Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tribute to Jesse Weston

Recently, I received the phone call no friend wants to receive. At 5:30 am on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 my son called to tell me his friend Jesse had been killed. I will never forget my sons shattered and broken voice. In the days after we all tried to help our friends family, but there is nothing any of us can do to ease their pain. Sure, our presence and support means much to them, but their hearts are broken and their lives are forever changed.

Along with many others, I've been thinking a lot about Jesse and his life. He was known to always be there for his friends and family, even unto death. At age 20, he already seemed to understand and live out the greatest commandment by loving his LORD and loving his neighbor as himself. Through the actions of being there for friends he revealed Jesus.

Jesse was no more the perfect kid than any of my kids, but loving and caring for others the way Jesus did came naturally to him. Did he always make the right decisions? Of course not. Like the rest of us he took a few wrong turns and hit a few speed bumps along the way. However, Jesse's most important decision was made when he was young as he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. We, his family and friends can know we will see him again. Sure, our hearts are broken, but we have assurance of where he is and our future with him.

Jesse's death reminds me of the love of Jesus. By coming to the defense of others he put himself in a vulnerable place and another human took his earthly life. It's likely he never thought about the risk to himself, because that's just who Jesse was. He simply chose to defend those whom he loved. Similarly, Christ chose to die on the cross taking our sins upon Himself. In doing so, Christ made a way so that we could live forever with Him.

I believe if Jesse could shout back from heaven to his friends he would ask each of us to evalute our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Asking:

"Do you know what your eternal destiny will be? And if not, PLEASE pray/talk to Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart and life and forgive you when you mess up. We all mess up even with Jesus in our hearts. I want to see you again. So, do to JESUS and make sure at the end of your life you step into heaven with Jesus, me and many others who have gone before you."

"16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him." John 3:16-18 The Message 

The words above are what Jesse's family and I believe Jesse would say to each of us if he could.

By HIS mercy and in the very grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Running In Circles

Today, my article "Running in Circles" is on Women Walking With Jesus! If you feel like you are running in circles and have lost your focus, jump over, read, and find comfort in the Jesus who died for you.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mesothelioma Awareness

Recently, I read an article about a young woman (photo above) who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. I don't know about you, but I always thought of it as a disease occurring in older adults. While statistically most people are diagnosed between age 50-70 the numbers for younger adults are on the rise due to second hand exposure either from parents or spouses. 

As I began to read the facts about Mesothelioma I was astounded. The only known cause is asbestos exposure. In 1989, the EPA issued a final rule banning most asbestos products. Unfortunately, in 1991, this regulation was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and few asbestos products remain banded.  This fact alone took my breath. If we know asbestos causes Mesothelioma and other cancers then why are we not working toward a total elimination of the products? 

Other staggering facts about Asbestos use:

~30 million pounds still being used in the United States today
~#1 cause of occupational  cancer
~This year 10,000 Americans will die of asbestos related disease and 200,000 people will be living with asbestos. 

~Asbestos is still found in many homes, schools, commercial, and industrial buildings. The EPA estimates there are asbestos containing materials in most of our 107,000 primary and secondary schools and 733,000 public and commercial buildings. 

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer and most patients are given a ten month prognosis upon diagnosis. Mesothelioma commonly sits dormant in the body for 20-50 years after initial exposure. However, more and more young adults are being diagnosed.  It seems asbestos exposure could be best described as a ticking time bomb just waiting to ravage the body.  

I don't know about you, but I am not happy knowing virtually everyone is at risk because of the continued use of asbestos. There is a great need for both awareness to the problem and research to attain a solution, as well as cure.

Hoping and praying the more aware each of us becomes of the risk asbestos exposure the more willing we will become to be apart of the push for change. 

For more information and links: Heather's awareness page

 By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Mother's Love

Today, my article "A Mother's Love" is posted on Women Walking With Jesus. If you are struggling along the journey of raising your children, please visit and be encouraged.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Storms come in all shapes and sizes. Our lives are full of them. Some are treacherous, even hurricane like; Some are just plain messy and annoying. The storms I find most annoying are not those that affect me, but those who have the potential to harm those I love. And even more annoying are those I can not do anything to control. There you have it....the "big" problem is my need to fix/control the situation to obtain an optimal outcome for all involved.

Recently, God spoke loudly to me about the "need to fix/control" the problems/storms around me. It's really nothing new, but something He's been trying desperately to get through to me all forty eight years of my life. Nearly half a century and I might get it this time. I am trying.

