Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Favorite Things to Cook


I decided to follow Sara's regular Saturday posts... The reasons these are my favorites is because they are favorites of my family and friends

1. Cookies
2. Ribs & Spaghetti
3. Cookies (Choc Chip, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin)
4. Turkey Dinner
5. Shepard's Pie
6. Cheesecake
7. Ham Rolls
8. Pasta Salad
9. Cheese Potatoes
10. Chicken Pot Pie

Here is the recipe for Shepherd's Pie...
I got the recipe from Rachel Ray 30 minute meals... I have updated the recipe with my adaptations...
1 lb potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
3 T sour cream
3 T butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
~1 cup frozen mixed veggies (usually I pull them out when I am cooking so they thaw a little)

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Add the butter & sour cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with turkey or beef. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain if necessary. Add chopped onion to the meat. Add mixed veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Going to Trial


Have you been praying for me?”
That seemed like such a weird question, because Dani knows I pray for him. Everyday. I love Dani, he is truly my best friend, he knows more about me than anyone (with the exception of God). He knows my joys, my sorrows, and my secrets, and Dani loves all of me, anyway.

“I heard from the appeals court, they decided on my case”. My stomach already hurt, and at that moment, I think my heart stopped, I thought if he says “they denied it”, I think I might die. But I changed my tone, “be strong I thought”…. He continues, “they ruled to hear my case”.
Those are the best six words I have heard in days. I tell you, that this is a small step. But one in a long journey. A step in the right direction. I don’t even know how to explain to you how my heart felt. Reading a book about grace, being wrapped in it. And then this. This is something I don’t deserve. You are probably thinking that it his case doesn’t affect me, but it does. The thought of having my friend home when I have a bad day, I can call him, and he will be there for me in person not just in thought. To know that I can call him when I get great news, and he will be for me in person, not just in thought. The fact that I will be able to call him, that is just a great thought in itself.
I am asking you to pray. I know it’s hard to pray for someone in prison. But most of us, we’re all ex-somethings. I just want you to pray for grace for my friend. Pray for wisdom for the lawyers, open hearts and minds for the people deciding. Pray for the things that are freely given, the unmerited favor and love of God. If your prayer list is really long and you don’t think you can pray for one more thing… if I am included on that prayer list, take me off and put him on.
It’s funny because I have a friend (MB) who wondered how I could be friend’s with someone like Dani, my friend thought that I shouldn’t be friends with Dani and kind of told me in a nice way to stop being his friend. And I will tell you, at that moment, we got into it. I said, “Dani would never ask me to stop being your friend, why would you do that? If you were in prison, would you want me to abandon you?” I knew MB’s answer. MB was my second call when I got the news, I think MB was as excited for me as I was.
This has been going on for 12 years, falsely convicted of natural life in prison with no parole. Dani’s family has had many ups and downs, and even though Dani and I have been friends since the summer before 6th grade (more than 20 years), I have only been on this part of the journey for 5 years, and it weighs on my heart. I’ll be praying.
I’m so excited!!
2Samuel 24:14 David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I wrote this last night…

I missed Life Group tonight. I attended “See You After the Pole” with a bunch of kids.
I love my life group, but I really love “His” kids.
Let me be honest with you for a minute, because God already knows. I have been worried, I have had a stomach ache for weeks because I know what time of year it is. 3rd/4th quarter, make your numbers time of year. It’s everywhere. That means that people I love and care about could lose their job, and truth be told, I could lose mine too, that’s just the way it goes. There are a lot of things going on in the world, that frankly, I just don’t like. I don’t like that as a Christian I am under attack. And as a person, I just don’t measure up (Yes, thank God for grace).
My stomach hurts, I have knot under my shoulder blade, my neck is stiff, I can’t sleep. Because I am an idiot. I know Who can carry my burdens, He carried the weight of my sins on that cross. On my way home I should have spoken to God, but I talked on the phone, walked up the mailbox, and there was a package. I knew a package was coming, but I didn’t know what was going to be inside. A brother in Christ that I had worked with for years said he was sending it. I was so excited! “The Ragamuffin Gospel’. I am excited to read it! The back cover says “Are you Bedraggled, Beat-up, and Burnt Out?” (All three probably but I don't know what Bedraggled is...) And the book is about… grace…
I find it no coincidence that I was going to worship with kids, and get this book on the same day. No coincidence, it’s called God’s timing folks. I woke up this morning to Ed Young on WMUZ telling me that “Fear Not” is in the bible 355 times. Almost one time for each day of the year… Maybe I should listen to God… DUH?! I felt like He was talking straight to me, using Ed as the vessel.
So I am thankful for God’s timing and His grace and His million of blessings. I’m going to read my new book… if it’s good, and I am sure it is… I am sure I will be sharing.

Psalm 33:22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Here's some pics from last night!!







Hey, who's that? Yes, it' s Mac, my camera was on some silly function... but there he was...














Phyllis, Sami, and me... i look terrible, but I love those girls!!














Kids praying while the band played, is there a sweeter sight??

