The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating


Anybody else a little bit disturbed these days by the casual and flippant attitude toward dating and sex? It seems to me that any television series I want to watch is laced with sexual innuendo or straight-up immorality. I usually watch a few episodes, connect with characters, and then have to say my goodbyes in order not to fill my mind with all the yuck. I promise this post isn’t all about television, movie, or culture bashing. I’d like to simply set the stage and highlight an amazing book just released!

Today, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating is making its debut. If you are in the dating world, the dating-again world, or know someone who is, you need to know about this book.

If you’re a parent, you REALLY want to have this book handy for quick draw! As Andy says in the introduction, even if you’ve already had that “awkward fifteen-minute talk,” you need to consider moving toward “an awkward fifteen-year conversation.”

For high school students, college students, and even dating adults, this book will reframe and reshape views of love, sex, and dating. Andy explores the challenges, assumptions, and land mines associated with dating. He encourages singles to step up and set a new standard for this generation. One that honors God, honors others, and honors the future the reader hopes to experience.

Here’s a link to the INTRO if you’d like to check it out!

Once again, I have some autographed copies to give away! Leave a comment and your email address in order to enter the random drawing. If you’d like to have it autographed for someone else, you can let me know that too.

*Email address is simply so that I can notify the winners.

Protein Bites

protein balls 2

It’s the first day of the New Year, and you know what that means, right? It’s time to make promises to yourself. Promises you’ll keep for a month or so anyway! If you made any exercise resolutions, today is your lucky day. I have just the post work-out treat for you. It’s easy to make, delicious to eat, and fuels your body with the perfect amount of protein to follow a moderate workout. Fifteen to twenty grams of protein after a work out is just about right. So, throw a few of these in a ziplock and into your gym bag. Depending on your protein powder, each of these will provide around five grams of protein. You might find yourself getting that work-out completed even faster just to get to this delicious snack!

Post Work-out Protein Bites

  • 3/4 C. almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • 1/4 C. coconut oil
  • 1/3 C. honey
  • 1/2 C. ground flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 C. rolled oats
  • 2/3 C. protein powder
  • 1/4 t. salt (if your nut butter is unsalted, use 1/2 t.)
  • 1/4 C. mini chocolate chips, optional

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Roll into 20 bite-sized balls. Store in refrigerator. Enjoy!

* If you’re in a chocolate mood, add a few tablespoons of cocao powder or cocao nibs.

My Sweet Mother-in-Law

Anna's Memorial (1)-0These past two and a half weeks have been tough ones for us. Andy’s mom died last Monday after ten days in the hospital battling pneumonia and a few other health issues. Never have I been more grateful for family, friends, and our amazing church. Never have I been more keenly aware that peace and loss are not mutually exclusive. Never have I been more in love with my husband than after watching him tenderly care for, and love, and tease, and sing to his sweet, frail mom.

The term mother-in-law always seems to carry a bit of a negative connotation, but with mine, none of those typical mother-in-law things were characteristic. Anna was never nosey, or bossy, or prone to dispensing unwelcome opinions or advice. In fact, she was such a wise and gracious lady, I would have gladly received more of her guidance, had she been well enough over the years to give it.

Anna’s health issues kept her from being able to spend a lot of time with her grandchildren, but when she did, she made it count. I’ll never forget one particular night she babysat our kids. When Andy and I returned home, she told us that after reading some Bible stories she decided it was time to tell the kids about the devil. So she did. Anna left and we went upstairs to check on them. Every light and lamp were on, and all we could see of the kids were little bits of brown hair, and little bits of blonde hair sticking out of the covers of one twin bed!

One very significant connection that Anna and I shared was the role of pastor’s wife. Being a pastor’s wife is unique and can be hard. People tend to have expectations. They watch closely how you behave, what you wear, how you parent… Anna helped me understand that I didn’t need to feel responsible for everything going on in the church. I didn’t need to worry about what everyone thought about every decision I made. In many ways she freed me to make Andy and our kids my priority over ministry.

