Monday, December 5, 2011

So, Have You Heard From God Lately??

Prayer is a great way to communicate with God.  In the good times and the bad, I pray, you pray, we pray.  Or at least we should pray.  But what about listening to God instead of always being the one doing the talking?  How can we be sure that God is speaking to us?  God speaks to us in many ways.

One obvious way to hear from God is by simply reading His word.  The bible is a believer's guide for every aspect of our life.  That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done.  So there is nothing new under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 1:9-10  To me this means that we can find an answer for every issue in His word and it's a great way to hear from Him.

God also speaks to us through others.  He uses people to carry out His plans so it only makes sense that He would use another person to deliver a message to you.  A person may confirm something that was already on your heart.  That's how I know it's God speaking to me.  They may not even know why they said it or that something they said is from God.

Praising God brings us closer to Him and connects us to Him.  No matter who or what we are, we must praise.
God often speaks to our hearts through the Holy Spirit.  It's often undeniable when He gets our attention via Holy Spirit.  We have a tendency to override the Holy Spirit when God tells us something that we don't necessarily want to hear.  The Holy Spirit is a lot like our conscience.  You know, those conversations that take place in our mind.

Finally, when we are completely still and quiet hear what He has to say to us.

The better you get to know God, the more you hear from Him.  God often speaks to us and we don't hear Him.  Sometimes we even ignore Him.  So, have you heard from God lately?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nobody Told Me The Road Would Be Easy

I just can't give up now.  I've come too far from where I started from.  Nobody told me, the road would be easy and I don't believe, He brought me this far to leave me.

These words are lyrics from a song that I really love by Mary Mary.  Songs help me meditate on God's promises.  Has anyone ever told you the road would be easy?  Exactly what is the road anyways???  For me the road depends on who you are and where you are in life.  Here are a few roads that come to my mind:

The Road To Salvation- Even though salvation is a free gift, why is it so hard for some to accept it?  It seems like a lot of people feel that being saved means losing freedom.  What freedom are you losing by doing things God's way?  If you think about it, going against God's word is more like slavery.  Let's take the 10 commandments for example.  Thou shalt not kill, covet, commit adultery, and steal to name a few.  What is the problem with that?  Does that seem like freedom to you?  These are things that will get you locked up for life.  Instead, focus on the fruits of the Spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.  Not all of these are easy but the key is to focus on these things daily. 

The Road To Redemption- I struggle every day with my flesh.  Lately I have been petty and plain old rude.  When someone does something that affects me in a negative way, I do not focus on any fruits of the spirit right away.  For me, the first thing I want to do is get even and make them pay.  I mean really, I am so legalistic sometimes that I can't even stand myself.  I have to ask God for forgiveness so that I can receive mercy from Him and also have mercy on others.  At the end of the day, I want God's favor.  To me, redemption is about forgiveness and renewal.  This is a daily thing for me and it's not easy but it is necessary.  Currently, my memory verse for this is Create In Me A Clean Heart  Psalm 51:10.

The Road To Integrity- Image is more important to me than I would like to admit.  When I blog I often stop to think about how I will look when I admit my short comings to the world.  Then God tells me that my purpose of this blog is to bring glory to Him and I am not admitting to anything that He is not aware of.  More people can identify with you than you know.  I act on my emotions without thinking and I'm trying to learn how to stop, think and pray before I act.

Billy Graham once said, "Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost."  

Without character and integrity, image is nothing.

