Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What is Courage?

The other day, I was chatting with someone about what courage really is. What defines it? Hmmm. I guess it could be many things, but our conversation was about doing things that we normally wouldn't do. Things that when other people are watching, you just get locked up and feel fear.

So, a few things came to mind during that conversation, a few which are not startling but important thoughts nonetheless. So, what were they? 

Okay, so while you may not think that gratitude doesn't have much to do with courage, it has everything to do with it. Consider that most people that find everything wrong with their lives are not thankful for much of anything. 

Attitude is everything, right? Being grateful goes hand in hand with being bold. Let's face it, the folks in remote villages in India are grateful and compared to our country, they have nothing to look forward to. 

Yet, they live their lives every day as if what they do still depends on it. We take each day for granted. IT's courage to live as if nothing is going to change

It's courageous to be grateful and believing for miracles when you have had no reason to believe. Consider the soldier in Afghanistan that goes to war, and they have many unknowns. They don't know if they will lose a limb, or if they will ever return but they do it anyhow. 

Do you feel the fear and do it anyhow? If not, should you? Are you willing to change and go the extra mile? If not, what then? If you aren't courageous, what are you teaching your children? 

Have an attitude of gratitude, and always, always step out and act as if nothing would be taken from you. It's time to put your life on the line and live courageously! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What Would You Do if You Had To?

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you had to do something that you didn't want to do because you had to? If you have children and you were down to either feeding them or not, you may have had that moment of possession where you thought, wow, I have to feed them first.

If you didn't think that, check your pulse. I think most of us would do anything for our children if given the same set of circumstances, wouldn't you agree?

So, what if you knew that a young  woman, with a college degree, with 3 children lost her corporate job and started stripping to provide her kids because she couldn't find work? What would you say to that? Yes, it's a true story, and yes, here is what I know to be true.

Don't Insult Her Intelligence 

Okay, so while waiting to have a meeting with someone, I overhear the conversation about this young woman that became a stripper, and it was so strange because it was a professional looking woman having breakfast with her mom. 

I am always intrigued by what I overhear, because some folks are so open with their dirty laundry while others are just so fake you can't stand it. Know what I mean? 

Anyhow, here is this woman and her mom having breakfast, and she proceeds to tell her mom about this young  woman she is criticizing. 

She says that it's the daughter of a friend of hers, and that she told her she couldn't befriend her anymore because she was so embarrassed by her daughter's actions. She explains everything to her, about how the company closed down and how thousands lost their jobs, even her as an executive. 

She proceeds to brag about how she is so thankful for her job, how she is friends with the board members of this, that, and who knows what. So, if she is, why couldn't she help her get a job in the beginning? Now that this mother of 3 is a stripper to provide for her children, she uses that as a crutch? Oh, and she stated very clearly, "What am I supposed to do she isn't my responsibility?"


However, she is friends with this person, that person, this so and so, etc. I say, really? Hmmmm. You always have to wonder about people like that don't ya? I know I do. 

She then proceeds to tell her mother that they kicked her out of the church because she is a poor example, and obviously not someone they would want in their church. How sweet! 

So, what is happening now? This young woman no doubt did what she thought she had to do to care for her children right? Why is she being condemned? 

Great question eh? 

So, I hear this, and as I finish my meal, I proceed over to her table and say, "Excuse me, I overheard what you were saying about that young woman with the 3 children. I have a business I am looking to expand and would love to talk with her. See, it's about teaching others that there is a better way, and as you so clearly stated, she isn't your responsibility. I am not ashamed to help others, could I get her phone number or an email address?" 

She did give me a phone number, but it was no good. It was disconnected, and sadly, I hope at some point God leads this young woman to me. She needs a lift, don't you think? 

Don't ever say that someone isn't your responsibility. We are the sheep and God is our Shepherd. We are to be for others what He is to us. It is in those moments where we will fully realize our potential! 

Go and live courageously! 

Protecting Your Kids Against Bullying

It’s a horrible fact of life in high school, middle school and elementary school – your kids are susceptible to the torments of bullies. It can happen to just about any kid for any number of reasons. A single bully could be the problem or an entire group could pick on a peer.

Schools are a common place where bullying occurs, but it is by no means the only one. Today, your kid’s bully doesn’t even have to be in the same room to cause trouble. They can go online and continue to harass your child through social media sites, or even via the phone through text messaging.

Bullying is a serious social issue that can have dire repercussions if it’s allowed to continue. If your kid is being bullied there are things you need to know and actions you can take to put an end to it.

Is Bullying on the Rise?

Media coverage of the issue has been at the forefront the last few years, but does that mean bullying is more rampant than it use to be? Recent reports suggest that traditional bullying is by no means non-existent, but it hasn’t increased dramatically compared to previous decades.

However, the advent of the Internet and social media sites have given bullies another outlet for tormenting their victims. Cyber bully attacks made headlines last October after Amanda Todd, a 15 year old in Vancouver, committed suicide after more than a year of bullying. Prior to the event she had posted videos online expressing her distress over the daily bullying she received.

Steps You Can Take to Stop a Bully
  • Understand what bullying is and isn’t – not all types of harassment and violence are bullying. 
  • Find out what has happened before taking action. Determine whether the bullying is physical, verbal, cyber or a combination.
  • Become familiar with your state’s anti-bullying laws so you know how you are legally protected and what is required of schools.
  • Look into federal laws that protect all citizens against discriminatory harassment.
  • Notify school officials and teachers if it’s happening during school.
  • Talk to the parents of the other child to try to resolve the problem.
  • Teach your kids how to respond to bullying without retaliation.
  • Do your best to block bullies online.
  • Follow up on the situation to make sure the bullying has stopped.
  • Utilize the U.S. Department of Education anti-bully site

Understand that bullying can happen in a number of places outside of school and online. A bully can pick on your kid during after school activities, on the bus, around the neighborhood. Where the bullying occurs can have an effect on how you handle the situation.

