It Only Takes a Spark


Many of us remember when we were teenagers, sitting around the campfire singing, “It only takes a spark, to get a fire going. And soon all those around, can warm up to it’s glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love…”

Just the thought of that song revives fond memories with my church friends at Mt. Lebanon and with my campers when I was a counselor at Pine Cove.

Recently, I read an article on the topic of leadership that made that old familiar camp song pop back into my mind. The author, Sean Lynch, used the word “Sparks” to describe people who exhibit behaviors consistent with a leader. He wrote, “A Spark is a doer, thinker and innovator whose unique approach to creative problem-solving betters the lives of others.”

I believe that each of us, whether we think of ourselves as leaders or not, have the opportunity to influence others. We can be Sparks by using the gifts and talents God has given us to share the hope and love of Christ. We “better the lives of others” by shining His light into their lives.

The question is, do we let His love shine through us through our words and actions, or do we hide it, afraid of what people may think? Or worse yet, do we spend most of our time putting down others?  Let’s be bright sparks. Let’s love boldly. Let’s stop criticizing, and let’s start letting His love shine through our words and actions to help build up others and point them to Christ.

May God use each one of us this week to bring His light to dark places.


If you want to explore more on leadership check out Positive Leadership Principles for Women on sale now for $5! Click Here for more info.

When We Don’t Feel Loved


There are times when we doubt God’s love because He doesn’t seem to answer our earnest prayers. He seems to wait or hesitate not listen. Let us not think that because God delays, that His love is diminished. Quite the contrary, His great love for us may cause Him to delay because He knows what is best for us. The following thoughts are from a timeless devotional called Streams in the Dessert. Originally published in 1925, it’s truths continue to speak to our hearts today.

Hard Love

“When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.” (John 11:6).

In the forefront of this marvelous chapter stands the affirmation, “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus,” as if to teach us that at the very heart and foundation of all God’s dealings with us, however dark and mysterious they may be, we must dare to believe in and assert the infinite, unmerited, and unchanging love of God. Love permits pain. The sisters never doubted that He would speed at all hazards and stay their brother from death, but, “When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”

What a startling “therefore”! He abstained from going, not because He did not love them, but because He did love them. His love alone kept Him back from hasting at once to the dear and stricken home. Anything less than infinite love must have rushed instantly to the relief of those loved and troubled hearts, to stay their grief and to have the luxury of wiping and stanching their tears and causing sorrow and sighing to flee away. Divine love could alone hold back the impetuosity of the Savior’s tenderheartedness until the Angel of Pain had done her work.

Who can estimate how much we owe to suffering and pain? But for them we should have little scope for many of the chief virtues of the Christian life. Where were faith, without trial to test it; or patience, with nothing to bear; or experience, without tribulation to develop it? –Selected

Check out Streams in the Desert for yourself.

10062: Streams in the Desert: An Updated Edition in Today"s Language Streams in the Desert: An Updated Edition in Today’s Language

By L.B. Cowman, edited by James Reimann / Zondervan

Filled with insight into the richness of God’s provision and the purpose of His plan, L.B Cowman’s Streams in the Desert has encouraged and inspired generations of Christians since its first publication in 1925. Now James Reimann, editor of the highly acclaimed updated edition of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, again brings us the wisdom of the past in the language of today, by introducing this updated edition of Streams in the Desert. With fresh, contemporary wording and precise NIV text, the timeless message of the original flows unhindered through these pages, lending guidance and hope to a new generation of believers. Let Streams in the Desert lead you from life’s dry desolate places to the waters of the River of Life.

Also, don’t miss February’s $5 book deal – Unfailing Love. For more information Click here.

Look for the Possibilities

Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them is simple fidelity to watch what each day brings.  Albert E. Dunning



It seems a bit ironic that a visually impaired woman would encourage others to have focus and vision. Helen Keller didn’t let her challenges keep her from looking at the possibilities in her own life. Born in 1880, Helen became both blind and deaf at nineteen months of age due to a childhood illness, yet she was the first blind and deaf woman to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and authored a dozen books and numerous other writings. In her book We Bereaved she wrote, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Where are you looking? Have you allowed your eyes to zoom in on the frustrations that are right in front of you, making them seem larger than life? Or are you looking at the bigger broader picture – the picture that includes possibilities and hope? There are always possibilities around the corner, but we need to be looking for them instead of dwelling on what we don’t have. I like to say that the “B” in Plan B stands for beautiful. Often we think our Plan A was the perfect plan and that Plan B is second rate. Have you ever considered that Plan B is God’s Plan A and He can do a great work despite our disappointments and even our mistakes?

