Friday, January 30, 2009

Close to Home- Part 2

I hope you greatly enjoyed hearing my niece Kathryne’s testimony on yesterday’s blog. And I hope that my niece Janet’s story will be a huge encouragement to those who are facing some of the issues that she shares about. Janet is actually quite a writer and she is beginning to have some things published in different Christian magazines. Because of her writing gift, I asked her to write her own story. Here it is…

Nancy has said that when she founded Mercy she never imagined her own family would be among the multitudes who would have need of the ministry. Yet, here I am today: Nancy Alcorn's 26 yr. old niece, a former “Mercy girl”, and absolutely bubbling-over with abundance of life! I'm truly happy to share my story with you. Though I was raised in a Christian home, I was fully invested in the lies and compulsions of anorexia by the age of 12. Anorexia easily morphed into bulimia, and I lived in a world consumed with self. Though I had given my life to Christ at an early age, my heart was far from Him. I desperately needed and wanted freedom from the bondage that was controlling my life. Being of course familiar with Mercy Ministries, it seemed the necessary next step. At Mercy my heart was opened like never before to the life-transforming love of God, and I grew to know Him in deeply meaningful ways. Even still, I’m sorry to say, I graduated the program and walked right back into a lifestyle of destructive eating and blatant sin. In my high school and college years, the grip of darkness upon my life grew much deeper. I did have brief good-spells during which I would seek God with all my heart and plead for His deliverance, but overall my memories are of hopelessness, guilt, and shame.

Though I was obviously not one of the wonderful Mercy success stories, Nancy and the Mercy staff continued trying to help me. Though I stayed involved in church and surrounded myself with strong Christians, the extents of my eating disorder, depression, and destructive dating relationships finally became such that I couldn't finish college. My precious parents and everyone who cared about me could do nothing more to help. I lived in a constant battle. I was defeated and hopeless.

Then, as impossible as it sounds, my life was completely transformed in the
course of four months. One September Sunday morning in church, my dad introduced me to a gorgeous, curly-haired guy named Nick. At the time, I assumed Nick would be just one more guy whose affection would provide temporary escape from the emotional pain of my daily life. Praise be to God, I could not have been more wrong! By December of that year Nick and Iwere deeply in love, and the freedom for which I longed had quickly become reality. Compulsions that were woven into the very fiber of my being loosed their grip with miraculous speed. The only conceivable way to explain those four months is that my merciful Heavenly Father finally looked down upon my brokenness and said, “I will not let you and Satan ruin your life any longer! It's time to get on with the plans that I have for you!”

And—that's exactly what I am doing today! I serve the Lord with
gladness because He rescued me! Nick and I have been married for 2 ½ incredible years, and Jesus Christ is truly the Lord of our marriage. God has

healed and blessed my relationship with my family. Nick and I serve in leadership positions at our church. I regularly have opportunities to counsel and disciple hurting young women in our community. I also recently campaigned for a seat on my local School Board, and God gave me remarkable victory in the election! So, now I have become involved in our political community; aiming to advance God's kingdom in the trenches here on Earth. I love my life! It is full of purpose. I walk in consistent victory over the sins that once paralyzed me!

I am deeply grateful to my Aunt Nancy for founding the ministry that has
and will continue to have eternal impact upon my life and the lives of hurting and hopeless young women all around the world!

I hope you enjoyed getting an inside look into some of the issues that my own family has had to face. The one thing that I am continually amazed at is the faithfulness of God. Janet is such a huge blessing to my life and I’m glad she chose to write her own story to share with you.

Have a great weekend.

Love to all,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Close to Home…

It was November of 1982, and the time was fast approaching that I would be leaving Nashville to move to Monroe, Louisiana. Long story, but God had given me clear direction that I was to step out in faith and move to Louisiana to open a Christian-based home for girls who truly wanted to get help with the issues they were facing. I found myself really torn about leaving – I knew God was calling me to go, but I also knew that I would miss getting to watch my nieces and nephews grow up. I was a very proud aunt, and one of my sisters had just given birth to a baby named Kathryne in July of 1982, and another sister gave birth to a baby named Janet in November. I knew that leaving a salary and going to Louisiana by faith meant pretty much that I would be separated from hearing these baby girls speak their first words and seeing them take their first steps. I found myself kind of struggling with that because when you don’t have any kids of your own, the closest thing you have to that is your nieces and nephews. Little did I know that making the decision to obey God in 1982 would prove to be what both of these two little babies would need me to do. More than 26 years later, I’m writing about what I was going through at that time, and I am so glad that I didn’t let my emotions win out. It always pay to obey God, but little did I know how much it would pay in my own family. Let me explain…

