Not to Harp…But…Okay, I’m Harping…

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I know I talk about this frequently. BUT–here it goes–AGAIN.

Christians, please please watch your mouths. Pastors, Ministers, Teachers of the Word, be especially careful! I just witnessed a pastor name-calling and belittling another person, he then threw out terrible insults. Words. He. Can. Never. Take. Back. (actually, I’m not sure he wants to take them back.)

James 3:9-10 The Voice. “Ironically this same tongue can be both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father and a weapon that hurls curses upon others who are created in God’s own image. One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses. My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be.”

Do you see what this is saying? When we are cursing others, we are cursing the LIKENESS OF GOD! That reaches deep inside of me! How it must grieve God when we mistreat one another with our words.

James 3:5 “…A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!”

Something to think about.

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Hard to Complain

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It’s hard for me to complain about the bad night’s sleep I had last night when my friend was up all night with her child who was in the hospital screaming in pain from the side-effects of his cancer treatments.

It’s hard for me to complain that I had to get up to come into work when my friend hasn’t gotten to go to bed yet.

It’s hard for me to complain about my dog waking me up in the middle of the night to potty when her child can’t sleep because he literally can’t potty.

It’s hard for me to complain that my son woke me up at midnight because he locked his keys in his truck when my friend just wants to see her child live to be a teenager.

It’s hard for me to complain that my weekend was too short when my friend just had one of the longest weekends of her life trying to comfort her little boy.

It’s hard for me to complain that my bed makes my back ache when my friend has spent the majority of this year sitting in a chair all night beside her son at the hospital.

It’s hard to complain when you realize your life is pretty wonderful and you are amazingly blessed.

Please say a prayer for Marilyn and for Cub as they fight his childhood Leukemia.

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When Christian Leaders are Jerks

Jerk

That’s right. The leaders.

Last week I wrote about Christians being jerks. Apparently a lot of you knew what I was talking about, because there was quite a little response. Sarah Price suggested I do a series. I originally accepted the challenge. Then I declined. Now, as you can see, I have decided to move forward.

Let’s face it. Every person on planet earth has the opportunity to be a jerk at one time or another. The thing is, does everyone give into the urge? Probably–at least once, don’t you think? I mean, sometimes a person is just plain tired, or has a headache, or just got a speeding ticket, or, or, or…

Just because we might have reason to be, or an excuse to be, a jerk doesn’t mean we have to act on it. Actually, the Bible says:

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

Before I continue on, I realize that some of you know me. And, you know things about me and mistakes I have made…So, I am not saying that I am perfect, that I think I’m perfect, that I’ve never been a jerk, that I’ve never gossiped (the list goes on). Okay? I’m preaching to myself here too. 

I talked last week about how other people watch Christians. Sometimes they may even be waiting for a Christian to mess up so they can say, “SEEEEE, they aren’t any better than anyone else!” (Which, of course, they aren’t because we are all human. We have just found grace and hope through Jesus and with His help we strive to live our lives the way God desires.) You see, to people that don’t know Jesus personally, the Christian IS Jesus. If they see a Christian acting like a jerk, well, that is the impression they are given of Jesus. How sad is THAT?

So, this brings me to the subject of Christian leaders.I’m not just talking about Pastors or Ministers. I’m also talking about small group leaders, choir directors, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders–see where I am going?

While the world watches the Christian to see how they act and re-act, they take an especially hard look at Christian leaders. And, when they mess up, it causes not only the world to look away from Christ, but can cause other Christians to turn away as well.

Let me give you some examples:

I had a Sunday school teacher once who was really very good. His teaching was in-depth and he seemed to have a compassionate spirit. But. His. Wife. I ran into her once outside of church and she literally looked away from me. I tried to to talk to her at church and she acted like it was asking too much to speak to me. For me, she negated the teaching of her husband because she was so ugly to me.

I once knew of a prominent pastor who had a thriving ministry. However, he had a reputation around town for being impolite to waitresses and a poor tipper. Which do you think made a bigger impression on people in the restaurant, his big church or the fact that he mistreated his servers?

