Happy New Year

May God bless you as you pursue His purpose and plans in 2019.

I love this scripture as I look forward to 2019:

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:19‭-‬20 NIV



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Latest Post at DoNotDepart.com

Just past the middle of each month, I contribute a post at DoNotDepart.com. This month’s focus was #SimplifyingChristmas. I created a simple tool for increasing the focus on Jesus by allowing the sights and smells of Christmas, seen everywhere, to prompt our hearts and minds to remember the perfect present– Jesus.

There is nothing like the glow of candles, family, and God’s Word.

The “Seek, Find & Remind” activity I created can be done with all ages at home, while Christmas shopping, or traveling to Grandma’s house. You can get the free download by visiting my post at Do Not Depart by clicking here.

One way we have simplified Christmas is by giving the gift of experiences. This year we will celebrate Christmas every time we visit the Sea World parks near our Orlando home.

May God bless you as you seek Him this Christmas!



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Sharpen to Soften Update

Exciting things are happening here at Sharpen to Soften. I have been working on some new resources, that I look forward to bringing to you soon.

Today I debuted as a contributing writer to Do Not Depart Blog. Do Not Depart is a great resource for anyone who wants to study God’s Word. This month we have been studying Psalm 34. I would love it if you would check out my post on Psalm 34:15-18 by clicking here.



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New Hello Mornings Session Begins November 12, 2018

New session of Hello Mornings begins November 12, 2018.

Do you ever lack enough time to get everything done? Who doesn’t, right? After 20+ years of marriage, I have been wooed to a night owl routine, but my true self loves to get up early and get things done. Hello Mornings has helped me learn how to “wake up FOR my life.”
My involvement in HelloMornings has given me more hours in my day, helped me see God at work in my prayer life, opened up a new world of Christian community, and gifted me with the pleasure of seeing lives changed through the power of God’s Word.

Click the image above to learn more about Hello Mornings.

On Monday, November 12, 2018 we will begin a study that will lead us through Thanksgiving and into Advent as we delve into Old and New Testament scripture to study why only Jesus could be the Savior od the world. From the Hello Morning’s site:

We often miss the complex richness of God’s intricate work in giving us Jesus….This gift is so intricate that we are sure of this: not just anyone could come and claim to be the savior of the world, and not just anything could ever take this savior’s place. It could only be Jesus! Join us for this study of the Christmas story and prophecy fulfilled.

I am honored to be the author of Week 2 of It Could Only Be Jesus. You can purchase the study to use for personal study, a small group study, or in one of Hello Mornings’ many online groups. I would love to have you join my group! Let me know in the comments if you would like more information.



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Guest Post at DoNotDepart.com

Hi friends!  Today I was honored to share my thoughts on one aspect of a Christian’s identity in Christ over at the blog, Do Not Depart.  Click here to read my post titled, “My Identity in Christ is Real.”  Do Not Depart is a terrific discipleship resource, so I encourage you to bookmark the link and visit often.

I have been inspired to write here more frequently.  I hope you will join me.



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My Hello Mornings and a Giveaway

My Hello Mornings Journey

Faced with a busy schedule and a looming project, the question, “How am I going to get this done?” pestered me. Not just a question of time, I knew my prayer life and spiritual discipline were not equal to the task.

In the Spring of 2013 I was introduced to Hello Mornings, an international online Christian community where 1000+ women encourage each other to rise early and commit their day to the Lord. The goals are simple: “God. Plan. Move,” and grace abounds.  I knew right away that this community was a life-line to my busy life and spiritual discipline.

Participation in Hello Mornings yielded a regular prayer and devotional life, answered prayers and an intimacy with Jesus that had been long desired.  I now serve as a Facebook Group Leader, a Group Leader Mentor, and serve on the Bible Study Writing Team.

Interested? Join Me!

Click here to join a group and get a free reading plan.  I lead a Pacific Time Zone Facebook Group filled with women from all over the country and Canada, and I would love to have you join me.  A new session begins Monday, May 14, so be sure to register by Sunday, May 13.

Our study during this session will lead us through part of the Book of Acts in a study titled, Power for the World.  This study “traces the spread of the Gospel to the nations by looking intently at the first and second missionary journeys of Paul. We’ll highlight history, but also examine what God does (and can do) in our hearts and through our lives today.”


Hello Mornings offers a FREE basic reading plan with options to purchase a PDF version of the full study or a printed version from Amazon.  The Full Study “is specifically designed to help you dive deep into Scripture whether you have five minutes or fifty.  Each 6-week study contains: daily scripture, commentary, study prompts, and daily worksheets with planning and fitness space.”

If it’s FREE; it’s for me!

I am excited to give away two FREE copies of the Full Study in the PDF version. You do not have to join a Hello Mornings group to receive this free copy.  Feel free to use it for your own personal study or for your own small group.  You will earn chances to win by following my blog by email or following me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter).  You can do all of this in the top right section of the blog.  If you follow me in all four places, you’ll have four entries in the giveaway.

Winners will be notified by email and given a code to use in the Hello Mornings Shop for the Power for the World study.




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Journey with Jesus: Crucifixion


Daily Reading: Mark 15: 33-39

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “”Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? “”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”  One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.  With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.   And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Map: Find the place on the map marked with an 8.  Continue reading to see what to put in the box.

(Click here for free coordinating lesson plans and printables.)

JJMapThank you

Destination 8 Symbol

Draw these pictures (or two of your own creation) in the box to symbolize what happened in today’s readings.

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