Friday, December 30, 2011

Praise People

People need it. Time after time we receive conflict from others, and that can wear down on our spirits. I mean, let’s face it, people in our lives are very quick to pass judgment and let us know something that they don’t like about us… but not always quick to stand up and let us know that we are doing a good job.

Have you been there with me?  For some reason, lately, our family has come up against a lot of conflict. Obviously Satan is feeling pressure (which is a good thing), and so He’s trying to work in our lives to make us less effective in what we are doing to spread the Gospel.  But none-the-less, conflict is a hard thing to deal with in life…

Now, check this out – all of this conflict has been heavy on my heart for a while now. And just the other day, my husband gave a message that said this:

“Sometimes I believe God doesn’t let us get reassurance from people because he doesn’t want me to put my faith in myself. He wants me to put my faith in HIM.”

Isn’t that so true? Isn’t it true that when someone comes up and says, “You’re doing a really great job at ______.” – we can instantly take that praise and give ourselves credit for our success, instead of giving it to our God who makes all things possible?

Dear one, today I urge you – tell someone that they’re doing a good job, that you love them, that they are a success. And then remind them that all good things come from Christ himself – that we can do nothing apart from Christ – that we are here on this earth for one reason: to love God.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Mid-Winter's Night Out

Hey All! Our fam had a fantabulous day in Pittsburgh and I just had to share some of our adventures with you. It definitely wasn't the warmest day to walk through the city, but we just love it too much. 

Our first official stop was an overlook at the top of the city. Gorgeous & crazy windy!

Me and Diz - good thing you can't see our shivering in a picture ;)

Heinz Field baby! Proud Steeler fans

And we landed at The Cheesecake Factory for dinner - although, had no cheesecake. Sad, but true.

Had the best fresh mint sweet tea! Deeee-lish!
And since it was right next door, we couldn't help but stop over at our fav outdoor store!

We also couldn't leave without checking out the puppy stuff for our little one!

It was a great night of fun with some pretty fantastic people. When is the last time you went out and just had some random, unplanned fun? If it's been a while - do it asap!!

Mad Love! & Sweet Dreams <3

Just Do It

Morning lovelies!

I have had a thought on my mind for the past couple of days that I just wanted to share with you today...
Just Do It.  Whatever it is that is weighing heavy on your heart today...just do it. Have that difficult conversation. Make that phone call. Write the 'Thank You' card. Change the oil. Open your Bible. Say you're sorry. Place that appointment. Return the gift. Tell them you love them. Say "Hi" to the guy that you pass every single day. Put on your shoes and go for a run. Just Do It.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Friend Indeed...

Hello my beautiful friends!

Today I had the pleasure of chatting with one of my best friends in the world, and in just a few minutes on the phone I was reminded of some incredible wisdom:

"If you don't give God the time, you won't be able to accomplish the dreams 
He has put in your heart, because our own abilities are so limited."

And although I know that in my heart to be true, my daily life does not always reflect it. Are you tracking with me on this one? Can you relate? I mean, how much does my daily life really reflect my Savior? I have to tell you, ever since I hung up the phone that question has been rattling around my brain.

I want to have a day that reflects who I am living for.  I have 24 hours in a day (roughly 16 of those awake), and I know in my heart that as of right now...those hours are selfishly being dedicated to other things in my world - things like work, and my family, and church... all good things, but none greater than spending time with God.  So often, when life gets busy, God goes to the back of our day.  But in reality, when our life ramps up... our focus should redirect from our to-do list to our God.

Let me encourage you today, if you are stressed, hurt, angry, dealing with difficult people, or anything in between, take a time out. Pray. Get into the Word. Spend time with the man who gave His life for you.

Couldn't love you more!

No one is more pleasurable to be around than a person who has had her cup
filled by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only one who is never
overwhelmed by the depth and length of our need. 
-Beth Moore, Praying God's Word

Friday, August 19, 2011


Just throwing a quick shout out for some prayers! In just a few short hours I'll be spending the weekend with a bunch of other ladies - seeking after God's face and asking Him to speak to our hearts. Please pray that God shows up in mighty ways this weekend at REVEAL!

All My Love,

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Hello friends! I cannot wait to share with you tonight!!

If you will, take the next few moments... and let the thoughts that have been invading my heart, crowd your head.

For the past few months, I have had the joy and heartache of learning a lot about the relationships that I have been steeping myself in, and I urge you to learn from what God has been teaching me.

You see, God has been validating to me the concept that "Your friends and your relationships determine the direction and the quality of your life." Let me repeat that just in case you let it slip by without really letting it sink in: Your relationships determine the direction and the quality of your life.

I have had this overwhelming desire to share this thought recently because I have a person in my life right now who I can clearly see making bad choices...and at the root of those choices not only lies sin, but lies the influence of a "special someone" in their life. You see, what this person doesn't realize is that from the outside looking in, I can clearly see how their life has changed direction in the last few months - and how their relationship carries so much influence that it is taking them down a path that is anything but what God desires.