It may be difficult to conceive in your mind that anything good could come from hurt, pain and loss whether it is a physical, financial or a family tragedy in your life. We must be honest and grieve through the sadness that life brings. We don’t want to ignore our disappointment and hurt in our heart, but we also don’t want to close our mind’s eye to the redemption God can bring in the toughest of situations.  It may take time and perseverance. Plan B may be difficult, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. Perhaps the “B” in Plan B means “Be patient.” Allow God to do His work in His way, and do not despair for there is always hope.

Read more in Positive Life Principles for Women

Does Worry Cloud your Thinking?


“Worry is like a fog,” says A. Purnell Bailey. He goes on the write:

“The Bureau of Standards in Washington tells us that a dense fog covering 7 city blocks, 100 feet deep, is comprised of something less than one glass of water. That amount of water is divided into some 60,000,000 tiny drops. Not much there! Yet when these minute particles settle down over the city or countryside, they can blot out practically all vision. A cup full of worry does just about the same thing. The tiny drops of fretfulness close around our thoughts, and we are submerged without vision.”*

Worry is an anxious and fretful state of mind built on assumptions about what could happen in a given situation. On the other hand, responsibility is a healthy concern about circumstances or situations that leads to positive steps of action. Responsibility and careful planning grow into anxiety when fear dominates our thoughts. As we face fresh challenges in our life, we have the opportunity to decide whether we will walk in wisdom or drown in a sea of anxiety.

Consider Jesus’ words about worry in his famous Sermon on the Mount: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:31-34).”

Notice Jesus described worry as “dominating the thoughts of unbelievers.” As followers of Christ, we have a different option than to allow worry to take over our hearts and minds. We can seek God and look to Him for our provision. We can also recognize that although we may make our plans, the final result is up to our loving God. When we face difficult times, the difference between those who follow Christ and those who don’t know Him is the opportunity to experience a peace and comfort in trusting a loving God. Hmm . . . do you think the world sees an evidence of our trust in God? Or does the world see us dominated by our fears, just like everyone else?

Prayer: May my love for Jesus and a realization of His unfailing love for me, dominate my thoughts today and push away fear and worry.

A portion of this blog is an excerpt from Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive. Click the picture below to order your copy.


580492: Thrive, Don"t Simply Survive: Passionately Living the Life You Didn"t Plan Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive: Passionately Living the Life You Didn’t Plan

*Believe you Can, by John Mason, p 148.

The Rangers and TobyMac

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This past Sunday, I had the exciting opportunity to attend a Texas Rangers Baseball game with some of my family – and what a game it was!! Two home runs by the Rangers and a winning score was good enough for me, but in the eighth inning things turned a little ugly. Right before our eyes, a major brawl broke out, grabbing national attention. Personally, I’m not one that enjoys watching players throwing punches, but the fan sitting next to me was absolutely thrilled. He said it was his birthday, and seeing the fight was the best birthday present ever!

What caused this major fight to break out between the Rangers and the Blue Jays? There are many speculations, but the bottom line is that there is a good amount of pent up anger between the two teams which culminated in Sunday’s fighting match.  The feuding history between these rivals spurred on a bitter battle on the field.

Ironically, after the game there was a concert on the field performed by TobyMac – a Christian artist with a powerful message filled with humility, grace and forgiveness. You probably didn’t see that on the evening news. Fights are so much more exciting! But what is the message we want to get across to our children and to society at large?

Do we want to encourage the next generation to work out their anger and frustrations through fighting and revenge, or do we want to promote a better way? The Bible teaches us how to resolve conflicts and work through anger. In its pages, we learn how to love our enemies and forgive those who have hurt us. We learn about grace – grace toward others, because God has shown us grace through His Son.

As believers, let’s demonstrate to the world what God’s love looks like. Let’s be different. Sure we all get angry, but as Christ’s followers, His Spirit can give us the strength and wisdom to work through issues, let go of bitterness and live with grace toward one another. God’s Spirit loving through us can make a positive and powerful difference in this world. Let’s let HIs love be our signature.

It seems fitting that this morning I happened to read these words by the apostle Peter:

All of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing. I Peter 3:8-9