I never dreamed that on January 15, 1983, as I was driving to Louisiana and thinking about those two little girls and all my other nieces and nephews who were still little kids, that those two little girls who had just been born would one day need the very place that I was stepping out in faith to begin. Janet, the baby girl born in November, grew up to be a very beautiful girl and typical teenager, but found herself in the grasp of a serious eating disorder that she could not shake. You are going to hear about her a little bit later, but first let me tell you about the other little girl that was born in July of 1982. I knew in my heart that many girls would get the help that they needed over the years through Mercy Ministries, but I never dreamed that these two baby girls, my nieces, in their late teens, would look my way to find help for the desperate situations they were facing in their lives. I’ve asked Janet to tell her own story to you, so I’ll probably post that tomorrow, but I want to tell you about Kathryne myself.

In May of 2001, I was speaking at a conference in Australia when I received a message on my cell phone from my sister, Rebecca. She said it was urgent that I call her. It was unusual for my family to track me down when I was outside of the country unless it was important, so I knew I needed to call. When I did call, my sister told me that Kathryne was pregnant and she wanted to ask for my help and consider coming to Mercy. I was so stunned to hear this news because I found myself on the other side of the fence. It was now my family that needed help. I am used to being the one that’s looking at the family who needs help, so I sort of had one foot in Mercy and one foot in the emotions of my family. Obviously, I was trying to deal with this news from a whole different perspective.

Kathryne had just finished her first year at college in Charleston, South Carolina. Three weeks before she left for college, her high school sweetheart was killed in a tragic car accident, and it totally rocked her world. She went off to school feeling really depressed about her loss and trying to deal with the grief. It was there that she met a guy who played in a Christian rock band and they became very close. I was really happy that she was dating a Christian guy, but Christian kids struggle with the same things that non-Christian kids struggle with, and in clinging to her new-found friend to fill the void in her life, they ended up getting sexually involved and as a result, Kathryne was facing an unplanned pregnancy. I assured my sister that I would reach out to Kathryne as soon as I returned from Australia. To be honest, I was kind of glad that I had some time to cope with my own feelings about it before returning home. I spent some time pouring my heart out to my friends, Mark and Darlene Zschech, and I shed a lot of tears about it. Mark and Darlene very graciously offered their home for Kathryne to come and live, and they prayed with me to help me cope with my ‘aunt’ feelings. I was very grateful for their friendship and prayers, and I went back home ready to face the situation and be a support to Kathryne.

I met with Kathryne and her boyfriend and laid out all the different options. I was so proud of them when they told me that abortion was not an option and they knew they wanted to choose life. Kathryne said she wasn’t really sure if she wanted to parent or place the baby for adoption, but she knew she was going to have the baby. She expressed her desire to come to Mercy, followed through with the application process, and was admitted into the program. Through much prayer and counseling while in the Mercy program, Kathryne made the very courageous decision to place her baby for adoption. The way she chose the adoptive couple is another story in and of itself, but it’s definitely a God story. I am happy to say that Kathryne made that decision with the full peace of God that surpasses all understanding in her heart and mind. She told me later that the only thing she felt guilty about was not feeling guilty, and that she knew she had done what God wanted her to do. It was an open adoption. She was able to have the adoptive couple, Greg and Tracy, come to the hospital so they could be there when little Jackson was born. She named the baby Jackson after her high school sweetheart who was killed right before she went to college, and it all came full circle when the late Jackson’s parents came to the hospital to celebrate the precious life and the namesake of their lost son. A lot of tears were shed, but mostly tears of joy.

Now for the rest of the story…Kathryne left Mercy with her life fully committed to Christ, went back to college in Charleston, and got her degree. She returned to Nashville and worked at the National Federation of Independent Business in the compliance department. Eventually, she decided to put her resume in with Mercy Ministries. Because she was my niece, I told the personnel department that I was refusing myself from any interviews with her, and I would not be involved in any way with helping her get a job. I only wanted her to work at Mercy if it was a God thing. It wasn’t long before a position opened up in our intake department. You see, we have a number of people in the intake department, but we reserve one position for a graduate of the program because we want at least one person who has actually experienced the program and can speak first hand about the effectiveness of it. So Jana, the director of our intake department, interviewed about 15 graduates and finally called me to seek my permission to interview Kathryne because every time she prayed, she believed that Kathryne was the one who was supposed to have that position. I said OK, but told Jana not to hire her unless she knew it was right. After one interview, Jana called and told me that she hired Kathryne that day. Kathryne now works in our intake department talking to other girls who need the same help that she herself once needed. God is using her in a special way and she has been at Mercy now since May 15, 2008.

