Suicide and the Church: Shelly, Sue Foster, and Kay Warren on KFAX

This Tuesday, November 18th, I’ll be part of a discussion on Suicide and the Church: Hope for the Hopeless on KFAX San Francisco with counselor and authors Sue Foster and Kay Warren. Please join us at 5:00pm Pacific on Life!Line with host Craig Roberts. You can listen in HERE.

Kay Warren

Kay Warren

Kay Warren, co-founder of Saddleback Church with her husband Rick, is an international speaker, best-selling author and Bible teacher who has a passion for inspiring and motivating others to make a difference with their lives.She is best known for her 10 years as a tireless advocate for those living with HIV and AIDS, and the orphaned and vulnerable children left behind. As an advocate, she has traveled to 19 countries, calling the faith community as well as the public and private sectors to respond with prevention, care, treatment and support of people living with the virus. She is the author of several books, including her newest, Choose Joy, Because Happiness Isn’t Enough (Revell, April 2012).

On November 22, Saddleback Church will co-sponsor Survivors of Suicide Loss and Suicide Prevention Day, beginning at 9am. The conference is also available online here. Click on the link to participate  and gain valuable resources about the warning signs of suicide, how to help someone with suicidal thoughts, and valuable resources. The link will go live on Saturday the 22nd, Pacific Time.


Sue Foster

Sue Foster

Sue (Suzanne) Foster is co-author of Finding Your Way after the Suicide of Someone You Lovewith David B. Biebel. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in grief counseling in southern California. Sue speaks at workshops, retreats, and conferences. She has worked with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, as well as with, as well as organizations that work to end human trafficking.






Don’t Buy the Lie–Guest Post by Wanda Sanchez



That’s what I am. 
Today is one of THOSE days.

I don’t know what God was thinking when He placed the gifts inside of me that He did! It seems like lately I battle this sinking feeling that I am not going to be able to pull it off! Must it all be so hard? Not that things need to be easy… they don’t. But how about just not so hard?

Yesterday I told my BFF that I’ve been fantasizing about just dropping everything that I am involved in – and just walking (or running!) away into the sunset. Forever. Yep… I am having moments of wanting to quit.

But all I really am is AFRAID.

Afraid of failing. And that fear of failure causes me to want to run.

I don’t want to embarrass God.

I don’t want to be afraid of saying the wrong thing or of offending people.

I don’t want to get in the way of whatever plan God has for the people who will see/hear me speak.

Simply because of time, I worry about not being able to do everything I’m supposed to be doing: speaking, writing books, blogging, producing, singing, etc…

All I have ever really wanted is to be a successful Christian – a Christian who’s rooted and grounded, who knows how to utilize the weapons of warfare; a strong woman of God who isn’t tossed around or taken by surprise by any of the adversary’s wily tactics.

That’s where I’m at today. Relax, my friend… I am NOT quitting. I just feel like running away – but I have choices today. I can make the choice to listen to the lies that say I will be an embarrassment to God – or confront that lie with the TRUTH about how God sees me: I’m the apple of His eye, y’all!

Today, I can choose to listen to His voice as He whispers in my ear and tells me that He is so tickled by me that He sings over me!

Wow. I make God sing! Today I know it doesn’t matter what the situation LOOKS like.

It doesn’t matter what I see, what I hear, what I smell, what I touch or what I feel. I know that He sees me as His beloved daughter and that He couldn’t possibly love me (or you) anymore than He does at this very moment!

 With your whole heart and both feet, step into the position God has placed you in!

Don’t buy the lie and let fear paralyze you and keep you from using the gifts that God has placed inside of you.
He loves you like crazy and you make Him smile!

Zeph. 3:17: The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Photo Credit:

Guest Blog: The Healing Behind the Success

I’m especially grateful for today’s guest blog by author Christine Lindsay.

Some readers may already know that the model on the front cover of Shadowed in Silk is Sarah, the daughter I relinquished to adoption in 1979, and was reunited with when she was twenty in 1999. Relinquishing Sarah was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was the only way at the time I could give her the life she deserved.

 God was so good to me in the years following my loss of Sarah. A year after giving up Sarah, the Lord sent me my sweet husband David and gave us our three children.

 Now, skip ahead . . . twenty years later when Sarah, and I were reunited—wonderful and terrifying at the same time. One of my deepest heart desires was that my two daughters, Sarah and Lana, become close. I used to pray they’d become like the bookends they were in my heart.

The day of the reunion for Sarah and me. Wonderful and difficult. This is Mark, Sarah’s fiancé. Sarah, me, Lana. And Rob in front. My son Kyle was too shy.

The day of the reunion for Sarah and me. Wonderful and difficult. This is Mark, Sarah’s fiancé. Sarah, me, Lana. And Rob in front. My son Kyle was too shy.

