Monday, June 27, 2011

Billboard Conversations with God

As I drove out of my small hometown in Georgia headed to Hanceville, Alabama, I immediately began craving a Mocha Frappe from McDonald's.  The nearest McDonald's was about an hour away on my mapped out road trip.  I told myself I would surely stop then to get a Frappe to enjoy as I drove.  Well, Columbus, GA came and I kept driving because I didn't want to break the stride of my traveling.  About 2 hours into my road trip, God enticed me with a huge billboard on the side of the road that was featuring a Mocha Frappe at McDonald's.

You see, I now try to pay attention to billboard conversations from God because of a friend who didn't.  God spoke to her through billboard signs on one of her road trips and because of her deaf ears and eyes, she found herself stranded on the side of the interstate.  Now, God didn't leave her there.  He rescued her by putting people in her path at just the right time but not without pointing out her disobedience .  She didn't know if the transmission or motor was messing up in her vehicle or how she would get off the side of the interstate with six children.  It turns out that all that was wrong with her truck was that it had run out of gas.  God had shown her several billboard signs with cheaper gas prices and she even acknowledged them, but kept right on driving.  So through my sisters correction in billboard conversations from God, I am trying to pay closer attention to them.  We can learn so much from each other if we are willing to. 

Now, back to my McDonald's Mocha Frappe billboard sign.  It showed that my stop would be at exit 205.  I noticed that I was only at exit 200 and that would be about 5 more miles.  The closer I got to exit 205, the darker the sky became.  A severe thunderstorm was rolling in.  I made it to my exit and just as I walked through the McDonald's door, the tornado sirens started going off in this small, Alabama town.  Now, those of you who personally know me, you know that just the thought of a tornado and myself DON'T get along!  I made way to the ladies restroom and hung out in there until the sirens stopped.  All the while, I was having conversation with 2 other women who were waiting out the sirens in the restroom as well.  They were informing me of how God had planned it out for them to stop at that exit as well and how he had protected them from a tree limb that had blown across the interstate and hit the car in front of them.  Immediately, I thanked God for speaking to me through that billboard sign.  He knew I needed to get off the road, so he teased me with the sign for a Mocha Frappe.  The sirens stopped but it was still storming.  I went ahead and ate supper as I waited out the storm.  Once it passed, I went to get my Frappe for the road.  Did you catch the 'teased' part earlier?  Well, the Frappe machine was not working so I didn't get to get one.  I got in my car, got back on the interstate and the first thing I saw was another huge billboard.  This time the billboard read "Be Blessed!"  I started laughing and just praised God for his tactics in speaking to his children.  He knew that this stubborn girl would need that enticing sign with a mouth watering mocha frappe on it in order to get me to stop so that I could be in a safe building from the storm that was approaching.  Even though I didn't get what I intended to get when I stopped, He reminded me to 'be blessed' in the billboard sign when I left!  Now, let me enlighten you of the fact that I did stop at a McDonald's about 20 miles down the road and I enjoyed a sweet Mocha Frappe!  Yum...!!  I arrived at my destination safely and praised God for his guidance on my trip! 

Talking it up with God through billboards!

Tonya :)


Friday, June 24, 2011

Free Gift Friday! Book Giveaway - 'Heaven is for Real'

I will be giving away a free, new copy of the book "Heaven is for Real" next Friday, July 1, 2011.  Giveaway ends Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 9:00pm.  The winner will be announced on Friday, July 1, 2011 via blog post and by email.  Spread the word and best wishes to each of you!

To Enter:
  • Post a comment about your favorite verse in the bible at the bottom of this blog post.  Leave your first name with email address in each comment so that I may contact you if you are the winner. 

For optional extra entries, do one or more of the following. (Each option counts as an additional entry for the drawing.)

  • Become a Google follower of my blog and leave a comment letting me know.
  • Blog about this giveaway on your blog, and leave a comment letting me know. (Include your URL of your post that advertises my giveaway in your comment.)
  • Become a friend on facebook and leave a comment letting me know.
  • Email this post to a friend and leave a comment letting me know.

Spreading the news that Heaven is for Real,


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coming Soon! "Free Gift Friday"

I am gearing up for my first "Free Gift Friday" on my blog.  The first giveaway will be on, July 1, 2011, which is next Friday.  My first gift to bless someone with is a copy of Todd Burpo's book 'Heaven is for Real'.  Check back tomorrow for more details and information on how to enter for a chance to win!   

