7/27/2010

Everyone Else is Coming Out the Closet....Are You???

I wonder what thought crossed your mind when you read that title.  It seems that there used to be a day when people were ashamed of openly sinning.  They kept things quiet or in the closet.  If you didn't believe in God you just kept it to yourself.  If you felt like you had sexual attractions outside of what God ordained, you didn't tell anyone.  If you had an abortion, not a soul knew.  And on and on it went.  Yet today, people are crawling out of the wood works to say not only I'm black and I'm proud, but I'm gay, a lesbian, bisexual, sadist, etc., etc.  And all the while society is pushing Christians deeper into a corner and one day will close the closet door on us.
Since when do we zip our lips and keep quiet because we don't want to offend anyone?  Who's thinking about offending us?  "They" don't seem to care how they offend us!  We can stand up proud and express who we are in truth and in love.  We don't have to force anyone to believe in the God we serve.
In Matthew 10:33, Jesus said "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
How sad it is that we as a nation have gotten to the point that we coward behind closed doors and not speak truth.  When you're around a group of people telling jokes that are degrading, do you laugh right along.  Do you sit among those who are struggling in various sins and never profess your faith in God or share truth?  Do you think your light will shine without ever opening your mouth?   
Please let me share a true story with you.  One day while walking with one of my co-workers she turned to me and said, if you didn't know me, would you know that I am a Christian.  I stopped in my tracks and just looked at her bewildered.  I said I do know you and now I have a question for you...Are You a Christian?  She looked at me crazy.  She said, "I know you're a Christian."
She stated she was and I told her I had no clue she was.  I had never once heard her talk about God, the Bible, or anything of the like.  She began to cry and I could understand her anguish.
We can't think that just because we behave like a Christian or nice person and do nice things, that it makes a statement about WHO we really are.  We don't have to be overbearing.  We don't have to shove Christ down anyone's throat, but we do have to profess our faith in Christ.
So I dare ya...if you ever played truth or dare as a kid, you know how the game goes.  I double dog dare ya to lift His name up in praise while speaking to someone.  Don't be ashamed of the Gospel!  I'd hate for you to stand before Him one day and He tell you "Depart from me, I never knew you".


I'm out the closet.  Are you?







7/20/2010

I did it!

I gave my notice today.  It is official, my last day at my current job is Aug. 6.  I'm working that extra week because I've taken off a week this month and won't get paid for it so I'm trying to make up for it.

I'm excited and ready, stepping out on faith and trusting that He who holds tomorrow also holds me.  I know He said HE would supply ALL our needs and I am believing Him for just that!!!!!

What a wonderful ride and journey to be on with Christ.w

7/19/2010

Trying to locate one of my readers

That sounds weird to post, but Lisa commented on my Grass Fed Beef post and asked me to email them.  However, I have been unable to email because I couldn't find an email address.
Please feel free to email me and put "blog reader" in the subject line.

hesavedme71@yahoo.com

7/15/2010

I need to sleep

This will be brief.....
I don't think I will ever look at Sunday afternoon naps the same way again.  

We had a wonderful time at church Sunday, service was great.Then we headed to 7-11 for a free slurpie and then home.  Dinner was already done because my dear friends had given us a roast from their grass fed cow and I put that in the crock pot the night before.  
We got home and ate dinner and I suddenly just needed to lay my head down for just a few minutes.  
I took a 2 1/2 hour nap and woke up and couldn't go back to sleep that night.

I tossed, I turned, I prayed, I read my Bible, I got on Facebook, I read blogs, I tossed some more, I prayed a lot more, but NOTHING!

I got up at 5:15, got ready for work, fell asleep 5 times while driving to work, and was not able to close my eyes until around 11:30 and I went to my car and slept for 45 minutes before having to be back at my desk.  I was a walking zombie!!!
Never before has this happened to me and I was exhausted.

Monday after work, my children prepared dinner so that I could eat and head straight for the bed.  I was up a total of 23 hours and I don't EVER want to do that again!  EVER

