Sharon Jaynes ~ “Take Hold, Move Forward, Live Bold!”

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Does your faith walk feel a bit stagnant? When scripting your daily priorities, does tending to your relationship with God make the list? Maybe it makes that list but is not the first item and often gets cut when time is running low. Do you find yourself asking, “God, why aren’t you answering my prayers? Are you listening?”

Maybe you are just getting by with a mediocre faith. For some, that is just fine, thank you very much. If you are content in just getting by with what Sharon calls “cul-de-sac Christianity”, then the book I am about to share may be a little too exciting for you.

But women of faith and seekers of Gods truth, if you are ready to become more adventurous… listen up, draw close and be inspired to take hold of the tremendous heights and depths that the Creator of the universe intends for you specifically!

TakeHoldOfTheFaithYouLongFor-300x464In Sharon Jaynes’ latest book, “Take Hold of the Faith You Long For”, you will be excited to learn how to break free from that which has been holding you back from a deeper faith. Sharon digs in and uncovers the most common reasons why we “get stuck” in our faith and mired down by discouragement. She takes her reader on a journey from Moses’ desert experience with his Israelite “grumblers” into a “Promised Land” flowing with milk and honey. You, my friends, after reading this book, will walk away with a knowledge of how to live a bold and adventurous faith leaving the stagnant, grumbling and mundane in the dust!

For over 25 years, author, speaker, and blogger Sharon Jaynes has been doing what she was meant to do. “Encourage and empower women to walk in courage and confidence as they grasp their true identity as a child of God and a co-heir with Christ.” *

Through her ministries, she has provided thousands of women (Over 500,000 on her popular blog “Girlfriends in God”.) with insights on how to live “fully and freely”.

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For 10 years Sharon served as Vice President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and Co-Hosted their daily radio program. She has authored 20 books, written numerous magazine articles, is a frequent guest on radio and TV programs. In case that is not enough, she is also a popular conference speaker! I had the pleasure of interviewing Sharon about her latest book, “Take Hold of the Faith You Long For”, and I’m so excited to share it with you on Christian Bling’s E- Community – Living it Up!

Here are my questions with Sharon.

Why is the message of “Take Hold” so important to you?

 For so long in my life, I felt stuck in between things that happened in my past and moving on and taking hold of God’s promises and what He wanted for me to experience. In my book I use the example of a flying trapeze artist where the aerialist grabs the trapeze bar, jumps off a platform, and swings through the air. She swings out once, swings back above the platform, and swings out again. The fun begins for those below during the peak of the third swing. The performer releases the bar midair and grabs hold of another bar or the hands of a second performer hanging from his knees who swings toward her. When she grabs hold, the crowd shutterstock_365942696can breathe. Somersaults, backflips, and triple twists wow the crowd. Each move requires the performer to let go and grab hold – let go of one bar or pair of hands and grab hold of another. Without faith to do so, the trapeze artist would simply swing back and forth until the pumping momentum gave way to dangling or hang stuck in between two platforms with hands clinging to both bars. Not the greatest show on earth.

In your faith, when you take hold, grasp, and make your own all of what Jesus has already taken hold of for you, you begin to experience life to the full – the faith you’ve always longed for. If we would do this, our lives will look very different. Release what is behind and take hold of what is ahead… That is the greatest show on earth and you can experience this in your own life!

 

Please share your background story and what your life was like during your growing up years.

I grew up with a lot of dysfunction in my home. Particularly a lot of alcohol, arguing and fighting amongst my parents. I was basically left to raise myself. I began to think that nobody wanted me and no one cared. As a kid, my mother would say “You’re ugly” and “What’s wrong with you?” I would say back, “I don’t know but I know there is something.” I would always compare myself to others and how I measured up. Inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy scorned me.

MeetSharonJaynes-200x300When I was 14 years old I became a believer in Christ. While my life changed for the better, my feelings of insecurity persisted and the comparison game continued. “I’m not a good Christian, I don’t know how to pray as well as that person, I don’t memorize scripture as well as that person, I’m not worthy. How come I’m not Iike that person?”

When I was in my 30’s a woman in my church took me in and lovingly mentored me. I learned so much from her and that bad things happen to everyone, just not the same bad things. The real tragedy is being stuck there. My faith began to mature and so did I.

 

 Why do you think so many Christians “get stuck” in their faith?

Well, I think many of them may not know why. Like I mentioned above, they may not be letting go of that first bar on the trapeze. Holding onto the past and not moving on; not completely grasping the power that is theirs in Christ.

 

 

 Tell us more about what it is to “live free” in our faith

To live free and move forward in our faith is to experience all that God has for us this side of heaven. We must relinquish disappointments to God and allow Him to fill the expectation gap with more of Himself. We stop saying “Why me?” and start saying “What now?” 

 

I love your story in chapter 10 about the brave and bold David in the Bible. What should we understand about “living bold”?

shutterstock_282976718When it comes to living bold, you need to learn to turn away from the doubters, the joy stealers and the confidence crushers. When you start living bold and saying YES to God, you will be criticized. You need to learn to turn away from the naysayers and toward the God who says you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! (Phil. 4:13)

David had absolute confidence; not that he could kill the giant but that God would kill the giant through him. Never let anyone tell you that you are not able. You are a child of God who has been equipped by God, empowered by the Holy Spirit and enveloped in Jesus Christ.

 

Many of us know the story of Moses but after reading this book, I have a new awareness of how similar we are today to the Israelites back in the days of the burning bush. Tell us about the choice we have in “taking hold of our own Promised land.”

God led the children of Israel into the wilderness, but they were never meant to stay there – to die there. The same fate can happen to you and to me if we settle comfortably into the mediocre land of in-between rather than move courageously and expectantly into the land of milk and honey – life to the full, replete with precious promises and mighty miracles. AND, the choice is up to you.

 

You talk about grumbling, gratitude and grace. Please define these and tell us. How does gratitude help us move forward?

 “If complaining creates a crisis, grumbling creates an atmosphere” Grumbling is an outward expression of an inward attitude of ingratitude. It squeezes eyes shut to God’s goodness and keeps life small. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation for a kindness or favor received. The word gratitude comes from the word grace. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Gratitude is being thankful for it. Gratitude is the antibiotic of the soul to cure a variety of the world’s ills and restore a sense of intimacy with God.

Gratitude changes the lens through which you see your circumstances and frames them in the sovereignty of God. When we look at life through the lens of gratitude, God comes into view. We see Him. We hear Him. We detect His fingerprints on the darkest days and the brightest nights. It disconnects discouragement from its power source and gives us the impetus to move forward.

 

What do you want your reader to take away from “Take Hold of the Faith You Long For?”

 I want the reader to know that where they are weak, God is strong. The great “I AM” will fill in the gaps in their lives. It’s time to take action and leave the past behind, reach forward to all that lies ahead and stop comparing yourself to others.

When you know, who are in God’s eyes, you can revel in the uniqueness of you. When you believe, God will work through you, for you, and in you, there will be no stopping you. Let go of all that hinders you or holds you hostage to a mediocre faith. Take hold of all that Jesus has taken hold of for you. Move forward with the promises of God blowing your sails. Live bold with Jesus at the helm.

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Amen and thank you Sharon!

 

http://sharonjaynes.com/

http://girlfriendsingod.com/

Lisa Brenninkmeyer ~ Walking with Purpose

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Purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

Ever wonder why you were put on this earth? Have you found “purpose” in your everyday life? Maybe your aim is to achieve some sort of generic personal fulfillment? Experience the American dream? Raise the perfect family? Become rich and famous?

Lisa Brenninkmeyer’s book “Walking with Purpose” is a life altering guide book. She gracefully, wisely and humorously walks you through how life is SO much more than achieving these almost cliché, mostly impossible, personal bench marks. Thoughtfully, she points out how eternally important it is to understand that we were made by God and for God. Until we realize this incredible truth, we will most likely flounder about as we try to make sense of it all.

It’s hard to ignore that the world around us is growing increasingly secular. Our Christian faith and the practices that accompany it are being severely challenged and whittled away at on a daily basis. How do we stand firm, confident and knowledgeable in our faith? Are we loving well or are we always on a treadmill of “hurry-up” that takes us away from what is truly important in life?

This is where Lisa and Walking with Purpose comes in. Her book and enormously popular, steadily growing Bible study by the same name, is touching countless hearts and minds for Christ throughout the country! Their mission statement … “Enabling women to know Christ through Scripture,” is bringing Catholic women into a deeper more satisfying relationship with Jesus.

lisa-3That’s it! The key…Knowing Christ in true relationship form not just as a religious figure. In depth teaching and woman to woman discussion on the loving, relational aspects of Christ is allowing Walking with Purpose women to apply what they are learning to everyday life. The results? Women living out a more grounded and more authentic faith than ever before.

Here’s what Lisa had to say…

 

1. What is it that made you feel passionate enough to start up “Walking with Purpose”?

It at all started when I was observing some women in church. Their faces appeared blank as they struggled to keep their kids calm during mass. To me their faces were saying… “What am I here for, is this even worth it?”

I thought long and hard about this. Why would anyone who may not have a deep relationship with God understand the importance of making Him a priority in their life?