On October 4, 2008, I had the privilege of attending Kathryne’s wedding. God has blessed her with a wonderful guy named Jonathan and here they are pictured together.

For those of you who are facing things in your family, just know that none of us are exempt from problems. Like I said, all those years ago when I first started Mercy, I never dreamed that the two little babies I didn’t want to leave would one day need to call on me for help, and that they would be blessed in their later years through my obedience to God. Tomorrow I’m going to introduce you to my other niece, Janet – you are going to love her story.

God Bless!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Bowl® for a Super Guy- The Real Kurt Warner

Like most people, I receive many emails every day about many different things. The truth is that there is just not enough time in a day to read them all. However, I recently received an email about Kurt Warner that I wanted to share with you. I found it very inspiring! Even for those who do not follow sports, you will love this story. Especially for those of you who do not follow sports, let me explain who Kurt Warner is. Kurt Warner, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, has already one one Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams in 2000 (to my great dismay, the other team in the Super Bowl that year was the Tennessee Titans, which is my team). I was sad that the Titans got beat that year, but I could not be more proud of the way Kurt Warner shared his faith as he was front and center on the world’s stage. Now all these years later, Kurt Warner is back in the Super Bowl this weekend with the Arizona Cardinals. He is such a strong Christian and such a great guy that I will definitely be pulling for him this weekend to win that Lombardi trophy. Please take the time to read his personal story. You will love it.
NFL quarterback Kurt Warner (now with the Arizona Cardinals) married the mother of two children, one of whom which had severe medical problems.

Kurt and Brenda met in 1992 at a country bar while he was Northern Iowa's starting quarterback. The next morning, Kurt brought Brenda roses and wanted to meet her youngsters.

She'd told Kurt about her children the night before, so there was no dramatic surprise when she introduced her disabled son.

The Warners' was a lengthy courtship. They married in 1997 after meeting in 1992.

Brenda (who is four years older than Kurt) had two children by a previous marriage. Zachary is three years older than his sister, Jesse Jo. Zachary Warner (born in 1989) does indeed have serious physical infirmities. He was a perfectly healthy infant, not a Down Syndrome child.
When he was four months old, his father dropped him, and in the blink of an eye, this previously healthy baby was suddenly clinging to life, his grip slipping fast. He suffered severe brain damage, and both of his retinas were ruptured. At the time, few thought Zachary would live, and fewer still held out any hope he would ever see, sit up, read, walk, or talk.

Zachary's recovery has been long and arduous, but he now walks and talks. Though still legally blind, he can make out colors and shapes. No longer strictly a special-needs student, he is integrated for half-days in a regular high school classroom.

Kurt adopted Zachary and Jesse after his wedding to Brenda in 1997. The Warners have since added five more children to their brood: Kade in 1998, Jada in 2001, Elijah in 2003, and twins Sienna and Sierra in 2005.

As for what sort of lad Zachary is and what kind of relationship he enjoys with his adoptive father, this anecdote should say it all: After the Rams victory in the NFC Championship game in 2000, 10-year-old Zachary presented Kurt with a homemade card done in Rams blue and gold. Inside, in childlike scrawl, it read: "You're as good a dad as you are a quarterback!" Zachary's birth dad could hardly be described in similar fashion. An inability to come to terms with the injuries he'd visited upon his son led to the breakup of his marriage to Brenda. He left her when she was eight months pregnant with Jesse.

The Warner’s have overcome incredible odds including all of the following:

·All the heartbreak Kurt endured trying to get into the NFL, and the many setbacks he had to weather along the way. So many of our gridiron heroes go in as highly touted draft picks it's sometimes hard to realize some take a tortuous path to the pigskin paradise of the NFL. Kurt presented as a free agent to the Green Bay Packers in 1994, was signed, and then cut by them that same year. In 1997 he had a tryout scheduled with the Chicago Bears which fell through when an injury sustained during his honeymoon rendered him hors de combat. (A venomous spider had bitten him on his throwing elbow.) He had to muck about in the Arena and European leagues before finally being taken on by the Rams in 1997 as their third-string quarterback. In 1999 he stepped in during the preseason in place of injured Trent Green and began almost immediately to rewrite Rams' history.