Adoption reunions are not easy for anyone. To my heartbreak, it didn’t appear that the long desired special relationship would develop. A few months after meeting Sarah, my husband caught me crying and placed a brand new pen and journal into my hands. “Here honey, write it.”

 One day as I was journaling, a Bible verse jumped out at me and for the first time I understand the love of the Heavenly Father. Isaiah 49:15, 16. Until then I had never fully understood a father’s love, only that of a mother. Now, God’s love made sense.

Can a woman forget the baby at her breast, and have no compassion on the child she has borne. Though she may forget, I will not forget you. See…I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”

A few years later I felt the Lord encourage me to put the healing that He had given me into fictional stories to help others. In 2011 my debut novel was about to be released, and in a serendipitous way God arranged for Sarah to be the model on the cover of Shadowed in Silk.

 A few months after Shadowed in Silk was released, my birthdaughter Sarah and her husband Mark announced they were joining Global Aid Network to oversee various global organizations who work with widows and orphans.

One of those missions was the Ramabai Mukti Mission in India. When I heard this I nearly fell off my chair. I had never told Sarah that the true-life Ramabai who started the Mukti mission in India was the inspiration behind Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight and the third book in that series I am currently writing, Veiled at Midnight.

 Many years ago, I had prayed for the Lord to give Sarah, Lana, and me, a special relationship. It took a while, but He knit our hearts together in the respective work He gave each of us to do.

Sarah with the orphan children she loves.

Sarah with the orphan children she loves.

When it came time to release Captured by Moonlight I asked for my daughter Lana—the daughter God gave me to keep—to be the model on the front cover. 

A long time ago, I had prayed that one day I’d see my two daughters together like bookends. Thanks to our awesome, tender-hearted Heavenly Father, He gave me just that. 

Twilight of the British Raj 1 & 2. Both of my beautiful daughters on the books God inspired.

Twilight of the British Raj 1 & 2. Both of my beautiful daughters on the books God inspired.

Author Bio:Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes award-winning historical novels. In Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, Christine delights in weaving the theme of the Heavenly Father’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance. Christine is currently writing Book 3 of that series to be released August 2014, Veiled at Midnight. The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.

Book Blurb:Captured by Moonlight
Prisoners to their own broken dreams…

After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him and to the tiger cub he is raising?

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?

Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?  

Just for fun, watch the exciting book trailer for Captured by Moonlight

You can read the first chapters of these books on Christine Lindsay’s blog

Where to find Christine Lindsay’s books
Amazon purchase link for Shadowed in Silk
Amazon purchase link for Captured by Moonlight
Barnes & Noble link for Shadowed in Silk
Barnes & Noble link for Captured by MoonlightKobo link for Shadowed in Silk
Kobo link for Captured by Moonlight

Christine would love for you to join her on her Facebook page, Follow her on Twitter, and Pinterest.


Darling…I Am Growing.

Jimmyand CarolOwensPromoI grew up with Jimmy and Carol Owens. Well, not literally, but with Jimmy and Carol’s music. They’re pioneers of contemporary Christian music, writing songs that touched millions through the decades of the seventies and eighties.

Today, Jimmy and Carol are also fiction authors of the suspense-filled novel Sussex Cove, a finely-crafted novel I’m delighted to endorse. I’m also very excited to share a guest blog with you from Carol Owens–excellent wisdom as we kick off a new year.

Darling…I Am Growing
Guest blog by Carol Owens

Old? Yes. But also smart about some things. Things that you learn only over time and by experience. How to stay married for 60 years might be a good example, but that would take more than one blog. However, one word might be a key right here: flexibility.

 My husband, Jimmy, and I, in our early 80’s, are flexing again: we’ve decided to make a move. That’s a huge project because we have not only a truck load of furniture, clothes and junk to consider, but two offices of daily-in-use-computers, files, and archives from more than fifty years of ministry.

 We’re not complaining about it because we’re putting our aging selves under the close, watchful eye of our children.  They are our best friends in the world, so we did one smart thing for them as well as for ourselves: we took out Long Term Care insurance.  Now they won’t be responsible for constant hands-on care, should we need it. But they would do it if we needed them to. That’s the blessing of the thing.

 Now they feel we should live where we are easily check-up-on-able and where they will be quickly available when we hit some emergency. Besides that, they gladly offer wise advice (along with wise-cracks) and assistance on business and personal matters. So now, while we are still up and running— well, okay, shuffling around— this is the time to go.

 It’s a little surprising and humbling, sometimes even funny, to see the sort of role reversal in the family, even though we knew it would probably happen one day. But it’s true, that what goes around, comes around.

