Monday, January 29, 2007

The Tyra Show

A friend came over this morning and kindly watched The Tyra Show with me as it went out live across the nation.

I thought it went okay. If I can put aside my self-consciousness and concentrate on what I said, I at least sounded coherent! I did scroll over to the Tyra Banks show website where they have more than 175 comments on the show already - a few encouraging, most very upset because they feel witchcraft wasn't treated/looked at fairly. In other words, there are some angry witches over there that Tyra wasn't more sympathetic.

Not that I'm surprised. Years ago, I would have reacted the same way. Regardless I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to show another side.

Friday, January 26, 2007

My people will talk to your people...

Oh, how I wish I had people for other people to talk to! I know it used to be reserved for the rich and famous, this idea of having an assistant to post blogs or answer e-mails or contact organizations and media outlets. But not so much anymore. Actually, I know quite a few authors who utilize assistants.

Sadly, I have not attained that realm yet. Oh, I dream about it. Especially on days like today when I spend my entire morning sending e-mails and making phone calls trying to act as my own publicist. I don't have one, so I have to do it myself. I'd really rather be writing.

The other thing that has consumed my time (besides trying to garner some attention for the Tyra episode on Monday) is the re-design of my website. I am working with my fabulous designers to try to get the whole thing up and running by Sunday - in time for the Tyra show. It's fun but exhausting. And also terrifying - they're going to use pictures of me in the design. Ugh..

I've written over twelve pages of new content and I still have three deadlines looming next Tuesday. So I'm being pulled in too many directions...and an extra set of hands would be really, really nice right now.

But It's still in the "Wouldn't that be nice..." category of my dreams. Reality calls. Gotta get back to work!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tyra Air date

The producers called and said that the air date for "The Lives of Witches" is set for January 29th. It airs on CBS so you'll have to check you local listings to see when it will actually air in your town.

Please keep praying for the editing process this week, and of course, for the people that will see it.

I'm in a mad rush to get my new website going before the episode airs, but I love what is planned so I can't wait to announce it when it's up!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Tyra Banks Story

So I felt like it was probably a good idea to share the whole story for those who want to hear it (for those who don't, feel free to skim:-)

It all started with that little e-mail I mentioned yesterday. It came through about 2:30pm (I was diligently working, of course!) so on a whim, assuming it was a prank, I called the number and lo and behold it really was a producer from the Tyra show. She quickly explained that they were doing a show about witchcraft and that she had read an article on CBN and thought I would be perfect for the show. Perfect meaning that they wanted the show to be "balanced" and having me on to share about becoming a Christian and coming out of witchcraft. Oh, and could I be ready in 30 minutes?

I said yes. How could I not? The chance to be a light in the midst of a dark show like that doesn't come along very often. It was as if God had pointed at me and said, "Go be my witness." So by 5:00 they had sent a car to my driveway to take me to the airport.

I don't think the reality of what I was suddenly doing hit me till later. I spent my trip up to the airport trying to call people so that they would pray for me. I'm no fool - I knew I would be up against some serious spiritual forces. And I had to fill my husband in on the preschool carpool and doctors appointments.

When I got to LA, my driver was waiting at the airport with a sign - with my name on it. I've never been one of those people who had a car waiting for them before.

He took me to my hotel, but since it felt like three o clock in the morning to me, I opted to sleep instead of walking around Hollywood - by myself - at night.

It was a rough night,I started waking up at 4am and never really was able to get back to sleep. Finally, I gave up and ordered room service (another first). A fruit plate and some coffee that cost $30. Here's my breakfast:

CBS had put $40 on the account for me to spend for food so I figured I might as well enjoy it! Thanks to my hubby, I also got a call from two of my friends from Act One. And my jobless friend offered to come with me for the day. I was thrilled to have a friendly face with me so he came over to the hotel so he could ride to the studio with me.

At my hotel in the heart of Hollywood:
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Then, this pulled up to take me - ME - to the studio:
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Yeah, I've been in a limo like this exactly twice in my life.

