Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I'm so pleased to have Kathy Collard Miller as my guest today. She is a wife, mom, speaker, prolific writer, and more. I first met Kathy more than ten years ago when I attended my first writers conference. I took her class on writing non-fiction and knew she was one special lady. You're going to love her, too.

Please leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Kathy's new book. You'll never ever be the same!

I Confess! Im a People Pleaser!
by Kathy Collard Miller

I confess! Im a People Pleaser! Im motivated to please others for a variety of reasons and one main one is thinking I should never say no. Why?
1.       What will they think of me if Im not the Super Woman who can say yes to everything?
2.       If I dont say yes, then Ill miss out on the fun!
3.       If I dont say yes, the opportunity wont get done to my standards!
4.       If I dont say yes, they might not ask me the next time.
5.  (Put in your own reasoning).
People Pleasing is all about depending upon the opinions of others for our approval, rather than God. We fear making other people unhappy with us or think poorly of us. So we strive to do everything we can to appease other people and promote ourselves as important, valuable, or whatever vow we've made to promote or protect ourselves.
There are many examples of People Pleasing in the Bible. The most known one may be when King Saul succumbed to this Strategy. His reaction is featured in 1 Samuel 13:8-14. Remember the story?
Saul was supposed to wait for Samuel to come so that the burnt offering could be given. But Saul saw the people scattering and he panicked. What did Saul fear that said about him? So Saul offered the sacrifice anyway. When Samuel showed up at the last minute, Saul knew he was in big trouble. Samuel asked, What have you done?
What was Sauls reasoning? When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord. So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.
Samuel saw the folly of Sauls reasoning and rebuked him. “…now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
Saul defends himself primarily giving the reason that the people were scattering. Could it be that he felt personally rejected by the people? Maybe them leaving meant they lacked confidence in him. As People Pleasers, thats not what we want to hear, see, or feel. We need to feel the approval and support of others.
What was God looking for? A man after God's own heart, but Saul's heart was all about himself and the approval of others.
Where can we all get the courage to choose Gods approval and not depend upon people's opinions?

Lay hold of God's promise, What can man do to me? (Heb. 13:6). God is the only one who will love us perfectly. Only he can provide unconditional love and approval because of the  robe of righteousness we wear because of Jesus' redemptive death.
Have a heart after God by identifying the source of our reactions. We can only be strengthened to obey and have God's perspective by identifying and healing the wounds that befall us that fueled our need for other peoples approval.
And thats the goal of our new book Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today. We offer the tools for identifying why I do what I do. And then having a heart change so that you can trust God more. Weve seen these tools strengthen us for increased obedience and joy. We hope youll join us in the quest for seeking Gods approval as our audience of one.
Kathy Collard Miller is the author of 50 books and has spoken in 31 states and 8 foreign countries. Kathy and her husband, Larry, have been married 44 years and he is a retired police lieutenant who also speaks and writes. Larry and Kathy speak often together and individually on a variety of topics. They live in Southern California, and have two grown children and one grandson. Visit them at www.LarryAndKathy.com and www.KathyCollardMiller.com.

Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today (Leafwood Publishers) offers Christians hope that they can change their destructive patterns of behavior through identifying their sinful self-protective strategies and then being empowered to trust God instead. Their book includes biblical principles, insightful stories, and helpful instruction. It also provides discussion questions that can be used by individuals or groups.

Never Ever Be the Same is available at your local Christian bookstore and in both print and digital versions at:
CBD: http://bit.ly/1AuJZSX

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1BJz3lC

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Can a Woman Become More Organized?

I'm so pleased to tell you about a new book by my friend Lane Jordan. Her books always get right to the point, are practical, and are an easy read. In Lane’s new book, 12 Steps to Becoming a More Organized Woman, she shares practical tips for managing your home and your family with God at its core.

Can a woman be more organized? That's the million dollar question  - at least it is at my house!  In today’s fast paced world, trying to keep “it all together” is just plain difficult, and sometimes downright impossible .  Yet, I don’t believe that God wants us to live so furiously that we are not at peace in our daily lives.

So what is the answer?  Perhaps by coming back to God’s Word and seeing what He says about how we are to go about our day-to-day lives. Our God is a God of order. The creation story in Genesis makes it clear, and 1 Corinthians 14:33 reminds us, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”

Each chapter of Lane's book takes you one step closer to becoming more organized, covering such issues as a woman’s walk with God, her relationships to everyday problems like time management, creating healthy meals, raising Godly children and restoring herself.  This book is not just for married women, but for singles as well - something our nation is experiencing in higher numbers than ever before. Living our lives the way God calls us to and not conforming to the world brings much joy, peace and a more organized life. 

Discussion questions are at the end of each chapter for group studies along with personal application questions for individual use.

Please leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Lane's book. 
If you have problems commenting on the blog just leave a comment on Face Book and I'll include you in the drawing.