For The Lord Searches All Hearts  1 Chronicles 28:9

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Salvation Is A Free Gift

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith----and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-----not by works, so that no one can boastEphesians 2: 8-9
Grace is unmerited favor.  It means getting what you don't deserve.  I know that I am a sinner, saved by grace and that makes me a saint.  Not someone who is perfect so don’t get it twisted.  Just someone that loves the Lord with all my heart.
Faith is believing in what you cannot see.  Believers, be ready to tell people how you can believe in someone or love someone that you cannot see.  Love is an emotion from the heart which is connected to our spirit.  God speaks to our spirit, aka heart.
A gift is something that is given to you and is meant to be free.  A gift from God is intended to be used.  You know, such as spiritual gifts.  The gift of discernment, prophecy, etc…….  But these things come once you have received the gift of salvation.  I believe my spiritual gift is exhortation and I plan to specifically write about spiritual gifts.
Works is the means to earn something.   We don’t work for free.  We work hard in order to receive something in return.  But you don’t have to work for something that is free.  And you cannot work for the gift of salvation. 
Boasting is bragging about what you have or what you have done.   As human beings, we tend to talk about what we have or what we have done.  We can’t help it because we are proud of our accomplishments.   We all do it, including me.  For me, I am nothing apart from God and He is the one that helps me accomplish things.  He is the one that wakes me up in the morning and keeps my heart beating for another day.  And when my heart stops beating, I will be with Him in heaven.  Is that boasting?
Apply these definitions to Ephesians 2: 8-9 to see what salvation really means.
You see, it's not about how much you tithe or how often you go to church.  It's not about singing in the choir.  These things come with obedience once you have been saved through your faith.  Only God can save you because He is the one that knows your heart.  A man can fool another man, but a man cannot fool God.  God knows your heart and He will not be mocked, ridiculed or rejected w/o consequences.  He is the one who created you.  He can make a mountain move out of your way.  With God, all things are possible.  Not some things, not a few things but all things are possible according to His will.  If you don’t know God’s will for your life, ask Him to show you and He will do it. 
Stop complaining and start praying. 
Stop gossiping and start praying. 
Stop trying to be what you see, be what you ought to be.
You are created by God to do great things for His honor and glory.  He is the one that will give you the desires of your heart.  
Why do we always want to know what God can do for us?  What does God expect you to do for Him?  Hmmmmm…………

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Think About It

Ya know what?  I learn something new about myself almost every day.  I once heard someone say that at least 10% of the people you know or come into contact with will not like you or your ways.  No matter what you do, they will see it or take it wrong.  Everyone has their own reasons for how they feel.  I have judged people that I don't know simply by how they look.  I have to believe that people have done the same with me.  I like to think that I'm ok with that.  But truly, truly I don't want people to think or feel the wrong thing about me.  Sometimes you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Truth be told, you cannot control how people feel about you.  I try to stay true to myself and be the woman that God created me to be.  No matter what I do or say, I want people to see God in me.  I'm not always a good ambassador or representative for Christ, it's just the opposite.  Christ is my ambassador.  My savior who helps me be the woman that God created me to be. 

Today in church we read about Jesus' appearance.  He was not attractive.  He was actually very homely.  He looked like someone that most of us would either judge or dismiss.  Why do you think God created Jesus this way?  This taught me that looks should never, ever matter.  We need to get past our feelings regarding looks.  Somebody can be fine as wine and not worth your time.  You feel me?  Don't be so vain.  Satan was one of the most beautiful angels.  Most of us envision Satan as this ugly, red being with horns, a pitch fork and a tail.  But when evil presents itself, it will be a deceptively beautiful package.  It will appear as something that you think you need or must have.  Anything to take your focus off of God.  Most of the time it's very subtle.  Think about something that keeps you from spending quiet time with God, such as TV or anything that keeps you from going to church.  Aren't most NFL football games on Sunday?  I'm just saying.

I let so many things distract me and interfere with reading God's word.  Honestly, when I skip quiet time with God, my peace can be difficult to obtain.  Reading His word is what gives me the daggers that I need to  defeat the lies and tricks of the devil.  God's word helps us in the battle between good and evil.  This battle is not against flesh and blood.  This is not a physical war.  This is a spiritual battle that goes on around us and we are not even aware of it most of the time. God's word reveals everything that we need to fight the spiritual battle against temptation, confusion, illness, fear, etc..... 

"Enemy occupied territory that is what this world is." - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not Without Hope

Since I spend so much time on computers, I listen to audio books instead of reading them to preserve my eyes.  I don't wear glasses every day but I do have a very mild prescription for the few times when my eyes feel too strained.  One book that I just finished listening to is Not Without Hope by Nick Schuyler.  He went on a deep sea fishing trip with 3 other men and he was the only survivor.  I remember hearing about them on the news when they were lost.  I actually prayed that they would be found soon.  I couldn't imagine being lost in the ocean for even a few hours, let alone 43 hours to be exact.  The other 3 men were his best friend Will Bleakley, and 2 NFL players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith.  Marquis was the first one to die, then Corey and finally Will. 

