Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's coming...

Christmas is just around the corner. Are you ready? Not just with presents and wrapping, baking and parties, and holiday decorations. Is your heart ready?

Ready for the One who came to change the world forever. The One who came for you...for me.

God with us. Emmanuel.

Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings!

We soon celebrate His coming. Are you ready?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Mystery of The Cross -- Reviewed

The Mystery of the Cross: Bringing Ancient Christian Images to Life (IVP) by Judith Couchman is a unique read.

Couchman offers forty images of the cross from the early church days and throughout history. Thoroughly researched (and with illustrations), ancient images spring to life from the pages as you traverse historical, theological, and artistic context in each of these different images. The chapters are both informational and devotional.

“Without this cross,” says Couchman, “we’d be stuck in our sin with no future hope of heaven…The cross is our spiritual centerpiece, the sign of our soul’s emancipation.” (page 22)

While early believer’s revered Christ’s cross, “they knew the Savior, not the actual cross itself, had ushered in salvation and radically changed their lives.” (page 14)

It’s one thing to read about the cross of Christ; it’s quite another to let it change you. Instead of ignorance and forgetfulness, let’s remember that Jesus died and rose again to free us. Live free forever, both now here on earth and forever with Him!

We remember the power of the cross, and are unspeakably grateful.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Finished Writing the Book!

Time to Celebrate!

I'm happy to report that I finished writing my second book last week! Yep, at 1:23 am last Thursday I completed what I've been calling "the breakup book."

God is so good. With the help of family and friends praying for me, God gave me strength and energy to work full-time and write. Nothing is too difficult for Him!

So, watch for it: "When Love Ends: What You Need to Know About Your New Beginning" (Moody Publishing). It releases May 2010. More to come in future posts.

For now, it's time rest and, in a few weeks, get on with the business of editing.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and this endeavor to help heal broken hearts and change the world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Power Prayers for Women Reaches Over 100,000!

God is good! My book, "Power Prayers for Women" (Barbour Publishing) has now reached more than 100,000 people. Each number represents a person whose live has been changed by a radically good and powerful connection with God. Thank you to everyone who has made this helpful resource a success. May everyone who reads it be transformed and go out and make a difference in their corner of the world.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Nicole, Denise and Jackie at the cattle drive

Our 4th of July trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado was a blast from the Old West past! Every year for the past 130 years, they have a cattle drive down Main Street in town. Longhorn steer and even baby calves parade down the main drag. That was a new experience for all of us--me, my friends Denise and Nicole, and Denise's mom, Ruth.

We also enjoyed the Yampa River, watching the inner tubers float by on a hot summer day while we watched from our perch at the Boathouse restaurant deck. Denise and her mom went to the Pro Rodeo while Nicole and I relaxed in the natural hot springs, We also hiked up Mt. Werner; we didn't summit, but had fun anyways. Clear blue skies, fresh mountain air and green lush mountains blanketed in aspen and pine made for a really good day hiking.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

After the Rain, the Rainbow

It’s raining here in Colorado today. Pouring actually. Huge drops of water are falling from the sky and flooding the yard. Crazy rain. But as they say here often, “We need the rain.” Yep, our land-locked state can get pretty dry sometimes. So, rain on…at least for today.

We all have rainy days in life when things go wrong. We have disappointments and downright depression days. The economy tanks. A friend betrays you. You lose your job. You have a health concern. Your aging parents are far away and you don’t know how you’ll take care of them. The guy you liked married someone else. Your boss is driving you crazy. You wonder when the rain, the cloudy days will end.

Take heart, my friend. Storms end. Always.

In fact, when the biggest storm ever struck the earth—you know the 40 days and 40 nights rain that Noah and his family endured—it ended. And afterwards, God gave them a multi-colored sign that would endure until today, the rainbow. Here’s what he said:

“And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth…Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:12, 13, 15, 16

The rainbow is a promise: never again would God flood the entire earth. And God keeps his promises. All of them; all the time. Keep looking up. One day the clouds will part, the sun will shine again, and your rainbow will come. And when it does, but sure to thank Him!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Brings You Comfort?