As I walked, God spoke these words to my heart:

"You are NOT in control. You have never been in control and even if you were, you could NOT fix any of these situations on your own. I am not asking you to do NOTHING, but what I am asking you to do is trust ME to do the work in each area/person while you pray, love, and encourage and keep walking toward ME."

It seems so simple, yet we humans make it difficult. So, if you are struggling with storms in your life join me in fully surrendering the storm(s) to our Heavenly Father while walking in love toward HIM.

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord." Psalm 89:15 NIV

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Looks Are Deceiving

Today, my article "Looks Are Deceiving" is published at Women Walking With Jesus. I pray each of you will hop over, read, and be blessed by what God is doing in and through my heart and life. God is faithful!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Saturday, July 19, 2014


A house
A dwelling

Yet, built only from sticks, nails, and a few stones.

Without a doubt this beautiful home sits in all it's glory waiting to bless it's next guest with a wondrous experience. The house on it's own can not fulfill the hearts of those within. Only God can heal their pain and restore their hearts.

Over the last few years, Doug and I have been blessed to share in the experience of visiting this home in Pine Island, N.C.  Our friends have invited us year after year to partake of the blessings they inherited through a hard working, God-honoring father and husband. None of us take our experience here for granted and while each of us would be just as happy in a tent with an air mattress we recognize the sacrifice of those who have gone before us to provide such amenities. We praise GOD for preparing the way before each of us and helping us to remember our happiness is found in HIM and not the material possessions around us. We are thankful for the deer who graze on the dunes around this home and the butterflies that light all around us. Each sunrise and sunset beseech us to draw closer to our Heavenly Father and listen intently to HIS voice.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Friday, July 11, 2014

Keep Hiking

Do you ever feel overwhelmed or like you are standing a little to close to the edge of life? I know I certainly do. Today, I'm reminded of God's presence no matter where life takes me. There will always be scary times and unbelievable adventures this side of heaven. However, God gives us the Holy Spirit to live within us as a comforter and guide. He will  never fail us no matter how unbelievably difficult life seems.

Having the strength of Jesus within me puts new meaning in my heart to "...the joy of the Lord is my strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Join me as I embrace the strength our Creator places with within each of us. Keep hiking through this life, dear friends!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


At birth, my parents had chosen my first name, Andrea and I've been told the doctor who delivered me chose my middle name, Hope. In fact, when I was a small child the same doctor was my family doctor and he quite often called me by my middle name, not the name everyone else calls me.

Over the years, I've thought a lot about my name and what it means. I've often wondered why Dr. Miller chose the name "Hope." I've come to believe God used Dr. Miller to plant a seed in my life. When there is nothing else, there is HOPE!

 "It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." Ephesians 1:11-12 The Message

"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek" Hebrews 6:18-20 The Message 

So, today I cling to "hope" in Christ and I pray this hope is contagious to all those I love.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Garden Of My Heart

Today, you will find my article "The Garden of my Heart" over at Women Walking With Jesus. I hope you will be encouraged as you read how God is weeding and working in my heart.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue 

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Little Girl

Visit me over at "Women Walking With Jesus" and read my article "The Little Girl." Everyone leaves an impact on the lives of those they nurture. You may not realize the impact you are leaving. Be encouraged, your impact may be far greater than you realize.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, April 28, 2014

What "Prayer" means to me.

What "Prayer" means to me:

Indwelling presence and power much greater than my own, continually translating my groaning and fear into gentle whispers entering the heart of God. All the while each prayer transforms my heart and spirit. With each heart-transformation, Jesus is reflected through my responses to adversity and pain sweeping fear out of the deep recesses and crevasses of my heart and filling it with His peace.

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Ephesians 6:18 NIV

No request is too great for God. He cares about every detail of our lives.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Friday, April 25, 2014

Perfect, not me!

If you struggle with the "Need to be PERFECT," I've written an article for Women Walking With Jesus you may want to read. I pray God will speak through my words to each of you and work miraculously through each heart and life. Healing is yours, my friends. God wants you to soar in freedom with Him.

As you read, "Perfect, not me!" May you find strength and courage to fully surrender those unhealthy needs to Jesus and begin living the life He created you to live.