 As a child, I saw my mother and her siblings watch out for my amazing widowed grandmother. Jimmy and I were ministering in Europe, Asia and other exotic places, such as Texas, during my mother’s later years. She was invited to live with us, but chose not to because of our travels, so we visited, checked-up, and helped with finances and frequent phone calls: “How do you feel? What color did you paint the bedroom? Did you win at bridge today? Did you party with your widower friend across the way? (Not kidding, Mama was a geriatric social animal.)

 Role reversal is not easy, especially if you all live together. Sometimes Mama decides to move in and be the boss. Sometimes in-law kids aren’t crazy about Dad. But for Christians, it’s that time for flexibility: minimum demands from parents, maximum patience from children; real God-given love and quick forgiveness all the way around. No tantrums, no pouting, no meddling. Sometimes a few ground rules right up front help.

 Flexibility! That’s the goal you strive for as you obey God: “…children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” 1 Timothy 5:4 NIV.  Amen!

By Carol Owens

A Simple and Effective PTSD Strategy

Expert traumatologist Margaret Vasquez recently shared a simple yet effective strategy for dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder at our trauma blog at I’ve seen this strategy work, and it’s helpful for medical trauma, childhood trauma, and almost any kind of crisis where the brain has been overwhelmed and the trauma survivor gotten “stuck” in the past.

So take a gander at the blog. We’re placing many helpful resources there as we begin to build a community of support and encouragement for those who’ve experienced trauma, as well as their loved ones and family.

Shelly on Blogtalk Monday, February 22, 2010

Listen in Monday, February 22, 2010, from 3:30-4:30ET to Writing and Publishing Radio ( when I spend time chatting with Felice Gerwitz about the choices and craft involved in writing memoir/personal narrative about life’s most painful experiences–the illness and death of our loved ones. Felice and I will be discussing how writers make memoir and meditation inspirational while offering readers the opportunity to grieve and lament.

I will be touching on the important elements of transparency, authenticity, restraint, humor, and grace which are woven throughout my books Precious Lord, Take My Hand: Meditations for Caregivers and Ambushed by Grace: Help and Hope on the Caregiving Journey. Each of these elements played an important role in the message I communicated to my readers. Apart from transparency and authenticity, we cannot communicate with honesty. Without restraint, we will lose our readers in the detail and the weight of our pain. Without humor we cannot be revived and refreshed for the next step of the journey. And without grace, we have nothing to say at all and no hope to share with our readers.

Learn more about Felice Gerwitz and the ministry of Media Angels by visiting Media Angels at

Live on Midday Connection with Anita and Melinda

Anita Lustrea, Shelly, Melinda Schmidt

Anita Lustrea, Shelly, Melinda Schmidt

Last Wednesday, September 23rd, I was the guest of Anita Lustrea and Melinda Schmidt on Midday Connection, broadcast from Chicago’s WMBI and the Moody network as we sat before a live audience in Holland, Michigan and taped a show celebrating the twentieth anniversary of network affiliate WGNB 89.3 FM. After a delicious lunch, we chatted through an overview of The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk: Conforming Deadly Thought Patterns to the Word of God and fielded questions from the studio audience.

For me, the experience was different from my typical radio interview, where I’m tucked away in my home office, away from eyes that can see I’m in sweatpants, a tee shirt, and that my hair resembles the mashed forms and varied heights of crop circles, but without the symmetry.

I’d prayed for a music stand so I could attempt to discreetly hide the notes that always surround me at home, for those moments when my Swiss-cheese memory gives out at inopportune moments. (On days when my brain lesion is kicking up, I can forget my husband Dan’s name, and I hate to sound stupid when I’m talking about my own book.)Anita Lustrea, Shelly, and Melinda Schmidt But, alas, no third music stand appeared, and God gave me the challenge of “working without a net” and connecting with the audience eye-to-eye.

It was glorious — because beneath my nagging doubts, I knew I could sit back and relax, knowing God always shows up and provides exactly what I need when I need it most, even directing the flow of each interview.

I felt like a kid who’d been given the keys to a candy story as I sat with a live studio audience and talked candidly face-to-face about our struggles with inner dialogues and my story of God’s transformation of my relationships, once I understood the true purpose and power of self-talk. I

t was also an amazing gift to be able to share my story of sexual abuse and my journey to forgiving the serial rapist who molested me as a young woman. The audience response indicated how deeply the wounds of life can cut and how pain shapes our self-talk.

Many thanks to Anita Lustrea, Melinda Schmidt and the Midday Connection team at WMBI for providing this opportunity. Congratulations and thanks to Jack Haveman and the WGNB family in west Michigan in their celebration of twenty years on the air.

