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)


Sunday, May 31, 2009

The reputation of this city begins with me

I've been driving past a house about 3 blocks away, the grass was literally passed my knees. I was so angry when I saw a police officer writing ANOTHER ticket, like the two on the door weren't enough...


So I thought about an article in Reader's Digest about how a community of people got together and kept up the lawns of the homes that were abandoned.


So... today, I pushed my lawnmower down to the house, and cut the grass, well 3/4 of it because my lawnmower died. I was kind of upset because I didn't finish it. And when I drove by later, someone had finished it!! Now it looks so much better. I'm gonna keep my eye on it.


I also got almost all my veggie plants planted. I have 4 more tomatoes to plant (I already planted 9) and I'm not sure where I'm going to plant them. Because there isn't much room left anywhere.


I stayed home from Youth Group for some much needed time with Phyllis. Sometimes we get so busy that we don't spend time together. We were together Friday, but after an incident (nothing huge, just something that needs to be dealt with), I think we just needed some time together. I made lunch (chicken in the crockpot) with brown rice, and broccoli, and then for dinner we had the all exciting keilbasa, mac&cheese, and broccoli, we made peach/blueberry cobbler for dessert, and we took a walk around the 'hood, and went grocery shopping. Thrilling, I know, but we were together, and laughed a lot. I am so thankful that my teenager never turned into one of "those teenagers" and that we still spend time, and like each other. We talked about the future, we talked about (dreamed really) about moving, getting out of Downriver. Oh we dreamed!!

I am easily driven by my circumstances. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It's something I'm working on, not to be moved. I'm doing a bible study on it, I'm pretty excited and God is moving in my heart! Yesterday was a day when I just had to stop and look at the Glory of It All.

Phil 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday in the 'burbs

Today I had some kind of plans but not really... I went to Grace Centers of Hope for their Men & Women on a mission... The people and other volunteers went around Pontiac (the city it's located in) and cleaned up trash and then afterwards there was a BBQ. I really just wanted to go and hang out... so I brought cupcakes (96) of them to go with their BBQ. It was a nice time of fellowship.

Then afterwards I went to Cranbrook. Beautiful day, I had intentions to take TONS of pictures but I got kind of caught up in the beauty of it all and was too busy talking (to God) to take too many pictures. There are a few... you can read my captions if you would like.
This was just beautiful, I couldn't believe that God would paint such a picture for me.
I walked for awhile before I got to this wall. It kind of symbolized the wall that I feel like I can't get over lately.
I've never seen yellow iris before. I'm no expert in iris, but I thought they were pretty, plus yellow reminds me of Phyllis.
There were two turtles, then only one (towards the center). This pond was FULL of turtles! I wanted to jump in and swim... well, not really.
This tree from far away looked like 3 trees all intertwined, I thought it was cool and it reminded me how the lives of those we love are intertwined in our hearts.

I loved that tree, kind of all by itself.

I just thought this would be a cool pic


So purty
DAISIES ARE MY FAVORITE!!!
I'll say it again, DAISIES ARE MY FAVORITE!!
Today's Biblegateway verse of the day... God's Word never fails.
"In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?"

Friday, May 29, 2009

A beautiful day in 'The D'

I don't know why people don't like Detroit. If you get passed all the murders, corrupt politicians... it's a beautiful city!!

We are SO blessed that the travel department moved a Passport Agency to our fine city, because God knows I've known about this trip to Austria for 1.5 years, and I just now decided to get Phyllis her passport! So we went down there, did i mention, you're supposed to have an appointment? I decided, I'd just try. Got there, SHOT DOWN, but the guy was super nice, and told us to use these phones then he told Phyllis for us to come here, oh yeah, he gave us an appointment and we were out of there in 30 minutes! THANK YOU JESUS!! So we will have her passport next week!!


Before we could go anywhere, Phyllis had to pee, so we stopped at Starbucks, got a drink too!


We drove around, I said want to go to 'the market'? We walked around Eastern Market, went in a few shops, went to Rocky Peanut which is so AWESOME! Bulk candy and nuts like when you were a kid! Though it's not fancy like the website shows. Phyllis's first time there so I made her take a picture. All we got were those dinner mints that are turquoise, pink, and yellow!

Then of course, our favorite place, ROMA'S!! For lunch! I had a big salad, soup, and walnut cake, Phyllis had half lasagne, half spagetti, soup, and tiramisu! And of course, brought home leftovers! I made her take a picture, she said she wouldn't smile because she had food in her teeth! But then started laughing!!



















































Near the end of the market!! what a beautiful day! We had so much fun!!

We decided we want to live here!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Changing the World


So do you ever feel like "I'm only one person, what can I do?"

I just thought about this story this morning, I saw a picture and it just popped in my head. I remember the first time I heard this story. I was in a small room, with my psychologist, her chair was brown, the couch I was sitting on was blue with tan flowers. Pink box of kleenex to my left, out the window it was spring, the little stream was running, trees BEAMING with fresh greenness...