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Blessings


It's one in the morning and I should be sleeping, but I am a little stressed out about a few things, I have to get up at 5:00 because I have to be to work early! So, nothing too inspirational today, just going to 'count my blessings instead of sheep' (from one of the best movies - EVER - White Christmas!) These are in no particular order...

1. Grace (the verb and the kid)
2. Phyllis
3. My house
4. My dad
5. My job
6. My friends
7. that my ankle is healing and not too sore (and by the way, there was a thing on the news, apparently my tennis shoes are not made for walking and could cause injury.... no really??)
8. My car
9. Jesus
10. Music
11. Prison Break (I love that show)
12. My church, and the church I don't technically belong to...
13. The bible
14. That I can keep counting my blessings in bed... good night...

Psalm 30:5 ... weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

service


Do you ever feel like you are pulled in a million directions, wanting to do more, but you just can’t? Do you wonder why you can volunteer for something that maybe you’re not called to do, but someone who has the talents doesn’t step up and do it?

I’ve felt like that numerous times, all at different times in my life! Right now, all I can think about is how much I would LOVE to join a gym and work out 4 days a week!! I love to read on the Eliptical, I would be thrilled to take my bible along with me to the gym (thus killing two birds with one stone… “growing” back into my size 8 clothes & growing in His Word). But no cash to join such gym. I would love to join or start a Women’s Bible study, but that would take MORE time away from Phyllis and every thing else I do. I know it probably seems shallow, but I barely have time to get my nails done once every two weeks!! Putting God first is important to me, but sometimes I feel like I need to make sure I don’t neglect my family. I don’t think He would want me to run myself ragged, and neglect the blessings He has given me, does that make sense?

I feel like people complain that there isn’t “something” but they are not willing to step up and start “something”. Most of my friends lead busy lives, and since most of my friends are Christians (who live by Christ) they do step up. But Lord, we’re tired down here. We need some strength, some energy, and Lord, we need some help! Lord, I know You’re calling out to them, but Lord, they’re not answering, for whatever reason. Lord, can You please call louder, call their cell phone if they are not answering at home, can You give them a good swift kick to get them motivated. If You want us to call them, please let Your voice be heard when You use us.

Eph 4:12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

1 Tim 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stop tripping me!!



I decided yesterday I was going to start walking everyday, this was going to be my exercise! So, off I was, Casting Crowns in the CD Walkman. Praising a long, praying for some people who's house I passed, and BAM! That little booger satan tripped me. Couldn't be that I was clumsy or anything! Sprained my ankle, it looks like someone stuck a golf ball under my skin where my cute ankle used to be. It hurts! Now I will have to wait until my ankle heals to begin walking!

I hate it when that happens, I get motivated to really start, then I get a road block. The funny thing?! I've sprained my ankle a lot of times in my life, but I only do it in tennis shoes, never in heels! Isn't that crazy!? So now I am just going to get my muscles moving by stretching every day for 1/2 hour!

Who knows, maybe something worse could have happened, maybe I could have been further from home and I wouldn't have been able to hobble home. But my ankle hurts... gotta go to my dad's to get the crutches!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

my fridge


I love my fridge! When I got it, a lot of people had a lot of opinions about my freezer on the bottom. It makes perfect sense, the veggies are at waist level, most people go into the fridge way more than they go into the freezer. But what I love most about my fridge is all the magnets. Of places we've been, places loved ones have been. Magnets with scripture, magnets with cute sayings, some are inspirational, some are silly. Pics of people we love. Reminders of things to do. Measurement equivalents... it's all on there. sometimes I stand there and read them, I smile because of all the memories.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Braces


My daughter has a beautiful smile. She is the most beautiful girl, even with braces. She has this crazy spring thing that sticks out. She was hoping that today she would get to lose the spring, but unfortunately she had to keep it.

She was not a happy girl about it! She made some comment, and I thought she just had her normal teenage attitude. Then she made the comment again, and I looked at her and asked her what her real problem was. I asked if the spring was hurting her teeth. She said “no” and started crying because some boy was making fun of her! Jerk! I will tell you, I wanted to go to the school, grab that little jerk by the collar and smack him. But I can’t…

I hate having issues that I can’t solve. I hate when someone hurts my daughter. That kid is lucky I couldn’t put the smack down on him. Look are pretty my girl is with braces!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Proverbs 17:17

Yeah, Sara… great… you ask me to do something, and I couldn’t say no to you if I wanted to… My girl Sara, she said she knows what the bible means in Proverbs 17:17 but wanted to know what it meant to me… And when she asks me to do something for my own good… well… I can’t really say no…