Silent Seduction Video

View the promotional video for The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk: Conforming Deadly Thought Patterns to the Word of God, and learn more about Shelly’s newest book that’s garnering attention from growing numbers of men and women as a life-changing resource for spiritual formation.

Recently, The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk has been ranked within the top ten books on Christian ethics and the top twenty books for Christian women on Amazon.

Writing Between the Cracks

Tomorrow, July 5th, at 10:05, my interview with Shelley Irwin will air on GVSU stations 88.5 FM and 1480 AM. Shelley and I cover a broad range of subjects regarding my books and my writing, among them, “writing in the cracks”–the approach to writing that helped me complete five books in three years, in addition to contributing to three Bibles, while taking care of my dying father-in-law and my dying mother in my home.

Let me say quite honestly that this accomplishment does not make me more remarkable than most of my caregiving friends or more prolific than a great many of my writing friends. In fact, since joining great organizations such as the Advanced Writers’ and Speakers’ Association and the Christian Authors’ Network, I’ve come to recognize just how many caregiving authors balance similar lives. And most of us share a similar approach to our writing: we do it in odd places, at odd times, using whatever means possible at our disposal, and we can slip into writing mode at the blink of an eye.

So here are a few tips for how I do it. They’re simply a window into my writing life. (And they may give you an idea why it’s hard for me to flip off the writing switch when I go to bed at night.)

1.  Always carry a notebook, although I discourage propping it on the wheel of your car and drafting chapters as you drive down the road. A voice recorder works better for this. But for those moments when you don’t want to look like a CIA agent while you’re waiting for your dentist to call you in for your appointment, the notebook works better.

2.  Keep a notebook and pen at the side of your bed for capturing those brilliant ideas that come to you just as you’re drifting off to sleep, then keep you awake for three hours. And a bedside lamp that doesn’t throw too much light on your spouse’s face.

3.  Always carry a voice recorder. It can keep you out of ditches on the back roads of Illinois when the sudden urge to draft a chapter overwhelms you. In theory, of course.

4.  Get up just a little bit earlier in the morning and draft a few pages. Yeah, really. Don’t give me that look. You’re talking to a 50+ woman who’s AT the YMCA at 5:00 am.

5.  Use the time to write when you’re supposed to be doing other things. For instance, last night Dan and I went to a concert that didn’t really hit my blesser button. So I smiled sweetly and slipped off into novel land. I brainstormed scenes and created settings. By the time the concert was over, I’d come up with a few good reasons to grab my notebook.

6.  On long driving trips, take the computer and write. This works best when someone else is at the wheel. But when my husband and I recently drove from Michigan to Maine and back, I plugged my computer into the lighter of our car and drafted my way across the USA.

7.  Use your environment. Every day is an opportunity for research. Several months ago I accompanied dear friends to a medical center. During our visits there, I noticed a precious woman who regularly stocked the coffee area in the lobby. I immediately fell in love with her and decided to incorporate a version of her into one of my novels.

Just this week, a patient at my chiropractor’s office was running late. He and his family came tearing into the parking lot and poured out of their car like circus clowns before entering the waiting room bellowing and arguing at one another. He left his vehicle angled across two parking spaces, two feet from the curb. I filed the entire scene away in my mind for future reference.

Use everyday life for research on characters, scenes, motivations. Keep your eyes open. Read the newspaper. Watch the evening news. Listen to your kids. You never know where you’ll find an important tidbit of piece of wisdom.

8.  Above everything, feed your passion for intimacy with God and live out the biblical truth you already know. I can honestly say I don’t have a whole lot to say, apart from what I’ve learned from Louie Konopka, Gary Heim, Tim Hoyt, Don Pearson, and the entire pastoral team at my church. If you don’t attend a church that’s helping to equip you to engage with life empowered by the Spirit of God on a day-by-day basis, give some serious thought to what the real problem may be. I can’t stand it when I can’t get to church because I know Louie or one of my pastors will be presenting truth that can intersect with my life and change me. This is the true power behing my writing. Worship is writing. Prayer is writing. Time with the people of God and time alone with God is writing.

July 7th Radio Interviews

Be listening Tuesday, July 7th, when I’ll be hosted on Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea at 12:00 noon CST on WMBI, 90.1 FM and 1110 AM. Then on Tuesday evening, I’ll be featured on Christian Devotions SPEAK UP! with host Marianne Jordan from 6:00-7:00 at I truly appreciate these opportunities to speak about my speaking and writing ministries and newest releases, Ambushed by Grace: Help and Hope on the Caregiving Journey (Discovery House Publishers), and The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk: Conforming Deadly Thought Patterns to the Word of God (Moody Publishers).

Discovery House Publishers, 2008

Discovery House Publishers, 2008



Silent Seduction cover jpg