I believe this one powerful thing has significantly impacted my relationship with Andy, my relationship with my children, and my relationship with this church that I love so much.

I will be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for the gift of Anna Johnson Stanley—my kind, generous, funny, and very wise mother-in-law.


images1987 was a pretty good year, I’d say. I was a junior at Georgia Tech, minding my own business, and this “guest speaker” showed up at the weekly Bible study I attended. When he finished speaking, I sat there stunned, still absorbing the stuff he taught. It was, hands down, the best message I had ever heard.

Fast-forward to a year later, the “guest speaker” asked me to marry him. It was an easy yes! For a long time, any time Andy was invited to speak to teenagers or college students, I suggested he do that “Walking Wisely” message from Bible study night.

Finally, he put the material into book form. The Best Question Ever came out a bunch of years ago. Last week, the newly updated version, ASK IT, was released in paperback! I’m thrilled that he has republished much of the same content with additional insights he’s gained through the years.

I especially love this book for teenagers and college students, but it is certainly applicable for any and every age. In fact, your greatest regret could have been avoided had you asked this particular question and then acted on your conclusion!

ASK IT is now available on Amazon, at bookstores, and from our resource center as well. Use this link to download chapter one for free! And, certainly send the link for the free chapter to anyone you think might benefit.

If you read chapter one and decide you’d like to have a free autographed copy, just leave a comment here. I’ll be happy to have that “guest speaker” autograph five or six. I’ll wait a few days and then draw some names. Hope you like it as much as I do!



The Drift

picmonkey_imageEvery May, my parents rent a house on the beach on Hilton Head Island for family vacation. Kids and grandkids gather for a week of surf, sun, and togetherness. We love it. The water is still a little chilly in late May, but not too chilly for the 18 and under grandchildren!

It’s always interesting to watch the phenomenon of the current, or the drift. The kids start off right in front of us with their surf-boards and floats. Within a matter of minutes, they are yards down the beach. The adults are waving like maniacs to get them to exit the water and walk back up the beach before re-entering.

This isn’t just a beach phenomenon though. It happens in life. When we stop paying attention, we drift. When we stop being intentional about exercise, we find ourselves consistently NOT working out. When we stop paying attention to our spending, we’re shocked that the credit card company needed a box rather than an envelope to send the bill. When we stop being careful with our words, we find ourselves thoughtlessly hurting people’s feelings.

When we lift our feet and just let the current of society carry us, we always drift in a negative direction. Before we know it, we find ourselves in dangerous waters.

The scariest drifting of all is the drift away from intimacy with God. No one is immune. Being a pastor’s wife doesn’t make me immune from drifting. Having grown up in church doesn’t keep anyone from drifting. Even memorizing a bunch of verses doesn’t keep us from being susceptible to the drift.

Every single one of us has the potential to get outside the rails. Every single one of us has the potential to make choices we thought we’d never make.

So what causes a spiritual drift? As a wife, mom, and ministry leader, I’ve found that two main things lead to my drifting ­- busyness and pride.

Here’s what gives me a heads-up that I’m drifting in a dangerous direction:

  •             Three consecutive days of skipping my time alone with God
  •             Catch myself gossiping or being negative about people
  •             Easily annoyed, and quick to anger
  •             Jealous heart that leads to comparing myself to others

So what’s the solution? How do we exit the current, regroup, and right our path? For me, if the catalyst was busyness, I MUST make some schedule changes. Usually, I’ve allowed too many things that don’t represent the priorities of my life fill my calendar. If the catalyst to my drifting was pride, it’s time to confess. It’s time to celebrate others. It’s time to serve someone who doesn’t have the means to serve me back.

What is it for you? What are your drifting triggers? What are the red flags that alert you to the fact that you’ve drifted? And, how do you right your path? Spend some time in prayer, asking God to shed some light on the answers to these questions in your life. You just might find yourself better able to avoid the drift!