Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters

This is my grandson Jacob! Jacob is a fisherman. He has had a passion for fishing since he was just a bitty boy. You can see by the grin on his face and the catch in his grip that he is a GOOD fisherman. Fishing makes Jacobs little heart happy and when something gets on his hook, that little hearts starts to rush and pound. He gives that fish all the fight that he has in him.

Jacob can tell me the name of pretty much any fish I point out. He knows where they live, when they eat and what they eat. He knows how many are legal to catch and how to catch them. Jacob loves to fish!!

That is what it feels like to be "apprehended".

Now, although I believe that Jacob's love of fishing will follow him all the days of his life, I also believe other things will "apprehend" my Jacob as he gets older. One of those things will surely have rosy lips and long lashes, but that is for another day. Today, for now, Jacob is apprehended by fishing!!

What one thing, or things, do you do in life that makes your heart pound faster and demands every drop of your attention? What do you think about day and night? What do you study, dream about, read about and talk about that makes you feel like you were born to do it? What do you live to apprehend?

When I read what Paul expresses in Philippians 3:10-12 I see this condition at work. Paul has spent his entire life pursuing excellence and success. He has grown into a man who prides himself on his education and his passion for what he believes in. Paul is admittedly zealous in his murderous pursuit of Christians to the destruction of men, women and children. I can just imagine that prior to his being "apprehended" by Christ, when he had a Christian at the tip of his sword he probably felt a bit like Jacob felt when he nailed that big fish. Proud, accomplished, on top of his world. But then, suddenly, things changed for Paul. In the blink of an eye (so to speak), Paul's life came unglued. He realized that he has been FISHING in the wrong waters. Using the wrong bait. Catching the wrong fish!!

His zeal had been misplaced. His passion paused. Within minutes, maybe seconds, Paul's whole world changed. Everything that he had fought so hard to accomplish shattered around him as he slammed right smack into The Saviour of the World. Jehovah. El Shaddai. The one and only Messiah. His Lord.

Paul was apprehended.

I remember the day in my life that I had the same experience. Everything that I had thought mattered was shattered and fell around me in a pile of mistakes and bad choices. It was the day that I slammed right smack into the Saviour of the World, The Saviour, Jehovah. El Shaddai. The Messiah. My Lord!!

I was apprehended.
I am apprehended today!! Are you???
I would love to hear your FISH tale :)

Blogger Blackouts

It is said in Blogger World that you have to BLOG at least twice each week if you want to stay connected to your reading and blogging friends. As you can see by the date above, for me it has been over 2 weeks. I guess it wasn't very clever of me to get my blog running at the same time that my LIFE is "running"!!

If you will notice, on the lower right side of Sweet Tea, I have listed my travel and speaking activities for the next few months. I have just returned from 2 of those trips that were less than a week apart and I am preparing to take off for beautiful Colorado Springs, Co in a few days!! I am SOOOOO not used to doing this but I am having a blast watching God do His thing.

The photo on the right is some of the staff with me at our Surrendering the Secret exhibit table. Say hello to Kathy, Jane and Natalie! They were such a blessing to have by my side.

My trip last week to Dallas was jammed packed with blessing and surprises. It was extra fun to have 7 of our staff attend together, one of which was my youngest son Andy. It is a joy to watch him grow and become the leading Man that God has called to "A Woman's Place" for such a time as this.

I have not forgotten my plan to share more about "Apprehending"!! I just wanted to make an attempt at keeping you coming back to visit "Sweet Tea". Thank you for the SWEET emails. I have faith that some of you will come on BLOGGING board sooner or later.

For now, however, I am off to American Idol!!

Apprehend That for Which You Were Apprehended
There have been many seasons during my walk with God that I have felt that my life was spinning out of control. From the moment that I clearly understood my salvation, who God is and who I am, I have sincerely endeavored to follow His call on my life. There have been times that I clearly knew what that "call" was. There have been other times that I felt like I was standing in the eye of a hurricane and had no idea how to find God's path for me. When those times come, I just try to "stay the course". Do my very best to just keep pressing on the last "Word" that God stirred in my heart. Kind of like when you tell you children "if you get lost always go back to the last place that we were together and I will find you"!!

