September 22, 2011

Summer Book Review

I have been wanting to do a summer reading post for a few weeks now. And since I am in Haiti, I thought I would let the ladies on my Leadership Support Team share the best book they have read this summer. And just for fun, I think I'll give away a set of these books. We will randomly select one person who leaves a comment before Friday evening!


Meet Laci Watson. Photo-53

This Winter will mark me and my husband’s (Wes Watson) 4th year at Elevation Church. In those 4 years, we have seen the opening of 4 new campuses and witnessed more life change than most people will see in their entire lifetime .  We have served at Providence, Matthews and now are primarily at Blakeney. Besides my role in supporting Wes,  a lot of what I do within the Church takes place on the weekends. I serve along with the other Blakeney staff wives in whatever capacity is needed during the Weekend Worship Experiences. I am also involved in Outreach as a liaison for one of our local partners, One7.  In addition to this, I have had the privilege of chaperoning our youth at summer camp for the past two summers. If you ever do this once, I promise you you will want to do it every single year. Our youth are unlike anything you have ever seen. They truly are a generation of Joshua's. And because I feel so strongly about the youth in our Church,  this Fall I will be leading an egroup for girls graduating HS and getting ready for college. Loving the life of our Church right now and thank God constantly that He has called my family here.

Photo-52 Book Review: I Was Hitler’s Doctor by Kurt Krueger

 A couple weeks ago when I was visiting my dad in Alabama, I found a book in an old trunk called, “I was Hitler’s Doctor”. The book, copyrighted in 1941, was supposedly written by a German man who claims he was Hitler’s psychologist. Essentially the book presents itself as a true account, but after doing a little research, I found it’s regarded more generally as fiction. Nonetheless, it’s an extremely interesting book, filled with historical accuracy, written about Hitler while he was still living, and gives incredible insight as to peoples perception of him at the time he was ruling. The book was a pulp bestseller in its day and after reading the forward written by Upton Sinclair, I’m convinced it stirred up sufficient controversy. I’m halfway through it now and I have to say that while it’s a tad (ok maybe a lot) disturbing, I just actually can’t put it down.  History has me wrapped around its little finger.


Meet Kelly Hubatka. Kelly Twavatar

I am the wife of Larry Hubatka, Creative Pastor at Elevation Church. We have 4 amazing daughters ranging in ages 4-10. We were blessed to find Elevation in the very early stages when there was about 40 people before we had officially launched. I feel so privileged to have had a front row seat in all God has done in the past 5.5 years, it is an honor to be called to such a great move of God. Aside from homeschooling our girls and supporting Larry in his role at the church, I work to serve our other staff wives and families under Holly’s leadership. Larry and I lead the Uptown campus-our family loves being in the heart of Charlotte and serving the people there. I also have the privilege of leading an eGroup alongside Ferris Joye consisting of some of the amazing women leaders in our church. I love what I get to do!

Joyce Book Review: A Leader In The Making by Joyce Meyer.

I had a hard time picking just one book when Holly asked us to do this. I felt like this was a great summer of reading for me-fiction and nonfiction alike! When it came down to it though, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this book with everyone. I have read it before, am finishing it again now with my eGroup women, and will definitely read it again in the future. It is refreshing to read about leadership from a woman’s perspective, especially when you read about all Joyce has gone through and how she has overcome. It is honest and full of wisdom when it comes to biblical leadership and having a heart to be the leader God has called you to be. It will definitely challenge you and call you out in some areas, but also inspire you and encourage you as well.


Meet Amy Corbett. Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 3.49.02 PM

My name is Amy Corbett and I am the wife of Chunks Corbett, the Executive Pastor of Elevation. My husband leads our Blakeney Campus and oversees Elevation's staff and finances. I stay at home with our 2 kids, ages 4 and 6, while also serving with Elevation Worship, Holly's Leadership Support Team, and Outreach. Chunks and I were part of the Core team that moved from Shelby, North Carolina to Charlotte to plant Elevation. It has been truly amazing to see first hand how God has blessed us every step of the way.

