Daily Walking with God

October 2015
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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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bible to school dayChallenge on!

Okay, so it may not be a challenge to really bring your bible to school or work, but sometimes being bold to leave it out and share it is.

Yesterday the youth pastor at my church, Ricky Lindsey, posted on social media that October 8th is National Bring Your Bible to School Day. His tag quote was, By all means bring your Bible every day. But if this encourages 1 person to start a great habit then I will promote a national day” I replied, “Really?” And guess what? It is! Checkout the website: http://www.bringyourbible.org/

They’re opening paragraph says, “Welcome to Bring Your Bible to School Day! On this day—Thursday, Oct. 8—thousands of students across the whole country will share God’s hope and celebrate religious freedom by doing something simple, yet powerful: They’ll bring their Bibles to school and talk about it with friends!”

I’m thinking to go beyond the just school, and take your bible to work. You could simply place it on a prominent position on your desk or work area and see if anyone says anything. I am! It’s not that I don’t already have bible verses in my workspace, I do, but to place my bible on my desk daily (in an age of technology and it’s on my phone easily), in a public school, just honestly isn’t something that I do. Maybe I should more often.  Hey, students, it’s the best history book there is.  Truth!

So, I challenge you, hopefully it’s not really a “dare” to take your hardback, softback, real paper page turning  bible to work and/or school today. Take note of any comments others may say to you. Pray for God’s boldness to penetrate through you and your words. Then, PLEASE reply back to me and share what others had to say or what your had the opportunity to share. I can’t wait!

Don’t have a desk, job, or school? Carry it with you in your arms, take it to the restaurant and place it on the table, whatever you do and wherever you go just have it out and visible.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. ”  Romans 1:16

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

you belong to god“O God, you are my God…” Psalm 63:1

Before I could even continue with the rest of verse one from Psalm sixty-three, I had to stop and just say “Thank you, Lord, Jesus, my Savior, Amen!” (A little happy dance was taking place right there.)

Isn’t it wonderful to know that we serve a living, mighty, loving, and personal God? Amen!

Children of God, take joy in knowing that He is yours and you are His.

1 John 4:4 tell us, My dear children, you belong to God, so you have already defeated these false prophets. That’s because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Another…amen!

God is not only God, but your God. You are His. That’s it.  That’s all I’ve got for now. Have a beautiful day knowing that you belong to Him.

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie


“God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts.” Psalm 63:1

“Lord, you are my God, and I thank you. My God, I praise you!”  Psalm 118:28

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1



Picture borrowed from: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/TheSureThing

Picture borrowed from: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/TheSureThing

“Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.” Isaiah 26:4

When I read the words in this verse, “a sure thing”, my mind clicked back to a movie I saw back in 1985 with the same title, “A Sure Thing”. So I when on You Tube to watch the trailer to refresh my memory. Here’s are some quotes from the trailer:

    • “So what’s in California?” “A girl. She’s supposed to be a sure thing.” “A sure thing, no questions asked, no strings attached, no guilt involved,…a sure thing.”
    • After much time of adversity, at one point the girl character says, “I trust you.” The narrator of the trailer says, “And somewhere on the road to a sure thing, Alison and Gib might just discover the real thing.”

But my thoughts didn’t stop there. They automatically went to the real thing, and I’m not talking about Coke. No way. The Way. The Real Thing. The only Sure Thing…Jesus!

“For us there is only one God, and He is our Father. All things came from Him, and we live for Him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ. All things were made through Him, and we also have life through Him.1 Corinthians 8:6

Do you want a Sure Thing with “no guilt involved”? Try Jesus.

“So now anyone who is in Christ Jesus is not judged guilty.” Romans 8:1

Yes, you’ll have questions. That will keep you growing in knowledge, wisdom, and love for God.

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to him, now and forever! Amen.2 Peter 3:18

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.Philippians 1:9

Yes, there are strings attached. You are instructed to share Christ and His love with others.

“And don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with others, because sacrifices like these are very pleasing to God.Hebrews 13:16

Get The Sure Thing. You won’t have any regrets!

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

This was "graffiti" on a wall in LA.  I had to take this pic.

This was “graffiti” on a wall in LA. I had to take this pic.

I want to address something that was on my mind while driving home from work.