A couple of years ago, I began to sense a new season coming in my life. Although I had some ideas of the general gifting and ministry that God has called me to, I had no idea what He was about to do. I am a very, let me rephrase that VERY, VERY visionary person. I dream BIG dreams. I pursue BIG goals.

I have often reminded God of His promise in Ephesians 3:20

Now to Him who is able to to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power, that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, amen.

It has often been very difficult for me to imagine that God has bigger dreams than I do!!!

As the past 2 years have come to life, I have seen God honor His WORD in my life in a tremendous ways. Many are very personal, heart changes, character growth, forgiveness, grace through sin, etc.....A few have been very public. Lifeway's publishing of my Post Abortion Healing materials written 22 years ago, has been one of those "immeasurably" more than I could imagine things!!!

At the beginning of this year God dropped a new phrase into my heart and has confirmed it several times over the past few months:

Apprehend That for Which YOU Have been Apprehended

The words come from a place in the Bible that is very familiar to me and that I have studied often. Philippians 3:12-14 However, I had never personalized them in quite the same way before.

God does that!!!

I am going to spend the next few BLOG's sharing some new things that God is showing me from those passages.

My purpose is 2 fold:
#1) That I will continue to "get" it!!!
#2) That someone who might read this BLOG will "get it" with me.

I recently attended a Beth Moore "Living Proof Live" in Jacksonville. I have never been to one of these before but decided to go with some girlfriends at the last minute. When Beth approached the podium, after she expressed her appeal to God, to have a fresh and personal WORD for Him for the 14,500 women who were attending. She bowed down and asked Him again to use her voice and her words, then she walked up to the podium and spoke out to the crowd.......

Apprehend That For Which You Were Apprehended!!!

Can I just say, I was a mush ball from that minute forward. I have yet to stop getting tears in my eyes when I think of it. I hope that I never do.

When God has a Word for us, He WILL GET IT OUT!!!!! He WILL CONFIRM IT!! We do not have to guess what He wants if we continue to ask Him and press into Him for His direction for our lives, we will not "spin" for long!!!

Praise His Mighty Name....

Welcome to Sweet Tea!!
My Dear Husband Mike (aka "honey") spent 25 years working for the corporate giant Allstate Insurance Company. During his tenure with Allstate one of the many leadership skills that Honey brought home to share with me for use in my (tiny in comparison) ministry, was an exercise that he used with his staff called a "Sit Along".

During a sit along, a young or new Staff member would sit beside a more experienced employee and watch him or her work. The more seasoned employee would then take the time to share and coach the newer team member on the skills and sometimes secrets of the job. The experience most often proved to be invaluable to the newbie but also imparted a fresh energy from the newcomer into the weariness of the long-timer.

There is something about the exchange of experience from someone who has been where you want to go that not only strengthens the learner but helps recapture lost vision and fresh value in the teacher!!

The Bible is so very full of words about "teaching" we could fill lots of Posts with them, which we might do along the way but the one that came first to my mind for this introduction was Psalms 25:4

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths

As I approach my 24th year in my journey with Christ, I am ever aware of the many things that I have yet to learn!! I remain ever the student desiring to soak up more of Him--His character, His love, His wisdom, His heart!!

However, at the same time, I am often overflowing with many precious lessons that spring out of my own heart to be shared!!

That will be the forum for "Sweet Tea". A place for "Sit-Along Sisters". If you are someone like me who wants to teach and be taught, this is the BLOG for you!!

The name "Sweet Tea" is the capturing of a childhood experience of tasting and sharing that has followed me to this day. It makes me think of stopping, resting, sharing a meal with friends and family, refreshment and quenching my thirst!!