Heaven is for Real Book Review: Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo

It's a true story about the four year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who, during emergency surgery, slips from consciousness and enters heaven.  He survives and begins telling his family remarkable stories of his visit to heaven. I really enjoyed reading this book because it brought heaven to life for me again and reminded me that Jesus truly loves us and is waiting, along with our loved ones, for us to join Him. 



Meet Angie Blackson. Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 12.05.24 PM

I am the wife of Josh Blackson, Operations Pastor and Campus Pastor at our Providence location. My husband and I moved to Charlotte a little over 5 years ago. When we moved we were praying that God would bring us to a church we could invite our neighbors to without any hesitations. To make a long story short we ended at Elevation Church and have seen 4 families in our neighborhood give their lives to Christ through the ministry of Elevation. We volunteered, led community groups, and began getting to know the leadership team at Elevation. About 2 years after attending circumstances that can only be God led our family to "work" at Elevation. I say family because when we took the position we decided to make this a family commitment. We each play our part! Alyssa, my oldest at 6 years, can be found in the parking lot waving cars to exit the right way or "cleaning" up the lemonade and cookie station. Kaitlyn, my 4 year old, can be found hugging and giving her one million dollar smile to any one of our many volunteers. Karis, our now 3 year old, is most likely the one making people laugh. If she is not seen then there may be trouble happening wherever she is. I can be found at our VIP tent for first time guests every other Sunday morning. 

Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 11.45.55 AM Book Review: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

I usually take the summer to read fiction books like The Hunger Games, The Help, and Karen Kingsbury series. I did read those books and highly suggest them but this summer for the first summer ever I actually read a book that challenged me called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I am a person that is often times so busy with cleaning, cooking, organizing, you name it that by the end of the day I missed out on what life is all about. This book has challenged me to live fully right where I am. It has challenged me to live a life of "eucharisteo"  meaning the gift/giving thanks of grace. I have a far way to go but can say that my days are less about tasks and more about living after reading this book. 


Meet Heather Bishop. Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 3.52.29 PM

My husband John and I have been a part of Elevation Church since the beginning.  We moved to Charlotte as part of the Core Team that launched the church about 6 years ago.  It has been the biggest honor of our lives to be a part of this movement! My husband is the Campus Pastor at Elevation Matthews, and he also oversees Ekidz (our children’s ministry). I stay at home with our two boys: Jeremiah- 4 years old and Micah-5 months old.


The-help Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

My favorite book this summer, hands down, was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I loved everything about this book!  And the book is so incredibly written that I managed to read it in one week, even with a newborn baby in our house!  (we adopted baby Micah in April 2011)  The Help is a novel about the personal relationship between black maids and the white families who employ them. The story is set in a small town in Mississippi in the 1960’s. In the book, three women come together (a young white women and two black maids) for a project that puts them at great risk, but will change the lives of others in ways they would never have imagined.  The reason I love this book so much is that the main characters are willing to take a stand for a cause they know is right, even though they risk their lives, lose friends and popularity in the process.  It’s a great reminder for all of us, to make the right choice even if it costs us something.  As a side note, the movie is great too.  So if you don’t like to read, go watch it in the theater… the movie stays really true to the book.


Meet Ferris Joye. Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 4.52.05 PM

I am Wade Joye’s wife, the Worship Pastor at Elevation Church. We moved to be part of Elevation in August of 2007.  We had our twin daughters in June of 2008. They were 3 months premature and Elevation rallied around us in prayer and support. We were overcome with thankfulness and gratitude that this church and our Pastor cared so much for us. I have led small groups, volunteered in our Resources area, and do all I can to support Wade in the position he has been called to.