Years ago I worked in a call center that dealt with churches. One day a co-worker answered her phone. The minute she did, a pastor started yelling at her on the other end of the line. He screamed at her for quite some time and attacked her personally and professionally. The end result was a shaken crying young woman. Not only did he likely shape her impression of all pastors, but can you imagine—if he treated a Christian girl, working at a Christian organization like that…how did he treat people at other business—or at his church? What kind of spiritual damage had been done by this man?

Let’s take this down to teenagers. How about the girl (I’m not picking on girls) who flaunts the fact that she is a leader in her youth group at church, sings in a Christian band, and leads a Bible study? She does all of these things, but, yet, when she walks down the hall at school, she talks about the girls in front of her loud enough for them to hear.  Later at lunch she refuses to let the lonely girl sit at “her” table because she “smells”. Um. Every ounce of ministry she has done has now been reversed by her nastiness.

James 1:26 says, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”

Leaders, I’m speaking to you. STOP. Think about your words and your actions. Think about the eyes and ears that are focused on you. What you say when you are leading is important…but, truthfully, what you say when you are not “on” may make even  more of an impression on people.

And to those of you who have to deal with the jerkiness of those who should know better–again, I’m going to say, remember they are HUMAN. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on people. People will always fail you, but Jesus never fails.

Categories: Empowerment | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Christians are Jerks

 

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Crepes? Pancakes? Maybe a shake? What was I going to have this time? My eyes traveled over the familiar menu. It seemed like nearly every week after church my boyfriend’s parents took us out to eat at the same restaurant. I loved it because it meant an extra hour or two that I got to be with my guy. <3

As we all sat at our table that particular night, our ears tuned in to the conversation taking place a few tables over. There was a large group of people who had obviously come from church as well. The people were being rude and bossy to their server. She couldn’t seem to please them and they were running her ragged.

We had a different server who did a fine job. But, as we ate, we continued to notice the other table. Because, well, they were loud. They finally finished their meal, stood up and left. Once they were gone, their server went to clear the table and retrieve her tip.

Tears filled her eyes.

They had left her an insulting tip.

My boyfriend’s dad stood and walked over to her. He spoke to her in quiet tones, but I still heard what he said, “I want you to know that not all Christians are like that. I’m sorry for the way they treated you.” As he spoke, he was reaching into his pocket. He pulled out his wallet and handed her a generous tip.

More tears. This time though, they were tears of gratitude.

My boyfriend’s dad is now my father-in-law. I was probably fifteen years old at the time and I have never forgotten that incident. I’m guessing that waitress never forgot either. Hopefully, what he did that day made more of impression on her than what her actual customers did.

Christianity is not just a religion. Christianity is not reciting scripture or knowing what’s right and wrong. Christianity is DOING. It’s SHOWING. It’s LOVING people.

My father-in-law now has dementia. But as recently as Christmas I heard him pray an articulate beautiful prayer. Jesus is still IN him. Many times over I watched him live out his faith in DOING for others.

I’m sure some of you reading this know my father-in-law and could share story after story of how he lived out his faith by DOING and GIVING.

If you are a Christian, remember, people are watching you. Do you pray before your meal at a restaurant and then mistreat your server during your meal, or leave them a lousy tip? What kind of witness have you just given?  Do you call a business in anger and scream at the person on the other end? Is that going to lead that person to Christ? How about at the store? Do you get angry in the aisle as you wait for someone to get out of your way because you are in a hurry to get home after church? (We won’t even talk about driving habits.)

If you are not a Christian, remember, Christians are HUMAN and make mistakes. And, just because one Christian is (for lack of a better word) a jerk, that does not mean that all of them are.

If you have an instance to share where someone showed Christ’s love to you in an unexpected way I would love to hear about it!

<3

 

 

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Sarah Price~~Author Interview

Sarah!

Sarah Price

Long time no see! Of course, I still can’t see you, but…anyway…I’m so excited to interview you!

Let’s start with a little background. I first “met” you after becoming hopelessly attached to the two main characters in your Plain Fame Trilogy, Alejandro and Amanda. After meeting them, I knew I had to find out more about Sarah Price. I never would have dreamed we would soon become friends. (amazing how things work out)
I’m still convinced you were that girl pushing me in the little red wagon, Lisa. (I CAN’T FIND THE PHOTO!!!!!)