One of the scariest points of the story is when they noticed 2 sharks in the water.  They weren't really huge, maybe about 5 feet but they were afraid and clung to the capsized boat even though the waves kept knocking them into the water.  There was another scary part when something best described as an Octopus came near the boat and ended up hanging out underneath the boat for like 2 hours.  A few times they thought it was gone and then they would notice the tentacles protruding from underneath the boat.  They were so relieved when it finally left.  I think it was just him and his best friend Will at that point, but I can't remember.

Nick said that he prayed a lot, asking God to please help them all survive.  He couldn't fathom the thought of his mother at his funeral so he never lost hope.  After he was saved, he asked God why he was the only person to survive.  He was very used to being exposed to cold weather when he was younger.  Maybe that was a major factor.  I believe the cold would've killed me.  Most black people do not handle extreme cold temperatures very well at all.

 I hope that Nick has a relationship with God.  A relationship where he does more than pray.  I hope he reads the bible and fellowships with other believers.  I thank God that at least one of them survived and told the story about what took place out there in that ocean.  I pray for the families of the other men that died.  I hope that they don't despise Nick for being the only survivor and telling his story.  This is something that he endured and he didn't cause any of this to happen but this is what he personally endured and I believe it helped him cope with everything that he went through by sharing his story. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This Is Only A Test

I'm sure you have heard the saying that "life is a test" and if you think about it, it's very true.  I find myself facing the same dilemma's all the time.  And even when I finally get it and handle a situation the way that God wants me to, I just graduate to the next episode. 

As a wife and mother of 3, you can only imagine some of the issues I have dealt with.  The good news is, that's how I get experience and wisdom under my belt.  Everything we go through in life is ultimately going to help someone else when they are being tested in a similar situation.  The people that walked with me during my trials had been down a similar path and helped me keep my focus on God through it all.  My Mom was and still is one of the people that I can always depend on for that.  She used to tell me, "You don't want to go that way, I've traveled that route."  I'm so glad that she loves the Lord and she has taught me a lot about life and trusting God. 

There are no guarantees in life.  God is in control and if we walk with Him and trust Him, we will find peace in the most difficult situations. You can only learn to trust God by going through some things and seeing Him deliver you out.  No one can tell you how to trust God.  People can encourage you to keep your faith and hold on to God's unchanging hand.

My husband and I have toughed out a lot of issues.  After being together for 17 years and married for 14 years there were many, many tests that's for sure.  At one point I had to learn how to focus on God instead of him.  It may sound a little harsh but let me tell you, that's when our marriage began to improve.  We are now in a place where we truly respect and trust each other but it hasn't always been that way.

Whenever you find yourself facing many tests of life, if you focus on God instead of your circumstances, He will deliver you and work it out for your good.  So the next time your daughter sneaks out, or your spouse says something hurtful, or someone criticizes your children, remember this is only a test.  If you fail, you will get to retake the test until you pass.  Now isn't that sweet?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Humble Pie Anyone?........

How can a person be humble?  What exactly is humility in a biblical sense?  Do you think you are humble?

I am currently leading a bible study about Ministering Through Spiritual Gifts by Charles Stanley.   The gifts are Prophecy, Ministering or Serving, Teaching, Exhorting, Giving, Leading and Mercy.  So far we have covered the first 4 out of 7.  This a very interesting study and it generates a lot of discussion.  We get so excited that we end up in more than 1 discussion at once.  This is my first time actually leading a bible study and as the leader, I have to learn how to restore order with gentleness.  I believe leading anything requires a good amount of patience, discipline and humility.  I think a good way to acquire humility would be to listen more, talk less and let others say what's on their mind.  This is no small feat for me because I always want to throw in my 2 cents.  Half of the group consists of talkers such as myself and the other half is more on the quiet, reserved side.

Humility is one of the best qualities a person can have.    For a person who believes that they are right most of the time and has to admit when they are wrong and apologize, that takes an act of humility.  In a conflict, when a person decides to apologize for the sake of someone's pride, even if they believe they are not in the wrong, that takes an act of humility.  How about showing love and respect to a person that you really don't care for?  That takes a genuine act of humility.  Wives who submit to their husbands or anyone submitting to authority are exercising humility.  It is not easy to be humble in certain situations but with God's help, it can be done with a glad and pure heart.