Hunger_games copy Book Review: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I love some young adult fiction. It may be cheesy since I am a wife and mom of two, but they are fast reads and so good. The best books I have read in this genre are part of The Hunger Games trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. Author Suzanne Collins created one amazing heroine in Katniss Everdeen. She lives sometime in the future in post-apocalyptic America, now called Panem. Panem is divided into 13 districts that are oppressed by the Capitol. Because of a previous rebellion, the Capitol punishes the districts by selecting one girl and one boy from each district to fight to the death in a dangerous arena, in what they call the Hunger Games. The game is televised and watched much like a hit reality show of today. Katniss begins to break the mold and keeps the Capitol on edge. She becomes a symbol of hope for the districts and a possible way to ignite change. This trilogy sounds like it might be a little gory but I assure you it is not. It is all about the characters and how the situations you are faced with can become the catalyst for change. Katniss is a strong, independent young woman and you will fall in love with her. Read it now so when the movie comes out next year you will be the cool person who knows the answers to everyone's questions.


Ok!  Leave your name in the comments and I'll post the winner this weekend!


December 17, 2010

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

9780064402750 Yesterday Elijah and I finished reading the Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  I love reading books with my kids, especially novels.  If you are not familiar with this children's book, you really should get a copy and read it. 

It's about a small town church doing the same old Christmas pageant that they do every year.  Only this year, a group of unruly, un-churched kids, called the Herdmans, come to church in search of Sunday School refreshments end up being a part of the pageant.  The book retells the Christmas story through the eyes of the Herdmans and the church members who aren't so sure about them being there.

It's funny how God often speaks to us in unexpected ways.  He can use a group of misfit kids to restore the meaning of Christmas to a bunch of stuffy church goers.

Be certain that God can and will speak to you this Christmas season, but it might not be the way you would expect.  It may be in a busy Walmart parking lot or through your in-laws.  There are only a few days left.  Ask God to open your eyes to Him working all around you and to give you a fresh perspective this Christmas season.

September 21, 2010


Sometimes my husband comes up with the craziest ideas.

Like the time we drove half the night to see if we wanted to plant our church in Raleigh.  When we got there at like 2 am there were no hotel rooms because of some basketball conference going on.  It took us forever to finally find a room.  The next day, when we drove home, we were disappointed because we didn't feel like Raleigh was it.  We decided to take the long way home through Charlotte.  That's when God spoke to us and told us to come here.

Or the time we (our church) dropped thousands of Easter eggs out of a helicopter.  We didn't know if 200 or 10,000 people would show up.  We had about 200 coming to our church at the time.  2,000 people showed up and the event was a huge success.

Today he is doing another one of those crazy things.  Today, at 12:00pm, in honor of the release of his first book, Sun Stand Still, he is going to preach for 24 straight.  Well, in his words,  "24 hours of preaching, and celebrating the fact that we serve a God who shatters our conceptions of what is possible."

You can catch it streaming live from 12 pm on Tuesday to 12 pm on Wednesday here at  You can read his take on it here.

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a shameless plug....

Go and buy your copy of Sun Stand Still today, in stores everywhere and online.

August 11, 2010

Summer Reading (there may be a giveaway)

I have read several good books this summer.  I want to tell you about a few of them...

I know that I am a bit late to the party here, but have you read this book??  This book was AMAZING.  If you are a married woman and you have not read this book, you must get it.

Shantee Feldman surveyed hundreds of men and then turns their answers in to practical guidelines for women to follow.  The book is easy to read and so practical.

I am taking my eGroup through the Bible study this fall and my lead staff wives as well.



Carry you

Angie Smith, wife of Todd Smith of the musical group Selah, chronicles her journey through the loss of their daughter, Audrey Caroline.  You may have stumbled across her blog, Audrey Caroline.

The book was released this past May and it is a tear-jerker, I'm just warning you. I think what is so inspiring about this book is the way that Angie clings to her faith through the most horrific experience any mother could go through.

She was 20 weeks pregnant the day she found out her child would not live and the first words out of her mouth to the doctor were "I think my Jesus is the same He was before I walked in here"



My friend, Marybeth Whalen just released her first novel.  It's a super sweet story about a couple who rekindles a romance after time and circumstances separate them. 

There's also a peculiar mailbox called the Kindred Spirit mailbox that brings hope and comforting words in a time of need.