Why Me Lord?!

Have you EVER asked yourself this question - Why me Lord?  Do you ever have one of those days where it seems as though everything you touch or come into contact with turns to mush?  Maybe it is a day where the kids are screaming and the only word in their vocabulary that day is 'mom' and it is being repeated every two seconds.  Or is it a day where you can't find your keys or cell phone.  Perhaps it is a day when your spouse has said something that hurt your feelings and instead of talking about it with them, you allow yourself to sulk all day and become more miserable by the minute.  Possibly, it is a day where the balance in your checkbook will never cover the bills that are due?  Do you ever have these kind of days?

God doesn't waste anything!  God uses this kind of stuff to grow us if we have willing hearts and attitudes.  He turns our 'Mess' into our 'Message'.  This may be the stuff that drives us crazy but this is the stuff that He uses to get our attention in our daily lives.  Francesca Battistelli has a song that ministers to so many and it is one of my absolute favorites!  On the days when I want to throw my hands and give up, I can always find encouragement from this song.  Watch, listen, enjoy, and be encouraged if you are having one of those days! 

James 1: 2-7   2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Too Blessed to be Stressed!



Monday, June 20, 2011

I Love You This Big!

Psalm 36:5 "Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."

Do you ever really ponder the thought of how much God loves you?  We know his ultimate display of love was his death on the cross for our sins, but do you ever just sit and listen as God tells you that he loves you?

As I write this, my mind is filled with memories of my children when they were younger. I can remember my oldest son stretching his arms opened wide and saying "I love you this big!" and our middle son would always want to be in my arms sharing hugs and kisses galore!  When our youngest son started talking, he would say 'I love you' but it came out sounding like "I - O - U."  He is seven years old now and I still have a voice mail message on my phone of him saying "I - O - U".  I just can't bring myself to delete it.

As we see families expressing love to each other, God expresses his love to us everyday.  It is just a matter of slowing down enough to meditate and hear him.  This past week, we enjoyed a few days at the beach in Florida.  As we were sitting on the beach soaking up the sunshine, I started pondering the thought of how big this ocean is.  As far as the eye could see, it appeared that the ocean was never ending.  Immediately, I heard God say, I love you this big!  God was telling me that he loved me as big as the ocean.  Do you know how much water covers the earth? A little more than 70%.  That is a LOT of water.  That is a LOT of love! :) 

As you go about your daily busyness today, look and listen for the "I - O - U" better understood as "I Love You" from God!  He is constantly displaying his love to us.  His love endures forever!

This blog may be short and simple today, but remember God loves you as big as the ocean!  His love reaches to the heavens!  There is nothing small or simple about that!

Sharing His love,



Friday, June 10, 2011

I don't 'wanna' grow up...or do I?

Can you remember your days as a child?  Do you have some favorite memories of when you were young?  My favorite memories of being a little girl were made during what seemed like endless summer days and nights, catching fireflies in a jar, swimming with my cousins all day, and the many sleep overs with my girl cousins as we talked about cute boys.  I can remember thinking "I don't 'wanna' (south Georgia language for 'want to') grow up! :)

A few years pass and then I can remember thinking that I still enjoyed those endless summer days and nights, but catching fireflies wasn't cool anymore.  Swimming all day with cousins turned into laying out all day to get that perfect sun kissed tan and we had even more sleep overs by this time only to stay up all night listening to the radio and discussing our boy crushes of the week.  I was so ready to grow up!

This teeter tottering of growing up is so evident in our christian lives as well.  We receive Jesus into our lives and become so eager to mature in Him spiritually, but when a trial comes, we start second guessing if we can endure these hard times for the Lord.  We start listening to the lies of satan and begin to believe that a godly life is too hard to live, that it's not fair compared to the way of the world, heaven forbid that we would have to change our ways, or that it is just not worth it.  We find ourselves stuck in a rut and scared to trust and move forward by faith.  We find ourselves not sure if we are ready to grow up! 

Hebrews 6:1 "So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God."

God wants us to mature as Christians.  He desires for us to stop drinking baby's milk and move on to heavier food to digest for spiritual growth just as we did when we were little for physical growth.  It is so important in our lives to move on from the basic teachings about Christ and strive to become more mature in our understanding of Him.  We should 'wanna' grow up in Christ, because if God is for us, then who can stand against us?   It simply boils down to our choice.  It is our choice to choose how far we grow spiritually.  God is always there teaching, bu are we always listening, eager to learn in order to 'Grow" up?