I was born and raised in the sweet south. Savannah, Georgia is home of rich gray moss dripping from massive oak trees that have lived for hundreds of years. It is the home of historic grand old homes and dilapidated shrimp boats. Savannah has a unique and timeless personality that has never been duplicated by any other city. There is one thing however, that I "captured" as a child from Savannah and brought with me to the deeper south of Florida. As a young Mom, my children's friends would come into our house looking for it. My grown children today express loud disappointment if they visit and I have none on hand. I have been known to send some to them at college as was requested over chocolate chip cookies or cash!!

That precious something is Sweet Tea!!

When I think of Sweet Tea, I think of Refreshment, Connections and Tradition! I hope that you will as well.

It has taken me a long time to step out into BLOG world, although my profile says I have been doing this since 2007 it is really not true. My Assistant Jane has, for the most part, been doing it for me. This is my first step out on my own personal BLOG. The thought of having other people reading my random thoughts, prayers, praises and pondering is very intimidating for a perfectionist like myself. However, I have had some very brave friends blaze the path and help me overcome my fears of missed typos' and goofy grammar.

So here I go. Come sit along with me will you?! Let's learn from one another!

Pat's Ministry Sites

A Woman's Place
Surrendering the Secret
Surrendering the Secret Leader's Blog
Life Impact Network

Pat's Books

Loved by Choice

by Susan Horner and Kelly Fordyce Martindale
$18.99, available at Amazon
Loved by Coice offers a unique look at adoption. From domestic to internations with perspectives of birthparents, adopted parents, adoptive children, siblings, and grandparents.

In the chapter titled "Precious Gifts Come in Small Packages" Pat shares her family's story of adopting a one and half pound baby that was born to a 16 year-old birth mother at 23 weeks gestation.

Surrendering the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion
Leader Kit- $150.00
Leader Guide- $14.99
Learner Guide- $7.99
Available for purchase at
Pat's post-abortion Bible Study is perfect for women's groups, care groups, or counseling centers. Statistics report that 43% of women have had an abortion. Help heal the heartbreak that abortion has over many women.

Surrendering the Secret Promo Video

Speaking Information

2010 Speaking Schedule

Life Impact Network Events/Tampa

Feb 11 “Love Life” Valentines Day Luncheon with Lysa Terkeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries

Nov 5 “Light of Life” Annual Gala

Surrendering the Secret Certified Leader Trainings

Feb 19 Tampa, Fl

Mar 24 Tucson, Az*

Apr 26 San Antonio, Tx

May 5 Springfield, Il

May 18 Orlando, Fl

May 24 Grand Rapids, Mi*

June 23 St Louis, Mo*

Aug 25 Richmond, Va

Sept 7 Dallas, Tx

Sept 29 Boston, Ma*

Oct 27 Spokane, Wa*

Dec 1 Birmingham, Al*

*Lifeway Women’s Ministry/ “You Lead” Conference

The “You Lead” Conference is offered following most “Surrendering the Secret” Training events and prior to “Living Proof Live” with Beth Moore or “Deeper Still” with Beth, Priscilla Shirer and Kay Arthur.

March 25/26 Tucson, Az

April 15/16 Tampa, Fl

May 20-21 Grand Rapids, Mi

June 24-25 St Louis, Mo

Sept 30-Oct1 Boston, Ma

Oct 28-29 Spokane, Wa

Dec 2-3 Birmingham. Al

“Imagine Me…Redeemed, Restored, Renewed..Set Free”

March 12-14 Mecklenburg Community Church

“The Cove” Asheville, NC

April 23-25 Harvest Fellowship Church

San Antonio, Tx

April 30-May2 Northern Hills Christian Church

Denver, Colorado

For speaking information or to request a copy of Pat's speaking material please contact our office at (813) 931-1804 or email

An Ex Wretch Saved By Amazing Grace

I grew up in Savannah, Georgia, home of dripping moss, hot pink azaleas and awesome seafood.

