Voices of Wisdom: September 16, 2014


Be a Great Leader. A Great – Servant – Leader — by Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson shares some helpful insights into how you can be a great servant leader and resist the temptation to be an abusive leader.

Five Questions Leaders Must Ask — by Perry Noble
Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, has a few questions he thinks leaders ought to be asking so that they may lead more effectively.

3 Tips on Leading Laterally — by Eric Geiger
I am blessed to work with Eric, and his blog is full of helpful leadership wisdom and advice. Here is a good piece from him on leading laterally.

The Gift of Sabbath — by Larissa Arnault
The Sabbath is a gift from God. Rest is important, and as Larissa shares from Hebrews 4, it is important that we make every effort to rest.

Fatherlessness and the Father Who Never Fails — by Trevin Wax
As Trevin says, and as all of us know, parents are important. Trevin explores the importance of fathers and how a distorted vision of fatherhood can affect the way you view the perfect Father.

10 Tips for Leading a Women’s Bible Study — by Chris Adams
Do you have the opportunity to lead a women’s Bible study? Here are a number of helpful tips from Chris Adams.

The Boy’s Table: Leading Alongside Men

I grew up as the only girl with four brothers. From the very beginning of my life God was teaching me how to be a woman in a room full of men. I’m often asked, “You seem so comfortable being at the leadership table with men. Why?”

Truthfully, across my ministry career, I have been the blessed one. I have served with godly men—leaders and world-changers in the culture. I have been respected, valued, and treated as a valued ministry partner with the men God has allowed me to serve alongside.



That being said, I’d be lying if I said sometimes the reality that I am the only woman at the table doesn’t occur to me, tempting me to question my position, to feel inadequate, insecure and to simply want to hold back. Whether you are in the business world, on church staff, or find yourself on a team with all men, here are a few things I’ve learned:

1. Lay your ego aside.

It’s a myth that in order to sit at the table with men, you have to be extra-competitive, extra-strong, extra-smart, or extra-anything. It’s a myth that you have to win at all costs, prove yourself, exalt yourself, or be better than everyone else at the table. Jesus said to live you must first die. To be first, you must be last. Get over yourself and come to the table as a servant and only then can you lead.

2. You are a woman.

Just because I’m surrounded by men doesn’t mean I am one. You don’t need to lose your femininity to work with men. In fact part of what you offer is your unique perspective as a woman. You have insight and perspective that complements and adds to the overall strength of the leadership table. With that said, it’s probably not a good idea to burst into tears because you didn’t make your projected revenue for the quarter or you missed the deadline on a major project. Accept responsibility but also accept that God created you as a woman and has placed you in a place of leadership. (It is okay to shed tears over spiritual things or matters of the heart!)

3. Respect the men you work with—always.

Make it a rule that you will always give respect and honor to the men you work with not because they are perfect or always right but because you honor them as men God has placed in leadership. The culture is full of men-bashing. I will have no part of it. Do not cut down the men you work with either to their faces or behind their backs. Of course it’s fine to joke around (guys tend to do that), but know the difference between teasing and mocking.

Men need respect. That is true of our husbands, our sons, and it is true of the men we work with. When you show a man respect, you will earn respect in return. This doesn’t mean you won’t disagree. It is the opposite. When you do disagree, with respect, and offer another view or solution, you will be heard.

4. Don’t hold back.

God placed you in your role for a reason. You have something to contribute. If you have something to say, say it. If you have an objection or concern, raise it. If you have an idea, share it. The men you work with need you to be engaged as someone who partners with them for the overall health of the organization or team you lead. Have confidence that comes from the Lord. Be respectful but bold. Men will listen and your contribution may be exactly what is needed.

5. Toughen up. 

Being a leader means debating ideas, hearing objections, arguing (sometimes passionately arguing) for the best in an opportunity to advance or a problem to solve. Don’t take it personally when your ideas get shot down. The goal is not that YOU win but that the organization or team you lead wins. When you make a mistake, own it. Don’t make excuses but learn from it. When you need help, ask for it. A good dose of humility always helps us grow and keeps us in the right position before God.

6. Pray.

Make prayer a priority in your life. I get up at 4:30 most mornings so I can have that quiet personal time with God. I need to reset myself daily to remember what the gospel means. Time in God’s Word and time in prayer, allows me to die daily to me and to then live daily for Him. God will give you the wisdom you need to lead. “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

Also pray for the men that you lead with. There is something powerful that happens when you pray for others. God will give you His heart for them and it will show up every time in how you interact with them. The men at your table need you to pray for them.