·Brenda's battle to make a life for herself and her two children after her first husband deserted her. This former Marine had to return to her parents' home when she was eight months pregnant with her second child and with a brain-damaged child already in tow. She completed her nursing training during this period, getting by with the help of food stamps and student loans.

·The death of Brenda's parents in Mountain View, Arkansas, in a tornado in 1996. They'd retired there just a year earlier. Kurt's embracing of Christianity in 1996. (Although he was raised a Catholic, he dates his spiritual awakening to those dark days in the wake of the deaths of Brenda's parents.)
·Kurt's throwing for a record 414 yards in his 23-16 Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the Tennessee Titans and being named that contest's Most Valuable Player. This new mark topped the previous record of 357 yards set by San Francisco's Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII and capped an astounding 4,353-yard, 41-touchdown regular season that won him league MVP honors.
As you can see, falling in love with and then marrying a gal who had two children, one of them a special needs child, was just part of this most remarkable story. In Super Bowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams in their quest for another victory; although they came up just short, Warner was already the stuff of legends. Deservedly.

Barbara "it's a warner-ful life" Mikkelson

I hope this blesses you as much as it blessed me!! Would love to hear your comments, even if you are a Steelers fan – ha!!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Generational Impact- Part 3

I want you to meet my beautiful young friend named Rachel. Although you may not recognize her from this picture, you have actually seen her before. On Friday, January 16th, I blogged about looking back at a picture that was made on our property in Nashville before any of our buildings were built with four babies that were born to girls that came to Mercy and chose life. The little redhead sitting to the right of me has now grown up to be beautiful and talented Rachel. She was born in March of 1992, so she will soon be 17 years old.

As you can see, she is amazingly beautiful, and she is also extremely talented in music. God has given her a great gift to lead worship, and she is currently helping out at the Nashville House of Prayer every Thursday night. Rachel is completing her high school education, and she plans to go to college to pursue music. Rachel has recently been asked to sing at an IHOP (International House of Prayer) event with nationally known speakers, as her gift is being recognized by those in Christian leadership. I have had the privilege of watching Rachel grow up. Her parents actually live here in Nashville, and they have done a fabulous job raising her. Just wanted you to meet Rachel and hear the awesome things that God is doing in her life.

Rachel is pictured here, to the left with me, at our 25th Anniversary Celebration. She is truly beautiful on the inside and out, and we thank God for his continued faithfulness to save and transform lives.

Friday, January 23, 2009

God Has A Plan For the Unplanned

Since I have been giving you a look at some of the babies that have been adopted through Mercy Ministries’ adoption agency this week, I thought I would introduce you to one more. I received a Christmas card from this couple, who 18 years ago were desperate for a child and unable to conceive. They were praying and believing God with all their hearts for a baby. It always amazes me how God can take what seems to be impossible and turn it into incredible blessing.

There was a young birth-mother who found herself pregnant and unmarried. She contemplated abortion, but in her heart she knew that was not what she wanted. She found out about a place called Mercy Ministries, where she could come and choose life. She not only chose life for her child, but she also chose life for herself. She has gone on with her life today…she is married, has other children now, and is doing very well. Her brave decision to place her baby boy for adoption was an answer to this couple’s fervent prayer. This awesome couple named their adopted son Gabriel, and I just wanted you to see what a handsome young man he has grown up to be.

At age 17, he has his whole future in front of him. This is yet another one that I have kept in touch with over the years and have been privileged to watch him grow up. His family lives in another state, but they have even visited me in Nashville and we all went to a Titans game together. I’ve also visited them in their home a number of times.

For anyone out there, and you’re facing something difficult, I hope this will encourage you that God has a plan for the unplanned, and He makes a way where there seems to be no way. Hope this encourages you. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Generational Impact- Part 2

I want to remind you again of the picture of the babies on our property in Nashville that I showed in my blog dated Friday, January 16. A couple of days ago, you met Merri, and today I want you to meet Parker. Parker is the baby in that picture on the far right. On the same day we took that picture in 1992, another picture was made of me holding Parker – pictured here: Below is a picture of Parker when he was 12 years old. He came to visit me at my office, and I showed him the picture of me holding him as a baby. We were standing in the very building that had not yet been built when the first picture was taken. Being close to his family, I have had a privilege of watching Parker grow up. He has such a heart for God and for people. He loves sports, but he is also very kind and sensitive. He keeps in touch with me through email and on Facebook and through occasional visits.