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.
The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"


I love this story because I do believe that you can make a difference in the world, one person at a time, whether it's letting someone have the better parking spot, or by buying someone a coffee when they weren't expecting it, by living (and loving) by grace, going out of your way when you think you just don't have the time. Sometimes it's our own hearts that we change, and then we change the hearts of others.

Matters to...

this one
and
this one
and
this one
and
this one
and
this one...

1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

making better choices

Life is about choices.

If you make good choices, rewards (usually)
If you make poor choices, consequences (but grace!)

I am not fat because I sit around, I am fat because I make poor food choices. I eat too much fat, too many calories.

If you eat lots of fruits and veggies, you feel better, you poop better, it's all good.

If you eat lots of sugar, too many carbs... you might feel good for a minute, but it hits your butt and stays there... and you don't poop good. Did you know that you should poop everytime after you eat? Most people are lucky to go once a day. Take a little magnesium if you need help in that department. Works like a charm. It's also good for your muscles, heart, and can keep you from burning in the sunshine. (HINT HINT if you crave chocolate, you need more magnesium). True story.

Making good food choices is not always easy. if you forget to grab an apple or come kind of fruits and veggies on your way out the door, I don't know about you but I become destined for a bag of chips or candy mid-afternoon. I brought two apples and a peach today. Just in case.

I am going to have Chinese today. I love chinese. YUM!! Chicken and Broccoli, I know it's kind of high in fat but I'll make sure I get white rice, not fried, and no egg roll.

We leave for Austria in 31 days... YEAH!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm Amazed by You

I think that most people look at my life and wonder first "WHY IS SHE SO BUSY?" and second "HOW?"


Its an odd week this week. We had yesterday off in honor of those who serve and I have Friday off. I was supposed to have a meeting today but it got cancelled. I came home and cooked dinner for Phyllis, Gibby, and myself. Then I cleaned up and thought "now what?" You see for me, being busy is just a way of life. But I'm trying to change that. I've been praying about it for awhile. Last week, I told our Youth Pastor, only High School Youth Group next year (Alive), no more Jr. High. I also gave up greeting at my church.


I always complain because I never have time to exercise and today I did, so I put on my headphones and walked about 40 minutes. I probably could have had a pep-pier step but I only listened to praise music that moved my heart. The last song I listened to was by Desperation Band. I am amazed by God, I am looking forward to more time to spend in Him, I am amazed that He loves me. I can't wait to dance with Him.

Ecc 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end

Monday, May 25, 2009

Growing up

I grew up in a single parent household. My mom died when I was 16 months old. I was with Kevin today and he said “I thought I’d live in The Clem all my life”. I seriously had no preconceived notions of what my life would be when I grew up. Sure, I thought I’d be married and have a family. I guess it seems as though some people have this “white picket fence” dream or this or that. Not me. I really had no idea what “normal” was so I guess I figured it would come as it did. Though I do remember thinking I’d love to have a boat when I grew up.

One thing I remember vividly, I wanted to be a teacher. I had a few teacher’s who made a huge impact in my life. When I was little, I guess everyone knew that I didn’t have a mom so it wasn’t a big deal, but once I got to school, that was an odd thing. It wasn’t very common for single parent families when I was young, but it was even less common for single parent families, led by fathers. I cried a lot (I guess somethings never change… lol), I had one teacher especially, Mrs. Carol Bacile. She was blonde and pretty, a son named Todd who was in my first grade class but not in my second (obviously because his mom was the teacher). I was friends with Todd and would go to his house, which was kind of seemed odd to everyone else but me, but I thought it was cool. They lived close to the school. I can’t remember one specific thing that she did that made me feel so at ease, but maybe it was just her way. I didn’t want to leave and go to the third grade because she was so great!

I don’t know what exactly happened on why I didn’t become a teacher because I decided early on that I wasn’t going to make it that way. I know that what I do now, I love. I love that in a different way I am a teacher, hopefully teaching young women and young men that the only way to live is for Jesus. That somehow I can be an encourager to those I love, as Mrs. Bacile was to me.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it

Remembering where you come from


Today is Memorial Day, my gram always called it Decoration Day. You can read here if you like history.

My gram always went to the cemetry on Memorial Day Weekend. It was something we always did together, its kind of odd, but it seemed that was "our thing". She would get red & white carnations with a cheap little flag and put it in the pot for my grampa. I haven't gone to the cemetry since she died. The cemertry is not far from my work so I might run over there this week, with those same flowers and some pink & yellow ones for my gram.

Thank you to those who serve, and thank you to the families of those who have served that are no longer with us. We have not forgotten.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

ime

Live life in such a way
that those who don't know Jesus
will come to know Jesus
because they know you

That's the signature on my Yahoo! account.

And to be honest, today, I feel like that's a huge struggle for me. That if you saw my heart today, you'd probably run from Jesus. And that's just not good. Maybe some people don't struggle like I do, or maybe they are just not as honest. Today, my heart actually hurts. Seriously hurts. I don't know if there is just a million things going on in my life that I just can't or don't want to deal with, but I really don't think that's what it is. I think that just inherintly, I'm evil to the core. And it's only when I get out of my own way that anyone could ever come to know Jesus.