7. You need a woman friend.

As women we are designed to be in community with other women. I am so thankful that God has given me deep friendships with other women who listen, encourage, pray, support, and also challenge me. They ask me the hard questions and hold me accountable in key areas of my life. There is a deep level of trust that allows for openness. Our lives are full but we need other women in our lives. Make room.

Interview with Ian and Larissa Murphy

photo by Lydia Jane Photography

photo by Lydia Jane Photography

1. In 2012, a video of your story released that went viral on the Internet. Tell us about the response.
We were absolutely blown away by the response. We had no idea what to expect, and neither did the ministry who created the video. Nearly as soon as it was released, our email and blog were exploding with comments as the video gained thousands of views. People from all over the world were viewing and sharing – it was overwhelming.

2. What made you want to write a book about your experience?

It was a story that needed to be told, because God is awesome and He tells a great story. With Ian specifically, God has shown us His ability to heal as well as trust Him when it doesn’t seem like He’s near.

9781433681820_cvr_web3. You titled the book Eight Twenty Eight. What does that mean?
Eight Twenty Eight is threefold for us: Ian’s dad was born on August 28. He died the year before our wedding, before we were even engaged, but he is at the core of our story – for Ian individually and us as a couple. As we were wedding planning, we realized that August 28 fell on a Saturday, which meant it was the perfect day for our wedding. Eight Twenty Eight also references a scripture that has been very meaningful to us, Romans 8:28.

4. Why Romans 8:28?
Throughout Ian’s story, we have needed to rely on the promise that Romans 8:28 gives us – that God is working all things for our good. Even though we don’t see it at the time, we have His word, which never fails. Ian looks to that scripture for hope and assurance of things unseen.

5. If someone has watched the video, why should they read the book?
First and foremost, the book will help readers to better understand what Ian has faced through his accident and fight for recovery. The video was told from Larissa’s perspective, because it needed to be, really. And while the book is primarily from her perspective as well since it is based on memory, our story is dug into much more deeply, allowing glimpses into the good man that Ian is. We think it also is going to encourage people to believe that God is real, He is bigger than us, and He is filled with infinite love.

6. What do you want someone to get out of reading the book?
A life change, by understanding bigger and better things about life and God.

7. Was there anyone in your family or friends who didn’t think getting married was a good idea?
We’re sure there were people who thought that, but not those closest to us. Those that loved us did ask the hard questions, to make sure we weren’t feeling forced because of the attention our story had drawn, but that was out of care, not condemnation or judgment.

8. You write about a board of gratefulness in your house. Tell us about how it came about and what it does for you two?
It actually arose from a book that Larissa read which struck into very deep places in her heart. Gratefulness needed to be in the every day because the every day is so very challenging. The gratefulness board came to mind while sitting around with the Murphy family. Someone had a spare cork board at their house. We had spare fabric. And Ian’s mom had post-it notes. So within a few hours, our wall was ready for our notes. And every guest that came in our home needed to add to our wall.

9. How are you two doing today? What challenges do you have today? What triumphs?
Ian’s challenges are that he wakes up every day and faces sin and a disability. A double whammy! This year, he had a major surgery on his femur to allow him to hopefully walk independently. He is currently in rehab after being non-weight bearing for three months, and is working hard every day. He also sells paintings to pay for his therapy and medical needs. Larissa’s challenges are having energy for all that the day entails, working full-time, being Ian’s wifey, and continuing to be the voice for their story. Our triumphs are Ian’s progress in walking. Becoming new homeowners. That we’re still in love. And most importantly, that we still believe that God is good.

10. What are some of the ways you’ve seen God move in your story?
The fact that Ian is learning to walk again, and making incredible progress, is a huge display to us and those following our story of God’s great power. We receive emails every day from all over the world from people who are in similar situations, or who are hurting, or who simply have given up on believing that God was for them. They receive hope from seeing the work God has done for us, and that is huge.

11. What have you learned about love?
Ian has learned that having someone there to love him makes all the difference, because love is able to lift him up when his life is feeling low. Larissa has learned that love doesn’t give up, when it is dependent on God.

12. What advice would you give young couples preparing for marriage (or experiencing a disability)?
For young couples, Ian says to always keep the other person’s interest at heart. Larissa says to get ready for a crazy ride – highs and lows that are completely worth it. For those facing tragedy – keep on, keeping on; there are much better things after this life.

