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Friday, August 27, 2010

And the Winner is...

Meet Jennifer Johnson, the winner of my blog contest. She's a 20-something lover of Jesus. A wife to Todd. And Mom to Kaitlyn and a baby boy due in January. Jennifer is a SAHM committed to God's calling on her family's life.

Todd and Jennifer moved to Oxford, MS in August 2009 to join staff with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Todd is the Director of Ole Miss FCA as well as the baseball and basketball chaplain on campus. Jennifer also works part-time from home as Administrative Assistant for Ole Miss FCA.The FCA's mission is to minister to athletes and coaches at Ole Miss. Todd and Jennifer hope to see those coaches and athletes in their sphere of influence impacted for Jesus Christ. Their ministry on campus includes but is not limited to:
  • Weekly Huddle meetings
  • Student leadership training
  • Small group Bible studies
  • Coaches Bible studies
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Team chapels
  • Accountability groups
  • Fellowship events
  • Camps/retreats
  • Game day rallies
Please help Todd and Jennifer impact the Ole Miss campus by:

Praying - They need committed prayer warriors praying for their staff, administration, coaches, and athletes on a regular basis.

Giving - They are fully funded by donations and this ministry would not be possible without the help and collaboration of their supporters!

For more information about their amazing ministry, please visit them at http://www.olemissfca.org/ or contact Todd Johnson at toddjohnson@fca.org.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friends are Friends Forever

To update all my new followers, I am in the process of chronicling my amazing weekend at She Speaks 2010. To catch up on how God emptied me of ME before the conference, check out my post Brokenhearted. Then read my two entries Brokenhearted-Part 2 and Seemingly Insignificant.

Done backtracking? Now fast forward to Friday.

After one of the breakout sessions, God blessed me with a new girlfriend named Lisa to encourage my heart.

 She is a Methodist girl; I am a Baptist girl. But both of us are Jesus girls, which raises a few eyebrows at the southern churches we attend.

We openly shared our struggles, our hurts, and our disappointments. We talked about how difficult it was to feel like foreigners within our own church walls.

As our conversation drew to a close, I told Lisa how God had been stirring my heart and showing me that I needed to repent. That maybe I somehow caused the women at my church to treat me differently because my heart had become hardened. I was afraid of rejection. I feared man and not God. And in the process I had built an airtight wall around my heart that few women in my church could penetrate. I had failed to love and in the process appeared self-righteous and judgmental.

Together Lisa and I covenanted to pray for the women at our churches. To reach out to them in love. I shared with Lisa how a group of ladies in New Jersey had poured their lives into me when I was a baby Christian. They didn’t judge me for wearing slinky camisoles and teeny-tiny shorts to church, although I’m sure they wanted to put blindfolds over their husbands' eyes. 

They loved me to the feet of Jesus.

After Lisa and I parted, I headed to the elevator. As I rounded the corner, there stood one of the women I had been telling Lisa about. Robin Downs.

She was smiling from ear to ear, just like I remembered her. I hadn’t seen her in seven years since I moved from New Jersey to Mississippi. She along with my former pastor’s wife, Carrie Turansky, and another friend, Maria Reyes, had flown in for the conference. I had no idea they would be there. But God did.

In that moment God whispered once again, “Stephanie, I am a God of details. I have every detail of this weekend perfectly orchestrated.” I quickly grabbed my little pink notepad out of my bag and showed it to Robin. As tears of joy streamed down my face, I told her of the mighty ways God had moved in less than twenty-four hours.

Little did I know, God wasn't finished moving. He had only just begun.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's a Blog Party- Win a Fabulous Prize Pack

To celebrate the spectacular time I had at the She Speaks conference, I decided to throw a blog party. I've lit some candles on top of a delicious strawberry Emileigh's cake courtesy of my Ruby leaders, and the GEMS and I had a marvelous time recounting the miracles God performed at the conference.

We would love for you to be a part of our celebration!

At the beginning of next week, I will be giving away a fantastic prize pack to one of my awesome followers.

Not a follower? No need to worry! Click on the "Follow" button to the right. Go on. I'll wait for you!

That just earned you 3 points!

