Thursday, November 17, 2011

Supernatural Provision by Joan Hunter

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Whitaker House (November 2011)
***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling of Whitaker House for sending me a review copy.***


For over 30 years Joan Hunter, President and Founder of Joan Hunter Ministries, has ministered tirelessly, preaching and teaching God’s Word worldwide and serving as a conduit for His healing power. She is the author of four books:  Healing the Whole Man Handbook, Healing the Heart, Power to Heal, and her most recent, Supernatural Provision. Joan has been featured on many television and radio broadcasts in the U. S. and around the world. She lives with her husband, Kelley Murrell, in Pinehurst, Texas. A mother and grandmother, Joan has four grown daughters and Kelly, four sons. To learn more about her or attend one of Joan’s conferences or speaking events, go to her website.


In these uncertain economic times, many are struggling to make ends meet, allowing credit card bills to pile up with no plan on how to pay off their debts. Others may not be suffering financially, but fear the future and are unable to find peace. In her latest book, healing expert Joan Hunter has plumbed the pages of the Bible for wisdom on securing financial freedom and managing it according to God’s instructions that results in peace that surpasses all human understanding. Maintaining that God wants to bless His children in every area, Joan shares fresh revelations that will ignite readers’ faith to: overcome debt and loss, remove roadblocks to God’s blessings, discover the blessings of faithful stewardship, and unlock the windows of heaven. An audio teaching CD is included with each book.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (November 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603744355
ISBN-13: 978-1603744355



Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

—Jeremiah 17:7–8

   When you hear the word economics, you probably think of the largely secular discipline that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. You may think of the stock market, which rises and plummets in an alarming pattern. You may think of taxes and tariffs and currency exchanges. The realm of money may seem incompatible with faith, having little or nothing to do with the supernatural.

   Yet the Christian life is not a dichotomy of material and spiritual, natural and supernatural. Those of us who call God our Savior and Lord know that every aspect of life has a natural and a supernatural component—economics included. Our financial wellness matters as much to God as our physical health, and we should not look at our finances from a standpoint that’s informed solely by secular investment analysts and stockbrokers. No part of your life can be understood without revelation from the Holy Spirit.

   Understanding divine financial provision and the supernatural flow of money requires a personal revelation from God, just like every other area of Christian experience. Men cannot understand God’s methods using the world’s logic, which tells us to save x dollars each year, invest in certain funds, and otherwise make our own way. Most Christians have subscribed to worldly financial thinking: only 10 to 20 percent of all churchgoers tithe faithfully, which indicates that many do not believe that God will enable them to do more with the 90 percent they keep after tithing than with the money they save by refusing to tithe. Others are ignorant of the Bible’s teachings on tithing. They have not discovered that God keeps covenant with His children and provides for their needs from His inexhaustible riches in glory, not their limited incomes.

   Christians must know the difference between world economics and “Word”  economics—the divine ways in which God provides for His children as they advance His kingdom on earth. His Word—the Holy Bible—is the answer book for questions about the realm of personal finances, especially as it concerns the call of God on your life. In these end times, the economy of God is not the same depressing picture that the world paints, with its buzz about deflation, inflation, recession, depression, unemployment, et cetera. His economy is thriving, with enough provision for you to do everything He has planned for you. He knows what works all the time.

A Steady Constant amid an Economy in Flux

   In the world’s economy, it’s a “buyer’s market” one day, a “seller’s market” the next. The stock exchange is unpredictable, with investment brokers changing their tune every day. The threat of market crashes haunts investors everywhere, so that an atmosphere of panic and confusion permeates Wall Street and financial analysts.

   Who is the author of confusion? Who is the author of scare tactics and lies? We all know that it’s God’s opponent, Satan. Because he is God’s enemy, he is also our enemy, and he will do anything and everything to discourage Christians. If he can get us to doubt God’s provision and live in paranoia about unemployment, bankruptcy, and the like, he has the upper hand.

   The great thing about God’s economy is, it never changes. While the world’s economy is in constant flux, the principles by which God’s economy operates are eternal; they do not shift according to the latest trends on Wall Street. The current economic conditions do not limit God. He doesn’t have more money when stocks are soaring and less when the market tanks. “The earth is the Lord’s” (Exodus 9:29); He owns it all, all the time. He could turn stones into loaves of bread if He chose to. (See Matthew 4:3–4.) He used ravens to feed the prophet Elijah. (See 1 Kings 17:6.) He supplied sustenance for Noah and the other inhabitants of the ark during the great flood. (See Genesis 6:13–9:1.) He can provide for those who trust Him in any situation.