By His mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


'Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this." Proverbs 3:4-6 The Message

While biopsies may not be fun, Doug has settled into a regimen of obtaining them yearly. It's been two and half years now since his diagnosis of prostate cancer. Initially, we were in a state of grief and emotional distress. The word "cancer" evoked countless emotions within each of us. Over time, God has taught us many things about ourselves and also about Himself, the Great Physician.

In January, Doug had his third biopsy. This is our second "cancer free" biopsy. The doctor can not explain where the cancer went, because the course of treatment we chose was holistic.  Doug's  treatment plan was a change of diet and a decision to pray our way through it. Our initial decision was based upon the type of cancer and fully supported by his doctor. In fact, Doug and I were inclined to seek surgery or other options, but his doctor recommended we proceed slowly. He said, "research showed the type of cancer he had was slow growing."  We chose to have yearly biopsies and bi-annual check-ups with blood-work, etc.

In January, Dr. Morgan said, "I don't know what you are doing, but keep doing it. I can not find the cancer. We know it was there and we know we have not done anything to remove it. I know I am biopsying in the correct area, yet it is NOT showing up."

Doug said, "God can take it away!"

Dr. Morgan jumped up and hugged Doug and said, "Stay focused on that!"

Doug was Dr. Morgan's last patient of the day. It was a beautiful sight to see Doug and Dr. Morgan basically skip down the halls chatting about how good God is as we prepared to leave.

Doug will continue to have biopsies and tests as scheduled. With each positive result we are thankful for the time we have been given and pray God continues to bless us with many more years together. Doug and I have learned to trust God with each moment of our lives. We have also learned to embrace the blessings and adventures in our path. Each day is a new day; keep your focus on God and trust Him with every detail of your lives.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Grace Happened


~undeserved, yet given
~beautiful, yet misunderstood
~forever, yet forsaken
~free, yet longed for

It doesn't make sense, yet "Grace" happened. So, let's stop stumbling over what we don't understand and embrace the fullness of Christ and all He has to offer.

~His forgiveness
~His grace
~His love
~His acceptance

It's already there....available and free to all who accepts. Jesus has already given/sacrificed "all!" That happened on the Cross.

The Cross is the only place in this life where we always win.

We win:


The Cross frees us to be the people God created us to be. Lord, help us to find this person within ourselves.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again." John 3:16-17 The Message

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Friday, March 14, 2014


The shock of tragedy intensifies grief. One moment life is normal and the next moment normal is gone. We spend the rest of our lives searching for a new normal. God graciously supplies the strength through His presence to step back into the race He's called us to run. However, we must choose to embrace and trust Him. We do not choose tragedy, but we choose how we handle it.

" The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!" Exodus 15:1-3

By HIS mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Questioning GOD

 Today, I am sharing about a season of life where I "Questioned GOD!" Actually, I share about several seasons and how important it is to journey on with our Savior, Jesus. Please join me over at "Women Walking With Jesus." I pray each of you will be encouraged.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One Pebble at a Time

"Never stop praying." 
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

Over the years, many people have called me a prayer warrior. The name seems overwhelming and unattainable. Yet, as I began tossing each pebble size prayer at God I suppose I was building prayer warrior skills. They were not pretty prayers and many times they were more like inaudible groans from a dying animal or a flood of tears from a broken damn. They were my prayers to a loving, gracious, and merciful God; a God who sent His son to save and restore me to the person He created me to be.

Each person who prayers and seeks God is a prayer warrior. Our prayers range from fragmented pebbles to giant boulders as we continue on our journey through this life. We must warrior on, one pebble at a time.

One pebble at a time
We build
We grow

One pebble at a time
We live
We know

One pebble at a time
His love
We show

One pebble at a time
With grace and mercy
Our prayers go

One pebble at a time

By His mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue 

Monday, February 24, 2014

New and Exciting Ministry

I am excited to share a new ministry site with each of you,  Women Walking With Jesus. You will find daily encouragement, love, and much more through real life stories from women around the world. I am thankful to be a part of this uniquely designed group of ladies. May the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus be your constant blessing as you visit Women Walking With Jesus!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Saturday, February 22, 2014

~ Needs

Thought for the day:

~When you don't have everything you need.......all you need is what you already have!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, February 10, 2014


After Sunday morning church, Savannah and Elijah climbed a big hill. I thought I would take their picture by the "three wooden crosses" standing atop the hill by our church (New Life UMC), with my I-phone.

