaries on technology.

I'm just as guilty as the next person, but I'm feeling a personal challenge rising up in me.

A challenge to not be accessible for several hours every evening except by face-to-face contact.

A cup of coffee.

A walk.

A time of swinging on the front porch.

That's what I'm longing for.

I think God longs for that kind of time with us too.

Just us and Him.




We can't hear what our soul is saying if we are busy doing all the talking and texting and tweeting.

I am inviting myself and each of you to consider choosing one night a week to simply unplug and be still.

I believe we will love it so much that it will grow to be more than one evening a week.

My morning quiet time is my favorite time of the day...........and I want to start ending my day in the same way.

I also want to be more aware of times throughout the day when I can simply pull away internally and spend a few minutes with God.

Simply being still.

God deserves more of me than anyone else in the world.

He deserves more of you too.

He longs to be our best friend.

And best friends deserve quality time with us.

This morning, as I venture to get ready for yet another busy day, I'm looking forward to sharing today with not only co-workers but also the Creator of the Universe.

I want to rest in Him all day long.

He wants you to rest in Him too.

For just a minute, close your eyes and consider how blessed you are even if you are in the middle of a tough season of life.

You have direct access to the throne of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Approach His throne today and rest in His love.

Matt. 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

When You're Running Slowly.........

Last night I returned home from a three-day trip with our county's high school academic teams.

Spending time with these students and other teachers from our county was a great escape from everything "normal" in my life.

We laughed.

We ate.

We competed.

We talked.

We walked.

We ate.

Picking the next fun restaurant seemed to be the conversation of the day,

and the walk to and from these dining places was half of the adventure.


At one of these meals, I learned that one of the teacher's sons was a computer expert.

I don't just mean "he knew a lot," I mean "he knew more than any high school student I've ever met."


As we talked about hard drives and all the things that make a computer run smoothly,

I realized I was in the presence of someone who could help me with all the problems I have been experiencing with my laptop.

So after dinner, I asked if he would take a look at mine and he did!

As I watched him run searches and open the control panel over and over again,

I was amazed at how many things needed to be "uninstalled" on my computer that were "unnecessary" and "slowing my laptop down."


I feel like I have a brand new computer this morning!

I told my friend several times throughout the weekend,

"Your son has changed my life!"


He even helped me organize my IPhone and get rid of my some unnecessary apps.


I was thinking about all of this as I was reading my Bible this morning and as I was reading a book I just started over the weekend,

I realized life gets cluttered too.


We just "add apps" and "install" so many things in our daily life that we begin to run slowly.


As I read about Gideon being asked to reduce the size of his army before going to battle and about the power of solitude in my latest favorite book,

"Sacred Rhythm,"

I felt God asking me

"What do you need to reduce or uninstall in your life so that you can run more freely the race I have set before you?"

That's a big question, isn't it?

It reminds me of the moment on the trip this weekend when I was trying to pull my luggage into the hotel along with someone else's whose hands were full.

I remember thinking that "carrying our own baggage through life is really more than any of us can handle."

So, maybe today God is calling us to let go of someone else's problems that at are out of our hands and simply pray.

Maybe He's calling us to let go of our own baggage and simply allow Him to be our spiritual bellman.

I'm listening today and trusting God to make very clear all the things in my life that are slowing me down from being all He wants me to be.

I hope you'll listen too.

I am so thankful for a personal Savior who looks deep into my soul and longs to be my "control panel."

He wants to be yours too.

Not so He can make us do this or that, but so He can help us learn to keep what we need to keep and let go of what we need to let go of........

Life can be such an adventure when we share it with God.

No matter where you are today,

know that He is there too,

quietly waiting for you to ask Him to enter every part of your life!

He will not force His way into your daily activities,

but He is there.

Like a good shepherd, He gently guides us.

He loves us.

He knows us.

He wants to help us let go of things that are slowing us down so that we can run freely with Him.

He longs to speak to us,

but He speaks softly.

Listen for Him today

and follow.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me."

John 10:27

Birthdays in Heaven......

I wonder what's going on today up there in Heaven?

Do birthdays matter in eternity where time is endless?

I don't know.

But I do know this, God was all about setting up memorials throughout the Old Testament and there were a lot of festivals too.

I just have to believe that God is all about celebrating life - here and there!