I began to see why they were so frustrated. If they are just showing up at church to check it off their weekly To-Do list, then what sort of inspiration is there in that? Secondly, where is the spiritual drive to get through the chaos of Monday through Saturday?

One night I reluctantly went to a church family meeting. I say reluctantly because I knew that we would discuss more “doing” of events but nothing about addressing the deepest spiritual needs of parishioners. But much to my surprise… a woman spoke out. She gestured the sign of the heart and said, “I want to know God personally.” I perked right up!

Soon after this a friend recommended that I lead a new Bible Study to teach scripture to the women of the church. It started out with 8 women who just wanted the best for their kids and knew there was something missing in their lives. Without advertising, it spread to 16, then 30 and grew to 100 women with 50 children in a children’s program!

Coupled with these women’s desire for community, wanting to know where to go in an increasingly secular society and wanting to be rooted in scripture… “Walking with Purpose” was born.

 

2. Being a wife and mother of 7 children, how do you make the time to do all that you do? (Writing, speaking, traveling, mom stuff, wife stuff?) How important is morning prayer time and a structured schedule to you?

By living out the 7 essential principles I’ve written about in my book (see all listed in later question), I manage my time as wisely as possible. I set aside time for my most important priorities. My personal prayer-time is non-negotiable; can’t be messed with. I also like to journal prayers and thoughts to tune into what I am really feeling. Basically, I like to get all my garbage out on paper! If I am feeling bitter or angry about something…this is where I get it out! As God works through it, He releases it and the result… freedom!

I tune into my husband’s needs for the day. I find it extremely important to know your families love languages. I make sure to have quality time set aside with him. Taking the time to have a cup of tea with my husband Leo is sometimes just what is needed.

Then my kids. These guys trump all of my outside activities. However, I carefully weigh priorities and events where I am asked to speak. If the event is in front of say 350 women, it may mean that takes priority over some home-front activities. So the truth is… I don’t serve on the PTO, or go on all of my kid’s field trips. I don’t always get that meal to a friend and I can’t be there for many friend based activities. What I don’t want to see happen is that any of my children resent ministry. However it is important for them to witness the excitement of seeing changes in life and in people for the good of Christ!

I am a big believer in disciplined sleep time and make it a habit to “honor” much needed sleep. This of course enables me to buckle down and dig into my writing. This chunk of time I set aside to write is so crucial to the success of “Walking with Purpose.”

 

3. What is it you want women to understand the most about prayer AND about their personal relationship with God?

The most important part of prayer in our lives is that it is like oxygen in our relationship with God. Without a prayer life we don’t connect. God wants to know the real you, messy as you are. It is here that God changes and comforts us. Not our cleaned up best version of ourselves. He wants to work in us and through us. The starting point is understanding how very very much God unconditionally loves us. This is where He invites us to draw near.

I know without a doubt that when the chips are down He would fight for me at my weakest. We were created with a void that can only be filled by God. We can spend a lifetime trying to fill it but we will never be satisfied without God in that void. Prayer and meditation is about “Who” you are connecting with, not about calming yourself down. The end goal…filling yourself with Christ.

 

4. You seem to have awesome insight on what it is that many women really want (or expect) out of life and that they often feel let down. What do you think is the greatest struggle women face?

 

So many women feel overwhelmingly that they are not enough. They feel that life is asking so much of them and they can just not be the perfect wife and or the perfect mother that they thought they could be. Women who are trying to do it all become very aware of their inadequacies and can often feel great despair. They ask themselves the question “Is this all that there is? It is Jesus that offers us peace to drop these expectations. He wants us to come to a place of “I am enough.” We so often fail and feel we come up short by thinking I could have loved better, done this better, done that with perfection. Here’s where Jesus comes in and says “I got this…be who you are and “I” fill in those gaps!”

 

5. Tell us about your upbringing and your faith as a child. How does all of this bring you to where you are today?

I was really lucky to be raised in a home where Christ was in the center! I grew up in a Protestant evangelical church. My parents were both very active in church and in Community Bible Study. I grew up surrounded by wonderful Bible stories and learned at a young age how they applied to my life. Because these foundations of truth were instilled in me at a young age, I never wrestled with believing them. That is why I feel it is so important to teach scripture to our kids.

Watching my parents teaching and serving in their spare time made me always think about “giving back” like they did. I wanted to emulate my mom because I saw she was making a difference. I would see her stay up all night long preparing for a talk. What a role model she has been for me!

 

6. Why is it that you decided to become a Catholic?

Well, I would say that I was very happy where I was. But I decided to convert because I didn’t want any division in my marriage and family.

We spent 10 tough years out of the states where we were not exposed to good teaching. Once back in the states I was able to find some tools, where I discovered deep meaning in the tenants of the Catholic faith. I felt a greater depth and richness in key areas of sin in life. I got involved in retreats and instruction that revealed a richness in worship, surrender, and victory. This was indeed a great blessing to me.

 

7. What is it that you hope for your own children?

I think it is important as mothers to have one non-negotiable desire for our kids. It is my greatest hope that my children will have a living personal relationship with Christ and serve Him in the kingdom today. We have made a lot of decisions in life based around this hope for our children and with that has come much sacrifice. This has effected where we live, where we worship, who our family friends are and what we invest in for our children. We have had to parent with a boat load of “no’s” and some high quality “Yes’s”. We don’t make our kids do “lame” things, we choose venues that we know will equip them with what it takes to understand their faith and keep it strong.

It is a blessing that each one of my kids knows that God is their #1 priority in life, and they know and appreciate that this is what our family values most. This leads to a rich spiritual life and that is the goal for all of us. Bottom line, is that we need to communicate with our children and be in prayer for them on a daily sometimes hourly basis.

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8. What is it you most hope for your women that are a part of “Walking with Purpose”?

My prayer for these ladies is first and foremost that they will have a personal relationship with Christ that is ongoing. That they would see His glory, and not just see Him as a helper. To surrender to God and allow Him to fill them so that they will pursue Him. And as he grows greater they can confidently surrender to their transformed life that is now all about Him. Finally, knowing that life is not so terrifying and nothing in life is happening that God is not aware of.

 

9. How are you getting the word out to encourage other women to join “Walking with Purpose”?

Grassroots! WWP started off small and grew because of word of mouth. I have a heart for my generation and making available a “safe place” where women are met with grace. There is no hammering here, no politics, no hot button issues discussed. We ask everyone to check these things at the door so we can delve into the truth of God that needs to be renewed in our minds on an ongoing basis.

 

10. Your book, “Walking with Purpose” gives in-depth analysis on prioritizing your life in 7 categories. Can you give us a summary sentence about the importance of each priority?

  • Relationship with God: Our relationship with God is to be the ultimate love story. It begins with us getting out of the driver’s seat of our lives and letting God be the driver. But we are not surrendering ourselves to a dictator, rather to the One who loves us like no other.
  • Tending to your heart: God longs to enter the deepest parts of our souls and meet the most profound of the needs found there. The state of our hearts matters to Him, and He wants us to know, deep down, that we are cherished and loved and delighted in by Him.
  • Your marriage: You are your husband’s mirror-the protector of his reputation and the one person uniquely qualified to speak life and encouragement into Him. Of all your earthly relationships, he should get your best-not your leftovers. God-husband-kids-in that order.
  • Reaching your child’s heart: You have to decide whose opinion matters most to you- God’s, or the culture’s? If we want to mother in a way that has lasting value, we want to pass on to them the things that matter in eternity, that we need to reach our children’s hearts and pour God’s truth into them.
  • Clarify in the clutter of your home: Having order in your home will give your time back that can be spend pouring truths and love into your family. We don’t create beauty and order because that is the highest value- we create it because it gives us the best set up for doing the thing that matters most – loving well.
  • Friendships: Having a servant’s heart in friendship must be balanced with Biblical kindness. It’s a matter of encouraging, but being willing and able to gently speak the truth in love.
  • Outside Activities: They come last in the set of priorities, but they matter eternally. God invites us to cooperate with Him in his story, and He looks for willing hearts that are willing to be God’s instruments. We waste our time on so many things that will make little to no difference in the long run. Our choices here really matter, and every single woman is needed.

 

11. Why do you think it is so important for women to know and understand their “true worth”?

If we don’t define our true worth the way that God defines it, then we will search for meaning and fulfillment in all the wrong places. Our worth was measured in one place- the cross- and there, Jesus determined that we were worth everything to Him. When we rest in our worth because it is rooted in our identity as God’s beloved daughters, we can get on with the real business of living. If we miss this key truth then we’ll try to define our worth through outward appearance, accomplishments, possessions or reputation. All those things can be taken away in an instant, and as a result, we live as insecure women. Insecure women are not world changers. Our world needs women who are secure in who they are in Christ, who can get their eyes off themselves and onto the needs of others.

 

12. What do you see as our greatest obstacles in life that can keep us from truly knowing the Lord?

I think our desire for comfort is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, obstacle that keeps us from knowing the Lord. When we desire comfort above all else, we are going to do all that we can to avoid suffering. This will often mean that we miss out on key opportunities to grow spiritually and get to know God in a way that He was going to reveal to us through that unique set of trials and circumstances. We get busy, we numb, we question, we doubt, all instead of asking, “God, what are you revealing to me about who you are in the midst of what I am going through right now?”