Grass Fed Beef Burgers

When I was a little girl, I never dreamed of living in the country.  My dreams were to be a wife/mom, but not once did it ever cross my mind about living in the country.
Fast forward to when I began to have children in 1992, my whole perspective began to change.  I didn't want to raise my babies up in the fast paced city, but wanted them to be able to live a child's life; you know, playing games and doing kid things....I mean I played with my Barbies until I was 15.  I wanted that for my children as well and what I was seeing around me in the depths of Houston were anything but that.  
Let's fast forward again and we were finally able to slow the pace down and move to the country in 2001.  We still aren't as "deep" in the country as I'd like, but we're making progress.  I suspect that one day I will definitely be in the heart of country living with neighbors a mile or more away.
So as we slowed the pace down, I also began looking at other things differently; home-schooling, full time mom, raising my children for God's glory and trying to become this Prov. 31 woman. ( ;-) I'm not even close to that one yet!)
I began to desire to live off the land in a more simplistic way as well.  We started gardening (although my last 2 have been less than ideal) and then we got chickens and now we have acquired sheep.  To be able to grow 95% of what we eat and purchase only those things that I just absolutely have to is my goal.
So when we were invited to spend an evening with some dear friends and try some of their grass fed beef that had just been picked up from being processed days before, I said yes!!!!

Let me tell you this was the lightest burger I have ever tasted and there was virtually NO GREASE!!!  I ate one burger and was full and satisfied, but not in an uncomfortable way.  This changed my perspective on beef for sure.  We've not had beef on a regular basis in many years and now I was looking at beef differently.

Sooooooooooo, we'll be on the look out to purchase a cow next spring!  HA HA, I bet you didn't see that one coming did you?
Hoping to move deeper into the country...I dream of a country cottage, acquiring a cow and two more female sheep and about 15-20 more chickens and I think we will be right at a place I've longed to be for a long time.  I'm more than ready!!!


7/13/2010

Black Bean Burgers.....and

 Last night we had black bean burgers.  We got the recipe from hallelujah acres and because I was so exhausted from being up 20 something hours straight (that's a whole different post), my children prepared dinner.  

I love how they worked together and dinner was done in no time.  This is the beginning of our quest to eat more vegan foods.  We will actually eat about 90%-95% raw.  I want so much to give our bodies a much needed break and to rejuvenate our natural healing abilities.  You know, clear out some of the hormones and chemicals from the foods we eat.  So we will have meat, but not more than once or twice a week.  Our meals will consist of raw fruits and veggies.  We will have meat on Sunday and maybe one other night...  When we do have meat again, we will eat organic grass fed or free range.  I figured if we are only having it one or two nights I could splurge on this expense.  Hopefully after several months when we do pick up eating meat again, we will be eating our very own homegrown lamb and chicken.  And now that I've tasted a dear friends grass fed beef, I'm looking into purchasing a cow or two (again that's another post).  

Back to those delicious burgers...they were delicious.  I am not a huge bean fan, but I suppose that's because I've HAD to eat so many in my life.  However, with the seasonings and all the things you put on a regular burger, I really could not tell that it was a meatless burger.  We used the indoor grill and they turned out perfect.  They were such a hit, we will have them again tonight but we'll try them on the outdoor grill.  I'll add an addendum to the end of this post to let you know how that turned out.  

I've been reading up all I can on a more raw diet.  My garden didn't fair so well this spring so I'll be buying a lot of our food.  I'm looking forward to a fall garden so that will help to cut down on our grocery budget as well. 

Why raw you ask?  Well, I guess it began when I watched Food Inc. and then later a report that was done years ago by Peter Jennings called How To Get Fat Without Really Trying.  After watching each of these, I began to really pray and ask for direction.  What was I supposed to do now that I had been injected with this information.  It's like reading the Bible, once you read His instructions, then you are required to do something with it!  
But seriously, could this be the reason my immune system seems to be at it's lowest in the past year than it has ever been since I was 10 years old?  I mean in just the last 10 months I've had the flu 3 times.  Is there something more I could do?  
And though I've had a desire for the last 10 years to live more off the land, I'm still buying more than I desire when it comes to our food.  

It happened about 2 weeks ago as I was driving to work to begin exploring different eating styles.  And the one that I kept coming to is the raw lifestyle.  Now I know we have the ability and freedom to eat meat, however, I believe that was meant for when meat was in it's natural state.  Meaning, cows were never meant to eat corn and yet in the food industry, that is exactly what cows are fed.  Cows weren't meant to eat other cows either and yet in some of the food products they eat there is ground up cow pieces.  On that same token though, we weren't meant to consume High Fructose Corn Syrup either and yet, that is in 95%-99% of all products we buy from the stores unless it's fruits and veggies.  And then we have pesticides on the fruits and veggies.  And THEN we have hormones and antibiotics pumped into our meats.
So with all this information and sincere prayer, I have felt led that this is what's best for my family at this time and as we complete the process of ridding ourselves of these poisons, we can then introduce our bodies to some of the healthier things to eat.  
WHEWWWWWWWWWWW, that means my grocery budget is going to be going through some transitioning as well until I have grown all that I can grow or buy from other local farmers.  