So, I'm thinking about comfort today.

Why? Because I'm working on Chapter 2 of my next book--the one about breakups and how to get over them. I love the word "comfort" because it's so, well, comforting. To me it conjures up images of sleeping in late and snuggling up with a plush warm, down comforter. Or drinking a fresh, hot caramel latte. Or sitting by a crackling fire in an overstuffed chair while the rain pours and the thunder rolls overhead.

What brings you comfort? Traditional comfort foods like mac and cheese? Brownies? Mashed potatoes? How about a therapeutic massage to relax and restore tired muscles? Many people love the full sound of their favorite music resonating throughout the house. A hug. A smile from a friend. A phone call from someone who is really good at cheering you up. All comfort things. All good.

One night, months after a traumatic breakup, I wondered what the Bible said about comfort so I got out my concordance and looked up every single reference to comfort in the entire book! There's like over 70 verses about it! And here I learned that the greatest Comforter of all was pouring out love, nurture, wisdom and all I needed to hear: like his unfailing love is my comfort (Psalm 119:76) and his rod and staff (his protection and direction) comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

How do you nuture your soul, as well as your mind and body? What brings you the most comfort when you need heart healing? Think about it. And when your next disappointment or down day comes, you'll be ready. As for me, hand me another caramel latte--and my Bible. My Comforter is waiting.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Spring!

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:11, 12

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Walking in Trust

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, February 13, 2009

Celebrating the Heart Holiday

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

It’s the heart holiday again this weekend. The retail world is replete with red decorations and the relationship world is ripe with expectations.

Why do we celebrate this day of love? Legend has it that we commemorate Valentine’s Day (or technically, St. Valentine’s Day) because of a long ago Christian martyr named Valentine, and somewhere around the Middle Ages a man name Chaucer began the association with romantic love. Today about a billion valentines are sent each year across the world, according to the U.S. Greeting Card Association. Who knew?

If you have a special someone, you may be in a quandary as to what to give or what you will get this year. Flowers? Candy? Jewelry? A trip to the Bahamas?


Those of us in the single world, at least the ones without a significant other on February 14, have a choice to make. You could shrug it off as a “Hallmark holiday” and coolly declare that it doesn’t matter and you don’t care. Or, you could bemoan your single status and cry over your favorite comfort food and watch chick flicks.

However, you could choose to celebrate Love in a different way.

How about soaking up love from the One who loves you the most? Seriously. God’s love is the most amazing and lasting love you will ever have. Over and over he demonstrates his care. God attributes are myriad; here are a few of them:

He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9)

He is good (Psalm 100:5)

He is gracious and merciful (Psalm 145:8-9)

He is reliable (1 John 4:16)

He is wise (Proverbs 3:19)

He guides us (Proverbs 3:5-6)

He protects (Psalm 91:14)

His presence brings joy! (Psalm 16:11)

God is love (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:8)

Wow. Think about that for a while. Unconditional love. Total Acceptance.

In addition to God’s love, how about celebrating the other kinds of love you have in your life? Like the love of friendship, the love of family, or the love of your pet? Some women I know hold an annual Valentine’s Day lunch for their single women friends. They celebrate friendship love and have a good time eating, laughing and enjoying each other.

Here’s a radical idea: how about choosing to love your self on the heart holiday? Think about making some “Valentine’s Day Resolutions.” They’re like New Year’s resolutions, but they may have a more I-can-do-this stickiness factor to carry them out because they are based on loving yourself.

For example, you could decide to love yourself enough to: realize your true worth and value comes from God, not what others say about you…finally lose weight…make that phone call you’ve been putting off…send a hello email or letter to your parents and get reconnected…take a much needed vacation or even a day off…go to bed earlier and get the rest you need…fill in the blank here for what you need the most.