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Speaking of your Plain Fame Trilogy, do you feel like that series brought you a whole new fan base from what you had before?
Oh, I do! And that’s what I wanted. My first four novels in this genre (Fields of Corn, Hills of Wheat, Pastures of Faith, and Valley of Hope) were a little more “vanilla” although I did start testing some previously unwritten scenarios. The Plain Fame Series was an idea that occurred to me on the streets of Manhattan when I was walking to work, grumbling about how my favorite singer, Pitbull, was performing at Rockefeller Plaza and I couldn’t attend because I was scheduled to teach a class. As I crossed a street, the entire story popped into my head. What if Pitbull’s limousine hit me? BAM! The entire series materialized in that moment.
One of the key things that I wanted to achieve was incorporating different cultures, particularly Americans that are from Cuba, Latin America, and Mexico. We do not see that culture in popular media too often.
I’ve heard a rumor that there is a fourth book in the making. (I’ve lost sleep since I heard that). Is it true? Want to give as a little nibble from it?
Hmmmmmmm could be! Wait. Did you say a fifth book? Oh. Hmmmmmm….could be!

Plain-Return

One of the things I love about your books is the way you dig into the human side of the Amish. I think many people put them in some kind of saint category. But, you remind us that people are just people. We all suffer in the same ways. What has been the driving force for you to push into stories about depression, insecurity, abuse…?
Personal experience. I draw a lot from personal experience.
A more detailed answer, however, is that I believe that many readers have this vision of the Amish as being “one.” They are not shaped from a cookie cutter. There are things that I know about Amish people that many of my readers would neither like nor believe. The bottom line is that they are people. There are people in their communities who experience every single thing that we experience. By incorporating these situations into my novels, I want my readers to understand that. I also want the readers to relate to the different situations and realize that they are not alone in experiencing these tough situations.
Tell me about the books you have coming up and where people can find them. I know many of your readers just sit biting their nails waiting on your next release.
I’m continuing with my adaptations of Jane Austen’s books and moving onto the Bronte sisters. That’s with my one publisher, Realms (an imprint of Charisma House). And I have a few secret projects with Waterfall Press (an imprint of Brilliance Publishing). I owe my readers the next three books in the Amish Seasons series. Finally, I’m working on a book with Erin Brady called Into the Amish.
Of course, my next “big thing” is that I’m moving into the Young Adult genre. FINALLY Diehard Fangirl is going to hit the shelves this summer. That’s about my daughter and her obsession with fangirling social media celebrities…one in particular. Her friends love going with her to the different concerts and events because we do the backstage hang-out thing and…well, to a teenager, that’s cool. Cat has a nice little posse of sweet girlfriends. It’s a joy to take these girls and see how silly they are! It’s a whole new world that parents have no idea exists. And these girls are soooo appreciative. That makes the pounding headache from the thousands of screaming girls totally worth it!
Anyway, I think that should keep me busy until 2017.
And, of course, I’m already working on ideas for my next round of contracts.

You also have a website, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account, right? Where can people find and follow Sarah Price?
I have to confess that I’m not a big Twitter fan. Facebook and Instagram are my find me “hanging out.” And, on occasion, YouTube.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fansofsarahprice
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/sarahpriceauthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sarahpriceauthr
YouTube.com: http://www.youtube.com/sarahpriceauthor
Website/blog: http://www.sarahpriceauthor.com

I’m a visual person so you can see (pun intended) why I prefer these social media platforms to Twitter.
You and I share a love of coffee. In September you brought me some special coffee to try. Why don’t you tell my readers about that? (It was delicious by the way)
Ah, the kopi luwak coffee.
While attending at a meeting at my publisher, Waterfall Press, in Grand Harbor, Michigan, another author began telling me about the world’s most expensive coffee. So, of course, I had to taste this coffee. Since her husband was returning from a mission in the Far East, she told me that she would send me a bag—it’s apparently less expensive there.
Well, let me tell you…
It was amazing. Really. I found a source, bought a few bags of it, and I managed to get a few people to try it and they, too, loved it.
Until…
(suspense)
…they found out that it is from a bean that is digested and pooped out by cat in Indonesia. At that point, the only person who would join me in a cup was my son. Oh, and this adorable little blond from Missouri named Lisa.
P.S. I didn’t tell you that I found a bag of it just the other day in my pantry. I am totally hoarding it.