When you decrease your status or pride, it does not mean that you are allowing people to walk all over you like a door mat.  You are setting yourself up to be exalted by God.  You see, God gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud.  The opposite of humble is pride.  Pride is when a person exalts his own self or elevates his own worth by acting superior.  Sort of like putting yourself on a pedestal, you know, like patting yourself on the back most of the time.  God will humble those who exalt themselves and exalt those who humble themselves.  Luke 4:11 NKJV   That  means, if you are arrogant, God will humble you without your choosing.  It basically means you will be brought down from that pedestal.  But when you choose to be humble, God will exalt or elevate you.  To elevate is to move or raise to a higher position, like being promoted.  By lowering yourself or humbling yourself like a child, God will make you the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:4 NKJV

Even though Jesus was w/o sin, he never defended his self.  Instead he humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  He carried His cross and died for our sins.  He experienced pain and sorrow and men did not recognize His worth.  He was wounded for our transgressions.  Jesus, was definitely humble.  When I am prideful, angry or hurt I have to think about what Jesus did for me and push my emotions aside.  That takes, humility.  I'm so glad today when I do or say something that I shouldn't, God has given me the heart and spirit to turn it around by saying 2 words, "I apologize" without the 3rd word, but.  And that takes humility.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Every Man For Himself (Woman too)

When it comes to salvation, it is up to you to make that decision to accept Christ as your personal saviour and walk with Him.  Your faith in Him will save you.  Your works do not pay your way but w/o works, faith is dead.  Last week at church, the pastor asked, "How many of you know without a doubt where you are going when you die?"  I raised my hand and a handful of other people including my 15 year old daughter and her friend.  There were many people that I know personally who should have raised their hand.  If they don't know where they are going when they die then they have missed a major factor of their faith .  Either that or they weren't bold enough to claim eternal life in Heaven before a church congregation.  Now if you are unable to do that in the church house, will you have the boldness to speak about eternal life to others?  That is an important factor in evangelism and witnessing.  You must know where you will spend eternity and be able to help other's understand how you could possibly know that.  How could you be bold enough to talk about heaven and tell people how to get there? 
I have heard a lot of Christians admit that they aren't sure if they will go to heaven when they die.  Honestly, there was a time when I wasn't even sure myself.  My Mother was the one who assured me to know and believe without a doubt that I will spend eternity with God as long I continue to follow Him, trust Him and have faith.  Don't just take my word for it but study God's word to show yourself approved.  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

No one can pray you into heaven after you die.  Some people believe that if you die in a fallen state of grace, you will go to purgatory (between heaven and hell) while your living relatives pray you into heaven.  Really?  What is a fallen state of grace?  Does that boil down to not being perfect when you die?  Well that means we will all end up in purgatory waiting for our loved ones to pray for our salvation?  If that be the case then Jesus would've never had to die on the cross for us.  Jesus is the only way to eternity with God aka heaven.  Salvation is a free gift, and it's up to you, not your mother, not your father, not your sister, not your brother.  Please understand that grace is going to lead you home.
 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever  1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Whose Job Is It To Make You Happy?

Have you assigned your happiness to someone or something?  Your friends, children, spouse or significant other?  What do I mean by that you ask?  Well first of all, happiness is an emotion which is driven by one thing, your choice.  You do realize that you can actually choose to be happy, sad, angry, etc.....?  Let me just tell you that my emotions are typically all over the place on any given day.  But I am currently learning that I need to control my emotions and try not to let my emotions control me.  That is a difficult task for me but with God's help, I know I can do all things.
  To control your happiness or any other emotion, is to decide what or who makes you happy, sad or angry.  There is a time for everything.  There are times when happiness would not really be appropriate, like when somebody hurts you physically or emotionally.  That would cause you to be angry or sad and that's OK.  The important thing is our reaction, like getting even.  If someone is rude to me, I cannot help but to be rude right back.  But God is not very pleased with me when I do that and He lets me know that right away. 
  Yesterday morning on my way to work, it was so beautiful outside and my morning had a great start.  I almost forgot my coffee which can be a bit disturbing for me, or not.  You never know with me.  So I find my coffee in the garage where I left it and now here I am in my car with my coffee listenin to some good music of course.  Once I get on the freeway I take a swig of my coffee and it spilled down my shirt and into my lap.  Oops, the lid wasn't on tight enough.  Now, my main emotion to this is frustration and my reaction would be a few dramatic choice words.  Yes, apparently I am a drama queen according to my friends and family.  Whatever, they always seem to see things that I don't.  What is that all about?  Anyways, that's an entirely different story and I will write about that some day.  Back to my reaction to getting myself all dirty before I even get to work.  That morning, I had also began my draft on this posting so I was already geared up for this test.  I pulled myself together, thanked God that I wore black pants and only got a small splash on my super cute tan shirt with the giant black flower.  I chalked it up to que sera sera, whatever will be will be and told myself not to cry over spilled milk, well coffee in this case.  I have literally made a big ugly deal over spilled milk before. 
I just happened to be prepared for that test and made the choice to be happy and continue to enjoy my beautiful commute to work.  I would say I got an A on that emotions test for a change.  I ended up having one of the best days at work that I've had in a long time.  I even helped a co-worker channel her emotions when our system decided to crash while she was trying to meet a very important deadline.  I told her, it is what it is, just work on something else but she really didn't have anything else to work on so I told her to take a break, in a nice way of course.  That's exactly what she did and she was happy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