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all time but a sister is born for adversity…
My dad always told me that you can pick your friends not your relatives. He also told me that you stand by your family, no matter what.
There are people in my life that I consider my sisters, they are different from my friends. We may not have the same earthly parents but we have the same Father. One who loves us more than we can imagine. We have friends who love us during good times and bad, but they may not always be there for us like our sisters, our family.
Our sisters are the ones who will listen, who will cry with us, and they will tell us when it’s time for us to suck it up, and get on with it already. Our sisters tell us things that we NEED to hear even when we don’t WANT to hear it. Our sisters may not always like what we do, but they will be there for us, no matter what we go through. No one can separate that love, no one. We don’t really get to pick them, though we might have if we had the choice, but in my case, mine were picked for me, brought to me right when I needed them, and I have no doubt that God brought me to them, at the right time.
It’s amazing to me that God knows which words to give to what sister. There are some sisters who if they told me to get on with it, I could possibly tell them where they could go with it, there are some sisters that if they tried to coddle me through something, I would get annoyed because they are the ones who tell me what I need to hear.
So… there it is, I’m not too smart when it comes to bible translations, or at least, I know it in my heart, but can’t put it to words. I will admit that I will usually go to the New Testament before I go to the Old for words of wisdom, but if someone gives me a chapter or a scripture to read out of the Old, I will usually keep reading.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

why God surrounds us with friends... and they are all different

it's not too difficult to figure out that the place I have been dwelling was not a good one.

There was a lot of comments all good. All touched my heart. And an email from a friend.

See this is it. God gave you all words. All different.

It's time to give this up. It's time to move on. To ask God to take it from me, to make oceans from rain. Whatever the lesson, I hope I learned it, I am ready to move on.

If I don't trust, I will never know the true glory and blessings of friendship. If I don't learn to forgive and live on/in grace, what kind of friend am I, anyway?

Thank you to all of you and thank You, Lord for surrounding me with great friends.

Proverbs 17:17 17 A friend loves at all times, and a sister is born for adversity.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Trust

I don’t trust easily. Sometimes I feel like I don’t trust at all. Even those really close to me don’t always know what is going on in my life. I keep most of it to myself, usually until I explode and it all comes out, usually in tears.

The only person who knows it all is God. And that’s only because I have no choice. He knows my heart.

Sometimes I do things that make me totally uncomfortable because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, but that only makes my wall go up a little higher.

I think mostly it stems from being a kid and thinking that my mother left me. I know in my heart that she didn’t, that in fact, she chose my life over hers, but those feelings are deeply rooted.

There are many times in my life when I have pulled away or even pushed someone so far out of my life that there is no way they will come back, and usually I am thankful for that.

There have been times in my life when people have just plain lied and I hate liars. (which is where yesterday’s post came from). I expected someone to be honest, they lied, and their lies just spun so far out of control they don’t know what is the truth and what’s a lie.

I’m in a funk right now, because I feel like I am all alone because I have things that I feel like I need to share, but those around me will only see what is “safe” for me to let out. I watch people, I watch what their words are and what their actions are, and that’s how I make my decisions on trust. And part of me just wishes that I could just be brave and trust and reap the rewards of trust and not worry about the consequences…

Ecc 4:9-13 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Don’t talk to me, I don’t like you.

See, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that statement. If I don’t like you, I don’t want you to talk to me. I know it’s not the “Christian” thing to do. But then I wonder, isn’t it? Does God tell us to be fake? Does He tell us we have to like everyone, no I think He tells us we have to love them. If I don’t like you, I don’t think I should talk to you, I don’t think I should talk about you either.

Maybe this isn’t very inspirational, but it’s truthful. What kind of person would I be if I acted like everything was perfect, but I was lying? I would rather be honest and open and say there are things in my life that I need to work on, and work on them, look inside myself and talk to God and work on them.

You see, I think we attract more people to Christianity when we are real, when we say “I need Jesus, I’m a sinner, and everyday I need to work on it, I need to go to bed (sometimes not even waiting that long) and ask for forgiveness (and repent!) and wake up in the morning and plead for God to help us. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

I do however see a problem with someone who pretends to be perfect, who pretends that they are without sin. I have a problem with that. I make no apologies for that. There is not one person in this world that is perfect, He died long ago for us. I think that our sin, God makes good from that. He uses our screw ups to help others. He makes oceans from the rain (7th day slumber). He makes something beautiful, something that gives life, from one drop of water, from something that could be called “gloomy”. I hope that God uses the “gloomy” part of me to bring people to Him, and give them life.

I will be honest, I don’t feel very inspirational lately. I feel like I am struggling with so much. I feel very lonely. I feel lonely. I feel like I could just roll up and let the world pass me by.


Just trying to surround myself with peace.

Phil 1:9-10 9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
I was too tired to blog yesterday. I just wasn't up to it. I don't think anyone even noticed, and that's ok. I really kind of worn out.

We had a very busy Saturday, we must have went to 10 stores trying to find Phyllis shoes, only to end up yesterday with a pair we saw at the VERY first store we went to. AHH!! My house needed a good once over, laundry needed to be done. I got up early and made cookies for daboyz but I was too lazy to drive out to Metro yesterday. Truth be told, I just wanted to spend more time with Phyllis and one service on a Sunday is enough for her. I made a new soup in the crockpot. Lunches made. Got everything ready for Driven, and you know what? For once, I wasn't overwhelmed on a Sunday.

Today is a new day. It's a new week, full of possibilities. I wonder how God is going to work in me...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What am I supposed to say?

