Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Direction for the New Year

Do you take time at the beginning of each New Year to reassess your life? Do you set goals? Make plans for the coming year? Or do you just slip into the New Year hoping it all will be better this time around?  Wondering which direction to take?


Would you tell me, please, which direction I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. 

~ Lewis Carroll

For me...some years I have spent a 'day of regret'. Looking back at all I have not accomplished from that list of goals from the previous year. Other years I have just slipped into the New Year with high hopes.

I'm not a New Year's resolution setter. Are you? I do think it's important to have goals. But the older I get the more I realize that my most important goal for the year needs to be focused on where God has me at the moment and where He is directing my path. 

In Lewis Carroll's book, Alice asked the cat which direction to go. He replies, "that depends a good deal on where you want to get to."  

So, where do you want to get to? I want to get to the place where my heart is in sync with God's will and I am walking out His purpose and calling on my life. Because when I'm not, I miss His peace. I miss His rest. I miss His assurance in the trials.

I've written my first article of 2022 for the Pretty & Wise website. (I hope you'll go over and check it out here: Don't Look Back). In the article, I talk a bit about some things I've learned in the story of Lot's wife. (You can find her story in the 19th chapter of Genesis). In short, Lot's wife has taught me to watch the direction of my longing heart. To pay attention to those things that have held my heart captive. And to turn back to God when the path has led me away from His Word and His will.

While we can refocus our attention and intentions anytime throughout the year, the New Year is the perfect time to reassess where we are in relation to the call of God on our lives. I decided a few years back that instead of a New Year's resolution, I would pray each year sometime in December for God to show me the One Word He wanted me to focus on for the upcoming year. I wanted to know what He was calling me to in the New Year. Was it a new concept? Something to focus on that would lead me closer to Him? 

I know that many people choose a word or a phrase for the year, but I wanted this to be from God and not my own choice. I don't want to pick a word as a goal or an aspiration to achieve. I want to hear from the Holy Spirit and keep in step with Him through this year-long One Word journey. 

This year I had not even thought to pray about my One Word, but God just dropped a word on me. MOVE. Wow . . . I'm expecting the unpacking of this word to be quite a ride! Pun intended. I'm hoping I'll be able to share insights as to where this word leads as the year progresses. I do so love an adventure. Don't you?

I'm extremely thankful that we get to look at each new year as a fresh canvas. White as the newly fallen snow outside my window. God gives us a fresh canvas each and every morning. Each and every time we come to Him in repentance. No matter how bad we may have messed up, He is there waiting for us to turn around and walk back into His loving embrace.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23).


I know that God has called me to write . . . and so this year I pray He continues to give me clarity so that my writing will continue to call others to the very heart of God. Will you keep me in your prayers as I refocus on my call to write this year?

Where has God called you? Whether you choose new goals or one word, I want to encourage you as you plan for the new year ahead. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to direct your paths. Don't leave God behind. If you do, you'll find yourself exhausted. Wait for Him and follow His lead. It's in Him you will find the strength to walk out His purposes for you in the year ahead. There are good works that God has specifically planned for you. We are assured of this in Ephesians;
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10.
Whether you take a day, a half-day, or even an hour to think about the year ahead, let me encourage you from God's Word.

Wait on Him.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31
Let God show you the way.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. ~Psalm 32:8

Acknowledge that His ways lead to the right path.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~Proverbs 3:6

Know that it's okay when God's plan trumps ours.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~Proverbs 19:21

Be assured that when your delight is in God, He will take your hand and lead you forward.

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. ~Psalm 37:23-24

It is my prayer that you will trust that the plan God has in store for you in the year ahead will be for your good and His glory!


Don't forget to head over and check out my latest post at Pretty & Wise. Just click on the pic below to get there.  


Monday, June 28, 2021

Dwell On These Things…Sharing a New Resource

As you know, my purpose in writing here in this space is to bring words that inspire you to have a heart for be captivated by His grace, to be inspired by His Word to live a life that brings Him honor and glory. And sometimes I love to bring resources to your attention that can help you in your walk with God. 

So I'd like to share a new product with you today. 