As a side note, a lot of people think that you need to go to church to get the 'whole' Jesus thing. It's funny, but not in a good way, that I think that people turn from Jesus because of the church. I know that sometimes I could. And that's because the church is full of people who are human (GASP!!). Lately, I've learned more about what God wants for me and heard His Word louder on my own, seeking Him than I learn in church. Sometimes, a lot lately actually, it seems the message I get is a month late. Maybe it's meant to be a reassurance from God that I'm going the right way, but lately I'm like - I've got that one.

Last week a bunch of people said they thought of me during the "people pleaser" message because I never say no. I don't say no because I think that I am trying to please man, I say yes! because I want to serve God. To the people, I'd say "bite me" or some other word that is not suitable for this blog and it would offend someone greatly. But to God I want to say yes! At least the part of me that I've gotten out of my way and let Him take over.

And this week was about busy-ness. And I am sure that people will say again "I thought of you". Yes, I'm busy, I've always been busy, I'm taking more time for myself because I want to, and I feel like I'm being used up not used. Make sense.

So at the break we take for Fuel/Alive, I will only come back to Alive. I am not longer going to be involved in Fuel, it will be difficult, but I am looking forward to taking a Zumba class on Monday nights, I'm looking forward to some home time.

I'm looking forward to more God and less "church". I'm hoping that the evil part of me gets completely taken over by the Godly part of me. I will spend my time chasing after and long for God more. The more I chase Him, the more I love Him, the more I want more of Him, and less of me!

Proverbs 24:5 A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength

I don't know if that made sense to anyone but me...

Broccoli salad

8 slices of bacon (or if you make it like me, the WHOLE package!)
2 large heads of broccoli, cut up
1 1/2 c sharp cheddar, shredded
3 green onions, cut up
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/8 c white sugar
salt & pepper to taste
2/3 c mayo
1 t fresh lemon juice

cook bacon until crispy and crumble

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cheese, bacon, and onion

prepare dressing combining vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, pepper, salt, & mayo.

Combine dressing with salad. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I adapted the recipe from here.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cakes

I got this recipe from Mari! She often has very yummy recipes! Check them out!
SO YUMMY!
Hers called for 2 bags of heath, I only had one bag of heath bits but it was still plenty!!
SO GOOD!!

2 boxes ice cream sandwiches
2 - 8oz Cool Whip, thawed
1 bag Heath Toffee Bits

Open sandwiches from one box and place in 9 x 13 pan, positioning to cover bottom of pan. Spread half of Cool Whip over ice cream sandwiches.
Sprinkle 1/2 bag of the Heath bits over Cool Whip.
Repeat layers and freeze.

This recipe fills a 9 x 13 to the top of the pan, so it makes a lot.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Garden is ready to go

1. Tomatoes... grape, beefsteak, roma
2. Cucumbers
3. Green peppers
4. Jalapenos
5. yellow squash & zucchini
6. Onions
7. Parsely (italian flat leaf)
8. Basil
9. Rosemary
10. Cilantro

Gen 1:28-30 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Weekend

The long weekend is upon us! I love long weekends!

Today I am probably going to go get my plants for my garden, I had great hopes of planting my own seedlings... and realized that I just don't have time to do that. So I'll help stimulate the economy :) We need it in the D. I might take a trek down to Eastern Market to see what they have down there.

Tomorrow is my cousin's 16th birthday party! Should be a fun time with the fam! Oh! And haircuts! We leave in 36 days, 15 hours for Austria (not that I'm counting!!)

Sunday I am going to go to church, and then home, maybe cook out on the BBQ and Alive! Plant my veggies and maybe some flowers!

Monday is going to be a lazy fun day! Phyllis has a core group sleepover on Sunday after Alive and so I'll have to pick her up, and she's going to a BBQ and I am going to Cranbrook to walk around the grounds, I've been wanting to do that for awhile, so I am thankful for the extra day off to go!

Titus 2:4-6 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Apparently I'm a people pleaser!


Funny! Well, not funny! I don't say no. But I'm learning. I've always kind of thought that if I had the gift, there was an opening, I should do it. I felt like sometimes that was just God opening a door. A lot of times I'll wait for someone else to open the door for themselves and they don't, so I figure it must be my door.

Our pastor spoke about people pleasers on Sunday. 3 people said they thought of me. I wondered "is that a good thing or a bad thing". Yikes, if you are wondering that, it's probably a bad thing.

I do step up a lot. I'm not someone who will sit around and complain about something not working, I'll dive right in. Even when we got our building (church) I was there often, sweeping or cooking because that's the only talent I had. And I truly enjoyed it, not because I thought someone would be happy that I was there, but because I felt like that was my 'talent' and someone needed to do it.

I started back into Youth Ministry, I thought it wasn't my gift, but soon found out that God closed every door except that one. Hmmm... I love it. I love the teenagers more than they know but doing both Jr. High and Sr. High sometimes leaves me feeling like I'm used up by Youth Ministry not used by God. Sounds horrible, but sometimes it's true.