No valentine this year? No worries. You’ve already got the Love you need. Let’s celebrate!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Give to Live

“Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them, only to find out too late that it’s what they bring to the world that really counts." -- Anne of Green Gables

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Stuff and the Rest of It

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

Bears have the right idea: put on a fur coat and sleep for three months in winter. While, I won’t be snoozing for 12 weeks any time soon, I am a big proponent of rest these days. Maybe it’s because most of us work hard during the week and need to get refreshed on the weekends, but we don’t.

Life, I’ve discovered, is not an endless loop of work, chores and errands. Rest, fun and play are essential. Many times weekends or evenings are taken up with things we HAVE TO do. The hafta’s get us much of the time. We have to go to the grocery store—eveyone’s gotta eat! We have to get gas for the car, take in the dry cleaning, get the car washed, get an oil change, and, oh, get a birthday card for your best friend. Or you need to take the dog for a walk, call your parents, do your laundry, pay your bills, clean the house, and…the list goes on.

Hey, I’m all for getting stuff done. I’m a big make-a-list-person and love making check marks when I’ve completed a task. But everyone needs time away from the have to, ought to, musts and should’s. If we don’t, we will be tired all the time and we will be foolish.

Jesus himself said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). He is the One in whom we find real rest. Talk to Him, and listen. Soak up the truth like the moon soaks up the light of the sun, and then shine! Radiate light, hope and love in your corner of the world.

This week, think about one thing you can do differently to refresh your spirit and nurture your body and strengthen your life. Here are a few ideas:

take a nap
sit by a fireplace fire
read the Sunday paper
relax in a warm tub
have a prayer time
have some friends over for games
sleep in
watch the sun set
read a new book
hang out at your favorite coffee place
call an old friend
read a magazine
find a new recipe and make it
put on a worship CD
watch a movie that you want to watch
count your blessings
and be thankful.

Renew, restore, refresh. Your body—and your life—will thank you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Time to Awaken


Snowfall on tall pines,
Sunrise and stirring
Of quiet and big dreams
As a new year awakens.

Dark-covered winter with
Dormant believing
Leads joyfully into
Spring’s hope-filled returning

When flowers and faith
Resurrect from earth’s slumber
Alive and reminded
Of God’s faithful goodness.

-- Jackie Johnson

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Changing Your Life – One Thing at a Time

From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you.
(Isaiah 48:6)

My friend Anne in Chicago told me recently that she’d had an epiphany. A few years ago, this kind friend quit her job to take care of her ailing parents. Her mom “got promoted” to heaven and her dad is now in a nursing home. Her job for the last couple of years has been to clean the house her parents lived in and get repairs done. Just before Christmas she was just standing in the kitchen when, in a moment of clarity, she knew exactly what she needed to do—sell the house. It was over 40 years old, the repairs were coming faster than hurricane winds on the Texas coast, and it was time for a change. Instantly, freedom and peace came over her.

An epiphany.

Have you had one? Today’s a good day to talk about that because January 6th is the celebration of the Epiphany—the revelation of Christ to the world as fully God and fully man. Hard to comprehend, but totally true. Another definition for “epiphany” according to is “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight…”

It’s a sudden, “aha” moment of knowing. Clarity. Perception. Discernment. A light bulb goes on and there is hope, joy, and vision for your future.

What area of your life needs insight and change? It’s a brand new year, so let’s ask God to reveal His good purposes to us in clear ways. Let’s make changes that will change our lives and the lives of those around us. What do you want to change in 2009?

Think of one thing. Just one thing…

Ask God to reveal to you an area of your life that can be different, better, healed, more whole than you ever imagined. Here are a few ideas to get started:

• I want to (finally) get in shape so I have the strength and energy for a better life.

• I want to start saving money (or increase what I save already).

• I want to put God first and be a person of wisdom, worth and wonderfulness.

• I want to remember those who don’t have—people who are hungry, people who need a warm blanket, people who need love and help.

• I want to go someplace tropical for a vacation.

• I want to be nicer to that woman at work who drives me crazy.

• I want to connect more with my family since we don’t see each other very often.

• I want to make time for close friendships.

• I want to pray more and change the world—and my own life.

Here’s to a new year of "suddenlies" and epiphanies-—and an amazing life.