13. How can we pray for you?
We’re always so encouraged and humbled by this request. Ian will be starting to rehab on his leg, with the hopes of walking independently, and we would love prayers for that. His life will TOTALLY change if he is able to walk!

We also just need to continue to have tenderness toward and enjoyment for one another.

Connect with Ian and Larissa: TwitterFacebookInstagramwww.ianandlarissa.com • Buy Eight Twenty Eight


You can buy Eight Twenty Eight for only $9.99 on LifeWay.com now or you can win your own copy below! Included in the prize back is two copies of Eight Twenty Eight (one for you and one to share with a friend!), One Love Dare or Love Dare for Parents, and the Love Dare Day by Day devotional.

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Extraordinary God


Years ago, God opened the door for me to speak at a conference in Europe. Rodney’s prayers and total support helped me say yes to this unique opportunity. But on the plane I was scared, missing my family and wondering what in the world I was doing. Because of the call on our lives to nurture marriages and families, I asked God to use me to impact someone’s marriage.

The week was incredible, and God blessed me so much. Late on the last night, I was getting ready for my flight home. As I did each night, I was capturing the day in my journal: “God, I am not sure how you used me this week to impact someone’s marriage, but …” Then there was a knock at my door. A young missionary wife came in and poured her heart out. She was going to leave her husband and three precious boys. I prayed hard for God to give me His wisdom. I told her God loved her and her family so much that He had sent me around the world to tell her to stay with her husband and her boys. We ended up on our knees, praying together.

Several months later Rodney and a group of men were on a mission trip to northern Africa. As they talked, Rodney mentioned my name. Since Selma is such an unusual name, one of the men said, “Did you say Selma?” He asked Rodney if I had led a retreat in Switzerland. When Rodney said yes, this young man said, “God used your wife to save my marriage.”

Extraordinary! That’s our God. Never settle for less than letting Him work in your life, your marriage, and your family.


In what extraordinary ways has God used you to encourage others in their spiritual journey?

Top Needs of Teenage Girls

Recently I read a post from a young woman that brought me to tears. I know her and to me she is a beautiful, gifted young woman, with amazing gifts. You would never know from the outside, all she has struggled with privately. It began for her in middle school as she struggled with her self-image. Through her teen years she shared of her deep depression, thoughts of suicide, the cutting, and the desperation she felt. As a freshman in college, she is doing much better. She has learned to let go of perfect, is opening up to her Christian friends, and is learning more about how very much God loves her.


I called my adult daughters, Jennifer and Natalie, who have both worked in girl’s ministry. I got their input for this post. Here is our list of the top needs of teen girls.

1. Someone to listen to them. To really listen and understand. A safe place for them to share how they feel and to help them navigate how they feel.

2. Someone to tell them often and regularly that they are remarkably and wonderfully made by God (see Ps. 139:13–14).

3. Someone to call out the gifts God has given them and give them an opportunity to use them. They need to feel confident in who they are and the gifts they have.

4. Permission to make a “B”. A place where letting go of perfect is encouraged and grace is freely given. (I prayed for my oldest daughter, Jennifer, to make a “B” when she was in college. I told her I was praying and why. She got the “B” and we still laugh about it. She was able to let go of perfect.)

5. At least one or two very close friends. (Parents need to have open homes where friends can come over to invest in relationships for their teens. Also, a healthy youth ministry provides an opportunity to build healthy friendships.)

6. Someone that prays for them specifically and they know it.

7. A father or substitute father who will set an example of how a boy should treat a girl.

8. They need to hear, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

9. Adult women who will be real, authentic role models and mentors for them.

10. Need a Bible and a journal. A journal can be a safe place to work out all they are experiencing on the journey through the teen years. God’s Word will give them the foundation for everything.

11. Privacy.

12. Laughter and times just to have fun.

13. They need and want boundaries and responsibilities. It builds security and self-worth.

14. They need Mom to be Mom and not try to be a friend or peer.

15. Their home to be a safe place of security, peace, and acceptance, where they can be loved unconditionally.

16. A home where they see real, authentic faith lived out daily not a faith that is only seen on Sunday.

I want to invest more of my time in mentoring young girls/women. Would you join me in investing in the next generation? Ask a teen girl(s) what they need and share it with us.



Q&A with Erin Davis, author of Connected

Erin, what was your greatest challenge in writing Connected

Erin Davis

Connected is the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever written, and vulnerability always feels risky. I had to fight the temptation to play it safe in the telling of my own story and in the telling of the often gut-wrenching stories of the women we interviewed for the book. I am so glad I didn’t play it safe, but now as the book releases I feel that sense of vulnerability all over again. Letting people see the real us is tough, but I really think our fear of it is a big part of our struggle for meaningful connection.

