Until We Say Goodbye

This past spring I read an inspiring book by Susan Wendel-Spencer.  Two years ago Susan was diagnosed with ALS (the same disease my father in law died of).  Susan was determined to live her remaining days with joy and determination to live life to its fullest.

The book is about the trips that she took with her husband, her best friend, each of her children and her sister and her determination to live life to the fullest for her remaining days in life.

The thing that is truly remarkable about Susan’s book is that she wrote then entire manuscript on her iPhone with her thumb (the only working finger she had left)!!!  Her determination to have joy no matter what her circumstances are is truly inspiring.

You can purchase a copy of her book on Amazon.  You can also visit Susan’s webpage and Facebook page to learn more about her.


While I was sleeping

This summer my husband and I had a decision to make.  We kept going back and forth.  Should we or should we not?  We sought the advice of those around us and still we went back and forth.  Finally we decided to decide one way or the other and sit on it for a few days before making it official.  We wanted to make sure we had a peace.

I had a friend who woke up on the first day of school last year and just knew that she was not sending her son to the right school.  She did not have a peace.

There are some things God asks us to do that are black and white.  Like tithing.  And like forgiving.  But there are other times that we have to make a decision and we need guidance.  Don’t underestimate your gut.  Your intuition.  You lack of peace.  That is the Holy Spirit guiding you.

Look at this scripture from Psalm 16…

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
    My body rests in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
11 You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Sometimes God just wants you to obey what you know.  Other times, you have to pray and seek advice and then go with your gut.  Ask the Lord to stop you if you are making the wrong decision then move forward trusting that the God of the universe who lives inside you wants you to do the right thing more than you do.  He is able to instruct you even while you are sleeping.

And that decision we had to make? Well we made it.  Am I 100% sure we made the right decision, no.  But I feel good about it so we are moving forward.

If you would like to hear my husband teach on knowing God’s will, check out his series that he did a few months ago called, God’s Will is Whatever.

Monday Morning Commentary- I can show you better than I can tell you!

This weekend we began our 2-week series, Raised to Life!  And what an amazing weekend it was.  When my kids and I were watching all the people getting baptized I told them, “Guys, this is why we do everything we do!”

My husband’s message on baptism was clear and inspiring!  But rather than tell you about it, I want to show you mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, entire families and many many people professing their faith to the world.

You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!



One of life’s greatest joys

One of my favorite things we do at Elevation is baptisms.  They are so special and meaningful.  They always encourage me to know that what we do really matters.  But the best kind of baptism to watch is the baptism of your friend.

Last night, to kick off our Raised to Life series, we whet everyone’s appetite with a few baptisms, and one of them was my friend, Melissa.  Here is a rough video of the night…

I cannot wait for this weekend!   Would you pray with me for all the people who will take the step of faith this weekend?  Also pray for all of our teams that will be setting up and preparing and carrying out the event.  All across our campuses, it is going to be awesome!

Melissa Hizel baptism from Elevation Media on Vimeo.

Don’t wait until you have maggots

This summer our family had the opportunity to stay at a lake house for a few weeks while my husband finished his manuscript for his latest book.  We had the best time.

There was one thing about the house, there was no trash pick up.  We had to transport our trash to the nearest county dump site.  When we got to the house, the trash cans looked fine.  They weren’t stinky or slimy.  The dump site wasn’t far from the house and the task did not seem too big of a deal, that is for the first few days.

When we took the trash to the dump every couple of days it wasn’t a problem.  But as our time wore on at the rental house, I got more relaxed and maybe a bit lazy.  I’ll take the trash tomorrow.  Then when tomorrow came, I realized the information sheet said that the dump was closed Wednesday and Thursday.  Oops.  By the time Friday came, I had two very full, very smelly trash cans.  When I got to the dump, I realized that maggots had settled into the trash cans.  Yuck.  When I returned home I still had a mess to clean up because I had to rinse out the trash cans.

What originally was not a big job turned out to be a gross ordeal all because I put it off.