Actual Conversation:

"I think you are pretty, great, a good person, perfect for me, I just have one problem... I have a girlfriend, who is the mother of my son, I live with her, she's mean... what do you think?"

What do I think? Oh, you don't want to know what I think! But here's what I said (after screaming in my head - God what am I supposed to say?)...

"I am too good to be second. If you have issues with your g-friend, you both need to get to church, seek God. He can change hearts. There's a great church, in Flat Rock High School, it's kind of God without the "churchy" part, great worship, great pastor, great people; Metro South. You both should go there. God will tell you where you need to be."

For real? what am i supposed to say??

Now the next thing, broke my heart...

My g-friend's family member is sick. She asked me 'why is God doing this?" (The family member LOVES Jesus).

Again, what am I supposed to say. Here was the jist of my response (after I cried out to Jesus): Your family member loves Jesus, she is going to paradise, saving a seat for everyone, maybe God is calling out to those who don't know Jesus using her as a megaphone. God is a loving God who we can cast our fears, burdens, worries upon.

I don't know what to say at times like those. I sit here now, wondering, did I do that right?? First I thought of James 1:5, then I thought about the rest of James 1, thinking "you jerk, if you answered the words God gave you, they are right". I know that in situations like that I feel helpless, I have no choice but to ask God what to say.

Does anyone else doubt that you are vessel, but are afraid that you screw it up?

James 1:5-8 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Friday, September 15, 2006

In mind

Luke 21:14 make up your mind not to worry beforehand…

It’s quite possible I am the biggest dork ever. I have no shame in that. I kind of like being a dork. Maybe I look at things a little weird.

I can cook ‘home cooking’ like you wouldn’t believe. I make great cookies, and was so excited when I found out I make ‘Jay’ approved cookies, how great is that?! And you know I know it’s dumb, I’ve had that recipe for years, I’ve made it hundreds, maybe two hundred times, but this time was probably my happiest time making them. I’ve only met Jay once. But he’s been in my heart, and in my prayers since I’ve met Sara. And as dorky as it sounds, I know God had that batch of cookies in mind when He put it in front of me. He’s that good.

One of my daughter’s favorite meals is meatloaf. I make the BEST meatloaf in the world. Hands down. My recipe comes from my dad’s basic recipe, enhanced by me. I get great pleasure in making meatloaf for Phyllis. Her other is Shephard’s Pie. She loves it, my recipe comes from Rachel Ray. I know that when God had given Rachel Ray that recipe, and me watching she show. He had Phyllis in mind.

I got this silly idea for something for Driven. It’s nothing that is going to win me the Noble Prize, but I was praying about a board I am working on, and the idea “just” popped in my head. Yeah, right, “just”.

I am not that great at any one thing until I let God work in my life. I have great talents that He has given me. I do my best work, when I am doing in Jesus.

I love that in everything I do, God has had me in mind. He has had each of the lives I touch, He’s had them in mind.

I have some decisions that I am going to need to make. Things that I don’t necessarily want to do. But they are decisions that are not about me. Not at all. They test my faith. The weak, small minded, human part of me says “what if God leaves me?” but the strong, open-hearted, God’s girl part of me says, “He’s never left me, EVER, when He should have, He could have, He never has, and He never will, just pray, and listen, He will answer you, and if I make a mistake, if I don’t listen hard enough, if I am too busy talking. He’ll always be there for me. He loves me. He will not forsake me.”

If I was the only one on the earth, God still would have sent His son. Jesus still would have gotten up on the cross. He still would have died, He still would have rose. He loves me that much!

He always has me in mind.

Romans 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace

Matthew 17:20 if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you

Thursday, September 14, 2006

what's next?

I don’t think God is done bringing me to the edge, but you know one of the greatest things about God? He brings you whatever you need to get through your “latest edge” He’s bringing you to so that He can work better in us or we can work better for Him.

I had another rough day, I need to just let this stuff go, but at the end of the day, just like yesterday He brought me great things. It’s funny, I made dessert for my friends who needed someone to do something nice for THEM. Jim and Tonya are like the greatest and Dean and Sara are like the super greatest for organizing the whole thing. But as usual, I try to serve, and get served in return. That’s how great God is. When we are entrenched by all that is evil, He picks us up, and brings us to a better place.

There is no doubt in my mind that Sara prayed for me to be there because usually my schedule does not have that much flexibility in it. And it was moved so I could join the Life Group party and bring… cookies – my specialty.

My honest feeling, I have a lot more refining of the silver, and I don’t think God is done working on me, and I am sure that I will be down on my knees, literally and figuratively, before this is all done. But how thankful I am for friends and God.

Psalm 12:6 And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Edge



Isaiah 48:17 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

Right to the edge. I have been taken right to the edge of the cliff, I know God has me here for a reason. I know that He is bringing me to the edge of the cliff to bring me to my knees. There is something to learn, I have gotten two daily devotionals today on that.

It’s hard to deal with. I like comfort. I like to go out a little, as long as I have the comfort to come back to. But right now, there is no other comfort to go back to other than the arms of God. That’s it, and that is enough.