I feel like God is moving me and stretching me, and saying "let Me guide you, stop and let me". That's not easy for this gal who has always been on the move, but can I tell you, in that, I'm learning to enjoy life a little more instead of "doing life". Hmmm...

So I am not sure if I'm a people pleaser or not. Probably in some way I am, but if making people happy furthers the Kingdom of God... then I'm in! And if anyone doesn't like it... they can bite me!

Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Worship Wednesday

I actually found this song by 'accident'. This morning while checking my facebook, Adam had a great video called 'albertine' so I immediatly went to Rhapsody to put it on my mp3 player, I ended up downloading the whole album to my mp3 player. I've been listening to it at work. I heard the words

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I, I was not made for here

Man... holy spirit bumps.

I've been struggling with the knowledge of knowing that I am not seeking God like I should. Not that I don't see Him, but when I feel uneasy about knowing where I am its because I am not seeking Him like I should. Yes, I admit it. So I've been praying more, reading the Word, listening, even though it may be silent.

This song blew me away.

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath,
so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live
I was made to love
I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me Hope,
He's coming for me
Hope is coming for me Hope,
He's coming

I had dinner with Liz and she spoke of how I seem like I have it all together! HA! I explained that she sees me one day a week, and that I'm a mess, that I struggle with a lot of the same things she struggles with. And how thankful I am that God is bigger than my mess, and He covers it! Which Pastor Clark said Sunday, it was like a light bulb went off in my head, stop beating yourself about stuff you're already forgiven for. WOW! Grace! Scales removed!

I feel myself blown away! Blown away by the goodness of God, and as Katie says “It is not always when we have something that we celebrate.” And I have a lot to celebrate!

So anyway, listen to this song, be blessed today, God is good!

Psalm 21 (Message)
1-7Your strength, God, is the king's strength. Helped, he's hollering Hosannas.
You gave him exactly what he wanted;
you didn't hold back.
You filled his arms with gifts;
you gave him a right royal welcome.
He wanted a good life; you gave it to him,
and then made it a long life as a bonus.
You lifted him high and bright as a cumulus cloud,
then dressed him in rainbow colors.
You pile blessings on him;
you make him glad when you smile.
Is it any wonder the king loves God?
that he's sticking with the Best?
8-12 With a fistful of enemies in one hand
and a fistful of haters in the other,
You radiate with such brilliance
that they cringe as before a furnace.
Now the furnace swallows them whole,
the fire eats them alive!
You purge the earth of their progeny,
you wipe the slate clean.
All their evil schemes, the plots they cook up,
have fizzled—every one.
You sent them packing;
they couldn't face you.
13 Show your strength, God, so no one can miss it.
We are out singing the good news!



If I find in myself
desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude
that I, I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best
only light and momentary,
then of course I'll feel nude
when to where I'm destined I'm compared

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan
as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found?
On the straight or on the roundabout
of the wrong way?
Is this a soul that stirs in me
is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
'Cos my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth
of who I was born to become

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan
as I wait for hope to come for me

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath,
so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live
I was made to love
I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He's coming for me
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He's coming

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan
as I wait for hope to come for me
For me, for me, for me

Yesterday... overwhelmed...

Yesterday I sincerely thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest! In a good way!

I had a great day yesterday, work wasn't terribly stressful (sometimes it is), had a great lunch with Kevin, and then I picked up Liz for dinner. It was great!

We went to Bravo! in Rochester Hills, there is an outdoor mall there with Parisian, which we don't shop there because the stores are all over priced but we sometimes go to Max and Erma's over there. We decided to try something new. We ate outside because it was so beautiful! I have to say that my evaluation of the resturaunt was C-. The waitress we had was decent, but we were taking our time (I rush so much of my life, when I am enjoying dinner or lunch with a friend I want to take my time). We weren't even half way done with out salads and they brought out our entrees. Ugh. Now I'm going to eat cold food (we were outside - remember). So I paid a lot of money for cold food. That is just disappointing. I honestly would not recommend it.

However, Liz and I had a great time! Great conversation, we were able to relax, chill out from the everyday stresses of life. I dropped off Liz and my heart just wanted to explode with the gratefulness of blessings that God provides for me, in small and big ways!

Today is lunch in the park!

Eph 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Almost Funny! but not!


Proverbs 30:32-33
32 "If you have played the fool and exalted yourself,
or if you have planned evil,
clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning the milk produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife."


Ok, so I posted about how I'm trying to live in, on, and by grace... so what happens? Two people come up to me and put me to the test.

I don't really know if I passed or not. The first one almost had me over the counter at her, but I just thought "this has got to be one of the dumbest broads I've ever seen in my life" (yes, that's what I really thought) and let her continue to be stupid. The last one, I just couldn't take her big fat mouth anymore and walked way mumbling "whatever". That was maybe a D+ on the grading scale but it was better than telling her off which is what Jesus was fighting my flesh because that's what I REALLY wanted to do. I just kept thinking "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?? AND DO YOU KNOW THAT I COULD MAKE YOU FEEL SO STUPID RIGHT NOW?" but instead just kept saying in my head "Jesus, one hand on my shoulder and the other over my mouth!".