Isn’t it funny how life works out that way.  When we put something off it doesn’t usually go away, it just gets worse.  When we don’t deal with a situation it often escalates into a bigger deal than it should have been.  I am not only talking about our relationships with others.  But there are a few things that God wants me to address in my life that I often times want to avoid.

What person are you putting off forgiving?

What conversation do you need to have with your child?

What habit do I need to give up?

What discipline do I need to begin?

I can deal with it now, or I can ignore it until it grows into something it never had to to begin with.  Nip it now and move on.

And just for fun, I thought I would share with you the rules of the dump (pay close attention to #1).  Ahhh, the beauties of North Carolina…

Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend we wrapped up our Permission Slip series with a sermon about the permission to give!

Based on Malachi 3:6-12, my husband talked about how we can view giving as, got to give, give to get or GET TO GIVE!  He gave us 10 reasons that we get to give.  Here are a few of my favorite parts…

When I give, I get to train myself to obey God’s instructions more immediately and completely.  I love knowing when I obey God in the things I know, it trains me to be able to obey Him when the way to go isn’t so clear.

When I give, I get to break the back of greed and escape the chains of selfishness.  My husband said we don’t overcome selfishness by depriving ourselves, we overcome it by giving!  What a great thought.

When I give I get to open my hands to a God who will not be out given!  This was my favorite point.  My husband and I have found this to be true so many times.  The more we give, the more God blesses us.  Not always a financial blessing, but sometimes it’s the blessing of peace in a situation or the blessing of a special relationship.

The sermon has a great visual illustration at the end.  I hope you will go online and watch it if you missed it.  You can watch it today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

God’s telephone number

This is kind of cheesy but when I was in high school I learned God’s phone number, Jeremiah 33:3. Do you know it?

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Some verses are just prettier in King James.)

Here it is in the Message version… Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.

Today, if you have something weighing on your mind, if you have a problem you can’t figure out, you don’t need to call a friend, relative, small group member, or pastor etc… You need to call on God. The One who answers your call.

The one who whispers marvelous and wondrous things in your heart.

(Originally posted Jul 12, 2012 http://hollyfurtick.com/gods-phone-number/)

Happy birthday and I’m sorry








Today is the birthday of one of my dearest friends in the world, Nicole.  Many people go a lifetime without a friendship like the one I have with this lady.

This August, we will have been friends for 13 years.  Nicole was in my wedding and at the birth of all three of my children.  She and her husband were on the core team of Elevation.  She has helped me pack every time we have changed homes.  She has helped me decorate my Christmas tree every year that I have been married.  And it is a little known fact that every Saturday night Nicole leaves her 3 kids so that she can babysit my 3 kids while I am at church.

Happy Birthday Nicole.  I am so thankful for you.  And I am sorry I had to post a picture of you pregnant, it was the only other one I had of just the two of us.  We will take a new one today.

Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend was Student Takeover at Elevation.  Friday, over 1400 students from all over Charlotte gathered together to serve, have fun and worship together.  Then this weekend, they lead worship and served at all of our campuses.

For the message my husband lead a Q/A session and it was great.  He answered questions about relationships, parents, calling, friends and more.

My husband gave advice like…

Right voices lead to right choices!
You don’t have to feel forgiven to be forgiven
Every follower of Christi IS in full time ministry 

We ended the worship experience with a time of prayer over all our students going back to school.  It was powerful for everyone in the room.

It was such a great time for our students but there was something in it for everyone.  I hope you will take the time to listen to it if you missed it.  The message was so incredible.  You can watch it today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

Have a great Monday!

Give Away Winners


Lauren Hudson in Mocksville, NC

Brittany in Chesterfield, MI

Carie Vassey on Twitter

Clarinda1974 on Instagram

ChristyDelRio on Instagram

Tothejhawk (Jeff Hawkins) on Instagram

You guys are the winners of the book, Leading and Loving It!  I am so excited for you.  Just email your information to kvillarreal@elevationchurch.org and we will get your book sent out to you next week.

If you did not win, you can purchase your own copy here on Amazon.