I was blessed with this beautiful box-set of daily inspiration cards from Ink & Willow.  I love the line of gift products that this retail division of Waterbrook Multnomah curates, because each gift product is based in biblical truth with the intent to spark a reminder of how God reveals beauty in the midst of our ordinary. I even love the symbolism in the name of this product line. Here is what has to say about it's name: 

Throughout literary history, willow trees have been symbols of growth, balance, learning, healing, and harmony. Since willows often grow near streams or rivers, the name Ink and Willow was inspired by the verse in Psalm 1 about the person who delights in God and therefore is deeply planted and able to thrive, bearing fruit and prospering through every season. 

I love this! Don't you? How can you not love products that have their whole purpose in helping us delight in God? This set of inspirational cards can help you to align your heart with God's Truth. Each card is printed on a very heavy card stock and has a one sentence message on one side. 

 On the other side it has a correlating longer message that reinforces the message with biblical insight and truths. (It also comes with its own stand).

Here's another example:

Front side: You can trust God's timing to be perfect.

Back side: We all have goals, desires, ambitions, and a set time in mind for each of them. But God may have planse for our lives that differ from our personal goals. His timeline might be drastically different from what we're anticipating. This isn't a cause for disappointment. Rather, we can use this season of waiting on God as another gracious opportunity to grow in faith. 

This kind of biblical wisdom can be propped up on your desk or nightstand...or wherever you will see it encourage you and help you grow in your faith and trust that God's ways are best and that there is hope no matter the current mess or bless(ing) the days may bring. There is so much value in filling our minds with biblical truths. It prepares us to ignore the lies of the enemy that seem to come to us daily. 

My only 'if only' about these cards: 

The messages are definitely biblically based, but I would have loved them even more if they had included an actual scripture quote, or, at the very least, a scripture reference on each card that supported the message on the card. 

I also wish they had developed a more femine looking set of cards for us girly girls. These are very nice and are not ugly by any means...just in neutral tones of salmony/orange, greens, greys, and blues. I love the simple lines...just would love them even more in more feminine colors. 

There is so much value in dwelling on truth and beauty as it is found in the Word of God. We are told in Philippians 4:8 to 'think on these things' or as this set of cards puts it...dwell on these things. I especially love how it is stated in the Amplified Bible: 

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God's Word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart. 

If you are looking for something simple to bring you encouragement each day to 'think on these things', then I would recommend this card set.  

            About Dwell on These Things Inspiration Cards...from the publisher

Your daily inspiration is never far from reach with this unique set of cards that encourage you to see yourself through God's eyes, featuring messages that are biblical and beneficial, all designed to be displayed with the included stand.

Countless messages enter our hearts and minds each day. Some of these messages are true and helpful. Others are hurtful, destructive, and out of line with the message God wants us to understand and embrace. 

What messages are you choosing to believe and repeat to yourself? When you first saw your reflection in the mirror this morning, what did your internal conversation sound like? Did you speak a message of hope to your heart or a diatribe of defeat?

Based on the book Dwell on These Things by John Stange, this thirty-one-day inspirational card set will encourage you to change the message that enters your mind into a positive, biblical one. On the front of each beautifully designed card is a short message to remind you of how God views you and everyday situations. The back of the card reinforces that message with time-tested wisdom.

Let this be your first step in a great journey toward self-love and self-acceptance! Change your life by changing the messages that enter your mind.

Available at these retailers:


Books A Million 

Waterbrook Multnomah

About the Author

John Stange is the lead pastor of Core Creek Community Church in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, as well as an adjunct professor at Cairn University, where he teaches courses on counseling, theology, and church planting. John is a certified speaker, trainer, and coach with the John Maxwell Team, as well as a podcast host and the director of the National Mission Board, a ministry focused on church planting and church health. He and his wife, Andrea, have four kids.

Ink & Willow

Ink & Willow encompasses a line of interactive products that infuse contemplation and inspiration into the regular spiritual practice of creative-minded Christians, wherever they are in their faith journey. Each thoughtfully curated gift product is based in biblical truth and sparks a reminder of how God reveals beauty in the midst of our ordinary.