Here is a picture of me and Parker (at age 16) at the annual Jeff Fisher Celebrity Softball Tournament that is held each year in Nashville to raise money for Mercy. I just wanted you to see what a fine young man he has grown up to be. It's hard to believe that he'll be 18 years old this year!!

The day that I met Parker’s mother, Chris, and got to talk with her heart to heart, she actually had a doctor's appointment that afternoon to get an abortion. Because of that special time, Chris chose life and Parker was allowed to be born. Chris is so grateful that she has this wonderful blessing in her life and he is the joy of his grandparents’ heart! This entire family supports Mercy to this day because they are so grateful for Parker’s life.

I hope you enjoy seeing the longevity of these relationships. As I said before about Merri, Mercy Ministries is not just impacting one generation, but generations to come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I received this email a few minutes ago, and I just had to share it with you. On Tuesday, January 13th I did a blog called “Mercy Has A Voice” and I actually offered to send our issue related books free of charge to those who might be struggling with one of the issues named in the blog. I offered to send these free of charge to those who would write in and ask. Quite a few people have written in and requested books. Our goal is always to help people – not to make money. That is why I chose to offer the books free of charge to those who need them. This email that I just received is from one of those people. I will withhold her name to protect her identity, but I do want to share with you what she had to say.

Dear Nancy,

I just received a copy of your book Violated today, and for once in my life...for every time I have been abused... I feel acceptance from God despite it all. I can't tell you how much of a breakthrough that is. Even in the first few pages, I read and felt the Spirit say, "This is you. We're going to work through this. Listen to this truth, soak in it, don't run away." Thank you...thank you for giving me the chance to hope.

-Name withheld

The reason I am sharing this with you is because undoubtedly there are others of you out there who wanted to ask for one or more of the books, but either you didn’t follow through or you were afraid to hope. Please know that there is always hope. The worst case scenario is that you read it and it doesn’t help you. Then you’re still where you were and nothing’s lost. The best case scenario is that you will receive help from the truth that is being offered. If you’re out there and you still need help, I dare you to take the step today. Let me end this blog by sharing with you a verse in the Bible that has always been very encouraging to me and the people I share it with – Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future.”

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Generational Impact!

On Friday, January 16th, I wrote about how faithful God is to provide, and I reminisced with you by sharing a picture of four babies that had been born to girls in the Mercy program and were placed for adoption. They posed with me on our land in Nashville which now has two huge buildings on it, but at the time it was nothing but land. I have been blessed to maintain a relationship with a number of our adopted children over the years. Today I want to tell you about Merri. Merri is the beautiful, young girl in the blue and pink dress on the left who has the bow in her hair. That was Merri in 1992, and this is Merri in April 2008 at our 25th Anniversary – today she is 17 years old. She is now taller than me, and I am so blessed to have her in my life. She has such a heart for God, and she loves people very much. Last summer, Merri spent a large part of her summer vacation from school doing volunteer work at our Nashville office – cleaning, stuffing envelopes, and whatever else was needed at the time. She has such a heart to serve. Merri keeps in touch with me often. Just last week I received an email from her telling me that God had put something on her heart that she wanted to ask me about. I have received Merri’s permission to share this email with you.

Hey Nancy! I want to run something by you. Do you think it would be okay for me to write to some of the Mercy girls? If so, are there any girls in particular that you think could just use someone to encourage them? I know that they have counselors they can talk to, and people at Mercy that care about them, but sometimes you just need a friend to say, ''Hey, I've got your back. Everything is going to be okay''. I've prayed about this for quite some time, and I really believe that God has placed it on my heart to just be a friend to some of the girls that don't have anyone. I just wanted to see what you thought. If you don't think it's a good idea, that's totally fine.I love you so very much and hope you're doing well! Have a fantastic day! - Merri

I felt like the best way I could tell you how beautiful Merri’s heart is by letting you read her own words. She is always thinking about others, and quite frankly, I am amazed by her. It blesses me so much that she wants to stay connected to the very place she was born, and the very place where her birthmother received help. There is no doubt in my mind that this ministry has impacted past generations, is impacting the present generation, and will impact many generations to come.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

I was out of town over the weekend, so I’m actually traveling back today and only have a limited amount of time. There were several comments about Friday’s blog, and I also received a lot of verbal feedback from individuals who have asked me to do a follow up story about where these babies are today. I thought you would be interested to know that this will be coming sometime this week. I have actually been privileged to have a close relationship and be involved in watching three of these four babies grow up so I will feature those three. I hope that you will look forward to this…stay tuned!