How to Help Your Child If They’ve Been Bullied

The most important thing to do is talk to your kids if you know or suspect they are being bullied. Ask them how they would like you to handle things. You may think rushing to their aid is the right choice, but some kids may prefer you help handle the problem discreetly for fear that your involvement would exacerbate the situation.

Get them professional help if they need it. Bullying can cause serious depression, anxiety and low self-esteem in kids, especially teens. When talking to you child ask them if they would like to talk to someone else about the situation. Don’t make it a big deal. They may already feel like they’re a mental mess and abnormal. Point out that a lot of people, even sports stars and celebrities, see counselors and psychologists for a number of reasons.

Offer to get them self-defense classes. It’s not advocating violence, but rather a way for them to protect themselves if a situation calls for it. Self-defense classes can help your kid feel empowered instead of helpless. Sometimes simply having the courage to stand up to a bully and say “stop” is enough to fix the problem.

Keep an eye on your kids. If you notice changes in their behavior or signs of depression address it ASAP. Don’t write it off as typical moodiness. Being involved in their life and paying attention also shows them that you care. If they are being bullied knowing that someone loves them and is there for them can make all the difference. is starting a movement that inspires individuals to overcome adversities such as bullying, fear and other emotions that prohibit people from living happy lives. Join the movement by visiting () or viewing their motivational video at (

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Power of Now

Has there ever been a time when you wished that you would have done more of something? What about loving someone? Do you regret not showing them that you love the,? What about not telling them that you love them?

Oftentimes, we don't think about these things until these people are gone from our lives, and then and only then do we seem to reflect on life, what we missed, and what we could have done more of. Scary thought isn't it?

Right now, is all we ever have. What will you do with your NOW?

This Magic Moment

You may recall a time in your life when you danced to to the song title that I just used as a subheading, "This Magic Moment". What was yours? Prom night? The day you got engaged or married? The birth of your child? 

For me, it was spending time with my grandmother. It wasn't until after she died that I wished I had spent more time with her, and spent more time just sitting there looking at her. Once she passed, I regretted not spending enough time with her, and NOT gather her wisdom. 

There were days when I spent time reading scriptures to her, and telling her stories, and sometimes when I was a child we sang songs together too. Those were the times that gave me strength during the difficulties in my life. 

I could often hear her whispering to me in the dark places of my life. Sometimes I could hear her praying for me, when I felt no one else was praying for me. I wish I still had her around. 

The power of now. 

If only....

Create More Memories

So, what do you need to do in order to change your life? It's all about creating more memories if that is what you want to call it, but be it far from me to tell you what to do and how to do it. 

It's important to be love, and tell others how you feel whether they are friend or family it matters not. Don't wait for someone to do something for you before you do something for them. That isn't how this works. 

I wish I had spent more quality time with my grandmother before she died, but I didn't. I wish I would have spent more time with my grandfather, and we spent a lot of time together before he passed away. 

I wish I would have told someone that I love them, and because I didn't, they will never know how I felt about them. Don't live with regrets, and gather as much wisdom as possible from your elders so that you can learn valuable lessons to carry with you for life. 

Enjoy the moment, it's all we ever have. Don't let it slip away! 

No matter where you have been or what you have done, it's time to make a change. It's time to live courageously! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Serving Your Spouse?

Are you blessed with a great spouse? What about a good spouse? Either way, there are often so many underlying blessings that we miss in life, that we are too stubborn to see how much God has truly given us.

Have a great partner and soul mate by your side means a lot, the question is, how well are you are grooming that relationship? I am not talking about grooming it to get what you want, but grooming it and showing that person how much you love them and value them.

Do you thank God for them? If not, you should. Let me tell you a story.

God Gave Me You 

Have you heard this song entitled, "God Gave Me You"? If not, it's a great one, and it's one that bears repeating even if you are talking about a great friend that has helped you tremendously in life. 

God gives us just what we need when and only when we trust in Him. This doesn't mean that God doesn't bless us when we don't, but when we do full out trust Him, He loves to bless his children. 

I was in Sam's Club the other day when I heard a woman strolling through the store bragging to her friend about how she just back from Bali, and how great it was, and how bored she was at home. I am not sure what was being said on the other end of the phone, but what she said came out like this. 

"All he does is work all the time, and he is never hear. We just got back from vacation and he has two big meetings to attend all of the time. I wish he would just put me first....", so forth and so on. 


It was okay that he took you to an expensive vacation in Bali, but now that you are home, all you are doing is complaining about the job that paid for your vacation and how he puts his job first. What if he didn't have that job that provides and enables you to stay home with your kids? 

What if he were lazy and hanging out in bars all night? Okay, here is my thought. Be thankful. Be grateful and happy, focusing on the things you have in life. Everything good comes from God, we know this. There are some thorns in the flesh that come to us from God too. 

So, while many others might be thankful in an economy like this, she was ranting and raving about something that is so important. A livelihood, his ability to provide for the family and so on. Being a stay at home is tough work, it's a full-time job, but just thinking about the money aspect, which for her was the big deal since he works a lot, gave her what she thought she wanted. 

Now that she has it, she is still NOT happy. 

The more of the story is that in marriage, both spouses should serve each other without fail. Love isn't 50/50, it's 100/100. Giving yourself to another human is always risky, and just so you know. human fulfillment is only temporary, and it's in our higher fulfillment that we really get what we need. 