 

13. Do you feel that God is moving mightily in the Catholic and/or Christian churches? How can we unite those with any poor feelings toward the other church?

I do. So many people are afraid of the future of our country. I certainly understand why – we are facing a level of moral decline and relativism that we’ve never experienced in our nation. But I don’t look to the left or to the right for the solutions. I look up and there is where I see the King of the Universe, totally in control. What was the state of affairs when the early church exploded? The early Christians faced far worse than we are facing. But the Spirit moved through humble people who loved sacrificially and were totally sold out for Jesus. I see this level of commitment to Christ today among so many of His followers. I think that our Church will grow stronger even if we face persecution, because that’s what suffering does in the lives of mature believers. It strengthens, refines and equips us. For far too long, Americans, have had an insufficient view of suffering. We are facing many things that snare us from a spiritual perspective, but God is going to faithfully strengthen us through the very things that the enemy wants to use to take us out.

The critical thing is for us to remember who the enemy is. Satan will always seek to divide Christians. We move into our camps of like-minded thinkers, and then we start to divide there as well. If we can keep at the forefront of our mind that “the other person” or “the other group” is not the enemy, and that division is not God’s plan, we’ll be more apt to fight for unity. We do that by asking questions instead of assuming we already know all the answers. Asking, “Can you explain that to me,” can go a long way. This requires humility, and perhaps we need a little bit of suffering in order to grow in that area.

 

14. Do you have a favorite Bible scripture and why?

“There was given me a thorn in my flesh…three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. This is the heart of the gospel. It isn’t all up to me. I can’t save myself eternally, and I can’t save myself today. I need Christ to fill in my gaps. But the beautiful thing is that this is what He most most loves to do. When I come with my weaknesses and emptiness, He fills me with His strength. This divine exchange- my sin for His righteousness, my weakness for His strength – is absolutely life-changing when we embrace it!

 

15. How about a favorite saint?

My favorite saint is St. Therese of Lisieux. She took the riches of the Catholic Faith and explained them in a way that a child could imitate. The wisdom she gleaned from Scripture ignited a love in her heart for the Lord that was personal and transforming. I believe that no one has explained the gospel of grace better than St. Therese.

 

Note to our readers: If you want to give the ultimate Christmas gift to any of your girlfriends or family members here is the link to Lisa’s book.

https://wwpstore.com/collections/the-book-walking-with-purpose-seven-priorities-that-make-life-work

 

If you want to give yourself the ultimate New Year’s resolution: Check out the Walking with Purpose website and consider joining one near you.

http://walkingwithpurpose.com

 

 

 

 

Taya Kyle – American Wife.

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After having the honor of meeting Taya, spending time interviewing her and reading her new book “American Wife,” I am blown away by her raw insights, wisdom, energy and strength. She is the epitome of the idiom… “behind every great man there is a great woman.” And let me say, she is way too humble to be comfortable accepting this compliment. She doesn’t see herself as great – just as a Mom trying to do the best for her kids; a widow working hard to honor her hero husband’s legacy and a foundation director working toward a beautiful goal.

 

The relatively recent launch of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation is a springboard for Chris and Taya’s shared dream of doing their part to make the world a better place. Seeing no fruitfulness in keeping valuable lessons to themselves, the foundation can step in and ‘Pay it forward!’ The “ripple effect” of sharing kindness and providing resources can provide much needed hope to save marriages suffering from the often brutal ups and downs for those serving in the military, law enforcement and first responders.

 

Taya’s memoire “American Wife” is a beautiful account of love, war, faith and renewal. This is a must read for those of you feeling the effects of these tumultuous times of division in our country. I personally recommend her audio book because her lyrical voice will welcome you like a warm Texas morning. You feel like you’re just hanging out with her. Some of my friends and I have this saying after meeting someone we really liked… “She would be our friend.”

 

Interview with Taya.

What you have to face as a wife and mother is beyond imaginable. Can you tell us how you are doing right now?

Ya know, I’m making a lot of progress. I deal with a fair amount of emotional edginess. From struggling through the mud, I’ve realized I have to allow myself to cry more. I’m definitely working on being aware of where I need to concentrate when it comes to my well-being.

What do you do to relax and seek peace with all the noise?

I’m not doing a very good job with relaxing. A friend told me I need a hobby that has no goal. I come from a family of artist’s so I picked up some paints that are still just sitting there. So my passion for a “goal-free” hobby hasn’t been discovered yet but I’m working on it. I do make a point of honoring my sleep time. If I don’t finish something I’m working on, I make myself put it down so I can get the sleep I so badly need. (This was hard for me.)

I make time with my kids a priority. By putting my phone away, I focus on the quality of our time together. We like to do fun things together and I want to always be present for them, staying in the moment. That requires no phone, no electronics and more reading together. So there are not any big massive changes I’ve made with them, just the little things.

Can you tell us how the kids are doing?

Great! They are involved, happy, they love to laugh and have a strong foundation in God. Everyone says kids are more resilient than adults and I think this is true. I really love that my kids are deep thinkers and just plain kind.

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Can you tell us what kind of man Chris Kyle was?

Sure, Chris was unique in that he was this great combination of quiet confidence and humility. He was all about adoring the people he loved. He made you feel special. I guess you could say he was an old school gentleman; never pushing, never pressuring. He knew how to convey how important I was to him. Just before he died, he had flowers sent to me because it was more special than just bringing them home to me. Very romantic.

Can you share a favorite Chris story? (Or two?)

Well, I’d say the day we were in Barnes and Noble for Chris’ first book signing. We had no idea what to expect from this and to our surprise there was a huge three-hour long line that wrapped up and down the first and second floors and out of the building. The store offered Chris a chair and he insisted on not having one because if these people were going to stand for him, he would stand for them. When the last person in line, an older gentleman, approached Chris saying “I’m so excited to finally meet you!” Chris responded “Well, I’m sorry, you must be disappointed to see just another dumb redneck.”

Chris had a way of making everyone he came in contact with feel like they were important. He always gave you 100% attention and would give you as much time as you needed. This was because of his innate strong sense of respect and just plain old fashioned good manners. As far as dealing with social media distractions and constant cell phone calls, Chris had a way to respect the person calling as well as the one he was with, namely…me. He would say “Hey, I’m talking with my wife right now, is this urgent or can I get back to you?” By doing that he is telling both of us that we are important to him. The funny thing is that when he would “catch” me texting when we were spending time together, he would call me on it and I’d say “Well, I can multi-task. Ha!”

There was something special that Chris always kept in his truck that you didn’t know about?

His Bible. One day we were talking about God and I asked him what he thought about the prospect of us living more than one life on earth. “Well, that’s not in the Bible but I can tell you this, if we do live more than one life here, I hope all of mine are spent with you!” I don’t know all the answers babe, but you should pull out my Bible and see what it has to say. “It’s in the truck, it’s always on hand.” I was so surprised that he had that Bible tucked away there but I shouldn’t have been. It made sense to me…he had a quiet sense of peace that he got from his faith.”

I read that Chris was known as “The most lethal sniper in American military history.” He was often asked how many lives he had taken. Can you please share his feeling and response to that question?

Publishers and reporters were always quoting that statistic. Chris would calmly respond to questions about this because to him…it was all about the number of lives he had saved, not taken. When we were promoting the book in Poland there was a reporter interviewing Chris who was visibly distraught whom I could tell was going to be trouble. He was very aggressive and verbal about how he felt that a man like Chris was indefensible and we should not take him seriously because he had taken so many lives. It was the first interview that I walked out of. I was so upset about how little he actually knew about Chris. But Chris, handled him calmly without a flinch. This was one of his gifts…not mine. Ha!

Can you share with us the story about the all night exhausting combat mission that ended with tears and the National Anthem?

Sure. On one of Chris’ Iraq deployments, there was a super intense fire-fight that went on through-out the entire night and into the “dawn’s early light”. There was no time for rest or breaks, only time to reload a weapon. You can imagine, they were all spent by day break. Everyone in their unit miraculously survived; there were of course injuries. As they dressed their wounds, another unit approached them in their vehicle with flags waving and music playing the National Anthem. They all stood up, and putting their hands over their hearts, began singing. Tears coming down their faces as the dawn broke and dust blew. To these men, words have meaning and the emotion of these particular words was palatable especially as they were exhausted and coming down from the adrenaline from the all night struggle. They were literally fighting for our freedom and the country they love. Real hero’s.

I know your husband called you a lot while he was in combat. How nervous did that background noise make you? Did you flinch every time you got a call?

Chris would always play down most of these firefights only for me to find out how intense they were afterward. What you learn as a spouse of a soldier, or of anyone in law enforcement or other first responders, is you can’t let the fear control you. I certainly struggled with that a lot and certainly didn’t want to even think about life without Chris. But there is this saying in the ranks… “until it’s you, it’s not you.” It’s not that you are unsympathetic to others, you are doing what you have to do. I had to learn that living in fear could overtake me and control me.

It was these daily fire-fights that brought me closer to God through prayer. I vividly realized how little control I had in this life and gratefully handed it over to God. At times, I could physically feel a warmth in my chest washing over me, a sense of peace and safety. The hand of God. The relief knowing that God was very present in my life… changed me.

Moving on to the movie…It is clear that “American Sniper” not only highlighted Chris and his seal and marine brother’s dedication to serve but your personal struggles with the military, marriage and family as well. Tell us about Chris’ choice to retire after 11 years of combat deployments.