So my friends, if you see less of me or you think I am a little distance, it is because I am listening. I am listening to what God has to say and where He wants me to be. But I will tell you, I am one who wears my emotions on my sleeve, and that probably won’t change so you will know.

Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

God is amazing

Ok, so I was in a bad mood today. Foul, it was a rough day at work. I should have yelled at satan today too, because he came to get me, and I let him. But I think he forgets how much God loves me.

It was a bad day. YUCK! but... as always God sent me some great reminders of how great life is.

I got to talk to Tonya on the way home from work, traffic was kind of crappy but I didn't even notice, I had the distraction of my dear friend. Who is trying to get me to join Metro's singles life group. 2 things I am wondering... does she realize I actually belong to another church - but her life group is stuck with me anyway... AND I am wondering if she is trying to distract me into a different life group cuz she doesn't want me anymore :)

Then, the post office was open late by my house. I really needed to get stamps. woo hoo! let's hear it for USPS!

The meat market by my house didn't lose anything in the power outage yesterday. I know, it's not my blessing, but they are Christians, we gotta look out for our own, you know.

I had a great dinner at Panera with my daughter. Just her and I. It was so great, and no matter what happens in "life", she is an awesome reminder of how much God loves me because I certainly don't deserve anyone as great as she is!

I went grocery shopping and saw Dana and Katie, so I got two hugs from two sweeties - woo hoo again!! I also have money to buy groceries. God is good. I got all the stuff to make cookies for lifegroup tomorrow.

Dairy Queen. Yeah, I know, I should have refrained, but who am I to pass up one of God's greatest creations... ice cream!

Came home to my beautiful home. It's beautiful to me. I love it. How blessed am I to have this great dwelling. And a great oven to make cookies...

but wait, you don't have a tooth ache yet!

3rd Day was on 'front row live' on the Gospel Network!! Yes, i was jumping up and down making cookies.

THEN (as if that was not enough folks!), Becky put this awesome scripture verse on my blog... Romans 16:20, which now resides on my bathroom mirror.

Yeah, God is good, so good! I love Him. He's great!

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. (STOMP!!)The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Have you ever rolled out of bed and thought… “I can feel the attack coming” and you have only been out of bed for 5 minutes?? Today was one of those days.

It’s only Monday, and I know what God can do in my life, I know He can do great things in me, which means… that little booger satan is going to send his puney little army, but that little army can do some damage. Today is the first day of the week, and I am not going to let that little booger get me, so as I was going to the bathroom – I said it outloud. “In the name of Jesus, satan, leave me alone”. My bible is on my desk, just in case he didn’t get the message, praise music is playing at I work. I want to make sure that God gets the message, I am here for Him and satan to realize - I've read the end of the book, he's a loser!

Psalm 101:3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Here I am to worship

Do you ever wonder where you should serve, and where you end up almost seems like an accident?

Yesterday I went to ATS (I thought it was ATF) to work with those beautiful girls. There is no doubt in my mind that God cleared my schedule, cleared my sometimes cloudy heart to begin a good work in them. My problem? I like to jump in with both feet and sometimes I jump so fast, I forget to look for water. This is not a have some people over for dinner kind of serving. This is a "these girls have been abandoned, molested, hurt, you name it" commitment. Whatever I do, it's a commitment. One that I am not going to walk away from.

I bought a "Gutsy Bible Study for Girls" book last October, I wasn't really sure why, I just thought it was cool. Thinking about doing it there. Don't know if I can do it, but I know God can, and I can be the vessel, as long as I can get out of my own way and let God right on through.

ATS asked us if we would come once every other month and do a worship service on a Sunday. I am working on getting something together. I am trying to think of different things to do so it's not always the same and something they can really look forward to, even if they are afraid to act like they look forward to it. Thinking in October... Halloween treats. Something they don't normally get.

There is a lot of thought going around in my head. I don't know how to explain it, I know this is what I am supposed to do... just not sure of the 'how'.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and all your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The hearts of girls

Today I spent the day at Adrian Training Facility. I spent the day with girls who's next step is prison. Girls who need love more than they need anything. Girls who I can only touch when God works in me, and I am obediant to Him.

I went in 'blind'. I volunteered for this because my friend Marilynn asked me to. She told me she needed women volunteers to touch the hearts and lives of young girls. It's a cause that is near and dear to my heart, because I have a young girl, and I was a young girl. The choices they have made do not make them bad. They have made bad choices, who of us is without sin?

My heart was pulled in a direction I was not prepared for, the news of our Gracie Girl, ripped at my heart. Lord, cover her in Your love. But I knew I had a task in front of me that was bigger than I am.

I am one who can be very positive, I am also one that can put up a wall that makes the Great Wall of China look like nothing when I am scared. I knew I was called. I knew that God cleared everything on my calendar to be there for those girls who needed... Him, not me. I was the vessel.

When we got there, you can only imagine the faces of the those beautiful children, who have been beaten down by the world. satan works extra hard in them because he knows, should God call out to them, and they answer, those girls would be a force to be wreckoned with. A lot of them walked in with bigger walls than me, but thankfully with a little lift from God, I climbed over, looked down, and climbed in.