I also wanted to comment on today being Martin Luther King Day. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and that you will take some time if you haven’t already to thank God for the brave men and women who have stepped out with a dream in their hearts, and whose impact on society is being felt in a huge way today. As we look to Inauguration Day tomorrow and the history that comes with the first ever African-American President being elected, I can’t help but think that Martin Luther King paved the way for such an historic event. I can tell you firsthand that I do not agree with everything that President-Elect Obama stands for, but I can tell you that I am committed to pray for him with all my heart. It is my great desire for him to succeed so that our country can remain the great nation that it is – one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Have a great day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

He is Faithful!

Today in my office, I ran across this picture that was made in 1992 that I wanted to share with you. Actually, this picture is quite significant since it was made on the property that now houses our International Headquarters and our Mercy residential home in Nashville. At the time this picture was made, there was nothing but a bare piece of land. We decided to take this picture with four babies that had been born to girls that were in our Louisiana home who had given birth to children and decided to place them for adoption. You see, this was actually a faith picture. We had no buildings, but we knew that God would provide much like these couples who had no children, but knew that God would provide. These babies all represent young girls, for one reason or another, who needed a place where they could come and receive help in their time of need. Not only did they choose life for themselves, but they chose life for children. Each birthmother made the very courageous decision to place her child with a loving couple who had been believing for a baby. The cool thing about it is I know all of these children today, and they are now in their late teens, each of them serving God with all their hearts. Not only does this ministry impact the current generation, but it is also impacting generations to come.

For me personally, this picture represents so much. It represents God’s faithfulness to save lives and to change lives. It also represents God’s amazing provision that has brought forth two buildings that are furnished and debt free. These buildings are not just buildings – they are places where life-changing ministry goes on day after day, month after month, and year after year.

Having said that, this picture also represents for me how faithful God is. If you’re like me, you probably stress sometimes about how this need is going to be met and how that is going to work out, but today as I looked at this picture, I felt challenged to share it with you and remind you that the Word of God says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If He provided yesterday, then He will provide today, and He will provide tomorrow. It is time for us to simply do what the Word of God tells us to do. We need to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. We are not the need-meeter, but He is. We are not the one who sets up divine appointments, but He is. We’re not the one who changes lives, but He is. Everything that I am believing for today that needs to happen tomorrow, I can have faith for because when I look at this picture, I see how far God has brought us. I hope today in the midst of your busy life that you will stop to think about all the times God has answered prayers and remember that if God did it for you then, He will do it for you now.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mercy Has a Voice

I want to encourage you today that mercy has a voice and it is a voice that brings change. Especially for those of you who may be struggling with some type of issue in your life, I hope you will take the time to read this today.

It’s amazing how we as Christians, living by our denominational labels, will argue about doctrine. People may argue about the interpretation of this scripture or that scripture, but no one can argue with a changed life. A changed life speaks. As young girls have come through Mercy Ministries over the years, we have seen them set free from all kinds of issues that the experts of the world say are impossible to be set free from - things like eating disorders, self-harm, sexual abuse, depression, fear, and suicide attempts. We also help girls facing an unplanned pregnancy, as well as girls who have been wounded from past abortions. We’ve found that no matter what the problem is, Jesus Christ is the answer. Jesus can heal anything and everything. There’s nothing too hard for God.”

The Lord showed me that His heart is to lift people up, not put them down. God began to teach me about mercy, and how mercy triumphs over judgment. Proverbs 25:4 says, ‘Show me Your ways, O Lord. Teach me Your paths.’ So we don’t need to do it our own way. Instead, we need to ask God to show us His way. Proverbs 25:10 says that ‘all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.’ Not judgment and self-righteousness, not religion and hypocrisy. Mercy has a voice, and when you do things His way, that voice speaks. I don’t care what you’ve been through. ‘Come to Me just as you are.’ He says, ‘I don’t care where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or who you’ve done it with. I love you and I’ll meet you right where you are.’ That’s the voice of mercy.

For those of you who are Christians, but are still bound with shame, guilt, and condemnation because of the secrets that are in your closet, He wants you to know that you don’t have to live under a load of guilt and shame any more. He wants to free you on the inside. He wants to liberate you and lead you into the land of the living. He will make rivers of living water flow from you so that you can touch other people and see them set free. Mercy has a voice! There are a lot of heart-sick Christians wandering around because they’ve lost their hope and joy. However, the joy of the Lord is our strength, and we need to throw off the former things because the Lord says, ‘Behold, I do a new thing. Shall you not see it? It will spring forth.’ The Lord is doing a new thing in the lives of women, and I’m here to tell you today that Jesus paid a price on the cross, not just so your sins could be forgiven, but so you could be set free - spirit, soul and body.