So my friends, until next time, dance like no one is watching, and love as though you have never been hurt. Live courageously

Friday, January 25, 2013

Be of Good Courage.....

Do you recall the verse from Joshua that says, "Be of good courage?" Just in case you aren't familiar with it, the actual reference for this is Joshua 1:9. It says, and I quote; "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

So, if God is telling us that, no matter where we are, shouldn't we follow suit? Hmmm. Here is the thing. We know that God is always with us intellectually, but have we gotten that experientially? Do we really follow His leading, or are just out there doing our own thing? 

Who Has Your Back?

Have you ever wondered who is really on your side? I am not talking about God, we already know that. Yet again that is something we know intellectually, but what about your friends and family? Are they really here for you? 

We talk about this a lot in our humanness, but we already know the answer. We know that we cannot count on human beings to always do the right thing. It would seem as though we would stop trusting in what mankind can do for us, and just focus on what God has for us. 

Now that we know how to live, and we know what is right to do, how about sharing that with others? Have you ever shared the good news with someone? Let's take that a step further. Let's say you are NOT a christian, and you really don't consider yourself to be religious. 

Would you help someone in need? Help them change a tire? Would you help show them the way when they are in a difficult time? It doesn't take God for us to do the right thing. If we know what the right thing is, and we choose NOT to do it, then we are in the wrong no matter what. 

Even if others don't do the right thing, do it any how. Even if others don't show  compassion to you, show it to others regardless. Make sense? 

Don't worry so much about who has your back, but here  are a few things you can do: 
  1. Let God be God and do His thing 
  2. Always, always help others 
  3. Work at being a better servant to others 
  4. Wear encouraging t-shirts, and let people know what you stand for 

We can't teach you in person just yet how to be better at life, but we are here to encourage you! Want to wear your courage? Wouldn't you love to share a positive message no matter where you go? If so, then CLICK HERE now to learn more! 

Until next time, Live Courageously! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Service is a Lost Art

Have you ever noticed that when you go shopping or to a restaurant that service isn't what it used to be?

Think about when you were younger and how you were treated when you went shopping with your parents. It seemed as though people were more respectful right?

Service is a lost art in all regards, at least that is what I see. No matter where I go I'm always puzzled by the fact that people aren't more into serving and making their customers feel at home. When was the last time you remember being treated well?

Can you? If so, where were you at? Who did you encounter?

A Servant's Heart is Like Gold 

It has been said that to have a servant's heart is to have a heart of gold. The question is, will you serve people? I always reflect on the story of how Jesus washed the feet of the disciples when he didn't have to at all. 

Can you imagine washing the feet of men that had been walking around for days with leather sandals on? Yack. I don't know how excited I would be to do this, but look at the life of  Christ and the example he has given us to live by. How can you argue with that? 

You can't. Simply put, this is the only way to live, and so it is that to be a servant is to open yourself up to living life and making it about others and NOT you. 

So, do you want a heart of gold? Are you willing to be a servant? What would you do if you knew that if you knew you served others that your life would be the better for it? 

The reality is that even if others don't appreciate you, you should still do what is right, and do what is honorable. Serving others is about serving God, make no mistake. 

So, is it snide to tell you that it's time for you to make a change? I always pray Lord change me. So it is that it's time to get back to being a servant, and living a life that is excellent at best! 

Live Courageously! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life in the Philippines

I was told that life in the Philippines was simple and that people do what they want. They must live a horrible life, and they just work jobs online for Americans for menial money. Hmm, that is what I thought. 

What if I told you that I found out that prostitution was the main occupation among women? What would you say if I told you that the age of 11 was the age they had to be in order to get a job as a prostitute? 

Sad,but in America, we have no concept of the life they live. Nor, will we ever fully understand what life is like in other countries. What would you say if someone told you that you had to be a prostitute in order to survive? I don't care if you are a man or a woman, it's deplorable. 

I Need You to do Some Writing for Me 

One day, I was overwhelmed and realizing that I need more arms, I decided to look online for writers. I wanted to employ others, and while I had a college student here in the US turning out work for me, it was late, and it wasn't up to par. 

This was a problem, and it was discouraging that our young people weren't getting a sound education. If they were, they certainly didn't show it. 

I had always heard that you could find writers in the Philippines for much less, so I put up the work in hopes to find an offer. For some reason, this young lady stood out to me, and I offered her the work. 

I paid her more than I intended, in fact twice more than I had intended. I just felt God leading me to do it, but still NOT sure why. 

So, I sent payment, and in 24 hours I got back quality work, on time, and well done. I was in shock. It was perfect English in every way. I was stunned. Why is it that our American college students couldn't do better? Why late and written like crap? 

Hmmm. I pondered what the work was so different. I then asked this young woman what motivated her to turn out great work quickly. Her reply was this. 

"I get treated very well by most American clients, and they pay me better than I would get paid here. I also am so thankful that I no longer have to turn to prostitution and I can work for you. Thank you so much for giving me the work." 

Wow. All I could say was wow, and I still say wow every day to this young woman. I applaud her, but for her it was nothing. It was just a very good chance for her to get out of doing what she didn't really want to do. 

So, rather than taking the easy way out, will you give someone a chance? Why not? Think about taking the road less traveled, and giving someone a chance that you wouldn't otherwise. 

This is what it means to live courageously

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Cannot See....

What if I told you that I have had the experience of being in a dark place without light to find my way? What if I told you that I finally found out what it was like to be stuck in a place with no way to see, and yet I had my sight?