You can find “12 Steps to Becoming a More Organized Woman at your local Barnes and Noble, Family Christian Store, and on the web at www.Amazon.com ; www.BarnesandNoble.com .  Or contact Lane at:  www.LaneJordanMinistries.com

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Marriage That Honors God

Our church is privileged to support New Tribes Missionaries Aaron and Lori Luse who serve a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea. I've only met them on a couple occasions, but I have been abundantly blessed each time. The following is reprinted with permission from their latest newsletter - an open letter from Aaron to Lori. This is truly a marriage that honors the Lord. I guarantee you will be blessed. Get out your tissue! Thank you, Aaron, for sharing your heart, your family, and your ministry with all of us.
Hi, It's her birthday today!  My wife is 35.  I won't be taking her out for a fancy birthday dinner though.  I won't be giving her a gift.  In fact, I won't even get to see her.  Thousands of miles stretch between us while I am at meetings this week in Thailand for church planting and she is back in Papua New Guinea with our girls.  Without a phone and the unfortunate incident of my computer hard drive failing, I was so excited just to be able to send her an email saying, "Happy Birthday."
Customarily gifts are given to the one having the birthday, but if I could talk to her today I would thank her for the gift she has given to me.  She has given her life for a far greater purpose.  She has spent what some people call "the prime of her life" in a village far away from the 'American dream'.  Her desires and dreams right now are not for a big home, a new car, or fancy clothes, but rather to develop an advanced literacy course for the Patpatar so the can become better readers in order to more fully understand God's Word.  Her mornings are not spent in front of the mirror trying to hold back time in her appearance, but is preparing breakfast from scratch, planning out schooling for 3 different grade levels for the day, figuring what other areas she can be involved in ministry, and taking care of a baby that won't sleep late.

There are no malls, no nights out on the town, no microwaves or dishwashers.  There are however, continual battles with humidity, mold, allergies and infections.  Yet her purpose is not the physical, the economical, or the social.  Her purpose is the eternal.  She is my partner who has sacrificed for a greater purpose to see the Patpatar church grow and become equipped.

I miss you Lori.  I wish I could be with you today and celebrate your birthday with you. I wish I could give you a gift to show my love and appreciation for you.  But I want to tell you thank you for the model you have been to me, to the Patpatar, and to people all over the world of what a woman who gives herself to God can accomplish for Him.  You are a gift!  Happy Birthday, I love you!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Worry Can’t Change Others

 Kathy Collard Miller

There’s something deep inside of us that believes worry can change others. If someone we love has a different perspective than we do, we worry. If someone we love has a different belief about God, we worry. If someone we love has a character flaw, we worry. We just know their wrong thinking will mess up their lives.

Some of these worries may truly seem “worthy” of worry. Your mother may not know Christ as her Savior, and she has cancer. Your son may be on the street taking drugs. Your friend may demonstrate a lack of integrity at work. Another friend drives while intoxicated. You may have tried to reason, cajole, quote Scripture, even manipulate each person into changing their ideas and their behavior, but nothing has worked—not even prayer. God hasn’t changed them either. You fear something bad, really bad, is going to happen.

Even if it’s not a matter of something really bad occurring, we can easily take responsibility for someone else’s happiness and then respond in an unhealthy way. I recognized that possibility as we walked through the grief process with my mother-in-law, Audrey.

My husband's parents, Don and Audrey, were married for sixty-two years and in that time, Audrey was only alone overnight for fewer than twenty nights—total. Even when Don was away during two different wars, Audrey’s mother lived with her. Four or five months before Don passed away, Audrey remarked to me, “If something happens to Don, I don’t know if I can live alone.” Then about a month later she commented, “I’ve been thinking about living alone and I think I can do it.” I was so proud of her.

The first night of Don’s hospitalization, Audrey stayed in our home. The next day she surprised us with her spunk, saying she wanted to return to her own home. I volunteered to spend the night at her home, but she said, “No, I have to get used to it.” And she did, even after Don died a week later.

But that doesn’t mean I didn't worried about her loneliness. During the first two weeks we made sure she had something to do with us every day. But realizing we couldn’t keep that up for long, I wondered how she would cope.

In my prayer time I prayed verses for Audrey dealing with the topic of loneliness. I began praying Psalm 146:9 for her: “The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow; But He thwarts the way of the wicked” (NASB). Unexpectedly, I thought, I shouldn’t try to fill the place the Lord wants in her life.

Wow—that hit me hard. In my worry about her loneliness, I had begun to feel responsible to make sure she wasn’t lonely. I wrote in my journal: “I can try to be there too much and she could depend upon me and/or Larry instead of looking to You, Lord. Help me, Father, to resist the compulsion to ‘be there’ for her too much.”

When I told Larry about what the Lord had revealed to me, I jokingly (but with some seriousness) quipped, “God doesn’t want me to be your mom’s grief savior.” If I had continued to worry about her, I could have easily become that. And I’d be good at it because I so easily take responsibility for the happiness of others.