So, I'm going to imagine a huge day of balloons and laughter in Heaven as Adrienne turns 21 without me there to hug her.

balloon release

I'm going to imagine Nick right there with her grinning, eyes closed and face full of joy, singing with the sweet voice he always had when he sang here on earth.

I'm going to imagine lots of other kids I know, and adults too, gathered around a banqueting table holding a gigantic cake and gifts my human eyes can't even imagine.

I'm thankful today for a faith that sees beyond this world and a Hope that does not disappoint!!

Grief is so much easier when we allow God to step in and carry us through days like today.

I'm just thinking that if my eyes stay wide open, I'm going to experience Heaven's joy right here on earth today.

I'm smiling right now as I think about the fact that the very month of Adrienne's 21st birthday is the month that me and my co-worker have been called upon to fill up almost 300 helium balloons over the course of its days so that teachers can release them as a celebration of our teacher academy's coming to a close for this school year!

To think that we are sending up towards the heavens 300 balloons from our small town makes me smile!!

I love God's ways of bringing a smile!

Turn to Him today with all of your "should be"s in life and ask Him to fill you with peace in spite of your realities.

He longs to be with you in the celebrations you can have and in the celebrations you should be having............

He never stops loving you.

And He never stops wanting to give you reasons to smile even when your smile is based on future Hope more than it is on your present circumstances.

I love you all so much!

I have to end today with, "Happy 21st birthday, Adrienne!!  I love you so much! You are part of everything I am today....and always will be!!"


I love that "Part 17" of Nick's funeral on Youtube is the releasing of 99 red balloons in honor of one of Nick's favorite songs!

Nick would be 17 now, so it seems appropriate that the numbers are all coming together as Adrienne is turning 21.


I thought I'd let everyone who released balloons for Nick in 2008 help us celebrate today by releasing them again for Adrienne! 
Thank you for sharing in all of our joy and all of our grief!



Only God can use a funeral to celebrate a birthday.

Smiling with tears as I cling to the promise that one day my mourning will turn to dancing,

While Reading "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Olivia's honors English class is reading To Kill a Mockingbird outside of school.  This means that every night Olivia is required to read two chapters.  If it's been a while since you picked up this classic, you may not remember the language is a bit "old school" and the characters come and go so quickly that paying attention is a MUST!

This text is definitely the most difficult Olivia has been called upon to read so far in her school career, so every night we find ourselves snuggled up together plowing through the next two chapters of the adventures of Scout and Jem.  Just typing those words reminds me that Dill has sort-of slipped out of the story since he "got a new dad" and doesn't visit the town of Malcomb in the summer anymore, a perfect example of how the characters play huge roles and then seem to disappear.

I read this story years ago and as we move on in the storyline many things are familiar while still being surprising all over again.

It's like I'm reading the book for the first time with a sense of dejavu all the way through.

Olivia, on the other hand, is absorbing the story from a totally fresh perspective so she has questions along the way that I may not ask if I hadn't read it before.

I'm realizing more and more how a book I only read once and then tucked away can slowly slip from my mind and become a foggy memory.

I'm also realizing that while the characters in this book seem real and events similar to this story's plot probably did happen in American history, Olivia and I are reading fiction. Scout and Jem never walked on the earth.  Dill never got a new dad.

On the other hand, when I pick up the BIble and read stories of the Israelites entering the Promised Land or Jesus walking on the earth, I believe with  all my heart that I am reading real stories from History.

The characters in the Bible, no matter how long or short their appearance may be, really existed, really walked, and really talked.

I also realize that as I read these stories over and over they change me, they become part of who I am today.

I am feeling convicted this morning about something.

I snuggle with Olivia to read fiction, but I am not snuggling with her to read God's Word.

Why in the world did it take a high school teacher's "required reading assignment" to make me crawl under a blanket with Olivia and open a book.

Not that we've never read the Bible together or that Olivia doesn't read on her own, but how powerful would it be if ever night we were taking time to read one story and talk about it.

How wonderful would it be to hear Olivia asking questions about why Moses did this or what was Esther thinking when she did that?

Life passes by quickly and I missed some great chances to have these kinds of moments with our boys. 

It's easy to lean on church and youth group to meet your kids' spiritual needs, but more than ever in life, I think our kids need more!

I only have three and a half more years of Olivia at home, and the book To Kill a Mockingbird has opened my eyes to a great opportunity to share more than just fiction with Olivia while she is still home.