I was counting my blessings and thinking about the different “passer-by-comments” that I’ve heard from others, whether recently or in the past. Comments like, “Looks like you had a great weekend”, “You have a beautiful family”, “You have so much fun in life”, “I enjoy your vacation photos”, etc. What instigates these comments? This is what people see of my life from pictures I’ve posted on social media.

Yes, I am a blessed girl! God has been gracious to me and my family. But…are things always perfect/great/easy? Heck no! God tells us that we will have trials in life.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Okay, so there are bad times, and will be more. So what do we do about it? Give it to God. Pray. Lay it at His feet. Count your blessings. Have peace knowing that God’s got it, and when we follow His will for our lives it will all be fine in the end because He has already overcome. Overcome? We need to do that too with our times of difficulty.

“In his kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.” 1 Peter 5:10

Sweet Jesus! He will restore, support, strengthen, and place you on a firm foundation! Glory!

One of my favorite singers, Francesca Battistelli, has a song titled “Behind the Scenes” (click here for the video). Listen to her words and read the chorus:

Things aren’t always what they seem
You’re only seeing part of me
There’s more than you could ever know
Behind the scenes

I’m incomplete and I’m undone
But I suppose like everyone
There’s so much more that’s going on
Behind the scenes


Can I get an “Amen”?

If I were to display photos and share with all on social media all the “not-so-pleasant-occurrences” in my life, you’d have me on your prayer lists (which I do share when needed), feeling sorry for me, or scrolling down because you don’t want to see the negativity.

So what do I do? I CHOOSE to count my blessings. That’s what I share. That’s what I CHOOSE to display to hopefully lift the spirits of others.

In Romans 12:15  we read, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”  Back in May of this year I wrote a piece titled, “Watch Your Attitude”. Many people appreciated/ liked/ and even shared this journal entry. Check it out.

My life may appear beautiful on the outside, and you know what…it really is on the inside as well. It is beautiful, even through those tough times, because I have Jesus!

I hope you will CHOOSE to have a Beautiful Life. Display beauty, think beauty, be beauty. Don’t judge, rejoice.

I am a hot mess at times, even little moments each day, but I CHOOSE to give it to God and live BEAUTIFULLY.

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

I'll keep holding on to this guy.

I’ll keep holding on to this guy.

The other day I saw what I believe to be one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen. My heart was overflowing with love. A grateful grin came across my face and a lump in my throat. I saw something that I pray the women will have the pleasure in seeing and/or even partaking in. This sight gave me confidence in the leader of my home.

What did I see? My man on his knees! No, he wasn’t scrubbing the floor (even though he would), proposing to me all over again (even though that would be precious), or looking for the missing media controller batteries under the couch (ugh). Tim was on his knees bedside praying.

In 1 Peter 3:7 we read, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

Today, I get to celebrate the men, I mean man in my life as we reflect back to twenty four years ago on the day that we said “I Do.” (Please click here to read about the “The Other Man” in my life.)

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

I’m so grateful that back in 1985 God placed Tim in my life. After we had dated two years, we split because we were going to different colleges. Two years later, we were together again. Two years after reuniting us two became one in the bond of marriage. This bond of one is a triple threat because it’s not just us but God is in the center of our relationship.

Happy Anniversary to my Godly man who: loves his family, loves to hunt, fish, grill, chill out in our backyard, dance with me under the stars, leads our home, provides well for his family, has the most adorable dimples, drives me crazy in good and bad ways, grows deeper in love with God each day, cares for his friends, may be quiet at times on the outside, but screams with compassion on the inside, shares the responsibility in raising our three children, puts up with me, and loves me. I look forward to praying right along with you for many more years.

Ladies, I hope you have a man on his knees praying for you, his family, and his day. Oh what a sight!

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

Looking forward to more years together.

Looking forward to more years together.

acting surprisedWow! What a mighty God we serve.

I see people that I knew years ago and remember the life they used to live. CrAzY!! Now, years have gone by and their lives are completely changed.  Some are preachers or married to one, some are dedicated Christians and enjoy serving the Lord, and some are just a bit softer around the edges. Time heals. Time changes people.

Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus is one of the most famous historical stories told today.  What a phenomenal story for all to hear about how God can change lives. In Saul’s, now named Paul, case it didn’t take years to have him become a preacher, a dedicated servant of God, and quite a bit softer around the edges kind of guy.  It only took a moment in time.