Well, first of all, Chris found himself in back to back deployments that are really…not supposed to happen. Where soldiers are supposed to experience “shore leave” between deployments, Chris was repeatedly called into action under the auspices of “Needs of the Navy”. What was obvious to me was that the man in charge here, had clearly never seen combat himself. But also, this was difficult because Chris wanted to be there because to him, this was his job.

I lost complete trust in the military at this point. So many promises they had made…broken. Chris had two knee surgeries, and issues with his ears and eyes. I felt like I had to figure out what else would interest him so he would come home and be with his family. So I told him maybe I would move with the kids up to Oregon, near my family, for a more grounded family life and when he was back he would come visit us there. He told me “marriages don’t work that way!” He felt I was giving him an ultimatum, which I didn’t mean to sound that way. However, that is when he decided to retire in order to put his family first.

Before he died, he said he would never tell anyone to get out of the military but the joy he was experiencing post-military, spending more quality time with his family, was so much more than when he was serving. He still remained passionate about being willing to die for his brothers and his country. But now he had a normal family life; laughing, tickling the kids, being home for Thanksgiving. To see his joy, was a huge deal for me. I would have been devastated if he had felt for one second that he had made the wrong decision.

Are you comfortable with how the movie portrayed Chris and you?

I was 100% happy with how Chris was portrayed. Bradley Cooper and the screen writer Jason Hall spent hundreds of hours getting details together on Chris. I have to give them a lot of credit. At one point, knowing Chris so well, Bradley Cooper told Clint Eastwood, “Nope, Chris wouldn’t have said that.” When I watched the movie, I really felt like I was actually watching Chris so I would say…well done! They had truly captured the essence, spirit and life of a warrior.

It’s quite surreal to watch someone “playing” you, but Sienna did a great job being me! It was actually gut-wrenching to watch. As a military spouse you have to always be ready for what they throw at you. I didn’t even realize the extent of which the military lifestyle had affected me until I saw the film.

Any comments you’d like to share about Bradley Cooper? Sienna Miller? Clint Eastwood?

Well, people love to hear about Bradley and for good reason. He is phenomenal! Yes, his eyes are just as blue as they can get, even more than they appear on film. More importantly, he is the nicest, truly down to earth guy and he genuinely cares about other people. He is not like a typical Hollywood actor in that way. He is very resilient and is willing to let people in.

Clint, was very kind, down to earth, soft spoken and funny. He would say stuff under his breath that would crack us all up repeatedly. In my book I give an account of when he went “all Dirty Harry” on me. Ha!

Sienna Miller is not only beautiful, but brilliant as well. She is definitely a voice to be reckoned with. I was amazed to find out that she got the ‘Protective Paparazzi’ laws changed in England. She would say, If you want something done, do it yourself. Ha! She has a huge heart and I try my best to keep in touch with her.

I’m sure there was divine intervention with the cast and crew of this film. Everyone was so loving and made it their mission to pay attention to the details and get this story spot on.

Your head must have been spinning with all the media attention with the film and your life. How did this affect your family?

We had to put out a few fires but we worked it out. Our children haven’t seen the film. We wanted them to remain unaffected. But they know what their dad did and they are proud of him. In “American Wife” I went into more detail on this as well.

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You and Chris had a shared passion to make the world a better place. Your heart for military and first responder’s marriages. Can you share about why you started your Foundation, “The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation”?

Chris and I learned a lot through our struggles, so we wanted to ‘pay it forward’ and help other marriages and families. The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation’s mission is to honor God, Country, and Families who serve. We do this by providing time and space for couples to re-connect after deployment.

After my parent’s gifted us with a weekend away from “everyday life”, we realized the importance of getting away for a couple days, away from daily distractions. It was important to Chris and me that we reach out to not just military but also to other first responders. We have many friends in law enforcement that go through much of the same things the military families deal with. There is a saying “When one person serves, the entire family serves.” With the specific goal to help marriages and families, the foundation is able to fulfill a real need in these communities. It is such a blessing to be able to witness actual changes in these families!

Are you working with any doctors or any specific therapies on the best treatments for PTSD?

We don’t specifically work with PTSD at the foundation but we are able to connect people with excellent resources to help specifically where they need it. There are so many advancements in this field like EMDR, MRI’s and talk therapy. One of the hardest pieces of this puzzle is getting people to acknowledge that they are suffering from PTSD.

How has your Christian faith grown or changed over the years?

I have always been a believer but my understanding of God and the Bible has grown in leaps and bounds. I have been empowered by sermons that have real life application and also Bible study. I have done the Beth Moore studies and I really enjoyed them. Lee Strobel’s book “A Case for Christ” has also had a major impact on my faith. My mom and I like to share insights via texts about our daily devotional book, “Jesus Calling.” Overall, what I grasped is that the Bible is still relevant in this day and age. Human nature has not changed over time. Technology changes, the environment changes but not human nature and God remains steady. There will always be conflict in the world, but with that there is also triumph.

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If someone would like to get involved in your Foundation, what can they do?

They can follow us on social media and Facebook and spread the word about what we are doing. But I’d like to add that if you want to help someone in need, just show up for them. Don’t ask what you can do, just do what you see may need doing. You don’t have to run a big foundation to be a blessing to others in need. Many times it is the “little things” that make the huge difference showing people that they are loved and cared for.

Please tell us about your book “American Wife”. What inspired you to make this book a reality?

I wrote this book for people to see another side of Chris and to continue to honor his legacy. I also wanted other husbands and wives to know that they are not alone and to show them that it is worth it to make the effort to save their families and fight through the problems. This book is not for women only by any means. For fans of Chris and his first book American Sniper, I think you will find the stories of great interest. I share a lot of background stories behind what people have seen in the movie. I go on about details that followed the movie and talk about the pain and lessons learned through Chris’ murder.

Another note about the book… If you enjoy listening to books on tape, I am the narrator of the audio version of the book. I personally love to put on audio books when I’m working around the house.

 

Interested in knowing more about Taya’s book, American Wife, The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, or to become a part of their Facebook family? Please refer to the links below.

Note: Please take a moment to pray for the safety of our brave troops just outside the gates of Isis strong hold city, Mosul. Pray for them as they fight for our safety and freedom.

https://www.amazon.com/American-Wife-Love-Faith-Renewal/dp/0062398091

 

https://www.chriskylefrogfoundation.org/

 

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=chris%20kyle%20frog%20foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimm Carr ~ Community Bible Study’s Servant Leader

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As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

As Executive Director of Community Bible Study, Texas-born Kimm Carr has a mission even larger than the organization she directs in Colorado Springs, Colorado; engaging people with the Bible literally around the world!

Ask anyone who knows Kimm and they will tell you about her beautiful, God-given sense for servant leadership. This makes her more than simply an Executive Director; it makes her more of a “Shepard-in-Chief”. After this interview, I thought, “I wonder if she thought it was weird that I was clapping and spouting an energetic, “Yes!” after so many of her responses to my questions? It wasn’t as if the Redskins were scoring touchdowns. I mean who claps over the phone? And who claps over the phone listening to a Bible teacher? I just couldn’t help myself because Kimm stirred me up by just being who she is: a completely real woman; utterly devoted to God, and wanting everyone to have the opportunity to know Him through His Word.

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Community Bible Study (also known as CBS) started 41 years ago in Bethesda, Maryland, with a small handful of dedicated Christ-following women. Starting one Bible study at a time and touching hearts one person at a time, the ministry soon grew beyond the United States. (Note: My mother was part of the first “servants team” so this mission is near and dear to my heart! It is also the reason I fell in love with the Word of God! )

It would be an understatement to say that this ministry has grown and more appropriate to say that is has spread like wildfire. Today CBS has classes in 100 countries (16 started in this past year) and lessons translated into 66 different languages.

It is interesting to note that Zambia has the largest number of participants enrolled in CBS; even more than the United States. Due to this outreach internationally, CBS has increased 121 percent this past year! Globally there are more than 400,000 class members being transformed as they study God’s Word! As Kimm says, “CBS is like a trophy of God’s grace, and what He is doing. God is alive, and He is speaking to us through His Word.”

Let’s find out why so many are taking part in this dynamic, alive Bible study. What makes it so very special?

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Q: How do you explain Community Bible Study to new people you meet who might not be a part of a Bible study?

A: We have a powerful mission statement; Making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, in our communities, through caring, in-depth Bible study, available to all. But if someone asks casually, I don’t give them the mission statement, I tell them we are a Christian organization that has been in the works for 40 plus years. We are located around the entire globe, and everything we do is geared toward welcoming anyone just as they are!

Typically, this will open the door for additional explanation. I also like to stress that CBS is not affiliated with any one church or denomination and is open to men, women and children of all ages. Equally, welcome are curious non-Christ followers. We welcome whoever wants to participate!

The most beautiful component is that anyone who walks through the door is greeted with love. Check everything else at the door. Whether you are in Kigali, Rwanda, or Austin, Texas, you are welcomed with love to comfortably study God’s Word together.

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Q: Can you tell us about the path that led you to become a member of CBS and then on to Executive Director?