Only God can speak through His Word and the words of others all at the same time.

He is constantly in pursuit of us, even when we snuggle up with fiction works!

I love this about Him!!!

When Isaac Speaks and Penguins Preach........

You may remember how a little guy named Isaac came into my life almost two weeks ago and reminded me of the importance of "laying down" parts of my life that I treasure so that God can provide just what I need for this particular season of my life.  If not, you can CLICK HERE to read that post.

I've been amazed at how God continues to use this same little boy to speak to my heart.

Last week, his teacher shared some student work from a class assignment on penguins during a teacher academy.

As I was looking through student work, I learned all kinds of interesting and funny things about these creatures. 

But my reading stopped as I looked at Isaac's paper.  His beginning handwriting combined with the fact he chose to share made me sit for a minute and just smile.

This is what he wrote:

photo (41)

Penguin dads put their babies on their feet.

No other child had mentioned this fact about penguins.  Most of the students had shared something about what penguins eat or how they eat or where they live, but Isaac shared something about what penguins do as parents.

The thought of a daddy penguin placing its baby on his feet, as if to say, 'I'll walk for you.  I'll lead the way.  I'll protect you."

In a world with so many human fathers who aren't even present to provide for the daily needs of their children, this animal fact carries even more meaning.

It's almost as if God knew we would need something to teach us about His love in a world where love seems so conditional, so He created animals that could deliver this message in a beautiful way consistently and with a very specific purpose - survival.

I believe God wants us to learn from penguins today, and once again He allowed Isaac to speak.  This time through his writing.

Penguin dads put their babies on their feet.

Isn't this what God longs to do with us today?

Lift us up.

Place us on His feet.

Walk with us.

Carry us.

Lead the way.

Protect us.

Guide our steps.


I don't know what you're facing today, but I hope you'll allow the Creator of the Universe, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings to do for you what a penguin dad does for his baby. 

Allow God to put you on His feet.

Scriptures say that the earth is His footstool, so I think He has plenty of support for handling you and all your needs!


Thankful today for Isaac, penguins, and all of you!

Sorry I didn't write yesterday.  I left my computer in my friend's car after work! Oops!

The Joy of Giving.......


In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak,

remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'

Acts 20:35

Wondering how God will call me to give this week.

Hoping I'll hear the call and answer.

Hoping you'll hear Him too!

I love you all so much!

Happy Monday!

When We Know We're Just a Vapor..........

Now listen, you who say,

"Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 

 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

James 4:13-17

No matter where today finds us, the Word above is clear.

We do not control tomorrow.

God does.

To some this may cause fear, the calling to let go of the confidence we have in our calendar or our planner.

To some this may bring relief, knowing that God already has a plan for all the question marks looming overhead.

As we sat in the jail cell last night with so many broken women wearing their orange scrubs and looking as if all sense of purpose in this life had been ripped away,

it occurred to me that if it is true that life is a vapor (and I believe it is because the Bible says it is and I've witnessed how fragile life is on too many occasions), then

the time these women spend behind bars is less than a vapor.

It's not even a whole puff of smoke.


Looking at trials as less than even one puff of smoke makes everything we face a little easier.

Knowing that even in this "wisp of mist" we endure - God is working - makes even our trials  bearable.

He is with us..no matter what we're facing.


Today, my plate is full.

Yours probably is too.


We can stress this morning, or we can rest in the knowledge that God is already in our crazy moments of today.

He's already in every second that holds more than our little minds or emotional stability can bear.


There's something incredibly humbling about knowing that no matter what we've planned, it can be changed.

There's also something very freeing about this same truth.


Today, my hands are open to God's will.

My heart is open to His message.

My eyes are open to His desires.


I know He controls every aspect of my life even if I've made a thousand plans.

I know I am but just a vapor.


By knowing and believing these two things, I can face today fearless.

I can face today with a smile.

So can you!



He is with us.



From one vapor to another, have a great Friday!

The Power of the Harlem Shake......

If you haven't heard of the Harlem Shake, you're probably not spending very much time around teenagers.  

I only heard of it about three weeks ago, even though I have a teenager living in my home.

Last night, the college kids who help at our church actually filmed our youth group performing the Harlem Shake, and I'll share the video as soon as it is posted to the web.