One minute Saul was persecuting and seeking out Christians to put into prison, then “suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’” Acts 9:3-4 says. He immediately asked, “Who are you, Lord?” Jesus replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:5)

Saul ended up being blind for three days, and he didn’t eat or drink anything during that time.  God had a plan.  He knew where Saul was.  He knew what Saul had been doing to the Christians.  He knew Saul was going to go on and do great things for Him.  God knows this about us too.  We may not be physically blind to God and His will for us, but we are often blind to what He has in store for us.

Imagine the great plans God has for us if we will just remove the scales from our eyes, like Saul had done to him, and immediately rejoice and trust in Him.

I bet this all totally rocked Saul’s world.  He went from persecuting Christians to being one of the greatest witnesses for Christ and brought many to the faith.

People were astonished and baffled at the change that had taken place in Saul’s life.  I must admit I have been amazed at the transformation in some of those people who I knew way back when. Why?  Why does this bewilder me to see such a change?  God is awesome! He works miracles in our lives each day.  If He can turn water in to wine, walk on water without the special effects of Hollywood, raise others and Himself from the dead, create the world and our universe from nothing, and create man from dust and woman from a rib of a man, why should I be amazed? He is God!

Are you a changed person? It may not be as drastic as Paul’s change.  But if you are changed by God, you have a testimony.  You have had your own “Road to Damascus” story.  We read in verse 20 that “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.” He didn’t wait until he thought he knew enough about God like many of us do, he instantaneously began sharing God with others.

Your testimony is simple.  It is how you were before Christ, and how He has made you better now. It may be as simple as just saying, “Jesus loves you and me, and he has given me a hope for a future in heaven.”  Don’t be ashamed or scared to start telling someone your testimony.  God will put the words in your mouth to say.  Pray for boldness. Pray for opportunities to share.  Pray for His love to shine through you.

I just prayed for you regarding those three requests mentioned.

Have a beautiful day.


hollywood sign with holly

See the tiny Hollywood sign to the right of Holly? Yep, that’s the view, but priceless memoires.

The smallest of things, bring back some of the greatest memories.

Last night I opened my bathroom drawer to find a hair tie. The one I grabbed was a simple, grey, no-tangle hair tie that Holly and I were given before we took our family hike up Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles, California this past summer.   This tiny tie brought back a wealth of memories.

Runyon Canyon is an approximately 160 park in LA where people of all ages and stages, ride their bikes, jog, walk, and capture moments. We left our hotel, walked three blocks, and entered through the decorative iron gates. It was there at the gates where we received our little gifts.

For Florida folks, who aren’t used to hiking up hills, at times the walk was a challenge. We weren’t too far into the hike when the whining and complaining started from the younger folks in our family, okay…especially Holly. She was the main reason why Tim and I gathered everyone up that morning to go to Runyon Canyon. Holly had to have a picture with “her namesake”, the Hollywood sign.

Up some stairs, around bends, up the dusty trail we marched. There were benches and beautiful panoramas to enjoy along the way. The scenes were breathtaking. Literally, it took Holly’s breath away. At one point, she proclaimed, “I just can’t go on.   I’ll wait here. Come back and get me when you’re done. I can’t breathe.” Well, that would be a problem since we were not coming back in the same directions from where we came.

The boys hiked on up and I stayed behind to encourage Holly. I’d give her water, motivate her with words, and encouraged her to keep moving.

Just like in life, the journeys we often take are hard. We have to stay motivated and need encouragement from others. We must persevere to reach our goal. Life. Is. Hard…just deal with it and keep moving forward.

Holly’s expression was priceless when she reached the top.holly's expression

Again, like in life we often set our expectations so grand, only to be let down. When Holly made it up to the rest of our crew, we pointed to the Hollywood sign and said there it is. The look on her face was like, “Are you kidding me? I hiked up this mountain to see the sign so far away! Ugh!” We did see the infamous sign, but it was still quite a distance away from us. But…we did see it. It may have been a glimpse of what we imagined, but the goal was conquered and we worked together.

The rest of the hike had us walking downhill, so it was more pleasant. We’d laugh, compete on who was going to be in the lead, and have great chats along the way.

Boy, did those hair ties come in handy. It was hot!

The small hair tie that I grabbed last night reminded me of:

  • A phenomenal family vacation where they kids all got along beautifully, enjoyed each other’s company, and many laughs were had.
  • Perseverance is important in life. Never give up!
  • We need encouragers in life. Be an encourager to others, and when you need one, I bet God will send one your way.
  • Stay on God’s path and there’s great reward in the end.
  • Treasure the small things in life. They make for big adventures and memories.