   When the enemy tries to tell you something negative, laugh out loud! If he whispers fear and paranoia into your mind, call him a liar and quote God’s Word to him, just as Jesus did when Satan was tempting Him in the wilderness. (See Matthew 4:1–11.)

Heed the True Anchor, Not the News Anchor

   Most Christians read the Bible and pray when they are at a crossroads and need wisdom on what to do. Yet many of them make the mistake of seeking the Bible’s wisdom for every area of life except their finances! They consult the Word of God for answers to questions about health, emotions, relationships, and the like, but neglect to search the ultimate source of wisdom for financial advice—with tragic results.

   I know a woman whose husband could not stay away from the news. He listened to, watched, or read the news all day and long into the night. Panic invaded his mind on a daily basis and also permeated his marriage and family, and his wife was at a loss for how to deal with the spirit of fear that had taken over her home.

   Sadly, many people devote much of their attention to the news, whether by watching TV, listening to the radio, surfing the Internet, or checking Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites for updates. The news from these sources is almost always from man’s perspective, not God’s. Granted, being informed about world events is useful—how else can we know when to pray for change or when to rejoice over the fulfillment of God’s promises? But the fact remains that most news broadcasts emphasize the negative and end up inciting panic and undermining our confidence.

Watch What You Lean On

   How many people do you know who trust the news without question? They are totally consumed with the opinions of man as their ultimate source of knowledge; they “lean on” worldly news and then wonder why they do not have peace and joy!

   Does the Bible say, “Trust in the news with all your heart, and it shall direct your path”? No! God’s Word tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6). In the midst of a seesawing stock market and high unemployment, trusting in God’s provision can be a challenge. The key is to be more focused on His promises—His economy, as revealed in His Word—than on the world economy.

Guard Your Ears

   You may be familiar with Romans 10:17: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” What you may not realize is that, like faith, fear also comes by hearing—listening to the news, to the world around you.

   If we try to keep up with the world’s financial reports and heed messages of economic doom and gloom, we are bound to become anxious and prey to fear. Fear, as you know, is the opposite of faith, and it is not from God: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Again, if the news is what you focus on, a spirit of fear will pervade your thoughts. Your spirit will be dominated by whatever you feed your mind.

   As I wrote earlier, the “news” that bombards us 24/7 should not be our primary source of information, especially when it comes to our finances. Instead of depending on the newscasters, we should turn to the Word of God. The more we depend on the Word, the more content and confident we will be. Where do you go for answers? God’s Word or the news broadcasts?

Guard Your Mind

   When you spend hours surfing the Internet, reading the newspaper, and watching TV news anchors broadcast their negative messages, what will enter your mind? Negativity. Junk. Trash. Fear. Poverty.

   Be careful about the thoughts you entertain. Instead of dwelling on negativity, use your God-given discernment. When the financial forecast is dire, you will be free from anxiety and fear, because the truths about God’s economy—the promise of His supernatural provision and inexhaustible resources—will keep your soul at peace.

   In addition, when you renew your mind (see Romans 12:2), you will have the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). And, when you think with the mind of Christ, you end up making wise decisions based on your faith in God and your obedience to His Word.

Guard Your Tongue

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.    (Proverbs 18:21 kjv)

   It may come as a revelation to you, but your words can affect the level of your material wealth. You can bring in money by the words you use. You speak by faith and you act in obedience to the Word of God. No matter how you feel at the time or how much money you have, when you speak in faith and obey God’s Word, He blesses you and your offspring.

   Consider the words you speak. Are they words of peace and faith, or are they expressions of fear and panic? When you choose to fill your mind with God’s truth and speak words of faith alone, you withstand the spirit of fear and dwell in the prosperity of God. If anything is blocking your income, you must pray positive words over your finances. Declare good things. Speak increase and prosperity. The words of your mouth will determine your success, not the naysaying of the newscasters.

   We have this assurance in the Psalms:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.   (Psalm 1:1–3 kjv)

   When we set our minds in agreement with the promises in the Word of God, we can expect incredible blessings from our Father, for He supernaturally blesses His people!

Faith for Finances in Tumultuous Times

   In the midst of the housing bust and economic downturn of 2008–2009, our ministry had to relocate. On top of that, my husband, Kelley, and I moved. The logistics of such an undertaking are usually overwhelming, not to mention the added difficulty of my having to help direct the process from a distance due to my extensive travel schedule. Yes, I continued to travel wherever God sent me during this time and usually found myself out of town.