In both these situations I just kept thinking "Grace grace grace grace grace grace" even though in both situations I wanted to turn around and be anything but graceful/grace giving. Part of me really did think that going after them will accomplish nothing, so just keep quiet and pray.

This is today's biblegateway verse of the day... “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”- James 3:17-18

Monday, May 18, 2009

Living in, on, and by grace

I'm learning.

Grace.

Unmerited favor.

When you want to punch someone... or yell at them... or run them over with your car (maybe that's only me) and you simply forgive. Even when they may or may not deserve to be forgiven. One of my favorite sayings is "you better hope you never get what you deserve", the other one "hurting people, hurt people". Grace.

It has been given to you (and me!!). We need to return the favor. Not because we have to but because we want to.

I'm trying (somedays I'm more trying than others) to live not only in grace, because I have a hard time remembering that my God is bigger than anything I have screwed up, on grace - yes, I will ride the coat tails of grace and hope to be forgiven, and by grace, to forgive those who have hurt me.

Grace.

Amazing Grace.

In Psalm 32:1 and Romans 4:7 it says almost the exact same thing

Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered
Romans 4:7 "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered

It's been my understanding that if the Word of God says something once, He means it, if it says it more than once (especially if it's almost EXACTLY the same - He really means it - like [I'm sure God would never say this...] but HEY STUPID -- ARE YOU GETTING THIS??)

And transgression is a pretty big word (and I'm not that bright!)... so I looked it up here...

Transgression
transgression
A noun
1 transgression
the action of going beyond or overstepping some boundary or limit
Category Tree:
act; human action; human activity
action
transgression
2 transgression, evildoing

the act of transgressing; the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle; "the boy was punished for the transgressions of his father"
Category Tree:
act; human action; human activity
activity
wrongdoing; wrongful conduct; misconduct; actus reus
transgression, evildoing
crime
crime; law-breaking
terrorization; terrorisation
sin; sinning
vice
depravity; turpitude
villainy
evil; immorality; wickedness; iniquity
abomination

So transgression = sin

Sin is not equal to grace. it's like a game of Rock/Paper/Scissors but GRACE beats them all.

Yesterday was one of those "grace" days, I am sure many had to cover me up with it, and I covered people I love in it. Grace like a blanket. Whether I thought they deserved it or not. Grace.

Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

oui!

Ever have one of those days that has a set path in store, a day you're looking forward to, and then at some point, you are not really sure when it happens, the whole apple cart tips over and you're done. BLECK!

I believe that everyday is a gift from God. But today was one of those days that I can't wait to get to the next gift!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fuel Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser!

1. Meat Sauce
2. Marinara
3. Chicken Alfredo Sauce
4. Green Beans
5. Rolls
6. Salad
7. Love
8. Jesus
9. Fun!
10. $10

Friday, May 15, 2009

6 unimportant things

Vikki at Random Ramblings! has tagged me in a fun meme. I lost her link so I was so glad she tagged me!

Six Unimportant Favorite Things

I guess they could also be referred to as guilty pleasures and I think I have more than six, but here goes:

1. Roma's. It's my very favorite resturaunt! I love going there for celebrations big and small. I love going there if I am happy or need a pick me up!

2. Getting my nails done! I stopped getting my gels done to save time and money. I've decided that I really miss my friend who does my nails

3. My Mp3 player. Seriously, this is one of those things I never realized their worth until I got one!

4. Flowers...I love having cut flowers in my home. From the grocery store or the garden. Daisies are my favorite

5. TV. Complete waste of time, I don't watch anything with real value, but I love reruns of Laverne & Shirley, General Hospital, Bros & Sisters.

6. Iced tea. LOVE IT!! lemon NO sugar please

I hope my friends will play along:
1. Aunt Pat
2. Kelly
3. Constance
4. Stacy
5. Mrs. Mac
6. Deb

Here are the rules: Mention the person who tagged you, list your six Unimportant Favorite things, and then tag six other bloggers. Easy as pie....have fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jon & Kate plus 8


Ok, I don’t know if you like Jon & Kate plus 8, but we DVR it so we don’t miss it. We really like the show. I also don’t know if you’ve heard or read the news about what’s going on inside (and outside) their marriage. I don’t need to place any blame or say anything, but I found myself burdened for their marriage, even to the point of being one of those idiots who sends them an email. Seriously.

So as Phyllis was packing her lunch, I said, make sure you add them to your prayer list.

Sometimes we try so hard to make it look like everything is perfect that we neglect the things that we need to work on the most, each other. Things are never, nor will they ever be perfect, but putting the other person’s needs ahead of your own (without compromising yourself too much – that’s a difficult balance) is needed.

