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Push Through. . .

Pray To Him, He IS Listening

When we study the Bible we receive so much more from God than if we just read a few verses to say, “Check, got that done.” Jesus is not a check-list God. He is available for a relationship with us. It is our job to connect with Him, to read His Word, and to apply what we already know.

I tell you, this morning I almost missed my Blessing at the Annual Gloucester County Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.  I had to Push Through… A few things happened. I was very tired the night before so I woke up late, I had to Push Through… I didn’t do a lot of what should have been done the night before, so I had to Push Through… I start getting ready and realize I have sinus pressure and a headache, I have to Push Through… And finally, I bumped my head on the corner of our bathroom wall, pierced the skin, felt a little lump, big headache now, and talking to God, I Push Through…

The keynote speaker at the prayer breakfast was Anne Beiler, Founder, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, the world’s largest pretzel franchise.  Anne shared how proud she is of her Amish-Mennonite heritage in Lancaster County, PA and how it helped to cultivate a love for and relationship with God. Her venture to open a booth at a local farmer’s market to sell pretzels was her way of trying to make a living and help take care of her family. And look at what God did for Anne, who had no money, no business plan, and an 8th grade education.

Allow me to share how Anne blessed me this morning. Her story is based on the scripture James 5:16, “Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (Living Bible) Anne received full and complete healing only after revealing her deepest darkest secret. She shared with us how secrets kill and destroy, and that is not the life God has planned for any of us.

A quote that also helped save her is, “Alone we die, connected we live.” by Dr. Richard Dobbins of Emerge Ministries, Akron OH. Anne allowed God to be her guide and counsel. She did not just read the Bible she applied the Bible to her life. God taught her to face her fears and walk through them.

One phrase that was repeated in her keynote address and rings loudly in my ears is, “Do not focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you have; because what you have is all you need!”

Push Through… when you want to go to a meeting or event and it seems that obstacles and trials keep pushing back. Push Through… when you know you are doing what’s right and others are discouraging. Push Through… when you’re tired, whether it rains, snows, sleet, or hail, make it your business to show up. Push Through… because there is a Blessing on the other side of your Push, waiting for you!

Hear Anne Beiler’s full story on her website at:

Won’t He Do It!

Deanna Garlic, Executive Director Stay Focused Magazine, Inc.

You would think by now that God does not surprise me when he answers my prayers, . . .  but I’m still a little gitty when God does what he does. The truth is the things we generally ask God for are completely out of our control, so all we can do is patiently wait and allow Him to work out our desired outcome.

We just came out of the weekend of our 6th Annual Stay Focused Christian Writer’s Retreat. It was Amazing! Our prayer from the beginning, “God please allow our attendees to have an intimate experience with you and with one another. Let our attendees receive what they came for and more. Give them rest and relaxation. We pray all retreat attendees learn something new and are able to  apply what they have learned to their current or future projects. In Jesus name, Amen!”

Saying a prayer is easy, however walking it out to the finish, is another story. In the midst of walking out a prayer we have to fight fear, fight doubt, anger, disappointments, etc. So along the way we stay in prayer over every part of the retreat. Other things we prayed for was: the number in attendance, God give them gifts from us that are useful, bring someone in attendance who was here before, and add your Holy Spirit to the retreat experience.  God did it, He did all of it and more.

Hosting and planning events are challenging. Be encouraged! Be encouraged! Be encouraged! “Who [with reason] despises the day of small things (beginnings)?…” Zechariah 4:10a “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:…” Psalm 62:8 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Our Retreat theme is always Stay Focused. And our theme scripture is, Colossians 3:1 International Standard Version (ISV) “Therefore, if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.” Success is always the result when we trust God and put everything in His hands. Stay Focused and see for yourself, Won’t He Do It!

Always Learning Always Growing

Just a few short weeks ago (August 5th 2016) I participated in the “Write His Answer” annual Christian Writer’s Conference for the second time. And I can’t let go of how blessed I was so I must share it with you. Marlene Bagnull and her team of writers, editors, authors, agents and publicists are of a special kind.

My first impression is how much of a blessing it is to be in a Christian environment. The setting is very serene and welcoming; the schedule is packed with educational and informative workshops and panels; and literature, books, newsletters, novels are plentiful, both for sale and free. I am grateful to have met some awesome people, many of whom are on a similar path as myself, full-time writer and business owner.

I must say something that left a lasting impact on me was the organization of it all. Please believe me this is no small feat as you can see from this attached brochure:   The orchestrating of one on one meetings alone is a huge task to tackle and Marlene’s team did an awesome job once again. And from what I witnessed everyone worked extremely well together. These are the little things that make you happy to play a small part in this encouraging and inspiring Christian Writer’s Conference.

If you missed the “Write His Answer” conference this year, plan now to attend next year and stay over night. You will be so glad you did. Look for the date first weekend in August.  And if you prefer the Spring, plan to attend “Write His Answer Colorado”, second weekend in May.

The point in all of this you ask? Good question. Make sure you are Always Learning and Always Growing! Allow yourself to be a blessing and you will be BLESSED!!!   

Deanna Garlic, MA CEO/Publisher #stayfocused



Good Morning World!

“Yea, though I walk through the Valley of The Shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. . . . ” (Psalm 23:4a)

God is with you. When things are going very well we do not ask God if He is with us. It is only in the times when we are in a storm, times we do not know what to do, times that we do not understand, in these times we NEED to know, God is with us! What comforting and confident words the Psalmist inspired by God has given to us. We have NO FEARS because God is with us.

Remember, God plus one equals a majority. This means that you when every time. Even when the shadow of death is near You Win. When fear tries to come on you, You Win. When trouble is stirred in the community or at work, You Win. When sickness or dis-ease tries to take your good health You Win. . . . Evey time no matter your personal and private situation, YOU WIN, because God is with you.

Pray To Him, He IS Listening

“The blessing of the Lord maketh rich and added no sorrow with it.”

“When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.”

“When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

“The LORD IS My Shepherd, I shall not want.”

“The LORD hath been mindful of us: He will bless us;”

Us, includes you; so wake-up! Wake-up my friend to the life He has given you as a gift for this too shall pass. God has not forgotten you, He is mindful of you. He knows more about your situation than you. God knows the end from the beginning. Don’t Quit! You will miss your “Big Finish”, “Your Grand Finally”.

Be encouraged, God is not through with you yet!



Understanding Love

Little do they know they will always be your little Prince or Princess. Loving a child can give you a greater understanding of God’s Love toward us. It is unconditional, undeserving, without fail, without judgement, pure, honest, and so much more. In healthy relationships parents love children and in return children love their parents.

When you love someone you make sacrifices for them without considering your selfish needs. When loving your children you go out of your way for their happiness. They have so much to learn and as their parent you have so much to give them. Also when loving them there exists the natural inclination to protect them. All of these things God does for us without us asking for Him to do so.

My Little Princess at her Princess Pajama Party

My little princess (picture here) has come to me in such a unique way. She is my sister. It has been my pleasure to Love her through everything life brings our way, be it good, bad, or indifferent. Watching her learn and grow is an amazing experience. And teaching about life is exciting and refreshing. The hardest thing to do is to see her gracefully yet boldly come into her teenage years. That’s all we will say about teenage years for now ….. 🙂 

My Little Princess with Minnie

Children have no idea how much you love them until you show them with your time.  They understand your presence at there sporting events, PTA Mtgs, School Assemblies, Graduations, Award Presentations, Play Performances, Recitals, Church Gatherings, On Vacation with them, etc. all translate in to “I Love You”. And yes the reverse is true. They understand your absence as, “I have more important things to do”. Express your love and be PRESENT with your child. Help them to understand the Unconditional Love you have for them. While it is true that we can not give what we do not have, begin to understand how much they need you. Should you find yourself in a situation that you have never know a fathers love or a mothers love, then begin to introduce yourself to God who is the father of all. His love for you will give you joy, peace, understanding and put you in a position to love others especially your children in return.

So, the challenge for today is to understand God’s Love toward you. Begin by Loving daily on your child. (your sister, brother, niece, nephew, cousin, etc.)

Keep Love Present (KLP)







Marriage & Renovations

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

One experienced that completely changed my life has been MARRIAGE! 

I think most married people may answer this question slightly different depending on the day you ask them. For the most part I pray your experience is positive, mine is 🙂

Renovation Time Ugh!

My husband and I were married on Saturday, December 29, 2012; and we hosted our wedding on June 15, 2013. With just over one year on the books I guess you can say we are still living in honeymoon bliss. Nonetheless there is nothing like a real life challenge to heat things up a bit.

On of our favorite networks to watch is HGTV. I know right, who can resist it. A moment that always gets our attention is when the couple says they are going to live in the house while it is being renovated……Noooo we tell them. However they can’t here us. Living in your home while it is being renovated is challenging. Low and behold this is exactly the place we have found ourselves; living through a renovation. As the pictures will show the renovation has taken over the entire house. We are having our bathroom done and hallway and hall closet and bedroom closet and a built-in bedroom bookcase. 

Renovations Ugh!

Back to the Marriage. We have determined and stated to one another: knowing that our relationship can not only survive this, but also get stronger in this process, we can live through anything together. The Bible says one can put a thousand to flight, and two can put ten thousand to flight. We contend that we are “The Two.” Standing together and standing for God, while literally, being in the midst of it all!

Stay tuned for completion pictures. They will be sure to knock your socks off! 🙂 

Taking It All In

You were here and now your gone your memory with me will forever live on. A Legacy you left with me one that I will always see! A part of my present and my past but it’s in my future where your life will last.

Your impressions on my heart will never be erased for you my father I embrace: your smile, your love, your jokes, and respect, I am the luckiest kid on that you can bet. Oh how I wish to sum it up, only too few words could never detect, all you’ve given over the years: your money, your time and even your precious tears.

A Legacy of Fun, Love & Respect!

While your soul may be at rest your life in me lives on. . . . I AM GRATEFUL