When I talked to Audrey later that day, she enthusiastically said, “Guess what Chuck Swindoll talked about on his radio program today?”

What, Mom Audrey?”

Loneliness. It really ministered to me.”

I laughed. God had come through. I didn’t need to be in charge of making sure she wasn’t lonely. Of course, she’s going to be lonely—she’s alone for the first time in her life. We certainly are going to help her, but she should primarily look to God, not us. Otherwise, she’ll draw too close to us and not closer to God.


It is possible to worry less through trusting God more. Regardless of the storms of trials, temptations, worry, uncertainty, confusion, or regrets that you're facing, you can trust God more. Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries offers a conversational style, personal testimonies, practical illustrations, and solid biblical teaching for breaking anxiety and the devastating effects of worry. Each chapter includes Discussion Questions for individuals or groups, along with a “Letter from God.” In addition, a profile of a woman in the Bible who struggled with or experienced victory over worry is featured in each chapter to inspire every reader to see God's hand in her life.

Kathy Collard Miller is a speaker and author. Her passion is to inspire women to trust God more. She has spoken in 30 states and 7 foreign countries. Kathy has 49 published books including Women of the Bible: Smart Guide to the Bible (Thomas Nelson) and she blogs at www.KathyCollardMiller.blogspot.com. Kathy lives in Southern California with her husband of 43 years, Larry, and is the proud grandma of Raphael. Kathy and Larry often speak together at marriage events and retreats.

(Note from Mary: Please leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Kathy's book. We will draw a name in one week!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How did it get to be February 2013?

I've neglected my blog the past few months but promise to get up to speed.......starting today!!

I've been busy with a new grandson, my 98 year old mother, and life in general. Keep checking back because during the next few months I will be hosting guest bloggers who will be sharing about their ministries and new books.

Have a blessed day!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An interview with author Dianne Neal Matthews.

Tell us a little about your newest devotional book.
Designed for Devotion: A 365 Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation provides an overview of the entire Bible. It explains the background and factual information for each book, including the author, theme, purpose for writing, and historical setting. The book highlights the key stories and characters in the OT and gospels, and explores the basic teachings of the NT writers. Throughout the book, each day’s devotion ends with a practical application that encourages readers to apply that day’s spiritual lesson to their own journey with God.

What can readers hope to gain from reading Designed for Devotion?
Readers will gain the factual and historical information needed to understand the context of each book and how it fits in with the rest of the Bible. At the same time, they will be able to see how each story and teaching relates to their everyday lives. Designed for Devotion will help those new to Bible study grow in their understanding of God and His Word. A trip through the Bible can be a life-changing journey!

Tell us about your previous books.
The One Year On This Day (now available only in eBook format) uses holiday origins, historical events and anniversaries, and pop culture trivia to illustrate spiritual truths. The One Year Women of the Bible blends the accounts of biblical women with stories of contemporary women. In Drawing Closer to God: 365 Daily Meditations of Questions from Scripture each devotional is based on a question asked by someone in the Bible—God, Jesus, Satan, an Old Testament character, or a New Testament writer. The meditation explores the setting, ties it into a spiritual principle or practical application, and closes with either a question for readers to ask God (prayer focus) or a question to ask themselves (reflection). This one is currently sold only as an eBook, but readers can order print copies directly from me.

What projects are you working on now?
I write devotionals and articles for periodicals and websites, and sometimes contribute to compilation books such as Mornings with Jesus 2013: Daily Encouragement for Your Soul published by Guideposts. Although I’ve focused on nonfiction so far, I’m looking into trying my hand at fiction. I would love to research and write a historical novel.

Tell our readers a little about you personally?
I would like to assure readers of my books that I most definitely do not have it all together. Sometimes after writing a devotional, I feel like a hypocrite. I never want to give the impression that I don’t struggle with the issues I write about. My writing isn’t a reflection of my spiritual maturity; it’s an extension of God’s grace and the wisdom found in His Word.

How can readers connect with you online?
They can find me on Facebook, on Twitter, at LinkedIn, or they can contact me through my website. I love it when people stop by to offer feedback or to just chat.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books. She enjoys speaking and teaching at writers' conferences. Dianne is a 2006 CLASS graduate and a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers, Christian Authors Network, and Toastmasters International. She loves hiking and nature-related activities, hanging out friends, doing Bible study, cooking, needlework and knitting, and of course reading. She and her husband, Richard, currently live in Salt Lake City, which is too far away from their three grown children and two adorable grandchildren.

Please leave a comment below. We'll do a drawing next week to give away a free copy of Diane's book.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Congratulation to Kathleen who won the gift basket including a copy of Parables and Word Pictures From the New Testament by
Cheri Cowell Author, Speaker, and Sidewalk Theologian