   Despite the circumstances that surrounded us, our needs were met supernaturally. Our ministry has more workspace than ever before, and our new home is beautiful. We are grateful for God’s blessings, and we excitedly anticipate the blessings to come as we faithfully follow His leading.

   True prosperity is found in the Word of God. If we feed ourselves continually on the things of God, our souls will prosper. As our souls prosper, our bodies and minds also prosper. The effects of these blessings overflow into every corner of our lives.

   Is everything in our lives perfect 24/7? No! We still live on earth and daily face challenges to overcome. However, we are so blessed that we just hop over each challenge to catch the next blessing. We listen to God’s Word, speak His Word, and believe His Word.

   When you turn to the Word of God, you receive only good news—the promises He has in store for you. As we have discussed, a steady diet of world news produces nothing but fear, worry, and anxiety. What will you listen to? Whose report will you believe? (See Romans 10:16–17.) Will you continue to rely on the world’s economy, or will you walk into and stay within the economic principles designed by our Creator? Every day, you will make such a choice. Choose carefully.

   Man may fail you, but God never will. And He is the greatest “personal financial adviser” you could hope for, because He always has your best interests in mind.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   (Jeremiah 29:11 niv)

   Which will you trust? The words of man with doom and gloom, which plant seeds of doubt and disbelief, or the wonderful Word of God with its promises of abundant life? If you answered “God’s news,” read on. In this book, I will reveal financial principles from the Word of God and show you the joy of putting your faith not in a paycheck or another source of income but in your ultimate Provider, the Lord God Almighty.

   God has only good things for you, but you have to turn to Him and open your mind and heart to hear, discern, understand, and follow His plans for you. When you deposit faith for your finances in the bank of heaven, you will receive the greatest possible return, and His peace and prosperity will permeate your life. May it be so for you today!

40 Days to Better Living: Depression by Dr. Scott Morris

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Barbour Books (November 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group – for sending me a review copy.***


From the time Scott Morris was just a teenager, he knew he would do two things with his future—serve God and work with people. Growing up in Atlanta, he felt drawn to the Church and at the same time drawn to help others, even from a very young age. It was naturally intrinsic, then, that after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia he went on to receive his M.Div. from Yale University and finally his M.D. at Emory University in 1983.

After completing his residency in family practice, Morris arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1986 without knowing a soul, but determined to begin a health care ministry for the working poor. He promptly knocked on the doors of St. John’s Methodist Church and Methodist Hospital in Memphis inviting them to help, and then found an old house to refurbish and renovate. By the next year, the Church Health Center opened with one doctor—Dr. Scott Morris—and one nurse. They saw twelve patients the first day and Morris began living his mission to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and spirits.

From the beginning, Morris saw each and every patient as a whole person, knowing that without giving careful attention to both the body and soul the person would not be truly well. So nine years after opening the Church Health Center, he opened its Hope & Healing Wellness Center. Today the Church Health Center has grown to become the largest faith-based clinic in the country of its type having cared for 60,000 patients of record without relying on government funding. The clinic handles more than 36,000 patient visits a year while the wellness center, which moved to its current 80,000-square-foot location on Union Avenue in 2000, serves more than 120,000 member visits each year. Fees are charged on a sliding scale based on income.

Visit the author's website.


Depression is a serious condition—and 40 Days to Better Living: Depression provides clear, manageable steps for people to manage it, through life-changing attitudes and actions. Readers can select one or more elements of the 7-step Model for Healthy Living—Faith, Medical, Movement, Work, Emotional, Family and Friends, and Nutrition—and follow the 40-day plan to improve their lives, just a bit, day by day. With plenty of practical advice, biblical encouragement, and stories of real people who’ve taken the same journey, this book—from the Church Health Center in Memphis, the largest faith-based clinic of its type in the U.S.—may be one of the most important books your customers will read this year.

The 40 Days to Better Living series offers clear, manageable steps to life-changing attitudes and actions in a context of understanding and grace for all people at all points on the journey to optimal health. With plenty of practical advice, spiritual encouragement, and real stories of those who have found a better life, this simple and skillfully crafted book inspires readers to customize their own path to wellness by using the 7-Step Model for Healthy Living as a guide:

·         Nutrition: pursuing smarter food choices and eating habits

·         Friends and family: giving and receiving support through relationships

·         Emotional life: understanding feelings and managing stress to better care for yourself

·         Work: appreciating your skills, talents, and gifts

·         Movement: discovering ways to enjoy physical activity

·         Medical care: partnering with health care providers to optimize medical care

·         Faith life: building a relationship with God, neighbors, and self

Along with tips from the Model for Healthy Living, the easy-to-read format features a Morning Reflection and an Evening Wrap-Up as well as a place for documenting plans, progress, and perspectives. Targeted scriptures and prayers that undergird the focus of each day’s message make this compact book an excellent choice for a daily devotional.