Coffee with a Friend

You love animals. You live with a pig and how many cats and dogs? I know you love horses as well. (People, she pretty much loves them all. When we were on vacation she fed opossums. OPOSSUMS. They are–well–they are icky. But, they were fed well while Sarah was here. I think she fed a few racoons as well.) So, why don’t you tell us about your animal family that lives in your home with you.

Well…let’s leave it at “I love animals.”
Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, donkeys, horses, ponies…Overall, I suspect we tend to 100 animals in our daily life. Many of them are rescue animals. We even had a zebra for a while.

ZebIn the Book of Genesis, God told us to take care of the animals. I may have taken that just a wee bit too far!
Seriously, we have several farms where most of these animals reside. Possibly a new farm on the horizon, too. I’m hoping to continue my efforts rescuing animals, especially the wild mustangs. But I don’t want to speak too soon.

Cat

In a dance-off, who would win, you or me? Oh, you don’t have to answer that–but, seriously, who?
You. You have some amazing moves, girl.
BUT…
If we were to dance a Viennese Waltz or Tango, I would totally win.
I have to tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE ballroom dancing. I started dancing when I was invited to participate in Dancing with the Survivors for the Pink Fund. At first I made a face when I received the invitation. As you know, Lisa, from our time at the lake house, I am not a great dancer. Not like you. Anyway, after thinking about it, I decided, “Why not?”
Next thing you know, I’m dancing almost every day, taking lessons at my home away from home, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and practicing all over the house! I even have a Line of Dance (LOD) duct-taped across my bedroom rug and I’m installing a dance mirror in my office.
I prefer the smooth dances (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz). They are just so pretty to watch and, let’s be honest, the ballgowns rock!
Now I’m learning rhythm dances like the cha cha, hustle, mambo, and swing. Once I master those (ten years from now…ha ha), I will most definitely change my answer!

Okay, now the fun part. Time for my quick-answer questions:
Where did you meet Marc?
Marc is my barnyard find of the century! Seriously, I met him at the horse stables. My daughter, Cat, and son, Alex, are the reasons that we met. I was returning Alex’s baseball uniform and took a short cut through a parking lot. I always say that Cat saw a fly land on a pony’s butt (meaning she zoned right in on those ponies). She was three and a half years old and started screaming her head off, unbuckling her car seat and clawing at the door to get out. She continued to scream and cry for the ponies until I finally took her there just to make her stop.
She became the first paying customer at the barn before it even officially opened. Today, ten years later, she’s working with a mustang that was born wild.
When I met Marc, I did not like him. At. All. In fact, I used to mimic his French accent behind his back. One time, when I was entertaining a group of people at the barn by imitating him, and, suddenly, I noticed everyone stiffened up and the color drained from their faces. And I knew that he was behind me.
Instead of yelling at me, which he was prone to do, he laughed and told me that I almost nailed his accent.
The rest is history. We became friends, he helped me through a rough patch in my life, and BAM! (play romantic music).
Favorite artist? (any kind of art)
Johannes Vermeer. And yes, The Girl with a Pearl Earring is the reason why I fell in love with his work. That book is just amazing. Tracy Chevalier is my spirit animal (that’s urban lingo, and with lower case S and A). I can imagine how she came up with the idea for that book. I bet she was sitting somewhere, say that painting, and just wondered “What led up to this moment?” It’s absolutely something I would think.
I can overhear a sentence from a conversation and a book idea pops into my head. I might meet someone who has an amazing accent and BAM! My neurons start making up that person’s past. There are stories all around us. You just have to pay attention and let them appear.
Celebrity crush? (you have to pick just one)
Pitbull.
And I don’t mean Pitbull the singer. I mean Pitbull the person. What he has done for the Latino community is amazing. Literally, he went from being a thug on the streets to being an international superstar with a huge propensity for philanthropy. He is a true role model of someone who gives back.
Plus, he gives great hugs and wears amazing cologne.