Is this what it's really like to be blind? If so, I don't want to be blind-EVER. I can't imagine, my eyesight not coming back to me after having been in a dark place, and I never knew it was like until that dreadful day. I was in total darkness, and no one knew where I was.

If I Just Had a Candle 

I can recall that day, feeling like a child when I was really an adult, at the age of 27. I had no idea where I was. I knew where I had driven, but there were some things that happened in between the time I left and the time I arrived in a field, helpless in the dark.

I was driving to Louisville, Kentucky to meet someone that had invited me to spend the weekend with him. I knew two things were true. 1) I was trusting something that I still was very unsure of after having been through a divorce, and 2) I was almost there when his wife called my cell phone. 

I had no clue he was married, and now I was even more destroyed than I was even when I just felt as though I was being used. I had just gotten over a broken marriage in which I felt used, so here we go again. I guess this is my lot in life. Right? 

Do I turn around, or do I just question him face to face. Yes, face to face is what I like, because I want to see his reaction. For women, it's all about burning him once you know he has burnt you. At least, I was so angry that is how I felt. 

I drove the remaining 30 minutes, and I was fueled by fire that was so hot I thought my brain was on fire. I parked the car and got out, and walked into the cabin, finding him sitting there with two glasses of wine and a smirk on his face. 

Yep, this is the mark of a human being filled with deceit and lies. Go figure, he was an attorney. 

I Just Have One Question.....

Why? It wasn't until the next day when I awakened flat on my back in a field behind this cabin that I was asking an even bigger why. 

I was in pain, and I could hardly move. My arms were tied to a fence and I was left with very little clothing  on. Why? I just had it in my mind that I was going to ask one question, because I was so angry. I just wanted to confront him. 

Now, I had been beaten so badly I could only tell if the sun had risen or set, and I had been violated and left for dead. I guess we as humans make up our minds, and that's all it takes. Then, we just have this course that we plan, and we are only focused on what we think should happen, what we should say, and what we think we deserve. 

Note to self. Stating that I deserve to be loved and parading myself around wasn't in God's plan. If only I had waited, I would have found something richer, deeper, and more meaningful. I just "had to find out", "see for myself". 

Why do we do this stuff? Why do we get let down by human beings only to put ourselves in that position again? It's so non-sensical, and I can assure you that it NEVER ends well. 

So, if you are afraid of being alone, don't be. You are truly NEVER alone. God is there all the time. Despite the pain of that situation, HE was right there with me. God's love is crazy awesome love, and we should know that human fulfillment of any kind is only temporary. 

Despite what you think of the story, it's really just a story. Nothing more. God's plan is always better, and we need to hold to that and stop trying to do it all on our own. It never ends well. EVER. 

So, hold out for God's best, otherwise you will always be in the dark, alone, in a place you never would have been if you had trusted HIM first. Just ask me, what it's like to feel alone and in the dark. Live courageously ladies, and remember, when we get to heaven, the only thing you will hear God say is, "I just have one question." 

How will you respond? 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Would You Stop and Help?

Have you ever stopped to change someone's tire when they are stranded on the side of the road? If you haven't then chances are, it's never happened to you.

The bigger question is whether or not you would stop and change the tire for a Muslim man. Would you? You obviously don't have to answer out loud, but based on the fact that this man is wearing his hat, is a sign that he is a Muslim. Those that notice it are less likely to stop, right?

Again, I ask you, would you stop?

Only Human 

I hear a lot of people say these days, "I'm only human." It's almost as if being human is an excuse NOT to help someone. What does human have to do with it? 

As you can see, the man that appears to be Muslim, is only human too. Right? He is, and it shouldn't matter what he is wearing, he is a human being in need. The show, "What Would You Do?" featuring John Quinones, is a wonderful show. 

In fact, I wish we had more shows like this on TV. Those of us that have lost hope need to know that there are people out there that are still willing and able to help. I don't see this often, do you? 

What would you do? 

Is it About Your Clothing? 

So, what if I told you that I judged you based upon what you wear? I really want you to think about this, because not only is it a good question, but because we are human, we do this all of the time. 

So, if you were to wear a t-shirt from Courageous Life, what would people say about you? Would they expect you to stop and help them? If you don't what a shame. If you do, then just remember, it's something you should always do. 

Do a little experiment. When you order one of our shirts, wear it, and if someone needs help, do a good deed. Pay it forward always, and do it no matter what you are wearing. 

Live Courageously my friends! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Are You One of Those PMA'ers?

What the Heck is PMA?

PMA, is also known as positive mental attitude, just in case you were wondering. I once worked at a DNA lab that did the paternity testing for Maury Povich, Nancy Grace, Dr. Phil, and they still do. I'm just glad that I'm not there anymore, kinda. 

See, for me, it's bittersweet. I'm doing what I love, and doing what I believe God has called me to do, but at the same time, I look back at places I've worked, and realized I missed a good opportunity to witness to others. Sharing the love of Christ, but also just being there for other people. To show them I care, just to listen, and give them a shred of hope. 

Remember, it;s faith of a mustard seed.... right? 

Hmmmm. I was always known as having a positive mental attitude, but what if I would have shared Jesus with someone? What if I would have invited them to church? What if I would have just not cared about what others think and talked to the people that everyone made fun of in other departments? 

I could have, but I didn't. I hated my job, I wasn't making what I thought I was going to make, and so rather than being grateful for where I was, I didn't use it for other good. How sad that we don't live courageously when the table is set for us, and we could have encouraged someone. 


We Could Use More of That PMA Around Here! 