So, Lord, I life up Jon & Kate to you today. Lord, they need you, they need you to be at the center of their marriage. In ways only you know remind them that you love them, remind them why they love each other, Lord, protect their hearts from outside influences, Lord remind them of the blessings that come from their marriage. Lord, protect those beautiful children from the outside mean world, Lord. I ask that you give them someone (a couple) that loves you Lord that can direct them back to you, and back to each other. Lord, let no man separate what you have ordained Lord, let no man undo what you’ve done. God, let their lives bring glory to you, give them love, let them have grace and mercy to each other like you’ve given to us. Lord, they need wisdom, and strength to get through all this that only comes from you. Lord, we love you! In Jesus’s loving, healing, MIGHTY name, I pray. AMEN!

Ecc 4:9-12 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

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do not be overcome by evil

There was a time when if someone did something mean to me, intentional or not, I would not only repay that evil, I would pay it forward. I would say "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy, I'll let you chose". What a horrible way to live. Hurting people hurt people.

My heart began to change. If someone did something mean to me, I would do two nice things for someone else, this could be a big thing or a small thing, like paying for the coffee for the person behind me. I thought I didn't want evil to be in the balance. Now it's 3 times. 3 nice things if someone does something mean.

However, today, I asked someone to help me with something... and she was a witch... and I even printed out the email... so I wouldn't forget. And for a moment I thought "wait until next time she asks me for something, she'll see her email". And then I went to lunch began to breathe and thought "First, that's no way to live, Second, they'll know we are Christians by our love" and I simply remembered a bible verse that was Jessica Burton's favorite from Sunday school Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. And so I took down the email.

The Word of God never fails.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A God of Convenience

Sometimes we're guilty of having a God of convenience. That doesn't mean that God is God of convenience, it means that's how we look or approach Him. We pray for things we want, not things we need. We praise Him in the good times (things!) and forget that He is there is all things great and small, and that His good is our good, that when we don't get what we want, it is His opportunity to show that His Word is our life, and it truly is the only way to live.

I've been reminded lately that He is in all things and in our surrender is when we are closest to Him. In one of Adam's teachings (I'm paraphrasing here) he said that people don't believe there is a God because they don't want to surrender to Him, they don't really want to be accountable.

I've lived my life both ways. I always believed there was a God, however, I only went to Him when I was in trouble and needed something. My life seemed in turmoil A LOT! And even though I do strive to live my life for God, it can be a little rough (usually because I am convicted to stop doing stupid things by His Word), I would not change the direction of living my life for God one bit. The bible says that the road to God is narrow (Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it). And sometimes I feel like I'm going to slip off, but He's got me in His grip, and I 'ain't goin' no where'. And there is great comfort in that. In knowing, I'm just not smart enough to figure it out myself, that I can't live by my good deeds that are easily undone by my screw ups, that I just depend, and love Him.

He is Mighty! And His love and grace abounds!

Song of Solomon 8:6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

He loves us!!



It’s amazing to me how much God loves me! His grace is amazing and I don’t deserve an ounce.

Today is Mother’s Day. It’s a day that you know (or may not know) that has given me a hard time in my life.

And today, in all things, big and small, that I am loved. Phyllis made me an awesome plate, so cool!! Some mom’s might love a day at the spa, I’ll take a homemade anything!

Went to church, I turned around to look at Kevin and there was beautiful Elijah. Oh!! I feel like I haven’t seen him in a year!! If I kissed him once, I kissed him 100 times!! I just kept thinking “how good God is to me!” Liz and I took Phyllis and Kamari to the Detroit Zoo! What a beautiful day! We had a ‘picnic’ lunch but we ate it inside… lol!! Pizza, homemade pasta salad, strawberry shortcake, and homemade chocolate strawberries! YUM!! So off we went to the zoo! Liz and Kamari had never been there! It was a beautiful day, Phyllis’s hip was bothering her (please pray!!). We ended our day at the zoo and then off to Alive. There were two boys that I’ve been praying for!!

Its amazing that all along I was praying for them, God was working in their hearts! Oh how He loves us!!


My life has not been perfect, I’ve made quiet a bit of mistakes, but God’s grace… God’s grace is so big! It covers us! In the song that’s here… there are a couple lines…one that says… If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking!
Just think, we sink in God’s grace, it surrounds us! And the other that says I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, When I think about, the way… He loves us!!

WOW! How true is that, if we remember how much He loves us, we don’t have time to sit in our own regrets because we are just too amazed by His love!

He loves us!!

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death

Romans 8:28-39 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.



He loves us - John Michael MacMillan
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.

Happy Mother's Day!!


I apparently am the best mom in the universe!! Phyllis made me this serving dish! I love it! You know I cried!!


Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The friends God sends

This morning, I am blessed. Ok, I'm blessed every morning, I already blogged today, but I just... my heart is just...

Overwhelmed with joy!!

This week, Tuesday, a very good friend took me out to dinner! YUMMY!! and we used my boomarang card and I got a free appetizer or dessert! Thursday I had dinner with another friend... she's so wise and loving! AND FUNNY and sometimes crabby and I like ALL those things about her.