Pitbull

What was your favorite dessert as a child?Funny Cake. It’s a Mennonite dessert. It has a chocolatey bottom and a fluffy cake like top, baked in a pie crust. Serve that with one scoop of vanilla ice cream and I’m in heaven.
By the way, I always thought funny cake was Amish. Most of my Amish friends never heard of it. They didn’t believe me when I told them about it. I had to FedEx a few funny cakes to them so that they believed me!

Barbie or Skipper?
Seriously? Do you have to ask? Barbie. I like her clothes.
However, if I had to be stuck on an island with someone, totally Skipper. Barbie would get on my nerves if I had to hang out with her. Plus she’d probably fall over because of her out-of-promotion dimensions and I’d get really tired of picking her up.
I know you didn’t love the 80’s, but favorite 80’s movie?
Uh…Little House on the Prairie? Was that in the 80s?
No?
OK…how about…(pauses to use Google)…
When Harry Met Sally. I have definitely watched that over two dozen times! Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are perfect in that movie. The development of their friendship is so honest, from a writer’s perspective. I love the scene where they are walking on the moving walkway. And, of course, his reaction to her restaurant theatrics. Hilarious.
Now that I have a list on my screen of movies, the 80s had some amazing movies: Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club (another contender for most watched), Indiana Jones (LOVED), Tootsie, Dirty Dancing (which would only be my favorite NOW because I love dancing), Footloose, Say Anything, Big, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (oooo, another favorite), and so on.

Actually, I think Little House on the Prairie was in the 80’s…but not really a movie…(Shakes head)
Red or pink?
Red. I always get red manicures and pedicures. #93. That’s what my nail salon calls me because they don’t remember my name, just the color. It’s sparkly, like Dorothy’s shoes from the Wizard of Oz movie. You cannot beat sparkly red nail polish. It’s just…perfect!
Honestly, I’m sick of pink. BLAH! I think I banned it from my wardrobe, with the exception of a really cute Kate Spade dress.
Interesting fact for you: Pink used to be the recommended color for little boys. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that it switched to girls.
Pepsi or Coke? (you have to choose)
Diet Dr. Pepper.

(Shakes head again)
First boy who kissed you?Uh…can I write that???? Stephen Keller. He was my best friend. We built stick forts in our backyard and he’d sleep over (we were like five or six!). We’d sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and polish off a pack of Yodels or Ring Dings.
Did you have a banana seat on your bike in the 70’s? (mine was totes red, white, and blue)
I don’t remember. But I did have a cool pool bubble so I wouldn’t drown.