In light of the fact I lost that job, I finally realized God was doing me a favor to call me into my greatness and go into freelance writing, which I knew was going to happen all along. I had no fear of NOT having a job, because I knew God would provide. 

He ALWAYS does. 

The reality is that, we can view this two ways; 1) God releases us to use our gifts for Him that lay dormant for so long, and 2) If we don't do what He asks of us, He moves us into other territory. It's almost as if we are baby birds, and so he pushes us gently from the nest and forces us to flap our wings so we learn to fly. 

Ah, the mark of a parent and trusted TEACHER. 

It could be both, one or the other, or just perhaps He has someone else in mind we can help along the way elsewhere. We just might be the right person for the job. 

Trust, and act in faith and on your promptings until you learn how to work in the moment. Be bold, and be courageous

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dressing the Part

Have you heard that if you are interviewing that you should "dress the part"? I was taught that growing up, and it stuck with me. I will always teach my kids the same too. Looking professional versus looking unkempt is so important, especially at a time when jobs are so hard to come by. Wouldn't you agree?

I think the same applies to how we present ourselves to others in our daily life too. For young women it's dressing modestly, and for young men it's dressing like a man. While some of you may think that is old school, how we dress sends a strong message.

That is why I wanted to share with you some thoughts on how you can always share a positive message with others about what you believe  and why.

Dress with Courage 

Chances are if you are reading this blog that you have been looking over our website and reading more about what we do and why with Courageous Life. This organization has been a vision for quite some time, and it has finally come to fruition. 

I knew that one of the things I wanted to do with this once it was started was to promote the organization and the message with products so that all who are a part of what we are doing would spread the word through apparel and more. Even if you didn't wear it, what if your kids did? What about your spouse? Think about the hope that is much needed in this world today. 

Even if we only made a difference in our own country, it would  be well worth it to wear  a message of hope and courage no matter where we go, and no matter where we shop. If you have ever worn a graphic t-shirt then you know what I mean. Kids love them, so why not share something that spreads hope rather than the name of a rock band.

Think about this decal on your car could be a conversation piece? What if you are out grabbing a cup of coffee and someone stops you to ask you about your t-shirt? Wouldn't you say it's worth a shot? 

If you read the blog post prior to this, you read the story about the man that was struggling with his prayer life, and seeing the decal of the man "Making war on the floor", got to him. You never know who will see you, and how it will affect them. 

Take a look at each one of these t-shirts. Like what you see? Think of how you can take "rage and transform it into courage". Nice, right? It's all about the message we are sending, and if we send the right one, we live the right one on a daily basis. 

If you want to wear your courage, and share the message of hope with others, then live courageously, and let us know what you want to order. Don't see something you think would be great? Let us know that too! 

No matter what you decide at the moment, just decide to live courageously

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Have you ever asked God for something, and you were so upset because you felt he didn't deliver? Hmmm. It's a curious thing, isn't it? I mean after all, God is God, and doesn't HE decide who gets what?

I think that we often forget that answers include yes, no, and maybe later. However, it's encouraging to others to share stories of when God answers in your favor, but the story I am going to share with you was answered in this individual's favor, and this particular story is about God's timing.

That is important too, so just have a seat, grab your coffee cup, and soak in the power of a miracle.

What Have You Asked God for? 

I can recall a particular Sunday in which I was struggling with my faith, and asking God for something that I really did need, not just something that I wanted. 

After all, I was born and raised in a Christian home, and my grandmother and I were just chatting about prayer, and how we all tend to go to God with our wants, rather than our needs. Do we abuse grace or what? 

As it turned out, my Pastor decided to preach, sharing a story on this very thing. I was astounded as usual, even knowing that this is God's way. I was hanging on every word, and my Pastor is easy to listen to anyhow, as he is very charismatic in the way he speaks and is great with holding everyone's attention. 

Pastor was telling a story about when he was a newlywed, and he and his wife were barely making ends meet as a young pastor. His wife was working but it just wasn't enough yet, as they were in a small church and relying on what God provided through tithes and offerings. 

Yep, every Sunday it seemed the church got smaller! He would laugh about that, but he never complained. Their car had broken down, and they had no way of getting a new one. They were truly in need, and they decided to fast and pray for God to supply their need. 

They had already been praying for about a month, and by the time they decided to fast, it was even more dire, with no money in the bank, and living on faith. 


One morning, they woke up, and when Pastor was just leaving to go to the church office, he saw a truck sitting in his driveway. 

He called to his young wife, and she had not a clue who it belonged to or why it was there. She ran to the door and walked up to the truck with him, and behind the windshield wipers was a handwritten note, that said: 
"This old truck may not be very pretty, but it runs real good. I thought you and your wife could use it, as you live by faith, so you really don't need  car payment." Then a big smiley face, with no name. 

God had provided, and there was such joy over such a beaten up old truck that most people would just complain about and whine about. They were thrilled, with literally only a prayer, they hopped in and drove around the block. The truck sounded like new, and it was all they needed to get to church and back. 

Okay, maybe an occasional trip to Pizza Hut! Do you have a need? Rather than share it with everyone, why not go to God first? Hmmm. Yep, that's living courageously. Live by faith my friends, and share it with others too. 

Why not wear it and share it publicly? Just go to, and find a way that fits you to share your courage! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wear Your Courage on Your Sleeve?

It has been said that some people wear their emotions on their sleeve, right? Okay, so a few of us around here are like that. It seems everywhere you look, whether it's big box stores or online there are more and more graphic tees popping up.

Rock bands, vacation spots, and sports teams all grace most of our closets, but what about your personal belief system? Do you really share that with others? You should, and if you aren't then it's time for you to get real, and get courageous!