On the way back down, they began to stumble. Stumbling became rolling and rolling became crawling out of the the only mud puddle in sight. At least and acre of land around the crosses and they land in the only mud puddle we could see.

Lauren (our daughter and Elijah's mom) and I laughed hysterically as did Savannah and Elijah. Both children were muddy and wet from head to toe. Elijah's little wool dress coat will be going to the dry cleaners, today. Lauren and I could see it was going to happen, but there was nothing we could do to stop it.

Isn't that the way life is sometimes? We are moving along, making wise steps, climbing mountains hand in hand with those we love, and the next thing we know we slip and fall into a messy mud puddle. It's in that moment we have two choices:

1)Get angry and wallow in the mess flinging mud on all those around us.

2)Help one another out of the mud puddle, clean up the mess, and move forward with hearts full of love and laughter.

So, the next time you unexpectedly land in one of life's mud puddles, clean up the mess and embrace the next step God has for you. Life's too short to linger in the muddy places consumed with anger and/or guilt about the fall. Be thankful for the journey and watch your step.

Remember, we are all one step away from a slip-sliding mess. Keep your eyes on Jesus and enjoy the journey.

"Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow."
Psalm 25:4 NLT

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

~If you are wondering, the series of pictures I took did not come out. Too much glare! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Loving the "Bad Apples!"

Remember the seemingly wise words your parents or grandparents  use to admonish you with?

"All it takes is one bad apple to ruin them all!"

For me this implied one of two things:

1) Don't be the bad apple and lead others to ruin.

2)Don't socialize with bad apples or you might become one.

Lately, I've been thinking about how this applies to my walk with the Lord and the church (fellowship of believers). Let's presume our church (fellowship of believers) is a healthy spiritual community. Now, what happens or what should happen when we have one apple exhibiting unhealthy choices?

While there are admonitions in scripture for those who offend and directions on how to handle ourselves, rarely do I see them carried out effectively. There are cases handled beautifully and lives are redeemed, but I find those few and far between.

After much prayer and thought, I believe the radical difference is actually very simple. It's all in the heart and attitude of the community (fellowship of believers). When God speaks to my heart admonishing me the first thing I hear is "how much HE loves me and will continue to love me whether I choose to make wise decision or I choose sin!" Once I've felt the presence of the Lord's love, HE begins to radically work within my heart cleaning up the mess I've independently made of things.

If that's how God approaches us, shouldn't we approach others in and outside the fellowship in the same way? Shouldn't we continue to love while setting healthy boundaries?

We can "lovingly" stand firm!

Many times I've messed up.
Many times I've sinned.
Many times I've been in a pit of my own choosing and in some cases a pit caused by others actions.

I will be forever thankful for those who loved me through life's messes whether I caused them or they were the result of others actions. They loved me when I wasn't capable of being lovable. At my worst moments, God sent earthly angels to stand alongside me, pray for me, and most importantly love me.

Today and every day, as we ( fellowship of believers) face the unlovable what will we do?

Remember: NONE of us started out with a strong faith. We start as babies and grow daily into the people God created us to be.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Normal or Not?

Normal, what does it look like?

To most of us, normal means fitting in; being a part of; a look-a-like. Normal seems to be associated with a steady, unshaken state where everyone does the same things, wears the same styles, and doesn't disagree. Now, I know this is not the Webster definition for normal, but when I listen to others say, "you/they aren't normal," I realize normal is in the eye of the beholder or group of beholders.  We humans often deem normal as a state of comfort or a safe place. Normal in these terms doesn't really exist and when it does it is both boring and does NOT promote spiritual or emotional growth.

I don't know about you, but in my world  normal is usually no where in sight. In fact, the more abnormal the circumstances the greater God's presence seems to be. I, too fall into the trap of longing to be surrounded with people who agree with me at all times. I'm reminded, Jesus was found time and time again with people who were "different/not normal."

God continues to pour Himself out to me as I step out of my comfort-zone and into uncomfortable situations. He is stretching and growing me in different ways than those around me, but just maybe He is using my presence in their lives, too. God uses "the not normal" to grow me and help me stay the course He's called me to.

So, if someone says, "You are NOT NORMAL!" It's a compliment. You are probably stretching them. Evaluate your decisions based upon God's word and what He's called you to do, NOT what others think is normal or not normal.

Now, get out there....walk, run, grow, and don't forget to stretch! Stretching is good for all of us whether we like it or not.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love, A Living Legacy!