On 6/13 I spent my 34th birthday with my family and friends in a luxury box suite at a Reno Aces baseball game.  We had such a great time.  I won 20 tickets, plus VIP parking.  The stadium does not have a parking lot so you have to pay $5 or $10 to park close or hike from the nearest casino. Can you believe that the game just happened to be on my birthday?   I know who orchestrated that and if you don't know, you better ask somebody.  We had an amazing view, the weather was perfect and the Aces won but I can't remember the score.  The mascot came to our suite and sang happy birthday to me even though we have no clue exactly what the mascot is.  Here are a few pics from that special day.  Maybe you can tell me what that mascot is supposed to be.

Does Ace look like he's gettin ready to slap the back of my head?

Me and my Bestest Friend aka Soul Mate

My youngest daughter

Say cheese Mom

Sisters from another mister

One of these girls is my daughter

Mom and Grandma
Life is good

My daughter enjoying the view

Happy Birthday to me

We love this game

They say he was created by Pixar Studios,
he's supposed to be a monster.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Judas Kiss (muah)



1. to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: Benedict Arnold betrayed his country.
2. to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.
3. to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one's friends.
4.  to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
5.  to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.
6.  to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose: an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern.
7.  to deceive, misguide, or corrupt: a young lawyer betrayed by political ambitions into irreparable folly.
8.  to seduce and desert.

You will experience betrayal many times in life either as the deceived, the deciever or both.  Since we live in a fallen world it will most likely be both.  As you can see, there are many, many ways to commit an act of betrayal.  Can you think of a time when someone betrayed your or "sold you out"?  If you know how it feels to be punched in the stomach then you know how it feels to be betrayed by someone that you love or trust.  I remember when I was about 6 years old, a boy on the playground that I barely knew punched me in the stomach. :(  I actually lost my breath for the first 5 or 10 seconds.  I was in such shock that someone would do that to me for no reason.  I would later learn that boys don't always have a reason for a lot of the things they do.  (Honestly, I think he thought he was He-Man or G.I. Joe because this was back in the early 80's.)  For those of you that have never had the wind knocked out of you, take it from me, that's exactly how it feels when someone betrays you.  Like a straight up sucker punch.

Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, not with a gut punch but with a kiss. I don't know which one is worse. The coldest part about this story is that Jesus knew who would betray him and when they would do it.  Although I don't think that made it any less shocking or painful for Jesus.  His words to the 12 disciples while they were at the table during the last supper were, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me."  This made them all sad, then one after the other denied it.  Then Jesus said, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.  But woe to that man who will betray the Son of Man.  It would be better for him if he had not been born."  

By this point Judas had already collected his 30 pieces of silver and was just waiting for the opportunity to deliver Jesus over to the chief priests.  Judas actually had the nerve to respond by saying, "Surely you don't mean me Rabbi?"  Really Judas?

Jesus answered, "You have said so."  In other words, "Now you know, that I know, that you know, that you have already sealed the deal."  Needless to say, Judas ending up hanging himself.

Whether you have been sucker punched, thrown under the bus, sold out or cheated on, you can recover from such a shady situation.  The key point is forgiveness which isn't easy but it's necessary in order for you to "mount up with wings as an eagle and soar above your circumstance".  Trust God to reveal things to you and leave vengeance to Him.  I know what your thinking.  That's easier said than done.  That may seem true but you need to know and believe without a doubt that with God, all things are possible.