In this "dance," one person (usually wearing a mask of some sort) is dancing in the middle of a crowd of people who seem to have no idea the person is even there.

Then, the video breaks and suddenly everyone is dancing and wearing crazy costumes.


I've tried to understand how something could become so popular so quickly.  I read that at one time this winter 4,000 versions of this dance were being uploaded to the Internet every day!


The one thing I love about these videos is that one person who seems to do what they want to do even if no one else cares is able to transform an entire crowd almost immediately.


Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow live like the first dancer in the Harlem Shake?


Confident enough in who we are and whose we are to simply be all we can be without worrying about anyone around us.


Sadly, I think many of us tend to be like the crowd, following the next best thing that comes along and gets us out of our seat.......


I think the most interesting thing about the Harlem Shake is that the lead person is wearing a mask?  I wonder why????


I've done a little research on the Harlem Shake, because things like this just boggle my mind; and I haven't found a really good reason for why the mask is worn.


But, I do think it speaks to the fact that even in this crazy dance the lead dancer wears something to hide who they really are.


This morning I'm just wondering how this video phenomena can speak to us today. 


Here's some questions I think we could all ask ourselves:


Do we ever wear a mask, hiding who we really are?

Do we try to lead or do we tend to follow?

If we try to lead, do we lead people to pointless things or things that are eternal?


I'm thinking about the Harlem Shake this morning, and I'm wondering if God can teach us something even through this fun little fad that seems to be taking our world by storm.........


Paul is a great example of someone who could lead a New Testament Harlem Shake  - no mask needed -

Here's what he had to say to the people of his day,


I Cor. 11:1

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.......

Grief, Faith, Skateboarding, Your Testimony, and A GIVE-AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's no secret that grief has placed me on quite a spiritual journey --

A search for meaning in this crazy thing called life that taunts us with happy moments and then knocks us down with brutal blows.

I wrestle with God often, begging for a blessing before surrendering to His breaking of my will over and over again.

In a way, I feel as if allowing God into my grief walk requires a heart of continual wrestling.

Grief with God isn't easy.

Grief with God demands unwavering faith in an extremely shaky world.........

I've met many who choose to walk grief without God, and I've sensed in them no more wrestling.

In their aloneness, they often walk bitter and angry, and they seem to have accepted it as their "lot in life."

No more struggle to find God in their pain.

No more reading the Bible and wondering how a God of love could possibly use their heartache.

Bitterness often looks like an easier option to me.

It makes sense.

I just can't choose it, though, even if it means I could settle down, cross my arms, and say, "Grief, you win."

Sometimes, I'd like to.

Sometimes I'd love to just stop rejoicing with those who rejoice and even mourning with those who mourn.

I'd like to stop "feeling" life and just be a bitter, cold person who stumbles my way to the end.

You know what I mean?

You've seen elderly people who never smile.

Sweet people who've had a rough life, and it's just gotten the best of them.

Somehow it's easy to look at them and say, "I can't blame them. I'd be the same way if I'd lived their life."

But then you see the elderly person who smiles,

and you know he or she has had a rough road too,

and you think, "Wow!"


Just this past Sunday, my husband was telling me about stopping in one of the Sunday school rooms at our church where several of our elderly ladies meet and talking to them for a bit.

He said they were talking about their wrinkles, and he thanked them for the deep creases in their faces from their constant display of joy.

He told me,

"I wasn't planning to say this, but I just told them,

'Thank you for your smiles.  They preach more than a sermon ever could.'"



When I'm 85 years old, if the Lord keeps me here this long,

I hope some middle-aged man says the same thing to me.

I hope I can make it to the end with the calm assurance that all my wrestling with God has been worth it,

because He has brought joy over and over again in my sorrow.


I love Him so much.


This is why my heart overflows with excitement today at the opportunity to offer this give-away.


Because just like a smile can preach a sermon, I think our profession can too........

Who better to reach our youth with God's Word than professional skateboarders who have wrestled and found Him along the way and have had their lives turned upside down???

I have so many memories of my boys and skateboarding and roller blading.

I remember Tim and our son Evan building a skate ramp.

I remember knee pads, elbow pads, hand protectors, and helmets, and helping our boys get everything in place and fastened tightly before they ventured out to try a new trick.

I remember a trip my husband took to Louisville and a stop they made in Indianapolis so the boys and their friends could experience "real" skate parks.