What is the main thing that you want readers to walk away with from reading Connected?

God wired us for connection. Yes, relationships are messy, often painful, and require much of us but when we sit on the bench, we are operating outside of our God-given design.

What is your favorite Scripture and why?

9781433682582_cvr_webDifferent Scriptures become more meaningful during different seasons, so I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but during the writing of Connected I really pondered Psalm 139:1, “O Lord, you have searched me and know me.”

God knows me. That concept really took on a new meaning as I studied how He made us to connect with Him and others. I think we may need to add a new verse to our favorite children’s song . . . Yes, Jesus loves me, this I know, but He also knows me, this I LOVE!

Why do you think in the modern world loneliness has become, as you put it in your book, “a phenomenon of pandemic proportions”?

I think there are a lot of factors. Some people might think this book is about pointing the finger at technology as the culprit of our loneliness. I do address technology in the book, but we can trace loneliness all the way back to the Garden of Eden (long before iStuff!). I think that connection requires so much of us and we tend to worship comfort, convenience, and easy payoffs. But valuing those things too highly has left us very lonely. I think it’s time the church as a whole takes a fresh look at what God says about knowing Him and knowing others. We need to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work necessary to create true connection. I can say for a fact that doing so is worth it!

Who inspires you most?

I am always inspired by those who quietly and diligently serve without recognition. Whether it’s Sunday school teachers, moms, or pastors’ wives, I want to be more and more like those women who live out Jesus’ teaching. The way we achieve greatness is by serving others extravagantly.

What was your motivation in writing Connected?

Connected was born from a speaking engagement where I basically stood on stage and wept over my own loneliness. I counseled women for hours afterward, many of whom simply said, “I’m lonely too.” Suddenly I was aware of a huge need in my own life and in the lives of many, many women. I knew God’s Word had an answer for that need (because it always does!) and once I figured out all that God had to say on the subject of loneliness I couldn’t wait to shout it from the rooftops in the hopes that other women would be set free from the pain of loneliness.

How has your personal struggle with loneliness enabled you to minister to others?

I’ve really been shocked to learn how many women wrestle with loneliness. I can come from a place of experience and say, “I’ve been lonely most of my life.” But I can also now come from a place of hope because I’m not lonely anymore. God’s Word really is a deep well on this issue. I simply want to encourage women to run to God’s Word for hope and truth.


Is there anything you are currently reading? What authors or books would you recommend?

I am in the years of life where my reading list is mostly books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar  and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. So for moms I highly recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. It has really made the gospel come alive for me and my three little guys.

What is one valuable lesson God has taught you while writing this book?

I tend to shrink back from letting others know me. It’s scary to me because it requires me to take off my mask and let others see my imperfections. God really showed me it is a gift to have people in our lives who see the good, the bad, and the ugly and to let us see the same in them. It’s still a real challenge for me to choose connection over approval, but it’s a theme I can no longer ignore in God’s Word. By God’s grace, I am choosing to be seen and to connect more often.

Why is this book important to today’s audience?

I think the most important reason why this book matters to the church is summed up in 1 John 1:3, “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

We can have fellowship with each other because we first have a relationship with Christ. He is the table we all gather around. He is the cord that connects us.

True, deep connection is the unique gift of Christ’s followers. The world craves connection with God but because they do not know Him, they have no idea how to connect with each other.

We need to be connected to each other because the world is watching. God’s design is that they would be compelled by the connection they see among us, but sadly I often fear that instead they are repelled because we aren’t connecting as God intended us to.

It’s not just about getting more friends or deeper friendships, it’s about putting the God who knows us and invites us to know Him on display to a hurting world.

How can our team pray for you?

Please pray for me to live what I write. It’s very easy as a Bible teacher to push others toward a level of faith and service that I am not actually living out. I want to walk my talk, but it requires me to stay diligently connected to the vine.

Also, it has been a tough season for our family. Two of our sons have bad kidneys. Our youngest, Judah just endured major surgery to repair function to his kidney. Our oldest, Eli has lost all function in one kidney. Pray for their little bodies and for God’s glory in the midst of it all.


When the Leader Can’t Lead: The Real Leadership Test

Two weeks ago, I was involved in a car accident. A car hydroplaned and hit me head on. I was on my way home from church with my three-year-old grandson, Josiah, in the back seat. First, let me say as loudly as I can with written words, that I am still praising God that Josiah only had a minor scrape to his chin and that he is perfectly okay. We have made a lifetime memory of riding in an ambulance together and sharing stories of when, as Josiah says, “Grammy, the car broke.”