The story takes place on the beaches of North Carolina.  It's a story about the beauty of second chances. 



And of course, no book list would be complete with out my favorite read of the summer. 

This book will change your life.

It's about living a life of audacious faith.

It releases officially on September 21 and until then, I am leaking pre-released copies here on my blog.




So how can you win a copy of one of these great books?  Leave me a comment and tell me the best book you read this summer.  I will pick 10 winners and I will let you tell me which book you would like for me to send you!  I look forward to hearing from you!

July 06, 2010

Shhh... I'm giving away a pre-released copy of my husband's book

Sun Stand StillThere have been two pre-released copies of Sun Stand Still sitting on my kitchen counter for a while now.  When I walked by them this morning, I decided they had been sitting there long enough.  It is time for them to find a home.

I did not consult with my husband about this but I am sure he won't mind.

The book is amazing and I simply cannot wait until the release date for you to read it.  Leave a comment on this post by Thursday and I will randomly select 2 winners.  The winners will be announced on Friday.

And don't forget you can pre-order your own copy at most major bookstores (Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon definitely).

June 16, 2010

Summer Reading List (with a give away)

I don't consider myself an avid reader but I have been reading a lot lately.  I especially love to read in the summer time.  My dream vacation is a beach chair and a good book with my husband and no children.  We spent the last week at the beach and I was able to do a good bit of reading. 

Forgotten God A million miles
God divinely intersected Francis Chan's book, Forgotten God, with Donald Miller's book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  I actually started working through Forgotten God with my bible study late this Spring.  Then my husband gave me Donald Miller's book as part of my Mother's day gift.  Chan's book is about living each day in obedience to the Holy Spirit.  Miller's is about the story you write with your life. 

I used to try to read one book at a time, but I am learning from my husband that it is not only ok, it is beneficial to read multiple books at a time.  These two books seemed to really hit my life at a great time.

I want to share them with you.  I will be giving a set away this week.  Leave a comment letting me know the best book you have read lately (any genre).  I will post the winner here Friday.

January 12, 2010

Giveaway Time... JumpStart 365

About a year ago I had the privilege of meeting a great woman of God, Beth Jones.  You probably have not heard of her, but her ministry is phenomenal.  She and her husband pastor Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo, MI.

Her website and resources are really great.  She sends out a daily email devotional that I get every morning in my inbox.  Its nice to have something short to read to get my day and my thoughts going in the right direction.

This past fall she released a new study, Satisfied Lives for Desperate Housewives.

And a few weeks ago she released a book, JumpStart 365, its a book of 365 devotionals to start your day.  Not too long, but lots of punch.  And she gave me one to give away to one of you!

All you have to do is leave a comment with your name (but be sure to include your email in your personal information for the comment) and I will randomly select a winner.  I'll announce it next Tuesday.  Good luck!

December 01, 2009

Book Review- Miracle at Tenwek

511AyeHW3DL._SS500_I picked up this book the last time I was at the Billy Graham Library.  I have this odd love for biographies, especially ones about missionaries.  Something about reading of the sacrifice of other Christians who made a huge impact on their world inspires me and encourages me in my own calling.

I happened to be reading this book while our team from Elevation was in Africa.  No coincidence I am sure.

Its a story about the life of Dr. Ernie Steury.  A man who served as a doctor at Tenwek hospital in Kenya for over 30 years.  While meeting the physical needs of the people in his area, Dr. Steury led thousands of people to Christ.  Each person who stayed at the hospital heard the gospel.  Under Dr. Steury's leadership, Tenwek hospital grew to become a huge facility with many programs to train and teach the Kenyan people about preventative health and wellness.  The ministry eventually became supported by Samaritan's Purse, the organization we are partnering with as a church.

This is a book about a man who surrendered his life to God, and was used greatly to impact an entire people group in a region of Kenya.  Their mission statement is "We treat, Jesus heals."  It is full of stories of sacrifice, disappointment, exhaustion, miracles and life change.  Now who wouldn't like that?