I remember the sound of the skateboard moving across our driveway like it was yesterday.

And it warms my heart today to think that some of the guys who inspired them as young boys are now inspiring more young boys in a whole new way.


OC-00002 Foolishness_Outline


"Foolishness," is a movie full of skating, Scriptures, and testimony.

And it is now available on DVD!!

You can click here to order your own copy!


On the back of the DVD, you can read these words:

This movie ........

***Empowers your kids to stand against the pressures they face at school

***Gives them what they need to be as fearless in their faith as they are at the skate park

***Shows them you recognize a truth they face daily:  A righteous life is the greatest rebellion

Brian Sumner and Christian Hosoi shaped a culture by reaching amazing heights in the skateboarding world, literally and figuratively.

They will tell you themselves, that they were heroes but they were also fools until they decided to lay their sins at the foot of the cross and never look back.

Today, these men are both ministers, reaching out to teens with more than skateboard tricks.

They now reach out with God's Word and their own testimony.


Leave a comment below with your email address or leave a comment on my Facebook page, 

and you will be registered to win one of two copies of this powerful message from men who have walked on both sides of life and have discovered the side with God is the side that makes sense.


I Cor. 1:18,

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,

but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."


Watch these clips to be inspired today.







I love how God wrestles with all of us in such personal ways and how He wrestled with these men until they found Him.

I hope this movie helps many teenagers understand just how much God loves them and how personal their relationship with Him can be.


If your name is not drawn as a winner, please

CLICK HERE to order your own copy!

What a great Easter basket gift!


Thank you for every prayer for me over the past weekend as I've wrestled with God once again in my grief as to how He longs to use me.......

I couldn't walk this road without you.



Thankful for a life of constant wrestling in which God wins every time.

If you find yourself wrestling today,

thank Him for His presence.


He never stops pursing you.

Maybe this DVD is part of His pursuit for your heart......

I hope so!

Laying Down Isaac...........

His hat caught my eye.

"Nick's hat....."

photo (40)

That's immediately what flashed through my mind as I saw him clinging to his mommy not wanting to enter the school.

I stopped because I knew she was struggling too.

I could see the tears in her eyes.

So I stopped and just said,
"Rough morning?"


She shook her head with a yes and told me his Mondays were often like this after spending the weekend away from her with other family members.

He didn't want to say bye.

He didn't want to let go.


So, I knelt down and began to talk to him about all the things happening at school today,

"Dr. Seuss costumes, games, snacks...."

Nothing worked.

Then I looked up at his mom and said, "What's his name?"

"Isaac," she replied.




A wave of something significant rushed over me.

As I looked at this little boy, I remembered watching The Bible last night on the History Channel, and I remembered the feelings that stirred as I watched Abraham place Isaac on the altar.

The thought that God would take a man this far in his faith before providing a lamb still stretches me further than I like to go,

because God took me this far in my faith too.

He took me to the mountain.

He asked for my son too.

I remember vividly how I prayed and literally placed Nick on God's lap over and over again in prayer, begging God to heal Him yet trusting God with his life.

I laid my Isaac down.

I trusted God with my son.

And four and a half years into my grief, I still do.


I can't explain why.

There's plenty of reasons to be angry, disappointed, confused.

But I think I'd be missing the point of Abraham's story if I didn't walk in faith today.

Abraham believed God even when life didn't make sense.

And Abraham never got to see the fulfillment of all of God's promises to him......

he died believing in something still to come.

Hebrews 11:39,

"These were all commended for their faith,

yet none of them received what had been promised."

So, I knelt back down to Isaac and I called him by name.

I talked to him a little more and then he responded by telling me about a little boy who had put his fist in his face in the bus room,

a boy he thought was his friend.


And I replied, "We'll take care of this."

Then he trusted me enough to take my hand and let his mom head to work.


And as I walked with Isaac,

I felt God sweep over me.

I felt him saying,
"Lay it down again, Tammy.  Lay down all your dreams and trust me.  I've got this."


Suddenly, peace came that I haven't been able to shake ever since I took Isaac's hand yesterday.


I still have questions, but I have peace.......calm, confident peace.


I've been in turmoil a long, long time.

I've overthought so many things.

I try to work things out in my own power,

and God continues to whisper, "Lay it all down......."