A: I grew up in the church but really didn’t become a follower of Jesus until I was in college. It was there that I decided to intentionally pay attention to God’s Word.

In 2002, after moving to Athens, Georgia, our real estate agent asked me to join her Community Bible Study class. I remember being greeted with such love that I knew I wanted to be a part of whatever this was. So I started out slowly, doing more listening than actually finishing the lessons. But my core group (small group) leader never shamed me for not doing it all. I was just loved through it, and then as I started doing my lessons on purpose, I realized… THIS is how I’m going to know Jesus! I started feasting on the Word of God: I couldn’t get enough.

The following year, I was asked to lead a core group. Then, half way through that year, I was asked to start praying about becoming the teaching director for the Athens class! My professional background was clinical audiology sprinkled with a minimal amount of teaching through Auburn University and the University of Florida. This was definitely outside my comfort zone, but I felt God calling me to take on this ministry, so I prayerfully dove right in!

In 2012, I received a phone call from Community Bible Study’s Succession Task Force asking me to prayerfully consider being vetted for the position of Executive Director of CBS. This would entail a move from Athens, Georgia, to Colorado Springs, Colorado. A radical change for my family and me. After prayer, my husband, Steve, resigned after 25 years with Georgia Power, and we uprooted our 8th-grade son, Ben, and headed west!

Q: With over 400,000 class members around the globe participating in Community Bible Study, why do you think it is so popular? Is there a formula for its success?

A: There is no formula per se, but we do have Five “Essentials” of CBS that we can point to:

  • Individual study – Which is the class member…one on one with the Bible.
  • Encouraging discussion – Taking what you have learned, coming to your core (small) group and discussing the questions with them. During this time of sharing and listening, you begin to see the Holy Spirit “unpacking” truths that you may have missed doing the questions by yourself.
  • Effective Teaching – This is where the class teaching director wraps up the lesson you have just studied and discussed in core group time. They highlight a central idea from the passage, share their expertise and insight, thus tying together, even more, all that you have studied and how it applies to your life.
  • Scholarly Commentaries – After class, members go home and read scholarly commentaries that shed additional light on the Bible passage by introducing history context, backgrounds on authors, how the passage you’ve studied relates to the rest of Scripture and other insights as well.
  • Caring Community – This CBS fellowship is all wrapped up in caring that we call shepherding. Compassionate leaders pray for and encourage participants to grow spiritually and connect with each other.Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 2.08.50 PM

The “Five Essentials” give Community Bible Study strength and foundation that transcends all the different cultures. The essentials may look and feel different culturally, but they are all able to be duplicated, are cohesive and all distinct at the same time, depending on your class and community. It’s just a beautiful thing to see!!!

(Note: This all may sound time-consuming but class is generally held once a week and is about 2 hours in length. First part in your core group; second part in lecture. The rest, studying your Bible and answering questions, is done on your own time.)

Q: What are the challenges you have faced over the years as Executive Director?

A: I think what has personally challenged me is walking in faith as God leads. From the calling to serve in the Athens, Ga CBS class to leading an international non-profit, it has been a real challenge to walk step by step in faith. Yet, it is continually amazing to me how God equips those He has called!

A ministry challenge would be that there are boundless opportunities domestically and internationally! We need to make sure we stay focused on one thing: caring, in-depth Bible study. We’ve entered into a season of strategic planning, which is going very well, but it’s also a challenge.

The global movement of God and all the work that comes with unveiling that reality to everyone…wow, the lines start to blur. It’s incredibly exciting to see God moving!

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Q: How do you and your staff keep all the study books relevant to today’s believer?

A: Relevancy to today’s believer is best maintained when we focus on in-depth study of the literal Word of God first and foremost. The Bible, since it is the written revelation of God, transcends time, language, and geography. The most important focus is leading an individual participant into Scripture and just letting that Scripture speak as the Holy Spirit through the passage. Scripture is the place where the power of God is going to speak into the hearts of the CBS’ers. This is what it’s all about!

On a lighter, editorial note regarding relevancy, our writing team and other editors have had to go into course studies written 40 years ago and carefully, prayerfully update illustrations and edit out terms that may no longer make sense to anyone 30 or younger. Where we may have a brilliant commentary from 1978, it may use an outdated term such as “mimeo-graph” or “typewriter”. A what? Ha!

Q: As a long time CBS’er myself; my favorite section of the CBS commentary is the “Think About It” section. Can you tell us a little about your authors?

A: Yes, the “Think About It” section is an integral part of the format because it makes the lesson, relatable and personal. It gives you something to “chew on.” The editorial staff has seminary and pastoral experience. Commentary writers are carefully and prayerfully chosen based on their expertise as well as their writing ability.

Q: What do you tell people who say, “I don’t know anything about theology or Bible study; I can’t do something like that.”?

A: Community Bible Study is an every person’s study. Questions are intentionally designed so anyone can answer, regardless of experience! Many questions are who, what, where, when – kinds of factual questions; others are more challenging. If you don’t want to share, you can absorb what others in your group got from the passage. There is no stress to be an “A” student. Phew! You can do the “homework” at your leisure although we recommend that each participant pray about doing one section a day so they don’t have to rush. Also, you get to enjoy the blessings of your study throughout each day if you take it day by day.

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Q: What are your desires and prayers for each member of CBS?

A: Oh, yes! My prayer for the ministry as a whole and for each individual CBS-er is that each one around the globe captures the essence of an intimate relationship with the living God. I like to pray Isaiah 55 (see below) which points out the universal truth that we are all thirsty ~ and we all can come to His water. Every person is in CBS because God appointed it. May there be a total transformation for all who desire it. That’s what CBS did for me…total transformation! Not just a spiritual change but a practical change as to who I am as a wife, daughter, mother, co-worker. I hope that anyone seeking or wanting transformation would know that Community Bible study is a safe place to come.

For more information on a Community Bible Study in your area please go to:

www.communitybiblestudy.org.

ISAIAH 55

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers, the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”

Testimonies from CBS participants:

“Since that first time, CBS has been the biggest blessing in my life. At that point in my life, I have to admit I was a spiritual train wreck. I was torn between my selfish apathy and my desire to regain my faith. However, CBS finally brought me around and ignited a new spark in my faith.” ~ Kalli, Austin, TX

“I met with a friend I have known since junior high (40+ years) last week who is now an empty nester; her comment was that CBS has saved her marriage! Those were her exact words! ~ Priscilla, Jacksonville, FL

“CBS has helped me learn more about Jesus. Jesus has taken me far from the darkness. I have learned about the importance of eternal life and growing in faith. If someone asks why I am a Christian, I tell them I have learned the secret to eternal life. I have learned that Jesus died for me because of my sins – He impacts lives!” ~ Jurius, a young boy who attends CBS in Burkina Faso, Africa

“My name is Anika. Earlier in my life, I was a local rowdy (gangster). I did many illegal works in our area. Due to these kinds of activities, I was arrested by police and imprisoned in jail. After my release from the prison, I went to a CBS group in my neighbor’s house. There, they taught me the Word of God. I was touched by the Word and I surrendered my life to Jesus. Now I have been baptized and regularly go to church.” ~ Anika, India

Jeff Kemp ~ “Facing the Blitz”

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*Blitz: noun\blitz\a: blitzkrieg, an intensive all-out attack or campaign…b: a sudden overwhelming bombardment…c: a rush of the passer-by a defensive linebacker, back, or end in football.

**LIFT: Life Is For Transformation.

There are numerous sports books out today that share game winning advice with you. Jeff Kemp’s new book “Facing the Blitz” is in a different league altogether. Over the years, Jeff has become a blitz-ologist. (Can’t find definition in dictionary?). Each thought-provoking and often dramatic scenario draws you closer to understanding what it takes to become your best self. But not in that self-centered, ego-centric way. Jeff shares about the importance of investing in other’s thus building strong, healthy, God-centered relationships.

Jeff spent 11 quarterback seasons in the tumultuous NFL; playing for the Rams, the 49ers, the Seahawks and the Eagles. . His relationships with God, wife Stacy, and 4 sons are his greatest passion and reason for his desire to build energetic, purpose-driven families. . This book is for anyone who dares to care enough to make a genuine impact on other people’s lives and in the process capturing their own true identity. It’s about thinking long term and not about the quick fixes. It’s not a book about the past… it’s about the present and the future (Warning: Don’t read this book if life hasn’t thrown you any punches to the gut.)

Before we get to your book, can you tell us what it was like to play professional football in the shadows of your very famous quarterback and politician father, Jack Kemp?

I think the toughest part of the climb for me was coming from an underdog, small school (Dartmouth) situation. My dad did a great job of keeping expectations where they should have been. I, on the other hand, put a lot of pressure on myself. You don’t just get a spot on a team because daddy was a great QB. That doesn’t mean a thing when you get in that huddle.

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Have you ever had a desire to follow in your father’s footsteps and go into politics?

Growing up in the Kemp household and choosing to major in economics would make you think so. I have had inklings and many people have asked me this through the years. But I don’t have that raw love of politics and policy that dad had. He really wanted to affect laws in order to give people hope in prosperity. I prefer to concentrate on families… starting with my own. I wanted to be there to coach my boy’s teams and be present. My passion now is helping marriages and families to thrive, helping men find their identity and find solutions to problems in a world that is undercutting true love and the essentials of family.

