David and caleah

I cried when I saw this picture of my new niece and her daddy. A new life in the world is so beautiful but God revealed something more to me when I looked at this picture that broke me.

See recently I have been slightly persecuted by friends, colleagues and even family for my over zealous “selling” of a program that changed my life. “Shut up already”,  “I don’t want to hear about it”,  “it’s not for me”,  “it’s not the only good program out there”. Have you ever been rejected, called names, or even lost friendships over something you believed in strongly? It can hurt and it can shut you down.

Several years ago we had one interaction with a colleague that hurt my husband so badly that he literally quit that “selling” part of his job for many, many years. This person was irritated by what we were “selling” and verbally made it known. My husband was wounded and he allowed pride to take on a SPIRIT OF OFFENSE.

The Spirit of Offense is a tool by Satan to trap and hold you from all that God wants you to do and to be. It stops you from serving others, helping, or selling something you know is proven to change people’s lives.  The words of one person shut him down from helping hundreds and probably thousands of people.

The Definition of Offenses: From the Greek “to put a stumbling block in the way, cause to be caught (or) fall away, be led into sin, offend, anger, shock”.

Offense is like an automatic weapon. Once you pull the trigger, it keeps firing. – Kathy DeGraw

Offense are seeds that once planted are fertilized by ego and pride and grow into some horrific weeds in our lives including fear, doubt, anger, resentment, distrust, and blanket opinions.

The reality is we are not going to stop offenses coming our way but we must know what to do when they do happen:

1. Recognize the seeds that was planted

2. Forgive right away: The harboring of unforgiveness in our lives can cut off our connections to the Holy Spirit and can delay God’s perfect plan for our lives.

3. Search your heart: Seeds of Offense can turn into deep roots that we may not even be conscious of.  Searching your heart for areas of offense, unforgiveness, ego and pride can turn up these deep roots.

4. Turn to God’s Word: Ask God to reveal scripture, verses, or prayers to pray over these hidden GIANTS in your life. Ask Him to uproot these monsters with the Spirit of FORGIVENESS that He gave us and you freely give to others. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive others.”

5. Heal: In some cases you may find complete deliverance and freedom after an act of true forgiveness and other times healing will be a process.

After attending one of those programs I like to sell I found out I had been harboring some deep seeded anger and resentment against some leaders who crookedly embezzled a company I love.  It had been 9 years and I thought I had forgiven them and moved on.  But apparently I hadn’t and during this seminar God ordained an awakening to the fact that I hadn’t forgiven them.

When I truly forgave them this newfound freedom and lightness came over me and I still have it weeks later. Oddly I became more comfortable, outgoing, and self-assured in group settings too. It was really weird and showed me how unforgiveness and the Spirit of Offense can affect so many areas of our life.


So back to my original story. See this picture of my brother in law and his beautiful family.  When you watch the video below you will hear all the changes that happened for David after attending that program I “sell” too much. One of which was how God moved his heart from never wanting any more children to seeking God’s plan for his family. When this video was taken, little did we know that his beautiful wife Samantha was already pregnant.

The program is called First Steps to Success and recently my “selling” has caused some backlash to point where I considered backing down and not sharing so much.  I have had a lot of opportunity for the Spirit of Offense to take hold of me…  but I won’t let it.  Because it’s not about me… it’s about the peoples’ lives that will be changed because I share.

No one leaves a First Steps to Success without being changed. They offer a full money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. So how about you? Are you ready to experience a change? Are you ready to learn more about things that are holding you back? I feel blessed if you made it to the end of the article and didn’t shut down or walk away from something that could literally transform your life like it did for David. Please consider it. I have 1 ticket left to the next First Steps to success training, and possibly the only ticket if it’s sold out by the time you read this. Give me a call 315-836-2014 ext. 1. Let’s learn and grow together.

God Bless you my friend,
Mary Starr Carter

A message from David

Skin time caleah and david

Caleah is such a blessing to us and we’re doing great (I guess after 4 babies you start to know what to do!).  I attached a picture of her and I have our first skin on skin time last night 🙂 As I had everyone gathered around last night at the house for dinner I was recounting the story of how I was so against another child and Samantha’s longing for one.

Whenever people used to ask me about more children I was adamant that the only way we were having another child is if God himself changed my mind…. funny how God works isn’t it?  So for the past 9 months I have been faithful to give God the glory and now I have an opportunity to explain how much God has done in my life and how he has changed me from the inside out to give me a heart for another little blessing.



Have you ever had God bring a new friendship into your life right when you needed it?

Have you ever followed God’s intuitive nudge to go do something or go somewhere and it ended up being the perfect thing you needed to experience, see or hear?

Or have you ever gotten those perfect words of encouragement just when you needed them?

Here are 3 stories of 3 experiences that have really impacted me and given me direction and tools for my future parenting. I hope they bless you too.

My dear friend and I hadn’t chatted in months but one night out of blue she texted, “Hope you are doing well and God is doing amazing things for you and your family? You are always on my heart and in my prayers.” The next 20 minutes of texting would encourage my soul and remind me of the tools I have as a mom in Christ.