My son Nick taught me so much about laying it down.

His grin never left his face.


Through surgeries, chemo treatments, transfusions, MRIs, months of being in a wheelchair.......

Nick trusted God to take care of everything.


I want to trust like Abraham.

I want to trust like Nick.


Today, I'm thankful for a God who spoke through a chicken Friday and  through a little boy named Isaac Monday.....

As I seek Him more and more, He is teaching me that He longs for me to fly in peace.

He longs for you to fly in peace too.


As Christians, we are called to live above this world.

We are of the air.

It's impossible to fly without laying everything down.

What do you need to lay down today in order to soar in peace........

even when we life doesn't make sense?

Trust Him today.



He's got this!

How God Uses Chickens...........

Friday, I asked for prayer for a big decision I had to make.

I referred to a Scripture I long to live out, the desire to "run and not grow weary, walk and not faint," realizing that this passage first tells me I must "wait upon the Lord."

So, I left for work Friday morning in a state of "waiting, listening, being still and open to His speaking."

I got stuck in  traffic at our elementary school stop light.

God was already busy, teaching me to wait patiently. Smile

You have to know that getting stuck in traffic in our town is a lot like winning the lottery, it rarely happens except around 7:45 a.m. on a school day.

When I got to the school I was suppose to be at on this particular day, I hurriedly entered thinking that the room we were having our meeting in was in the left hallway.

As I turned to enter this particular area, I noticed a class of students gathered around a mom holding a chicken.

Yes, a chicken.

Now, I'll start by saying that I have a bad chicken memory from my childhood which my grandma took care of in a way that has kind-of scarred me.

Being pecked repeatedly by a chicken and then seeing your grandma decide to fix it for dinner leaves some kind of an impression, soooooooo

I turned and went another way.

But, I couldn't help but wonder what in the world God was trying to say to me through a chicken since I seem to live with a lot of fear of doing or not doing the right thing.

I found my co-worker, and our day started as it should have; and I mentioned the traffic earlier only because had I not been stuck for almost 15 minutes, I am sure I would have been in my meeting place before the chicken arrived at school.

God needed me to see this chicken.

I thought about it all day long, although my day proceeded with no indication that the chicken would ever resurface.

I visited with some teachers throughout the day, and we discussed everything from getting our priorities straight to making a difference in this world.

Our county has some awesome teachers who know Who should be first in life, so I always find talking with them rewarding and comforting.

Anyway, the day came to an end.

It was time to leave.

I remembered that I had parked at the end of the parking lot where parents off park while waiting to pick up their children.

It was a cold, windy day; so I decided to wait inside where it was warm instead of heading to my car and being stuck.

Several teachers were on after-school bus duty, so we talked about academic team competition the next day and lots of other little things that were going on at school,

when one of the teachers happened to mention, of all things, "THE CHICKEN!"

I was sort-of speechless because in my mind I was thinking, "Here we go. My day started with this chicken and now it's ending with this chicken."

She went on to mention that the kids had just finished a story about an eaglet who was raised with baby chicks, so the mom had brought the chicken as a little after-reading experience.

My mouth dropped, and I said, "I need to hear this story."

She went on to tell me about how this little eaglet had grown to be an eagle, but no one knew it could fly.

It walked like a chicken and ate like a chicken and in every way, ACTED LIKE A CHICKEN!

When it was full grown, someone said that it should fly because if was not of the earth but of the air!

So, they took the eagle to the top of a mountain, pushed it off, and when the wind caught its wings, IT FLEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish you could have seen my mouth.

I told this teacher, "You have no idea how I needed to hear that today."

As I drove home, I cried.

I knew God was speaking.

I was wanting to run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.....


God was saying, "Tammy, you are living as of the earth.  You are of the air!  I want you to fly!!"

Isaiah 40:26-31

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

My husband and I have done a lot of talking this weekend, and we have made some big decisions.

But the biggest decision is this:

I've got to live as someone of the air not of the earth in ALL I do.

So do you.

We have to fly in whatever God has called us to do today.

We have to fly!!!!

So if you are a teacher, FLY!

If you are a secretary, FLY!

If you are at home, FLY!

If you are grieving, FLY!

If you are hurting, FLY!

God is with you!

He loves you!

Thankful for a chicken who taught me that I have got to fly....

no matter what I'm doing!

About Me