Monday, August 31, 2015

Pre-Order ‘Glory Days,’ Max Lucado’s New Book, and Receive Free Gifts

Are you stuck in the wilderness known as midlife misery? Can you name the day you became a Christian but can’t remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer? Find encouragement in Max Lucado's new book, Glory Days. With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.

Now through August 31, 2015, pre-order Glory Days and receive free gifts!


There are two pre-order options:

Option 1:

Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format), and receive a free digital download of the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.

After you've pre-ordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at

Option 2:

Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format) AND one copy of God is With You Every Day (Max's brand-new, 365-day devotional—any format), and receive both the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace and a paperback copy of Traveling Light by Max Lucado (U.S. addresses only). 

After you’ve preordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at

Pre-order today and get your free gift by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the offer ends on August 31, 2015.


My Personal Review of Max Lucado's Glory Days

If you have ever had the opportunity to read any of Max Lucado's works, then you know a key thing: Lucado can take a basic "head knowledge" account from the Bible and take it to a place that causes you to truly slow down, ponder what God is trying to teach within that biblical passage, and then go deeper so you move the "head knowledge" to applied & active "heart knowledge".  And in Glory Days, Lucado does not disappoint as he sets the stage for "Living Your Promised Land Life Now".

At first, I was a little skeptical: How can I live the Promised Land life now, when I'm still on this earth and not yet in Heaven? It did not take me long to realize I am Lucado's target audience.  Here are the sentences that gave me pause the moment I opened the book:
  • Our Promised Land isn't a physical territory; it is a spiritual reality. It's not real estate but a real state of the heart and mind (p 6).
  • Canaan, then, does not represent life to come. Canaan represents the life we can have now (p 7)!
I won't lie; it's a little painful to see comparisons made between the Israelite's who refused to enter the Promised Land (and thus wandered for another 40 years) and my own life. God had said it was theirs, yet the Israelites allowed all the seen obstacles to stop them in their tracks and not trust the fact that God had said he had already given them the land.

God has already given me his promise, but I need to live a life that recognizes God has redeemed me, and that he will continue to provide as I face struggles in my life.

My favorite part of Glory Days is the focus on Joshua. Joshua, who trusted God's promise and didn't let giants dissuade him. Joshua, who snuck into Jericho, scoped it out, realized Rahab was being utilized as God's messenger. Joshua, who fully trusted God's plan and saw the walls of Jericho fall! And in the midst of Joshua being the one to whom the Israelites looked to for leadership and redemption, made it clear he was worshipping, honoring, and following God. Joshua worshipped God.

Am I worshipping God as I face my Jericho?

Lucado makes God's promise very clear within Glory Days. A pastor, Christian scholar, and lifelong Christian can gain a deeper and meaningful perspective of our life here on earth when we have accepted Christ as our Savior. Even though Lucado presents some deep theology, it is done in a way that new believers can make wonderful comparisons of Old and New Testament promises. In describing Jericho, Lucado presses in and asks the question, "What is your Jericho?"

It stands between you and your Glory Days. It mocks you and tells you to take your dreams back to the wilderness. It stands like an ogre on the bridge of progress. It is big; it is evil. It blocks your way. And its walls must fall. To live in the Promised Land, you must face your Jericho"(Glory Days, p 84).

Lucado does a wonderful job of weaving scripture, personal stories, and biblical situations that allow the book to become an in-depth study on how to apply God's truth to your life. The book is packed with information, and in order to get the most out of the book as I can, I will probably read it a second time. I highly recommend other's to read Glory Days  and allow their perspective to be challenged, which will ultimately deepen their walk with Christ.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Rare {yet Ordinary} Date

I had a fun date with Mike tonight!

(Some people were calling it Meet the Teacher Night--but when you are out of the house without children & it's not related to work, you call it a DATE!)

After tonight, it will be Fall 2020 before we are able to remain together for our child's Meet the Teacher Night at the high school. Until then, we are stuck in "divide & conquer" mode.

So did I treasure tonight? Absolutely.

And am I thankful we are {still} doing this crazy life together? Completely.