Rebekah is one of the most positive and encouraging people you could meet. She is beautiful on the inside and out. On top of her many responsibilities, a newborn, a 3 year old, a 6 year old, a husband who works long hours and goes to school, she struggles with some painful health challenges. Although she has all that going on, she stays positive. I often think how does she do it? But I am reminded in our text chat how she does it… It is her ACTIONABLE FAITH.

What is Actionable Faith? I don’t know the official definition but here is what I believe it is; Putting your Faith into Action. An example would be when a difficulty comes up you go to the Word and remember who you are in Christ and you ACT and LIVE like that.

I wrote Rebekah how I was struggling with homeschooling she is a year or so ahead of me in the journey and she writes back, “Ahh yes school! It sure is challenging but nothing you can’t handle!

Her simple reminder helped me realize the POWER I have because Christ is in me. When I try to understand how Rebekah with all these great stressors in her life does it… quite simply she doesn’t but Christ that lives in her DOES. When you take the stress and striving off of your shoulders and trust in the One who made you and is in you and then ACT on that, your life just gets a whole lot easier. And that is how Rebekah can be so positive even on her worst days. ACTIONABLE FAITH.

My next story I hope encourages all you moms who are pouring into your children, Grooming the Next Generation. I got up early one morning to have quiet time before the big First Steps to Success seminar. When I was done it was still the very early hours of morning so I thought I’d catch a few more winks before I got ready for my day. But God gently nudged me saying go downstairs and get in line there is something waiting for you there.

So I trudged off pouting a little bit but went and got my place in line. I sat down next to this pretty younger woman and after a few minutes started a conversation. In the following 30 minutes I would be in tears when I realized what God was showing me.

See those weeks prior to that event my biggest worry was about my children and my adequacy of homeschooling them. This beautiful young woman was 17 years old and for the past 8 years her parents had been Grooming and homeschooling her and her 2 sisters for success in life. See her parents had gotten plugged into First Steps to Success 8 years prior and started studying Grooming the Next Generation for Success. Grooming the Next Generation for Success is based on Biblical Principals and is techniques and tools for raising successful children who mature into successful adults. Again ACTIONABLE FAITH this young woman’s parents took their faith based training and put it into their lives.

As I listened to this mature 17 year old woman share all her wonderful experiences over the past 8 years, her kind nature, her giving spirit, and purity shined through. Her homeschooling was just a piece of her Grooming. Her parents gave their children real life experiences even living and working in a foreign country for a year and taking care of orphans. They got to explore their hobbies and even apprentice with local artisans. I was brought to tears because in those minutes with this young woman God was reassuring me that I was on the right track and had the tools to Groom my children for success too in life.

Here is a link to one of those tools, Grooming the Next Generation for Success. They are a series of trainings that shares grooming techniques to raise up successful kids that mature into successful adults.

grooming the next generation
My last story also comes from one of those God nudges. To make a long story short I wanted to do one thing but God nudged me again to do another… so I did it but with a bad attitude until I realized that my obedience to obey Divinely ordained an amazing new friendship and people into our lives.

Recently I spent the afternoon with my new friend Amanda and her two teenage girls. Right away we were impressed with the two girls. They were polite, respectful, well spoken and loved kids. They engaged in conversations and were the exact opposite of most teenagers I knew. They never even looked at a cell phone, they knew how to have conversations, and their hobbies weren’t video games. And did I mention these girls loved God and weren’t embarrassed to tell you. Wow how can I raise my kids up to be this pleasant? So later that day I asked Amanda and this is what she said.

“I wasn’t raised with these principals of success.” So the first thing Amanda did was work on her. 10 years ago she got her life right with God. She was introduced to Dani Johnson’s Spiritual Equipping Trainings and just started to plug into them day and night. She changed her life and her marriage. Then she got exposed to those same Grooming the Next Generation for success trainings.

She would have the audios playing in the background every day for 1-2 hours. Every week she, her husband, and her 2 girls would sit and watch 15-20 minutes of the training together and talk about it. They literally would have an appointment in their calendar to do this. And then they would practice what they learned. 10 years of practicing and grooming in all the different seasons of their family’s growth and struggles. It wasn’t easy. For the past 10 years she has worked nights as a nurse and would many times have to make sacrifices of sleep and more to invest in her children and marriage, but her sacrifices have paid off and her children are incredible. ACTIONABLE FAITH.

What about you? Are you ready to take your Faith and putting it into the Actions of your life? Maybe this is your nudge to invest into your personal development by getting some Spiritual Equipping training or your Parenting Training with Grooming the Next Generation for Success?

I know I will be following this direction. We only get a short period of time with our kids. Why not get the training to groom them for success? Why not start with changing our lives and taking ACTIONABLE FAITH? I know you can make a change no matter where you are in life or what season you are in. I believe in you. YOU CAN DO THIS.  Remember Romans 8:11.