Subsequent titles in the Better Living series will be released bi-monthly and address key health topics including hypertension, diabetes, depression, weight management, stress management, aging, and addiction. All promise substantial support to those who are ready for a newer, better way of living—body and spirit.

Product Details:

List Price: $7.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616262664
ISBN-13: 978-1616262662

AND NOW...THE FIRST FEW PAGES: Click on the images to see them larger:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prayer Request For My Son

Would you please pray for my son today?

My Baby Boy, he's 12, is going in for an MRI today. He's pretty nervous. So am I. Would you please add him to your prayer list? Maybe you could pray for us both?

For the last two months my Baby Boy has had problems with his leg. It's been very painful and we thought he injured it in the pool over the summer, but they can't find anything wrong. They thought he may have dislocated his hip but after x-rays they found it was normal.

After a visit to his pediatrician (twice), the chiropractor, and the orthopedic surgeon... we still don't know what the problem is. He is in pain every day. He can't run or play like he used to because his leg is always hurting him. He doesn't have the range of motion that he should have and his leg is weak. It's even been hard for him to fall asleep at night because he can't get comfortable.

I know we serve a living, loving, healing God! Would you please bring my son before Him today? Maybe even pass this request along to any prayer chain you may belong to? There is power in prayer!

Thank you so much! Your prayers are appreciated.  I'll be praying for you today as well.

God bless and have a great day! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Drew Manning's Journey From "Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit"

I don't know if you've heard of Drew Manning's quest to go from Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit in 1 year... but if not, let me tell you.

Can I just start out by saying... He is my new hero!!!

Drew Manning is a personal trainer who has willingly put on an extra 50-60 pounds over the course of 6 months, and now he will lose it all back in the following 6 months. AND... he's doing it publicly! Why?  So he can better understand the struggles of those he is trying to help... all of us who are overweight and have a hard time shedding those unwanted pounds. 

I've been following his blog for just a couple of weeks and I love it. I find him to be authentic. He is doing this amazing thing so he can have a better understanding of the food addictions, the depression, the poor body image, and everything else that people who are overweight are dealing with on a daily basis. He has never been overweight and yet he is putting on the pounds. Who would do that???  Someone who truly cares.

Check out this video...

You can read his story and find some great information on meal planning, workouts, and much more on his Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit site at

You can follow him on his blog at

Oh... and if you're on Twitter you can find him there too at!/fit2fat2fit.

There you have it! All the links you'll need if you'd like to follow along on his journey... or maybe even join in his final 6 months of shedding the pounds.

Thanks for reading and God bless! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional by Stormie Omartian

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author (more than 13 million books sold) of The Power of a Praying® series, which includes The Power of Praying® for Your Adult Children, The Power of a Praying® Wife, The Power of a Praying® Husband, and The Power of Prayer™ to Change Your Marriage. Her many other books include Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, The Prayer That Changes Everything®, The Power of a Praying® Woman, and The Power of Praying® Through the Bible. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married more than 37 years and are the parents of two adult children.

Visit the author's website.


New from bestselling author Stormie Omartian is a book close to her own heart—The Power of a Praying® Wife Devotional. Following up on the insights and prayers of The Power of a Praying® Wife (more than 3.5 million books sold) 100 brand-new devotions, prayers, and supporting Scriptures offer a praying wife fresh ways to pray for her husband, herself, and her marriage.

These easy-to-read devotions will increase any wife’s understanding, strength, and peace, as well as provide her with perspective on the situations and challenges she faces. And each prayer will help both husbands and wives be more attuned to the Holy Spirit so they can do what’s right without allowing negative emotions or unclear thinking to get in the way.

A must-have for anyone wanting God’s best for this most important relationship.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736926925
ISBN-13: 978-0736926928


When I Desire Greater Persistence in Prayer

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

As a wife, you need the kind of prayer habit that doesn’t give up or allow discouragement to get in the way, but instead persists and keeps on praying and asking.

When God told Abraham He intended to determine if Sodom was deserving of destruction, Abraham then interceded, praying on behalf of however many righteous people might be there. He asked God if He would destroy Sodom if fifty righteous people were found there, and the Lord said He would not. Abraham then asked if He would destroy the city if forty-five righteous people were found there, then forty people, then thirty, then twenty. Each time Abraham asked, God said He would not destroy it for that many people. Finally Abraham said, “Suppose ten should be found there?” And God said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten” (Genesis 18:32). As it turned out, only four righteous people were there, so God destroyed it. But Abraham had stopped asking at ten.

We need the kind of persistence in prayer that causes us to continue asking as Abraham did. Too often we stop short. Perhaps Abraham stopped asking because he couldn’t imagine that there wouldn’t be at least ten righteous people in Sodom. Or perhaps by then God had proved His point and revealed His intentions. God knew the city was wicked enough to destroy, but He saved the four righteous people—which were Lot, his wife, and their two daughters (Genesis 19:29).

Your prayers are powerful to save too. So keep asking and continue seeking, and don’t ask for crumbs when God wants to give you the banquet. When it comes to praying for you and your husband and your marriage, ask God to help you persist in prayer for even what may seem impossible. Ask for your marriage to not only be saved, but to be good. Ask for it to not only be good, but to be great. God doesn’t say “No” to what is His will. If your husband has a strong will that refuses to submit to God’s will, persist in praying that God’s will wins out.

My Prayer to God

Lord, I pray You would help me to be persistent in prayer—to ask and keep asking for what I believe is Your will. I know anything less than love, selflessness, kindness, peace, and generosity of soul is not Your will in my relationship with my husband. Help me to persist in praying for nothing less than the high standard You have for our marriage. Give me a vision of how You want me to pray. Show me the way You want our marriage to be and help me to pray accordingly so that it becomes all that.

I know I cannot force my husband’s will to be anything other than what it is, but You can touch his heart and turn it toward You. I pray You would do that. May he welcome Your Lordship in his life. Help me to pray consistently and passionately, and to persevere no matter what is happening. I thank You in advance for the great things You are going to do in both of us and in our marriage.

In Jesus’ name I pray.

My Review

The "Power of a Praying..." series is a true blessing. I have almost every book that Stormie Omartian has written, and they have transformed my prayer life.

The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional is going to be a favorite. It has all that the other books offer, yet it comes in quick devotions. Each chapter/devotion has a scripture, and short teaching or story, and is followed by a prayer for that topic. Easy to use and understand. It also includes prayers for us, the wives, as we are diligent in praying for our husbands. It's a great book that will be used for years to come.

Thanks for reading and God bless!  :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Great Thanksgiving freebie at Comfy in the Kitchen

I have to tell you about this great Thanksgiving ebook that Comfy in the Kitchen and The Better Mom are offering... for FREE!

I downloaded it yesterday and it is amazing!!! So many great recipes and perfect for the holidays. If you're like me... you'll want to print them all. They have included pictures of each recipe as well as photos of 'how-to' along the way. I made the Thanksgiving Ham last year for Christmas and my family loved it!

Click on this link to download "Comfy in the Kitchen on Thanksgiving"
Then... click on the link at the end of their post.

Please... take a minute to look around at these great blogs.

Comfy in the Kitchen is my favorite blog for recipes. Janelle has many great recipes to choose from. She has photos of every recipe and includes all the steps along the way. Beautifully done. I'm sure it will become a favorite of yours as well.

The Better Mom is a great place to learn how to be.... well, a better mom. Who couldn't use more tips like that? Everything from meal planning to organization is offered here. Check it out. I'm sure you'll find something useful.

Both of these blogs are written by women who have a heart for the Lord and are willing to share what they know with others. They are both favorites of mine.

When you find something good.... you just have to share it.

Thanks for reading and God bless! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Start Here, Go Anywhere by Richie Hughes

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Charisma House (August 9, 2011)
***Special thanks to Kim Jones | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***


Richie Hughes is the founder of Richie Hughes Instructional Camps. A dynamic and sought-after speaker, he formerly served with Jentezen Franklin as the executive pastor of Free Chapel Church in Atlanta and Orange County, California. He holds degrees from Lee University and Lincoln Memorial University and lives in Cleveland, Tennessee, with his wife and their two daughters.

Visit the author's website.


Start Here, Go Anywhere gives you the tools you need to make good choices and recover from the bad ones you may have already made. With moving stories from his own life—including losing his only brother to AIDS—and testimonials from former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz and Mac Powell of Third Day, Richie Hughes provides a fresh treatment of both failure and redemption.

No matter where you are today, with God’s help you can go anywhere. Poor choices in the past do not destroy your future potential to do great things. God loves you so much that He wants to transform your future for His glory.

Product Details:

List Price: $10.99
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (August 9, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616382112
ISBN-13: 978-1616382117


You Have a Choice

It’s choice—not chance—that determines your destiny.1
—Jean Nidetch

I like to win. All my life I have believed that if someone is keeping score, I should come in first place.
Growing up, I played whatever sport happened to be in season at the time, and I spent the better part of my
adult life coaching student athletes. I am very competitive in everything I do, and I realize that’s not always a good thing. I battle this part of my personality on a daily basis. Although I still love to play sports, I can’t quite do at forty-five what I used to be able to do at age eighteen. My baseball and football days are over, and my basketball days are numbered. So like many other men my age who strive to be competitive, challenging their bodies and minds in hopes of staying in the game, I play golf.

One day while I was playing golf with a friend, I found myself very frustrated. I was having a series of especially bad breaks. The ball just would not bounce my way. If you know anything about golf, you know it is a sport that requires a high level of skill but gives a low level of success in return. There are just too many uncontrollable factors that can influence the outcome of the game—wind, the speed of the putting green, and the distance of the putt, just to name a few.

Both my friend and I are competitive, and each of us wanted to win badly that day. Of course, he got all the breaks. He hit shots into the trees and yet they would bounce back out into the fairway like magic. Everything was going just right for him. I on the other hand was having no such luck. I made some great shots. They left my club perfectly and actually landed in the fairway, but that’s where my good fortune ended.

Partly because the ground was hard and parched from the heat of summer, my shots kept flying down the middle of the fairway and, just as they hit the course, would begin to roll farther and farther away from the mark. I’d end up taking long walks back to the golf cart to follow my errant ball, my frustration increasing with every step. One shot rolled through the fairway, through the rough, and splashed into the creek. I was annoyed, but I shook it off trying to focus on the next hole. Then, unbelievably, the same thing happened with the next hole. My shot went flying through the air, hitting the fairway beautifully; then it too began to roll off course until it landed in water.

I should have known I was in trouble even before I started the game. The golf course was named after a series of lakes, and indeed there was water everywhere. With each stroke, I became more and more upset, until I was boiling inside. My partner’s shots were going into the trees, then coming back out, hitting the cart path, and advancing another fifty yards closer to the green. Why him and not me?

I pressed on, my competitive nature not allowing me to quit or to just enjoy the game and the time I was able to spend with my friend. I didn’t care about the beautiful scenery or that I was fortunate enough to not be sitting at my desk wishing I could play a few rounds. None of that mattered because, you see, it was all about the win. Finally, after battling every force of nature and beyond, I finally got to the green. It was time to make my putt. I was thinking, “OK, let’s see the water mess this up!” I told myself that I have perfect form, perfect delivery, and I will make the putt. My nice, firm stroke sent the shot toward the hole; then everything seemed to stop as I watched that little white ball roll toward the tiny hole in the middle of the green. I held my breath as my shot rolled into the hole and spun around in the cup. Then the unthinkable happened. It made a U-turn and jumped out of the hole! I was living every golfer’s worst nightmare.

I exhaled slowly but then succumbed to the frustration I had been feeling all day. I tossed the putter so far into the woods I might have made the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing a golf club the farthest distance (I’m kidding). My competitive spirit really got the best of me that day. My putter is probably still somewhere in the woods rotting and rusting to this day.

Yet what happened next was probably worse than the horrible tricks my golf balls were playing on me. My friend said, “Richie, the cart girl’s watching.” I looked up, hoping against hope, but there she was right behind the green. The young woman’s cart was full of cold beverages for the golfers, and she had stopped so she wouldn’t disturb my friend and me while we made our putts. Unfortunately, she had witnessed the whole thing.

What kind of spectacle had I made of myself? What kind of example was I setting for this young girl or my friend? Everyone at the golf club knew I was in the ministry. What did my behavior reflect about my ability to control my anger? I hadn’t thought about any of these things when I was throwing my putter. I was only concerned that I had missed the shot. What had once fueled my success on the playing field had become a stumbling block. My competitive spirit, my desire to win had crossed an invisible line, becoming a weakness instead of a strength.

Have you ever made a choice you regret? We all have at one time or another. Some of our choices are merely embarrassing while others lead to more serious consequences. That day on the golf course I harmed my witness as a believer in Jesus before both my friend and the young woman manning the beverage cart. I could only hope it wouldn’t sour her view of Christians in general. Yet I know of others who have struggled with addiction, financial hardship, and even a life-threatening disease because of the decisions they made.

Our lives are shaped by our choices. No matter where we begin, our decisions each day determine where we will end up. We choose to get up every day and go to work or school. We choose whether or not we are going to eat certain foods or exercise. We choose whether we are going to smoke or drink alcohol. We choose what type of sexual encounters we will participate in and with whom. We choose our spouses and our friends. Each of these singular decisions has a consequence that is powerful and lifelong. Even decisions that seem insignificant, like what we eat for lunch, can have a profound impact on our lives and the lives of others.

Choices Have Power

In his book The 21 Most Powerful Minutes of a Leader’s Day, John Maxwell describes a law of momentum that is shaped by our choices. I like his observation so much that I have shared this principle repeatedly and even used it in a Bible study I led for the Atlanta Falcons players. Two years later the players were still putting into practice the lessons learned. Using the first four kings of Israel as examples, Maxwell explains that we can choose to be momentum fakers, momentum takers, or momentum makers. David and Solomon were the momentum makers. David was a great warrior who conquered territory that gave Israel room to expand, and Solomon oversaw great wealth and built a temple for the Lord to dwell in. Rehoboam, however, was a taker because he obtained everything his predecessors had worked so hard for and disbanded it in just a matter of days. And Saul was what Maxwell calls a faker. He had tremendous potential, but his insecurities kept him from being all he could be; his successors David and Solomon took Israel to the next level.

As I told the players, every day our choices determine what kind of momentum we create. We can be fakers, who have tremendous talent but allow insecurity and doubt to rob us of our effectiveness. We can be takers, who make foolish mistakes or don’t give our full effort. Or we can be momentum makers, whose decisions bring great success. This is the kind of person we all should aspire to be. When I presented this concept during the Bible study, I brought cards the players could use to track their progress. Each card had the word momentum written in huge letters, and beneath it the three categories were listed: faker, taker, and maker.

The players periodically checked in with me to discuss their growth in becoming momentum makers, and sometimes I’d call and ask, “Hey, what were you today?” The guys knew what I meant, and they were very honest. Some days they’d say, “Rich, I was a taker. I got a penalty because of unsportsmanlike conduct.” Or, “I had a bad had a great day. I was an encourager. Our team did well in practice.”

Every day when the players made the right choice, their decision affected not only them individually but also those around them, and it helped make the team successful. The same is true for you and me. Our choices have tremendous power to set the course not only of a game but also of a day, a year, even a lifetime.

Lessons From the Garden

I thank God for giving us the freedom to make our own choices. He is powerful enough to force us to do whatever He desires, but He does not function that way. God wants to be in relationship with us, not to have us respond to Him like robots. Where’s the fun in that? Whether it’s coming from a child, a friend, or a spouse, the words “I love you” aren’t nearly as meaningful when they’re not said willingly.

The power to make choices is a gift from God, but it is not one we should take lightly. The choices we make either lead us closer to God or pull us further away from Him. Author C. S. Lewis observed, “Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature.”2

The choices we make determine the people we become. Life would be so much easier if we realized this and lived our lives accordingly. A college student who doesn’t study for a test is likely to fail. A man who mistreats his wife shouldn’t be surprised when she is indifferent to him. A teenager who breaks curfew shouldn’t wonder why his parents don’t trust him. We need to heed the words of Galatians 6:7–8: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

This can be seen from God’s earliest dealings with mankind. He gave Adam and Eve a choice—to obey Him
and not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or to partake of the fruit and suffer the consequences. We all know how that story ended. Adam and Eve’s disobedience led to their separation from the intimacy they once had with God. He gave them everything they could possibly need, and He made a point to spend time with them each evening, but their rebellion cost them all of that. As a result of their disobedience, Eve and her descendants would suffer pain in childbirth, and Adam would have to toil to provide food for his family.

We are still reaping the fruit of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Romans 5:12 says, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men.” Adam and Eve probably never thought their decisions would impact their descendants for generations, but that’s the tricky thing about consequences. We can’t choose them. We’ll discuss that point more fully later on, but suffice it to say that we have absolutely no control over the results of our choices, only on the choices themselves. This is why God sets before us one choice that is more important than all the rest.

The Most Important Choice

Christ died for our sins, removing the wall of sin that separated us from the Father, but our disobedience still causes us to live outside God’s best. Of the dozens of choices we are faced with every day, the most important one is whether we will choose to follow Christ. Deuteronomy 30:19–20says,
“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your
descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you
may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”

Although God gives us the freedom to make any choice we desire, His will is that we choose Him and His ways. Why? Because He is our life and the length of our days. Choosing Him is the only way we can spend eternity in God’s presence, and He is the ultimate source of peace, joy, fulfillment, and eternal life. He created us, and He knows what we need even better than we do. Jeremiah 29:11 says God has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, ourselves will never match God’s best for us. It won’t even come close.

Sometimes we think we can serve God and still pursue our own ambitions. This too is a recipe for disaster. It is impossible to wholeheartedly love God and be attached to the world. Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” When we attempt to serve two masters, our judgment gets cloudy, and we end up making faulty decisions.
“Decisions become easier when your will to please God outweighs your will to please the world.”3 —Anso Coetzer

This is because our choices will always reflect our values. When obeying God is a priority, our choices will reflect that. We will do our best to avoid making decisions that harm our witness or are contrary to God’s Word. I regret my actions on the golf course that day, but I know that if I weren’t committed to honoring God in all I do, I probably wouldn’t have been so embarrassed by my behavior. Nor would I have attempted to avoid making the same mistake the next time I was frustrated by my golf game.

I often think of the admonition of Joshua, whom God chose to lead the children of Israel after Moses’s
When Joshua was nearing the end of his own life, he gathered the Israelites together and prophesied to the people, reminding them of all that God had done for them. God had brought them out of captivity in Egypt, delivered their enemies into their hands in battle, and even gave them land for which they did not labor and cities they did not build.

You’d think that after seeing the Red Sea part and plagues of locusts and frogs descend on the Egyptians, the children of Israel wouldn’t want to serve anyone but the Lord. Yet Joshua didn’t make any assumptions. After recalling God’s goodness, Joshua gave the Israelites a choice that I believe God is extending to you right now. He said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

Richie Hughes and his house are committed to serving the Lord, but you have your own choice to make. You may have seen God move mightily in a family member’s situation, for someone at your church, or perhaps even in your own life at some time in the past. But you still must choose. You won’t be guilty by association. Will you follow God or your own rules? This is the most important choice any of us will ever make.

Choosing Christ will ultimately lead to eternal life and bring God’s blessings, but that doesn’t mean life will be easy. Not even close. I grew up in a Christian home with parents who loved me and my siblings and taught us to follow the Lord. Yet easy is the last word I would use to describe the journey God allowed us to take. We experienced heartbreak, and we cried many nights as we grappled with choices that would turn our lives upside down.

My Review

This is one of those books that everyone should read. We don't always realize or think about the consequences of the choices we make. But be assured... every choice, no matter how big or small, has a consequence... be it good or bad.

Richie Hughes leads us with scriptures and personal experience to show just how the choices we make can change the course of our lives... and others' as well. No matter where you are in life or what choices we have made in the past, he reminds us that we serve a God who can wipe the slate clean and give us a new start.  We can learn to make better choices... we just have to choose.

I can't recommend this book highly enough... not just for yourself, but for family and friends. Who wouldn't want to learn to make better choices?

Thanks for reading and God bless! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Catdog... My "Kids' Choice" Review

It's kind of funny... when I was offered the chance to review Catdog, I was thinking "It's a cartoon! That won't fit on my blog."  Then as I was about to log off my email, a voice behind me said "Catdog!  I love that show!  Mom, you have to get it!" 

And so, we now have an official "kids' choice" review.  :)

My youngest kids are 12 and 8 years old... so they've actually only seen a couple of re-runs of Catdog.  On the other hand, my oldest kids grew up watching it and have, I'm sure, seen every episode ever made.  So in our family, as the saying goes... "Everything old is new again!"

I miss some of the older cartoons and prefer many of them over what is on today.  My kids love watching them and some, like Catdog, actually have a moral to them.  We enjoyed it!

 The First 10 Episodes From The First Season Debuts On DVD
 October 18, 2011 from Shout! Factory

A fan favorite, CatDog: Season One - Part Oneis a tale of opposites attached starring CatDog, the most unlikely brother duo ever seen. The conjoined brothers love each other yet they are so different, they can’t help but annoy themselves silly with their contrarian activities. Prim and proper, Cat is the very definition of culture, while Dog is the ultimate tail-wagging, sofa-jumping, car-chasing roughneck. But despite their very different personalities, CatDog are the best of friends, sticking to one another — literally — through thick and thin, even when it comes to facing off against their devious neighbor Winslow and the rough ’n’ tough gang of Greaser Dogs!
Created by Peter Hannan, CatDog premiered on Nickelodeon in1998 and ran for four seasons until 2001. Reruns aired onNicktoons from 2002 to 2011.

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit
About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and hasbeen the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. Formore information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).
*I received a free DVD from Click Communications in exchange for my honest review. ~Thanks! :)


About Me

nook color at! Now with Popular Apps, Email, Web & Video with Adobe Flash Player!