Both cars were totaled, and most of my personal injuries are related to the seat belt and air bag that kept me from being critically injured. I have two fractures in my right arm, lots of bruises, and overall just the pain of a fifty-eight-year-old body being hit at what the trooper said was a 75 mph force. I was out of work for a week and then not able to drive for another week. Currently I’m waiting for my fractures to heal, adapting to not being able to use my right arm and hand, regular doctor visits, more X-rays, monitoring pain, and I am sure, physical therapy in the future.

I have been whining lately about all this but also asking God to teach me all I need to learn. I know I have more to go, but here are a few insights on leadership:

1. Build a strong organization.

Whether major or minor, there will be times when you will be an absent leader. It may be something personal in your life, your family’s life, or your organization may ask you to take on a different assignment. The organization you lead should keep moving if you are absent being clear on mission, strategy, and work. It is your job to make sure the organization knows with clarity how to define success. If your organization is paralyzed when you are absent, you are building an organization around you that will fail when you ultimately do leave.

2. Build a strong leadership team.

Your leadership team should be strong and able to step in to fill any gap in your leadership. My wreck happened on a Sunday, and that Monday was our executive leadership presentations for next year’s budget and operating plans—one of the most critical leadership meetings of the year. The process and team work in our budget planning, allowed key leaders on my team to step in and present without missing a beat. I had also briefed key executives on the significant metrics in our plans so there were no surprises. Give a significant amount of your leadership energy on building a strong leadership team. Can you trust them to lead if and when you are absent?

3. Develop someone to take your place.

Every organization is different and the leadership needs of an organization will determine the best leadership decision for the future. But great leaders know they will not always be in their seat, so they develop others to be future leaders. Whether those leaders sit in your seat, or another leadership seat, you should be able to identify leaders on your team that could step into your leadership role if needed.

Even though I am whining, I know I am on the mend and will get stronger in the days ahead. I am grateful to be back at work and so thankful for my team that kept things moving forward. But I also know there will be a day in the future, when I will leave this leadership role. This is true of all leaders. It is just a matter of time. When I leave, I pray God would allow me to hand off a strong organization to the next leader and that leader would be able to do even more to strengthen our commitment to serve the church and advance the gospel.

I would love to hear any lessons you have learned when you experienced an absent leader.




My Interview for LifeLines

Recently I had the privilege of being interviewed for LifeLines, which is the employee publication for LifeWay. I hope you enjoy it!

Who is someone you greatly admire and why?

My dad. My dad is eight-eight and still my hero. He lived through the Great Depression, served his country during World War II, lost his youngest and closest brother in a car wreck, and lost my mom to breast cancer. Yet, my dad is one of the most positive and future focused people I know. In all of life, whether hardships or blessings, his faith in God has never waivered. I love spending time with my father and have learned so much from him about how to live life full of joy and peace. He is still serving through his church, and sharing his faith with others. Recently he got a hole-in-one playing golf! He is living life with so much energy, focusing on the blessings of today with confidence in the future.

What’s an ideal day for you?

I love full days at work with my team and how we seek new opportunities to impact the market and tackle our challenges with unity and resolve. I love watching the development of people on my team as they grow, learn, and execute strategy for market success. B&H is the best trade publishing team in the market and I am so honored to serve with the men and women on our team. One of my favorite days on our team is our monthly division meetings when the team comes together to pray, review our results, and hear from authors, LifeWay leaders, or team members on all that God is doing through our work.

But, I also love a lazy day with Rodney, my husband and best friend, when we have absolutely nothing scheduled. A slow morning with a cup of coffee in my sunroom, a morning bike ride, reading a book, and curled up on the couch watching a ballgame (any sport!) with my sports loving husband. Top it off with cooking something on the grill and sitting around our fire pit when the sun goes down listening to jazz or Rodney playing the piano. Now that is a day.

Share something few people at LifeWay know about you.

I love the outdoors—hiking, biking, boating, water and snow skiing, walking, and running. But most people would not know that I have snow skied a double black diamond slope—by accident! I got on the wrong ski lift and ended up at the top of a double black diamond slope that you had to jump off to get started. After a few deep breaths, I did it. The one and only time! I pay more attention to the slope signs now.

What’s the biggest life lesson you learned that you’ve carried with you into your adult life?