A single income family such as mine can begin to get a bit shacky when I realize that I don't have money growing on the trees in my backyard and so this could get a bit expensive.  However, I am trusting that since I've asked God and He has directed me down this path, that He will also make provisions for me to obtain these foods.  Wouldn't it be neat to have a local food swap with several families involved all growing something different and then swapping for other things someone else is growing?????  Hmmmm, that sounds like something else to pray about!!!  

So out of that review of the Black Bean Burgers, I took you to class and gave you an explanation as to why we are making these changes....Just food for thought! ;-)

7/12/2010

Ha Ha...I think I'm back

I really have missed blogging!  I miss sharing my heart and what God lays on my heart.  I don't know if my blog posts ever make people think or change someone's heart.  I don't know if these posts have meaning to anyone other than me.  I do pray one day to be a voice the Lord chooses to use.  I don't want to be a Bible teacher, but I sure do want to speak to the hearts of other women and young women and share His goodness with them.

I was not brought up in a Christian home.  My mother spoke of God and Christ and I knew she had faith and prayed, but I didn't know what being a believer was.  I didn't know what a relationship with Christ was about.  We went to church on special occasions and every now and then in between.  I remember at the age of 7 being in the church choir with my sister, but I also remember that didn't last long.  So I know she tried the best she knew how.

I want to speak to women, especially women that are in my shoes.  Sadly there is no ministry for the separated.  There are couples ministries, singles ministries, and divorced ministries, but nothing for those that are separated and trying to walk this walk with God.  I guess this is because in our society we have the notion that you are single, dating, married, or divorced.  I can't tell you how many double takes I get when I tell people I'm married but separated and I'm not sure what God will have me to do down the line.  I often wonder how many women are out there like me????? Are there any?  Is there a need for a ministry for separated women waiting on the Lord for directions?

Hmmmm, many questions?  At any rate, my hearts desire is to speak into the lives of other women.  We'll see what God has in store.
Mom always did say if you want to make God laugh to tell Him your plans.  So I would just rather not tell Him my plans, but let my heart be known and see what He will do in my life.


7/11/2010

Spirit Filled Sunday

Church was totally awesome today!!!  Well, I've yet to find a Sunday that it wasn't awesome....have I told you lately that I LOVE MY CHURCH?

Pastor Evans has been doing a series on Ephesians 6:10-17 "The Armor of God".  If I tell you every Sunday has been FULL of truth, greatness, sweetness, and food, then those are just understatements of what we have been getting.  I've purchased most of the series, I think I lack 2 Cd's.  I so wish I could post them to my blog so everyone could get a taste.

We are almost finished with this series...this is just a part of our year long series of Knowing God.  Today was Ephesians 6:17 ~ And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  
The Word of God can just be a useless book if we leave it sitting on our coffee tables or night stands.  It has no effect just sitting around like a lucky charm.  Yet it becomes logos to us when we open it and begin to read it and gain understanding of it.  Now it's great to have the Bible in our homes.  It's great that we have access to it, but if we don't open it, it's just like every other book in our home.  When we get understanding and knowledge from it, if we just leave it in that state, it still doesn't do us much good to just have the knowledge. It's like having a lamp and a socket and if you don't plug it up the lamp is of no effect....it doesn't give us light until we plug it in and then just because we have plugged it in it still has not made great change until we flip the switch.  
Now when we take the Word of God and inject it into our lives, our situations, our daily battles, THEN and only then does it become that living two edge sword spoken of in Hebrews 4:12.

I'm guilty of the enemy bringing something up in my life, getting all in my face, turning life upside down and I may say a quick prayer, but then I start calling on other folks to pray (please don't misunderstand where I am going with this).  Or I start getting their opinions and thoughts on the situations I'm going through or my children are going through.  I start thinking on that thing and rehearsing all the what ifs in my head.  I can play out 5 different scenarios of a situation and have all the things lined up that I would do.  You know those plan A's and B's (please I hope you're hearing my heart).  But God is bigger than all our what ifs.  He's bigger than all our plan A's and B's.  