I have seen so many young girls overcome the bondage and get completely set free from such issues as eating disorders, sexual abuse, addictions, and self-harm that I want to make a special offer to you today. If you will email at and tell me what your issue is, I will send you one of our Mercy For books that I believe will be life-changing for you. It won’t cost you anything. It will be my gift to you. I just want to encourage you today that freedom is possible, and it can be yours! Just send me an email with your mailing address and your issue, and I will send you a free book.

With love and prayer,


Friday, January 9, 2009

Playoff Special!...In House Rivalry – Something’s Gotta Give!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lost and Found

So many times in life when things don’t go our way, it is so easy to get frustrated and downright mad! You may not be that way, but I know I am. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to ask God for help during those times that can be so very frustrating. Having said that, I am not surprised that I got tested in the very first week of the New Year. I returned back to Nashville from Florida on Tuesday.

I got off the plane and made my way to the baggage claim. I waited and waited and waited. As each bag continued to circle and be taken off the conveyor belt, I got a little more concerned. It wasn’t long before the light went out and the conveyor belt stopped, so I quickly went to the Delta baggage claim to let them know that my bags had not arrived. “I can handle this,” I thought. There are three or four more flights coming in tonight…it will surely be on one of those so I’m not going to let this bother me. I put in the claim and go home. Before long, it was 11:00 pm and I called the baggage claim and still no bags. I started to get a little more frustrated. I was being tested, but I was still able to maintain my composure. I just thought I’ll go to sleep, and it will surely be here in the morning.

All of that only to have another whole day pass and my bags are still not here. I called at about midnight last night and I was told that they have no earthly idea where my bags are. They didn’t even know if they were in Atlanta or not, which is what I had been told all along. So, I started getting more and more concerned, still being tested with the frustration. I got up this morning and was fighting to keep from getting more and more frustrated, but I was determined not to lose my cool. I did pray and say, “Lord, I give this to You. I’m asking You to make a way for my bags to get to me.” I decided that if I cast my care on Him right at the beginning of the third day of lost bags, that I would have much more peace and be able to do what I needed to do.

This morning turned into afternoon and still no bags. One of my staff members happened to overhear some discussion about my bags being lost in Atlanta and she spoke up, “No way! My father-in-law is one of the supervisors for the lost baggage department in Atlanta.” She immediately made a call to him and within less than two hours, he had notified us that he had found the bags and was putting them on a flight to Nashville tonight!!

I’m sharing this with you because my normal tendency would be to be so ticked off and mad that I would take it out on everybody else, but I am learning to handle the outward trials that come at me and affect me on the inside. I really do feel like I passed this test, and I am so encouraged that I did. I may have another one and fail it tomorrow, but I am determined to use today as a reminder of how faithful God is, even in the little things. Don’t know if you’ve had any lost bags lately or any other frustrating things happen, but if it happens to you in the future, I hope you will remember this little story of mine and let it be a reminder to you to ask God for His help in the final outcome.

I’d love for you to share in the comments section about a very frustrating experience or trial you’ve had that you learned from or overcame.

Until next time,


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Deal or No Deal?

I wanted to introduce you to a new friend that I met while I was speaking at the God Chicks Conference out in Los Angeles. You may or may not recognize her from the attached picture, but she is actually one of the models from the television show Deal or No Deal. To be specific, her name is Alike and she is number 20. It was so great to meet her at this conference and to find out that someone from my favorite TV show is a believer!!

This just continues to remind me that although we are all from different backgrounds and different walks of life, when we are believers in Christ, we share a common bond that cannot be broken. I thought you might like to meet one of my new friends that God blessed me with in 2008. I look forward to all the new people that God will put into my life in 2009, and I hope that you are also on the lookout for the special people that God may put in your life. Don’t get so busy that you fail to recognize your divine appointments. Will talk to you again soon.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Encouraging Words


I started out doing this blog because I wanted to encourage everyone to share together all of God’s blessings. However, I just received something that was a great encouragement to me, so I thought I would pass it on to you. This is truly a great testimony.