*I was gifted this product to review from the publisher. I was not required to offer a positive review. This is my honest opinion of the product. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Let's Talk About Joy

I'm over at the Pretty & Wise website today! We've been talking about joy all month and I've been STRUGGLING to just SBICAW(Sit Butt In Chair And Write) about this subject. I have written about JOY in the past on my blog in 2018 here: Where Is The Joy

That post took off in a crazy direction with pizza, a dream...the nighttime, 'what the heck was that about?' kind of dream...dream interpretation, and a bit of reflection about what God had placed in my hand to do. It's a whole Follow the link in the previous paragraph if that has piqued your interest. 

Since that time I've done a lot of research on the subject of joy and happiness...and no they are not necessarily exclusive in their respective meanings. I used to think they were, but after pouring over scriptures about joy, digging into the original language with word studies, and reading numerous books written by many authors (some who are biblical scholars), I think differently now. But I digress...because when I finally sat down to work out this most recent article God steered me around that onto a different about rabbit trails. 

My article today, The Question of Joy,  has most certainly taken on an unexpected twist. Much of it is about Job's suffering, his questions, and God's answer. Not exactly where I expected to end up when I began writing an article about JOY. 

I hope you will go over and read the article...then click on the link at the bottom of the article that says 'community', because that is where we talk about 'all the things'. That is where the sisterhood takes place...those 'you too' moments that let you know that you are not alone in this world.'s the link to the article over at Pretty & Wise: The Question of Joy  

See you there! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

I Still Believe: Movie Review and Giveaway

One love can change your life. One life can change the world. From the creators of I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, comes an inspiring love story for the ages. Rediscover the wonder of love in I STILL BELIEVE, based on the real-life story of chart-topping singer Jeremy Camp.

Movie info and review mashup...

I Still Believe, rated PG,  was released in Theaters earlier this year on March 13th but was rushed to video on demand(3/27/20) following theater shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's a shame because it is a beautiful film and I would have loved to have seen it on the big screen.

I don't know if you know much about Jeremy Camp. Before this movie, I just knew that I really enjoyed his music. I had not followed his story and vaguely remembered that his wife, Melissa,  had had ovarian cancer. Maybe I'm just getting old, but somehow I don't remember hearing the story of his loss. If you are a fan or have been to one of his concerts, you may already be familiar with the story...or parts of it that are covered in the movie. 

After having the opportunity to preview the movie, I now know, as they say...the rest of the story. A story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful. A story of love, faith, struggle, loss, heartbreak, redemption, and restoration. 

Jeremy's story is really Melissa's story. In the telling of her story, we are given a glimpse into the lives of two young people who  put their faith and trust in Jesus, who walk through the kind of trials that can wreck a person's faith, and yet are able to say as Job did, "Yet will I trust Him."

Just in case you, like me, have had your head in the sand and don't already know the full story, no worries...I don't want to spoil it for you so I will refrain from sharing it here. Suffice it to say...I am so glad that Jeremy has written his memoir so that it could be made into this truly inspiring film. 

At the beginning of the movie, there is a point where Jeremy asks Jean-Luc, lead singer of The Kry who later becomes his mentor, how to 'make it' in the music industry.   Jean-Luc replies, "It's not about making it. It's about what our songs give people." He goes on to tell him, "Write what you care about...what you're afraid of...the truth...write what you love."  As the movie progresses I realized that this is exactly what Jeremy has done...with his music and with his life. 

Here is a spotlight video with Jeremy on the making of the film. 

There is a message that shines brightly within Melissa and Jeremy's story.  Putting our faith and trust in Jesus does not mean we will bi-pass the trials and suffering in this life. Suffering is a refining fire. It not only tests our faith but shapes our character, and prepares us for the journey to a higher calling. 

As Melissa said, 
Suffering doesn't destroy faith, it refines it.
But you have a choice to make. Will you choose to walk through the fire trusting that He is walking with you?  When you are broken will you walk by faith? When you cannot see the journey ahead will you walk by faith...or will you just walk away?

I would encourage you to watch this movie. I sometimes avoid movies that make me cry. And yes, this movie made me cry. But I would watch again today if I still had access to the link that was provided to preview the movie...and I will watch it again when I get the movie. 

 I believe it will touch your heart and perhaps make you think a bit more deeply about your own life story...your loss, your doubts, your struggles, and your faith. And to know through it all...there is hope!