Getting Real About What You Believe and What You Love! 

What if I told you that I just saw two or three graphic tees as I got out of my car and walked into my office? Would you be surprised or would you be shocked?

I for one  usually don't wear them, but because I believe in this organization, we are offering our apparel and accessories to share with others. It's important that people don't just hear you, but that they can see what you stand for without struggling to find it.

Let me share a story with you.....

Several years ago, I was walking through a Christian bookstore, and I saw a t-shirt that said, "Make war on the floor", and it referenced this scripture that mentions, "pray without ceasing". I Thessalonians 5:17.

As I took it off the hanger, and I looked at the picture of the man on the flloor praying with his face down to the floor and talking with God, it occurred to me that this picture hit me  harder about my prayer life and sharing my faith with others.

NOT JUST OTHERS, but those that are Christians too. It''s all about sharing your life, encouraging others, and sharing with people how to lead a more fruitful life.

So, it was just washed, and out of the laundry and onto my body the t-shirt went! I was making a trip to the grocery store, and ran into a man I went to church with. He saw the shirt, and said, "Wow, just wow".

Ah, it hit him like a ton of bricks. He stopped and said, "That t-shirt is so powerful, and this is something that God has been speaking to me about, and now I understand." Not really knowing what in the world he was talking about, he then shared with me that he had been struggling in his prayer life, and that he felt his prayers were hitting the ceiling.

It was this message, along with the image of the man on the floor praying that got his attention. It's the whole package, NOT just the words, and NOT just the image alone. This is about how both work together, and it's no surprise that he was so overcome with emotion over what he was struggling with in his life.

Isn't prayer our direct line to God?

If anything, you may not believe that apparel changes anything, but it can send a very strong message. Remember, you can be the only message people ever get to see or hear. As it has been said, "Wear it proud and wear it loud!"


Friday, January 11, 2013

My Name is Paul.....

If I were to tell you just stories about the things that happened to me and those I encounter, it wouldn't quite be enough to share with you something compelling. However, I don't think I'll ever run out of great stories to tell.

After all, God is always watching. We should be fully aware that God is always at work whether we believe it or not. That is just the way He is.

It would stand to reason then that God works through us. Yes, even folks like you and me that are unworthy without Him. He takes care of those that need Him, and I can prove it. Let me tell you a story about my friend Paul.

Who Can I Help Today? 

My friend Paul is a life coach, but he isn't all of the hype that you get with some folks you see on TV. What he offers is real, and it can be duplicated.

Paul teaches people about loving others, caring for others, and being the change that you want to see. He lives it, more than I can say for myself.

Paul had just gotten back from a conference, when he went to the Post Office to check his mail. He was in line, and he spotted an elderly woman that was scuffling her way through to the line. It was painful just watching her walk.

Paul stopped by the Post Office because it was on his way to his office where he had a meeting in an hour. As he watched this woman, he overheard her sharing with someone that she had to walk to the Post Office from her home.

He couldn't imagine how painful it was for her. Looking at this woman told him that she must have been 70 or older. Ouch, he thought.

He made a quick call and pushed his appointment back, and then approached the woman offering her a ride home. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree! She was smiling so big it could barely stay on her face!

That poor woman's legs were saved, all by a random act of kindness. Have you ever been in this position before but you just passed the person by without a thought? Hmmmm. What would Jesus do?

Even if you aren't a Christian, and you say you don't believe in God, you can still be kind. Think about how you can help someone else today, all because you chose to live courageously!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's Always About Helping Others

You have probably experienced countless trials during the course of your life, but during that time, you probably also received some great blessings, right?

I know for me personally and those I work with, this has always been the case, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We often believe that someone else has a more spectacular life but that just isn't true! In fact, let me share with you a story about a young woman I know that seems to have a glamorous life, yet so few know what she is really going through.

Just So You Know....

A young woman that does some work for me is attractive, intelligent, and an outgoing individual. She has skills upon skills, including painting, drawing, and she is a great writer. Her husband is an amazing man, and they run a gold and jewelry shop in the state of Ohio.

It seems that all is right with the world, and their life is so charmed because she is always smiling. The reality? She is dying inside.

They lost their baby October 1st, and they were trying for 3 years. They encountered a doctor that lied to them about everything, and they had put most of their money into making it happen all to be taken financially by a doctor that was having them go through these procedures and tests for nothing.

As if that weren't enough, a man that had pursued her husband for years to start up a business, encouraged him to quit working for the shop he was with, because he was funding a new store with someone that wanted to reorganize and re-open, turning this into a 3 way partnership.

So, he quit, and started contacting his clients, and making sales and doing business before the store was finished with a quick remodel and more.

Two weeks into this endeavor, he showed up at the shop only to find out that the main backer, with all the capital and the man that would carry his salary for 6 months had decided against it and was not "ALL IN". How devastating.

No salary, a $1600 car repair, and the stress of feeling as though they cannot live their dreams all due to the financial burden.

However, there is something that this young woman knows, and that is that God is good, all the time. She has faith, and even if it seems tough, faith prevails.Why? She knows that her story will help her to help others.

Her heart may hurt, but she still keeps going and working her way through the mud of life. This is what it means to LIVE COURAGEOUSLY!

Have you been inspired today? If so, then please share these blog posts, and comment so that we can share our lives with each other.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An Evangelist Looking for God's Servants

I can remember a day when I was working in my husband's shop, and in the business of buying gold and silver you see a lot of sadness. People that lost their jobs are now selling valuable and treasured heirlooms, and precious memories of their parents.

We often have married couples come in that sell their wedding bands right off of their hands, and they are STILL married. This is all in an attempt to make it.