Please share about role models in your life?

My father has always been about underdogs and was extremely good at “lifting”** people’s sight, vision, confidence, and initiative. My mom Joanne’s personality certainly has had great influence on me. She is all about the personal. Connecting and encouraging people and relationships. I also remember Chuck Obremski, Chaplin of the L.A. Rams in my book. He was a huge inspiration in my life. He taught Scripture, loved well and became one of my best friends. He was instrumental in helping both Stacy and me in our spiritual growth. His blitz was cancer. He died with no fear. Just joy of what was to come. He delighted in ‘fighting the good fight’ and pointing people to the real King and lasting Kingdom.

How important were Christian Youth Groups in your life?

Extremely important! I was mentored by small group leaders and learned much to shape my faith through bible studies and retreats. I gained some solid head knowledge, had several uplifting emotional spiritual retreats and got a good “flavor” of Christ.

You say that your success in college left you feeling empty. Can you share more about that?

Of course. I had a knowledge and strong belief in Christ but I was more focused on success, popularity and all that comes with being a college quarterback. I wanted God mainly as an ingredient in my success formula. Jeff was my purpose. Things went well…very well eventually. But, I was empty. God wanted way more for me. He wants to love us and for us to surrender to who He wants us to be. I have found that real joy comes when you let Him own your life, and find yourself serving others.

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You and Stacy have a wonderful marriage. How did you two get involved in marriage and family ministry together?

Well, we were having our own set of struggles in marriage. From the outside, everything looked perfect. My pro football career, we were blessed with great kids right away and we were committed to each other. But… it wasn’t fun. Our personalities are so extremely different except for the part where we are both dominant leader types. Both of us were 100% committed to God and we realized we had to conscientiously work on our marriage. We became involved in marriage conferences, watched videos, read books, and were mentored by older couples. We found ourselves surrounded by people reaching out to us who genuinely cared, were fun, interesting and most definitely, not preachy. Now this is what married couples really need. (It is important to note that people have no interest in being mentored by someone fake or seemingly perfect.) Soon we were doing learning and growing enough that we had to share it with others! We started inviting couples on the team to our house, neighborhood friends and church friends as well. Soon our pastor asked us to help in the ‘young married’ class at our church.

As a father of 4 boys, do you have any advice about raising kids in a difficult culture?

The main thing to keep in mind when raising kids is that they feel loved and validated, that they learn their identity is secure in God’s love and their parent’s eyes. Play with your kids. Build an energetic, fun relationship with them on their terms…what they’re interested in vs. what you are interested in. Inject a hyper-dosage of fun whether it be around music, sports, hiking, board games, etc. Enjoy them! Your children are more apt to adopt your values and faith if you lovingly do this. Preaching at them is not a winner.

Be sure to model love in your marriage. Date each other, be affectionate, resolve conflicts in front of your children. By truly loving your spouse, your children will develop a healthy sense of security. (Note: Jeff gives a beautiful example in his book about a divorced father that modelled love to his ex-wife thus impacting his daughters view on what kind of man she truly wants to marry herself. This book by no means leaves out divorced or single people.)

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Can you tell us about “Family Life”, your position there, and groups that you have worked with?

Family Life is a Christian organization that is devoted to supporting and mentoring families and couples to grow strong together. My official title is Vice President and catalyst for helping others. I spend the majority of my time networking and speaking on how to strengthen marriages and families to many groups like men’s conferences, churches, and marriage conferences. I network with groups like the Fatherhood CoMission, National Coalition of Ministries to Men, Pro Athletes Outreach, Athletes in Action, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Jack Kemp Foundation.

For more information go to: www.familylife.com

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Let’s talk about your new book “Facing the Blitz”. Can we start with an explanation of “the blitz”?

A blitz occurs when the defensive team attacks the offense with significantly more players than normal. This can be very bad or very good for the offense. It’s both dangerous and an opportunity. The key is being ready for it. A well-prepared offense looks for the blitz anticipates it and adapts to it. Some of the best scores come from plays that adapt to these intense situations. A bad thing can turn into a good thing if you’re prepared.

Why write this book and what do you hope it will accomplish for your readers?

So people can gain a strategy. Bad things happen, people face problems… whether it is personal, health, marriage, financial. People like football stories and metaphors. My hope is to teach through stories and help people strategize to face the blitzes that come their way. I want to help them make a positive impact on others. It’s about Turning negatives to positives and sharing with others.

What do you feel is your mission in life?

My highest priority in life is to intentionally love and uplift my God, my wife, and my family. I want God’s presence and love to fuel my life so that I may lift and unite other people to invest in relationships, teamwork, and family.

What advice for overcoming a complicated world do you detail in your FACING THE BLITZ?

The book goes over 3 simple principles or strategies.

Take a long-term view. (No quickie short term fixes)

Be willing to change. (Not about just hoping circumstances or others will change for you.)

Reach out to others. (Take your focus off yourself and focus on blessing others.)

Although those strategies sound simple, they are not easy to practice unless we see life through paradigm-shifting lenses. Team, not solo. Investor in relationships, not consumer. Connected to a power source greater than self.

To find out about the book, or sign up for Jeff’s free weekly 1-minute videos, please go to:

www.facingtheblitz.com

Here’s a recent video: http://www.facingtheblitz.com/investors-consumers-jeff-kemp/

Lauren Green-McAfee: Standing for the Bible

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Lauren Green-McAfee is a woman “standing with the Bible” and she wants you to stand with her. As Director of Community Engagement for the soon to open “Museum of the Bible,” Lauren is in a position she could only dream of.

Her well-known family, The Greens, have spent the last few years acquiring an impressive collection of rare biblical artifacts and antiquities. When I say impressive, I mean, one of the world’s largest private collections. Over 40,000 pieces to be exact! They also hold the second largest collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the largest collection of Hebrew scrolls and much, much more. Why all this? A deep seeded love and reverence for the Bible and a need to share.

As a young girl growing up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Lauren met her greatest mentor. Her dad, Steve Green, a hands-on father of six and president of the national retail chain Hobby Lobby. This awe inspired child wasn’t moved by her father just because he was a fun dad and certainly not because of his impressive business enterprise. (Too young for that.) No, she noticed her dad faithfully making the time to read his Bible every single morning. Witnessing this has had a lasting impression and profound impact on Lauren and her life choices.

When I first heard about this magnificent museum for some reason the movie Jurassic Park came to my mind… ‘Spare no expense!’ (I hope that isn’t sacrilegious.) The magnitude of this endeavor is overwhelming to the average Joe. But not to the Green family and the array of multi-talented academics, theologians, business and creative minds they have employed and who hold seats on their board of directors. While Disneyland claims to be “the happiest place on earth”, I think the Museum of the Bible should lay claim to sharing “the most exciting book ever revealed on earth!”

The Museum of the Bible is set to open in the fall of 2017. This is quite an undertaking! What and why was your family led to take on a massive project like this?
My family, through the generations, has always loved the Bible. We started building a collection of artifacts. This was not something we wanted to keep to ourselves. It had to be shared. Studies were performed to investigate interest levels in a Bible Museum. The response… tremendous interest and huge potential! At this point, we didn’t have a permanent dwelling place for our collections, so our first step was to get it to the people. The formation of a traveling exhibit enabled us to share these treasures with people all over the map. We have domestic and international exhibits.

Can you tell us a little bit about the scope of this project?
Our building is 8 stories high, 430,000 square feet in size! It will have three main floors of exhibit space which will be dedicated to telling the history, impact and narrative of the Bible. We will have a biblically themed restaurant that will serve food customary to the region and a rooftop garden with plantings also customary to the region. Also, lecture halls and research labs that contain multi-spectrum imaging for studying the artifacts and antiquities.

How long will it take for the average person to get through the museum?
Good question. It would take 9 8-hour days to see absolutely everything. Yes, that is a lot and in reality, you will need multiple trips to see it all. However, we have designed an iPad program to streamline your tour. When you enter the building you can grab an iPad and fill it out highlighting what your interests are, what you really want to see, how much time you have, do you have kids with you, your level of knowledge (scholar thru first time I’ve seen the Bible) and so on! There will be docents and curators available as well. Our goal here is, of course, to enjoy and learn but also to participate and engage in your interactive tour.
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How did Washington D.C. become your landing place?
First we ran an economic impact study. The three runners up were D.C., New York City, where I live, and Dallas. We found the perfect building in Washington D.C., our nation’s capital and only two blocks from the Air and Space Museum. We are so excited because the Metro runs under our building! We actually own the roof of the metro stop so you can expect to see a giant digital screen with spectacular biblical artwork on banners running 24/7. Needless to say, it will be the most beautiful Metro stop in town! (Note: Maybe in the world!)

Who do you hope to attract to the museum of the Bible?
Everyone! The Bible is the most universally important book. Its impact is felt in one way or another in all cultures around the world. Because of our scholarly pursuits and exhibits, many will learn no matter what their background. A 2000 Time-Life magazine article featured a story about the top impactful events or people in the world. It turns out that Guttenberg’s printing of the Bible, considered to many to be the first ‘modern’ printed book around 1455, was at the top of the list! Not just recognizing the printing press but the Bible itself. This is because the Bible is recognized by many as the most significant book out there.