So I had some fun:
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Anthony and me, taken by the driver:
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At the CBS studio - Anthony snapped this before the bouncer/guards scolded us for having the camera...
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After we went through the metal detectors, we were taken through the studios to some dressing room areas. They tape two shows a day so the previous guests were literally kicked out of the room, they cleaned it (well, sort of, you can read more about that at Anthony's blog if you'd like). But they did slip my name in the door:
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The Green Room - which is not green and even my Hollywood friends could not explain to me why they call this the green room.
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I didn't run into anyone else from the show untuil I got to the make-up room. This is where I had my first encounter with Fiona - a witch who looks fairly normal, despite the goat skull tattoo on her arm. But normal looking or not, wow did that girl have some serious demonic activity around her! You can see her just past me in the photo. Of all the guests, she is the one that I felt the most warfare with. I prayed the whole time I was next to her, and honestly, felt totally sustained by prayer the rest of the time I was there. It was like nothing in any of those people could touch me or come near me.

So a very special thank you to the many, many of you who prayed for me. I felt it!!

Make-up complete - I even have on false eyelashes. I kind of felt like I should be working Sunset Blvd instead of just staying there!
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On to hair:
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I think she regretted choosing to straighten my hair when she realized just how much I have. It took her a good long time to do it.

The results, after hair, make-up and wardrobe (they let me wear my own pants but gave me the sweater and the shoes to wear:
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The straight hair was a dramatic change for me, but fun.

During this time I had to read and sign a release (hilarious - basically they take responsibility for nothing) and the producer kept running through what Tyra would ask. Just before the show started, the head producer came in and told me that Tyra wanted me to know that she did not want to do a show on witchcraft and that she was very glad that I was there to share a different viewpoint.

Then, I settled in to watch the show:
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The show basically went like this:
Three "white witches" (including Fiona) shared their thoughts about their beliefs.
A solitary witch, who they show being inducted into Fiona's coven (the lady I mentioned earlier,
Two witches who practice "dark arts" and own an occult shop
Two Satanists (the man apparently was the first child born into the Church of satan, which was started by his grandfather.
Then me.

In that order. I won't repeat the episode (and all of the horrible untrue statements that were made) because it will be on the air in two to three weeks. I watched about half the show before they walked me to the backstage area, put a mic on me and touched up my hair and make-up.

When it was my turn, they walked me out on stage and sat me on a stool. Tyra came out, said hello and within seconds we were on camera. She asked a few questions but I found it hard because I didn't have time to tell the whole story. I was able to tell the part about burning all my witchraft stuff. But overall, I don't know how it went. It was over so fast. Then as soon as the cameras turned off, Tyra patted me on the knee, said "Thanks for being here." and was gone again.

I was sitting there all by myself and since I didn't know what to do I just looked around the audience, random people throughout the audience smiled, waved or gave me thumbs up signs. One sweet lady mouthed "You did great." and that made me feel better.

Then they set up chairs for all of us to sit in one long row for the Q & A part. They sat me next to Mr. Satanist. Well, there wasn't much time left and Fiona had shamelessly planted two friends in the audience to promote Fiona's new book of spells and ask for directions to perform her favorite love spell (which Fiona obliged with). Boy do I hope they edit that part out! Then I think Tyra asked what Fiona thought about my story. Her voice sounded even and kind even as it dripped with venom. She blew off my story as just a lonely troubled teenager. I thought she was going to get the last word but Tyra then looked at me and asked, "What do you think of that Sarah?" It was here that I felt that surge of God inside of me and responded, not on my own, but powered by God himself. I don't even remember all I said (but pray they leave this in!) I do know that I ended with the statement that even though those onstage would disagree that I believed that there was only one truth. Tyra said something like, "Well, I think most of the audience and I would agree with that." Everybody clapped, and it was over.

So, it was a truly amazing experience - and I'm so glad I was given even a small chance to point to God. I hope I was able to bring Him glory.

After we left the studio, Anthony and I met up with Mollie and we had a great evening catching up and eating dinner toegther. That was the icing on the cake for me.
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So, they say it will air in two to three weeks so I'll let you know when it gets scheduled. In the meantime, please pray for the editing process, and the two million some people that will see the program - may they not take any of the bad advice or be lured into any of that horrible stuff. I did talk to the producers about having a link on and they seemed to think that would be fine. So hopefully, they'll find information on the good stuff too.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tyra Banks & Me

I just realized, despite my mushy, jet-lagged brain, that I should tell you what's been happening. It's all still a little surreal - like maybe I dreamed it or it happened to someone else. But it all started when I got an e-mail on Thursday afternoon that I thought was a prank.