And this morning, three of us, Amanda and Katie and I had breakfast with the girls (Ava, Lana, and Phyllis). Just a small little "mom" and pop kind of place, it really wasn't about where we went, it was that we were together, I am convinced that we could have eaten at McDonalds and we would have been blessed just the same (but we're more blessed because we didn't have to eat at McDonald's {for the record I like McDonald's its just not where I would choose to have breakfast with 'my girls'})

And I was thinking about this bible study I want to do 'the friends God sends'. Sometimes the three of us support each other, cry with or for each other, we pray for each other, and ENJOY each other. We're all different, but joined by this thing... this amazingly wonderful love... Christ.

Philemon 1:4-7 says 4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints

And oh how I'm thankful for my friends! How I'm thankful when they pray for me, when they are encouraging (even when they tell me to get over myself) because they LOVE ME! THEY LOVE ME when I'm loveable and not so loveable.

I'm overwhelmed with joy!!

My favorite things about being a mom


1. When Phyllis leans over so I can kiss her head

2. Laughing like crazy

3. Watching her grow up

4. Thinking about how happy she was as a child

5. Spending time with her

6. when she knows I'm tired, she helps me clean...lol

7. Seeing her smile from across a room

8. Dropping her off at school and saying "have a good day, loveyou"

9. Sharing a meal

10. Teaching her about the love of Jesus by living it


Eze 16:14 " 'Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter."

Friday, May 08, 2009

Busy...

I am tired today. It's the end of a long day, I worked, and then I served at the college ministry at our church, nothing major, I just did words for the sermon and worship.

It's been a long week, I feel like I've exercised everyday, even though the only thing I did was walk up to the Hallmark to get my cards for Mother's day. How about that?!

But I did exercise this week. I stood in the gap, and maybe not everybody gets exhausted from this, but I do, because I take it VERY seriously. It seems that I have had to scream at satan quite a few times this week. I've felt like I've stood in front of a storm, holding it back.

I've prayed for friends, and people I'd no longer consider friends. I've prayed for relatives, I even prayed for people I didn't want to. I've prayed for mom's and kids who aren't moms and kids yet, I've prayed for moms who need to be reminded of their value. I've prayed... and I'm not done.

I never really considered myself a "prayer warrior" but maybe this is my training ground.

Eze 22:30 30 "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. --Heather Cortez
Picture by Rita Moore

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mother's Day

I think most of my readers (and lurkers) are moms...

What is your perfect idea of Mother's Day?

For a long time we went to 'the club' for Mother's Day because that's where my gramma wanted to go. After she died, I thought 'I never have to do that again'. It's a nice place, it's just not my choice for Mother's Day. To be selfish, it's my day and I want to go where I want to go and since I don't have a mom, I guess I figure I have free reign to choose.

I don't even remember what I did last year. I know my day ended at Alive because it was a Sunday.
And this Mother's Day weekend, I am doing things I love all weekend. Saturday my girlfriend is having a party so I have to cook some food for that, and I am going Thrifting & to breakfast with Amanda and the girls (Ava, Lana, & Phyllis) in the morning. Excited to spend some time with Amanda. And hopefully we'll get some good bargins at our "secret" hot spot thrift store in Trenton.

On Sunday, I am going to Grace Gospel Fellowship for church, Liz and I are taking our children (her son Kamari & my peanuthead Phyllis) to the zoo. I haven't figured out what we are going to eat because Mother's Day is over-priced and always packed at restaurants, so I think I am going to make a picnic lunch to be consumed at the park before we go! I'm excited. Maybe I'm a dork for being excited about it, but I am. And then off to Alive to see 'my kids' and see how God is moving in their lives!

Simple things in life, no show, just go. I don't need some big show to try impress people, I just sometimes want to be.

What's your plans?

Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

my kids

I have one child of my own. Her name is Phyllis. I love her more than anything (next to God).

I say often “I have 500 children”.

I love those children. They are my babies. Your kids are always your babies even if they are 35.

I spend my time serving the God, serving the church, and serving them. I often wonder “what can I do to make sure they know they are loved”. I don’t approach what we do as what can we do to make our Youth Ministry better, I think approach it as “how will they know they are loved?”

We do a lot of stuff in our Youth Ministry. Our Youth Pastor is relentless, and I mean that in a good way. One of the sayings I’ve seen is “Pioneers don’t need pavement”. That’s Adam. He is blazing ground, in the name and the love of Jesus like no one else around us, and it’s evident in our kids. I can give you one small example, last night, Fuel was nuts! And I had a lot to do… I was blessed, I had 5 students that just came up to me after each task “what needs to be done, Margie” and I’ll tell you, I was interrupted 500 times, I heard my name 500 times yesterday “Margie, so and so sprained their ankle” “Margie, do you have anything for a headache” “Margie, can you look at his shoulder” “Margie Margie Margie” and that’s just how it went, I tried counting the Columbia money for an hour before I actually did it! Yikes, it was busy, but those 5 students that helped me, HOLY MOLY! They were awesome, they didn’t do it for me, they sent out postcards, cleaned, straightened, made copies, they did it for God because God has changed their lives, and they love Him by serving Him.