Pictured above are two of my three grandchildren, Savannah and Elijah. Baby Charley, our newest edition is too little to come out in the snow. If you asked me what legacy I would like to leave them it would be to:

“........You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind......."
Matthew 22:36-40 NLT

I know it's not easy, but I pray each of them will learn to embrace this greatest commandment with all their heart, soul, and mind!

My thoughts on how to "LOVE!"

Love God...
Love others...
Love self...

It really is a matter of the heart. The only time in scripture where Jesus became extremely the point of throwing tables is with the money changers in the temple. God recently brought this passage to my mind. As I pondered Jesus actions and anger, I thought of tables flipping over and money flying everywhere. WOW! What a scene that must have been. Again, I pondered his anger and the actions of all those present. Certainly, many had sinned and done it in the presence of Jesus, but this time He became furious.

Why was Jesus so angry?

His anger was not so much what they were doing and where they were doing it, but WHY they were doing it! It really was a matter of the heart.

Their motives: All selfish.
They put money before God.
They "loved" money more than they "loved" God.
Their hearts were filled with greed.

Any thing, person, or possession we place above God puts us in the same position. It's a matter of the heart. Do we truly love GOD more than anything and do we show it in our actions towards others. Loving GOD with all our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbor as ourself truly is the greatest commandment.

We are selfish by nature. It's probably why we are to put ourselves third. Now, before you go out and abuse your body trying to take care of everything on your own, hear me out.

Self-care is very important. Our bodies house "the Holy God!" So, we must treat them as the gift and treasure they are. In doing so, we are healthy enough to be "present" in the moment and participate as God's living vessels.

As simple as it is; it's pretty complicated. Well, we make it that way.

I pray my grandchildren will be healthy spiritually, emotionally, and physically and will run an awesome race here on planet earth. And for each of you, my friends....I pray this same prayer.

By His mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Real Friend

Today, I've been thinking a lot about friendship. We all want and need friends. We need each other. Sure, we can exist without other humans, but we don't usually do it well. We are at our best when we have what I like to call "real friends" in our lives. God has graciously given me a many of them and I will be forever grateful. In the above picture is a beautiful friend who lives in Pennsylvania. God brought us together through the blogging world and over time we've become great friends. No, we don't talk every day, but when we need love and encouragement we are there for each other.

My definition of a real friend:

A real friend loves and respects you in both good and bad times. They are there for you "especially" when you mess up. They give love, forgiveness, and wise counsel, yet do not judge. A real friend is full of grace and mercy living out the example of Jesus Christ. 

Now, let's all get out there and be "real friends" to those around us.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Have you ever felt like a nobody?

Have you ever felt you were a nobody and wondered how your life could possibly fit into God's story? Well, I have. I remember the day I stumbled upon Psalm 113. I felt pretty low and wondered how things could ever be different. 

Praise the Lord!
Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord.
    Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
    now and forever.
Everywhere—from east to west—
    praise the name of the Lord.
For the Lord is high above the nations;
    his glory is higher than the heavens.
Who can be compared with the Lord our God,
    who is enthroned on high?
He stoops to look down
    on heaven and on earth.
He lifts the poor from the dust
    and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
    even the princes of his own people!

He gives the childless woman a family,
    making her a happy mother.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 113 NLT

As you read through Psalm 113, I hope verses 6-8 spoke to your heart as much as they did mine about 20 years ago. By worldly standards I felt like a nobody, but in God's eyes I am deemed special. He chose me and He will lift me out of any pit I find myself in. He will even use me/my life to help others when I am obedient to share my story. 

I don't pretend to understand many of life's circumstances. I never have and probably  never will this side of heaven. Through the years, What I have come to understand is no matter what anyone else thinks, I am valuable in God's eyes. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel pretty darn good.

So, today if you are feeling garbage or a nobody, know with certainty that GOD LOVES YOU and YOU ARE SPECIAL! After pondering this fact for a little while it will become less and less important what others think and more important to you what GOD thinks!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Sunday, December 29, 2013

So, Now What?

As the sun begins to set on 2013, I have a few confessions to make. While the beginning of 2013 started out well, during the last few months I've found myself in a pit of sorts. I began soaring atop a beautiful mountain focused on God. In August, I faced challenges I was not prepared to deal with. I thought I could stay the course and continue to persevere. Instead, I fell and I fell hard. My addiction is food. When stress comes my way, I eat and I eat constantly. It does not have to taste good, nor do I need to be hungry.