God wants us to do just as Jesus did when the enemy gets in our face.  Feed him the Word!!!!  It's the ONLY thing that makes him shut up!  In Matthew 4, it says that  Jesus was led in the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  He was led by the Spirit, which we also know to be God....hello, could it be that God does the same thing to us as well?   So He is in the wilderness and 3 times the enemy gets in His face and tells Him all these things he can give Him or do for Him.  Sounds just like what the enemy does to us.  He has no new tactics and just repeats the same thing over and over from one person to the next.  He promises us things that will give us great pleasure and satisfaction for a moment.  He's out for our worship!!!!
Sorry I digress.... But these 3 times Jesus says "it is written".  Now the Word is the only thing that makes the enemy tremble.  He knows the word and even sits in on church services too, and he doesn't mind it when we go to church and hear the word.  Most Christians don't use the Word though.  We hear it and that's it, we don't do anything with it.  We believe it, but we don't do anything to make it life changing in our lives or others.

Am I ever so guilty of doing this?!  I've got a number of Bibles in my home.  I've got several books that give scriptures for different situations in our lives.  Yet, when something comes up in my life I run to post a prayer request to FB or my blog or send out a mass txt message.  Now having others pray is great and He wants us to carry the burdens of others in prayer before Him.  But so often I don't pick up any of the tools I have at my disposal and remind the devil what God's word says.  Now I know we are to remind God of His word, but Jesus also reminded the devil what God's word said.  It was with these 3 reminders that the enemy fled and after fleeing, it was then that the path was made clear for the angels to come and minister to Jesus.  

Could God have led you to the wilderness to remind the enemy of HIS Word and basically tell him to back the heck up and move on!!??  Could it be that God is waiting on us before He sends His angels to minister to us in our time of need?  

I've got several situations going on in my life and I will be honest, not once did I remind the devil of God's word!!!!! I've done everything but that, to include crying and pouting and feeling sorry for myself.  But it was my God that said He would supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  

rhema word penetrate your heart and life.  Speak back the rhema word and allow it to cause the enemy to flee!!!!

Now I hope I didn't muddle that up too bad.  You know sometimes my mind runs away and my fingers can't keep up!  ;-)

Have a blessed remaining Lord's Day!!!


7/07/2010

I am His

I receive the Proverbs 31 devotional each morning and now follow them on Facebook.  It was through one of the posts on Facebook that I found Wendy Blight.  She is currently doing a Bible study on the book of Ephesians.  I started late so I'm a bit behind, but that's ok.

So I did the reading portion of Ephesians 1 and have been mulling it over for several days.  I then reread it a couple of more times.  However, through answering the questions today something jumped out at me.

First off, I am not adopted.  I was born into my family and have remained within that family ever since.  In the last few years, not including my natural family, I have felt like an orphan....unwanted.  Pushed aside and searching for someone to love me for just me.  I thought that when I married I had finally arrived into this family that wanted me with all my flaws.  (again I am not speaking of my family I was born into, I know they love and want me).  Then I was abandoned, thrown out as yesterdays garbage, discarded like an unwanted item.  I felt useless and even dirty.  You know, something must be wrong with me to be pushed aside.
I had been saved for some years at that point, but my growth had been stunted.  I didn't truly know who He was nor Whose I was.  I remember crying out one night asking God who loved me and begging Him for someone who loved me just for me.  I went to sleep and at some point through the night I had a vision.  This man whom I only saw from behind was cloaked in this bright garment.  He was holding this small, little, vulnerable girl in His lap and He was rocking her.  He was wiping her tears away and whispering to her that He loved her.  Over and over His words echoed "I Love You"..."I Love you just for who you are".  She snuggled up close to Him and looked up in His face and drifted off to sleep.
I awoke with a start, not sure what that dream was about and headed to the restroom.  As I walked, trying to understand who He was and who she was, the revelation hit me and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I fell to the floor on my knees and cried like a baby.  That was Jesus and that little girl was me!!!!!  He allowed me, to climb into His lap and He held me and rocked me and whispered His love over me.  I was His.  I was His.  I am His.
I've never been adopted by an earthly family, but I know what it is to be adopted.  He adopted filthy, dirty me.  He with all His cleanness and perfection wiped the grime from me and cleaned me up, but before all that, He put me in His lap and said just as you are, I love you.  I want you.  You are Mine!!!!

I have my moments now and again where I feel so abandoned and alone, but all I have to do is remember that He adopted me.  He wanted me in all my mess.  He looked at me and saw beauty when others saw flaws.  He cradled me close when others pushed me away.  He became my everything in those next few months and I've held on to that ever since.  When people ask me to describe God to them, I can't give some educated answer, it's not witty, it's just real.  He is everything to me.  I know I've said it before in a blog post, but my oh my, when you realize that EVERYTHING you were looking for HE IS...you'll shout it from the roof tops, you'll share it with anyone, the knowledge and understanding of it will shine forth from your smile.