“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” Psalm 133:1

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.Psalm 16:11

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie





Oaky, I look a bit creepy in this photo instead  to the of excited.  LOL.   We arrive a little late to the concert (dinner was necessary), but we were escorted to an empty row of seats when we arrive.  Yes, reserved, thank you.

Oaky, I look a bit creepy in this photo instead to the of excited. LOL.
We arrive a little late to the concert (dinner was necessary), but we were escorted to an empty row of seats when we arrive. Yes, reserved, thank you.

We have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” 1 Peter 1:4

Last night I felt like I got a small glimpse of what Heaven will be like.

You see, a dear friend of mine, Billie Jo, and I went to see Hillsong. I would say they are a Christian music group, but they are so much more. The best way to describe Hillsong United is as a world traveling church from Australia. And last evening was “heavenly” experience.

In Revelation 22:3 we read, No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship Him.” Worship is exactly what we did last night. No matter the denomination, race, socioeconomic status, past sins, etc., we will be up there WORSHIPPING our Lord and Savior.

When I read 1 Peter 1:4 in The Message translation, verse 3-5 were all clumped together. Want to get excited about Heaven? Do you want to know why we can have a reservation in Paradise? Check this out:

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

Oh, glory! Look at this again, “Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven.” He died for you! All you have to do is trust in Him and invite Jesus into your life. When you sincerely have trusted Christ into your heart, He’s got a place waiting for you in Heaven.

I’ve made my reservation. Billie Jo has made her reservation. Have you?

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

i doI can’t WAIT!

About two weeks ago God had laid it on my heart to write a piece about purity, specifically virginity. I’ve ask readers to share their story with me. I am so excited when I read each shared story via Facebook messaging, text, letters, and conversations. People still ask me if it’s too late to share, NO! God hasn’t had me penned any words yet, but I can sure feel the pressure coming, and I’m honored and motivated. So if you have a story you’d like to contribute regarding ideas like:

  • Were you a virgin when you married? How did you do it?
  • If you weren’t, how has it affected you, and others?
  • What lessons have you learned through either keeping your virginity or losing it?
  • What advice would you give someone today about sex outside of marriage?
  • Why is staying pure so important to you?


I’ve had young adults (some still in college), forty+ year olds, married, divorced, and single folks respond to my questions. THANK YOU! This process has been therapeutic for most, difficult to write, and all willing to share.

Would you please pray for me as I listen to God’s voice while writing on this topic?

When I read Philippians 1:9-11 this morning, my heart jumped as I prayed for you all this prayer, and am asking you to do the same for me. Amen and thank you.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11

Stay tuned. To God be given ALL the glory!

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

free to be meI have been asking and hinting for the past few years (seriously!) for a cd by Francesca Battistelli.   I’ve heard her on Christian, Pop, and Country music radio stations for years, and it seems that every time I say to myself, “I like that song” or “I like this person’s voice” I go to look and discover that this soulful singer is Francesca Battistelli. Well, I FINALLY found her cd for myself and purchased it. Yay! A gift to me from me.

One of ALL the songs that I love on this cd is titled, Free To Be Me. (Click here to view the video.) I adore this song for many reasons, but the other day while listening to it one phrase stuck out and was so powerful to me!

Do you ever read a bible verse or hear a bible story that you’ve read before, if not a thousand times, but “this” time you read it God reveals something new and fresh to you? He so does this! God’s word is living and relevant to our lives each day. We just need to read with open minds for Him to share His freshness with us.

That’s how I felt about the phrase in this song. The last part of the chorus says, “But on Your shoulders I can see I’m free to be me, and You’re free to be You”. When she sang the words, You’re free to be You, I was like, “Whoa!”

How often do we hold God back? Really. Think about it. We frequently want to control situations in our lives. When we do this, we are holding God back. We are not freeing Him to give us all the blessings He has for us. Friend, we are missing out when we control things and don’t allow God to do what He does (and knows) is best.

Stand on God’s shoulders and feel the freedom of living out His will for your life.

Can I get an “Amen”?!! This just excites me!

“People might make many plans, but what the Lord says is what will happen.” Proverbs 19:21

“We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.Proverbs 16:9

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie