Friend to Friend

After lightning struck and the fire destroyed seventy percent of my home, we rebuilt. Every item seared, soaked and smoked was lifted and sifted. Ashes were removed. All things broken and tattered were excavated and evaluated in pursuit of total renewal and restoration.

Then a new plan was put in place.

A plan paved with promise and purpose.

It was time to rebuild. Time for prayers of protection and direction. Time for beauty to rise. Time for fresh peace and paint to adorn rooms that had been wrecked by a storm that brought fire.

Echoes of healing and hope filled the hallways of home with each swing of the hammer and hanging of drywall.

Relief and resilience rose as painters brushed beams and

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Friend to Friend

It’s not every day you come close to death, especially when you’re young.

It was a beautiful spring day in Akron, Ohio. I’d just gotten off work and was excited to meet with a manager of the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner for my wedding would be held. One of my bridesmaids was going with me and we were eager to sample the food and select the final menu.

Michele and I met up in the parking lot of my workplace then she followed behind my car in hers as we headed to dinner. The restaurant was in an area called “the valley,” and there was a long, steep hill leading down to it. At the bottom of the hill

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Have you ever felt lonely, scared, angry, confused and hurt all at the same time?  Ever felt like running away from a difficult situation?  I have.  There was a time, several years ago, when I wanted to run – hard and fast – from life as I knew it.  I had just birthed three babies in three  and a half years.  Then, to everybody’s surprise – especially mine – my husband got a promotion that moved our young family across the country to a place where we knew no one. I had two babies in diapers and one “big boy” struggling to say goodbye to his binky.  There was always a diaper to change, a mouth to feed or a

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He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2



Several months ago I went to Dallas to be interviewed on LIFE Today (with James and Betty Robison) and to write a few songs for my next CD. The genre of songs for this project is worship. I’m prayerfully writing these songs so that they might be sung by the church for the glory of God. I’m asking the LORD to breathe an anointing on each word and note so that the songs might be used to connect the heart of worshipers to the heart of the worthy One. Here’s one of my new favorites…

My Strength, My Song
by Jourdan Johnson & Gwen Smith

You speak to my weakness
You tell me Your grace is strength
Your power

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1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. 3 Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

Psalm 24:1-6, NIV



I’m humbled to share this interview that airs today on the Life Today TV program. Please join me in asking the LORD to bring many hearts to healing, hope and restoration through this testimony of redemption. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” (Psalm 107:2)

You can watch the program online here:

Feel free to share it with someone who might need to hear this word of hope.

In His Grip of Grace,



May we never stop inviting the LORD to speak into our hearts.

Lord, please forgive us for the times when life gets so noisy that we forget to listen.
In Jesus Name, amen.

Today is a big day. Really big. CAPITAL LETTER BIG!! 😉 Why? Today our new, interactive GiG devotional book, TRUSTING GOD, A GIRLFRIEND IN GOD FAITH ADVENTURE releases. Woohoo! (Happy dance with us!)

God called Sharon, Mary and I to write this. We believe that the message of this book will bring women to a deeper place of faith because it is stuffed with Scriptures and stories that are purposed to connect the heart of each reader to the heart of God.

Because you are a friend to this ministry: we do life together. So that makes you the best people to share this book with those in your circle of influence! Bottom line: we need your help in getting the word

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There always seem to be a million voices vying for my attention. Can you relate? True confessions: I often choose good things instead of the Best thing. Instead of the Best One.

I wish it weren’t the case, but it is. I get easily distracted and frazzled. I never seem to satisfy my to-do list and I struggle with time management. It surprises me continually that God would choose to use a cluttered woman such as me. But His grace abounds. It reaches my most unfocused, unproductive heart places. Grace covers my mess and uncovers His faithfulness.

God’s loving goodness constantly draws me back to His peace.

Oh, how I want to live life in simple grace. To listen intently to the heartbeat

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8