There was one, "J". She walked in, and walked out. It's easier to be not loved, I bet she thought. She came back. I got her a name tag, I made her get involved (in a nice way of course). It takes bravery to let your guard down, and she needed to be brave. They did a reconcilation service. the girls were to write down what they wanted to lay at the cross. She tossed hers to her friend and said "through it up there". Though Jesus loves us, it's hard to come face to face with Him, or in this case, face to cross. I just prayed and asked God - what do I do, I know she wants to go, I know she does. "Ask her to go with you?" "WHAT?!" Again, He said the same thing. I invited her, told her I was a little nervous, and you know what, I wasn't lying, I sometimes look up there, what He did for me. It's a little intimidating. She said "if you want me to" - "I do".

When we sat down, I put my hand out, as to invite her to hold my hand, should she feel it necessary. She held my hand, almost the whole time.

God is a God of Love. Of Peace. God is a user. He will use any of us, sometimes when we are unwilling. God blessed me more than I can tell you. God is so good. All the time.

Pray for those girls.


Love Them Like Jesus - Casting Crowns

The love of her life is drifting away
They’re losing the fight for another day
The life that she’s known is falling apart
A fatherless home, a child’s broken heart
You’re holding her hand, you’re straining for words
You trying to make - sense of it all
She’s desperate for hope, darkness clouding her view
She’s looking to you
Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus
Love her like Jesus
The gifts lie in wait, in a room painted blue
Little blessing from Heaven would be there soon
Hope fades in the night, blue skies turn to gray
As the little one slips away
You’re holding her hand, you’re straining for words
You’re trying to make sense of it all
They’re desperate for hope, darkness clouding their view
They’re looking to you
Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Lord of all creation holds our lives in His hands
The God of all the nations holds our lives in His hands
The Rock of our salvation holds our lives in His hands
He cares for them just as He cares for you

Friday, September 08, 2006

God's Peace



God works in crazy ways, and we will never understand why He does things.

I have a friend, Jon, a wonderful man that I worked with for 4 years. He taught me a lot, gave me a chance, when no one else wanted to. He stood by me when he could have walked away, and probably had good reason to. He always believed in me and encouraged me.

About 6 months or so ago he came down with pancreatic cancer. He’s young. In his 40’s, a set of twins that are in 6th grade.

I was worried for his health. But most of all, I worried about his salvation. Today I walked to his wife. He’s reading the bible. He’s praying with his kids, he’s going to church. And you know, I am sad that he’s going to leave this earth, someday. But I rejoice in knowing that his kids will come to know the Lord, they will have a God who will wrap them up, hold them up, and comfort them, and who has given His life so that one day, they will all meet again in heaven. I ‘m thankful that one day my friend, who is in pain now, who sees the awfulness of the world will bask in paradise, and one day I will join him.

I have a second Gramma, my friend Erica’s gramma, who’s body is filled with cancer. Her liver is failing. I rejoice in the fact that her body will soon be healed. That her life has been lived in Christ. I have great memories of Gramma Joanie and stuffed peppers and breaded pork chops after catechism that I attended with Erica because Gramma Joanie wanted Erica to go. I hated catechism, but I loved going to Erica’s gram’s house for dinner. I loved her, and I knew she loved me.

Erica is scared that her Gram is going to leave. I can understand it. I want her to have peace. God gave us Gramma Joanie to teach us how great God is. She made she we went to church on Sundays (little did she know most days that we would walk in the vestibule, grab the vigil, and walk out. But sometimes we went).

I have peace about both of these wonderful people who have been in my life. I have peace that God is using that awful sickness to bring His sheep back to Him. God can use bad for good. He has the ultimate power. I will miss them both when they go to be with Jesus. But to be honest, I am a little jealous that they get to see Him first! But Lord- I’m not ready yet!
I trust in His timing, I rely on His promises, I wait for His answers, I believe in His miracles, I rejoice in His goodness, and I relax in His presence.
Proverbs 3:13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I want the map

I attended life group yesterday. Boy, that leader and her hubby, they are great, and the people who host it, they are the best, no more donuts though, or at least keep buying those same ones, I don't like those kind - I'm a picky donut eater.

We were talking about healing and praying. We also talked about God's plan and how we don't always see it. Yeah, I want the map, I want to know why I had to go through some messy stuff, I want to know what the end result is, although I may never see it, and me and God, we're going to have some good talks when I get up there, if I am not distracted by paradise.

I started thinking last night, especially since I wrote about seeing God's plan unravel yesterday (2nd post). I wonder, I get to see the plan sometimes. When I do something, I have Plan A, Plan B, and sometimes even Plan C if the other two plans don't work out, and let me tell you, I'm even thinking about what to do while Plan A&B aren't working out just in case C isn't good enough. God knows that about me. He knows I am a little anal retentive, He knows that I need to see some of the plan otherwise I will start trying to figure it out on my own, get mad because in the smallness of me, I just don't get it.