You may have found yourself acting like Judas a time or two.  If you find yourself throwing the punch or doing the kissing, you can redeem yourself.  You must repent by turning away from your demons.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Allow God to transform your heart and your mind.  We often betray and deceive ourselves when we don't acknowledge how wicked our own hearts are.   It's so much easier to see everyone else's evil ways and judge them.  But when you walk with God, He is always going to tell you before you betray Him or that He knows you will betray Him just like Jesus did with Judas.  That's our cue to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.

Ponder this, if Judas would've asked God for forgiveness, he would've been forgiven.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

There's Hope

It doesn't cost a thing to smile, you don't have to pay to laugh, you better thank God for that.

This is a very upbeat and inspiring song by India Arie called, "There's Hope" (see below).  I absolutely love her music.  She is an example of someone who loves the Lord.  Can doubt be found where there is hope?  I don't think so. 

When we start getting down and frustrated, we should only focus on the negative long enough to accentuate the positive and mount up with wings as eaglesIsaiah 40:31.  Focus on what you can do for another person to help them overcome a negative situation.  At the same time, be sure you are strong enough to avoid getting caught up in their mess.  I don't recommend doing this w/o God, that's for sure. 

A very close friend of mine lost her husband in a tragic accident about 8 months ago.  This woman has taught me a lot through her own life experiences, not just the death of her husband.  She never lost her hope in God.  She gave Him the glory through it all.  She has plans to go on a mission trip to Africa this fall to do what?  Help someone else in need.  The main thing I have seen her do throughout this journey is be there for everyone else around her.  She opened up her home for a recent bible study that I attended.  It was the greatest bible study that I have ever been a part of.  God used her for all of our benefit and let me tell you, the presence of the Lord was there every time.  The Holy Spirit was in our midst.

Through her pain and grief, her faith never, ever wavered not one tiny bit.  She is a living example to me of God's power manifested through our trials.  She didn't mind sharing the details of everything she went through from that tragic day til now.  She shared every single emotion, and there were many on any given day.  And that's why we are so close.  She helped me stay close to God during some very difficult times in my life.  I told her that I wanted to write about her story and of course she didn't mind one bit.  This is a person that shares God by sharing her own personal struggles, flaws, joys and pain.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Her integrity is very important to her so being honest comes naturally for her.

Nothing happens by accident.  God uses everything that we go through in our life to show Himself to us.  If you don't see Him, believe me when I say, there is hope.  If you seek Him, you will find Him.  And when you do, you will know that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength, Philipians 4:13

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Last weekend at the MS Walk, my mom bought a raffle ticket and gave it to me.  Thanks to her, my husband and I won a Sunday brunch for 2 at a restaraunt called Rapscallion's.  We had never been there before but everyone around us expressed what a great place it is.  Thank you Mommy!  Since today happened to be Sunday, we decided to steal some time together, just the 2 of us.   

The skies were blue with a good mix of sunshine and clouds and  the temp was about 70 degrees.  That's perfect weather in our book so we rode our motorcyle's to the restaraunt.  

It's a hidden hot spot located near downtown Reno.  What a dainty little restaraunt, with very neat landscaping.  There were table's and chair's outside and even a few tree's for shade. Quite a few people were dining out on the patio enjoying the sunshine.  The inside had a very charming ambiance but since the weather was so nice, we decided to soak up some vitamin D outside.  There was only 1 small table available with 1 chair so the staff found another chair for us. The service was exceptional, as was the food.   They started us off with warm blueberry muffins and fresh fruit with some kind of pink, creamy sauce drizzled on it.  We were also served champagne. 

My husband ordered New York steak and eggs.  His steak was tender and medium well, just the way we like it.  I say "we" because we always share our food with each other.    
I had what was called "Joe's Special Scramble".  It consisted of scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, onions and italian sausage.  A preferable and perfect combination for me.  Both our orders included home fries which had a wonderful flavor.  We could only take a few sips of our champagne so we ordered a glass of orange juice which came to us freshly squeezed.
That did it, we were both extremely pleased with Rapscallion's, all the way around.  We were sure to give our compliments to the waitress and the chef. 

It's days like this that we really cherish.  We have to schedule dates with each other more often. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

D Day, Really?

How many times will a man try to predict the end of the world?  I really hate it when people take God's word and try to mislead people.  That's adding to His word and they will be held accountable for doing that.  Believer's do not be fooled.  The bible is clear about the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Yes, there are signs of the end times and it appears that we have seen them all, but no man knows the exact day or hour.

Let's go to scripture, shall we?