Sarah Bubble Girl

Favorite coffee cafe’?
At the risk of being stereotyped, Starbucks. It’s a great place to write and I LOVE their Pumpkin Spice coffee in the autumn. I get a tummy ache from the Peppermint coffee which stinks because it tastes soooooo good. And I always get Venti (large) because I cannot pronounce the other two sizes. Plus they have a really cool logo which, as a former marketing professional, is always important to me.
Bargain hunter or brand name buyer?
Both. I learned a long time ago that bargains are often not bargains. Buying bargain jeans often means they are made of a poor quality material and they rip…usually right under the butt at very embarrassing moments. But I do love brand names in shoes, sunglasses, and purses. Michael Kors is my latest infatuation along with Alexander Wang (but only if on a major sale).
Funny story. When I worked in Manhattan, I liked to shop at Lord and Taylor on Fifth Avenue (again, sounds better than saying Lord and Taylor at the Livingston Mall). I developed a thing for shoes. Growing up, I wore penny loafers, jeans, and a sweatshirt. That was my de facto outfit.
So developing any type of “thing” for fashion in my 40s is very delayed.
Anyway, the salesman in the shoe department became my BFF for a while. I’d bring him coffee and he used to pass his employee discount along to me.
Morning person or night owl?
Both. That’s terrible, right? I can write until 3am in the morning or I can go to bed early and wake up at 3am to write. Just last night, I woke up around 3am or 4am and started to reach for my laptop. Marc groaned, grabbed it, and mumbled, “No.”
Comedy or Drama?
Both. I’m soooooo sorry! I don’t mean to be difficult. The things that happen in my life are a true sitcom. Let’s face it…I have a pig in my house. That alone is enough comedy. She loves to rearrange my furniture when she’s bored. Drives me insane. And then we have Cat, Alex, and Marc…each one is novel-worthy.
But there is also a lot of drama. One thing I have learned is that you need to surround yourself with good people and weed your garden of toxic people.
I’ve also learned that when you live life large (my expression, totally trademarked), you are a target for other people. Cat is learning that, too. She works really hard, gets good grades, and she rides horses. Put all of that together and you encounter a lot of jealousy. A LOT. And not always from other 13-year-olds. Parents also can jump into the mix because their daughters aren’t getting the same publicity in the media. They have even asked me who she has in her back pocket to get so much attention from the public.
Hello???? Her mother is a former marketing professor and a published author with an amazing fanbase.
It stinks. It’s as if people are waiting for you to do something…anything…that they can pounce on and say, “Ah ha! You are bad!”
Girls are taught to share and take turns from an early age. As toddlers they are told to take turns with the baby doll and stroller. Later as young children, it becomes “Ok, now it’s Jane’s turn to be the teacher and you be the student.” Older children who excel at a sport are talked about behind their back (or in front of them). Later in life, a woman who gets promoted is often scorned by her female colleagues. She’s seen as a turncoat to her former peers.
Life is not about taking turns.
It’s about hard work, talent, education, values, morals, and being a God-loving person. You can’t take short-cuts in life. No one should have to apologize for having good grades, earning multiple degrees, and experiencing professional success.
Crowds or serenity?
Crowds only at book signings, concerts, and when fangirling with my daughter. Serenity is my 18 month goal.
Sunglasses or shoes? (you have to choose!)
Really? I HAVE to choose? You are a tough interviewer. Sunglasses.
If you had to choose between fixing up your eyes or your lips, which would you choose?
This one is easy. Lips. I always have about twenty lipsticks with me. I hate hate hate dry lips and once you start wearing lipstick, you just can’t go back.
Your favorite thing about your: 20’s?
My education. Because of having multiple degrees (and graduating early from high school and my undergraduate college), I had so many opportunities that I simply wouldn’t have had without it.
30’s?
That was a nondescript decade for me. I honestly cannot think of one thing that was my favorite about my 30s. Maybe rediscovering my love of horses?
40’s?
Feeling like I am 20. I think my 40s rock! And frankly, I’m not so concerned about 50s creeping up. Someone mistook me for my son’s girlfriend in Colorado last week. #totallyserious. I suspect he should have been offended, but I was tickled pink for two days!

I agree, there is freedom in your 40’s! 40’s Girls Rock!Sarah, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Hope you enjoyed some coffee!

Please follow Sarah Price. She loves hearing from her fans!

<3

Categories: Author Interview | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Struggle

Shoes 1

Soooooo.

Sometimes life is a struggle, yes? I mean, let’s be real. LOTS of times, life is just not pleasant. So, for me to say that lately my life has been a little messy, well, it’s probably no surprise to you. And, likely, your life is no bed of roses right now either.

(Really positive post so far, huh?)

I was at a point where my mind just wasn’t sure which way was up anymore. What was right? What was wrong? Is there gray? Should there be gray, or should everything be black or white? I felt God telling me to reach out to a certain individual. So, I followed His voice and made a phone call. The words she spoke to me touched me and felt so profound that I took notes while she talked. (I don’t think she believed me when I told her that so I sent her a picture of my notes! LOL).

You know, we are never going through things alone. And, almost always, someone else can relate to your struggle. So, I thought I would share with you some of what I received from her.

Sometimes things are beyond making sense. They just are. But He (God) hasn’t forgotten you.