My mother’s battle and death from breast cancer. Mom died when I was a young wife and mother. To say I was a type-A, highly driven, perfectionist might be too soft a description. I had the blessing of spending a great deal of time with my mother during the last six months of her life. During this time, my mom taught me so much about what mattered most in life. In her death, I received many gifts that have made me a better person. I learned to focus more on “the moments” in life and to cherish people above everything else. I learned that “time” was more valuable than things and to guard it and give it wisely. I also learned to live fully as one confident in my faith and the future.

If you could make everyone read one book (or three) what would it be?

I am in the book business and love books. This is always the hardest question for me because there are so many books that are my favorite and it is the books I am reading now that are top of my list of recommendations. Okay, I will try.

1. Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ

2. Bill Gates, Business @ the Speed of Thought

3. C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

Top three books currently (from B&H of course!):

1. Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer, Recovering Redemption

2. Brent McCorkle and Amy Parker, Firebird, a children’s book from the movie, Unconditional

3. Carolyn McCulley and Nora Shank, The Measure of Success


10 Things I Pray for My Granddaughter

Last Sunday, my grandson, Josiah, and I were coming home from church singing and having the best conversation about what he had learned in his three-year-old class. They had studied about how the Bible was like a treasure full of the riches of God’s words. A beautiful precious time. He was headed back to Thailand in a few days and I wanted to soak up my time with him. Less than a mile from home, I was crossing a bridge when a car hydroplaned and hit us head on. The impact was great (both cars were totaled) as the airbag went off and I heard Josiah crying. In seconds, I was out of the car and had Josiah in my arms. I walked him away from the crash and sat on the side of the road holding him. Emergency personnel told me later they didn’t know how I had gotten out of the car so fast. I learned later that my arm was broken and I had several severe burns and bruises. All I knew was I had to get to my grandson and make sure he was okay. One week later, I am still praising God that Josiah was okay. He had a scrape on his chin and a small scrape from his right shoulder harness. The other scars were emotional ones that God allowed me to help heal. Even as I manage the pain from my arm, it reminds me to thank God my grandson was fine.

The post today is about being a grandmother to my granddaughter, Abby. Josiah is Abby’s big brother. As you read it, just now that you have moments that are powerful with your grandchildren. Make them count. I don’t know when I will leave this earth, but one day I will. Let’s not waste our time here on earth and let us love well, especially our grandchildren.

10 Things I Pray for My Granddaughter


Selma with Abby

My granddaughter was born this year—Abigail Joy. Abigail means “joy of the Father” so her name is “Joy Joy.” She is only a few weeks old and I am already thinking of dress up parties and catching fireflys in the evening. Here are a few things I pray for her:

1. That she would know God has made her in His own image and she has the creative imprint of God on her life.

2. That she is beautifully and wonderfully made by God. That the noise of the culture’s view of beauty would bounce off her because she knows that her beauty is deeper than anything the world can ever define.

3. That she would experience all the wonder of childhood and not miss one moment of the joy of just being.

4. That when she messes up, she would know it’s okay because everyone messes up. She would learn early the discipline of cleaning up her messes and then moving on.

5. That she would learn the joy of work is much like the joy of play. That she would get great joy out of the work of her hands all the days of her life.

6. That she would have a heart for God and be captured by His love early. That she would give her life fully to the one who created her, redeemed her, and holds her future securely in His hands.

7. That she would learn to give grace to herself first and then to others and that she would forgive easily.

8. That she would find great joy in serving others.

9. That she would know the unconditional love of God, that He loves her and she cannot do anything to earn more of it or less of it. His love is complete.

10. That she would know the love that her mother, father, grammy, papaw, and family have for her is just a taste of the love that her heavenly Father has for her.

I could easily list ten more things I pray for her (including prayers for her future husband!). Being a grandmother requires more time in prayer.

Knowing my own grandmother prayed for me made a significant impact on my life. I pray that Abby (and future granddaughters) would be stronger in her faith because of my prayers over her.

Let me know how you pray for your granddaughter or daughter.

Also, if you’d like to download a free printable with this list so you can keep it handy too, you can download it here.





Video Interview with Eric Mason

Recently while I was at the Southern Baptist Convention I had the pleasure of interviewing Pastor Eric Mason. Eric is the cofounder and lead pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and author of the book Manhood Restored.

Hear from Pastor Mason about the effect of his book Manhood Restored, and his upcoming book, Beat God to the Punch, as well as his upcoming exciting family news!

Connect with Pastor Mason: twitter: @pastoremase • Epiphany Fellowship