This journey has not been easy.  I've hated it most of the time.  I long for a companion and friend.  But oh the joy, the joy that my heart sings....because without this journey, I would not have discovered that all I could ever want and had ever dreamed of He is.  That Knight on the white horse I dreamed of as a girl, coming to take me away to live happily ever after...that's Him.  He was there all the time.  He was waiting on me to realize it.  He stood by and waited.  He knew it would happen, He predistined it you know (Eph. 1:5).  And then the day came, as I saw me through His eyes.  That frail, dirty, little girl, sitting in His lap.  In that moment, He became mine, because you see I was His all along.

I sing that song Oh How I Love Jesus with new meaning!!!!

I could go on and on with the revelation of who God has become and is becoming to me, but there are not enough hours in the day for me to speak of His goodness.  If you don't know Him through this adoption, I pray He reveals Himself and your heart is soft enough to accept Him.  He's standing there waiting on you!




Changes

It’s been so long, I hardly know where to start.  I have got to get back in the habit of writing down what the Lord lays on my heart so that I can blog about it at a later date.  There have been so many missed opportunities to blog, simply because I couldn’t remember the wording of something God dropped in my spirit.  Ughhhh, I hate when that happens.  I feel disobedient and like I missed the opportunity to bless someone with some sweet nugget from the Lord. 

I promise I will try to do better. 

I do have a prayer request.  I am about to embark upon a change in my life.  A job change that is.  I’ve not shared this with many people because well, I really don’t feel like hearing how crazy I am.  I actually don’t feel crazy!!!  I feel a sense of peace.  I currently work for one of the most incredible medical schools in Dallas TX.  My job is not one of great difficulty.  There is some stress when it’s time to make one of the 7 schedules I make on a monthly or bimonthly basis.  I am an admin and support 7 doctors, 1 who just happens to be the Vice Chairman of the OB/GYN Dept.  There are moments when everyone is wanting something at the same time someone else is and making the schedules can be a bit stressful, because you are basically orchestrating someone else’s life and you try so hard to keep in mind all that they have to do.  The commute to my job is 1 ½ hours one way, a little over 50 miles from my house.  Now THAT is the stressful part to my day.  
What will I be doing?  Well, 2 part time jobs.  Driving a school bus and working in the cafeteria at one of the schools.  That is until I can get my housecleaning business up and going to the point that I can count that as my sole source of income.  
Isn’t that more stressful you think?  Well, no.  It’s very close to what I was doing before I started working at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  I worked in the cafeteria and was a bus monitor.  They were both non-stressful jobs and they were both 10-15 min. from my house.  
I have two sisters and one knows about this major change and supports me, because she sees how this job is affecting my health.  She knows that my heart is at home with my children whom I am still trying to home-school.  She has encouraged me beyond measure and doesn’t look down on these 2 part time jobs at all.  My other sister has no clue, because although I know she would mean well and although I know she has worn the single parent shoes, she would not support me, but literally make me feel stupid for making this change.  I know she means well and I know she would be making some valid points.  I will be giving up some decent insurance benefits, but God has worked that out too.  Though the cost would be out of pocket, I’ve found a naturopathic doctor.  I and my children can go to the dental college for our dental needs and our eye doctor is not as expensive as I once thought.  I will just have to strategically plan financially when to take myself or my children to these doctors.  Now for emergencies, I will just have to make payment arrangements and trust that the God who will provide all my needs will also provide for those as well.  
Let’s just say the benefits to me making this change far outweigh the benefits I have at this job now.  I won’t have the stress for one of the commute, or the stress of the job. I won’t have to shell out $25 a month for parking nor the $45 every 2 ½ days for gas.  I also won’t have to be so far away from my children.  I will have peace of mind and that my dear friend is priceless.  I will then only make a long commute on Sundays and Wednesdays since our church is still a slight distance from where we live.  
I will be able to tend my garden, animals, and spend more time with my children, which is the main reason for this switch.  They will get to spend more than just the average 1 ½ to 2 hours with me per day.  Then I can devote more time to building up clients for my housekeeping service and eventually add the side business of sewing as well.  I feel like I will once again be able to breathe and live a life of tranquility.  
I know there will be challenges, but there are challenges in the life I live, with the job I have now.  I know that I will have to change my budget drastically, but pinching pennies and watching God provide will be worth it.  I know we won’t be able to afford many new things and the thrift stores will once again become my best friends and the people at the library will know me again by my first name.  You know what though, it will be a life of simplicity and that is my favorite kind of life to live anyway.  To me, I’m just returning some things back to its natural state….total dependency on God.



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