Is this all about Christianity?
It is all about the Bible, which connects with Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism. All different faith traditions can learn from this. It has been a beautiful experience to see a sense of unity throughout different faiths! Where there could be division we are seeing unity.

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Papyrus 39. Can you explain why this artifact is so note-worthy?
Papyrus is a plant that was used as a type of paper. This particular fragment, P-39, is the oldest surviving copy of John 8: 14 – 22 in existence! This was found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in what was virtually a giant trash dump. This is one manuscript of many found in this location.

Tell us about your “Passages” and “Book of Books” exhibits.
“Passages” is our traveling exhibit that started in Oklahoma City, and on to Atlanta, Charlotte, Colorado Springs and Springfield, Missouri. Passages is currently in Santa Clarita, California, where it is on its sixth and final stop. There are four galleries in Passages that cover the translation, transmission, impact, and controversy of the Bible. Our International exhibit is called The “Book of Books”. It has been to the Vatican twice where it focused on history and how God’s word spread throughout the world to every nation. The Jerusalem version concentrated on the Jewish faith and how the Christians and Jews share the same “roots” in the Old Testament. Trips were also made to Cuba and Argentina. These exhibits focused on an overview of history and the impact of the Bible. Each exhibit is arranged to meet people where they are in their culture. All are engaging and experiential. You are “in” the scene of events!

Word is that your family is extremely generous and not only wants to share all of these treasures with the world but also teach generations to come. Can you tell us about that?
These incredible artifacts deserve to be studied, researched and shared with the scholarly world! We have started up “The Scholar Initiative” by partnering with over 100 different schools studying our materials. We want to mentor the next generation in the process. It is our hope that we will be able to allow more access in the future.

Let’s get back to Lauren now, shall we? Can you tell us a little bit more about you and your educational background? Did you know from day one that you wanted to work for the museum?
So I grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and have lived there my whole life…until recently when my husband and I moved to New York City. I got my Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in “Letters,” which focuses on History, Literature and Philosophy. And no, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with that degree… I just knew I was fascinated by history. My family didn’t start collecting biblical artifacts until my senior year in college. I went on to Liberty University Seminary, where I got my masters in “Pastoral Counseling”. I married my husband Michael while we were still in college, so, yes, I got married young. (We met each other at age 7, in Sunday school.) Michael also works for the museum as Director of Bible Engagement. The fun part is that our roles cross over and we travel a lot together with work.
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Why pastoral counseling?
Because I wanted to serve the church by mentoring and pouring into young girls. My husband was a youth pastor for the first 4 years of our marriage, and I enjoyed serving the young women in our youth group. I’m excited that I am continuing that in New York City!

As a Green family member, you probably have your pick of just about any position with the Museum. What led you to Community Engagement?
Ooh, that sounds nice to just pick. The truth is, our family believes very strongly in earning your position, family or not. I have worked for almost 5 years starting at the bottom to get to this position. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my job as Director of Community Engagement. Much of my time is spent sharing with people and groups about why I love the museum, in turn, raising awareness. This is easy for me because I’m so passionate about it! I would not consider myself a “speaker” but I’ve rolled up my sleeves and gotten out there. God knew what He was doing with this. A perfect fit for me. I am humbled and honored to do what I am doing.

How about your father? How does the President of Hobby Lobby and Founder and Chairman of the Board of Museum of the Bible, juggles it all?
Absolutely! My dad is still president of Hobby Lobby and spends about half of his time at the museum. To say he is passionate about this project is an understatement. His dream is to be able to share this incredible, historic and relevant book with the world, not just his inner circle.
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“Stand with the Bible”, can be seen on your website. What’s this all about?
We have an exciting campaign called “One Million Names”. It’s a program that allows all people to be a part of this historic undertaking! We know from research that people want to get involved. By making a donation in any amount, your name will be engraved into the building with all the others. You can make a donation for yourself, family members, or a gift for a friend, it’s up to you. By doing so you are saying: “I stand with the Bible” and now…you are in the heart of the project and in the cement!

At the end of the day Lauren, what do you hope “Museum of the Bible” will accomplish?
I hope this invitation for people to engage…will spread worldwide. That people will plan vacations around this spectacular presentation of the living word. This book has changed the world and has changed my life. What could be better than for seekers and non-seekers alike to have a newer and deeper understanding of “The Bible”.

For those of you whose interest has been sparked, which I hope are all of you that are breathing…make sure to visit the website “Museum of the Bible” to learn more and become “One with a million.” www.museumofthebible.org.

Kim Hume – A Journey To and Through the Bible

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When former Fox News Bureau Chief Kim Hume decides to do something, she doesn’t mess around. It’s all or nothing. Dedication is an understatement! Just prior to our interview, I suddenly felt a wave of intimidation. It hit me, “You are interviewing a woman who practically invented how to do an interview.” Good thing, Kim is a friend… she went easy on me.

In many ways, Kim Schiller Hume was part of the generation that paved the way for women in media having more of a voice, in her case, the head voice. Being with Fox News from its inception, she was responsible for overseeing all Washington D.C. based news-gathering efforts for the network. (No pressure, I’m sure.) Like all power positions, she had to endure quite a few personal hardships on the journey upward. And the good news is…she came out on top again, the real top.

What was it that intrigued you with Television News?

Growing up in Ventura County California, my dad was in the Cable Television business. The TV was on a lot. The very first time I saw, “Good Morning Los Angeles,” the precursor to “Good Morning America,” I knew that was what I wanted to do.

What advice would you give a woman who was interested in a media career?

Absolutely you need to get a good education. Specifically, a well-rounded liberal arts education. Many decide to major in journalism or communications and they miss out on the truly valuable knowledge learned through language skills classes, logic, and philosophy. Having a grounded knowledge of history is also beneficial in this business. If you desire this career just because you want to be on TV, you will probably not last.

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What would you say was your formula for becoming so successful?

Determination. I was determined to be top in my field, and I eventually got there, but I gave up a lot to do it. A normal life for one thing. If you are going to work in television news you need to be willing and available any time because the news never stops. I didn’t say no to out of town assignments or overnight shifts or last minute travel. In my time it would have been difficult to have a family with my schedule. I came from a generation where most women in my field didn’t have a career and a family. We had to choose. Things are different now, but it is still an issue if you are really ambitious. I’m not sure I recommend it, but if you think you want to be really successful, it helps to be able to make your work your top priority.

What have been your greatest obstacles in life?

Myself. Every time I thought I knew what I was doing. Trouble. Because at the time I didn’t have a solid grounding in my life, I would try to force things to work that most likely should have been forced. I wouldn’t accept it any other way, but mine. I should not have taken a step back.

What was the most memorable news event you remember working on and being a part of?

By far the most moving event I covered was the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. I was a producer for ABC News at the time and covering President Clinton in Europe. In Normandy, in particular, it was remarkable to see all the American WWII veterans there in their quiet dignity. Technically and logistically it was a very
complicated and difficult story, but, I was so proud to be an American that day.

To many you are introduced as Brit Hume’s wife? Comments?

Ha! It’s funny because many people don’t recognize me if I am not with Brit. The truth is, I consider it a bonus to be married to Brit Hume! I don’t mind those perspectives at all.

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Would you like to share some insights from your past struggles with alcohol addiction?

I absolutely do. As I drank, I finally recognized how helpless I truly was. When I hit bottom, God saved me. In a way, I look at my disease as being a blessing. I know that sounds funny but I feel that without it I would not know God the way I do today. What a huge benefit in my “life after alcohol”! Now I feel peace, gratitude and well…whole.

Did you grow up in church?

Yes, and I believe that my early Sunday school training turned out to be incredibly useful. That early understanding that there was a God and that Jesus came to save the world is what prepped me to find God as an adult in the first place. Perhaps when I was in the thick of life and drinking, I guess I didn’t believe that God would actually live in me and grow in me. To anyone out there who is a mother or a grandmother, or hoping to be, please don’t underestimate the importance of early church training.

What sparked your interest in reading the Bible 6 times from cover to cover?

When I retired in 2007 I wanted to study the Bible. I began with Community Bible Study and was a little surprised to find myself completely fascinated and therefore, enthusiastic about it. My husband suggested that we do a “One Year through the Bible” study together. So much was unlocked to me. Also, we attend a home church with 5 couples that meet once a month. I couldn’t believe how much my interest was sparked when absorbing the responses to questions by others. “Wow, I didn’t even think of it that way.” As my spiritual life soared, I realized that every time I read the Bible, the more I wanted to learn. The surprise was when reading the same thing at a different point in my life, the lessons changed or the way I understood them changed. That is why the Bible is a “Living thing”. It can literally speak to you.

How has your worldview changed with your new knowledge of the Bible?

I decided that I would have a very open mind about the Bible, not see it as a myth or a religious textbook. I would take it as it hit me. It soon became obvious to me that society itself was based on biblical teachings. Intellectual pursuits, philosophy of values, success or failures to thrive as societies all wrapped up in these “ancient” principles. I used to view the Old Testament and New Testament as separate texts. But through my study, I have discovered how beautifully they are intertwined. (Being a journalist on the frontlines of crisis after crisis, particularly in the Middle- East, helped me understand these divisions.) Fascinating! I didn’t always see it that way. So as an avid seeker, I would say, you don’t have to know everything about the Bible, but know, it is there for you to absorb.