Official Movie Trailer

As of today's date, May 5th, I Still Believe is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and digitally. You can get your copy here: I Still Believe Movie Website

Here's another  exclusive clip from the movie, courtesy of Lev3L

Here's the Giveaway...

  • FREE digital edition of I Still Believe**
  • I Still Believe pop socket(for your smartphone)
  • I Still Believe wristband
  • Exclusive Q&A with Jeremy Camp(via video)
***Prime Video or comparable(platform TBD)
Just leave a comment on the blog...below, and then come back here to the Rafflecopter entry form to do all the things to be entered in the contest.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

CSB Life Essentials Study Bible: A Review & Giveaway

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12
I'm doing another giveaway on the blog this week! 

While I am not a 'giveaway blog', I do love getting resources into my reader's hands that will enrich their walk with the Lord. 

So, when the opportunity comes along to do a Study Bible giveaway, I just can't pass it up!

About the Study Bible

In the CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible, renowned Bible teacher, Dr. Gene Getz guides readers through Scripture by
expounding on 1,500 life principles found throughout the Bible. 
Distilling these truths into life principles, Dr. Gene Getz helps leaders remember and apply the Bible's wisdom to everyday life. The CSB Life Essentials Study Bible integrates a multimedia digital study system with more than 250 hours of in-depth video teachings from Dr. Gene Getz on these essential life principles(accessed through smartphone-accessible QR codes). Questions follow each principle to inspire personal reflection or group discussion. A topical index and cross-references for all 1,500 life principles is included, and each book introduction provides a list of corresponding life principles found in that book. 
You can find more info as well as where to order at this link: 
CSB Life Essentials Study Bible
The CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible features a highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).

The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible's original meaning, 
without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture's life-transforming message and to share it with others. 
You can read more about this translation here: CSB


  • Commentary and application questions on 1,500 life principles
  • 250 hours of free in-depth video teaching to accompany each life principle
  • Two-color interior design
  • Smyth-sewn bonding
  • Presentation page
  • Two-column text
  • Topical subheadings
  • Black-letter text
  • 9-point type
  • Textual footnotes 
  • Concordance
  • Full-color maps

About Gene Getz

Dr. Gene Getz is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Rocky Mountain College. He has earned advanced degrees from Wheaton Graduate School and New York University. He served as a professor at Moody and Dallas Theological Seminary and then became a church planting pastor, launching the Fellowship Bible Church movement. He is heard daily on radio in a 2-minute feature entitled "Bible Principles." Dr. Getz has also authored over 60 books.

Here is Dr. Getz... 

My Review

I'm a bit late getting this review out because I wanted to take a little
time to explore it on my own. So, using the copy the publisher has so graciously provided...I have been going through the book of Acts, while reading the life principles, and watching the correlating videos accessed with the QR code.  

I think that if you are looking for a typical Study Bible containing a plethora of research tools while using footnotes and sidebars to explain the text, this will fall short of your expectations.  

However, the Life Essentials Study Bible was designed with a different purpose in mind.  The goal is to point out the life principles found throughout God's Word.  These are principles that we, as God's children, are to live out daily. You will find throughout this bible that as a life principle is introduced within the context of a particular scriptural passage it will be clearly explained with notes about related it allows scripture to interpret scripture. A Reflection and Response question is provided at the end of each life principle teaching to enable you to apply these lasting biblical truths in any number of real-life situations. If you want to go a bit more in-depth in the study of that passage, you need to use the QR code to listen to Dr. Getz teaching on video(each video is around 10 minutes...some longer). 

I especially appreciate the Life Essentials Study Bible APP that is available to that if you are preparing a lesson for a speaking engagement,  a sermon, or teaching a class you will be able to look up a principle that you are teaching on within the Principle Finder Topics page and see all the teachings and scriptures associated with that principle. Or, you can even pull up correlating principles on a particular passage you are teaching from. 

I think this will be a very useful tool in my bible study resource library. 

If you are looking for a resource to encourage you in your walk with the Lord and give you direction for life in a very practical way, I believe you will love this Life Essentials Study Bible. 