God knows what it will take to bring me to my knees for His plan to work out, and I am sure He gets tired of the same ol' same ol', me on my knees crying out to Him (and if He would just give me that husband already - maybe just maybe we could stop playing out that scene). He knows that I will try to figure it out myself, make a mess, and then He will come down and do some work in me. I know He has a plan, I know He can do it all. I just would like the map, please.

Psalm 31:3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Phyllis's First Day of school


Have you ever looked back and seen God’s plan unravel?

Let me take you back to March 2004. Phyllis was flipping out about going to church with my g-friend because she was worried that she wouldn’t know what to do in a Baptist Church. I think my words were “fine, I’ll go with you”.

I always believed in God but that Sunday, my life as God’s child changed. My heart opened up, really accepted what He did for me on the cross.

I’ve felt myself grow in faith, accept His plans for me, even though I don’t always like them.

I’ve watched my daughter become evangelistic, pray for her unsaved friends, invited them to Youth Group. It’s been an amazing journey, for both of us.

When we changed churches, she also changed schools. She went to Catholic School, and when we changed churches, she changed to public school. She wasn’t pleased, but she made new friends (just like I knew she would), and in that, some of them were unsaved, and then they decided to follow Jesus. A little one shall lead them.

She then changed districts to attend AWESOME Wilson Middle School. Today was her first day of 8th grade. As we drove up she was so excited, elated to start school. God knew what He was doing, He always does.

Each year I wonder what the year will bring. I wonder how the events that happen will affect Phyllis’s life – short term and long term. I pray that she holds on to God with both hands and He does the same for her.

In years to come, I am sure I will see more of God’s plan revealed, and I will bask in His goodness.

Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

why I blog...

Sunday I was asked what a blog is... what does blog stand for... and why I do it...

Answers:
An online journal
I don't know
and some dumb look on my face were my answers.

First of all, these questions were posed to me by men. My cousins and friend. Dorks I thought... no really what was I supposed to say. I am so self absorbed that I think the world needs to hear what I am saying, because I am pretty sure they could have thought that... I wonder that about myself...

The reason I blog...


I believe that everything we need to get through, praise through, pray about, praise about, every lesson, there is something in the bible about it... and this was my way of kind of relating that to my life. It also has helped me get through some things in my life. Take for instant yesterdays "if I were you" it made me realize there are some things i need to get over in my life.

Truth be told, I love blogging, I love reading them, well, at least most of them (I hit next blog the other day and was frightened by a freak), and I really like writing my blog.

This whole blog thing started with Sara and reading hers, then a few others, it's been great to sometimes realize I am not the only one going through some of this stuff. I am not the only one who feels inadequate in some areas in my life, and somehow since I am not alone, I have people God has sent in my life to work or pray through it with me. And sometimes I see how God is working in/through me. And sometimes I am probably self absorbed

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

If you were me...

If you were me you’d be a single mom who loves her daughter with all her heart.
If you were me, you’d know that God has always been with you, but you haven’t always been with Him.
If you were me you’d be frustrated because there never seems to be enough money.
If you me, you’d also know that God always provides for you.

If you were me, you’d wish you were married to the guy that you pray for all the time!
If you were me, you’d know that God made this house just for you.
If you were me, you’d know how hard it is to stop swearing and hope that today when you go to work, you don’t swear.
If you were me, you’d know how hard it is to not have a best friend anymore but have so many people you love that you just can’t choose which one is your “best”.
If you were me, you’d have what seems to be the only kid in 8th grade that doesn’t have a cell phone.
If you were me, you wouldn’t believe that your daughter can look just like you but be so pretty, because you’re not.
If you were me you spent that last three days watching too much tv but kind of loved doing nothing.
If you were me you’d know what it feels like to be a size six, miss it immensely but have no gym membership or time to get back to that size.
If you were me, you’d make the best meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chocolate chip cookies, and cheesecake in the whole world!
If you were me you’d struggle with which church you should call home.
If you were me you’d know that you would love to dress up for Halloween but you know you would feel like such a dork that you just can’t do it.
If you were me, you’d only have a handful of outfits to wear to work because you hate to buy clothes because you’re fat.
If you were me you would struggle with finding the reason for your mom’s death because there must be a reason, it doesn’t make sense.
If you were me you would have thought (when you were a kid) that your mom never really died that she just abandoned you but everyone was making up that story because they thought she would never come back.
If you were me you would hate people who lie and are fake because you trust really easy.
If you were me you would aspire to be a “Women of Faith” speaker.
If you were me you would be afraid to be quiet because God might tell you something you just aren’t ready to hear.
If you were me you would love to sing even though you know you can’t.
If you were me you’d love Panera bread so much you could eat there everyday with your daughter.
If you were me you would love iced tea, no sugar because that’s how Aunt Dee got you to drink it.
If you were me you wonder why your cousin’s friend who you had a big crush on is with that annoying idiot and not with you.
If you were me, you’d love your dad like crazy.

If you were me, you'd be afraid to fall in love because your heart might get broken again.
If you were me, you’d know that you copied this idea for a blog from Sara.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I keep saying that I have never been more broke in my life than I am right now and I’ve never made more money. There’s a reason. I haven’t always been wise with the way I spend my money.