Now, let me ask you this question: How often do we seek the advice/approval/you-name-it of others without ever seeking out what God would want for us? Pretty often, right? I believe that's where my friend is - seeking the approval of people before, and maybe even in the place of, God.

We get told over and over and over again that we are supposed to ask others for help and enlist a team to help us do things in life... but I don't care how wise that person is - no one trumps God. Should we go to others? Yes. Should we seek wise council? Absolutely.  But not until we first seek after the council of the creator of wisdom. You see, when we first seek God's answers, we will be more able to discern wise from unwise council.

Scripture says it perfectly...
Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
~1 Corinthians 15:33

I don't think it could be stated more clearly.
Your friends determine the direction and quality of your life. 

So, when you are looking for that "special someone" or when you are considering a relationship with anyone, I urge you to ask yourself these questions:

1.) Does this person have a relationship with Christ?

2.) Does their life reflect that they have a relationship with Him?

If number 1.) is a "No"... then run.
If number 2.) is a "No"... then that means that number 1.) is probably also a "No" and they either lied to you, or don't understand what the point of number 1.) is... and you should run.  

I pray daily that God will pour out His blessings on these words... that these posts will encourage you. Know this - You have a Father who looks at you with longing and desires to love you more than you could ever believe, ask for, or imagine.

~With All My Love

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hello friends!

I had the joy of spending the last few days at a Christian Music Festival called the ALIVE Festival, and let me tell you - it was a blast! We spent six days camping and worshiping with friends, leaders, and students from our student leadership team. I had the opportunity to hear incredible stories, famous speakers, and worship with some of the most amazing bands like Hillsong United, Switchfoot, Skillet, and Tenth Avenue North.  Trust me, I could go on and on and on and on about all the Godly conversations and inspired moments that happened during those six days... but I really have only one thing that struck my heart so hard that I just had to share with you all... and his name is Joey.

Now, Joey is only 11, but let me tell you he taught me so much in the few days that we got to spend with him and his family at ALIVE.  He didn't quote any scriptures or even try to show me how "Godly" he is. What Joey did, was love me.

And what's funny, is that he never once told me that he loved me. 
He showed me.  

You see, from spending just a few days with Joey I know for a fact that he loves to share what he has with people. And sharing with others (especially food! haha) is his way of telling you that he cares for you.  I kid you not, every time I saw Joey he was offering me some of his fries, an extra cookie, or a bite of his dessert. And his biggest joy, was the moment you said Yes! and scarfed down that french fry! You can read it all over his face. You can see it in his eyes. God has given this 11 year old a heart that is seeking to show people love by sharing what he has.... and being around that kind of pure, i-want-nothing-back-from-you kind of love is more than just fun, it's healing.

What I learned from Joey this week is that God's love is pure, and when we are able to show others a pure, non-judgmental love... how much easier will it be for them to see Christ in us?  We have the ability to really show other people we love them. I think we just often get so distracted or consumed with ourselves, that we will miss the opportunities that God places right in front of us.

Joey had an opportunity to show me he loves me this week - simply by sharing his life with me, and straight up treating me like a friend... and he took advantage of his opportunity. As a result, I walked away from every moment spent with him feeling like I was loved, respected, and accepted. WOW! How much of God's grace I felt through an 11 year old. I can't say it enough, wow....

So let's turn the tables.  We each have 24 hours in a day (roughly 16 of them spent awake). What are we doing with those hours? We all have a love language. What is yours? We each have family, friends, and co-workers that we are spending time with every day. What kind of an impression are we leaving on those people? 

I think what I'm getting to is this... We can learn something from Joey if we are willing to look into our hearts and inspect our actions. Do me a favor, and ask yourself today the questions I presented above. Ask God to show you in what areas your heart needs to be molded. And if we're lucky, we might just end up a little bit more like Joey.

Mad Love,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Renewal

What a day...

Today I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed (okay, not really...) at 4am to watch Kate Middleton wed Prince William.  I know, I'm crazy - but something in me just leaps at the idea of a Royal Romance. I loved watching every second of the ceremony, and seeing how the bride just shinned in the presence of her love, her friends, and her family.  Every detail of the day planned out and made to be just as she desired - how wonderful it was to wait in anticipation of this day, and then to watch it all come together so beautifully... you can't help but be excited for these two loves that you don't even know.

As I was watching the event unfold so many things came to mind. Of course, at first I was enveloped in the beauty of the church, the exquisite dresses of the congregation and royal party, and the sheer beauty that Kate wore on her face as she walked down the isle to her destiny.  But soon after I took a breath, I was very deeply moved by something entirely different.  As the Royal couple were taking their vows, you could hear the enormous applause and roaring of the crowds outside of Westminster Abbey... and as they did, my heart too exploded with joy. I found myself in complete shock at how moved I was for this couple that I don't even know, but as I sat and continued to watch the day unfold it became so clear to me how much joy is contagious.