Sound familiar? Here was a story I didn't expect, so I'll share it with you.

God's Servants Never Showed Up He Says 

One day as my husband and I were working on pulling some stones out from a class ring, one of our regular customers came in. He was sharing more with us about where he had been, who he had spent most of his time with as he traveled as an evangelist.

Turns out, this man of God had spent years on TBN, working with folks on TBN, and singing with folks like Benny Hinn, the Crouches, and many others. He had flown on Leer jets, and had been in motorcades with limos and the like.

What a life, right? WRONG.

The time came, when his heart began to feel the tug to do more for Jesus, and so he went out on his own, with less of a flash. After all the Good News didn't need to be packaged with diamonds, Rolex, and nights spent at the  Beverly-Wiltshire Hotel, right?

He didn't seem to think so, and he was under conviction, so he went his way, reaching out and taking no money from the operation.

So......he came into our shop and shared with us he lives in Ohio, not far from where we are located. He shares his story and of course sings out loud for us...what a voice I might add. What a blessing.

He is selling us his gold, his income has been dwindling as he left TBN, and as he wanted to continue reaching out and sharing the Gospel on TV his requests were stifled.

Ah, that which is good and pure was turned away, and so he kept searching. This station that runs marathons, and the like was always supporting ministers and evangelists, surely they would help.

NO. A resounding NO. Where are they now? Aren't they servants of God? Don't they donate to God's children and support the ministries of the hurting?

A man left with no wife, no money, and a house going into foreclosure was rejected by this TV station. How could it be? How is this possible?

To think it was only yesterday that he was traveling with these same people is shocking. It's downright despicable, appauling, and all that it implies. 

Yes sir, we will buy your gold, and as he shed more tears over finally selling the last thing he had, his wedding band, he cried buckets in our store. He prayed no one would be there, and so we heard the testimony of a child of God, one that resonated with me as I had been through something similar years ago. 

No, I am not an evangelist, but I was called to be a servant. This day, will you serve? Could it be that God places someone in your path to help? 


Monday, January 7, 2013

She Reminds Me of My Grandmother.....

Going to Drug Mart was always eventful, and at time it's even like a wonderland! Well, you know that I mean. Everything is cheaper, so you always feel like you win the lottery, right?

I went in just to get some cat food, and upon checking out, I encountered a cashier that was elderly that had waited on my husband and I before. She had short red hair, but she had facial features that reminded me of my grandmother.

She even spoke softly like her too, without the Southern twang, but perhaps that is why I was drawn to her. She was familiar, in her own way.

She was just walking back to her register when I stepped up to her, and she looked like she had pain, and she was walking with a slight limp. I asked her how she was doing.

"Fine honey", she said in a not so convincing way.

Without even thinking, the words rolled out of my mouth, "You aren't very convincing". She looked at me and shook her head as she looked downward.

She then said, "I have vasculitis, and my legs are killing me. The doctors aren't really helping me, and all they keep doing is giving me more pills. I just feel like I am trapped, and I am getting older." I could hear her struggling to breath a bit.

I looked at her while she still looked down, almost like she felt as though she were a kid in trouble. "What else is the doctor doing for you?", I said.

"Nothing. They ran some bloodwork, and I am waiting for them to call me right now. Here, let me show you what I am talking about." She then pulled up her paint leg to reveal the outcome of a very bad case of vasculitis in which it appeared that her legs were bleeding on the outside. This means it's bad, and she needs help sooner rather than later.

As I slowly uttered, "Oh my," she reached out and grabbed me, and I just held her while she cried. It was so pitiful, and I cried with her. I couldn't even ask if she had family or where they were. I couldn't even go there. So, all I could say was the one thing I knew I could tell her for sure, and that was, "God is the Healer, and what He has made works. Let me bring you some vitamins and natural supplements that will help you with this until we can figure something out".

She just looked up at me and said, "I am so broke, I couldn't pay you anything, my medicines are so expensive".

My heart just sank. "I'll bring them to you, free of charge, really, no worries. How late will you be here?", I said.

"I'm leaving in about an hour, but I'll be back in a few days," she said.

"Okay, I'll be back! Would you like for me to take you to the hospital when you get off of work?" I said.

"No, that is okay, I'll wait to hear from the doctor." We said goodbye and she went back to work as I went on my way home to feed the kitties. I couldn't get her out of my mind, and I didn't want to. People are throw aways in the United States, and in Asia, they respect their elders and care for them.

There is so much wisdom in what they have to teach us. Why is it that we don't treasure our mothers and fathers and our grandparents? Ah, the days are flying by.

Remember, to always sit and listen, because life is too short to not live courageously!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Breath of Life.....

It's almost like it were yesterday, I could tell you the story that well. Keep in mind I'm 36, and the accident took place when I was just 3 years old.

They say that the memory is a curious thing, but then again, the mind is a powerful thing. Right? Most of us have a story that we could tell like this, where we know God is at work, yet we don't understand the HOW.

The HOW really doesn't matter all that much, but what does matter is that we have FAITH. It seems God has a heart for children, don't you think? What I am about to share with you will prove that, and most of all it will feed your faith and starve your doubts.

The Car Was Definitely Red 

My brother and I are only 3 years apart; he was 6 and I was 3. My mother was a stay at home mom because my father had several Sunoco stations and was gone all day. My mom enjoyed taking us here, there, and everywhere, and of course to see our grandparents often.

We were leaving the house and on our way to the mall that day, and we were driving down a stretch of road in Mason, which is mostly country. It just so happened that it was raining that day and we were driving in a small stretch of residential area.

