Baby Day!

Life is gonna change in the McMonigal household! I am going to spend the day at the hospital with my husband’s sister. Her labor is being induced. God willing, we will have a new baby boy living in our home! My sister-in-law has been staying with us for about a month now. While waiting for her apartment to become available, she and the baby will be living here. My boys are very excited. Who am I kidding? I am too!! I love the idea of having a newborn in the house—especially since I am not the one who will have to do all of the middle of the night feedings and changes!

Do I have a story to tell?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

I have always enjoyed listening to “Testimony Time” during a church service. Even when I was a little girl, I liked the thrill of hearing how God could take a messed up, seemingly worthless life and change it into something beautiful. I’ve heard about drug addicts, drunks, hookers, and worse giving control of their lives to Christ and becoming a completely different person. All of them are awesome tales, made even more awesome because they are true.

As much as I enjoy listening to the testimonies of others, I dread sharing my own. I am not an alcoholic. I’ve never tried drugs. My parents never beat me, never abandoned me. The worse thing they ever did to me was give me 5 sisters (and I don’t believe I asked for them!), passed down a good set of values and morals, and “forced” me to go to church when I was a teen. My life has really been very tame.

About two weeks ago, I was being interviewed on Godly Mom Link. Things went really well until Kat asked me, “Lynn, can you share your testimony with us?” I hesitated. Did I really have a testimony to share? She prodded me by asking when I first became a Christian. That at least gave me some ideas and I began talking. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about what I said there. Could my story help anyone else? I don’t know. But putting it on paper might not be a bad idea.

Especially since every time I sit down at the computer write, the testimony I shared with Kat keeps coming to mind!

So even though I am nervous and questioning what good it will do, I am going to share what I told Kat and her listeners. As my favorite Scripture passage says, God is with me. I will trust that my story will reach the one who needs to hear it.

Stay tuned for more….


Recently, author Laura Drumb read my latest novel The Ladies of Faith. She wrote a review of the book and agreed to allow me to share it on my blog. I am very happy to announce that Laura’s review is posted below. Please let me know what you think!




The book Ladies of Faith is a heartening but realistic snapshot of a 21st century church centering around five of its members who attend a Bible study together every week.  The way author Lynn McMonigal has interwoven their stories so deftly is intriguing and interesting.  Every Christian woman can see some element of herself in the portraits of these five ladies, struggling to learn about the Bible and struggling to survive the disasters life has thrown at them, while attempting to maintain a façade of joy and peace. 


Swirling around them are real life problems such as prejudice, judgmental attitudes, adultery, gossip, teenage pregnancies, suspicion, and tragedy, but God proves larger than any of them as He walks them through each obstacle as well as the results of poor choices made without the wisdom of Scripture or godly counsel.  And always He proves absolutely faithful in helping them face those results once they each turn their heart fully to Him. 


If you are yearning for a true picture of how God works in our everyday world through imperfect people, bringing victory out of the defeat our enemy has planned for us, then Ladies of Faith is the book for you.  It is heart-warming and tender, brutal and honest, full of joy and full of sorrow – but isn’t this the way life is?  McMonigal’s characters are true to life, enough so that readers will want alternately to scream at them and pray for them! 


Copy editing could have been a bit tighter on this book but overall, it is a delight to read and a good contribution to the growing new field of “Christian Chick Lit”! 


Reviewed by Laura Drumb, Author



Top of Form

Pray for Our President

Even if you are not familiar with the Bible, I am sure you have heard of Exodus chapter 20. This is the chapter where you will find The Ten Commandments, ten simple rules that God gave to Moses thousands of years ago and still expects us to follow today. Sadly, it seems that many of them are laughable to many 21st Century Americans.

Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain—happens all the time, and most don’t even give it a second thought.

Don’t commit adultery—look at the divorce rate in this country and you will see how often that one is ignored.

Don’t steal—yeah, Bernie Madoff completely disregarded that one, and only seems sorry because he was caught.

Honor your father and mother—that sounds like it came out of a fairy tale.

The one Commandment that people in this country still think is worth keeping is the command to not kill. (Except when it comes to unborn children, but that is a topic for another post.) I can’t imagine anyone—no matter how they speak, how they treat their spouse or parents, or how they treat the property of others—telling others that it is OK to kill another human being. It’s hard to even imagine anyone saying, “I wish so-and-so would just die” (though I am sure it happens near the end of a long illness). But to wish for the death of a healthy, good man is beyond me. It’s not something that anyone in his or her right mind would ever do.

Which is why recent comments by Phoenix Arizona pastor Steven Anderson have confused me.

When I first heard this story on the morning news, I thought I was dreaming. I prayed that I was misunderstanding the newscaster. But apparently, I wasn’t. It seems that this pastor has actually admitted to his hatred of President Obama and of former President Bush. As shocking as it is to hear a Christian man admit hating anyone (after all, Jesus has called us all to love one another), hearing the subject of his recent prayers is even more shocking. This pastor told his congregation that he prays for the death of our president. He hasn’t called on anyone to kill President Obama. A story on EURweb says, “Anderson said, “If you want to know how I’d like to see Obama die, I’d like him to die of natural causes,” according to witnesses, adding that “I don’t want him to be a martyr, we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.””

To quote one of the gentlemen who picketed Anderson’s church, “How sick can you get?”