Isaiah 50:4  "The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."

Enduring growing pains,


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One World...Many, Many Stories

Our youngest son, Camron, is participating in the summer book reading program at our local library.  The guest speaker today was a magician.  He told stories in a way that was captivating to the young children and adults.  He had every ones attention!  It was a great show and an interesting way to get kids eager to read. 

As I listened to the magician, I found myself thinking about the title of this program "One World...Many, Many Stories".  God has really been laying it on my heart lately about praising Him more by sharing my stories about Him to others.  I have a friend who about a year ago approached me about writing a book with her.  At that time, my response was that "I" was not interested because "I" had no desire to write about anything.  Let me confess to you that God really had to get my "I" out of the way so that "He" could work through me.  God has recently placed the desire to write in me.  I know that it is God because I am not the best writer.  I don't always use correct grammar.  I have a lot of flaws, but I do believe I can do anything in Christ who strengthens me!  The point is this simple, I CAN'T do anything but God in me CAN do anything!  I am nothing without Him! 

One World...Many, Many Stories - Whether we choose to write, speak, act in skits, email, text, phone conversations, preach, teach or however God has gifted us to tell our stories, we ALL have stories to share of His greatness!  Of all that God delivers to us, He only ask one thing in return...Go and tell others about Him.  We live in One World...But we have Many, Many Stories! 

Please pray for me as I embrace this journey of sharing my stories by writing.  My prayer is that however it plays out, whether by book, blog, magazine or however God sees fit, I pray that God will be glorified and that someone will meet Jesus through my sharing of Him!

Let me end by encouraging you to go share your stories of His greatness in your life.  Someone is waiting for you to introduce them to Jesus! 

God Bless,

Monday, June 6, 2011

Where God guides...He will provide!

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been overjoyed with God's presence.  This has been a time when I KNOW that God has been right here with me and so many others!

I have watched and witnessed God move in some miraculous ways lately.  All my praise is for Him!  I have watched Him rescue a friend stranded on the side of the interstate with six kids.  He saved a family member from drowning.  He guided a friend home that was having car trouble and had her car repaired for $10.  The repair normally would have probably cost between $300-$500.  I am currently watching His will unfold for twin infant girls that are in need of a loving home and family. 

Yesterday at church, I was amazed at God's love and strength that He covers us with.  An older member that has been really sick with luekemia was at church with his family yesterday.  He stood and praised God for all the love and compassion that people had been displaying to him.  He praised God for the strength to be at church even though chemo has been really hard on him.  We witnessed a miracle in this man's life several years ago.  He was on his death bed but God revived him because He wasn't finished with him yet.  Since then, this man has been one that God has used in helping to raise up some godly men at our church.  He has been a wonderful mentor and testimony to many!  As I listened to him praising God during this time in his life, I thought about Jesus on the cross. Through all the pain and suffering, he remained on the cross.  Even when He didn't think He could handle anymore, he remained on the cross.  Even when Jesus might have been second guessing his situation, he remained on the cross.  Just as Jesus continued to suffer for the greater cause, I see my brother in Christ suffering through his pain and still acknowledging that God is in control and that God is Lord!

I currently have an aunt that has cancer.  She has been having a hard time with this disease lately.  The disease has been causing her a lot of pain and loss of appetite.  Doctors have her on medicine for pain and the side effects are taking a toll on her.  She is going through a lot of suffering right now but the good thing is that she really is in a Win-Win situation.  She may be the result of a miracle of healing or she may be greeted at the gates of heaven by Jesus and her family members that are already there!  What a glorious reunion that would be! This doesn't make it any easier for our flesh that desires for her to be here with us but it does give me comfort in knowing that she is a daughter of the King of Glory.  One day, either way, she will be without cancer and pain!  My prayer is still that God would take this disease from her but I accept and trust His will in her life. 

1 Kings 8:57 "May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us."

No matter where you are in life; No matter what situations you are going through right now;  No matter if you are on the mountain or in the valley; Trust in knowing that where God is guiding you....He will provide for you!  His provision doesn't always come in the way that we think it should, BUT He is always there with us!

Praising Him,

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