You can win your own copy of the CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible, in hardcover, as pictured in my review above (a $44.99 Retail Value)! 
Just leave a comment on the blog...below, and then come back here to the Rafflecopter to do all the things to be entered in the contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: only US bloggers and giveaway winners are eligible due to publisher shipping limitations outside of the US as well as a later global product release date. Contest runs through May 6, 2020. A copy will be mailed out to the winner via the publisher at the end of this campaign
Per LEV3L contest rules: followers can only sign up for one giveaway within this campaign

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Waiting Room

It was the first time in weeks that I was not able to be in the room with my son. So there I was sitting in the waiting room. WAITING…

There were more seats than there were people and that was a good thing. There I sat, unaccustomed to just sitting and waiting to go in to see him. I had been with him since the first day he entered the first hospital. Just how many days before? I couldn't even remember. 

This was the 4th hospital in a series of transfers...

To continue reading this article, head over to this link:  The Waiting Room.


My article is a featured article on the Pretty & Wise website this week. I would love for you to head over there to finish reading the article and then visit the community board. And here's a link where we gather and talk about all the things...Community 

A prayer for you...

I ask that you make yourself known to my friend in the midst of these uncertain times. Give her your peace...the peace that doesn't always make sense in the midst of the crazy going on all around us.

Help us all to take advantage of this time of slowing down and listen to You...through Your word...through Your gentle prompting throughout our days. Help us to see those who are suffering, and to know how we can reach out to those within our own circle of friends and family.  

I thank you, LORD, that You are good and that You work all things for the good of those who love You, and You work it all for your glory. I am comforted in the truth of these words...Your Word. 

I ask that You work through it all and in all for Your will to be the precious name of Jesus, Amen. 

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Monday, April 6, 2020

Let It Go: When Dreams Are Derailed

Every young mother has dreams for her children. 

As we hold that newborn babe in our arms, we begin to see the potential in this tiny human being…one made in the image and likeness of our Creator God. We wonder if that baby girl will grow up to be a carbon copy of her mommy or will she accomplish so much more than her mama had ever dreamed? We see our sons and are in awe that this little man will grow up to be a man perhaps like his father, even having a wife and children of his own someday. We have visions of tea parties, t-ball, and prom dates. But more than anything, I believe we mothers just want our babies to grow into happy, healthy adults.

I was that young mother so many years ago...

To continue reading this article, head over to this link: Pretty & Wise: Let It Go       _____________________________________________________ 

Before you head over, I want to share a few things about this new website!

I have the joy and privilege to be one of the six contributors to this brand new website and today is launch day! 

Pretty & Wise was founded by my daughter, Lyndsay Terry, and is based on this verse: 
How wonderful it is to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up the person's face, softening its harshness.               Ecclesiastes 8:1  
And so she has brought us together to connect with you. We are a collective of women...speakers, writers, mothers, pastors, friends, ministry leaders...who are passionately pursuing relationship with Jesus Christ. We've been changed by Him, and continue to seek to go deeper with Him. Because of that, our mission is to...
dig through scripture, share our testimonies, and gain some wisdom from the word together so that we can live the Word bravely and boldly as women of God.
In order to create a platform that nurtures community among the readers/visitors, Pretty & Wise has a unique feature that I absolutely love: 

Here's how it works:
Go over to Community page and sign up, create your account and put your face on there so we know who we're taking to and then go join in on the conversations. 

After reading an article on the blog you can click on the link to go over to the community page related to that article. The author of the article posts a related scripture and questions to spur on a conversation from the readers in the Pretty & Wise community.  

Anyone who comes directly to the community page can join in on any of these conversations. I love this! We are able to respond to the questions, respond to people's questions/replies, and just join in on the conversation...encouraging one another. This is what brings us together in a community of sisterhood.

We need these kinds of conversations in order to know that we are not alone. That moment when we read someone else's reply and think, "Yes! Me Too!" That is the moment that connects us! Connection is so important for true community to happen. 

There is so much more over at Pretty & Wise to encourage you. I hope that you will join us for some laughs, some tears, and some serious sisterhood.
...and let us run the race with endurance that God has set before us.  Hebrews 12:1b

The women at Pretty & Wise want to cheer you on to keep running that race with everything you've got, girl!

I will continue to write here at Captive Heart. Come back soon!

Don't forget to head over and read my article here: Pretty & Wise: Let It Go

OH...and if you have not already done so, head over to the facebook page and enter to win the launch day giveaway!