Newsletter – Volume 22


Newsletter – Volume 22

November 20, 2023

This Week

Updates from the back of the pen
Meet Kat...

Katherine von Drachenberg known professionally as Kat Von D, is a Mexican-American television personality, entrepreneur, social media influencer, and recording artist. However, she is probably best known for her work as a tattoo artist whose work was featured on the TLC reality television show LA Ink. But now there is much more to her story. Kat has laid down her occult books, closed her tattoo shop, and has chosen to become a follower of Christ. According to the USA Today, who recently reported her transformation, here is how she describes what happened:

“I’ve always found beauty in the macabre, but at this point, I just had to ask myself what is my relationship with this content? And the truth is, I just don’t want to invite any of these things into our family’s lives, even if it comes disguised in beautiful covers, collecting dust on my shelves.”

Von D added that the revelation wasn’t meant to “put anyone down if you’re into this stuff,” as she was reflecting on the evolution of her own spiritual life.

“I love everyone regardless of where they might be at,” Von D wrote. “But right now, it’s never been more clear to me that there is a spiritual battle taking place, and I want to surround myself and my family with love and light.

You can discover more about her personal story HERE.

Over the last few weeks, I have watched her interviews with other podcasters, and as much as I have celebrated her story, I have also been saddened by the fact that she has had to deal with some rather harsh criticism from within the Christian community itself. It is one of the most frustrating parts of life (in many areas), where there is little room for difference of opinions on debatable matters. So much of the world is in attack mode. And in all too many instances, the Christian community is no better than anywhere else.

This is the case for so many Black Sheep Messengers, which is one of the reasons we need to stick together and encourage one another along the way.

Word of the Week


Noun: the highest or climactic point of something, especially as attained after a long time.

We’re all familiar with saying, “All good things must come to end.” And when saying it, we typically say it as a lament.  We’re sad this ‘good thing’ has ended, and we wish it could continue.  But I’m trying to get better at using the last moment of something good to prompt more focused gratitude, where I say things like:
I can’t believe I ‘got’ to do this… 
I was so blessed to have been a part of it…
Not everyone gets to see what I just saw…
I am so fortunate that people took time to do this with me…
This was amazing! 

This is Thanksgiving week, and we will likely be around friends and family. As the time comes for people to leave, we will invariably say, “this time has gone by way too quickly,” which could lead to the kind of lament that redirects our focus away from the good that did transpire. So, why not give yourself a little personal challenge. When the week is culminating, determine to give thanks for the good that happened as opposed to wishing you just had more of it.

A Book I’m Reading

Forever Strong

By Gabrielle Lyon

Review: After years of watching patients cycle through her practice, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon noticed a pattern. While her patients struggled with a wide range of conditions, they all suffered from the same core problem: they had too little muscle rather than too much fat.)

One of the beautiful things that has happened for me in this season is that God has provided what I needed when I needed it. Every piece is important.

  • prayer partners
  • non-toxic treatments
  • good habit formation
  • accountability
  • nutrition
  • sleep/rest
  • dental health
  • exercise
  • stress management
  • mindfulness/breath work


At each turn, I have run into a book, a program, a podcast, or an expert that has provided the right perspective and practices that have not only resonated personally but provided exactly what I needed in a way I could understand and embrace.

This is the latest gift! It’s about the importance of building/keeping lean muscle mass. If any of this piques your interest, I would highly recommend you get the book, but if you’d like a little primer, take 10 minutes and listen to her TEDtalk.

A personal request

Healing Power

Pocket Prayer: O Lord, make a way where there seems to be no way…”

These are dear friends Chris and Lori Smith. It is actually very difficult to put into words all they have been through in the last year. Chris, who for much of his life was the specimen of health
and fitness, is now very sick. He played football for UT and has always worked out and stayed in shape. But all that changed when he started experiencing shortness of breath, which turned
to fluid around his lungs, which required hospitalization, a visit to MD Anderson, and eventually a bone marrow transplant. And talk about a roller coaster. On some days things look more positive, but then things take another turn for the worse. These have been very difficult days for Lori and their three children.

Kindly remember them in your prayers. They are people of faith, and I am regularly amazed at their steadfastness and courage. They are truly an inspiration, but they are also in need of our prayers. Thank you for remembering them.

Now Available

Pocket Prayers 4-Pack!

“Even a black sheep knows that the soul needs to be fed…”

But where? By whom? In what way?

Over the years, I’ve always felt a bit intimidated by prayer, never thought I was very good at it. Odd for a pastor to say. What changed for me was I needed to become OK with praying simple and sincere prayers (not long and wordy ones). Think there might even be a Bible verse about

I started writing them down and over time I began sharing them with others, and they started getting passed around. I called them ‘pocket prayers’ and over the last year I was challenged to turn them into a 365-day devotional. So I did!

They are now ready for preorder!

Many have asked for multiple copies to share with family and friends, so for the next month you can pick up 4 copies for $99, and we’ll send a free beanie along with it – a cap for your head and a prayer for your pockets!

A great Black Friday deal for fellow Black Sheep Messengers!

Take advantage of the offer by clicking HERE.

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