I knew it was happening and it was as if I could not stop myself. I was fully aware of my actions and what I needed to do differently, but I could NOT gather the strength to get up and move forward. The greatest problem with my pattern are all the "I's." You see, I will NEVER be able to do this on my own. Somewhere along the way I began feeding my pain with food and not God and His word.

Over the last few weeks, my health has declined all due to weight gain and chemicals from processed and unhealthy foods. Christmas day I found myself flat of my back in pain. I was forced to stay home while Doug enjoyed visiting both grand-babies for several hours each. While he played with their new toys and loved on each of them, I lay in the bed with two fur babies praying.

As I prayed I was reminded of several important facts:

~God loves me just as much when I am in the pit as He does when I am faithfully running the race of life accomplishing what He sets before me.
~I absolutely can NOT do this alone! No Way! No How!
~I must trust God when things are going well, but most importantly I must trust Him when things fall apart.

Okay, so what now? 

~I've began again! I began by repenting!
~I've committed to trust God for each moment of each day!

First BIG test:

Last night I was feeling pretty good about making it through two days successfully. I made wise choices while clinging to my Lord for TWO DAYS. TWO DAYS is a long time for someone who can barely make it from one moment to the next without going back to old habits. I am one breath away from a relapse and I realize it.

While sitting in bed with both dogs, Sitka and Trouble reading my Bible, and writing in my journal I faced fear of relapse. My handsome husband brought a big bag of Cheetos and sat beside me. He opened the bag and begins eating.

There were so many things going through my mind:

~For real, Cheetos???
~What are you thinking?
~Are you trying to sabotage me?
~Doug doesn't bring food to bed, why? especially now? why?

Then I realized, I had asked God to forgive me and begged Him to help me. I acknowledged I could not do this alone and HE was my only hope to succeed. I proclaimed to my Lord that I was all in, fully committed. I admit it was pretty easy to confess and proclaim my trust until temptation came in the form of a bag of Cheetos to my bed of all places and escorted by a handsome old man. Temptations come when we are least expecting them. Many times they are carried by an unknowing messenger who has no desire to test our faith or commitment. It's not about the person holding the temptation. It's about me and my relationship with God.

Back to the NOW WHAT:

Just when I was ready to reach for the Cheetos, I began to think about my commitment to trust God when things were going well and when things were not going so well. Instead of going for the Cheetos, I grabbed my pen and began writing a prayer in my journal. I poured out my heart to God. I begged Him to help me. The more I unloaded my feelings the more I realized I did NOT want those nasty Cheetos. I want more of GOD. I want to be a usable vessel. I want to be healthy in every way, but most especially spiritually and I promised to allow Him to use my weakness to help others.

Recognizing my spiritual health is vital to my physical and emotional health is a huge step. So, here I am sharing an article full of run on sentences and jumbled thoughts, praying my journey will help someone else who is struggling.

Verse of HOPE:

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13 NIV

By His mercy and in the grip of His grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


As Doug and I look back over the past year, we are beyond thankful. Our path has been filled with both obstacles and blessings. Actually, we count those obstacles on the path of life as blessings. Why?, you may ask? Well, it's because through each one we grew closer to our Lord. Time and time again, we've learned to trust God and cling to His sustaining grace.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beautiful Messes and Daily Struggles

Lately, our lives have been crazy. I've come to realize most peoples lives are no different than ours. Sure our struggles are not the same, but many of us are struggling with something. If you are not struggling, I praise GOD for your season of peace. For those of you who are struggling, I pray GOD will pour His peace, love, and comfort out to you as you grow closer to Him. Every season and every lesson is different, but all have the potential to grow us closer to our Heavenly Father and mold us into the person He created us to be.

Many times our seasons of difficulties are where we are suppose to be. Doug and I often refer to them as "beautiful messes!" Beautiful because we are right where God wants us to be, but not always easy. Life is often messy, especially when we are in the center of His will.

Today, Sitka (our fur baby) shares some of my weaknesses on his blog, All God's Creatures. If you choose to visit his blog and read about my struggles, I pray you will find encouragement knowing there are others out there who do not always have it all together and I am one of them.

I take comfort in knowing my Heavenly Father loves me even though I do not get it right every day.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life Happens A lot

Sometimes life happens and sometimes life happens a lot. The road of this earthly life often beautiful, yet its ditches littered with difficulties, pain, and disaster. Beautiful at a glance while muddy and treacherous when one takes a step or two off the paved road.