Matthew 24: 4-28 speaks all about the signs of the "End of the Age"

Verse 11 says; "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many."
I was very saddened to see all the people on the news today that believe the claims of one man by the name of Harold Camping that "Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment," is what he told the Associated Press.  Now if that's not a false prophet, then I don't know who is.

Matthew 24:42-44:
42"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
 43"But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
When some is robbed, they never know ahead of time.  It's when they least expect it.  When you are away or not paying attention, that's when you and/or your stuff gets taken.
 44"For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
It doesn't just say that we don't know when, but when we don't think He will come is when He will come.  If you don't know what time to catch a flight, how can you be ready for it, right?  Well, if you want to be ready when Jesus comes, you better be saved.  That way, you won't need to know when because you will be ready for whenever.
Mark 13:32-33:
 32"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
If Jesus doesn't even know, then why would any man claim to know?  Do you really think you know more than Jesus?
 33"Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
God says the only thing you need to do is be on alert, in other words, "Pay attention".

See to it that no one misleads you.  You should study God's word to show yourself approved.  His word will never return void, meaning if He says it, it will come to pass.

Matthew 7:14-16 
 14"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

  15"Beware of the (A)false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are (B)ravenous wolves.
 16"You will (C)know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

(New American Standard Bible)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Do Bad Things Happen.......To Good People?

When I first saw the story about another missing mommy, Krista Dittmeyer I honestly didn't have peace about where she could possibly be.  She was reported missing Saturday morning after a passerby found her car running and her 14-month-old daughter in the back seat. The car door was open and the hazard lights were blinking.  I thought, "There is no way she left her daughter behind like that on purpose, so this couldn't possibly have a happy ending.  Lord, I pray for Krista, that you would have mercy on her soul.  For her family that you would comfort them while they grieve.  And Lord, for her daughter, I pray that she will be brought up to know You and to love You.  In Jesus name, Amen."

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This is the question of the millennium.  I have not only heard this question many times, I have asked this question myself.  I really sought to get some understanding.  The best answer I got was that we live in a fallen world.  No one is exempt from tragedy, trauma and trials.  When I think of joy w/o pain or sunshine w/o rain, the only place that comes to my mind is.......Heaven!  This world we live in is a far cry right.  Realizing that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts brings me comfort because I trust Him.  For me He is the only one that I can say that I trust 100%.

You might ask how I can trust someone that I cannot see.  It takes faith.  I have written about faith many times.  I have a history with God.  He has shown me in more ways than one that He does exist and He is in control.  He didn't say that I would not experience pain, but when I do face trials, He promised to walk with me.  I not only believe that, I know that because He has walked me through some very tough challenges.

Bad things happen to everyone and so do good things.  The question you should be asking yourself is, "Will I go to Heaven?"  That is where only "good" things happen and where you will only find "good" people.

It Is Well Within My Soul

 I always have songs in my head and I have written many songs.  This is a song I wrote a few month's ago.  I have been a little shy about sharing with people but what the heck,

 It Is Well Within My Soul.

It is well, it is well within my soul
Where the Holy Spirit dwells, and let's me know
I can do all things, with Him by my side
He will give me strength, He will provide

The Lord is good, His love is kind
His word will never return void
I once was lost, but now I'm found
He placed my feet on solid ground

I thank Him, I praise him, I magnify His name
Oh Lord, Oh Oh Lord
He made me, He saved me, He forgave my sins
Oh Lord, Oh Oh Lord

It is well, it is well within my soul
Where the Holy Spirit dwells, and let's me know
I can do all things, with Him by my side
He will give me strength, He will provide

He died for me, He set me free
I can't believe He would do this for me
They hung Him high, they stretched Him wide
He hung His head and for me he died

But that's not how the story ends
Oh Lord, Oh Oh Lord
For in 3 days, He rose again
Oh Lord, Oh Oh Lord

It is well, it is well within my soul
Where the Holy Spirit dwells, and let's me know
I can do all things, with Him by my side
He will give me strength, He will provide.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Your Faith Is on Front Street