What made you decide to write your blog, “Vine & Branch”. What do you hope it will accomplish?

One cold winter day, I was enamored with our holly bushes and how prominently the red berries were standing out amongst the cold. I took a photo of it, and thought “I should find a verse for this beauty. Then I thought, why not put together three things. A photo, a Bible verse, and a short personal insight. Ok great, but where to put it? Hence the beginning of Vine & Branch. My initial purpose was mainly to share. Now, I hope to also actually affect people for God, even if it is for a moment.

Kim is now happily retired, enjoying time with her husband and taking advantage of her love of exercise. Spending time between Virginia and Florida keeps the Hume’s in constant motion. Speaking for women’s groups and a variety of faith-based organizations has become a new and exciting part of Kim’s journey. Take 5 minutes and check out her Bible-based blog: Vine and Branch, which can be found at kimhume.blogspot.com. What I love about it, besides the content, obviously, is the brevity. Easy and worth fitting into your week!

Logan Wolfram: Curiosity Found

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A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew pictures. Occasionally, she would walk around the room to see each child’s work. “What are you drawing?” she asked one little girl who was working diligently at her desk. The girl replied, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” The little girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

Do you ever wish you could recapture your child-like creativity and sense of wonder?

Logan Wolfram is a wife, plate-juggling mom, interior decorator turned speaker, blogger and Executive Director of Allume. She also likes to say she is a “daughter of a most extravagant King!” In her soon to be released book, “Curious Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility,” Logan shares her wise insights on discovering God in everyday life by recapturing the eyes of a curious child. Her ability to see life this way is rare and wonderful and inspires her readers to take a closer look at their faith – and in turn, discover the adventure in every day! It’s tough to come up with one word that describes Logan. I’d have to say “COLORFUL,” in all capital letters. Not just because she has an interior design background, or sets a brilliant stage for her Greenville, S.C. based Allume Conference, but because she is funny, lively, bubbly, welcoming and just plain bold. She puts it all out there.

No pretenses here, Allume’s slogan is “Come as you are.” The Hyatt Regency ballroom is as inviting and lovely as if you were a guest in Logan’s own living room. (As a matter of fact the stage set for the 2014 conference actually was her living room, right down to the polka dot sofa!)

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The venue is chock-full of stimulating ideas and meditation. An amazing worship team and dynamic event speakers give you enough spiritual, emotional and intellectual food for thought for a lifetime…really. This is not just a conference, it is an “experience.” Not a detail is missed. I can see early on that Logan is a “whole picture” kind of gal. She surrounds herself with an amazing team of women who keep her on track and on time. Each conference attendee is treated like a family member. (Note: My goody bag was so full of goodies that I had to pick up all the excess pouring out on the way to my room.) For her event sponsors, Logan and her team would move heaven and earth to make sure they were successful and felt valued. Did I mention the wait staff at the hotel? Praised and praised though-out the weekend. What I saw was women walking the walk. Logan’s background in cooking, decorating and radio advertising makes her the perfect Executive Director. Hmm, although she is a brilliant businesswoman, this title doesn’t seem to fit her personality. I’m thinking Gracious Hostess.

I was able to ask Logan a few questions. Here are her responses:

Tell us about your new neighborhood in Greenville.

She laughs and says, “It didn’t take me long to discover that I was a ‘tattoo’ girl living in a ‘monogram’ neighborhood. It took some time to adjust but I love where we live. Living close to the city of Greenville is a lot of fun with lots to do and see!”

What do you mean by “curious faith” in your book title?

“I spent my whole life putting God into a box. It wasn’t until I knocked the walls off that box that I could actually see Him with wide open curiosity. And suddenly, I didn’t want to contain Him anymore! A curious faith is a mobile one and ‘understanding’ is an action verb that unfolds before us. We can’t be curious about something we control. And when we try to control our lives, we miss out on the adventure of faith. The Bible tells us to renew our minds on the things of heaven. Why don’t we listen to this? Guess what happens if we don’t renew our minds…our minds get ‘old’ on the things of heaven and earth.”

What do you say about people who look at life with fear or dread?

“If you dread what is coming your way, you are not living curiously. If you think life will break you, then at some point you become afraid to really live it. The certainty of our faith isn’t found in where we are going, but in whom we are following. This is living with a curious faith.”

What inspired you to write “Curious Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibilities?

“Among other things, one day I was watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with my two sons. I’d seen it before but this time, I found myself ensconced in the meaning. So who actually wins the keys to the chocolate factory? Is it the self-centered kid, the gluttonous one, the prideful one, or the impatient one? None of the above – it was Charlie, the curious, humble child who simply wants to know Wonka’s secrets and give his family a better life. Like the golden ticket, God wants us to unwrap the beauties of His Kingdom in the here and now. He has fathoms of different flavors to share with us, like the everlasting Gobstopper. (Note: I texted Logan… “I know that I’m a “Barruka Sweet type” y’know, the “I want it now daddy” girl? She texts back, “Ha! It’s Veruca Salt, close though.” LOL!

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The big Allume news is that you will not be holding a 2016 Conference. You are going to “wait” this year out. This could not have been an easy decision.

“While some critics of the idea see this as a loss of momentum, we see it as a well needed time to recharge and pray. You can’t move forward on an empty tank. Waiting is courageous. Waiting is brave. Waiting is active. Waiting is full of experience along the way. It’s not a void that we’re stuck in until something new happens. It doesn’t make us victims of circumstances we can’t change. Waiting is growing and is pursuit. Waiting cultivates strength and rich experience.”

Are you concerned about this huge community of Christian bloggers that follow you, losing connection?

“It’s ok. I heard Christian speaker Lysa Terkeurst once say, ‘don’t allow momentum to be what moves you. God may have something else for you in store.’ If this is about ‘keeping up with the Jones’…this Jones ain’t keeping up. People follow you but they don’t follow you into the looney bin. (HA!) I’m excited about attending a couple of other conferences this year.”

When is your book due out?

March 1, YEAH!

http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Faith-Rediscovering-Hope-Possibility/dp/0781413508

I’ll wrap up with this simple Logan quote: “The more curious I am, the braver I become.”

I hope you have been inspired to be braver, and more free to think a little more “out of the box” in your faith walk. You don’t want to miss THIS adventure. Make sure to check her out ya’ll!

www.LoganWolfram.com

Tina Boyd: Leading with Love

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Some people are content staying in the background and letting others lead, build and deal with all that comes with the territory of making a difference in the world. Coming from a family of 6 children, a military dad, and a strong-willed mom, this month’s “Real Person”, Tina Boyd, will not get lost in the crowd.

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Beloved family members, husband Lance, 3 kids, Brigette, Andrew, and Olivia are hugely important in Tina’s drive for success and excellence. However, her faith in God is the center of her universe. Starting her day in prayer is a given for Tina. How else do you balance a family, a career, the launching of a book, and being a co-founder of a foundation? While some of us need 3 cups of coffee to get our day started, Tina hits the ground running and praying. Her sense of energy and joy is almost super human. From the outside, you would think…is she for real? Or, boy, she has the perfect life. But she’ll share with you up front and personally, she faced a dark chapter in her life that could have stopped her in her tracks, ruined her marriage, her family and taken her soul to the very depths of destruction.

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Last winter, Tina hit the send button for her book “The Ride of Your Life: Faith will move you Forward”. This story details the events that took place in the spring of 2004 when she hit a cyclist while driving on her local Virginia road.  We all have roads that we navigate on a daily basis. This could have been any of us.  On this day, however, this road would become the tipping point of her life. With raw honesty and in-depth journaling, Tina shares her deepest feelings on this tragic event. After the accident, she was a woman marked by shame and defeat.

To leave us with just a picture of how it felt to go through this trauma wouldn’t be a reason to write this book. It’s not about freeing herself from the guilt of her tragic day. It’s about shining a light onto how God blessed her with wisdom and a peace she felt she would never experience again. From finding herself stuck to her dining room floor in the depths of despair and depression to shining a brilliant light on recovering from a tragedy. Through prayer and counseling, she not only recovered, but she discovered that the God of her prayers wanted more from her. Her life’s mission has become about helping other’s with tragedy and becoming an advocate for “Brain Injury Services” (a percentage of her book sales goes to this cause.)  Tina has a distinct way about her that makes hope real. http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000960963/The-Ride-of-Your-Life.aspx

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In 2006, Tina cofounded, W+Wings  (Women Walking in God’s Spirit) with her friend Dedra Faine.(www.womenwalkinginGodsSpirit.org)  Together they serve their local Virginia community with just about everything. Thanksgiving meals, housing, food, medical services, counseling, etc.  Understanding that there are all levels of need in our communities, this heavily engaged group of women help the poorest of poor to those finding themselves choked by economic issues of this day and age.

tinaIf you happen to live anywhere in the Northern Virginia area be sure to catch Tina on the Virginia Living television channel where a lively group of women discuss the joys and challenges of life while highlighting people making a difference in their community. As National Director of Sales for Atlanta-based “Christian Bling” Tina tirelessly recruits, motivates and inspires women to become entrepreneurs and share the word of God through meaningful jewelry and social selling. Clearly a woman on fire for life and the God who gave her life; making her our “Real Person” of the week. www.tinaeboyd.com