Stay on the path you might say. Great advice, but not always the way of my life. I stumble and the next thing I know I land in one of those holes carefully hidden amongst the beauty. I find myself face up toward the heavens after rolling through the muck and looking toward the light. You see I don't always instinctively look straight toward my Heavenly Father. It takes a little rolling around in the muck before I realize I'm not making any progress. It's then I find myself focusing on the only hope, my Heavenly Father!

If your life is like mine and it's been a little difficult or a lot difficult lately, let's re-focus on our Heavenly Father and get out of the muck one step at a time.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Use Your Words

Lately, I keep hearing the phrase "Use Your Words." I have a deep appreciation for words and I quite enjoy using them. "Use Your Words" is a powerful phrase. Expression of emotion is good for the soul. Our hearts need to purge both the pain and the happiness.

Now, for the tricky part. I need to "use my words" and not injure others in the process. My grandmother Bowling longed for each of her children, grandchildren, and all future generations to be educated and intelligent human beings. This was her desire above all else and at all costs. Because of a challenging childhood and difficulties in relationships she often expressed herself in less than loving ways. Her intent great, yet somehow it became diminished or shadowed by the execution process.

Recently, I stumbled upon the truth or at least a nugget of truth about grandmother and how she felt. Grandmother wrote: "My boys are the best thing that's ever happened in my life." My uncles and others in my family may be less than happy I've chosen to write about this or share grandmothers words. I, however find it healing. Healing not in the warm and gushy kind of way, but healing through knowledge of the love that lived deep inside of her injured and hardened heart. She loved her sons and she loved the rest of us.

For me, it's time to examine and re-examine how I "use my words." Sometimes, I use them wisely and in  a loving way and other times like grandmother I injure those along the path of this life. I must forgive grandmother for those times when her words hurt and I pray others will forgive me when I do not choose my words wisely.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Thursday, August 1, 2013



Questioning? That's me! I always want to understand why something happened? What good can come from it? How can God use it to make me a better person? Will He use it in and through my life? And how can/will God use it to help others?

Some say, "What difference does it make? Stop all that 'thinking' and just move on!"

That's just not the way God made me. I have a deep need to know imbedded in the depths of my being. While some life events never make sense; my questions eventually lead me to a place of peace. Peace with God comes when I start looking at how God may choose to use my pain or mess instead of looking at the pain and mess.

Peace....Sweet Peace, my friends!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it's still the right thing. I am forever thankful for all those who have sacrificed their lives in order for me to live freely in America. Our freedom comes at a high costs to many!

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,
Andrea Bowling Perdue

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mount Washington and Trust

On June 5th, 2013 I defeated the enemy. I, with GOD's strength did not allow fear to rob me of an amazing adventure. We drove or shall I say Doug drove while I prayed the EIGHT mile journey to the summit of Mount Washington. The summit is over 6200 feet in elevation and you make the drive on a very small road that carries you along the edge of the mountain all the way up. In many places it is you, the mountain, and the breath of GOD along side you. Did I mention there are NO guardrails? and we had to pull the mirrors in on Doug's truck? So, when they say there is enough room to meet a car they mean "just enough" room to meet a car.

Amazingly, I was only mildly anxious going up and even less anxious coming down. Over the years, Doug has taught me a lot about trust. In learning to trust my husband I have learned many lessons about trusting my Heavenly Father. Just as Doug loves to share beautiful blessings with me, God loves to share even greater blessings. God often wants to share extravagant, breath-taking, life-changing experiences with me and too many times I've refused. Thankfully, June 5th was not one of those times.

I am reminded of the words of Priscilla Shirer, "Just go with it. Follow Him, impossible as it may seem."

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

~The picture above was one of many I took while standing atop Mt. Washington. They call it a "presidential view."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward!

In a few weeks I will be 47 years old. That's almost half a century. As I reflect upon where I have been and where I am headed I have many questions.

~Am I living out my life being who God created me to be?
~Am I living out God's love to the world around me?
~Now what?

Notice, my questions do not reflect regrets, but rather where God may be leading. I can not undo the past, but I can try to do better in the future. I can choose to step outside of "my comfortable" and move into the messiness of this earthly life confidently.