I wanted to let all of you at Mercy know that you are amazing! I was not able to attend Mercy because I had to many responsibilities here at home, but though Nancy Alcorn’s books, sometimes reading one once or twice a day!, I have found God. I went from hating myself, my life and everyone in it, to becoming a well rounded Christian woman. I know how to respect myself and others. I’ve even enrolled in college. I’m on my way into getting my Criminal Justice degree while going through the Police Academy! I love my life! And it’s all thanks to Mercy Ministries!Thank you,

Messages like these totally make my day. My staff and I work very hard to make sure that the books and resources we publish are actually helpful for people who are struggling – so when we hear about lives that are changed as a result, we rejoice and are so grateful that we get to do what we do on a daily basis! For more information about our books and resources, visit Mercy’s website at

Until next time,


Friday, January 2, 2009

Overcoming in 2009

I have heard from so many people over the holidays who have spoken about the struggles they are going through. The cool thing about a new year is that we can wipe the slate clean and begin again. I hope all of you will take the advice of the apostle Paul who wrote in Philippians - if you will allow me to paraphrase - I may not be all I should be yet, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to the things which are ahead, I press on with my eyes on the goal.

Sometimes I get so amazed at how we human beings tend to become so easily discouraged, and yet I know that it can be true of all of us at times. Yet we are told in Scripture that in due season, we will reap if we faint not (Galatians 6:9). I want to encourage each and every one of you who may be struggling that it is not a sin to struggle. The struggle only becomes sin when we give in to the temptation. It’s not a sin to struggle and it’s not a sin to be tempted – that is part of the process of us growing and being overcomers in Christ. If there is not anything for us to overcome, then how can we become an overcomer? We are told to grow strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Much like a person who continually lifts weights until their strength increases greatly, we likewise, as we exercise our faith through difficult times, grow strong in the Spirit and are able to withstand the evil one and anything he may throw at us.

I encourage you to let your focus be on being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might rather than trying to combat temptation. I have found that when I focus on Christ and growing in Him, the temptations automatically fall away as a byproduct of that focus. I hope this is helpful to you. So many times, it seems like we never get the breakthrough and are tempted to give up. Let me give you one example that comes to mind just in the last couple of days…

For those of you who have listened to me very much or know me, you know that I am a huge sports fan. Specifically, I have been a Vanderbilt football fan for years and years, even since I was a little girl. Yes, I am completely familiar with the fact that the Vanderbilt Commodores have not been to a bowl game since 1982. For those of you who are not good at math, let me enlighten you – that is 26 years! Can you imagine working hard for something for 26 straight years before you see the breakthrough? The goal of Vanderbilt football for the last 26 years has been to have a winning season and make it to a bowl game. I don’t know about you, but I have never had to wait 26 years for a breakthrough. Well guess what?? Not only did Vanderbilt make it to a bowl game, they actually won the bowl game!! Yes!!! On New Year’s Eve Day, the Vanderbilt Commodores managed to beat Boston College, an ACC power house. One commentator predicted earlier that day before the game began that Vanderbilt would lose by at least 30 points. This guy is supposed to be an expert, right? It reminds me of all the naysayers in the world who say you can’t overcome and eating disorder, you can’t overcome an addiction, you can’t overcome depression, you can’t overcome sexual abuse, you can’t overcome this, and you can’t overcome that. Not a single “expert” would have believed that Vanderbilt would even be in a bowl game, much less win one.

Yet, we are talking about spiritual matters, and we actually have the name of Jesus, which is above every name that can be named. This may seem like a silly example, but I hope it will serve as a reminder to all of us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and there is nothing we cannot achieve if we simply decide not to faint or lose heart. Start your year afresh and anew, forgetting all that is behind and reaching forth to all that is ahead. Keep your eyes on Christ and walk the walk with His strength and power. Remember, it is not by our might and not by our power, but by His strength!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year!! The Scriptures tell us that His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. I just want to say to you that if God's mercies are new for each and every day, they are certainly new for each and every year. Today is the first day of 2009. I want to encourage you to make a decision today that God is number one in your heart and life above all else, and that you will make Proverbs 3:5-6 your life verse for the year. It has proven to be the greatest life verse that I could have every chosen for me personally. In case you don't know what it is, let me take a moment to share...

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will direct your path."

Please know that God is interested in your life, and that He wants to direct your path! I dare you to take the time to seek Him and to ask Him on a daily basis what He would have you do. I can assure you that one year from today things will be much different and much better if you will dare to make room for Him and allow Him to order your steps and direct your path (Psalm 119).

Love to all,