We were in the historic town of Mason, or what some refer too as "downtown Mason". My mom was almost halfway down the street when a red corvette turned the corner, and he was flying. He flew right into our windshield, like an airplane.


The car just stopped right at my mom's face, as I was hurling through the air from the backseat into the front seat right in between my mom and my brother. Wait, where is he? I look down, and I see him curled up in the floor, with his head nearly up under the dashboard, or rather the glove box.

Wow, he doesn't look so great. I remember seeing his face with blood running down his face, and blood somewhat around his teeth. I look to my left, up at my mom who is wailing and reaches over to grab my hand, and asks me, "Honey, are you okay?" She can't see my brother, so she asks me to tell her what I see.

Just then I hear sirens, and I see the firetruck. I go over the window, and I am ecstatic that someone is there to let me out because I'm 3, and I don't know what to do.

A fireman reaches out and grabs my brother, as I sit on the ground and talk to him as though he is totally fine. My mom is still in the car, and I believe she is invincible so I think nothing of it. After all, she is mom.

I see a bunch of men hooking up the red corvette, pulling it back off of the hood of our car, and what is left of our car isn't much. Well, it looks like an accordion at this point. My mom is pulled out from the wreckage and stands while they hold her, and try to hold her back.

I look back to my brother because the way she looks scares me. I am still looking at my brother, and watching as the fireman gives him what I now know as CPR.

I hear him say something to the medic about my brother not breathing, and that he is dead. I go into a tirade of tears, but everything is happening so fast, and before I know it, I can hear my brother  coughing but he doesn't  open his eyes, and still looks bad..

I see tears in the fireman's eyes as he uses the word "resuscitation".

I didn't have a scratch, but I was taken in the squad with my mom, and my brother was kept in a separate squad. Maybe life support, I'm not sure yet.

My mom's nose was broken amongst some other things, and it turns out the grill of the car came right to her face but it got her good. Today, she looks amazing, in fact she looks my age but she is 67.

So, what about my brother? Today, he is 39, married, and has 3 little girls.

My mom tried to call the Butler County Fire Department and Police to find the man I called "Brad", so that she could thank him, for saving my brother's life. Mind you, this was only one month after the accident.

They had no record of "Brad" ever working there, nor on the police force. I saw the photograph of the station wagon at the junkyard later in life, and it was then I recounted the entire story to my mother who could not believe I recounted  everything as it occurred for the first time in years., I am 36. Wow.

By the way, my mom keeps that picture as a reminder that God is everywhere, and He sends His angels wherever He desires. He loves his children, and at that moment I had no other belief other than that my brother would be alive and well, and my brother was my best friend.

I believe God honors that child like faith.

Don't EVER lose it. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Touched by A Veteran Angel

I never really thought about it much until recently, but God always puts the right people in the right places, at the right time. We can pray, we can go to church, and we can study the Bible, but at the end of the day, do we really believe and live what we say we do believe?

You don't know me, and we may never meet, but that doesn't matter all that much. In fact, it doesn't matter at all. We live on the same planet, and sleep under the same stars and the same sky, and for that matter, we can all have similar experiences. 

Let me share a story with you.

God's Attention to Detail Even When it Rains 

A few weeks back I went to meet my mother for dinner, and the weather was less than desirable. I had been in a dark place, struggling with the fact that I have had multiple miscarriages, and the most recent one was only a few months behind me.

I was doing better, but it would hit me every now and then when I would see a baby, baby furniture, baby clothes, and see everyone's cute baby pictures on Facebook. Yep, that was the worst, and everyone around me just kept having babies.

I arrived at Red Robin, got out of my car, and just as I had opened my door to get out, I turned to see a young couple playing with their little one. He was so cute, had just started walking, and it started to rip my heart out, and tears filled my eyes, and as I turned to walk toward the door, I ran smack into a tall man!

Talk about awkward!

I looked up into his face, and time stopped. All I could do was see his face, and his eyes were smoldering, with the rain just falling softly. He started to apologize for running into me, "Ma'am, I am so sorry I didn't mean to startle you, but I need your help. I am a veteran, and I met a friend here for dinner, and well, he is gone. Here is my ID, I work at the Air Force base, and my wife is at home. I need gas to get to Centerville, Ohio do you know where that is?"

"Yes, I sure do" I said.

"Could you spare ten bucks just so I can have enough gas to get home? I drive an SUV, so that is about what it will take for me to get home" he said.

"Um, well I don't carry cash, but if I have tons of change in my purse. In fact, my husband laughs at me because he asked me what I would do with all that change. I simply told him that someone will need it one day!"

Man, was I right! I had no idea it would happen like this. I dug into my purse and started looking for change, and just doled it out as he stood by my car.

He thanked me over and over, and then it came up that my husband was a coin dealer as I joked about him looking at all of my change, all of the time! He laughed as I tell him that my husband buys from tons of Colonels at the Air Force Base in Dayton.

He then proceeds to tell me as we exchange conversation, that he knows where my husband to used to work, and that his dad still goes there often.

We smiled, and just kept laughing as we stood in the cold rain. Laughter ensued, and then....he asked me the age old question.

"How can I find you  so I can pay you back?" he said.

"Just do me one favor sir. If you run into someone in need, help them out as I have helped you and pay it forward". He nodded and smiled.

Then he said, "Tim, that's my name, thank you so much Tammy".

How did he know my name? I never told him? There is only one way he could have known.


God can do all things, and yet we doubt Him. Buy that person a cup of coffee, give that man on the corner $5 or whatever you have in your  pocket, because if he buys beer that is on him, not you.

After all, God has not called us to do anything less than live courageously.