It wasn't.

It was from "The Tyra Banks Show" and they wanted me to come appear on the program - on Friday (keep in mind it is Thursday afternnon on the East Coast. Well, because I have a super-supportive husband, the show sent a car to my driveway and picked me up within the hour, whisked me to the airport and flew me to LA. Yes, that fast.

It's a fun and crazy story that I want to tell with all my super-dorky tourist photos that I took. And no, I didn't get one with Tyra and me together. I'm going to try and pull a screen shot when they air the episode.

Oh, I didn't mention why they wanted me on did I? Yeah, they were doing a program called "The Lives of Witches" and wanted to "balance" out the program by having another viewpoint. That would be. The token Christian.

It was a really cool experience though - and I will post a full-report as soon as I can think straight enough to download the pics off my camera...

till then...

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Read an interesting blog at Jesus Creed this morning about "conversation".

The idea I talked about the other day - how we no longer live in community, ties into this idea of "conversation". I have been looking into the Emergent Church Movement for quite some time because as someone who thoroughly enjoys being challenged to consider ideas, I find it interesting to watch the debate over it among the body of Christ. Lots of loud and passionate voices on either side.

But instead of really looking at some of the concerns of the "movement", a lot of people (i.e. the traditional church) blow the whole thing off as blasphemy or bad doctrine or any other number of things.

But I keep thinking about good old Martin Luther. Hundreds of years ago, he had the audacity to point out the "church" of his day might be telling the masses the wrong thing - and it changed the course of Christianity. Most major shifts and changes get started by people who are orginally seen as troublemakers and traitors. Take a look at how the Pharisees reacted to Jesus. They were the ones that were angry because it was their "way of living" that was being raked over the coals. They were losing their power over the people and it made them mad. The "church", or much of it, is mad over this whole emergent movement because it has the audacity to say that maybe it's time to re-look at the way we go about church.

Now. I'm not saying that I agree with everything I hear the leaders of the Emergent movement saying. But I'm willing to consider the ideas, turn them over, inspect them, and search the Word of God over them. Like a good conversation (See, I did have a point!).

I submit that the church is terrified of real conversation. We love to take a stand and say that we are "standing on the Word of God". But what we are really doing is refusing to listen. I agree that the Word of God is God's very words, breathed by His very breath and absolutely trustworthy. But I aslo think that the Word of God can stand up to a good conversation. We don't have to be scared to ask questions, ponder or even not know. I also don't agree that we can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, all that God is truly saying to us (at least this side of heaven). Oh, we can understand bits and pieces, we may even get close on some topics, but we are fallible humans. Churches don't have conversations about ideas. They split. Because instead of inviting conversation, leaders (in the general sense) basically say "Well, if you don't like it, go somewhere else."

And that is the crux of the problem. People just go from church to church, looking for a place that 'agrees with them". Churches (again, in general) are getting bigger and bigger. Building bigger buildings. Making budget decisions rather than people decisions. Being a business rather than a family. And there happens to be a huge number of spiritual people who are tired of not being heard. I'm one of them. But I see trouble ahead. For this "new" sort of church and the "established" church. Because at the end of the day, we need each other. We can't make this journey alone and we each need the little pieces of bread that someone else has. I need to share what I have and you need to share what you have. We need to have conversations where we can truly "reach the mind of Christ". God says it can be done, but it happens in the context of conversation - not in the context of "you go do your thing and I'll go do mine".

I don't want to just do my thing. I want to do His thing. But we need each other to do that.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Let's Be Friends!

I read an article in my paper today about MySpace where they polled teens ages 12-17 about their use of "social networking" sites.

More than half of American youths use online social networking sites, according to a recent survey. MySpace is, by far, the most popular (85%). 70% of girls aged 15-17 use social netwoking sites and 22% of teens check their site more than once a day. But teens are being smart as well - 45% of them have profiles that are visible only to their friends.

So what does this mean? Teens are online. Duh. I know. That's not news! No, but it sort of proves what we have assumed all along. That teens connect digitally and we don't really know what the long-term impact is going to be on this generation.

Our idea of community has changed radically over and over again, and while this is yet another culture shift, it's not necessarily a positive one. And it goes to why I decide to have a MySpace. Just a few generations ago, we weren't nearly as mobile. people stayed closer in communities, and older women naturally helped the younger women as they adjusted to being wives, and moms and everything that happens in between. That changed and now we get advice from friends and books and the Internet - those close-knit communities (for the most part) are gone. But with the Internet, and being able to instantly e-mail 300 people all over the country, we no longer even need to venture out of our houses to get lots of opinions about things. I'm all for peer relationships, but we all need "mentors" - people who have gone before us, that can help guide us along the way. It's the whole concept of Titus 2.

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverant in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they (older women) can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God." Titus 2:3-5

But where are all the older women to help these young women grow into the fullness of what God has for them? Many are enjoying their ladies Bible studies and chatting over lunch, while half a generation of girls are posting cute pictures of themselves on their MySpace page. This is why I am on the Internet - to be available. You see, I cannot necessarily convince anyone to listen to me. I just have to be out here, blogging, answering e-mails and being available to anyone who wants to listen. Writing books that share my heart and passion.

So whoever has found their way here, thanks for stopping by - I'm thrilled to have you. But if you're a young woman that has wandered here, then I hope you find something here to help you on your journey. Because that's really my heart's purpose.

Oh - and you can see MySpace, too.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Say What?

I've always been somewhat of an overacheiver. A B was never good enough. It had to be the A. There was a girl in my high school that would argue with the teacher for a 99 if she had a 98 - I wasn't that kind of girl. But I always felt - disappointed -when I didn't excel at something. Being okay wasn't okay. I wanted to be the best.

The problem was that I really thought I HAD to be the best. I felt like if I was just smart enough, then maybe my parents would really love me and all of my problems would go away. Yeah. Right. But what has lingered is not believing that is true, but the thought life that goes with that kind of "performance mentality". I was my own harshest critic. If I didn't do well, I would berate myself mentally for messing up, for failing, for not meeting expectations. Granted, some of it came directly from parents who never seemed happy with what I accomplished, but I also set the bar so high that no human being could ever meet my own expectations - much less myself.

Those "bad thoughts" - the ones where I tell myself that I'm worthless or a failure or not smart enough or nice enough, that no one likes me and that I hate myself - have been my companions for years. That is, up until a few weeks ago. I don't really know what changed or what happened. Tongues of fire didn't land on my head and there were no bright lights or angelic visits - but something definitely changed. Now I work hard to speak in a positive way - about my efforts, about God's work in me, about giving myself grace and you know what - it has made a huge difference. You see, when you judge yourself harshly, it's hard not to judge others the same way. So I find myself more relaxed, and more compassionate, all at the same time. I am able to push through and persevere in new ways.

I doubt I am the only one who has made these same mistakes. Even knowing that God loved me and that my value was found in being his didn't really help my mind flip that switch. I had to change. And you know what I discovered? I discovered that sometimes those mean, nasty thoughts become your only friends. They are comfortable and familiar and if you let go of them, you're not really sure what will come in their place. Letting go is scary - even if you are letting go of bad stuff. And it's the bad stuff that God wants to clean out of you and me.

I'm sure there's plenty of other crap He's going to have dig out of there, but instead of feeling like I am always losing the battle for my thoughts, the tide has turned and my side won a pivotal victory. So no matter what battle you're facing keep trudging on - you just never know when the battle will turn for you.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

To Sleep, Perchance to dream...

A study published in the Nature Neuroscience journal examined how memories are processed in the brain during sleep. During the non-dreaming portion of sleep, the brain replays the day's events, helping people reflect on recent happenings and learn from them, said Matthew Wilson, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

The bottom line: Information crammed into the brain during a sleepless night has less chance of sticking. When deprived of sleep, students may be able to regurgitate information they've memorized overnight, but they have decreased their ability to understand its meaning or to apply it to future experience.

"Sleep isn't just a passive event," said Wilson, co-author of the study. "The best way to take advantage of sleep is to have it interspersed between periods of wakefulness in a regular way."

I can't even tell you how many all-nighters I pulled in high school and college getting ready for an exam. Staying out late, sleeping in, my roommates famous "ten-minute naps" in the middle of the day when we couldn't keep our eyes open another second! I'm a night-owl by nature so I'd rather stay up late than rise early. No matter how many times I drag myself out of bed early in the morning "to get something accomplished" I find I am utterly useless.

Today I crawled back into bed after seeing my kids off to school because I had a headache and I was feeling grumpy about it. I fell back asleep and when I woke up the second time, I was ready to face the day. But I felt guilty. I seem to have this idea that sleeping is equal to "wasting time", yet, if it is how God created us, then how can it be a bad thing?

Sleep deprivation has been linked to all sorts of bad things - chronic fatigue, depression, weight gain, irritability, headaches, memory loss, makes health conditions worse, causes accidents, failing grades, can impede physical growth, affects your immune can even kill you.

Related to sleep is the concept of rest...I read a note from someone recently that talked about how they always honor the Sabbath by taking rest from sundown Saturday, to sundown on Sunday. The Sabbath is actually one of the ten commandments, yet most of us have trouble carving out ten minutes of rest much less a whole 24 hours.

I don't think we know what rest is anymore.

I know I don't. My life, just like most of your lives, runs at a frenzied pace sometimes. Slowing down, taking time to rest, and also sleep, can seem counter-productive. But we have to. God created us to need rest and sleep, not just ocasionally, but regularly.

So let's hear it for no-guilt sleep and a weekly rest. We should probably listen to Him - after all, I think He knows what He is doing, don't you?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

A new year! A fabulous new you! Isn't it funny how (most) people look at the new year as a fresh start - when all that's really changed is the date? I'm not a big resolution maker but even I couldn't help making some plans about things I want to accomplish this year. The list gets long quick. (especially when I start adding in things like catching up with my scrapbooks!) January 1st isn't some magical day, but the idea of a brand new year helps us to think that we, too, can make a change.

That's sort of what following God is all about. Becoming better than we could be on our own. God can transplant us from one path to another, from one way of being to another. He can grow that good stuff inside of us while helping us to weed out all the nasty stuff that is common to us all.

Perhaps it's because I'm feeling more hopeful this year or perhaps it's because I see God rearranging my life on so many different fronts, but I do feel the urge to make some goals this year. I think goals are a little different for me than resolutions. Resolutions means I'm going to try to do (or not do) something this year. But I really want to accomplish something. To look back at the end of the year and be able to see some sort of tangible difference.

So I am dividing my goals into Physical and Spiritual - two areas that I feel like God is challenging me to go deeper in.

First - the spiritual. I want to read through the Bible this year. From beginning to end. I have started this a few times but always get bogged down somewhere in the "not so fascinating parts" - sorry Lord, but it's true.

Second - the physical. I actually started this goal a month ago. I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't struggle with my weight. It's been a life long chain wrapped around me. I've tried to get free from it, but then I would end up feeling wrapped up even tighter - because I kept failing. Over and over, again and again. I always learned something - about myself, about the way I looked at the world, the way I thought about things. But all my random understanding didn't seem to add up to real change. And I want real change. Transformation. While I know that God's love for me is not based on what I look like, I also am painfully aware that my outside is a reflection of who I am inside. It's just like a book. Those of us who are authors know how important a cover is. The cover has to reflect the story that is contained inside. Otherwise you could end up with an edgy suspense story wrapped inside a prairie romance cover. It wouldn't work for a book and it doesn't work for me. So, in part anyway, my goal is less about weight, and more about reflecting Christ who resides within me.

And the second part of the goal is about health. Again, it's not about the weight, but about not being a slave to anything (including Krispy Kreme donuts or white mochas) except God Himself. It's also about being fit. I don't think I've ever been fit - ever. (Remind me someday to tell you my college soccer story). God created us to have these absolutely amazing bodies and we - I mean I - don't care for them the way we should. We act like they are cheap rentals instead of luxury sports cars complete with seat warmers. I have three little girls, and frankly, I simply want to be a better role model. I want to show them the benefits (and fun) of being physically fit. Of eating healthy. Of making smart choices. Of honoring God with our bodies.

But I have to do it first. As "mom", I really set the tone not only for myself, but for my whole family. I have the chance to teach them healthy habits so they don't ever get wrapped up in the chains I did. And I've already started.

I almost didn't want to talk about this on the blog, but honestly, it's an issue that many, many girls deal with on a regular basis. Maybe talking about it will be a good thing. For all of us. And if it's about being a girl, and God, well, we'll talk about it!

So here's to 2007. May it be a wonderful year!