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Hebrews 11:1  But what is front street you ask?  That is where the christian faith is showcased.  Let me give you some examples.  As a Christ follower, we should stand out like a sore thumb around those who do not follow Christ.  I'm not saying that we should go around giving people a sore head by knocking people upside the head with our bible so calm down.  But we should be allowed to do that every now and then too.  I'm just sayin because I know some hard headed people that probably wouldn't even feel it the first few times. 
My point is, our actions should speak louder than any sermon.  We don't have to tell people that they should know better when they act like a fool but if we don't join them, they will  begin to wonder about you.  When your co-workers complain, how do you respond?  If you join them which I am guilty of doing when I am in agreement, but what kind of faith am I displaying when I do that?  None, you are exactly right.  But when you don't join the complaining or if you say something encouraging, they might think you are crazy at first but thats ok because it will spark their curiosity.  What makes Miss Starla Sunshine think that things will get better?  What makes her avoid assuming that our employer won't listen to our ideas?  I use work as an example because that is where I spend a lot of my time.  But what about your friends and family?  Your actions can show them the high road too.  When you express your gratitude for answered prayers that is such a good witness to them.  Now people, please learn the difference between bragging and sharing what the Lord has done for you lately.  Every conversation gives you the opportunity to shine God's light in you.  The next time you have a conversation about the economy (because that is the topic of daily conversation) how can you give God glory? 
Someone says, "The government is going to shut down by midnight.  The last time that happened, the democrats were in office so what does that tell you?" 
You respond, "All my blessings come from above and God can use anything or anyone to bless you, including the government.  It really doesn't matter whose in office politically because if God is in office for you personally you don't have to worry about what the government is doing and when they are going to do it."

I really overheard someone at work say this the other day but I didn't respond because at the time I was quite annoyed because this person is my friend who knows my political views so my reaction would have been more like this, "Why do you have to be so negative and loud?"  Besides, no one else responded so maybe they were thinking the same thing.  Or maybe it was because most people try to avoid discussing politics or religion at work.  The other day someone told me that they don't talk about religion at work and my response to them in a very loving way was, "I don't talk about religion either but I do talk about God."  No response but I do think they got the point.

Actions really do speak louder than words and sometimes it's what you don't do that can be a positive witness.  So by not complaining and saying negative things that says a lot right there. God has been working with me on my complaining for years and years.  I'm not where a I should be, but I'm also not where I used to be.  You see, I'm a talker and I wear my feelings on my sleeve.  I always thought it was good for people to see all your emotion's but I'm learning that it's good to hide them sometimes to avoid hurting people.  You can be saved and act like the devil, trust me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lost and Found

My daughter lost her brand new jacket on the second day of the school year.  She went to the lost and found to see if it was there but it wasn't.  A few days later she saw a girl with the exact same jacket but since there was no way to be sure that it belonged to her, we counted it as a loss.  You see, clothing and material possession's can be replaced.  We all know that right?  But one thing that you don't ever want to lose is your soul.  Yes, you read this right. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul.  For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  Mark 8:36,37 NAS

Some of you may wonder how can a man lose his soul?  First, we need to understand exactly what your soul is.  In the bible, when used as an action word (verb), your soul is often mentioned with and after your heart.  Your soul is that between your body and spirit.  It is controlled by your spirit and it uses the body to carry out the thoughts of the Spirit.  Maybe that's why God instructs us to hold our bad thoughts captive.  Just thinking the wrong thing is a sin because it can cause you to eventually act on your thoughts.  He who guards his mouth & his tongue guards his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23 NAS  You know what they say?  If you speak it, so it shall be.  Well at least that's what I tell my girls.

To me it sounds like our soul and our feelings are one in the same.  What the eye sees is better than what the soul desires.  Ecclesiastes 6:30.  Your soul sobs and weeps, troubles and grieves, longs and loves, delights and angers.  I think in order to truly grasp what the soul is, you must understand your spirit (heart).  It seems that they are both intertwined and both can be involved in what pleases and displeases God.  Your Spirit must speak to your Soul which uses your body to carry out your thoughts or put your thoughts into action.  Your Spirit mediates between your body and Soul.  I think of our soul as our feelings and our spirit as our thoughts.

Now that we hopefully have a better understanding of the soul, we can find out how it can become lost.  If a person has never accepted Jesus as their savior, they can be considered lost spiritually.  Some examples of lost are having gone astray or ending in defeat.  If you do not have a real relationship with God, consider yourself to be forfeited, gone, ruined, distracted, distraught, desperate, hopeless, missing, confused, perplexed, squandered, doomed and condemned to hell.  If your soul is lost and you want to find it say this simple prayer:
Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour

Just like the song Amazing Grace, you once were lost but now you are found, was blind but now you see.