Our crazy isn't other people's crazy. Some have plates far heftier than ours, while others would never sign up for a life that consists of kids ages 14, 13, 11, 3, 17 months & 11 months. I never dreamed of signing up for this life, but God had bigger {and better} plans.

And leading two small groups, attending kids' meets & practices, visiting the oral surgeon, going to Walmart at 9:30 at night because your oldest lost her protractor & needs a new one before tomorrow, then holding your 3 year old because he missed you SO MUCH makes for a very full life.  It also means a two-hour chunk of time with no other conflicts or obligations is very precious.

I'll be honest--there are times I wish we would get out of the house more often for a date night. But to be even more honest? I see many couples who make a point to have a date night and yet completely neglect 'dating' each other. And I'd much rather have a loud, crazy, totally interrupted evening at home where our kids yell "gross!" as we hug, kiss, tease & laugh right in front of them than a silent night of calamari & linguini, distance & obligation. How grateful I am to not do our marriage in silence.

So when you find yourself sitting in a high school Language Arts class, and the boy you like is sitting in the desk behind you and the touch of his hand on the back of your neck makes you feel 18 all over again? I'm pretty sure that's the best kind of date of all.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The {Everlasting} Goldfish

When Kaitlin was in first grade, she had a wonderful and special Sunday School teacher--Miss Marlene. And one Sunday, not too long after the start of that first grade year, Miss Marlene brought a goldfish to class. He was part of the Sunday School lesson.

I'll be honest-I have no idea what the lesson was about, and whether the goldfish played a major or minor role in the storyline. What I do know is that when Miss Marlene asked the kids if anyone had a fish tank and wanted to take the goldfish home, my little girl raised her hand and said, "I do!".

I met that goldfish in the church sanctuary. Kaitlin, with her long brown curly hair and toothless smile grinned so proudly. And I remember thinking, "I hope he doesn't die during the church service! If he does, will it be bad to flush him here before heading home?" I also prayed that the bag wouldn't get dropped and roll down the aisle during the service. Could you imagine?? Thankfully, we were not a part of any 'fish incidents' that entire hour.

Against all odds, that fish made it home. And Kaitlin had told the truth--she had her very own 10 gallon tank, full of bright-colored fish with plenty of room to spare. What Kaitlin didn't realize was that her fish were tropical fish, and a goldfish cannot go into a tropical tank.

So her younger sister Kylie became the proud owner of a goldfish.

Fall 2007-the year of the new goldfish

That poor fish survived the following things that Sunday:
  • Carted around in a plastic bag from 8:00am until 1:00pm
  • Continued to sit in the plastic bag while I ran to Kmart to buy a second fish tank.
  • Sat even longer in the plastic bag while the new tank was prepped.
  • Arrived inside his fish tank around 3:00pm

The 19 cent, orange Walmart goldfish now had a $20 tank. I remember Mike giving me a couple "this is just crazy" looks, but the kids were so excited with the process of adding a tank to Kylie's room that Mike didn't verbalize his true thoughts.


Last week, the little first grader who brought a goldfish home from Sunday School entered her freshman year of high school. The three year old who received the fish from her older sister turned eleven last Saturday and is in sixth grade.

Summer 2015-vacation without the goldfish


That fish has been around longer than some kids have a dog!! I can picture it now, when Kylie is an adult: "Did you have any pets growing up?" "Why, yes, I had a goldfish!"

That fish has lived in four different fish tanks, and is now six inches long- he outgrew the three gallon tank, then outgrew a five gallon tank, and is now living in his second ten gallon tank. One day, the first ten gallon tank decided to start leaking, which meant pulling up the brand new carpet, drying the carpet, the pad, and the subfloor. Mike's "this is just crazy"  looks turned into VERY heavy sighs. And did lead to him verbalizing a few thoughts about "that fish"!

The fish has gone through various names, and also several goldfish companions. After the fourth or fifth death of other goldfish we bought had occurred, we decided he would remain alone. Half the time I wonder when he last ate. We've gone on vacations where I forgot about him completely, and I guarantee the filter right now is absolutely needing to be replaced. Instead of wondering if I can flush him at church, I now wonder what you do with a goldfish who is too big to flush down the toilet! But at this rate, we won't know for a very, very long time.

Anyone want a 19 cent goldfish?