This amazing prize package includes:

1) My favorite CD- A personalized autographed copy of Cheri Keaggy's newest release- Because He First Loved Us (Thanks Cheri!!)

2) My favorite book- Radical-Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt

3) A replica of the notepad that changed my life.

4) My favorite movie- Fireproof

5) My favorite candy and yours...now that we're friends! (Don't forget to leave your favorite candy in the comments.)

NOW....increase your chances of winning by doing the following:

  • Tell your friends about my giveaway! If they follow and then comment and mention your name, you receive 10 points!
  • Link to this contest from your blog- 5 points
  • New Followers- 3 points
  • Tweet it- 2 points
  • Facebook it- 2 points
OK! Tally up your points and leave them in the comment section with your favorite candy and I'll give you one more point just for following directions!

Hopefully you'll score all 23 points which gives you 23 chances of having your name drawn from my random number generator!

On your mark, get set, GO!!!



Contest closes next Monday, August 23rd and winner will be announced Friday, August 27th.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Seemingly Insignificant

An ornately decorated pink notepad. Seemingly insignificant. Ordinary.

Yet as Karen True stated simply at the She Speaks 2010 conference, God often chooses to do extraordinary things with ordinary objects like Moses’ staff, David’s five stones, and Samson’s long hair.

And that is exactly what He did with my little pink notepad. Extraordinary things.

You see, Diana, my partner in ministry and sweet sister in Christ, gave me this notepad last year as part of a care package for She Speaks 2009.

It sat unused during last year’s conference and all throughout this year. Forgotten.

But God had big plans for my forgotten notepad. After arriving at the hotel Thursday for the 2010 conference, the group of ladies I rode with from the airport all decided to have lunch together. We were earthly strangers but heavenly sisters. As we sat at the round table sharing our hearts, Jeri Lynn mentioned a particular Bible she thought I’d enjoy. The Key Word Study Bible.

As I pulled out my tiny tablet to write down the reference, Jeri Lynn said, “Let me see that notepad. I have one just like it!” And then Elisa, who was sitting next to me, said “I have one of those too!” Three of the four of us had the exact same notepad. We marveled at the sovereignty of God. But the story gets better.

When I took out that notepad to write down the room numbers of my new girlfriends, we marveled once again at God’s power.

605, 609, 614, 615.

Out of 608 women from 48 states, God saw it fit to put us all on the same hallway at the Embassy Suites. According to Renee Swope, who commented below (thanks Renee!), even the Proverbs 31 speaker team doesn't get to be on the same floor!

And then I heard Him whisper, “Stephanie. I concern myself with every detail of your life. I am a God of details. No matter what happens this weekend, your times are in my HAND. Don’t ever forget it!”

Maybe today you feel forgotten. Unnoticed. Insignificant.

Always remember that you are God's masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do the work He predestined for you before He spoke the foundations of the world into existence. (Ephesians 2:10)

He has a magnificent plan for your life. And he loves you deeply.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brokenhearted- Part 2

Let me just begin by saying I didn't know this would be a two-part post. But God did. He ordained my fingers to fly over my computer keyboard two weeks ago in preparation for what He was going to do in my heart this year at the She Speaks Conference.

You see, I have been in the process of revival for a while. A year to be exact. Unlike physical CPR, spiritual CPR doesn't revive us instantly. Because revival requires repentance.

Uuuggghhh. Repentance?

You mean, admitting I AM WRONG? That I don't know everything? That I must be willing to turn and walk the other way?

Repentance is repugnant to most of us if we're honest. It makes us want to vomit. We would rather do anything than confess our sins before God or one another.

But this weekend, God brought me to a place of COMPLETE repentance that I've never known before. And the most miraculous thing happened....He turned my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

Through a series of events sprinkled with the fingerprints of God, He reminded me that He is a God of details. He concerns himself with every aspect of my life. He charts the path ahead of me and tells me where to stop and rest.


I hope you'll join me over the next few weeks as I share with you what God has done and continues to do in my life. Along the way, you'll meet some of my new girlfriends from She Speaks.

As my ornately decorated notepad with its sparkling pink GEM on the cover says..."I will praise you, O Lord, with ALL my heart; I will tell of all your wonders."

By the way, this little notepad has a big God story attached to it! More on that next time...