When you are in the midst of what seems like a battle with another person, step back and do these three things:

1. Make sure you are without spot or wrinkle yourself. Examine your own heart and make right with God anything that is not.
2. Listen to what God is telling you. How do you listen to God? Read His Word (the Bible). Pray. Be still and allow Him to speak to your heart.
3. Remember that what is taking place is not an attack by a “person”, but it is the enemy (Satan) attacking you (perhaps through a person).

God has great plans for you. Satan wants to kill those plans. He wants to destroy what God has for you. Put on the Armor. (Ephesians 6:14-17 “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”)

Say, “Enough is enough!” and GIVE. IT. TO. GOD. Turn your feelings over to the Lord. God has equipped us and we are VICTORS through the Lord Jesus, Amen?

“It’s not what happens to us, but what happens in us that matters in the Lord.” ~~ My Great Aunt Ethel

Be encouraged!

<3

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Happy Father’s Day!

What my dad taught me about my Heavenly Father.

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More Than You Can Imagine

Ephesians

Sometimes life is just absolutely overwhelming.

I know you understand because everyone–EVERYONE–has hardship. We are imperfect people in an imperfect world. So, we all deal with sickness, relationship issues, money issues, stress, death–they are all facts of life.

Have you ever found yourself in one of those times and you feel totally lost? The kind of lost where you don’t even have words to pray?

Or, maybe instead of praying, you talk to people around you even though you know there is nothing they can do? Toward the end of the conversation you say, “All I can do is pray, I guess.” (You may even end your statement with a heavy sigh.)

Here’s what I imagine God does when He hears that–

He leans over, looks down, and takes a deep breath saying, “REALLY? ALL you can do is pray? All you can do is call out to your Heavenly Father…the Father Who created you? All you can do is release the power of Heaven into your situation. Really?”

Why is it that prayer is often a last resort? Why is that prayer seems insignificant somehow when, actually, it is the most power tool we have?

Ephesians 3:30 MSG says, “God can do things, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”

Let’s start making prayer our first choice. Let’s start making prayer our hope, our answer, our delight.

I love this quote by John Lindell, “God is powerful enough to change your situation and personal enough to enter into the emotion of it.”

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The Face of Anxiety~~Featuring Katie Joy Crawford

In 2012, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I’ve never seen or read anything that depicted what I experienced in this way. Sometimes when you are in the middle of a crises  you feel so alone…like you must be the only one in the world going through this. It is somehow comforting to know your “crazy” is “normal”. I’m not sure that makes sense. But, at the time, I felt like I was absolutely losing my mind, and that  no one else could possibly understand…

There is hope if you suffer from these types of diseases. It’s important to seek a good physician and to talk to the people closest to you. Do not suffer in silence. And, most importantly, Jesus is gracious to heal and bring peace. If you need prayer, please message me. <3

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (cowardice, cringing and fawning fear) but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well balanced mind and discipline and self-control” 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

I’m posting the article with Katie Crawford’s permission. Please take a moment to visit her website.  :)  http://www.katiejoycrawford.com/home

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Right Now? I’m Angry–

Anger

Sometimes being angry is easier than being hurt and vulnerable. Sometimes I think I choose anger over hurt because it’s easier to deal with. I think I use anger as my shield of “protection”. It feels like anger keeps me from feeling the hurt so deeply. Because, I think, if I quit being angry, I may never stop crying over the hurt.

But, anger is a sneaky creature. It acts like it’s my friend. It pretends to protect me and wrap me in a cocoon of safety. When, in reality, it is digging deep into my soul, planting roots of bitterness, erupting sprouts of sickness and disease and dropping seeds of division.

Anger doesn’t protect me at all. Anger moves me toward self-destruction.

As I turn my anger toward God’s Word, searching for a cure, I find the answers. It’s still my choice to reach out for the antidote.

Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Psalm 37:8-9 (TLB)

Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry—it only leads to harm.

Philippians 4:4-6 (TLB)

 Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice!  Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.

Anger only hurts me. It doesn’t change anyone else. It doesn’t keep anyone from hurting me more deeply. I’m going to choose to focus on what is good today. I’m going to make a choice to be who God wants me to be despite what anyone else says or does.

I’m going to CHOOSE JOY.

What about you?

<3

 

Categories: Encouragement | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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