There are some who say that our youth ministry could be categorized as a “cult” because their lives are changed, for the better, because they are loved. They matter to God and they matter to us, and they matter to ME!

I downsized something in my life, I used to serve and I quit. I gave my notice and I quit because I need to focus. I need to be a FULL TIME youth staff. I need to not have to worry about balancing something else at the church.

Everything happens for a reason they say. And Saturday night 5 of our kids were in a car accident. Could have been killed, literally. And all day I cried. Praising God for His protection, praying that He watches and protects all my kids. Thinking about ways that we can teach our kids about things they need to know so that should an accident happen, they don’t panic. Whether they stub their toe or they are in an accident, no panic.

I probably won’t change what I do in our Youth Ministry, I just want to do it better. I want more kids to be reached, more kids to be loved, and more kids to not just be loved but to KNOW THEY ARE LOVED.

Romans 8:28- 38 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Ok, I believe that every recipe has a story... this one is no different! I needed to make a cheesecake for work for today (5-4-09) however, I forgot about it, until 5:30 this morning! No time to make a cheesecake! but it was for a VPs birthday (that someone paid me to make the cake - that never happens!) so... www.allrecipes.com here I come. That's where I found this beauty of a recipe!

Enjoy! I topped it with strawberries!


Cheesecake Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3 - 8 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons milk
3 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C).
To make Pastry: Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and chopped nuts and stir until mixture becomes crumbly.

Press pastry mixture into 9X 13 pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on rack.

To make Filling: Beat together the white sugar, and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix well. Spread filling mixture over baked crust.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on wire rack and refrigerate. Serve with fruit.

Boundaries

I'm a boundaries kind of person. Meaning I like structure. I like tradition.

Youth ministry often pulls me out of my comfort zone. And I like that.

But lately the boundaries I'm talking about are with people. Some may call them walls. I've built walls my whole life, only to take them down and have people run all over me, and then... I build them back up, higher and thicker than before. Runs in my family, my grandfather was a brick layer, in the true sense of the profession, and I am a brick layer in a emotional sense.

Sometimes we build walls to try to protect ourselves from pain. Sometimes we build walls to keep people out, and sometimes we build walls not to keep people out but to see if someone cares enough to knock them down. But I have just decided that one wall that is about to be built is to protect someone else and my view of them. You see, this person is a "leader" in my life. But lately, all I see is the kinks in his armor, because I am way too close. I always say that someone can't make you feel a certain way, but this person really does cause me to sin. He does many things that he knows will "get on my nerves" and selfishly he continues to do them. And so in order to maintain his "leadership" role in my life, a boundary must be set. A "wall" will be erected in his honor.

I've had a book for awhile, Boundaries, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend. Its the next book I am going to read (and finish). My hope is that God speaks to me in a way to help me and to help the way others see me.

2 Chronicles 14:7 "Let us build up these towns," he said to Judah, "and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side." So they built and prospered.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

So blessed!


This is Liz, she's the beautiful young woman that I "mentor". She's such a blessing to me! I don't know when it happened, but at some point she became my friend instead of someone I mentor. She was in the fashion show today at GCH's women helping women. She was by far the prettiest one there!!

Song of Solomon 4:7 All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Santa Fe Chicken


3 large chicken breast

1 lg can of salsa

2 cans corn, drained

1 can of beans, drained and rinsed

1 8oz brick of cream cheese


put chicken in bottom of crock pot. Cover with salsa, corn, black beans. Cook on high for 4 hours, low 6-8. Put cream cheese brick in to melt for at least 20 minutes.


Chicken will fall apart as you stir it.


Serve it on tortillas, with shredded cheese, and or sour cream, or with chips


Recipe called for 2 cans of beans but Phyllis doesn't like beans that much...


Recipe from my friend Sherri Darah!

God is Faithful & new recipes


This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”- 1 John 5:14-15

It's funny because people around me ask me to pray for things that are beneficial to me and to them. Like they will say "Pray that we get to pick our weeks off" (when we're temp laid off). LIke somehow if I pray that we get to pick them that we will. I pray it hoping God will be merciful on us, and I think part of it is my outlook, because I recognize that God does bless me like crazy and I see Him in small and big things, but really, I am blessed like crazy. In a time when the world "seems to be falling apart" I am just clinging to Him because no matter what happens, He is good. He is good always.

Psalm 104:27 These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.

One thing that I love to do it cook for my family, unfortunatly for whatever reason, I don't always. It takes a lot of planning. But I am. Last night I made the filling** for the enchiladas I am making for Sunday, today I am making Santa Fe Chicken to be served with tortilla chips for today. And Tuesday... Creamy Enchiladas. Yes, it's a Mexican theme this week. We love Mexican and that way it's a lot of same ingredients, uses everything up (no waste) and keeps the costs down :) and I'm also making lemon tea cookies

Next weeks it's Kelly's lo mein (which is AMAZING) and homemade egg rolls

**for the filling I make this recipe - that looks nothing like the picture when I make it, pull out all the onions, green peppers, and pork - shred it and put in corn tortillas topped with cheese and sauce.