You can read more about Tenwek hospital here.

August 12, 2009

You asked... bible reading (with a giveaway!)

My question is around reading the Bible - during the quiet times you spend in the Scriptures, can you share what your process is in choosing what to read for the day?...Do you just open your Bible randomly and start reading? Are you led by the Holy Spirit as to what to read? Do you follow a reading schedule (i.e. read the Bible in a year)? Do you use study guides? Posted by: Tammy 

I am no superhero in this department.  Probably just like many of you I go through seasons in my life where I am more structured in this department than others.  I prefer to use Bible study guides although I do not always have one that I am working on.

I am currently in a Bible study group with a few other women.  We try to do one study in the Spring and one in the Fall.  This past Spring we completed Beth Moore's study on Esther.  Being in a group study provides so much accountability for me to actually complete my work in a specific time frame.

Hey Holly I was wondering what are you reading during your quite time?  Posted by: Kalie

Currently as a church staff we are doing B90X, an extreme read through the Bible in 90 days.  It is serious.  I am really enjoying it.  Although I have read through the Bible before, I have never done it in such a short amount of time.  Reading through such large portions at a time has given me a fresh perspective on the Word as a whole.

I am taking it as serious as the Daniel Fast that we did last fall.  It takes at least 30 minutes a day (usually more, especially when reading about seemingly endless verses about blood and skin diseases:))  I personally am reading on my iPhone (using You Version) in the New Living Translation (I will probably switch to NIV when the content is not as narrative).  I believe God is going to do great things through our staff as we do this together.

Do you have any online or written daily devotional recommendations. I'm trying to find one that focuses on family/children/marriage. I get overwhelmed searching for them, so wanted to see if you had any suggestions to try. I've been active in church my whole life but really want to dive deeper and get into the scriptures on my own. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks so much! Posted by: Miranda

Here are some great studies/resources that I reccomend...
-Growing Kids God's Way (raising kids)
-5 Love Languages (marraige/family)
-Love and Respect (marraige)
-The Amazing Collection (walk through the Bible)
-Lord I want to know you (great individual study, anything by Kay Arthur is)
-Believing God (my all time favorite Beth Moore study and you can do the study online)

And now for the giveaway part... I will be giving away one copy of each of the following books.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  You cacn share a resource that you love or just leave you name.  Just be sure to include you email address so that we can contact you!  I will randomly announce the winners next Wednesday so the deadline is Tuesday, Aug 18 at noon.

Experienceing God Day by Day, online or the book.  Its a great study to get you started.

For a supplemental resource to your regular study, I love Beth Moore's book, Praying God's Word

Anne Graham Lotz devotional called Daily Light.  Its a short daily devotional that is 100% scripture written in a unique topical format (here is a sample).

I can't wait to hear from you!

June 10, 2009

Give Away Time!

Deit I just finished a great book and I want to share it with you.  Its called Things We Couldn't Say by Deit Eman.  Its the true story of a young woman's courage in the Nazi occupation of Holland during WWII.  Deit was a key part of the Resistance that helped save the lives of hundreds of Jews in Holland. 

The story is incredible.  THe Christians in Holland during this time truly stepped up with the love and courage of Christ.  Many of them lost their lives and most of them suffered greatly because of it.  The story will challenge and inspire you.

Everytime I was reading the book, my husband would make a joke something like this, "Babe, I would ask you how your book is but I know you can't say."  I smiled everytime (but inside I thought it was quite funny).

So next Tuesday I will be giving away a copy of this book along with a copy of Deit's recorded message from Focus on the Family called God's Grace is Sufficient.  Here's how you can win... Leave your name and email address then tell me one way that God's grace has been sufficient for you this week.  Your entry needs to be in by Monday at midnight.  I will randomly select the winner, but thouroughly enjoy reading each of your entries.  I'll start.

God's grace has been sufficient for me this week as I have surrendered my fears and anxieties about the future over to Him.   He has continually reminded me that just as he has been with me in the past and the present, He will be with me in the future and I have nothing to fear.