Looking back toward past mistakes breeds insecurity in my heart. Looking forward into the messiness of earthly life, but staying securely in my comfort zone also holds me back. I desperately need balance. I am doing my best to stay focused on God rather than the mistakes or mess ups of the past and the sometimes scary adventures of my future.

Please join me as I embrace the messiness of the path before me with confidence and trust. God will continue to lead us and give us grace for each moment of the journey He has called us to. He is constant and true and the only One we can fully trust. So, let's keep running......

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Journey Continues

Life is full of "fun" adventures as well as "not so fun" (complicated) adventures. We learn and grow through each of them. Recently, I embraced a 12 week journey to become a better me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. During this journey I lost 7 pounds and several inches. My most profitable gain has been recognizing triggers leading to emotional eating and beginning to address them.

On April 13th, I completed my first 10k. I power-walked the Ukrops Monument Avenue 10k in 1:42:25. I can honestly say, "It felt good and I want to do it again!" Completing the 10k was not about setting a record or beating someone else's time. It was about me and my relationship with God.

While participating in a 10k may not seem to fall under the "spiritual" category in other folks world, it does in mine. I prayed God would change my heart toward exercise and He did it.

The journey continues....

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, April 22, 2013

Run With Purpose

Each of us are at different places in our walks with the Lord. We continue to put one foot in front of the other as we climb the mountains and dip into the valleys of this life. Sometimes we crawl...sometimes we walk...and occasionally we run.

On those days when the journey seems overwhelming or the terrain seems to treacherous remember you are "not" alone. God is with you. Look for Him along the way.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance." Romans 5:3 NLT

"So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing." 1 Corinthians 9:26

Let's be found "running with purpose!"

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Friday, March 29, 2013

Inside or Outside

I love old barns. For me, each broken and tattered structure embodies strength and character. I am also reminded of the old saying, "you can't judge a book by it's cover." Often, we judge others by what we see. This is not a good plan. God created each of us with a purpose. Let's be found faithfully looking past the ruff and broken exterior of others lives. Instead, lets look into the hearts of those along the path of  this difficult and challenging life.

Jesus loved Judas even though He knew he would betray Him. WOW! As we celebrate this Easter season with our family and friends, lets embrace Jesus unfathomable love and rejoice in the love and acceptance only He can provide.

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

Monday, March 11, 2013

Message from our 5 year old!

Message from our 5 year old!

Savannah: "Papa can we go to the book store and get a new book? I want a book I can read."

Papa: "Did you bring your money?"

Savannah: "No, my money has to be used as an offering for people who need food, shelter, and water!"

Papa: "Don't you need shelter?"

Savannah: "Papa, I already have shelter!"

Papa: "Point taken!"

And we were off to find a book for Savannah to read. Minutes later our precious little 5 year old pulled a second grade book of the shelf and began reading it to Papa and I. 

Savannah's heart speaks loudly without needed interpretation from Nana. I pray you will let her words touch your heart today allowing GOD to use them for HIS glory. 

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

~URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for my friend Dianne's sister, Sheriann. She has Stage II Breast Cancer and was admitted to the hospital last night (3/10/2013) with multiple blood clots. Sheriann needs a miracle and her family has requested prayer on her behalf. Please add this request to any prayer group you are a part of. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Soul Training Plan

Soul Training Plan
(Unedited Journal Notes)

I will make a conscious effort daily to allow God to make a difference in my life, so I can make a difference in the lives of others. By beginning each day with an intentional purpose of seeking God's presence and fellowship, I will better cope with my own day and become better equipped to share God's peace, love, and comfort with others through my actions as well as my written and spoken words.

As I begin each day "trying to become a better me," I'm embracing new beginnings with joy only God can give and I'm trusting in areas I have not been able to trust.

My plan may sound simple on paper, but deep within the plan embodies much work--work only attainable by a heart ready and willing to accept the love, peace, and healing Christ is patiently waiting to administer. As I am ready, He will heal....and with the healing of each wound I will reach out to those around me being sensitive to their wounds.

Hopefully, others will realize God has a better plan for them....a place of living life above the rubble. So, you will find me off and running--running my way out of the rubble and into the Light, God's Light!

"My race" is the race God has chosen for me....a race only I can run, a unique race.

I was asked yesterday not to refer to myself as "crazy." As I prayed about this request, God gave me a new word, "Unique." So, I will run the race before me realizing God will use "my unique self" for His purpose and I'm thankful my race will weave in and out of the lives of treasured and faithful friends.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV

By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue