Friday, August 31, 2012

A Relaxing Labor Day Weekend

No labor on Labor Day, please!!! I have been on the road so much since the first of the year that I have made up my mind that I’m going to lay on the couch, watch football, and enjoy my time this weekend! I definitely won’t leave out reading some and spending time with God, but other than that, I plan to chill out and hang with my dog, Jude! :)

Me and my sheltie Jude
My prayer for you is that you enjoy a labor day without labor, and if you are a big college football fan like I am, I hope you have time to take that in as well. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Amazing Testimony from 1994!

Vanessa and I at the Guts Girls Brunch
I want to thank each and every one of you who prayed for my time at Guts Church recently. It was a tremendous success as many lives were touched and many people came to know Christ. It was also wonderful to be reconnected to Mercy graduates from over the years who attended the event. In fact, there is one particular story I would like to share with you...

While I was at the Guts Girls Brunch with approximately 2,000 women, a beautiful young woman approached me from across the room who looked to be in her mid 30s. She knelt down at my table and asked me the question, ‘Do you remember me?’ I immediately said, ‘I know that I know you. You look so familiar to me, but I cannot tell you where I know you from.’ She proceeded to tell me that her name was Vanessa and she came to Mercy Ministries in Louisiana at age 15 (that was the only home we had open in 1994) with an unplanned pregnancy. At that point, it all came rushing back to me exactly who she was. The birthfather of her baby was a baseball player who eventually played for the San Diego Padres. The coolest part is that not only did Vanessa choose to parent her baby boy Dakota, but she and the birthfather ended up getting married, committing their lives to Christ, are now members of Guts Church, and have had three additional children!

Me with Vanessa and her family after church on Sunday

This was such a great thing that I personally experienced that I wanted to share it with you and let you see the pictures. God is so good! It is rare that one of our unwed mothers actually marries the birthfather and has other children and remain married – extremely rare. I am so grateful for God’s goodness. They are a very happy family and it was so cool to spend time with them. Vanessa was at the brunch, but brought her whole family to meet me the next day during the Sunday services. I thought you would enjoy hearing this story!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ministry is Fun!

Last week I had the awesome privilege of speaking at Lakewood Church in Houston, pastored by Joel and Victoria Osteen. The Osteen family is very near and dear to my heart and I was excited to be asked to speak at their Wednesday night service! I have known the Osteen family for many years and consider them my “Texas family.” It was great to spend time with the entire family including Joel’s mom, Dodie, and sister, Lisa! It was also cool to have several Mercy graduates in attendance Wednesday night and know that the staff and residents from the four U.S. Mercy homes were watching online! If you want to check out the service from last Wednesday, you can watch it online here. If you want to read more about my time at Lakewood and see more pictures, check out the story posted on the Mercy Ministries website here.

Me and Pastor Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church
Me with some of the Mercy graduates who came
to see me speak at Lakewood

Today I am flying to Tulsa to spend the weekend with Pastors Bill and Sandy Scheer at Guts Church. Guts is celebrating 20 years of ministry this year and I am speaking at the Guts Girls’ SOLD OUT 20th Anniversary Birthday Brunch on Saturday morning, as well as at Guts Church’s two Sunday morning services at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. If you live in or near the Tulsa area, come on out to one of the Sunday services. I hope to see you there!

Friday, August 10, 2012

63 Mercy Girls Baptized!

We just had a water baptism in our Sacramento home last Friday, and 21 California residents were baptized. This brings the total number of baptisms for the last few weeks to 63 current residents! We are rejoicing at God’s goodness for this special symbolic act of burying the old man and rising out of the waters of baptism in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Please pray for each one of these girls to walk out their commitment and continue to grow, and to have their minds renewed to the Word of God as they complete the program. I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures from these baptisms.

Me with some of our Nashville residents before they were baptized!
Me with Juli Fisher and her son Trent. Juli hosted the Nashville
baptism at her home and Trent led worship.

The California residents before Friday's baptism.

After the California baptism, the residents
enjoyed a BBQ, pool party, and time of fellowship.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kairos Conference – Amazing!!!

I have had the privilege, along with several of our top leaders at Mercy Ministries, to attend the Kairos Conference at Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas the past two days. Both days have been filled completely and power packed. The word kairos in Greek means “the right or opportune moment.” I can honestly tell you that this conference has been both the right and opportune moment for those of us who have been in attendance. I want to give a shout out to Bob Hamp, the Executive Pastor of Pastoral Care Ministries at Gateway Church. His leadership in this conference and the team he has put together is second to none. I highly recommend this great conference to any church or ministry who wants to see their people come to a greater place of freedom in Christ Jesus. They are anointed to set the captives free and train others to do the same. We at Mercy Ministries consider it a great joy to have this new and God-given connection.

This Kairos Conference takes place four times each year, so I strongly urge you to pick the date that works best and send several of your top leaders. In this case, I chose to come myself, and I can honestly say that I have benefitted greatly as a result. Any leader who thinks they are finished with the transformation process is sadly lacking in reality. We as leaders of all people should set the example of examining our hearts and lives and dealing with our issues on a continual basis, so that we can be the very best that we can be for God. I strongly recommend this conference to you, and you can find out future dates by going to their website at

I had the wonderful privilege today of having lunch with Bob and one of his top team members, along with one of my top team members. It was a very special time. Bob and I took a moment right after lunch to have a photo opp…thought you might enjoy it!