I can't help but liken the excitement of the London crowds to how it must be in Heaven when one of God's children finally ask Him to be the Lord of their life.  Though the angels have much more to rejoice about, I believe God's heart is warmed at the sight of a crowd of strangers being so encouraging to their fellow man and woman.

Maybe we can use this day to remind us of how we are supposed to support and love those around us.  It is so easy to look at people and automatically see the things we don't like. It is so easy to judge. It is so easy to think of ourselves first and put ourselves on a pedestal. But if just for a day we can look at others and rejoice in their wins, love them unconditionally, and see them as Christ does - we will experience a renewal in our hearts. We will feel the joy of the Lord.

My hope is that this Royal day brings both you and I a Royal Renewal.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spiritual Giants

I can't even describe what a whirlwind my life feels like right now... but I just had to sit and share a few things with you before the weekend begins! So let's jump right into it...

Recently I have been trying to revamp the ways I connect to God.  It is so natural for me to want to connect through worship - I love to listen to and sing worship music as much and as often as I can... it just speaks to my soul in a way that messages and books can't.  Thankfully, however, God opened my eyes to my need for His word. So, I stumbled upon this wonderful App for my phone from YouVersion where you can select different reading plans and it will help you create a Bible reading plan for each day.  Naturally, I love organization, so I hopped right on the bandwagon and have been riding down the Daily Bible Plan pathway ever since! :)

The past few days of my plan have been overwhelmed with stories of people I would call "Spiritual Giants."  You know them. The Bible is full of them. They are the ones whose names make you feel like you could take a step back in time - the ones who you ALWAYS picture with a big white beard... because you can't help but picture them as anything but really, really old men. Men like Abraham, Moses, and Elijah.  But there were two particular spiritual giants that touched my heart this past week.

The first was Noah.  My verse came from Genesis 6:9, "This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God." Wow... what words.  Just reading that verse makes me hope that some day people will say of me "Susan, she walked in close fellowship with God."  And I have to remind myself that close fellowship with God comes from spending time with Him.  Being a woman who is a natural "doer", I so often find myself doing things for God and forgetting to just BE with God. And that was just day 5 of my 365 day devotion!

Next...we have Abram.  Genesis 15:6, "And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith." Those last four words have resonated in my heart for the past week, "because of his faith."  You know, when it comes right down to it, our faith means A LOT to our God.

Do you ever feel like the spiritual giants of scripture are speaking into your everyday life?

If you haven't been able to relate your life to people like Gideon, Job or Esther recently, then let me challenge you to dig deep into the lives of our christian heritage.  We have a God who simply wants a relationship with us. He is a practical God was wants to relate to us in very practical ways.  The pages of the Bible are living - let them into you heart so they can change it. 

The peace I have right now can only be from God... and my prayer is that you too will feel the presence of the Lord jump off the pages of scripture and into your heart.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cookies & bananas... What?

Spending time with Molly, and making some delicious goodies :)

A New Campus...

The Crux doing some demoing!

Today we were blessed to be able to start the demolition of our new Canton campus location.  It's a big deal for our campuses and for NewPointe as a whole!  Above is a pic of a few of our Crux students who came to help start demoing the building.  The Crux is our student leadership team made up of a bunch of 9-12th graders who want to grow in their leadership skills so that they can help lead other students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. All in all, one fabulous day!

Demo day...

This makes an early morning worth it :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I only have a few moments, but ever since I revamped my blog I have been dying to write!!! This morning I had the honor of doing our town's middle school devotion group and man-oh-man was is fantastic! There were around 12 7th & 8th graders who came to Welty Middle School a half hour early this morning to hear what God has to say to them.  I just love this group! They are a student-led devotion group that meets at their middle school every Thursday morning... Wow... talk about devotion!

Anywho, the Welty Devotion Group has a guest speaker on the first and last Thursday of every month & today was my day :)  I talked about the 7th chapter of the book The Purpose Driven Life - a fantastic read if you're looking ;) But the words that have been most heavy on my heart this morning (and that have prompted this post) are actually from Beth Moore's LPM blog (  Recently Beth Moore wrote on her blog that she had dinner with my absolute favorite worship leader, Kari Jobe.  And the way that Beth described Kari on her blog just resonated with my heart. When describing Kari, Beth wrote:  "She is tremendously gifted, blatantly anointed, and absolutely delightful."

And when I read that I immediately thought... wow... what perfect words.  See, I have never had the opportunity to meet Kari Jobe (someday... I'm still hoping!!), but from simply watching her lead worship and reading her blog I can clearly see that she is indeed tremendously gifted, blatantly anointed, and absolutely delightful. You can see it in everything she does.  The spirit of the Lord is so at work in this woman of God, that it transcends physical boundaries and speaks to my heart through my computer screen. How crazy is that?!

My prayer is that someday I too will be able to transcend physical boundaries - that the impact God makes through me is so great that no amount of "space" can hold it back.  So, as James 4:10 says, I choose to humble myself before the Lord so that He may lift me up. 

Know that I am praying for you today.

Mad Love!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011