The news report I heard on NBC quoted Anderson as being opposed to the war in Iraq and abortion. They said he is against the senseless killing of Americans. Completely understandable. But wouldn’t the death of our president be senseless? And praying for that death…. Well, it seems to me that is just as bad as actually causing his death.

I freely admit that I did not vote for President Obama. His campaign, in my opinion, was full of empty promises. I never did understand how anyone could believe all of the change he promised would ever happen. In the past seven months, I have seen nothing to cause me to regret the vote I cast. I think that having Barrack Obama leading the country is a huge mistake.

Still, I don’t think his death is the answer. Especially if he is not a Christian. Calling for the death of a non-believer…. I don’t understand how that will do anyone any good. For whatever reason, God allowed Barack Obama to be in a position of leadership. Christians don’t have to like it, but we should respect it. Rather than praying for his death, it seems to me we should be praying for President Obama’s life, praying for his very soul.

While I am praying today, I will also pray for Pastor Steven Anderson and the church he let sounds like they could benefit from a touch of prayer.

Technically a Christian

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.—C.S. Lewis



That is a harsh sounding word. At first, I was going to say it is almost as bad as “failure”. The more I think about it, though, the more I think that it is worse than failure. If you fail at something, at least you have the comfort of knowing that you tried. If you are ineffective, you may as well have not tried. You didn’t succeed, you didn’t fail. If you are ineffective, you have just made no impact. Your actions had no effect on anything. You wasted your time and energy, and most likely the time and energy of others.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be ineffective. Not in my parenting, not in my marriage, not in my career.

And I definitely do not want to be ineffective in my Christian walk.

For years, I have not done much more than lived as a “technical” Christian. I asked Jesus into my heart, so technically I was a Christian.

I went to church every week, or every other week, or once a month. OK, so I wasn’t real consistent, but hey, I was going. And I had a job and school and other responsibilities. Besides, when I lived with my parents I was in church most every Sunday morning and evening, plus Wednesday evenings. Even spent one semester at a Christian College, where I was required to attend chapel services a few times a week. And don’t forget the weeks I spent at summer camp, going to chapel services in the morning and evening. Over the years, I had banked a lot of “church time”. So what if I missed a service here and there? I could afford to. Besides, I had asked Jesus into my heart, so technically I was a Christian.

And I read my Bible every day. Maybe it was every other day. Or was it once a week? Well, at least I read it when I went to church. Or listened to it read by the pastor. At least I owned a Bible. When I was 14, I used my first paycheck from my first job to buy a Bible. And it wasn’t just any Bible, either. It was an NIV Student Bible. It had all these study areas in it, so when I was ready to really dive into the word I could. Oh, and it had reading paths to read through the Bible. So what if I never actually followed the reading schedule? I had asked Jesus into my heart, so technically I was a Christian.

It didn’t matter whether others knew that I was a Christian. A woman I worked with in high school said she surprised that I would chose a Christian college, since I didn’t see to be living a Christ-centered kind of life. I just shrugged that off. After all, I knew I had asked Jesus into my heart, so technically I was a Christian.

Technically, maybe I was Christian. I’m not too sure on that now, as I am pretty sure if my life had ended during those years it would not have been the loving arms of Jesus that welcomed me into eternity. If I was a Christian, I was not a particularly effective one.

That thought really saddens me.

It’s hard not to think about the people I encountered during those years. Three colleges, ten jobs, and numerous doctor appointments for myself and my mother-in-law…. I came into contact with a lot of people in the years when I was “technically” a Christian. How many of them could have benefitted from seeing a true Christian, from seeing a young woman with the love of Christ just emanating from her heart?

Ineffective. That’s what I was. I was so focused on the here and now, on having fun and enjoying my life that I never stopped to think about the next life. The ironic thing? Focusing on the next, on what eternity in Heaven will be like makes life here on earth much more fun and enjoyable!

I don’t want to be an ineffective Christian. God has only given me a limited amount of time to share Him with my family, my friends, and with people I meet in daily life. I don’t want to waste a moment of it!

From this day forward, I promise to be more than just a technical Christian. “What Would Jesus Do?” is not just a clever little saying. It is a question I want to seriously consider in my life. If Jesus wouldn’t do it, I don’t want to do it either.

30-Day Challenge

Smile.FM is THE BEST radio station. At least, it is the best one in Michigan. There are a lot of other wonderful stations out there, playing praise and worship music. Smile.FM, though, is the one that is most often on in my home.

While listening recently, I heard a commercial for a 30 Day Challenge. I can’t remember what they called, 30 Day Heart Challenge or something like that. I do remember that the point of it was to listen to nothing but Smile.FM for 30 days and then see if your heart and attitude change. It’s a challenge that I found interesting, one that I figured it would not hurt me to take!

My attitude has not been exactly positive lately. I don’t know that it has been really negative, either. But I have been feeling on the edge of depression. Thirty days of listening to only praise music is bound to help that.

Now, I am not saying that Smile.FM is going to cure me of my depression. It could. Who knows what means God will use to provide that cure? However, I do know that I’ve never been able to wallow in depression while praises are pumping into my ears. The dark cloud might not completely disappear, but it doesn’t consume me. I don’t see how anything bad like that could consume a person who is so enveloped in praise and worship.

My 30 day challenge starts TODAY. If you want to take the same challenge, be sure to check out the radio station. If you are too far away, you can go to the live streaming feed on their website. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.