What a joy to spend time in conversation with Lere` Robinson at The Barn. Sitting with her in her spacious barn kitchen where she hosts cooking classes, gives health talks, and entertains family and friends was such a sweet time of refreshment. 

Lere` is a frequent guest on WIS-TV as a regular nutritionist consultant, and she's also a consistent contributor to Living Real Magazine providing us with healthy living articles and recipes. You will inspired by her incredible personal story and how her faith has moved her to serving people through health and wellness for over 20 years. Her gentle spirit is so evident as is her strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Her endearing South African accent will also draw you in.

The table has always been a focal point for family and friends to gather to enjoy the blessings from Whom all blessings flow. As you sit around the table during this holiday season, make the effort to give thanks for all the blessings He has given us: delicious foods, family, friends, our salvation through Christ, His mercy and grace, etc...

I know Lere` would love to host your church group, corporate group, or you and some friends at The Barn. To learn more about her ministry and Alive Again, LLC, please visit her website at https://www.aliveagainonline.com/.

Keeping it Real,

Melanie

I'm honored to be able to chat with a spiritual mentor of mine and my husband's. Wayne, and his wife Linda, have been such godly examples for us in how to live out real faith well in every aspect of life. His undeniable love for Christ, His Church, and the Word are what draws me to his counsel and great wisdom. He's a modern-day watchman for the Church, sounding the alarm and pointing to where we've gotten off track, and it's my pleasure to welcome him to the LR podcast. 

Dr. Edwards books, Silent No More and Raising the Standard are his passion penned to page. The Church, especially in America, needs to return to Her roots in Christ and repent of Her sins to once again shine the light of Christ in a dark world. To order, please contact Wayne directly at wnledwards@gmail.com or on Facebook @MatureMinistries.

Keeping it Real,

Melanie Shull - host

 

I'm deeply honored to be sitting around the counter at Genesis' Studios for this episode, picking the brains of some very wise guys. How often does one get to sit down with three men of integrity, faith, and influence and talk about real faith? Now, these guys are not perfect (I know their wives are shouting an Amen on that), but they are certainly full of experience and wisdom. They all own their own businesses, are family men, spiritual leaders in their church, and servants in the community. They also lead a large Sunday School class every week (some have even noted it's the size of a small church). One of these men is also my husband, Rick, and I'm so honored to have him joining me for a LR podcast episode.

Why would three men with so many other responsibilities put in hours of studying God's Word to teach it to others week in and week out?

What drives these men to be so committed?

With all of them having been involved in politics in some form or fashion, what is their message to each of us, and why is it important to be involved?

Join me in this unique round table discussion. I will also be posting a video of our conversation on our Living Real Facebook page @LivingRealMag. I thought it might be fun to watch their interaction with each other. Lots of fun!

Keepin' it Real,

Melanie 

P.S. A special thank-you to Cliff Springs for recording this session at his place of business, Genesis Studios.

This LR podcast has very special meaning for me. My very best friend, Angela Brown, agreed to chat with me about her faith and how it impacts every aspect of her life. She has been like a sister as much as a best friend. We've done much of our adult lives together. For over 25 years, whether it's been singing and leading in worship, raising children, studying and sharing what God is teaching us through His Word, we have challenged and encouraged each other in our faith walks with the Lord. We've seen each other at our worst as well as our best, but she has stuck with me through thick and thin, and I've stuck with her through it all. A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17). 

TEASE! Find out what her nickname is for me. 

Angela's happy place is the beach. We talk about her private beach meanderings, conversations with the Lord, and a unique sign of how God affirms His direction or presence in her life. 

Some verses that come to mind about friendship come from John 15. In verse 13, Jesus speaks of friendship: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his [her] life for his [her] friends. Then He speaks to His friendship with us in verse 14: You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants...., but I have called you friends, for all I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (ESV).

Enjoy!

Keepin' it Real!

Melanie

 

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:9-10, ESV).

After reading about and doing some research for a high school project on abortion, Aimee Murphy felt strongly she needed to do something to help girls and young women in crisis pregnancy situations. Today, Aimee has volunteered for 30 years with Daybreak Ministries (a faith-based pregnancy medical clinic). Through the years she has provided much hope and numerous resources for women in crisis. She says it's like saving two lives when the mother chooses life over abortion. Jesus is our hope for all of life's circumstances, and Aimee's genuine love for these women exudes through her infectious smile and sweet personality. 

Aimee is a Client Advocate with Daybreak, but she began as a hotline operator from home when her children were small. She has ministered and counseled countless women and men who view their situation as hopeless. Through Daybreak, many resources are available to provide hope and to meet the needs of the young mothers and fathers who come in. One of my favorites it Taylor's Boutique. The boutique is filled with donations of new, and barely used items for a new baby's arrival. 

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact the Columbia, SC office at 803-771-6634. Ask to speak with Amanda or Whitney.

Please visit their website at www.daybreakcola.org

Keepin' it Real,

Melanie

I met Dr. Chancey through a writer's workshop online a few months ago. Since then we have collaborated about his upcoming book project to help pastors and teachers present the birth of Christ in a fresh way during the Christmas season. If you know me, Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year! I am so humbled he asked me to endorse it.

Dr. Chancey is the Senior Pastor at Mcdonough Road Baptist Church in Fayettteville, Georgia, a husband, father, and grandfather, an author, a contributing writer for several online publications, and my new friend.

His first book, The Day I Nearly Met Dolly: Tales of Faith, Family, and a Few Home Runs, is available on Amazon.com. 

During the quarantine, Dr. Chancey prayed fervently for God to show him what he was to preach on from the Scriptures to encourage and challenge the Church. God led him to 2 Chronicles 7:14, a passage he's preached from on numerous occasions, but in this season, God gave him eight sermons from this one verse. (Three of the sermons were on the section, "turn from your wicked ways.") Wow!

Is God calling His Church to wake up? To turn their hearts back to Him? Dr. Chancey and I both believe God is shaking our world to get our attention. Listen in to hear my conversation with this compassionate, faith-filled pastor who is seeking to live out his real faith in his real life. 

Keeping it Real,

Melanie  

 

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue (Proverbs 31:26 ESV).

The influence of a godly mom can powerfully impact the lives of not only her own children, but the lives of anyone who knows her well. The legacy she leaves along the trail of life is faith, truth, strength, and courage, built on the foundation of, and her relationship with, Jesus Christ. She loves well, is kind, compassionate, and puts the needs of others before her own. 

Lara Gopp, one of my very best friends, grew up with a mother of deep faith and shares with us what she's learned from her about life, motherhood, and total dependence on God. I adore her mom, Mrs. Judy, and am honored to engage in a conversation about her powerful impact on so many lives.

This episode is dedicated in loving memory of my mom, Junelle Cook, and my mother-in-law, Dottie Shull. Love on those mamas, and honor them well while you have them with you. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Keepin' it Real,

Melanie

Is your devotional life hum-drum, boring, or even non-existent? Allow me to introduce you to my friend and author, Lori Hatcher. If you desire an uncommon devotional life, you need Lori's new book, being released this month, called Refresh Your Faith - uncommon devotions from every book of the Bible, published by Our Daily Bread Publishing. It. Is. AWESOME! Available on Amazon.com

Listen to this episode to see how you could win a gift package including Lori's new book! 

Lori is an amazing story-teller, through her blogging, writing, and speaking, she uses that gift to touch hearts and to focus minds on the truth of God's Word. In this devotional, Lori shares some of her own personal stories. She even reads one of the devotionals during this episode called, Who Are You Trusting In?". It begins with this sentence: There's nothing like a crisis to reveal a person's heart. What a perfect opening to where we all are right now... in a crisis called COVID-19.

Lori and I talk about forgiveness. How do you forgive a murderer? This real faith story is also in her book.

Lori Hatcher wears many hats. In this episode we chat about several: pastor's wife, a veteran homeschool mom, Gigi to four beautiful grandkids, dental hygienest, as well as author. She's also the editor of the Christian magazine, Reach Out Columbia.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace  (Ephesians 4:2-3).

Lori exudes humbleness and gentleness. Her heart and ministry of writing and speaking are all about teaching the truths of God's Word and leading others to God's throne of grace. Please visit her website at www.LoriHatcher.com.

Keepin' it Real for Jesus' sake,

Melanie

In this episode, you'll meet Katie Wilkins: a wife, a mom to three young children (one is adopted), and a home school mom from South Carolina.

Katie has a unique story about the power of forgiveness. She shares with us how an unforgiving spirit can immobilize us, not only spiritually, but physically as well.

I met Katie a couple of years ago through our church, and we instantly connected. I'm adopted and she and her husband, Todd, have adopted a child. Katie and I both have experience with an unforgiving spirit related to sexual abuse, and we both have been healed and restored through Christ and the power of forgiveness. 

Katie also participated in a Bible study class I taught based on the book I've written called Unlocked Hearts, Unleashed Joy - Forgiveness Is the Key.

Being hurt or harmed comes in many different forms, and we all have to learn and practice the holy art of forgiveness. If we allow bitterness, anger, and even hate to take root in the soil of our hearts, it will begin to suffocate our joy and diminish our impact for Christ.

If you're interested in the book/Bible study/memoir mentioned above, you can find it on Amazon. Just click on the link.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=unlocked+hearts%2C+unleashed+joy+forgiveness+is+the+key&crid=3GBME6BVRYAAO&sprefix=Unlocked+heart%2Caps%2C175&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_14

I pray, as you listen to my precious friend share her story, that you will allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart in every corner to see if there's anyone you need to forgive or to ask forgiveness of. Once you do, you'll celebrate sweet freedom, and know immediately that the joy of Jesus has been unleashed in your heart. 

Keepin' it Real for Jesus' sake,

Melanie

Though McKinsey Cook went to live with Jesus at the tender age of 20, the seed God planted in her heart has not returned void. Just two years before her tragic, single car accident, McKinsey had fully surrendered heart to Jesus Christ. She was living out a bold faith and had planned to return to Uganda to fulfill her dream of adopting 18 boys. Instead, God used her death to resurrect her mom, Amy's reluctant faith, and has since planted the seed in her mom's heart to move the dream forward with a torch of deep love and compassion for these children.

The McKinsey Foundation was started to provide a school for the children of the villages to attend to better their lives and to introduce them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead of just 18 children that McKinsey had in mind, God has multiplied that number to 150 children presently being served through the foundation.

In the conversation, you'll also meet Samie, Amy's husband from Uganda. Together, surrendered to a calling on their lives that is miraculous to say the least, they are impacting lives beyond their wildest dreams for the glory of Jesus Christ.

To learn more about their story, visit mckinseyfund.org.

Keepin' it Real for Jesus' Sake,

Melanie

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