I have been working on some things, I asked God to give me guidance. And I still go a little crazy.

I’m up for a promotion at work. Same job, same title, higher grade, higher pay. I struggle because in some ways I don’t think I deserve it. If I haven’t been wise with the money He has given me, why should He trust me with more?

I have really tried to get it together. I am working on it, planned out a budget, but I can’t help but really hope for the relief that this raise will give us (me & Miss P) based on our current budget.

In all this I will be honest, I have focused a little more about money than I should. And I started thinking about the scripture that says that we can’t serve to idols. There has NEVER been a time in my life when God hasn’t provided for me. I don’t think He is going to stop now.

So Lord, I am giving this to You. You know my needs, You know what I deserve and thankfully you never give it to me.

I am supposed to get this promotion at the end of this month. Please pray for me.

Matthew 24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I guess God does keep teaching us the same lesson until we learn it…

The word of God spoke…

I asked in the beginning of last week for God to speak to me. Oh, yeah, He spoke all right… “Shut up Margie, you can’t hear me if you are talking”. Yeah, big revelation that is, teachers have been saying that for decades and funny, I have said it to kids.

I went to two different churches today. My home church, and then to Metro, my semi-home church (is there such a thing?). Today Julie (FBC) talked about when God is MIA in our lives. It was really good, gave me some different perspective. I related to a lot of what she was saying.

Then I went to Metro. I don’t know what it is, maybe cuz it’s so big, I have no worries about opening up raising my hands in the air and singing and worshipping. But I did it, I opened my heart and as always, God did a big number on me.

There were two things that Jeremy spoke of.

Being real as a parent, correcting our kids when they need correcting. I was also struggling with this… Been worried a lot about keeping Miss P in check. Wondering if I was doing the right thing. Yes, I knew I was, but it’s hard being the mom. Yeah, God spoke right to me, Thanks Pastor Jeremy. Don’t want kids (kid) like Eli’s holy moly, prostitution right outside the temple. I think you can get in big trouble for that…

Pastor Jeremy also talked about being quiet and listening to God speak to us. I haven’t been quiet lately, I’ve done a lot of everything else, being busy, listening to music, and NOT SHUTTING UP. Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorites. Be still and know I am God.

I haven’t been still, I haven’t been quiet, I’ve been doing a lot of crying out… and no listening. Waiting for God to come clean up my messes. I know that’s not what it’s about. And mostly, it’s not about me! DUH! Say it with me! “DUH!”

I don’t know why, I am amazed at what God does in my life. I’m a jerk for probably not saying “thank You” enough. I’m a jerk for talking to much. I’ll shut up now.

Be still and know I am God – Psalm 46:10

"Speak, for your servant is listening." – 1 Samuel 3:10

Daddy Daughter Day

It’s funny how I was a little jealous of Mike and his daughter’s and their daddy/daughter day. I really try to make sure my dad and my daughter get their time together and sometimes I feel like I get what’s leftover.

My dad and I had daddy/daughter day. Well, evening. We went and had dinner and saw “Invincible” with Marky Mark (and I know he doesn’t like to be called that, and if I ever meet him, I promise, I won’t call him that – HE’S HOT!!).

It was a great time we spent together.

I caught myself thinking that maybe God knew what He was doing when my mom died. Yes, I know, I should never doubt, but I miss her, you know, and I never quite understand why He took my mom from so many that loved and needed her.

You know, she had a rough life, she was the only pregnancy my g-ma kept. She grew up without a father, he never accepted her. She was found in an orphanage and lived with “Boosha” who threatened mean things. My mom was married once before to get out of the house. Maybe God knew she had been through enough and decided to bring her to paradise.

Who knows what my life would have been like if she was alive. I’ve fascinated about it my whole life. When I was a kid, shopping with my mom. As an adult, I know she will be looking down on me when I get married, but it would have been nice for her to be there in person. But I have a great relationship with my dad. We are very close and cannot imagine my life without him.

God had my plan all laid out. He knew what He was doing. He always does. Following God takes a lot of faith. I’m thankful that it only takes the faith of a mustard seed to move a mountain. I can’t imagine my life without His watchful hand over it.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Friday, September 01, 2006

Did you change your medication?

I never really realized the affect swearing had on my attitude. Really, it became such a "normal" part of my life. And I am sorry to belabor on this point, but I've had a real revelation.

Yesterday I was visiting at someone's desk and they jokingly (but I think they were partly serious) said "Did you change your medication, you seem so much happier"... I took it to heart. Swearing is ugly. it makes you ugly, there is nothing pretty about "f-bombs" have you seen the destruction bombs do? I think there is a reason that is the nickname of "f".

Do you know why I quit swearing, because there was a woman in our office, I was going to say, or rather I would have said, "they can take that money and shove it up their...." but I didn't because she was standing there. If there was nothing wrong with what I was saying why did I have to filter it? God really worked on me on my way home.

I am not saying it's not a struggle, 3 times yesterday. And 2 out of 3 where not "f-bombs".

So hopefully one day, if I have a bad day, people will think that's not normal... and think I forgot to take my meds... lol...