I was born into a world of women with 3 younger sisters, a Mom and a girl dog named Missy. I had a Dad hidden in the house somewhere but he never held a majority vote in the hormone jungle of our home.

Somewhere back in my early adult years I found my way through the maze of what terrible wrongs had caused me to become what I had become and who seemed to be best to blame and shame for every wrong choice of my youth.

Praise God, I have been healed of that need. I have now learned that "All have sinned and fall short of God's Glory".

Now, all I need to say is LOTS OF WRONG CHOICES WERE MADE in those days and all of them were mine!!

I started an "adult" life at the young age of 16 when I became a wife of my High School sweetheart. He had lots of influence on the choices that I made, the one and only GOOD one was to become a Mom at 18. Unfortunately, he did not want to remain a husband and took off to the opposite ocean coast before our son made a transition from bottle to cup. My little boy and I were left to the rescue of my dear parents who having had only girls were quick to lay claim on me and my son.

Unfortunately, my bad choices went on and on and on until I hit what I thought would be the bottom of a pit when I chose to have an abortion to cover my immoral lifestyle.

Little did I know at the time that the enemy of life was quite capable of taking me even deeper into the dark bottomless pit that I was in.

From age 23 to 30, I gave him party time over my life until one dark night my Saviour, who not only knew His way around that part of the earth but was not afraid to go there, called my name loud an clear.

I recognized His voice from my childhood days of Sunday School, Vacation Bible school and Church on Easter Sunday and Christmas Eve.

His sweet embrace overwhelmed my darkness, my broken life and my heart.
I crumbled into His protection that very night and have never looked back down.

My actual Born Again experience happened at a church woman's retreat on 6/9/84, when a beautiful woman saw my lost self hiding out in the Sunday School wing with my 2 sons, petrified to enter the "BIG CHURCH" and invited me to join her at the event.

After hearing the clear truth of the gospel and for the first time understanding my need to respond to what Christ had done for me, I went running, actually barreling, to the alter.

I surrendered my heart to Christ that day and have been caught up in the power of His love every since.

I had always heard the saying that God uses donkeys and I am living proof of that. He dropped me into full time ministry before I barely knew the books of the Bible.

This walk of our salvation is an amazing journey, a kaleidoscope of change and transformation that is beyond description and ever unfolding.


My love affair with Jesus has embraced my life for over 24 years and continues to blow me away every day! God captured the heart of my dear husband and both of our sons within the first year of my surrender. A few years later, he blessed our family with a miracle daughter (a whole story of it's own) who prayed to receive Christ when she was 7 years old.

Our children are all grown now. Both sons are married and filling our home with grands that I lovingly refer to as my "G's". Our daughter is enjoying the free ride of college with a Daddy on her little finger!

Every single member of the Layton family knows Jesus Christ as Lord and lives for Him. Praise God!!

We live a full and blessed life just like the one promised in John 10:10.

On a Personal Note:

I love the beach, the mountains and any vacation that ends up at a B&B or a place that has "and Spa" in the title!

I love being with people who are passionate for God and being a part of anything that God is doing..especially something NEW!

I LOVE God's Word and never, never tire of mining its treasures.

My ministry passion is WOMEN!! Imagine that!!

Since the day that I was led to the foot of the Cross by one woman, I have known that God called me to give my life FULLY to offering redemption and restoration to other women who need the rescue that I needed.

It is my belief that I will enter my Kingdom Inheritance doing that very thing.

I love to have my entire family together, anytime, anyplace.
It is a rare but precious treasure.

I love to watch my sons be Daddy's and any precious moments that I can be a blessing to my 2 beautiful Daughters in Love.

I love to wake up with G's in my house.

I love to read, work in my garden, rock in my rocking chair on my font porch with my honey.

I love fresh flowers in small vases all over my house.
I love holiday decorating and entertaining in my home.

My favorite self indulgence is getting pedicures and shopping with my daughter and last but not least...

White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks.

(Maybe there are a FEW more but I highly doubt anyone but me is reading at this point :0)....

In His Grip!!

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